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Electric ice auger options
I went electric quite a few years ago and opted for the clam drill plate with a cordless drill. The older version Clam required removal of the drill chuck and mounting the drill to the plate which is not convenient when you need to use the drill. Solution: I bought a bare tool on new ebay for $40. Yes, the bare tool cost me less than a new battery. Anyway, I have never removed that drill from the clam and I can use the same batteries for all my cordless tools. I know getting into drill brands becomes a Ford-Chevy argument but I researched quite a bit and ended up with a high torque Ridgid 1/2" hammer drill from Home depot. It came in a set with an impact and 2 big batteries. The deciding factor? Lifetime guarantee on tool and batteries. I expected the drill would need to be replaced due to the high torque punishment of drilling 6" and 8" holes in the ice but after thousands of holes drilled the last 10 years the drill is still good as new. However one of the batteries went bad and was easily replaced under the lifetime warranty. My whole setup including a new 6" auger cost me less than $200 and is still working as good as when new.
(02-12-2023, 07:13 PM)JeepNut Wrote: So unfortunately I just bought the Milwaukee M12 drill with batteries and charger. So I went and looked up the prices on what some of you have:
M18 drill with two 5AH batteries.  $300
Clam plate with gear reduction.    $170
Nils 6" auger.                              $140
That comes to $610 which is about in the middle of the dedicated augers.  Maybe I'll have to watch for some used parts.

I bought the M18 fuels a couple years ago on a Father’s Day sale it was $299 and had a 3rd 5Amp battery included. I paired it with my Eskimo hand auger just taking the handle off and the auger was $60 but they are often discounted at end of season. The clam plate is only $70 so total it’s more like $430 but the drills you’ll use year round for everything around the house so it’s a no brainer! I’ve drilled 20+ holes in an outing and it’s like cutting through butter everytime.
I had just verily bought a new 10" gas auger, which I totally loved the year before the electrics came out, it actually starts easy and I've never had an issue with it, except it's a gasser.... (noisy, have to mix fuel and make sure it doesn't spill, heavy and etc, etc...) Well, the next year I seen an electric and it didn't take me long to do the switch, since then I haven't used the gasser once, even though I love the 10" hole, but the electrics are so much more convenient and easy, I won't go back to gas... I actually need a drill the rest of the year so for me the drill made a lot of sense, I know the Ion's are incredible, but it more depends on if you can afford to have a $600 tool just sit there between ice seasons... I also think it's better for the batteries to be frequently recharged so using the drill all summer I think is better than leaving a unit sitting unless your better than me at keeping up on a trickle charger... Anyway I would recommend making sure you have the high torque model drill... I started with a DeWalt 20V drill, which was great around the house, but I sort of smoked that first drill because it didn't have the power it needed to turn the augers... So I went to the Milwaukee M18's and totally love that drill... I did change from an 8" auger back to my Nils 6" auger just to be easier on my drill... It did fine with the 8", but I'd just converted a hand auger to be used on the drill and it worked, but not as slick as the Nils, so now when I fish Bear Lake or somewhere with the possibility of big fish, I just drill two holes close together and spud out the points between and it works great... If you want more torque I have a friend that uses the Milwaukee mud mixer on his ice auger and it works great if you want the tank mode... You don't really need it, but it will turn things without worry of smoking the motor... It's all up to your wallet and what makes the most sense and value to you.. I'd love an Ion if I had money I didn't need to do more than one thing, but I have to dual use my dollars where I can.. Helps me justify the purchase a little easier anyway... I don't think you need the Clam plate gear reduction, they work fine without and I hardly ever use the side handle, but once in a while I probably should, it can kick back pretty hard at times when it catches... Anyway hard to make a bad choice unless you go gasser... They were great in their day, but that has passed and I'm not a green nut, it's just better technology and doesn't scare the fish... Good luck on your decision.. Later J
When things get stressful think I'll go fish'en and worry about it tomorrow!
Another vote for a high torque drill. Smaller than a dedicated auger and with the tent stake bit, putting in those ice screws is a breeze. That alone makes drills a better choice for me. Don’t think an Ion will screw in the stakes. I don’t like 10 inch holes. Too easy for kids to put a foot through it. 10 “ probably better if going for lakers. My Milwaukee M18 is the hammer drill, has a removable side handle. I don’t use a gear reduction plate, just a StrikeMaster lite flite 8”. It has a plate so the auger can’t fall thru the hole. Only ever used one battery. Also bought a Milwaukee light that uses the same batter for nighttime fishing. With auger detached, fits in my sled better than an Ion or other dedicated auger. Plus I have a killer drill the rest of the year. I’ll bet the Ion’s tolerate moisture better than the drills. I keep my drill covered if it’s snowing.
One note someone mentioned an impact drill for attaching auger to, that in my opinion would be a bad idea. The worst thing you can do to an auger blade is bang it on the ice. You will roll the edges over and it will not cut through ice after that has happened. It can be super sharp but if the edges get bent the blade won’t cut. Same thing if you sharpen auger blades you should never sharpen the bottom edge you can destroy the pitch angle, it can be super sharp but will not cut through ice. Keep blades covered fir safety and to protect never bang on the ice, just set it down and use even pressure and let the motor (or arms if manual auger) do the work.
time spent fishing isn't deducted from ones life
Lol!  I bought my MAKO gas Auger in 2004.  Used it pretty regularly till 2015.  Then it kind of stayed home and I've always just used whoevers auger I go with.  The guy I go with a lot, has experimented with multiple augers and setups, and I have confidence that whatever he is using is likely the best, or at least he's done enough research on it that it is GOOD. 

We were at Utah Lake a few weeks ago...and watched a guy fight with his gas auger.  I decided to sell mine sit it's just been sitting in the garage for 5 years.  I put it up for sale for $150...had a buyer...wouldn't start and noticed all the fuel lines rotted...sold it to him for $50.  It ran great on starting fluid, and new blades, so he got a deal.

I then purchased:
A Milwaukee FUEL 18V brushless, with two 5 amp batteries. (As recommened by my good ice fishing friend). ($225 Ebay)
The 7.5" K-Drill Auger. ($189 Scheels)
Cost me about $400 total.  A little less since I sold my prior auger for $50.

First off...I will say, the entire setup is about a third of the weight of my old gas leaking, no fighting to start it...etc.  Excited to use it.

My instructions on the KDRILL said:  DO NOT use the "HAMMER" setting.  Put on low speed (1 of 2 speeds), and "DRILL" mode.  Pull the trigger fully (don't vary the speed) and don't push it down.  Just let the big dog eat.

Now I just need to go try it out...
I used to N.ot have E.nough T.ime O.ff to go fishing.  Then I retired.  Now I have less time than I had before. Sheesh.
(02-11-2023, 04:17 PM)JeepNut Wrote: I am getting older and often don't have anyone to go ice fishing with so my nearly new gas auger has not been used much. I have been looking at the electric options that are much lighter. The last two times up to Rockport I have been able to see two different electric systems in action. Someone took pity on me one time when he saw my hand auger and he used his 10 inch Ion auger to drill my three holes. I have never seen anything go through the ice that quick. The second time someone had an auger made out of his Milwaukee drill hooked to an auger blade. I used it to drill a hole and it worked well but not as well as the Ion.  I have been reading opinions on the two types of setups and the main advantage of the use your drill method is that you have a tool to use when you have projects to do rather than a setup that gathers dust most of the year. I have a couple of Milwaukee M12 tools, one is a drill and the other is an impact driver. The impact tool has way more torque than the drill so why don't people use impact drivers for ice augers ?  If I have to buy a very powerful drill to turn an auger the price of the drill plus a couple of batteries gets close to the dedicated auger price. Any opinions ?

I used to have a K-drill auger and a Milwaukee hammer drill set up. USED to because the auger became permanently stuck to that drill. Despite all my efforts, I could not separate the two, so I disposed of them. I like my new setup. It's the 3rd generation ION alpha 8-inch electric auger. It works flawlessly. The battery lasts a long time. It is a bit heavy as I purchased the metal auger bit versus the plastic one. My two cents...
Went with the M18 mud mixer attached to my 8" nils. Awesome combo and havent burned thru a 5ah battery on a trip yet.
So, just as a comparison for anyone who says they have ruined a drill motor turning an ice auger.  I was in Sportmans Wareshouse and the 8 inch Eskimo auger say they require a drill tat has at least 725 in/lbs of torque.  The Milwaukee Fuel 18V drill has 1,200 in/lbs of torque for about $300 typically without a battery or charger.  The FLEX drill/driver from Lowes has 1,400 in/lbs of torque for $179 with with two two batteries, a charger and hard case (Yes, they are on sale RIGHT NOW at Lowe's ( FLEX 24-volt 1/2-in Brushless Cordless Drill (2 Li-ion Batteries Included and Charger Included) in the Drills department at )
You can compare those two torque numbers and cost to Makita, Ryobi, etc.  But turning an 8" auger with a drill that can handle nearly double the torque is like cutting through hot butter.  I just wish the auger companies sold 10" hand augers like they used to.  I had a 10" Stikemaster with the shaver blades and they are now extinct.  I had a brand new set of the 10" shaver blades that I tossed this past summer.
With all the great ideas in this thread, I decided to convert my hand auger to be use with the cordless drill.  I made the adapter out of a piece of stainless rod.  Here is a couple of photos of the fruit of my labor.  I know most people like the Milwaukee M18 hammer drill, but most of the hand tools I have is Dewalt.  I have several 5A batteries and was thinking of buying a Dewalt hammer drill to use with the batteries I already have.  If anyone use Dewalt drill, I would like to know the model number that works with an 8” auger.

Thanks in advance.
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I don't have a Hammer drill but I do use the Dewalt drill for drilling holes in the ice. No problems for me for over 5 yrs now but I do use a 6" Nils. I agree with the member that said using a hammer drill would be a bad thing to use with an ice auger, as it can damage the blades. What is the white part of your adapter plate, is that made of metal or is it teflon? Looks like you did a good job making your adapter plate.
Just to clarify. I don't think any of us, hammer drill owners, use the hammer drill setting. It's just the Milwaukee m18 hammer drill has the highest torque. We only use it on the regular drill setting.
(02-16-2023, 01:05 AM)wiperhunter2 Wrote: I don't have a Hammer drill but I do use the Dewalt drill for drilling holes in the ice. No problems for me for over 5 yrs now but I do use a 6" Nils. I agree with the member that said using a hammer drill would be a bad thing to use with an ice auger, as it can damage the blades. What is the white part of your adapter plate, is that made of metal or is it teflon? Looks like you did a good job making your adapter plate.

The plate is made out of Teflon.
Thanks for all the responses they have given me lots to think about.
(02-16-2023, 04:35 AM)Troutster Wrote: Just to clarify. I don't think any of us, hammer drill owners,  use the hammer drill setting. It's just the Milwaukee m18 hammer drill has the highest torque. We only use it on the regular drill setting.

Correct. That is true of most brands. The highest torque, lowest rpm models are usually hammer drills with a selector switch to enable the hammer function. (For drilling concrete and masonry) It would be foolish to use that function on ice and probably ruin your auger.

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Here's a picture of the Clam plate I use with my drill. It makes your drill just like a gas auger with the motor in the center and both hands on either side. There is a lever to activate the trigger. The biggest advantage for me is spreading the torque to both hands. I have sprained my wrist more than once with high torque drills used with one hand and even with the secondary handle screwed in but I've never hade even a close call with the clam setup. It will bind the drill before it sprains my wrist because I have both hands away from the center of torque. Also prevents auger from going down hole and has the pin and attachment included so no risk of losing anything down the hole. Mine cost $50 ten years ago but I see they are now $100.
I also experienced when the auger catch the ice, the drill will give your wrist whiplash.  I found to remedy this problem is to hold the drill with your left hand when drilling.  Hold the drill to your side.  If it catch on the ice, the drill will push against your body and won’t hurt your wrist.

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