An obligatory attribute of each subglacier is a drill for winter fishing. This is the tool, the functionality of which is subject to clear requirements: fast and convenient drilling of holes, durability of knives, the ability to replace or sharpen broken blades. The article provides information on the functionality, features of choice, operation, an overview of popular models of ice drills for winter fishing, the acquisition and use of which is advisable for amateur anglers.

Drill on the box


Ice screws for fishing are designed for one purpose — drilling holes. Each of them copes with this task in a different way, depending on its own design features and ice properties. The choice of an ice screw is not based on the recommendations of the seller to whom the goods need to be sold, but on personal knowledge, fishing features (more precisely, the characteristics of the ice and the required number of holes). If a person goes ice fishing once a year, then a simple mechanism will suffice, capable of making a hole in the icy surface of a reservoir with some effort. But for anglers who constantly practice ice fishing, the drill is a faithful assistant, you need to treat this tool accordingly.

Fishing ice drill


The problem of choosing ice drill blades increases with the thickness of the ice. If drilling several dozen holes in the first ice in search of fish is a fairly simple task, then drilling meter-long ice takes a lot of effort, and if this is multiplied by the whims of the fish, which often refuses to peck, then you get more tired from such fishing than pleasure. Therefore, it is important to choose the right knife depending on the structure of the ice, its density, humidity and layering.

At the moment, the following forms of knives are most common: oval, stepped, serrated, universal and spherical.


Spherical knives

They do well with almost any type of ice: loose or dense, dry or wet, but they have one, but a very significant drawback — this is their turning. It is difficult to observe the sharpening of the correct angles on such knives at home.


Stepped knives

Such knives have two cutting edges located close to each other. Unlike flat stepped ones, they do not cut, but, as it were, crumble ice because of its fragility in the cold. Drilling such ice requires no effort.


Serrated knives

They do well in wet or very wet ice, usually in the spring when water from melting snow on the ice flushes out small tubules and saturates the ice with moisture. By reducing the contact surface area of ​​such knives, the resistance is reduced.


Flat knives

Or as they are also called — universal, suitable for drilling any ice. The load during drilling with such knives will be somewhat higher than with other types, but their maintenance is much more convenient and less laborious.

Types of ice drills for fishing

Nowadays, auger ice screws with a cutting head are used. These will be considered in the article. In the past, other types of ice drilling tools were often used, but now they are practically not used due to their low efficiency compared to augers. The simplest design is a drill spoon (shovel). The working element is a pointed metal plate. With some skill, this object can drill a hole in the ice, especially along the first and thin one. It is impossible to ream the thick ice of the wilderness with this device. The ice screw spoon has gone down in history, but occasionally it still comes across in reservoirs.


Earlier, Cherepanov’s ring ice drill was also famous. The peculiarity of the annular ice drill is that it does not break the ice over the entire volume of the hole, but cuts a column around the circumference, which is then sunk or gets to the surface. The ice drill ring takes no more than 50 centimeters of ice thickness. Such a tool is no longer available for sale, but can be found among amateurs and DIYers, especially at the beginning of winter, when the thickness of the ice cover allows it to be used.

But back to the auger drill, which other types of these devices cannot compete in terms of convenience and performance. Such a drill is a cutting head, which, when rotated, breaks (cuts) the ice into crumbs, lifts it up by means of a spiral auger welded to the axis.

different rotaries

Other types of drills

Let’s go through other types of drills. Which are not so popular in our time, but some ascetics may meet. As well as on the layouts of grandfathers at a penny cost.

Spatula (bur-spoon)

Previously, a spade drill was often used. This is a home-made tool, but it has many disadvantages.

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021

In the image, it is obvious that a part of a shovel is welded to the pipe (it is replaced by any steel plate, bent and sharpened). Unfortunately, the spade type is often dull, does not scoop crumbs out of the hole, scrolls hard and slowly cuts through the hole, but is one of the most budget options.

ring type

The ring hand ice drill is one of the very undeservedly unpopular types. It looks something like this:

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021

How is it different? The «heart» of this device is a ring with knives attached from below and a frame. In this case, it is important that the handle is on an imaginary perpendicular emanating from the center of the ring:

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021

The main disadvantages are: non-collapsible design (you can’t bend it at the knees and put it in a duffel bag), drilling time increases and there is a slight difficulty to catch on the ice at the beginning of the process.

However, it has a quality for which the «old-timers» still like to use it — you cut a cylinder with smooth edges, so the hole does not require cleaning, and the gear will not cling to roughness.

Its additional plus is that the ring is easy to make by cutting off a small part of the pipe with a grinder. The main thing is to tilt the knife to the center of the ring at an angle of 45 degrees (it is made from an ordinary planer knife).

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
Museev auger drills are popular models in 2021

cutting part

Modern drills for drilling ice are arranged according to a single principle. The working part is a special cutting head with platforms for attaching blades that bite into the ice and crush it. Blades for ice drills, the design of heads, platforms differ depending on the manufacturer. This node determines the effectiveness of the tool. The right ice auger for ice fishing pricks or cuts ice easily, with minimal effort from the angler. This is especially true for running fishing, when dozens of holes must be drilled in one fishing trip.


Angles of attack

An important feature is the characteristic of ice. Often anglers do not think about this nuance. Drilling efficiency depends on whether the ice is wet or dry, flaky or homogeneous, and loose or hard. Here the angle of attack of the knife comes to the fore. The larger the angle, the larger the pieces that the cutting part breaks off when drilling. But the more forces the fisherman will have to spend on cranking. Dry ice breaks well, so the drill goes through it easily and quickly. In late winter or spring, when there is water around, turning such a tool requires much more effort.

In such “wet” conditions, it is advisable to use a smaller angle of attack. Drilling a hole will require more revolutions, as a smaller layer of ice will be cut off in one pass. But it will take much less power to drill.

Thus, for the convenience of the angler, it is desirable to have either two drills for dry and wet ice with different angles (or blades), or one universal drill, on which the attack angles are adjusted. Therefore, flat blades are very popular with anglers. By placing a gasket selected in thickness between the knives and the seats on the ice screw head, this angle changes. Another solution is a set of different blades and installation depending on the conditions.


Each manufacturer produces knives for their drills. In addition to the usual flat ones, there are jagged, stepped, spherical ones. You should not be fooled by marketing and advertising tricks; when choosing, we are guided by experience, our own or other anglers.

The selection criterion is the availability of spare knives. This is a consumable item. Therefore, you should not buy a drill, knives for which it is problematic to get. Russian knives are many times cheaper and more affordable, but the quality has become worse than that of the Scandinavians. But they can be easily sharpened at home. Foreign blades are of high quality, sharp, cost like a domestic ice screw. Sharpening these blades is problematic due to the manufacture of hard steel, a complex edge configuration. In principle, both options are popular. A good Russian drill is practically in no way inferior to Finnish or Swedish ones in terms of basic functionality — the speed and ease of drilling a hole. Knives last less, but they are easier and cheaper to get. Sand on ice equally quickly disables any blades. Foreign handsome men are more convenient, but also many times more expensive.



An ice screw auger in the form of a screw conveyor is welded to the axis above the cutting head. The ice crumbling with the head rises up during the rotation of the tool, thus not pressing the weight on the cutting part, allowing further bite into the thickness. Augers for ice screws have different diameters, coinciding with the distance between the far ends of the blades of the device. these dimensions determine the diameter of the hole. The screw length may vary. After the spiral fills with sludge in the process and deepens, drilling becomes more difficult, the tool is pulled out and shaken out. Longer augers allow you to take more thickness in one pass without reaching, but they make the auger itself heavier.

The auger blade of domestic ice drills is welded to the axis by spot welding. On foreign drills, solid welding is used. In both cases, it turns out hard, but due to irregularities in the auger, ours has a stronger drilling noise. Foreigners have a better coloration, which is a deeply secondary characteristic for this instrument.

Fisherman on ice

Screw driven drill

One of the old and proven ways to make it easier for yourself to drill a large number of holes is to modify a hand-held ice drill with a screwdriver.

In addition, it is an almost silent tool in comparison with the same gasoline, light and autonomous, since you can carry several spare batteries at once.

To create such a unit, you will need a screwdriver with a power of at least 18 V (if you take less, the electric motor will wear out quickly), with a torque of about 80 Nm and a not very high rotational speed of the cartridge (about 300 — 500 rpm).

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
An ice drill for ice fishing under a screwdriver makes the difficult everyday life of a penguin angler easier

The battery also requires special attention: nickel-cadmium batteries are well suited, since they are not susceptible to negative temperatures (although they are somewhat bulky and take a long time to charge), but metal hydride ones will serve ideally, since in addition to frost resistance, they also have high capacity.

To attach a cartridge to a drill, you must use a specific part:

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
Adapter ice drill-screwdriver

Check it out! The shank should not be cylindrical, but with such a hexagon that it is captured by a screwdriver. It is also recommended to use a chuck to ensure reliability.

In order for the adapter to be safely attached to the screw, it is necessary to drill a hole with a diameter of 6-8 mm on the nozzle from the side and cut the thread into which the bolt is screwed, pressing our adapter:

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
Ice screw adapter

Ice screw handle (rotary)

The bend of the brace determines whether the drill is single-handed or two-handed. If the location of the upper handle is on the axis of the auger, then such a tool is one-handed. In this case, the stop is located on top, and rotation is carried out by the lower handle. When both handles are spaced apart on two sides of the axis, the application of forces for rotation is distributed. A good ice screw is two-handed, it’s just easier to drill that way. The handles themselves are made of plastic, they have a special restrictive collar, which gives emphasis to pressure with hands on the structure down. Old Soviet products were distinguished by uncomfortable, easily split handles. But the stage has already been passed, good domestic Boers no longer suffer from this disease. In addition, the handle for the ice drill should have a structure, and not be smooth (so as not to slip).

Foreign ice screws — right rotation, clockwise. Ours — left, counterclockwise. However, this is a matter of habit, it does not affect performance.

Ice drill handles

In modern ice screws, both handles are spaced apart in relation to the axis of the ice screw. You need to drill with such ice screws with two hands at the same time, which is somewhat easier than with one. The fact is that the load is distributed more evenly.

Ice drill handles

The handles of modern ice screws are more reliable than the old ones, as they are made of hard rubber. According to tactile sensations, they are more “warm”, reminiscent of microporous rubber. In addition, the handle must be grippy.

Ice screw handle

At the bottom of such a handle there should be a restrictive collar that does not allow the hand to slide down during drilling.

Connections of parts

Ice fishing drills fold in half for easy transport. At the place of folding, they are equipped with a lock with a screw. It is important to pay close attention to this element. When assembled, it should not play. The principle — the simpler, more reliable, the better. The drill should fold even when the castle is completely covered with ice in the process of fishing. As with knives, it’s a good idea to have some spare parts for the ice screw with you, such as a lamb or lock nut, in case you lose it.



  1. Knives
  2. Auger welding
  3. Connections of parts
  4. Ice drill handles
  5. Drilling diameter
  6. TOP 5 tips: how to properly care for an ice screw
  7. Pro Tips
  8. Want to know more?
  9. Ice drill for winter fishing — Video

With the onset of the “solid water” season, when all rivers and lakes are covered with ice, the arsenal of every experienced fisherman is replenished with such an indispensable attribute as an ice screw. However, only novice fishermen rush about in doubt — how to choose a drill for winter fishing? In this article you will find not only expert comments, but also reviews about ice screws from ordinary users of the site.

Ice drill for winter fishing

Today, a winter novice can simply get confused when choosing his first ice screw. Therefore, the FishingSib fishing portal offers to find out what basic elements an ice drill consists of, what these elements affect during “drilling” and listen to our experts, winter fishing enthusiasts.


To drill especially thick ice, you need a special ice drill extension. This is true for the northern and eastern regions. And the design of the drill should provide for the possibility of installing such an extension. Retractable telescopic ice augers are also on sale. This complicates the design, but gives an undoubted advantage on ice, which exceeds the operating capabilities of a conventional auger in thickness. With the help of this design, even thicker ice is drilled (thicker than the height of the angler with his arms up).

Let us repeat once again those important nodes, when examining which it is worth considering in the store:

  1. Knives (shape, sharpening, angle of attack).
  2. Cutting head (platforms for fastening blades, the quality of these fasteners).
  3. Screw.
  4. Lock.
  5. Rotary bend (one-handed or two-handed).
  6. Handle quality.


Pro Tips

Ice drill winter fishing

Sergey Kazantsev, Deputy Director for Development, TONAR Group of Companies. President of the Fishing Federation of the Altai Territory, head coach of the Russian national team for jigging from ice:

— I think the best ice screws are Sotka Kazantsev, Tornado in all modifications and right-hand rotation ice screws ICEBERG. Of the imported ones, this is Mora, rarely Rapala. It is worth noting that on the first ice screws that I noted, the optimal angles of attack allow you to drill any ice quickly enough. Plus, it’s easy to sharpen knives right on the fishing trip if you get into debris frozen into the ice.

Imported knives require special equipment for sharpening and cost several times more. They love Mora and Rapala ice drills for quite comfortable drilling of wet ice, but, in my opinion, they are very slow, and at the current exchange rate they are not justifiably expensive.

As for those who only this season decided to master winter fishing, ideally you need to have two ice screws, with a diameter of 100 and 150 mm. If you do not plan to search for large fish, then a 130 mm ice screw is the best solution. It will be enough for you under any conditions. But personally, I recommend a diameter of 100 mm, since our ice drills of this diameter can be equipped with 130 mm knives, thereby increasing the diameter of the hole to 120-125 mm, which is enough for catching «city fish».

When fishing, it is advisable to have a couple of spare sets of knives with you, since the ice can be with sand like a “layer cake”, or with frozen debris.

Vladimir (Romualdovich), an avid fan of winter fishing, one of the oldest users of the FishingSib website:

— I use TONAR. The reason is simple — the cheapest. And in general, the brand of the drill itself is not so important as perfectly sharp knives and, in addition, different interchangeable ones for different ice. As well as the presence of gaskets that allow you to change the angle of attack of the cutting planes on the spot. In this case, even suddenly dull knives (on the sand) continue to work.

However, the length of the working part is also important (on thick ice at the end of winter — so as not to carry an insert with you) and diameter (in most cases, 100 mm is enough — drilling is easier). And all sorts of imported Boers, in my opinion, are fetishism.

Yakov (Rybanuty), an old-timer of the FishingSib website:

— My opinion is simple — there are simply no better ice screws at the moment. And this is regardless of the model of this brand. And in general, it is unlikely that anything will change in the near future, since the Scandinavians are the pioneers of fashion in this direction, and they «ate the dog on this.»

Sergey Lushkov (lushkoff.serg2), a regular writer of winter news from ponds, a lover of “hard water”, a man who taught his wife to love winter fishing:

— Since 2007, I have been using the domestic ice drill «TONAR» LR-130D. I especially want to highlight the point — the condition of the knives. If you use the drill carefully, then they will last a long time, and if you drill sand, knock them on the ice or beat the frozen ice off it with a hammer, then it won’t be enough for one fishing trip. Again, the advantage of knives is that they can be sharpened and again in battle. In general, the drill is made quite qualitatively. Of the minuses — a short auger, weak plastic handles.

If you advise a reliable and inexpensive drill, then I would advise the TONAR ice drill Tornado M 130, with a long auger. As for the diameter, everyone chooses according to their interests. But I somehow do not recognize 100-ku. Always storm the 130th. Many say that it is better to chase pike perch from 100-110 mm. But we all know that zander pecks with flashes. And then you got a trophy that does not climb into the 100th hole and it started, a hook, an ax, help, etc. etc. And by the time you get him out on the ice, the pack has already left. And in the 130 hole, you would have taken it out with a whistle and another 10 with it. So the choice is yours.

Ivan (Predator123), a repeated participant in winter fishing competitions, took 3rd place in the individual competition and 4th in the team competition at the open cup of the NSO 2021 (January) for mormyshka fishing, sales assistant of a fishing store:

— My choice is the famous «Sotka Kazantsev». I have been using this ice screw for several years now, I have participated in almost all competitions with it, and in general, I do not plan to change it yet. I like it because of several pluses. This is a small weight — it is very convenient to walk with it, hands are not taken away in the evening. It has a long auger, thanks to which thick ice is drilled without problems in one go. Another is a variety of interchangeable knives, among which there are cutters for both dry ice and wet ice.

Vlad (vlad40), a lover of summer fishing, but not averse to drilling in winter:

— Although I don’t fish much in winter, I can’t give advice on this issue yet, so I’ll speak for myself. Previously, I had a Barnaul ice screw of the well-known brand «TONAR», model «Tornado». However, having used it, he changed it to the Swedish Mora. Why, you ask? Because it’s the same as our «craft» AvtoVAZ and a normal car. Yes, there are those who like Zhiguli, apparently because they haven’t seen anything better, or they can’t buy it. But as soon as they try something more expensive and better, then all love will pass away at once.

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing

To select the right tool, it is necessary to assess the conditions under which the drill will be operated, as well as financial possibilities.

Intensity of exploitation

It all depends on the fishing method. If the angler prefers passive fishing, then almost any drill will do to dig a couple of holes and sit in place. For running fishing, reeling, or for searching, you need a good, sharp fishing drill, with which drilling dozens of holes will not be a problem. Especially a lot of holes need to be drilled during exploratory fishing for zander. Otherwise, you will be exhausted so that it will no longer be up to catching fish.

Another important factor, as already mentioned, is the characteristics of ice. If thin ice is punched through the first ice with an ice pick, then in the dead of winter one cannot do without an auger. Also, don’t forget about the right angles of attack or types of blades for dry winter ice and wet spring ice.

Winter fishermen

Diameter selection

Disputes about what diameter of the ice screw is the most optimal are pointless. The size of the ice screw is selected individually, depending on the conditions of fishing. Universal — ice screws 130 mm. Drilling is not difficult, a fairly large fish will pass into the hole. Suitable for any conditions. For constant fishing of small fish, a 90 or 100 mm auger is better — it will be much easier to drill. With the known presence of large fish, it is better to use an ice screw of at least 150 mm in diameter. Large zander, pike, crucian carp will freely pass through such a hole. For bream fishing, it is better to immediately use ice screws 180 — 200 mm. Drilling many holes in thick ice with this caliber is difficult. However, this is no more difficult than trying to widen the hole when the ice is 70 centimeters thick, when a large bream simply does not pass even with a gaff.

Driving force

In addition to all the above types of drills listed above, there is another classification that is associated with the driving force.

  1. There is manual (all discussed previously). Obviously, they are driven by hands.
  2. Petrol motor drills for fishing — powered by an internal combustion engine, which allow you to drill holes with a large diameter faster, but give out noise and exhaust in front of the fish (plus, they also cost from 20 thousand rubles to 50 thousand rubles).

    How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021

  3. Electrical they work on an electric motor, the level of noise pollution is much lower than that of gasoline ones, and the cost is about 18-30 thousand rubles.

The best hand drills for running fishing — video from recognized experts of the Shcherbakov brothers:

Drive type

Ice screws for winter fishing are divided into manual (mechanical), motorized and electric, depending on the type of drive.


Such winter drills for fishing are used everywhere. Lightweight, cheap, suitable for frequent travel around the pond on foot. Most anglers use mechanical ice screws. If the tool is good, drilling holes, even in large numbers and in thick ice, is not a problem.

Mora nova systems


Laziness is the driving force behind progress. But there are times when ice drills are really needed for fishing. The use of such equipment is more difficult in terms of operation — you need to take care not only of the cutting edge, but also monitor the health of the engine, the availability of fuel. There is even a special auger for sale for installing an ice drill on a Husqvarna chainsaw. This technique will help when you need to drill dozens of holes in thick ice. There are many gasoline models of drills on the market, different in characteristics. Cons — price, strong noise during drilling. Such a device is not particularly vilified on your hands, it is better to transport it using a snowmobile. Hands get dirty with fuel, not all fish like the smell of gasoline.



With the growth of battery technology, electric ice screws are gaining popularity. The forward of this class is the ice drill Ion Power Auger (USA). Silent, lightweight (10 kg), with an excellent battery that will last for a long time (which cannot be said about cheap counterparts, which is the biggest disadvantage). The price of this miracle bites — 70,000 rubles. Therefore, the Ion drill is the lot of connoisseurs (at the price of an ordinary good ice drill of 1,500 rubles).

Ion Power Auger

Ice drill with a screwdriver

ice drill Kaira Makita
Ice Drill Kaira Makita

But our man is not surprised by this. Craftsmen are refining and reworking a mechanical ice screw. Using a special homemade adapter, a screwdriver is used as a drive. A screwdriver for an ice drill requires a good, high-torque one. You also need a few charged batteries with you. Manufacturers are not far behind the idea — a special adapter for an ice screw has already appeared on sale. Some went further — they produce a special Kaira Makita ice drill (for their own screwdriver, the Rapala screw itself costs 7,000 rubles without a drill). Home-made ice drills are more common in water bodies than factory-made motor and electric tools, since it is not difficult to make an adapter yourself.

What will help you decide on the choice of an ice drill — what parameters should be considered when buying

We will determine what elements the drill consists of and analyze the structure of various types, among which the auger is in the first place (due to its popularity among winter roads and recognition in the market). The anatomy of fishing augers includes:

  • handles;
  • brace;
  • rod (or from it. Stock — stock);
  • auger (spiral);
  • knives;
  • knife holder.

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
Auger drill with double handle
Firstly, we must immediately clarify that today it is two-handed drills that are most often used, since this harmoniously distributes the load on the hands and the structure and facilitates the process of “drilling”. In this case, the handles are on both sides of the central axis.

However, there are also examples of one-handed drills (much less used, they are not often seen on the counter) that have only one handle.

About the materials and structure of the handle of the drill

The grips are available in plastic and rubber. If the material is plastic, then one must be able to distinguish a frost-resistant polymer from an ordinary one.

It is difficult to do this in a store: when the temperature rises (as, for example, in the summer heat), low-quality plastic will “leak” and deform. At low negative temperatures, on the contrary, the material becomes extremely brittle and can break even from a weak impact (which can occur when the drill is carelessly handled on ice).

You can try to compress the pad, checking it for elasticity. If it is elastic, then it is almost certainly made of high-quality plastic.

With rubber, too, there are certain nuances. Its properties are determined by the type of rubbers in the composition. Cold-tolerant materials include siloxane materials (down to -50 degrees Celsius) or styrene-butadiene rubbers.


The brace in the design of the ice screw is often called the handle. It is presented in the form of a curved tube (the shape of which depends on the number of linings). It optimizes the rotation process. Usually performed in one form, the difference is only in size and material.

You need to choose the size according to your height, or choose a drill in such a way that the length of the brace (torque part) can be varied using the adjusting holes.

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
Collapsible drill — the left part is conventionally called a brace

stem material

The rod is also represented by a metal tube, however, it is several millimeters larger in diameter of the rotator.

There is nothing to talk about the stock itself, except for one most important detail on which the entire quality of the product depends — the material! This applies to the entire device as a whole. Ice drills are made from steel or titanium. Below is a table where we have summarized the material comparison:

Metal name Product weight Temperature effect Main cons
Titanium drills A typical model weighs about 1.6 kg, extended — up to 2 kg A lot of ice sticks, but the protective coating does not peel off (therefore, it is not subject to corrosion) High cost (often much more expensive than steel), fairly audible drilling noise
Steel drills Weight, depending on length, 2.5 — 3.5 kg Ice rarely sticks, but when cleaning the tool, a special coating often peels off Perceptible weight that interferes with long runs, the likelihood of rust is higher

Overview of the titanium ice drill LSZ 130 (Leningrad):

Material, shape and diameter of the screw

The auger is made in the form of a spiral and serves to get ice chips out of the hole, and also determines the size of the hole.

The larger its diameter, the larger the fish can be caught. And the greater the load on the muscles it gives when drilling.

The most common size for fishing with a rod, a balancer (sometimes a vent) is a diameter of 110-130 mm. If you plan to catch large fish, then you should choose powerful winter drills with an auger diameter of 150 mm to 200 mm. It should be noted that the drilling process becomes more complicated with an increase in diameter.

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
The diameter of the auger for fishing is selected based on the conditions of fishing — for catching small things, drills with a diameter of 90-110 mm, station wagons 110-130, and powerful models for catching large fish up to 200 mm are suitable

The choice of diameter and type of ice drill for winter fishing:

What to look for when reviewing knives

Knives in a storm play a very important role, they determine how easy or difficult it will be to break through the ice, what the strength of the noise will be, on which ice they will be more effective, and so on.

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021
Different types of knives mounted on an ice drill

How to choose a fishing winter drill according to the parameters:

There are flat and spherical knives:

How to choose an ice drill for winter fishing: parameters, best models, prices in 2021

In short, the first type is universal — convenient for various ice (wet and dry, crumbling and dense), is easily accessible, inexpensive, easy to maintain and is used by almost all domestic manufacturers of drills.

Among flat knives, there are also stepped ones (which do not cut off a layer of ice, but simply crumble it) and serrated ones (which are best suited for spring or melted ice).

Spherical knives pierce well the wet loose surface of the ice, so they are good to use in the thaw. But at the same time, it is difficult to sharpen such a surface. This must be taken into account when choosing an ice drill model with this shape of the auger.

The best drills — recommendations from experienced fishermen

The experience of anglers says that the best drill for ice fishing is not at all the most expensive on the market. In the ranking of the best ice drills without competitors, Barnaul products from Tonar are in the lead. They give good quality for a low price. Reviews about the models of this brand are positive. In the context of price-quality-availability of spare knives. The underlays achieve different angles and thus versatility.

Of the Scandinavians on the forums, people recommend the Swedes Mora. They are cheaper than Rapala or Heinola and the quality is top notch. When using, the main thing is a careful attitude to the blades, the knives are beautiful, but in case of failure, you will have to spend the amount for which the whole Barnaul is bought. Finding Swedish knives in a store is more difficult than Tonar knives. The main torments of choice are more often and limited to this: Mora or Tonar.

Barnaul ice screws


Tonar produces many different models, but the Tornado and Iceberg lineups are among the best. They are more expensive than the basic ones (2000 — 4000 rubles), but it is still many times cheaper than imported ones. The quality of the products is excellent. The manufacturer has products both with a handle on the same axis as the screw, and with a shifted one. Tornado and Icebergs have no complaints about the quality of the assembly, unlike earlier models. Good reviews are also on the Helios lineup (Helios). The main advantage of the Barnaul Boers is cheap knives available in all parts of the country. The price is so ridiculous that often anglers don’t even bother with sharpening the old ones, just buying new ones (150-200 rubles).

Auger welding

One of the problem areas with ice drills is the auger and its method of welding with the axis of the drill.

Auger welding

Either this is a point option, when not the entire “tape” is welded, or a complete one, when the connection goes along the entire length. Which of the options is better, it makes no sense to judge, since it all depends on the quality of welding.

For example, spot welding is a weak point of some domestic ice drills. However, foreign ice drills, for example, Mora Eriksson, also have spot welding, but its quality is much higher. A fully welded auger has, for example, a Rapala ice screw.

Ice screws Mora

A fairly large number of anglers claim that the best drills for winter fishing are the Swedish Mora. The Expert, Arctic, Nova System models won the greatest popularity. The cost is 7000-13000 rubles. Products are equipped with very high quality knives, easy to use. But new knives are expensive (2000-3000 rubles), only a knowledgeable person can sharpen old ones, so you need to use the Swedes carefully. Handles on Mora fishing drills are made of microporous rubber, it is convenient to drill even with bare hands.

pestilence head

Comparison of Tonar and Mora

So which ice drill to choose? The forums, YouTube are full of ice drill tests for fishing. According to them, as well as based on the feedback of fishermen, we draw conclusions. Mora drills better. It has an optimized auger screw pitch to length. The blades are made of solid steel. It is more pleasant to work as a Swede. But in the long run, especially when the financial factor is important, Barnaul ice drills with a knife cost of 200 rubles are far ahead. In the harsh realities of Russian fishing, a gentle European is not a competitor.

Drilling diameter

This parameter when choosing an ice screw is determined only by what kind of fish you are going to go for. A diameter of 100 mm is good for catching small fish: roach, perch weighing up to 700 grams, pike up to 1 kilogram.

Winter fishing hole

Larger fish may no longer crawl into a hole with such a diameter, and even narrow holes freeze in the cold much faster than wide ones. But in ordinary ordinary fishing for medium-sized fish, this diameter is in great demand: the smaller the diameter, the easier it is to drill a hole.

An ice drill with a drilling diameter of 110-115 mm will be universal for an ordinary amateur fisherman. Virtually any fish that you catch with a jig or balancer can be brought into such a hole, and in terms of drilling speed and physical effort, drilling a hole of this diameter is not much more difficult than a hole with a diameter of 100 mm.

Pike winter fishing

Ice screws, drilling holes with a diameter of 130-150mm, are most often bought, focusing on catching not only a fishing rod or balancer, but also on vents. The 130mm diameter is good for those anglers who can only afford one ice screw. Drilling holes, of course, will be somewhat more difficult, but you can safely pull out large pike (up to 6-7 kg.), Pike perch and medium-sized bream into such a hole.

Winter fishing

Well, if your target is a trophy fish: for example, a bream is more than 1-2 kg, a pike weighing more than 7-8 kg of weight, then you should choose an ice screw with a drilling diameter of at least 150 mm, and preferably 175 or 200 mm. Drilling holes of this diameter is quite laborious and usually in Siberia holes of this diameter are drilled with motorized drills.

Rules of operation, proper care


The tool will last a long time if you take care of it. The main thing is to protect the cutting edge from impacts. The rest of the knots are not so tender. For storage, it is better to use a special case for the ice drill. When operating, it is important to observe a number of critical rules:

  1. Do not drill holes where there is sand on the ice — the knives will instantly deteriorate.
  2. Be careful when drilling in shallow water so as not to hit the bottom with the blades.
  3. Do not allow any blows to the blades, and even more so, do not hit the ice with the drill head.
  4. Put on the blades a special case.
  5. Lubricate knives, especially before long-term storage.

Subject to these simple instructions, the drill will serve for a long time and will not let you down at the most crucial moment.

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TOP 5 tips: how to properly care for an ice screw

  1. When fishing, try not to put a wet auger in the snow — ice will immediately form on the auger.
  2. After fishing, bringing the ice screw into a warm room, wipe the ice screw knives dry with a cloth.
  3. In no case should you knock with cutting knives on ice, and even more so on any other hard surface. Do not knock frozen ice off the knives. You need to either melt it in a warm room, or lower the ice screw into the hole and wait until it thaws. In a pinch, the ice can be brushed or scraped off, but not pounded.
  4. On a folding auger, periodically lubricate the junction of the knees.
  5. Always carry a simple repair kit with you: a screwdriver, a wrench and spare blade bolts.


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