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Ice Auger

11/18/20 @ 11:36 AM
USER SINCE 8/28/05

Hello everyone, did a little search didn’t find too much, my friends wife wants to buy him an ice auger for Christmas present I was thinking battery powered possibly maybe 2 cycle also, I own a two cycle myself I don’t mind mixing gas and oil but I know my friends not too crazy about it, would you guys stick with a two cycle or would you go to battery operated route thanks,Steve


12/23/20 @ 8:18 PM
USER SINCE 12/19/10

N pike, totally agree, just something about hearing a 2 stroke auger firing up and running in the early hrs of the morning as your getting out on the ice!! I used to love dirt bikes too til they went 4 stroke, just not the same sound to em. I have an Eskimo Stingray 8” 2 stroke. Bought it new about 10-12 years ago and it runs great. I’ll use it til it dies and decide at that point what I’ll get next. I do like the StrikeMaster 24/40 volt augers but who knows what will be available a few years from now??

12/23/20 @ 12:51 PM
USER SINCE 12/19/11

Anyone know how much the lightest gas auger made nowadays weighs? I feel like with the better auger bits being designed now, they should be able to get away with a smaller 2 stroke engine. If they could come up with a <15# compact gas auger (with a functioning gas cap   ) I would probably consider getting one for mid season fishing. I hate having to bring out 4 batteries with me once we get 20"+ of ice. 

12/23/20 @ 10:17 AM
USER SINCE 7/24/01

Doh...the old Tecumseh had a problem yesterday.  Pull rope broke.  Fortunately, I had plenty of holes drilled.  Easy fix and I'll be back on the ice on Saturday.

When it has a catastrophic failure it's definitely going to be electric.  Probably another Strikemaster.  I'm sure this technology is going to get better and better every year.

So far, the ice fishing season has been going good, so I hope to keep after it.  Good Luck!

12/23/20 @ 8:57 AM
One old guy's opinion

If money is not an issue I would go with one of the high end Battery augers. Resale on the gas units is in the tank. Also the new gas engines are not as friendly as some of the older ones. I've had 4 gas augers first two were trouble free for years. The last two needed constant attention of one sore or another. 

If he is just a pan fisherman the the hand drill conversions are great. As one guy said if you're drilling in thick ice a larger bit is an advantage. It gets a little tough with a hand drill. Unless your a lot tougher than me.

I know there are a lot of opinions on this. This just one more to think about.

Good Luck 

12/23/20 @ 8:53 AM
USER SINCE 9/13/11

gillpillz - the disc on the eskimo pistol bit is just a little wider than the auger. I didn't measure, but my guess is around 10 inches.

12/22/20 @ 8:42 PM
USER SINCE 12/7/10

Anyone know how wide the disc is on an 8 inch pistol bit or lite flight??

12/22/20 @ 3:59 PM
USER SINCE 9/13/11
Lot of good input here and you'll get a lot of different opinions. To me.... it would depend on where I live. I spend most of my year ice fishing southern WI that doesn't get a ton of the choice for me is a Milwaukee hammer drill/ pistol bit. I think my opinion would be a little different if I lived further up north. I owned a 2 stroke eskimo for many years and it was extremely reliable, but I don't miss the weight or getting gas on my hands. Sure is nice having a great drill around the house. 

12/21/20 @ 11:43 PM

I have had the ION for 7 or 8 years now. Same battery. Love it. Light. Can change the 8 and 10 inch gas smell. Quiet. Starts every time. Drills tons of holes...It is slowing down a bit this year I've noticed. Just had the blades sharpened again, but I think the battery is not quite what it was. I've been faithful in recharging it after every use and in the off - season once.

But, I will say, there is a part of me that still enjoys hearing that gas auger from across the lake. It's really a part of ice fishing that just seems pure or right, I dunno, I just like the sound from a distance.. To those who are still using a gas auger, my hats off to you. There are definitely nuances you have to put up with that an electric just doesn't have. But, you know how to work it and it works for you. 

I had a gas auger once. First kidding, the whole rope pulled out. Then, I replaced the rope. But, It hardly worked. Died so easy. So heavy too! Had it worked on right away. Only certain retailers could fix it because it was the first year they used a new environmentally friendly engine. 2003 or somewhere around then. So, had to search to find a repair place. Never really worked well even after it was fixed. Gosh that thing was so loud too and I think it was leaking somewhere around the cap so I had to set it  just right.

Once, I was extremely close to literally throwing it in the garbage. It was at Lake Superior on a road trip and 36 inches of ice. Was not happy to have to use my back up hand auger. Eventually sold it at a rummage sale for about 50 dollars for a landscaper who used it to drill holes for posts. I know I had a lemon and most gas augers work a lot better than that...but let's just say that I didn't have a great experience. 

12/21/20 @ 11:44 AM
USER SINCE 7/20/09

I just sold my 3hp Jiffy this year because I hadn't used it in a while.  Felt almost bad, put in fresh gas and it started with one pull.  But that thing felt like a tank hauling it around.  Never had to mess with the carb, just good gas and it was good to go.  Never leaked out the cap either, sounds like a dry rotted rubber washer.

Used someone's 40v Strikemaster last year one trip.  Didn't make it to the end but came close.  I drill more holes than the average guy though and it was mid-winter.  Seemed fine if you don't drill 50 holes a day through thick ice.

My go-to now is my Strikemaster Honda-lite 4 stroke.  Quiet, light, starts easy.  I am that guy drilling hole after hole using a camera to find weed edges and all that, then hole hopping all over.  So I like to have something I don't have to worry about running out on me.  I know I can drill all day and never run out of gas, even multiple trips in a row.  

If you get a battery one, keep it charged.  Can't charge them right before you leave, but you can dump some gas in quick or bring an extra propane tank.  Watched a guy with an ION drill half a hole and start swearing because his battery was dead.  He came back with a gas auger lol.

I have a Strikemaster Lite-Flite for my Milwaukee drill too.  Just not a big fan of bringing my expensive non-ice fishing tools out in the snow.  I got it new for $50 so couldn't turn that down, its my backup basically.

12/21/20 @ 11:10 AM
USER SINCE 12/19/11

Everything with a 2 stroke motor is an easy fix, there's nothing to them. But there's always a fix at some point. To each their own, Id rather spend 2 hours on the ice than 2 hours cleaning a carb each year. 

For what its worth, my ole jiffy leaks just as much now as it did when my dad and grandpa had it, so at least it's not getting worse! Biggest benefit to the 2 strokes is you never go through enough gas to not end up with some old stuff to use for burning garbage each season.

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