When planning your next ice fishing trip or your first, you’re going to need the right equipment first. A lot of fishermen have questions about what kind of auger they need out on the ice. What’s the right ice auger for your fishing needs? We’ll walk through the pros and cons of different types of augers to help you see which one is right for you.

Fisherman carrying an Ion Alpha ice auger over his shoulder

Gas Ice Augers


Gas-powered augers have a long history of strength and durability. These augers are typically more powerful than electric augers, which can help make more holes faster so you can get back to your ice shelter in no time.


There are some drawbacks to gas augers like having to refuel, being heavier than electric augers, and taking a few draws on the pull string to get started.

Fisherman with gas ice auger wearing a backpack

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Typical Price of Gas Ice Augers

Gas-powered ice augers are less expensive up front than electric augers, typically landing between ice drills and battery-powered models. These augers range from $350 to $500.

Electric Ice Augers


Electric ice augers are preferred for their lightweight frame and cutting power. These types of ice augers have several benefits.

  • Easy to transport
  • Lightweight
  • Skip the gas station
  • Recharge in a few hours
  • No gas fumes


Some other factors to consider are electric augers are slightly less powerful than gas-powered augers. Battery-powered models can cut through a foot of ice in about a minute, only slightly shorter than gas augers at about 45 seconds. If you’re trying to ice fish on a budget, an electric auger may not be in the cards for you since they are a bit more expensive than gas-powered augers.

 Example of an electric ice auger in action

How long do electric ice augers last?

Typically, battery-powered augers can drill anywhere from 800 to over 2,000 inches of cutting power in a single charge. Electric ice augers offer plenty of power in every charge. Battery life depends on the size of the battery. Drilling will vary, but gas augers can drill from 60 to 80 holes on a tank of gas of a foot or more of ice. Even when drilling through thicker ice, electric ice augers can drill dozens of holes on a single charge, which is more than enough for a day of fishing.

Price of Electric Ice Augers

Electric ice augers have a wide range when it comes to cost, ranging from $450 for 8-inch augers to $750 for the largest and most powerful augers. I recommend these larger augers for folks who like to ice fish several times a year.

Alternate Types of Ice Augers

Are you not sure if these options work for you? There are other choices that you may not be aware of when it comes to ice augers, including ice drills and propane augers if you want to explore other options.

1. Ice Drills

Ice drills are the most affordable way you can drill holes in the ice beside hand crank augers. These ice drills are designed to be used with a cordless power drill and range from $150 to $300. Because these augers are powered by a drill you probably have at home, they’re typically lighter than other models, so you can get down to business without the fatigue. They’re easy to store and can be a good idea if you want to ice fish in a hurry.

Fisherman using Eskimo bit ice auger with power drill

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Price of Ice Drills

  • Ice drills are typically less expensive than gas and battery-powered augers, since they’re powered by cordless drills. These models can range between $150 for augers designed with under 8-inch blades to $300 for over 8-inch models. If you want more power than a hand crank auger, this is a solution for fishermen on a budget.

2. Propane Augers

If you regularly use propane tanks around the house or at your cabin, you might want to invest in a propane ice auger. All you need is a propane tank you might use for your outdoor heater. You just twist the tank to the adapter, pull the cord, and you’re ready to go. This way you don’t have to deal with gas fumes or high gas prices drill a few holes. Upfront costs for propane augers are also smaller than gas and electric augers, and they’re easy to maintain.

Eskimo propane ice auger

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Price of Propane Augers

  • Propane augers are typically between $350 to about $500, which is comparable to gas augers, but you won’t need to spend big bucks at the gas pump to refuel.

3. Hand Augers

You like doing things the old-fashioned way. You don’t need one of those fancy ice augers, just a little elbow grease. Hand-powered augers are much more budget-friendly than other augers, several models can cost under $100. It’s very useful for reopening holes that are iced over without lugging a heavy auger around the lake.

If you want to make a hole in your ice shelter, a hand auger is easy to use. It may take 2-5 minutes to drill through the ice. In comparison, electric ice augers can cut through a foot of ice in a minute and gas augers can do it in about 45 seconds. Hand crank augers are easy to carry, store, and transport. Plus, it builds character!

StrikeMaster hand crank ice auger

Price of Hand Augers

  • Hand crank ice augers are the least expensive option ranging from below $100 (this one above only costs $65 at the time this post was written) to $200 at the very high end. This is great for folks looking to fish on a budget or to add to their arsenal.

Which ice auger should you use?

It depends! 

Size & Weight

  • Many hand ice augers and ice drills are typically between 5 to 8 pounds and are the most lightweight augers on the market.
  • Propane and electric ice augers can vary in weight depending on size and brand. Many battery-powered ice augers weigh from 20 to 35 pounds.
  • Gas-powered ice augers are typically heavier than other models. They typically weigh between 30 and 40 pounds but make up for it in heavy-duty power.

There are plenty of augers to choose from and each with their own specific benefits. 

I wish you luck out on the ice with whichever auger you choose. If you still need help finding the right one or have any more questions, check out our website: FleetFarm.com or stop by your local Fleet Farm to speak with our fishing experts.