How to choose an ice screw, selection tips and reviews


Ice breaker For fishing — a special device for drilling holes in the ice of a reservoir. With the help of an ice drill, without much effort, you can make a hole of the correct cylindrical shape, through which it is very convenient to fish. Another advantage: low noise compared to the operation of the ice pick (big noise can frighten the fish).


Manual ice drill — works from the muscular effort of a person. Such devices are inexpensive, have low drilling noise and light weight, do not require fuel and are easy to operate. However, they require significant human effort and have a low drilling speed. Manual ice drills are used for drilling holes up to one and a half meters deep.

Moto and electric ice drill – Works from the built-in petrol or electric motor. Such devices do not require much effort and have a high drilling speed. However, they cost more, run louder, weigh more, vibrate heavily, and require fuel or a power source. Motor and electric drills are capable of drilling holes over one and a half meters deep.

  • Moto ice drills – have more power and are able to work continuously longer than electric ice drills. In addition, they are self-powered. On the other hand, these engines are more expensive, toxic, massive and noisy in operation. The best option for drilling holes in thick and strong ice of the reservoir.
  • Electric ice drills — environmentally friendly, quiet operation. However, they do not work autonomously for as long as motor drills. The battery can be internal or external (powered by cable). Well suited for fishermen on snowmobiles, as many models can be powered by its electrical network.

Important: when working with a motorcycle and electric ice drill, safety measures must be observed so as not to get injured.

Manual ice screws

Number of sections

The manual ice screw can consist of 1, 2 or 3 sections for easy storage and transportation. The more sections an ice screw has, the more compact it is, but at the same time, its strength and reliability are lower than that of single-section models.

Auger length

Auger (Archimedean screw) — a rod with a continuous helical surface along the longitudinal axis. The longer the auger, the more depth the ice screw can drill and the easier it is to keep it upright during drilling, which is especially important when fatigue builds up.

Auger diameter

The size of the hole made by the ice drill in the ice depends on this indicator. The smaller the diameter of the auger, the easier it is to drill ice, but the smaller the fish you can catch through such a hole.

  • 90-110 mm — used in sport fishing and catching small fish weighing up to 2 kg (roach, dace, small perches and pikes);
  • 110-130 mm — universal diameter, found in amateur fishing, allows you to fish with the help of a balancer, mormyshka and perch;
  • 130-150 mm — used for catching large fish weighing up to 6 kg (pike, medium-sized bream and pike perch) using a perch;
  • 150-200 mm — designed for hunting trophy fish weighing 8-10 kg. Ice screws with such a diameter are rare.

Important: motor and electric ice drills have an auger diameter of 180-300 mm.

Moto and electric ice drills

Engine power

The performance of a motor or electric ice drill depends on this indicator (drilling speed and depth, hole diameter, etc.). Engine power varies from 1200 to 4000 kW. The best option would be models with a capacity of 1500-2000 kW.

Engine size (for ice drill).

The power and weight of the engine depend on this characteristic. A motor with a larger volume is more powerful, but also weighs more. Engine displacement ranges from 30.8 to 80.7 cm3.

drilling depth

This indicator determines how deep a hole an ice drill can make. Some models are equipped with a telescopic extension rod that allows you to adjust the drilling depth based on the thickness of the ice. This bar can also be purchased separately.

The weight

The weight of the ice screw determines the convenience of drilling and its transportation. The heavier the fixture, the faster the operator gets tired. However, the most powerful ice screws are also the heaviest. The average weight of a hand-held ice drill ranges from 2.4-3.5 kg. The weight of powerful ice drills reaches 30 kg, and less powerful models — 10-17 kg.

The weight is also affected by the material from which the ice screw is made. A steel ice screw weighs in the range — 2.5-3.5 kg, titanium — 1.6-1.7 kg, however, it also costs more.


  • You should pay attention to the rotation of the manual ice screw — right or left (i.e. clockwise or counterclockwise). This is important for the ease of use of the tool.
  • The material from which the knives are made also matters. It is better not to purchase knives made of non-hardened steel, and knives with a wear-resistant cutting edge coated with titanium nitride are a good option.
  • In order for knives to serve effectively and for a long time, they need to be sharpened some time after use. It is better to entrust this process to a professional.
  • When fishing, do not put a wet ice auger in the snow, as ice immediately forms on the auger.
  • After fishing, it is necessary to bring the ice drill into a warm room to melt the ice that has frozen to the knives, and then wipe them dry with a rag to prevent rust.
  • Before summer storage, the ice screw must be lubricated with machine oil; on a folding tool, it is also worth lubricating the junction of the knees.
  • When fishing, it is advisable to have a screwdriver, a wrench and spare blade bolts with you in order to eliminate minor damage.


Ice drills of Nero and Tonar brands are of good quality. They are quite enough for the use of an ordinary fan of winter fishing. Of the shortcomings, it is worth noting that such ice screws serve well at a temperature of about 0 aboutC. At lower temperatures, handles often crack and even break, and sometimes drilling efficiency is reduced.

The leaders among the manufacturers of ice screws are the brands Mora, Rapala, Heinola. Mora ice screws are considered the best in the world. They cost more than local and Russian ones, but they are made of excellent metal, with perfectly sharpened blades. There is an opinion that Finnish steel blades cannot be sharpened on their own — only changed. However, some successfully use them after re-sharpening.

Motor drills are a rarer type, and there is a relatively small range of models on the market. Brands Vitals, SADKO, Stihl, Craft-tec, Patriot provide approximately the same product quality. The choice depends on the budget of the purchase.


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