Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane

Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger showdown: which one should you take out with you this ice fishing season?

Read our quick guide below to decide which type of auger is right for you this season.

electric ice auger vs propane
I get commissions from links in this post.

Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger

There are a few different ways that propane 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.

What is an Electric Ice Auger and What is a Propane Auger?

An electric ice auger is specifically designed to give you the ability to drill multiple feet into the ice to create the perfect fishing hole by using batteries instead of other types of fuel like propane.

Propane ice augers use an engine instead of batteries to power the auger drill. You need to fuel it with propane canisters. They are heavier and louder than electric augers but also come with a ton of torque.

Electric AugerPropane Auger
Requires BatteriesNeeds Fuel Canisters
Batteries need to be kept warmHeavier
More expensiveNot as Portable
No EmissionsEmissions
Less Repairs, but not easy to repair yourself if stops workingMore maintenance but easy to repair yourself
LighterLots of Torque

Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane: The Pros of Going Electric

Are Electric Ice Augers Any Good?  Heck yeah they are!  Here are the reasons why we think they’re the best type of ice auger on the market.

  • Drills lots of holes
  • Easy Ice Slicing
  • Green and Zero Emissions
  • Maintenance
  • Quiet
Zero EmissionsMultiple Batteries Might be Required
Easy MaintenanceBattery Life
Convenient, Portable, LightweightPower
Quick to StartCost

Drills a Ton of Ice Holes

If you’re chasing fish, an electric auger can typically drill close to 100 holes in 14-16 inch deep ice on a single charge. This of course depends on the brand you buy, how thick the ice is, if its dirty ice, etc.

Low Effort Slicing

They are lighter than propane powered augers, so you won’t break your back trying to pull it on your sled. This lightweight and portability means there is less physical effort needed to drill ice holes with an electric ice auger.

If you’re out on a multi day ice fishing trip, it’s great to know you won’t be too sore to fish the next day. HAHA yeah right….nothing will stop us from fishing! BUT an electric ice auger would definitely make our trip more enjoyable.

Environmentally Friendly with Zero Emissions

Electric are the better choice if you’re worried about emissions and fumes.  Perfect for indoor use like in your ice shanty because there are no emissions.

Less Maintenance so could be Cheaper to Own in the Long Run

Electric augers don’t have as many parts to worry about as propane augers that have an engine.  This means over the life of your auger, you will save cash on maintenance and repairing parts.


Electric ice augers vs propane are much quieter, which is ideal if you want to avoid scaring away fish. You’ll appreciate their low volume as well.

This is one of their largest selling features.  If you’ve got post holes to drill and don’t want to bother the neighbors a ton, you can even buy an electric post hole digger.  

Are Electric Ice Augers Any Good? Do Electric Ice Augers Work?

What makes electric ice augers unique is that they make use of lithium-ion batteries instead of propane canisters to fuel them. 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.  

Electric ice augers comes with the same feature as propane augers like powerful motors, sharp blades, and ergonomic handles.

Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger Disadvantages

  • Batteries and Chargers
  • Temperature of the Batteries
  • Expensive
  • Can’t do Maintenance Yourself

Batteries and Chargers

How long your charge lasts depends on how many holes you drill, how old your battery is, if you’re drilling in dirty ice, and how thick the ice is.  You definitely need to buy and bring a spare battery with you when you go out and a charger.  

Temperature of the Batteries

You also need to keep your batteries warm or else the charge will drain out of them while they aren’t in use. Keep them in a heated area, inside your vehicle/sled or on your person and heat them with body warmth.


Just buying your electric auger can be more expensive than buying a propane auger. 

Replacing batteries, chargers, or buying extra batteries can be expensive. The lifespan of lithium ion ice auger batteries is good, but just like other lithium batteries, their useful life may be shortened over time. With propane however, you can always just buy another cheap fuel canister almost anywhere. Electric ice augers do have less parts then a propane auger so there isn’t any routine maintenance of an engine, beyond sharpening the blades.


If there is something wrong with your Electric Ice Auger vs propane auger, unless you’re a tech, you most likely won’t be able to fix it yourself. Sometimes the battery needs to be replaced and you have to order it from the company, which means you won’t be ice fishing again until you get your battery delivered. With propane you can just fix issues yourself and if you need fuel, you can buy the canister most anywhere.

Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger : Is a Propane Auger the Better Choice for Ice Fishing?

The vast majority of propane ice auger reviews are positive, which proves that it’s one of the most useful tools to have at your advantage when you head out to your favorite fishing spot. Propane powered augers are also used to dig post holes.  Propane drilling technology has been around for awhile and well tested to be dependable.

With the ability to slice through thick ice or chew through roots, a propane powered auger is super efficient at getting your job done.  Here are the Pros of owning and using a propane auger compared to electric ice augers.

Horsepower/TorqueTemperature Sensitive
Easy MaintenanceFuel Disposal
Easy Starting and Long LastingPortability

Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger : The Pros of Propane

Pros of Manual Augers
Easy refueling
Simpler Maintenance
Easy starting
Lots of Torque


    With propane, you don’t have to worry about bringing extra batteries that may lose their charge in cold weather. You also don’t have to worry about finding a way to charger your batteries. You can refuel your propane auger by simply attaching a new propane canister and get back to drilling much faster.  

    Simple Maintenance

    Maintaining your propane auger can be a hassle compared to electric. But if something goes wrong with an electric auger, it may not be something you can fix on the lake. Just like with electric, with propane, there’s no need to winterize the fuel as propane is less volatile when it’s stored away. You also as you won’t have to deal with dead batteries if you pick a propane auger over an electric one.

    Easy Starting

    Propane augers may not be the fastest starting, (electric augers are the best here or manual since you don’t have a motor to deal with) but they are easier to start up in colder weather. This saves you time so you can get back to work faster.


    Your new propane auger is full of torque.  Depending on the model you choose, you may even have more torque than higher-end gas and electric augers. Some of the top-tier brands have created augers that can make up to 100 holes in three feet of ice easily and quickly.  

    Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger : Why Propane may not be for You

    There are always Pros and Cons to each type of auger, including a propane auger.  So, what should you know about the cons of propane augers before buying one?  Here are our top 3 things to know about the cons of propane augers.

    Propane Ice Augers Vs Electric Augers: The Cons

    Cons of Propane Ice Augers
    Temperature Sensitive
    Lack of Portability
    Fuel Disposal

    Temperature Sensitivity in Cold Weather

    Propane augers are quite easy to start up, especially when compared to gas, but don’t start as well as electric ice augers. Unfortunately, the propane will need to remain warm in order to be the most efficient. This can be quite a hassle, especially since ice fishing typically requires you to be outside in negative temperatures.

    With that said, there are many ice fishing enthusiasts who suggest keeping a backup tank of propane in your vehicle is the perfect way to make sure you always have ready-to-use fuel.

    Heavy so Less Portable

    Propane augers are one of the heaviest types of augers, which will limit how easy they are to carry. They are heavier than electric augers. Although you’ll be able to avoid carrying extra batteries, you still need to bring extra propane canisters with you. 

    By far, the most lightweight type of auger is a manual auger, followed by electric. Using an electric auger which is more lightweight and portable means you won’t get as tired and can chase fish all day.

    Fuel Disposal of Canisters

    Propane requires you to dispose of their fuel containers once they have been consumed. This isn’t a huge inconvenience, but it is an extra step that you’ll have to do every time you replace the propane.

    Depending on where you live, you may be able to dispose of the canisters for free, but in most cases, you’ll have to pay to dump them at your local waste management facility. This is an additional cost to keep in mind at the end of every season.

    Louder than Electric

    Propane augers are loud, probably the loudest auger out on the lake. If you’re fishing in shallow waters, this type of auger may scare away fish with the amount of noise it makes. Something to consider if your fishing in mostly shallow waters.

    What Type of Ice Auger is Best: Electric Ice Auger Vs Propane Ice Auger

    This all depends on your personal preference, your budget, how you ice fish and how you considered the information above in making your decision.


    Hopefully our quick guide of electric ice auger vs propane augers helps you to choose the best ice auger for you this season.


    What is the best ice auger on the market?

    Check out our best ice augers post and see which augers are out there and which my be best for you with our detailed reviews and discussion.