Ice auger is one of the most essential tools that every ice fishing enthusiast must have. It is important to the core of ice fishing – it’s the thing you use to dig holes in the ice. Of course, there are some alternative tools you can use, like hatchets or hammers, but those have two big flaws. First of all, they’re not designed for this type of work, so they won’t allow you to make consistently good holes, and second of all, they will take too much time. Plus, you might not be able to make a hole in thick sheet of ice at all. My point is, if you value your time and energy, it’s smart to invest in at least a decent hand auger. They don’t even cost that much – you can find nice used augers for about twenty bucks on craigslist. By the way, i do recommend buying them on craigslist, because they’re too heavy to be shipped otherwise and too big for retail stores to sell at reasonable cost. That’s why i always choose local craigslist listings when looking to buy one.
Hand augers aren’t the only option you have though. You can either buy hand augers – the ones that require manual labor to perform the task, or you can buy powered ice augers. Those are the ones that require some kind of fuel to perform the task, but they perform it at much faster pace and with little to no energy cost to you. You press the button, and they get the job done. Choosing between manual and powered augers is usually pretty easy. If you plan to go ice fishing only once in a while and don’t mind spending energy on making couple of holes on your trips, then you should get hand augers. They’re much cheaper and have simpler structure, so they’re more reliable as well. Powered augers are reliable too, but still, there are engines involved, and something can always go wrong. To protect yourself from such accidents, you should only buy powered auger after reading experts’ ice auger reviews. In contrast to hand augers, gas or electric-powered augers are much more expensive as well. In my opinion, they’re only worth getting if you are experienced in ice fishing and have a habit of making a lot of holes in the ice. In that case, they’ll save you a lot of time and energy. Or you might be just recreational fisherman who isn’t concerned about the budget and in that case, go for it.
Powered augers also differentiate based on their raw power and thickness of the ice that they can cut. Most augers will be able to handle anything below 10 inches of ice, but if the lake you happen to be on is especially cold, you’ll need to check product description to find out it’s maximum capacity. Other than that, figuring out how to use them is pretty simple, i think.