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Thread: Hand auger question

  1. #1
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default Hand auger question

    I'm looking at Eskimo brand augers in 6"-7"-8" for under $40, and an 8" Strike Master for about double that.
    Anyone have any input? Ease of blade replacement, durability, performance?
    I am leaning toward the 7" Eskimo unless I get better advice....


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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I have a 7" Eskimo and I wouldnt give 75 cents for another one. Drilling through more than about 6" of ice is murder, you'll be worked into a wringing sweat by the time you get through the ice this time of year. I hear that the Nils brand hand augers are great but I've never used any other than my Eskimo which I hate. YMMV

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    Any hand drill bigger than 6" takes some serious wheaties eatin if there is more than a foot of ice. A six inch Strike master would do a decent job for most things except big lakers. Caught plenty of decent pike (up to 35") and charr (upt o 30") through a six inch hole when I lived in Bristol Bay. Could punch through up to two feet of clean ice without too much of a cardiac, but did not do much exploring once I had my lines set.

  4. #4

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    I used at 8" eskimo until i upgraded to a power auger and it cut very well with sharp blades, lasted for alot of holes, easy to replace blades. tried to hand sharpen them once but messed them up so bad doing so that i couldn't drill into the ice at all. I raced a friend with a power auger once drilling through 24" of ice and beat him though i had new blades and his were dull. Hand augering gets a hell of alot harder if drilling in overflow.

  5. #5
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Just checked the nils out online and they look like the bomb according to reviews, and they are pretty much out of stock everywhere too, so that says something as well.
    I just want an auger that won't break my tiny little bank, and I want one I can get In the near future. If we really dig ice fishing well get a better one next year.


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    Strikermaster Lazer works better than others. Couldn't tell you why.

    There's also a way of mounting to a cordless drill instead of a gas auger. Would probably get 2-3 holes out of a battery with thick ice.

    Just make sure you put a cross bar on the bit so the auger doesn't fall through.

  7. #7
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Dave I wish I had a Nils. I frequent the biggest icefishing forum on the net and the Nils is always regarded as the best there is bar none.
    That being said you wont find one for $40.
    Also keep in mind you cannot sharpen the Nils. To change the blades means you change the blade assembly. It isn't a traditional 2 blade with 2 screws to hold each blade. It is basically the bottom portion of the flights becomes the blade.
    The blades are part of the auger and they are not as simple as blades on other augers.
    You must send them in for sharpening. If I remember correctly there are only 2 authorized sharpening centers in the US. One in Minnesota and I believe one in New York State. They are a curved blade design that are easily ruined if not sharpened correctly.
    That being said I have a Mora hand auger you can have for free. I believe I even have a new set of blades I will throw in on the deal.
    I got it for free years ago and really just need to get it out of my storage shed. I will dig it out tomorrow and I can give it to you on Wednesday when you are here if you are interested. I believe it is a 7" auger but I really can't remember offhand.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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  8. #8
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Sounds awesome Chris, we are really looking forward to meeting you and getting out on the ice. Anything you desire from Homer?
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  9. #9
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Not really Dave. I get down there often enough that I usually have what I need from there.
    I got it for free anyway on a deal when I bought a used portable iceshanty and the guy wouldn't let me leave without taking it and I already had one.
    I need to get rid of some stuff anyway so it is a win win for the both of us.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    i got a blue one off craigslist for 10 bucks, beats the heck outa the old crowbar and chainsaw i was using before.
    Semper Fi!

  11. #11
    Member click's Avatar
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    I have used the most all other hand augers and currently have a 6 inch nills. I am going on 3 years on mine an it still cuts like a knife. Even in ice thats 30 inches i can get a hole cut in less than 2 minutes perty easy. I wish i had bought a nice gas auger though, if your fishing a new lake and drilling 30-40 holes a day to figure it out and find fish it will still wear you out. But all things considered the nills really is in my opinion the top of the line in hand augers. Sometimes it's true the old saying you get what you pay for.

  12. #12
    Member EMoss#83's Avatar
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    yes, go straight to the Nil's,there is no comparison, just think -this time next year we can get them at Cabela's
    "f/64 and be there"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by click View Post
    I have used the most all other hand augers and currently have a 6 inch nills. I am going on 3 years on mine an it still cuts like a knife. Even in ice thats 30 inches i can get a hole cut in less than 2 minutes perty easy. I wish i had bought a nice gas auger though, if your fishing a new lake and drilling 30-40 holes a day to figure it out and find fish it will still wear you out. But all things considered the nills really is in my opinion the top of the line in hand augers. Sometimes it's true the old saying you get what you pay for.
    Yeah having many holes makes ice fishing a lot more fun. The worst is when you have one or two, set up shop, and then don't move even though there's no fish. I don't have a power auger yet, but fish yearly with some guys in L48 with power augers and basically all the gear you need and it's way more fun. And no shanties because they make you stationary.

  14. #14
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    I came home from Christmas this year resolved to buy a power auger and a Vexlar, but with how much trout and charr move, is a Vexlar even practical here?

  15. #15

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    I love my showdown , dont no what I did without it. depth ,and fish present is a nice thing to know.

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    Member Andy82Hoyt's Avatar
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    I sure love mine. I use it to find the depth at first. I think it can tell you a little about the bottom, whether itís solid or has weeds lying around. Itís frustrating other times when it tell me there is a fish below my lure and the darn thing will not bite. Im looking forward to my camera thats on the way now!

  17. #17
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    If you are using a hand auger, it helps if you have a partner on the other side, twice as much drilling power.
    "Grin and Bear It"

  18. #18
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    back around 1977 when I moved up here I had an auger. it was a HAND, nothing special about it but the cutting EDGE had 2 blades 180 DEG apart
    the cutting edge was like shark teeth an these teeth could do a job on the ice , was a 8 inch hole an it would bring all the ice chipes out of the hols as you puled the head out the only problem I had was on the thickness of ice had to put an extention in there " about 18 inches " ] then I needed to stand on a chair , or tail gate of my old station wagon to do the frist foot of ice traided it to some one up the valley back then
    SID

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    As someone who has drilled many, many holes through the ice by hand, I wouldn't get anything bigger than a 6" auger. You're not going to catch anything that won't fit through it- or you're not likely. You can fit some pretty big pike and char through that 6" hole. When it gets to 3'+, you'll be hating yourself if you have a hand auger over 6".

    You can drill a couple holes through thick ice with a 6" auger no problem.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  20. #20
    Member Big Country's Avatar
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    My 8" Strike Master Lazer does a great job. I've cut holes through 30" of ice before.Replacing blade requires an Allen wrench.This is the only auger with which I have experience, so I can't provide a comparison.

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