When it comes to augers, I really only care about 2 things:
1. Will it start when I want to use it? So basically, make sure you care for it properly when not using it. Always add a stabilizer whenever you add gas, and things should always be good. Basically, you are buying a motor, make sure you are comfortable with whatever kind of motor you are buying.
2. Are my blades sharp? Depending on how much ice you cut will depend on how often you need to resharpen. But a fresh edge every year is always a good idea.
So namebrand really doesn't mean much to me. I've had mine for 20+ years now, and it still starts on 1 or 2 pulls, and I have no idea what the namebrand is! And the way it's running now, I don't think I'll need a new one for another 25 years. I would also make sure it has a choke on it. I know some engines these days are starting to be sold without chokes. I'm sure this will increase how often they need some help in the long run. The only other question would be how big of a hole you want. I would go bigger is better, more room for electronics, and whatever size fish you are after. Good luck.
EXCELLENT Reply Domino Dave! No, mine is best or that one is junk. I agree 100% I have 2 different brands one is 40 years old and cuts all the holes I need, the other is 10-12 years old and does the same thing! It cuts holes so I can enjoy fishing.
Of all he things I ever done I aint never had too much fun
Keeping America clean and beautiful is a one mans job."Mine" We all need that attitude
When it comes to hand augers I have found none better than the Nils auger. It is a little spendy but well worth the extra cost. It has an offset handle that allows both arms to get involved in the drilling. It is very sharp and cuts extremely well. I use the Nils 4.5 inch auger for stream trout, panfish and walleye and am very satified with it.