ION Ice Auger
Are you saying a Jiffy Propane drill weighs 56lbs.? Wow, I didnt think they were that heavy. My 4 yr. old jiffy stx pro 8inch only weighs 27lbs.. The propane is that much heavier? Maybe i didnt read your post right? I just went and weighed my bosses older Jiffy model 30 with a 10 inch blade, and it weighs 38lbs...
My previous auger was a Jiffy model 30 that ran for 25 yrs and is still running today for the guy I sold it to. All I ever did was add gas rebuild the carb twice and change the plug a few times. I bought into the electric auger since I felt getting gas on my hands hindered my fishing success. I still kept a gas back up but I was loving the electric auger. My first electric was an Icegator and over the season I had some issues with the switches getting stuck on. The reports were I was not alone. I went thru three of these units with the old style switches before being offered a chance to upgrade to the attackerII with lithium ion batteries. So I jumped on the chance to reduce the weight at a reduced price. I have had zero problems until last weekend when the unit just wouldn't power thru a hole anymore. I am in contact with Icegator to get the issue resolved and started to think this whole gas vs electric auger debate. A while ago my friends and I discussed how the electric auger could be quite costly if you need to replace batteries often. I realized how expensive when I needed to insure my battery pack for shipping tonight. I went to the Icegator website and saw the replacement pack for $289 (LI-ION). I was told the pack should last for 5 yrs. So every 5 yrs you can plan on dropping at least $289 on a battery pack (for LI-ION) or $80 for the lead acid pack. Keep in mind the lead acid pack will have a short life cycle more like 3 yrs at best. Don't get me wrong I love my gator. Light, no gas but the cons are starting to show up. Constant issues add up shipping costs (unless your still in the warranty period). There is no place local that will service them so shipping is your only option unless you live near the place that makes them. Add what any issue will cost you to get fixed and running one of these is looking pretty pricey. I'm not sure the benefit will out weigh the expense in the long run. As I start to tally up everything I have dealt with in the last five yrs, not to mention my inconvenience I may have to stick with old reliable. You'll notice after two trouble free yrs with the gator I still have a gas back up. I trust it, but I don't trust it. If fishing with guys with other augers I don't think twice. Last week after it acted up I was fishing with just my auger so I switched to the gas power head. I don't know what to think at this point but I do know I am starting to think about it. My gas auger expenses were never that high.
My two cons of it are it tends to ice up faster than other teflon coated augers and the battery is definitely an issue. It will work fine at first, but when it gets cold it acts up...spins one rotation..stops for 1-2 seconds, spins, etc
I've used the Jiffy propane auger also and that has its pros and cons also..I.e Weight, not storing on side, etc.
My opinion...for the fisherman who fishes out of an ice shack, is willing to baby the battery (put it in your coat or ice shack, take it in house at night) then the ION is the way to go. For the fisherman that sits on the ice all day and doesnt want to worry about his auger starting...then the Jiffy propane is the way to go. My buddy was in limbo between the two also and the main selling point was the difference in weight, 22lbs vs 56lbs