Drilling or chiseling quality holes when out ice fishing is imperative to having a good time. There’s nothing more frustrating than a dull or impaired auger that gives you a trouble when trying to drill your holes for the day. If the water bodies that you fish on don’t typically freeze to ridiculous depths, a hand auger will be all you need to comfortably reach the fish. Even with thicker ice conditions, manual units perform just fine. They’re cheaper, more portable and safer to use than mechanized augers — and some hand units can even be modified to run on drill power for those particularly frozen days.
We’ve tracked down five of the best hand augers available so you can cut to the chase and choose what’s best for you. Although they might not cut a crispy clean hole like the hand crank augers, ice chisels and spuds are none the less absolutely effective tools for making your ice fishing holes. It’s the cheapest available option and also the easiest device to carry with you out onto the ice. On the other hand, the spiral-drill manual augers cut ice remarkably well and might be a better choice if you’re drilling lots of holes through water bodies with deeper ice. Of course, always confirm ice conditions are safe before gearing up and walking out. Whatever design you think will suit you best, you’ll be saving a good bit of cash by refraining from purchasing a mechanized unit — make sure to check out our Top 10 Best Ice Fishing Accessories post and put your savings towards some righteous new equipment.