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Thick ice, go to auger gas or cordless

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now that we are in the midst of peak ice I am curious to see how many people are still using or reverting back to gas augers instead of their cordless setups? Those that have been using cordless drills how are they holding up?

 

This is my first season using a cordless. I am using a Makita XPH07Z hammer drill with 2 5AH batteries  paired with an 8" lazer hand auger. It cuts great and effortlessly and they typically get me through a full day on the ice with no issue. Now that ice is 20" in spots I still find myself using my Jiffy model 30 though.

 

If I am running and gunning and have truck on the ice I take the Jiffy. If I am pulling a portable and walking or on the ATV I take the cordless. I think the cordless would handle the load but I am at the point still that I don't want to risk  burning up a cordless when I can just use gas.

 

I move a lot during the day and just move from spot to spot chasing schools of perch. I am sure the cordless would handle the job but still a bit hesitant to go all out with with like I do a gas auger.

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Gas all the way.... my area has 23-30 inches and I drill a TON of holes no battery for me a tank of gas can drill way more holes and a lot less worrysome then battery.

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I’ll add that if I’m coming into an area with other people fishing around prime time I use the electric even outside to keep the noise down.

 

One other finding from last weekend: with no extension (brain fart to leave it home) we had to mark the wheelhouse holes from inside, then pull ahead before drilling and backing the house back over the holes.  The SIL grabbed the gasser and I grabbed the electric to drill 6 holes.  By the time the gasser warmed up enough to cut, he was able to get 2 done to the 4 with the electric (Ion).

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5 minutes ago, Wanderer said:

I’ll add that if I’m coming into an area with other people fishing around prime time I use the electric even outside to keep the noise down.

 

I wish more people thought like you and would take that into consideration more often :D 

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I am sticking with my electric drill and clam plate. I bought 2 9 amp batteries and I can get about 45 holes per battery. I have a charger that plugs in the truck and also have 3 3 amp batteries if I need them. So far I have not ran out of power on the lake, but had to save a few guys who had issues with their gas augers. My poor lazer mag just sits on the hanger waiting for someone to use it. 

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What are you guys seeing for amount of holes you can drill on a charge? I’d like to invest in a nice battery unit in the next few years but what’s best?! Clam drill plate, k drill, nills, StrikeMaster electric, ion? I currently have a SM chipper lite and today I did about 25-30 holes through 28-32 inches of ice with a splash of fuel in the tank left but being a chipper it wears you out. If I can get a drill that does about that many or more holes I’d be happy. 

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i switched cuz the drill is so light and easy on my back and no pulling.  25 to 30 holes is no prob on a battery for my nills and the kdrill with the 9 amp probably much better. 

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You might get 25-30 holes out of one charge on  40 V Ion in these ice conditions but I wouldn’t count on any more than that.  The Ion X might do better.

Edited by Wanderer

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Yeah that’s great but the piggy bank wouldn’t appreciate that I like the ion I’ve used before them before there nice but can’t justify spending  $600 on an electric when I could just by a SM lazer pro and drill as many holes I want. I like electric but amount of holes on a charge is tough to come by without spending a $1000. 

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1 hour ago, AlwaysFishing23 said:

Yeah that’s great but the piggy bank wouldn’t appreciate that I like the ion I’ve used before them before there nice but can’t justify spending  $600 on an electric when I could just by a SM lazer pro and drill as many holes I want. I like electric but amount of holes on a charge is tough to come by without spending a $1000. 

 

For sure.  The biggest reason I ever went electric was for cutting holes in the house.  Dollar for dollar I don’t know if you can beat gas for cutting shear numbers of holes.

 

The improvements made in the past couple years with the cordless drill set ups has been amazing though.  If I had to buy electric again I’d give a good hard look in that direction. 

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As I write this I am on a ND lake with my kdrill and 750 ft in torque hammer drill.  I have 5 amp/hr batteries and going through 28” of ice I am getting 20 or so holes per battery. 

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So I’ve always fished 8 inch holes but really why? Most Anything can fit through a 6 inch hole anyway. I was thinking maybe for next season of getting a 6 or 8 inch I drill and putting it on my 1.5hp solo. Right now it’s about 24lb which is light but with the k drill it would be lighter yet. My question is would I be getting any more speed out of a k drill vs regular SM chipper bit? And then I can invest in a nice Milwaukee fuel and there we go.

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From my experience one of my only complaints with the Kdrill is how slow it drills. It more than gets the job done but my laser 8” is faster.

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Perfect that awnsers my question. Why spend $250 when I could spend $150 on a new lazer bit and cuts faster, it’s more durable but still about same weight and a chipper but. Really a no brainer. What are you seeing for drilling time with that 8 inch lazer?

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If you want to get through ice fast and are going to re-tool for it completely, look at a Nils before making your final decision. :2c:

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I can't think of one reason to ever have a gas auger again... I get around 20 holes per battery this time of year with a lazer 7 inch

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Just my 2 cents....

 

I bought an ion when I built the wheel house to keep the smoke plume out of the living quarters. I have had nothing but good luck with the system. It has always drilled all the holes that I need both inside the house and out hole hoping. You do need to keep the battery warm, but that is Li-Ion for you.

 

BUT.... my dad has a severe issue with the Dewalt salesman at his shop. He has pretty much every yellow tool that you can own and was wanting to try a drill setup. I thought it was silly to have both a K-drill and ION in our arsenal givien that both of us also have gas augers, so I decided to pick up an IceMaster adapter just to see what the electric drill craze is all about. I pulled my ION bit off and put it on Dad's brushless 20v high-end Dewalt and was very impressed. It really cuts nice with that ION bit, very smooth with no jerking. I have a hard time believing that the K-drill would be any better, but I have not compared the two side by side. For kicks, I decided to try the drill and adapater on my Strikemaster Mora..... YIKES! It wouldn't take you long to burn up ANY brand drill with that Mora.

 

To compare the two setups... the ION is definitely nicer for reopening old holes or widening holes that have narrowed over night. This is mainly due to the width of the handles versus the amount of torque that it takes to reopen holes. On the other hand, the drill is better at getting new holes perfectly centered on rough ice due to the fact that you can start a hole slowly with the variable speed of the drill vs the "on or off" capability of the ION head.Out on the ice, I think that drill head vs ION head performed the same.... Yes, the drill is a bit lighter, but the ION will do more holes (3 AH ION @ 40v / 5 AH Dewalt @ 20v).

 

SO.... now what are we going to do? I was able to find someone close to me that was upgrading their legacy ION bit for the new ION-X (primarily for the centering point). I was able to pick up the bit for $45. Now we have both a complete ION  and drill setup, and only have $70 invested into the drill setup since my dad already owned the drill itself. 

 

Sorry for the long post, but I have a feeling that there are going to be many others upgrading their ION bits and selling their old legacy bits, and from what I have tested it really seems to work well on drills, especially for someone that already owns a drill and is on a budget.

 

 

 

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 I never disliked my original ion but once I tried the new drill with the centering point I ordered the drill immediately. 

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1 hour ago, Hawg said:

 I never disliked my original ion but once I tried the new drill with the centering point I ordered the drill immediately. 

Did you put the new bit on your old head?

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Strikemaster Lithium 40v is the ticket.  Not as light as the K-drills, but it tears through the ice and don't have to worry about smoke in the house.  Best investment I've made in a while ice fishing.

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I have a the clam drill plate and clam 6 inch auger and dewalt dcd985. I am getting about 45 holes per 9 amp hour battery. If it is warm out I can get 50-55 holes. Make sure you get the extension, because with out it you will not get through the ice in places. I have a bad hand from it getting crushed and the drill does not vibrate like the gas auger allowing me to cut more holes. 

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