Milwaukee 2803-22
9.7/10

Best Overall

  • 1,200 In-lbs
  • 2,000 RPM
  • ‎5.84 Pounds
  • 1/2-Inch Chuck Size
  • Drilling, Driving, Hammer
  • 5-Years Limited Warranty
Makita DHP458Z
9.6/10

Best Cheapest

  • 805 In-lbs (91 Nm)
  • 2,000 RPM
  • 4.6 Pounds (2.1 Kg)
  • 1/2-Inch Chuck Size
  • Drilling, Driving, Hammer
  • 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
  • 2-Years Added If Registered Within 30 Days
DEWALT DCD996B
9.5/10

Best For 8-Inch Ice Auger

  • 820 UWO
  • 2,250 RPM
  • ‎4 Pounds
  • 1/2-Inch Chuck Size
  • Drilling, Driving, Hammer
  • 3-Years Limited Warranty

For a DIYer, garage, or shop owner, the cordless drill is a right-hand buddy or your sidekick for your daily DIY chores. If you’re working in an industry, or your own shop/house, the drill plays an essential practical role in your work.

One of the jobs that these drills take on is ice drilling. Especially in colder regions where fishermen are out in cold to hunt down the fish. As the lakes are frozen solid due to the negative temperature.

The fishermen require some immensely powerful tools to put a hole in thick sheets of ice. And I know there are special tools known as Ice Augers available for this kind of job.

Using Cordless Drill For Ice Auger As An Alternative 

Alternative to these expensive machines, the most used are cordless drills with high torque especially those with hammer action. Plus, using the right set of ice auger accessories will make your work easy and smooth.

These drills give you higher precision in drilling holes without damaging the entire slab, or the risk of the drill bit getting stuck in the ice. So, at the end of your cold hunting day, you can catch a bigger fish.

Our guide will elaborate on important factors that you should check out when getting a drill. Also, tell you what accessories you need for an ice auger. And lastly, what is the best cordless drill for ice auger you should use.

Best Cordless Drill For Ice Auger 2022 [Buying Guide]

Brushed Vs Brushless Motor

There are two types of motor used in drills. 1st is the drill with a brushed motor and 2nd is the drill with a brushless motor. Now in both motors, magnets are used to produce the rotatory motion of the shaft.

The brushed motor is a traditional type and uses carbon brushes. These brushes are connected with the commutator. So, when the motor spins the brushes face friction.

This same friction in return generates heat and reduces the torque efficiency as well as power compared to the brushless version.

While in the brushless drill, the same rotation is achieved by the revolving magnetic field. The magnets have no physical contact with the coils or with the center. They rotate in a freely magnetic field and reduce the overall heat and friction.

That’s why brushless drills are far better compared to brushed ones. Although in our today’s cordless drill review we have both types of drills.

RPM

RPM refers to Revolutions Per Minute. In drills, the full rotation of drill chuck per minute is called RPM. It indicates the maximum speed that is achieved by the drill.

For cordless drills, the maximum RPM speed range is between 400 to 2,000 RPM. The lower-end drill’s RPM range is probably between 300 to 7 or 800 RPM.

RPM plays its part when you want more speed for faster work. Mostly, the higher speed or RPM is used for boring holes. As for low-speed work the drills have another setting for it.

That’s the reason the modern cordless drills have 2 RPM settings one for lower and one for higher.

Torque

It refers to the rotatory force or measurable amount of twisting force that the drill applies in inches per pound.

The torque is closely and inversely related to the RPM above. The higher the RPM, the lower the torque, and when you’re drilling at a slower speed, you’ll access more torque.

The torque setting is also referred to as the “Power Settings” of the Drill. While the RPM setting is named the “Speed Settings” of a drill.

Mostly torque setting is used for drilling on hard surfaces such as in masonry work. In this mode, you gain more control over the drill and its power.

That’s the reason why torque and RPM are important factors when it comes to selecting the best cordless drill.

1/2-Inch Chuck Size For Ice Auger Bit

Next up is the physical part of the cordless drill which is the chuck. The chuck refers to the slot of three prolonged clamps that firmly grip the drill bit. It keeps the rotating bit securely in a place without any wobble.

When you’re using an auger bit, be sure to use a 1/2-inch drill compared to a 3/8-inch drill. As the auger bits are larger in size, they are heavy, and what they are gonna drill through is a thick sheet of ice.

Forward/Reverse Slider

As the name shows, this button changes the driving direction of the drill that making the drill more versatile. You can control the direction with the switch or lever having an indication of either way by arrows.

Although this handy feature has its significance, there is no universal symbol for rotation indication. Therefore, the manufacturer has its iconic representation.

Some drills have a circular arrow going one way for the forwarding direction, and an arrow going the other way for the reverse direction. While some other drill indicates the direction with a wedge simply facing one side and the opposite way on the other side.

With the forward button/switch, you can operate the drill for routine drilling or screwing in the clock-wise direction. However, the reverse option rotates the drill in an anti-clockwise direction that lets you trigger the drill to remove the stuck bits or tightly bedded screws.

Setting the switch in the center position will lock the tool. At this position, the drill won’t work even if the battery is fully charged. So, while starting your job, make sure to set the slider in either forward or reverse position rather than in the middle.

Cordless Drilling Modes For Ice Auger Bit

Another name for the clutch is a torque selector which sets the torque level to avoid overdriving. You can adjust your drill according to three different drill modes along with speed settings.

Types of modes of action available are 

  1. Screw Driver
  2. Drilling
  3. Hammer Drill

There is an adjustment of 20 to 24 different torque-speed settings along with the above modes as per the requirement of the drilling.

You can re-adjust the speed depending on the thickness of the ice. However, the range of adjustments varies across the model, making it easy to tailor the drill to the surface you are dealing with. 

Battery Power

Look for the battery’s voltage and the number of ampere-hours (AH). 

For occasional duties, which are usually small with a 12-volt battery, an intensity of 1.5 Ah is suitable. In 18 volts, preferably target a minimum of 2 Ah, or even more if you expect regular use. 

Lithium-Ion batteries, light, and fast charging are the most common types.

Weight

Like any handy tool, ensure that its weight is adapted to your strength and holding abilities to make using it comfortable and effortless.  

The average drill weight is between 1.5 and 3 kg, and some ultralight models weigh only 1 kg.

We recommend you avoid exceeding 2 kg to make it easier for you to work at height or by holding the drill at arm’s length. 

The Grip/Handle

A handle allowing a good grip is always preferable. Its design; including the material and shape, makes a big difference from one brand to another. 

Most drills today are equipped with a very comfortable SoftGrip coating, improving the quality of the device’s hold.

Make sure to choose one that is non-slippery and resistant to dust and water to make working in harsh conditions and tight spaces easy for you.

Overheating Protection

This overheating of a drill during tougher material drilling with large bits is known as thermal overheating. Let me explain a bit…

In case when you’re drilling through a thick sheet of ice or other tough materials a jam can occur in between due to the drill bit getting stuck in the ice or other material.

This jamming in return exerts pressure on the motor and the drill gets heated up which causes overheating. That’s why the drills and other power tools have a protection system for thermal overheating.

This protection system cuts off the supply on reaching the threshold level a drill or other tool can bear. Thus, preventing the possible damage to the tool, battery, or overall drill.

The LED Light

The benefits you get from LED lighting of the work area on this kind of device are a big plus. You will sometimes have to work in poorly lit and tight spaces and this option will give you better precision, hence, easier duty.

Accessories Needed For Ice Auger

Below are the most important accessories you need for ice drilling.

Ice Auger Drill Adapter

One of the important things for a cordless drill to work as an auger is to attach an ice auger drill adapter. The adapter gives you more control with precise handling when drilling thick sheets of ice.

Ice Auger Drill Bits

The second important thing is the ice auger drill bit. Normal drills won’t cut it as these are larger in size ranging from 6 inches and going above. The most common size among these is 10-inch drill bits.

Warranty

Each brand offers a different warranty system. Some give you only one year, while others up to three years of warranty. Make sure to consider your needs as this is a completely personal preference.

Best Cordless Drill For Ice Auger Reviews 2022

List of Best Drill For Ice Auger 2022

Milwaukee 2803-22 M18 Fuel 1/2 Drill Driver Kit [Best Power Drill For Ice Auger Overall]

This Milwaukee battery-powered drill is one of the best Drivers in terms of its power, as it has around 60% more power (maximum 800 Watts), the length is 1.5” shorter, and most of all, the speed is 2X faster when used for heavy load.

It has a brushless motor that gives 1,200 in-lbs of torque with PRMs of 2,000, making it super fast when used for challenging and heavy duties. The Milwaukee cordless drill is short, compact, and easy to use for small and tight spaces, meaning it requires less effort in some particular cases.

This Milwaukee drill set comes with a hard case to protect the drill and the accessories from heat or cold environments, giving it longer service life. The kit includes two M18 Red lithium 5.0Ah batteries and an M18 multi-voltage lithium-ion battery charger.

As per the manufacturer, you have the option to use this drill in different modes, based on your needs, including driving mode, hammer drilling, and regular drilling. You can use the shockwave drill bits to make your work easier.

These are special types of drill bits made by Milwaukee to work with their drills. The set includes the drive system of Slotted, Torx, Hex, Square, and Phillips made of durable steel and is heated treated to enhance durability.


Makita DHP458Z 18V LXT Brushless Combi Drill [Best Cheap Drill For Ice Auger]

9.6 / 10

This DHP458Z drill comes with a 4 pole motor and two-speed modes (0 – 400 & 0 – 2,000 rpm), making it a powerful machine that works for drilling, fastening, and hammer-drilling.

The capacity of this tool is different, based on the type of application. When using it in wood, its max capacity is 65mm, in steel is 13mm, and in masonry is 16mm.

The drill’s design is kind of unique, as there is a sleeveless chuck to install and remove the bit easily in just one hand. Plus, the metal in the design is all ratcheting to ensure better bit retention and avoid slippage scenarios.

Besides, the XPT design makes the drill super resistant to dust and water, leading to a better performance in harsh and special conditions.

Furthermore, this Makita cordless drill has 21 clutch options and a drill setting for better control when using it for fastening.

A well-worth mentioning feature in this ‎compact combi drill is the battery. It has a push-button light indicator that shows what percentage of charge is left there. Three lights mean that the battery’s capacity is above 50%, two lights for 20%-50% charge, and one light when it is less than 20%.

Keep in mind, though, that this tool is on the heavy side (2kg weight). The 18V 5Ah lithium-ion battery and other accessories such as the 18V li-ion fast charger are excluded. But, you do get a 1-year warranty.


Dewalt DCD996B Bare Tool 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill [Best Drill For 8 Inch Ice Auger]

The Dewalt DCD996B drill has a 20-Volts brushless motor that offers more runtime of 75% compared to the 18V NiCad motors with brushes. It features three different speeds to work on different surfaces. With 0-38,250 BPM to perform faster when used in masonries.

It has a 1/2-inch ratcheting nitro-carburized metal piece and a carbide insert for a strong and comfortable holding, making it suitable for heavy duties. Such as using it with an 8-inch ice auger bit. For attachment do use the ice auger drill adapter.

Due to these speed modes and the above ratcheting chuck you can use the carbide drill bits for masonry work. While for normal driving mode, you can use it with an impact-ready flex torque screwdriver bits set.

Besides, the switches are coated and sealed to avoid being contaminated with dust or moisture during hot and cold days. Especially on winter ice days when small pieces get stuck in the drill during ice drilling.

This mate is one of the power-hungry beasts so it uses 20V Max XR batteries with 5Ah power. These are premium li-ion batteries that grant 60% more power compared to the standard Dewalt 20V batteries.

Interestingly, there is a LED option where you can choose from 3 different modes to ease the work in dark or tight spaces. Besides, it has a 20-minute auto-shutoff feature to save the battery.

In terms of durability, this device proved to be durable with long service life. But keep in mind, that you only get the drill tool with this purchase and ‎a limited warranty of three years.


Ryobi P1813 18-Volt One+ Brushless Hammer Drill Kit [Best Brushless Drill For Ice Auger]

8.5 / 10

The Ryobi drill kit is an excellent choice if you are doing heavy-duty work most of the time. It includes a powerful hammer drill, ‎18 Volts battery with high capacity, a charger, and a storage bag.

The best part about this P251 drill is the functionality. It works on different drilling surfaces and applications, including tin, heavy wood, plastic, masonry, concrete, and thin materials.

This is a clutch with 24 positions that are adjustable up to 750-inch pounds of torque and three-speed settings to choose a suitable one based on the type of work.

Such as drilling (for wood and plastic), driving (for small fastener duty), or hammer drilling (for masonry and concrete application).

In terms of the design, this cordless drill goes beyond its features. For example, a side handle moves on both sides to ease the hammer drilling duty and give you more control.

The handle is made out of a rubber coat that makes gripping it easy, comfortable, and non-slippery. Do know that this hammer drill is a little bit on the heavy side compared to others.

Furthermore, the drill base has a magnetic bit to store some drill heads and screws and keep them handy while working and saves your time going back and forth to the tool storage bag.


CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Hammer Drill Kit (CMCD711C2) [Best Battery Drill For Ice Auger]

8.0 / 10

This max* hammer drill comes with 20 Volts cordless system. It is half-inch in size and has a superior performing motor, as it produces 280 unit watts to properly work while doing heavy-duty applications.

The bit retention is excellent as the drill has a ratcheting chuck for better performance. You can even use the Craftsman gold oxide drill bits with it. These are corrosion resistant and have split-point for higher precision for clean, burr-free holes in wood.

As for screw driving work, the Craftsman has designed the shock-resistant tool steel drill bit set to work alongside the cordless drill. The bits are CNC Machined to grant better fit to reduce wear, stripping, and in cases when the bit loosens up and slips from chuck grip during drilling

The speed of this CMCD711 Cordless Hammer Drill is adjustable, as the gearbox has two speeds (350/1,500) that ensure fast and quick execution. With 2-speed you shift between high and low torque.

This kit includes two V20 MAX Lithium-Ion 4Ah Batteries and a V20 fast battery charger. The batteries perform for a relatively long time, and the charger gets the job done in around 60 minutes.

My Personal Recommendation

I would go with Milwaukee 2803-22 drill kit due to its high torque, overall power, performance, design, and durability. Alternative to Milwaukee, the cheapest drill for ice auger is Makita DHP458Z. It’s an excellent budget option compared to the expensive ice augers.

It’s a compact cordless hammer drill with 21 torque settings suited for ice augers and other materials such as wood, masonry, and steel. The drill has a 1-year warranty. But, if you register within 30 days of purchase then you get further 2 years with it.

The next beast drill for ice augers is the Dewalt DCD996B. It’s a highly durable cordless drill that smoothly runs 8 inch ice augers. If you ask me the Dewalt drills are one of my favorites and I have used both Dewalt cordless and corded drills for over 5 years.

The next one I see is the Ryobi One+ P1813, It’s a compact brushless cordless hammer drill with 750 In-lbs of torque ranking in third place. But, compared to all these Milwaukee is a fine drill, especially for this ice work.

Best Cordless Drill For Ice Auger FAQs

Q: What Are The Drill Requirements For Ice Auger?

Ans: For an ice auger you need a cordless drill with hammer action. The Torque should be 700 In-lbs or above with a brushless motor. Use 4 to 5 Ah Li-ion batteries. I prefer Milwaukee 2803-22 drill with 1,200 In-lbs of torque.

Q: Why Brushless Drill For Ice Auger?

Ans: Because brushless drills compared to brushed motors use a revolving magnetic field. That’s why they don’t generate friction that causes excessive heat and wear. Plus, grants higher torque efficiency to run larger size auger bits.

Q: What Size Cordless Drill For Ice Auger?

Ans: The cordless drill size is referred to as the chuck size of the drill. In the case of ice auger bits, they are larger in size and require heavy-duty chucks. So, a drill with a 1/2-inch size compared to 3/8-inch is recommended.

Q: What Is The Best Cordless Drill For An Ice Auger?

Ans: Here are the best cordless drill for ice auger in 2022:
1. Milwaukee 2803-22 – Best Power Drill For Ice Auger Overall
2. Makita DHP458Z – Best Cheap Drill For Ice Auger
3. Dewalt DCD996B – Best Drill For 8 Inch Ice Auger
4. Ryobi One+ P1813 – Best Brushless Drill For Ice Auger
5. Craftsman V20 Drill – Best Battery Drill For Ice Auger

Q: What Is The Recommended Drill For Ice Auger?

Ans: The most recommended drill for ice auger is the Milwaukee 2803-22 m18 fuel 1/2 drill driver kit. It’s a cordless hammer drill with 1,200 In-lbs of torque and 2,000 RPM speed. The drill has all three modes for a variety of other tasks as well.

Q: DO YOU NEED A HAMMER DRILL FOR ICE AUGER?

Ans: Not necessarily, the cordless hammer drills can work fine with an ice auger. Just remember that the ice auger requires torque power of 700 to 800 In-lbs torque. Also, use a durable ice auger adapter.

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