How Hard is it to Use a Hand Ice Auger?

If you’re trying to save a few bucks, you’ve definitely wondered about using a hand ice auger instead of a fuel powered unit.  So, how hard is it to use a hand ice auger compared to its fuel powered cousins? Not as hard as you would think.

Keep reading to see if using a hand ice auger is for you this upcoming ice fishing season.

how hard is it to use a hand ice auger
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Is Using a Hand Ice Auger Hard?

The best ice augers come powered with either gas, propane, electric or by hand.  Hand augers are the most lightweight and budget friendly way to get out fishing right away without breaking your back or the bank.

Hand Ice Augers are human powered instead of gas powered.  You will need to use your strength and energy to drill fishing holes.  In all types of ice, this can be tiring, especially thicker ice.  Using a hand ice auger isn’t hard, but does require more energy than a gas, electric, or propane powered auger.

Hand Ice Auger Tips and Tricks

Here are 4 tips and tricks to make sure that you get the most out of your auger and your ice fishing trip.

  • Angle of the auger
  • Keep ice and snow off your blade
  • Blade check up and maintenance
  • Keep your blades sharp

First, always make sure to drill at a 90 degree angle or straight up and down.  This way you are drilling a straight hole into the ice the first time, instead of having to hand drill multiple holes.

Second, you might have to wipe off the blades to remove any ice and snow that accumulates on the blade. You want your blade free of snow and ice so it can cut through the tough surface down to the water.  Some people apply WD 40 or oil to their blade before drilling to make it so the ice and snow just don’t stick to the blade.

Third, make sure you check your blades for any issues like cracking and chips before heading out.

Fourth, sharp blades mean that when you use a hand ice auger, that they will slice through the ice much easier.  If your blades are sharp as they can be, you will use less physical labor and effort to get through the ice, making for a better ice fishing trip.

Using a Hand Ice Auger: Quick List Pros/Cons

-No Fuel to Worry About
-Great for travelling long distances on your sled
-Super easy to use
-Cheaper than Fuel Augers

-Manual labor
-Harder to Chase Fish
-Can be tiring to use
-Thick ice might be challenging


How hard is it to use a hand ice auger?  Well, it’s not as hard as you think!  Borrow a buddies hand auger and give it a try, then check out our best hand auger reviews by clicking the button below to find one for yourself today.  Happy Fishing!