Types of Ice Augers

a person using an ice auger out ice fishing

When out on the ice, there's no question that an ice auger is a must-have piece of ice fishing gear. There are five main types of ice fishing augers—electric augers, hand-powered augers, cordless drill augers, gas augers, and propane augers. While all of them will get the job done, each type has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages that make them better suited for certain anglers and applications. Our Ice Fishing Experts explain each type of ice auger in detail so that you're able to find the best one for you!

Electric Ice Augers

an angler holding an electric ice auger

Electric augers are the newest type of ice auger and make drilling through ice much easier than traditional methods. These augers are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, so you may need a second battery if you're planning on staying out on the ice for an extended amount of time. Compared to other power augers, electric augers are quieter and they are generally easier to care for. Plus, some models have a reverse mode that makes it easy to remove slush from the hole as you drill.


  • Quieter drilling
  • Easy to care for
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Doesn’t require oil or gas
  • Reverse feature for easy slush removal


  • Batteries must be charged
  • More expensive than other options

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Gas-Powered Ice Augers

an angler holding the gas powered ice augers

Gas-powered augers use gasoline to power the motor and spin the auger blade. These are a more affordable type of power auger and provide continuous, even power when drilling holes. Since you need to haul gas and oil for power, these augers are heavier and not a preferred option for run-and-gun ice anglers, and of all the types of augers, gas-powered augers are the loudest.


  • Longest run time
  • Continuous, even power
  • Most affordable power auger


  • Noisier than other augers
  • Requires you to bring along gas and oil
  • A heavier motor can be difficult to transport

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Propane Ice Augers

a man using a propane auger when ice fishing

Propane augers are similar to gas augers but use propane tanks instead of gasoline to power the motor. These augers are clean burning and offer lower emissions, making them a great option for ice houses and other compact areas. They’re also easier to start than gas-powered augers since you won’t need to choke or prime the motor. However, a propane auger requires you to take propane cylinders with you, taking up valuable storage space. These propane tanks must be kept warm in order to function, so outdoor ice anglers may want to consider another option.


  • Easy to start
  • Longer run time
  • Easy to maintain
  • Lower emissions


  • Propane cylinders must be kept warm
  • Takes up more space than other augers

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Cordless Drill Ice Augers

a woman holding a cordless drill ice auger

Cordless drill augers are the most portable and affordable out of all the powered augers. They feature an adapter that connects to your cordless drill which powers the blades to drill your hole. Cordless drill augers aren’t nearly as powerful and do require a charged cordless drill (sold separately).


  • Portable and lightweight
  • Less effort than a hand-powered auger


  • Drill requires charged batteries
  • Less powerful than power augers

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Hand-Powered Ice Augers

an angler using a hand powered ice auger

Hand-powered augers are manually powered and a great option for the early season when the ice is a little softer. Hand augers are the most lightweight, portable, and quiet option available making them great if you need to walk a distance to your ice fishing spot. Since they require manual effort, you will get tired if the ice is thick or you need to drill multiple holes.


  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Runs without a power source
  • Offers more control over the drilling process


  • Requires manual effort
  • Less powerful than an electric or gas auger

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Ice Auger Comparison Chart

For a brief overview of the main differences between the different types of ice augers, check out the chart below.

Noise LevelModerateLoudLoudModerateQuiet

Once you’ve selected which ice auger is right for you, you’ll be ready to drill some holes and start catching fish! If you’re wondering what other ice fishing gear you’ll need or have questions about which ice auger is right for you, contact your local SCHEELS to speak with an Ice Fishing Expert.

Article By: SCHEELS