I'm getting ready to make the switch to using a battery operated ice auger. I have done research on the topic, most of the info I found is a few years old. I'm starting a new thread on the topic because things have changed a lot in the last couple of years. I'm looking for any info on using battery-powered ice augers that will help with the switch go smoothly. Im leaning towards the k drill. What do you use? Do you take the battery off when out on the ice? Do you take cordless drills off the auger on the ice? How important is it to keep the battery warm? Any other information on the subject that would help someone get started with batteries would be great.
Using battery operated ice augers
Okay for everyone saying gas is not reliable how about you take care of your augers and run good gas and oil. As long as you take care of them they will last forever. I am from southern wi but I fish from here all the way to lake of the woods. I fished that cold spell last year when it was -35 and who do you think drilled more holes my gas auger or his ion?
Ha, gas will start in all conditions. Wrong! I fished in 28 below last winter for an ice fishing derby and my buddy brought along his gas auger because it was a 10 inch and we wanted to fish some tipup holes. The thing wouldn't start! We had to bring it in the shack and thaw it to get it started and then it barely ran! Luckily I brought my Dewalt drill with me with a six inch auger so we could at least fish out of the shack for a while. I just keep the batteries in a cooler bag with two hand warmers. Never had any problems with the battery not working! I've drilled 50 holes on one battery (5 MaH), so I usually don't even bother bringing that second battery with me anymore. My gas auger hasn't been used in 2 years and unless I go way up north or want to fish nothing but northerns I won't use it down here in Southern Wisconsin. Our ice just doesn't get thick enough to need a gas auger.
For very little money you can turn your old hand auger into a heck of a fast hole drilling machine. Drills about 3"/sec. Just get a heavy duty adapter rod like the MegaExtenDapter (full disclosure.. I sell these). Not for everybody of course but if you have or need a heavy duty drill and have a hand auger or can get one cheap from somebody, a cordless brushless drill coupled to a hand auger is by far the best bang for the buck. You can cut lots and lots of holes with a 5Ah battery.
I went with the 7 inch Nero, and find it to be a good compromise between between a auger sizes. Having a bigger hole is nice even if not needed, and I still get as many holes as I need in a day. The Nero cuts through so fast, it's amazing.
One issue I have is the chuck seems to loosen up every 4 or 5 holes, and the chuck is chewing up the adapter. I have a Milwaukee drill. Anyone else experience this.
Full disclosure? I'm a novice ice fisherman. This is my third year doing it, and second with my gear. I got the 8 inch K Drill along with the recommended Milwaukee Fuel Drill for it. Came with 2 5AH batteries.
I used a friend's Jiffy a couple of times prior to purchasing my own drill. Tough to start, smelled terrible, very heavy. Cut great.
The K-Drill is so light and powerful that it is crazy. Even my wife uses it to cut holes. While I've never run out of battery juice, I'm probably going to get the 9AH battery this year.
It's expensive, but well worth it. I really don't care about chipper blades versus shavers. I don't ice fish enough for that to make any kind of a difference. What I like is the light weight of the K-drill, it's reliability and it's ease of use. I've not had any issues with batteries not liking cold, but then again, the batteries are either in the heated shack, or in a truck. I never let them lay out in the cold.
I use insulated tip-ups is how I have dealt with that, but yes...I have had to squeeze some tank Crappies through shrinking holes when hopping around. good thing is if that that tight, they cannot swim back down that easily!
I can't believe someone is making argument about reliability of a gas auger... give me a break, I am pretty sure starting problems have plagued small engines since beginning of time. The benefit of a gas auger is pounding out tons of holes through thick ice without having to worry about recharging batteries if you are staying out on a lake for a whole weekend or fishing back to back to back days where you cannot recharge them fast enough.
The only issue with that BigMusky is that holes freeze tighter and tighter, especially when cold. So a 6" hole can become 4.5" fairly quickly when it's sub zero. I'm not so worried about getting a fish through as I am cutting/scraping a leader on the sides of the hole.
I know everyone is on this battery craze with all the new electric augers coming on the market the past few years. Honestly there is only one very very reliable auger out there and that is a gas auger. Gas augers do not freeze or get cold like batteries and propane they run in all weather conditions and there is always gas stations even when you are in the middle of no where. Gas augers are also getting lighter and faster with smaller engines. I still have two big gas augers the Eskimo Z71 Shark and the M43 Mako but with the mako i get about 100-120 holes out of a tank of gas in 12-16" of ice depending on if I leave it running between holes when drilling tip ups etc. Sorry if I make anyone mad but thats my two cents about augers. Batteries do not like cold and everyone knows that and propane freezes
" I know I can get by with a 6” for panfish, but I need the bigger hole for walleyes"
You will never catch a walleye that will not easily fit through a 6" hole. A 30" walleye with the girth equivalent to a 6" hole would weigh over 30lbs
I have an 8" Kdrill with the MKE 2704, it can do everything. Drilling all over the Mississippi backwaters, local lakes for Pannies, and Lake Erie for jigging Walleye.
I have the 5.0's and was worried and so got a 9ah when it came out. Start with the 9 and seldom have to switch to a 5.