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goldenbobby

Ion x or Strikemaster lithium lazer

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Update:  I spoke with ION support this morning about the auger tip freezing up.   They wanted more info (temps, ice thickness, snow depth...) which I provided and pictures that I had taken.   They are currently going over this with their engineers to see it they can recreate it.   I was very happy about their customer service - friendly and completely understanding of my issues and willing to send me a old auger bit style so I could use it until they get this resolved.   At this time I'm still concerned but I really do feel that they will make this right - just have to give them the time to address it.

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I am looking forward to the tech support explanation.  

 

My money is on what has previously been posted, the auger was set in the snow.  

 

Believe it or not, the blades warm up during cutting and are wet, and when the cutting head of the auger is set on snow, it freezes up like this.  

 

To resolve this, I use the blade guard to gently tap and scrape off the snow and ice build-up from the bottom of the blades. 

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KUDU, They have excellent service don't they, and the nicest people to talk to anywhere. All augers have freezing problems in the severe cold but, like you, that bottom plate worries me. 16 inches of snow expected Sunday so I may never get to try mine for a while.  

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Kudu63: I have a feeling that using the old auger (or a redesigned style) will be the only way to permanently resolve the issue. If the Ion X came with a standard-style auger head, it would be an excellent tool. I hope they go in that direction. 

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I have last years model,it also has a ring around the bottom. Only its green. Is there any other differences that make it ice up easily.

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  Also, there is  a ring on the bottom that reduces the blades from digging into sides of the old hole again keeping it on track.  If you’ve ever used a ringless auger design in re-drilling a hole, you have undoubtedly experienced when the flutes of the auger shaft violently pull you downward to the hole if the blade breaks through before making the old hole round.  A ring can reduce that effect.


That is why they have the ring on there.. 

 

My eskimo has the ring too but only time I ever had a problem with ice build up is when it was -27 and I just laid it in the snow

It still cut the next hole after it froze and all the ice busted off that sucks the ion is having problems

eskimo.jpg

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just thought you guys might want to know what my choice was.  I ended up buying an ION X.  I can see how in real cold temps the blades can get filled up with ice.  But with that being said so far I am glad I bought the ion.

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That Eskimo is the same ring as the Ion and the old Ion and neither ever had an ice problem, I wonder if the difference isn't that ice sticks to cast easier than steel? (and partially user error) We've only seen the icing problem from a couple people so far but they obviously had a ton of ice on their drills.

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I think your right as far as sticking to the cast and I think part of it was sticking it in the snow or slush the temps I was fishing in was 30 and ice was just barely started to stick on it but chipped off easy so I am sure just drilling would have done the job

 

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Update:  I heard back from ION and they just sent me a new auger.  They claimed they had a batch of augers that did not have the correct finish on them.  I haven't used the new one yet as I just got it so I hope that resolves the issue.     I will try it out this week and report back on how it works.

 

Here is ION's quote:

A  limited batch of Ion X augers have a finishing treatment that may cause ice buildup on the bottom of the auger under certain conditions.

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On 12/17/2016 at 5:26 PM, BassThumb. said:

 

 

When it's really cold out it's hard to keep any auger blade area clear. I never seem to have much of an issue but I have chipper blades and a gas Mag 2000. A few things I do when I finish a hole Is rev it up and work it up and down in the water of the hole and then pull it out of the hole pretty fast keeping the rav's up. This flings off the slush and helps clear the hole a bit. Then I never set it on the ice or snow but place it back on the auger holder on the sled. That lets the water drip off and if the suns out it helps melt off any slush by the time I move to drill my next holes. Works well for me.;)

IMG_1644.JPG

20161217_113805.jpeg.cce7a6fc5c45687c962e1ed667a82f4b.jpeg

Edited by leech~~

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2 hours ago, kudu63 said:

Update:  I heard back from ION and they just sent me a new auger.  They claimed they had a batch of augers that did not have the correct finish on them.  I haven't used the new one yet as I just got it so I hope that resolves the issue.     I will try it out this week and report back on how it works.

 

Here is ION's quote:

A  limited batch of Ion X augers have a finishing treatment that may cause ice buildup on the bottom of the auger under certain conditions.

 

That's interesting. I hope it resolves the issue as well.

 

I see there have been quite a bit of comments about "user error" leading to the issues I was having with the Ion X icing up. I assure you that I was doing the things that you're supposed to do with an auger: spin it after exiting the hole, setting it on a patch of clean ice, waxing the blades and flights, even facing the blades toward the sun to dry off. None of these were helping.

 

When the auger would ice up and stop cutting halfway into a hole, the blades and flights were spinning in a 4-12" thick pile of freshly drilled ice chips and slush. This would stick like glue to the friction-warmed blades and flights and coat the entire bottom with a thick layer of ice. It also gave people the impression that I was setting the auger in a tall snowbank after each hole was drilled. Admittedly, it did look like that, but that was not the case.

 

I would be surprised if my auger was not one of those with the defective coating. It was literally impossible to keep it ice-free while fishing, simply drilling holes through 5" of ice. I had a Jiffy and a Strikemaster gas before the Ion X, and rarely had issues that I couldn't fix in under a minute under extreme conditions with a couple taps from a wooden mallet.  I now have the Lithium Lazer and it has yet to Ice up in the slightest. I treated all 4 augers the same way. 

Edited by BassThumb.

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The painted vs non painted centering ring might be the "finish" they referenced?

 

Something was different than past models.

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4 hours ago, Jim Uran said:

They should be usable just like any other auger without having to worry about them icing up so darn easily. 

Agreed. Especially since they're the most expensive auger on the market. We shouldn't have to baby them to prevent them from turning into an ice sculpture. 

Edited by BassThumb.

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Kudu, is the ring on the new one black or painted? Can you visually see any difference?

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14 hours ago, Hawg said:

Kudu, is the ring on the new one black or painted? Can you visually see any difference?

The new one is black and appears to have some finish on it but I already had the old one boxed up so I really couldn't compare.  I know I should looked at them side by side but I didn't.

 

I did run into another issue when trying out the new auger they sent me with the correct finish.  I drilled about 4 holes and did not notice any real ice built up and then after one hole the auger would keep on spinning.  I noticed that the top switch on the handle was stuck down so I had to tap the handle to release it.  It did this for the next 3-4 holes and then finally it just quite working altogether.  So I sent ION another email - got a call this morning and they are sending me out a new switch that I can install.  I sure hope this is an isolated occurrence.  Their customer support is very understanding and willing to make this right.  Just hope this is my last issue.

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I've had the first one and the last years reverse one, then I just bought the new drill for the centering point. I've only used it twice this year in about 12-14 inches of ice. Mine have been absolutely foolproof up till now and that's the reason they get such high grades from previous owners. I'm curious if I got the bad coating also because this new drill just didn't seem like it was as smooth as the steel one from last year so I called them and left a message too. This one also stops my auger a couple times on each hole where the same head and the old drill never did that. That black cast iron just doesn't seem smooth like the steel did and I'm thinking cast just doesn't resist binding in ice like steel did. Unless they have an answer I'll probably just return the drill I bought to Reeds and figure out a center point, or live without it. I will say they have been very good about returning calls or answering the phone and taking immediate care of any problems. Thanks for the reply.

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It's nice to hear that they have good reviews on customer service, those are the folks that usually maintain business. I'm going in to the electric auger market before the end of this ice season, I love all of the choices out there. 

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On 1/2/2017 at 9:58 AM, BassThumb. said:

 

I now have the Lithium Lazer and it has yet to Ice up in the slightest.

 

I agree...... I've cut about 50 holes with my Strikemaster Lithium Lazer ( refurb )  I picked up this fall and it's worked flawlessly, haven't treated any different than a Jiffy 30.

 

Mike

 

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Here's a tip that we used to use at LOW to help to eliminate ice build-up on our old Strikemasters.  Our rule was this: after you drill your last hole, drill a half hole to clear the slush off of your blades.  Reversing the blade just gets your knees wet.

 

This weekend I headed up to my parents to go ice fishing.  I got up there Fri. at 2pm, wanted to hit the evening bite, and didn't have time to charge my batteries.  I do remember that I had them fully charged when I put them in the garage two years ago.  I'm thinking I'm going to get two or three holes tops.  I DRILLED 17 HOLES ON A BATTERY THAT HADN'T BEEN CHARGED IN TWO YEARS!!!  I'm liking these new Lithium Ion batteries :).

 

 

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Just bought Ion X a week ago. My blades freeze up after just a couple holes. Sent out email a bit ago. Lets see if I get a new auger too.

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4 weeks ago I purchased the Strikemaster Lithium 50 volt with a 10.25 chipper auger. I have used the heck out of this thing in the last 4 weeks and I have no complaints.  The head is very compact which makes it great for storage.  When I'm finished drilling the 6 holes in my house I remove the auger and place it in my truck and the head stores inside the cabinet in my ice castle. I don't charge it after every trip to the lake. Depends on how many times I move the house. It drills very easy and very fast.  Is it better than a Ion? I have no idea,  but I give it a 5 star 

20170108_104019.jpg

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15 hours ago, BMartin1 said:

Just bought Ion X a week ago. My blades freeze up after just a couple holes. Sent out email a bit ago. Lets see if I get a new auger too.

In my prior posts I mentioned the issues I had with my ION X.  I will say that ION stood behind their product and had address both of my issues (auger ice up and switch not working).   In each case they sent me replacements that I received within 2-3 days.  They sent me a new 8" auger - so far no freeze up on mine.  But in fairness I haven't been doing a lot of hole hopping and putting it to a real hard test with cold temps.  But so far I've seen no noticeable ice build up.  

 

As far as the switch on the handle not work - they sent me a new switch kit - however taking it apart there are several springs in there that are not easy to get back together and went flying when taking it apart.   It did it on removal of the existing one and taking apart the new one they sent me so it was quite frustrating.   I call ION and said I had enough - they sent me a new power head to replace my old one and I just returned mine with the broken switch in their box.  ION also paid for all shipping as well.  That is great customer service and am quite happy with them.  So for about the past month I have not had any more issues.

 

In my perm house I drilled six - 10" holes and with the reverse feature pushing all the slush back down the holes.  I would say I barely had a half pail full.  That is nice considering how much slush there is from a 10" hole.  (note: I have both the 8" and 10" auger bit).

 

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They replaced mine also and it works as advertised now. I had the first generation Ion also with zero complaints. There is a huge difference in the new drill and the one that caused their problems. I second the Great Customer Service! Everybody screws up, they stood up and fixed it. 

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