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Power Ice Augers – Effective, Heavy, Expensive

Power Ice Augers – Effective, Heavy, Expensive

If you are ice fishing, you need  a hole in the ice.  Most people use power ice augers.  What are the advantages to a power auger?  Are there any disadvantages?

Power Ice Augers – Effective?

Of course, power augers are effective.  They cut through the ice in seconds.  But there are things to keep in mind.

  • They are heavy. A snow machine, hand sled or several trips with equipment is needed.

    power ice augers
    Eskimo Stingray S33 8 inch $349.99 You Save: $45.74 (13% ) $304.25
  • They are noisy.  But, only while running.
  • They are finicky.  Test start your auger before you leave home.
  • They can pollute.  Make sure the gas cap is tight.  Use the right oil mixture.
  • They are dangerous.  Wrists can snap.  Clothing can get caught. Feet can get augered.
  • They are expensive.

The speed and ease of a power ice auger more than makes up for these issues.

There are a number of models of power augers ranging in price from $250  to over $1200.

Price is determined by cubic inch of the engine.  This determines the ease of drilling.  The size of the auger is also a factor in price.  Blades run from 6″ in diameter to 10″.  The larger the blade the bigger the hole.  Larger blades are more difficult to control.  An extension can be purchased for power ice augers.

Hand Augers

Strike Master Mora Hand Ice Auger $49.99

  Early in the ice fishing season, many anglers carry a hand ice auger.  It easily cuts through 4″ – 6 ” of ice.  Hand augers are much more difficult to use than power augers.

  • It can be hard to start the hole with a hand auger.
  • It is difficult to turn the auger and hold it perpendicular to the ice.
  • Hand power often allows the auger to jam in the ice.
  • Hand augers can be difficult to pull from the ice.

But there are advantages to a hand auger

  • They are inexpensive ranging in price for about $35 to $175.
  • They are light weight.
  • They always run.
  • They are safe.
  • They are quiet.

                                     Ice Chisels

Many people still carry ice chisels.  They are very inexpensive and easy to haul.  Ice chisels can easily be made out of  threaded galvanized pipe and a strong chisel blade.  Lead can be melted inside each piece of pipe for added weight.

The main use for an ice chisel is testing ice.  Punching a hole every 3 strides can mean the difference between falling through thin ice and turning around.  I have lost a few ice chisels by putting too much force behind them.  With no They slipped out of my hand to the bottom of the lake.

Ice chisels are handy when a fishing hole has frozen over.   Some people prefer a long handled axe to an ice chisel.  An axe makings opening  frozen over hole more difficult.

 

Frabill Ice 2-Piece Chisel, 64-Inch $58.99 $57.25

 Ice fishing equipment ranges from the gas barbeque to a snow machine.  With all that you carry to the lake, you had better not forget an ice auger.  Power ice augers work the best on thick ice.  Hand augers are okay for thinner ice.  An ice chisel is a handy tool for testing the ice and clearing frozen holes.

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 Share your thoughts about this page.  Which kind of auger do you use?  Do you carry an ice chisel?  What’s the best ice fishing day you ever had?

4 thoughts on “Power Ice Augers – Effective, Heavy, Expensive

  1. James,
    Admittedly only participating in fishing as a kid and at a summer camp, I still found this article fascinating in the way you took the time to explain the different tools one could use while ice fishing; particularly with the need to drill holes in the frozen ice to actually fish.

    So each of the tools you mention obviously have their pros and cons. You state that the Power Ice Augers would cut through the frozen ice the easiest – however the pros being the heaviness of the equipment, the ease in which something could go wrong – especially if the person did not know what he/she was doing, the danger of using them, (breaking a bone, or even with a heavy auger causing a boat to tip over if not secured correctly) and finally the price would cause everyone to really consider using such equipment.

    My feeling is that unless a person really knew what he/she would be doing using a power auger, perhaps a second choice of a hand auger or even an ice chisel would be a better option!

    Jeff

    1. Thanks for your comment. I haven’t been able to ice fish for a couple of years but I am going later this month. I almost always use a chisel because I hate the noise a power auger makes even if only for a few moments. Plus, now I am too old to cart all the stuff around.

  2. Hello James,
    I have never been ice fishing but I believe it’s fun. To be honest I can’t say I’ve been fishing at all. Maybe once or twice when I was little. I’d love to get a chance to do it sometimes. It must be very relaxing right?
    Thanks for understanding my childish curiosity 🙂
    Best,
    Sunny

    1. Thanks for stopping by my site. You are right fishing is relaxing. I have this theory that if all world leaders spent a week fishing together, we would have world peace. I hope you get a chance to go fishing sometime. Its very therapeutic.
      Jim

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