Electric Ice Augers Vs Manual

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

There are pros and cons to choosing each kind of auger. It really depends on your fishing goals and your budget.

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

electric ice augers vs manual uager
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Electric Ice Augers vs. Manual Ice Augers 

There are a few different ways that manual 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? 

First, let’s discuss the concept of using an auger when ice fishing. 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 gas, propane, or even manual hand augers. Ice augers are the best tool when you need to drill through thick ice quickly to catch and chase fish.  

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

The Big Advantages of Electric Ice Augers

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
  • Maintenance

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.

Low Effort Slicing

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

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

OK, these are definitely the better choice if you’re worried about emissions and fumes from fossil fuels.  Stink proof your ice fishing trip. Awesome to use in your shanty because there are no emissions.

Cheaper than Gas Augers

Well, they aren’t cheaper to buy BUT electric augers don’t have as many parts to worry about as gas or propane augers.  This means over the life of your auger, you will save cash on maintenance and repairing parts.

Manual augers are the best if you’re on a budget though.  Not only are they much cheaper to buy the auger, you only have to worry about maintaining the blades, not all the extra parts that are on an electric auger.

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

These unique tools harness the power of torque to drill into the ice, similar to how they dig deep into soil to drill post holes. Using their threaded blades, an ice auger twists itself downwards in a corkscrew motion and removes all traces of ice in its path. Eventually, you’ll get to the surface of the water and gain access to all of the fish you hope to catch that day. 

What makes electric ice augers unique is that they make use of lithium-ion batteries instead of gasoline or propane. 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.  

In addition, electric ice augers have many of the same features as more traditionally powered ones, such as a powerful motor and plenty of ergonomic features. 

Disadvantages of Electric Augers Vs Manual

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.


Just buying your electric auger is much more expensive than buying a manual auger. 

Replacing batteries or buying extra batteries can be expensive. Electric auger have more parts then a manual auger obviously so maintenance and parts will cost more than a manual auger.

The Big Advantages of Manual Ice Augers

  • Super light and portable
  • Quiet so doesn’t scare fish away
  • Budget and Newbie friendly
  • Back Up Auger to Powered Augers


When compared to electric ice augers, it’s easy to see how manual ones are far more portable.  There’s no need to worry about big batteries going dead or a gas tank, and the devices are designed with a simple shaft and handle.  

They can easily be strapped onto your gear or carried without the worry of strain, making them the better alternative for portaging or hiking to your favorite fishing spot. 

Better yet, combine the best of two worlds and check out a drill powered ice auger. Power, affordable, and portable!

Quiet Operation 

You will have full control over a manual auger, including how quickly it drills into the ice, which is essential for people who prefer to go to specific depths without the risk of compromising the integrity of the ice.  

Also, manual augers are substantially quieter, so you can create holes and catch unassuming fish. It is the most preferable option for stealthy anglers. 

Cost: Budget and Newbie Friendly

The main thing that affects the cost of any manual auger is the fact that you use elbow grease to drill holes and not a motor.   Manual Augers cost a fraction of the cost of electric ones, so they are budget friendly.

You won’t find any motors or additional features that take on most of the workload, and as you’ll be using your power.  This means that they cost much less than electric ice augers.  Less moving parts means saving cash on maintenance.  You’ll also spend less time maintaining a manual auger, freeing up your time for other things.

They are the perfect option for cost-savvy fishers who need a tool designed to last over the years without any extra high-tech parts which may need repairs or replacements. 

Back Up Auger

One great thing about manual augers is that without any fuel, batteries, or parts to fix, this type of auger is always ready to drill ice. It won’t let you down in a pinch due to temps or batteries, etc. I recommend bringing a manual auger out with you when you’re fishing with your powered augers just in case they won’t start. Then you can still enjoy a day on the ice.

Disadvantages of Manual Augers Vs Electric

Physical Effort

One of the main disadvantages of a manual auger is obvious.  You have to use human power each time you drill a hole.  You have to use elbow grease to get those holes drilled.  This can become tiring, especially if you’re chasing fish hard.

Not Being able to Drill as Many Holes

With a manual auger, you might not be able to chase fish as much as you could with an electric auger that can crush out close to 100 holes in a single charge.  

Hand Ice Augers and Drill Attachments

To make using a hand ice auger a bit easier on the body, you can use an ice auger drill attachment and power your hand auger with a drill instead of by elbow grease only. It’s a great solution that isn’t too expensive.

Electric Post Hole Diggers

The auger market is changing and were you used to only be able to get gas and manual post hole augers, now there are a few electric post hole auger models being manufactured. They are great because they are quiet, no emissions, and are almost as powerful as the gas powered versions with less maintenance.


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


Which is better electric or manual ice augers?

That all depends on your personal preference and your fishing goals.