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Are you confused about choosing between a handheld and a gas-powered ice auger? Both are good. But they are intended for some special purposes. More importantly, each has some positive and negative aspects. Let’s get into the discussion on hand ice auger vs gas!

Handheld Ice augers require physical efforts to operate, whereas gas-powered ice augers use gasoline through the engine to run. Hand ice drilling tools are more portable and lightweight than the other option. Gas-powered Ice Augers are more suitable too thicker ice, but handheld augers come in handy for small and thin diameter holes.

What Is The Difference Between Handheld And Gas-Powered Ice Auger?

Let’s take a quick look at the difference between a handheld ice auger and a gas-powered ice auger:

SpecificationsHandheld Ice AugerGas-powered Ice Auger
Operating styleHand operatedEngine operated
FuelPhysical effortsGas
Ideal purposesIce thickness of fewer than 12 inchesIce thickness of more than 12 inches
Drilling speedSlowerFaster
DurabilityHigherSlightly lower
Price$30 to $100$300 to $500 or more

A significant difference exists between these types of augers.

The followings are the most noticeable aspects that set them apart from each other.

Hand Ice Auger VS Gas-Powered Ice Auger

01. Weight

The average weight of a handheld ice auger ranges from 4 pounds to 8 pounds.

This gives you more portability to carry around and transport effortlessly.

Also, it gives you less stress on your arm and shoulder when continuously hit on the ice surface.

Contradictorily, gas-powered ice drills are heavier than ice augers. They generally weigh 20 to 32 pounds.

This gives you less portability when carrying a lot of fishing gear.

However, it is still a good choice than electrical-powered augers. You can use them almost in any remote lake, regardless of the fishing conditions.

Fishermen won’t have to rely on electrical power. Operating the machine is pretty simple as long as you have gas inside the cylinder.

02. Operating Style

Handheld ice drills don’t have any motors. This simple ice drilling tool is mainly a hand crank device where fishermen may use their arm strength to use the device.

Anglers need to use both hands to operate the device. Use your upper hand to keep the drilling tool firm and your lower hand to turn the blade continuously.

Since hand drills don’t have any motor, they will cause minimal sounds.

In opposition, gas-powered ice augers have a two-cycle or two-stroke engine to drill ice efficiently.

In some cases, they have four-stroke engines, which are highly powerful to cut 20-inch thick ice rapidly.

 This type of drill is effective in saving time and effort. You don’t need to rely on your arm power to drill holes.

03. Fuel

Manual ice drills don’t need any fuel. Your physical efforts or arm strengths determine how quickly you can drill holes.

However, implementing the right technique is the key. Another important thing is using the sharpest blades.

It will help you to cut ice more effortlessly with less effort. Otherwise, dull blades will result in more effort. You will struggle to dig larger holes.

Contrarily, gas-powered ice augers are operated with gasoline. Octane Blend Gasoline is one of the best choices for this drilling tool.

They have a small propane tank, where you need to add gasoline. You need to use a small quantity of oil too.

The ratio should be 40:1 (gasoline: oil). For example, you need around 3.2 ounces of oil for one gallon of gas.

04. Ideal Purposes

Handheld ice augers are ideal for drilling ice that is less than 12 inches thick.

For instance, drilling 6-8 inches of thick ice will take around 10-12 seconds. But you want to use sharp blades.

However, drilling holes more than 12 inches thick will take more effort and time. Drilling 10-18 inches of thick ice may take several minutes.

On the other hand, gas-powered drills will not tire of digging 100 holes daily.

It will take only 10 seconds to drill even 20-inches thick holes within a few seconds. You will surely love the ease of buzzing through holes in a jiffy.

It comes in handy when you want to try various fishing spots. Just use the engine-powered auger and create holes instantly.

05. Drilling Speed

Definitely, gas-powered ice augers will drill faster than a manual auger.

It may take around 5 to 10 minutes to drill 10 larger and thicker holes. But,  a gas-powered drilling device will merely take 2 minutes to get the job done.

After all, human strength and mechanical strength are not the same. 

Generally, fishermen can drill 5-6 holes without breaking out a sweat if it is less than 18 inches thick.

You will feel more tired of making larger and thicker holes with handheld ice augers.

Apart from spending more time and effort, anglers may lack concentration due to a lack of energy.

But it won’t be a problem if it is merely a few small and thin holes.  

06. Durability

Both handheld and gas-powered ice augers will surely last at least a few years if you follow the strict guidelines to use them.

A handheld ice drilling tool can easily last 10 to 20 years. You just need to replace the blades depending on your use frequency occasionally.

Oppositely, gas-powered ice augers will last as long as its engine last.

Plus, good quality gasoline is important as it affects the product’s longevity.

Too much heat in the engine will cause unacceptable expansion levels for metal parts. It will damage various parts of the machine.

07. Price

Manual ice augers are pretty affordable. They can be as low as $30.

But a few advanced options may cost $80 to $100.

They are more effortless to use due to their innovative designs. Anglers will feel less tired when using them.

On the flip side, a gas-powered ice auger will cost at least $300. It can be as high as $500 or more, depending on its engine, size, and drilling ability.

Which Type Of Auger Is The Better For Fishing?

Both types of drills are intended for some particular purposes.

If your fishing location doesn’t have too much thick ice, a handheld-ice auger appears more practical.

This portable device comes in handy when carrying a lot of fishing gear. And the fishing location is far away from your home.

On the other hand, if you need to dig too thick ice, gas-powered ice drills will be more effective.

You will save time and energy. Anglers can focus more on fishing.

Gas-powered drilling tools are a better choice for catching more fish. You can drill more holes quickly and place your fishing rod.

There are also electric ice augers, that usually run on battery.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to fishing, choosing the right tool is crucial. You can’t catch fish unless you break the ice and access the water area. You have options to use both handheld and gas-powered augers. But selecting the right options requires determining the ice thickness.

You also want to consider your budget. A gas-powered auger is the best choice if you don’t mind buying an expensive drilling tool and gasoline fuel. It will save you time and effort. Now, we believe you got a clear idea of hand ice auger vs gas.

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