Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger

Electric ice auger vs drill auger showdown: which one should you take out with you this ice fishing season?

Which auger should you use when out ice fishing all comes down to personal preference.

We outline the pros and cons of each below so you can make your decision today.

Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger
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Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger

There are a few different ways that drill ice augers outperform electric ones, especially in terms of convenience, affordability, and whisper-quiet operation.  Electric ice augers stand out as being efficient, fast, and needing minimal effort to slice through the ice.

Requires BatteryNo Power Required
Not as PortableMore Portable
More ExpensiveCheapest Option
Easy to Drill Ice HolesHarder to Drill Ice Holes

Comparison: Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger

Let’s compare an Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger so you can choose which one would be best for you today.

  • Green with No emissions
  • Drills lots of holes
  • Maintenance
  • Easy Ice Slicing
  • Battery Life
  • Batteries and Chargers
  • Cost to Purchase
  • Temperature and Operation

Environmentally Friendly

Both Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger have 0 emissions, so they are equal in terms of their friendliness towards the environment.

Drills a Ton of Ice Holes

If you’re chasing fish, an electric auger can drill close to 100 holes in 14-16 inch deep ice on a single charge. This outperforms a drill powered auger and makes it easy to chase fish in thick ice all day long.


Electric ice augers have no moving parts, except for the blade. That is the only part that will require regular maintenance like sharpening. The thing is with electric anything is that if something goes wrong with it, it’s not a simple tweak of an idle screw, cleaning out the carbs, or just plugging in a new battery. It will require servicing by a tech, and that could take forever.

Drill augers are the best for low to no maintenance.  Not only are they much cheaper to buy the auger, you don’t have to worry about a catastrophic failure of the electrical system. If something goes wrong with the drill or battery, its simple and cheap enough to replace.

In the meantime, you can use your drill auger as a manual auger and not miss out on fishing while you wait for a new drill or a new battery.

Keep the blades sharp and you can see why a drill auger wins in the maintenance category.

Low Effort Slicing

With Electric ice augers, there is little to no physical effort needed to drill multiple holes through the ice.  You won’t tire yourself out if you need to chase fish all day.  

Electric ice augers are lighter than gas and propane powered augers, so you won’t break your back trying to pull it on your sled.

A Drill auger is much lighter than any other auger, but there is the added weight of bringing the drill (adds a bit of weight). So overall, a drill auger is much easier to transport across the ice all day than an electric auger.

Battery Life

Electric Ice Auger are powered by the newest Lithium Ion batteries that are known to last a long time and provide good torque to the bit. The batteries will most likely outlast the batteries on a drill, because they are designed specifically to drill through ice holes. A drill battery is designed to drill things like screws into wood, which doesn’t require the same amount of power by far.

Electric ice augers win in this category for longer lasting battery life.

Batteries and Chargers

How long your charge lasts can change. It depends on how many holes you drill, how old your battery is, and how thick the ice is.  You definitely need to buy and bring a spare battery with you when you go out.  It would be a bummer to have a dead electric auger while your buddies just keep fishing around you. Plus carrying around a charger with you isn’t fun.

Drill augers need batteries and chargers too, so they are a tie in this category.

Cost to Purchase

Just buying your electric auger is much more expensive than buying a drill auger. Replacing batteries or buying extra batteries for the electric auger can be expensive. Drill augers are much cheaper to buy but there is the expense of buying a good drill with extra batteries, if you don’t have one at home already.

Overall, a drill auger wins this battle, they are overall more affordable to purchase, so better for those on a budget.

Temperature and Operation

A drill auger will work in no matter what temp. Same with an electric auger. You need to keep the batteries and spare batteries warm for both, to keep the cold from draining their charge. We like to put them in an inside pocket of our jacket, where body heat can keep them warmer.

All batteries will drain from being exposed to cold temps, so its really a draw for this comparison feature.

Are Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger Any Good?

Electric ice augers use lithium-ion batteries instead of gasoline, propane, or elbow grease. It’s a much simpler and cleaner way to power your favorite tool, allowing you to use it in a fishing shack without the worry of exposing yourself to harmful emissions.  

Drill augers are also emission free (so you can use them in an ice shanty), and require 0 fuel to operate. They require a good drill and batteries to power them, which can be an added cost if you don’t already own at least an 18V drill.

Summary: Why Use a Drill Powered Auger Instead of Electric?

There are many reason to use this type of auger versus a powered auger: electric, gas, or propane. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing a drill powered ice auger, here are a few listed below:

  • Weigh less
  • Can use manually or with a drill (2 options)
  • Portable
  • Easy to Use
  • Less Maintenance
  • More Affordable

Are Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger Hard to Use…Fake News?

Drill augers are super portable and much cheaper than electric augers. But, if you’re getting into thicker ice, it’s going to start being a work out to drill holes. Chasing fish may not be on the top of your list with a drill powered auger. You will get tired faster drilling for ice holes. Drill batteries can die fast, depending on how many holes you drill, the temp outside, the thickness of the ice, the size of the hole, if you’re into dirty ice, etc.

Pros of Drill Augers
Fuel Free
Lightweight and Portable
Easy to Control
Quiet Operation
Cons of Drill Augers
Lots of Manual Labor
Can be more tiring to use

An electric ice auger is easier to drill holes, chase fish, and use in not so great ice conditions. You can cut through tough ice and thick ice without much physical effort.

Zero EmissionsMultiple Batteries Might be Required
Easy MaintenanceBattery Life
Convenient, Portable, LightweightPower
Quick to StartCost

Is a Drill Powered Auger Worth It?

Drill augers work great. Remember to always keep your blades sharp so you don’t have to exert yourself as much on the ice when chasing fish. They’re also great because they’re lightweight, so you can carry them around with you on the ice or longer distance to your fishing hole without getting tired. Because they have no emissions, they are safe to use inside your ice shanty on a super cold and windy day.

Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger Conclusion

The one thing that can be said about a manual auger post hole digger is that it’s one of the most versatile and convenient tools to carry with you for many jobs. Not only does it assist you with digging holes for fencing, but it can also be used for gardening and even ice fishing!

FAQs Electric Ice Auger Vs Drill Auger

Are Hand Augers better than powered augers?

That all depends what you need to do with your auger. For shallow and simple holes, or for a couple of holes, a hand manual auger can be just what you need.