I was in the market for the past couple of years and did due diligence on every possible auger I could get my hands on. I like the ION and the technology on any of the electrics is moving very fast but when I used the ION I was running out of juice. I drill a stupid number of holes. If I didn't I most certainly would've gotten an ION.
A friend let me use his Nils and that thing is awesome. The downside is that if you ding the blade you need to send it away to get re-sharpened (unless there are more people doing this service now). Plus, blades are not cheap. You need to be careful not to drill through dirty ice, not to run it into silt or sand if fishing in shallow water, etc. That was a bit of a concern.
There was a recent stretch where Jiffy had multiple engine suppliers, all from overseas. There were more "out of the box" issues with getting them to run than what is acceptable. As one small engine tech told me, "it's as if the motors on those things are set up to run above 65 degrees and at an entirely different altitude." If I could get my hands on one of those vintage Jiffy 30's, not the newer Jiffy 30, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Then an Eskimo Mako literally fall right into my lap. New, in the box, never been run...$100. Can't pass that up and it lines up with what fits my ice fishing style. 1) 33 pounds so it's not heavy, not light, but better than something bulky. 2) You can cut a ton of holes on a tank of gas. 3) Starts on the 1st or 2nd pull anytime except when it is flooded. Any brand is a bit tough to start when flooded. 4) Engine has been around for awhile so the bugs are worked out of them. 5) Ardisam's customer service is exceptional.
Find what fits your style of fishing and have no regrets. If it's something different than what others have suggested don't worry about it. It will be your auger. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
Lot of good comments below, all augers have advantages and disadvantages. I have used (Jiffy, Strikemaster, Eskimo and Ion). ION and Eskimo is owned and built by the same company. I also have the luxury of being on Eskimo/Ion's Promotional Staff or should we say Pro Staff. I currently have both, an ION and an Eskimo Propane.
As was said, the ION comes in at 22 LBS, very light weight. It is a sweet cutting machine. It is shorter than most augers, but also they all come with a 12" extension which makes them a tad taller than most standard augers. The ION is advertised as a 6, 8, or 10" auger. It cuts that size hole, but the flutes are smaller than that to reduce drag and conserve battery life. The battery is a lithium ION 40 volt battery, it is advertised as being able to cut 1000" of ice. That is essentially 83', or 40 holes in 2' of ice. We all know some ice is hard, some is honeycombed, it is all different. Personally I have gotten more than 40 holes and less than 40 holes on a single charge. Key is keep your battery warm. Yes you can buy a secondary battery as well. By the way the batteries are designed for over 800 cycles. That is 800 recharges, let's say you are fishing 60 days a year and draining your battery every day, that is still a 13 year life cycle. If I only had a wheel house, all I would need is an ION, no smoke no smell.
My other auger is an Eskimo HC40 Propane Auger. Eskimo came out with this to the general public last year, some of us have had them longer. The motor is a High Compression High Output motor that was designed as a propane motor from the ground up. It is not a gas motor converted to Propane. When you do that you lose about 25% of your power. The motor was designed as an auger motor, and has a check valve to prevent the oil from running up into the calendar head when laid down wrong. The transmission has ball bearings not bushings, both the ION and the Eskimo use the Quantum cutting system which make it easy to re-drill old holes, and give you a nice smooth cut all the way through the ice, no jagged edges at the bottom of the hole. The propane auger has no choke, and starts right up 1st or 2nd pull. No exhaust stink, no gas and oil to mix and spill, no gas smell in the back of the Suburban, and best of all you don't have to winterize it in the spring. Sure Propane freezes somewhere around -25 or so. Easy fix for that is keep you lb cyl. in your truck or in the fish house.
I love my propane auger and won't go back to gas. Some people say what is the mileage per tank. It is roughly the same as a gas auger. If you are cutting 100 holes per tank of gasoline, you will get about 90 holes per propane tank.
If you have any Eskimo or ION questions message me, or go to
The only drawback to electric is if you are trying to make a 10+ year investment in an auger. In which case, you are probably going to be coughing up that same money in gas, auger repairs and fuel treatment anyway as you would on a replacement battery.
Used gas in the past, now I run an ION 8". I have two batteries in case I ever drill a ton of holes in a given day (I drill more than most guys I see on the ice). I've hardly ever had to go to the back-up battery. I travel in a smaller SUV, so no gas / oil is a dream. I also back water fish quite a bit, where I have to drag my stuff a mile into the woods, for this, the super lightweight of the ION is a huge plus. Its an awesome auger and fits my style perfect, but may not fit yours. Let us know!