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Thread: Lightweight Ice Auger option

  1. #1
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Default Lightweight Ice Auger option

    I started looking for an auger I could throw in the airplane a couple years ago. Last year I found a Nils auger at the suggestion of a Facebook friend in northern Minnesota. It took a while, but Cabelas finally had one in stock at the end of the season last year. After using it once and realizing how easy it goes through the ice manually I decided to modify mine so I could try it with an electric drill. I welded an old piece of a worn out allen wrench to the top of the auger and tested it out with a Dewalt 20v LiIon drill. It worked flawlessly! I drilled at least 10 holes and reopened about 10 other holes and the drill was still showing a full charge when I left. With the small allen wrench only sticking up an inch or so I can also still use the manual handle if the drill would happen to wear out. I would highly recommend the Nils if you need a very good lightweight auger for any reason!

    Here is a video of it in action with about 18" of ice



    And here is a pic of the modification. The toughest thing was making sure that it was square and centered so it wouldn't vibrate when drilling...
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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    is that a 6 or 8 inch drill on that? When i was going to school in Ely, Mn we would go into the BWCA for trout and would have to hand drill through a few feet of ice since you cant use gas augers in there. That would have been awesome to have one of those setups.
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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Mine is a 6 inch right now, but as well as it works I wouldn't hesitate using an 8 inch. I think the 6 inch will be fine for any fish I have ever caught up here so far.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I bought my wife the 8" Nils master with the clam adapter plate.
    I also got her the Milwaukee brush less drill that has 1200" pounds of torque.
    It works great and required no modifications.
    I like the clam plate for its simplicity and it helps holding the drill if it were to catch while drilling.
    You can see it in this picture.

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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=kasilofchrisn;1527651]I bought my wife the 8" Nils master with the clam adapter plate.
    I also got her the Milwaukee brush less drill that has 1200" pounds of torque.
    It works great and required no modifications.
    I like the clam plate for its simplicity and it helps holding the drill if it were to catch while drilling.
    You can see it in this picture.

    QUOTE]

    That looks pretty slick! For my purpose of fitting in the cub it's size would be a little more of a factor though. I needed to keep it simple, small and light. I don't think you could go wrong either way though with a Nils auger.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    If you had bought the orange colored Nills you wouldn't have had to weld the drill adapter on your Nills.
    It comes set up to chuck into a drill and still has a manual handle.
    I like that by pulling one pin I can separate the auger from the drill and plate to hook up the manual handle should the need arise.
    I'm hoping the one we have fits in my dads Supercub either in the bellypod or inside.
    I'll have to check when I'm home from work again.

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    Anybody ever try the K-drill? There's a video of it on www.icefishingtoday.com. Looks like a slick unit. 10lbs total weight and that includes the drill.

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penguin View Post
    Anybody ever try the K-drill? There's a video of it on www.icefishingtoday.com. Looks like a slick unit. 10lbs total weight and that includes the drill.
    The Kdrill can be purchased either as a stand alone or combo (with a drill) and comes in both 6 and 8 inch models. a 8 inch combo model (with a drill) is just over 500 dollars.

    This unit was specifically designed for re-drilling out old holes in a stationary ice hut - which is why it comes with chipper blades.

    I like the concept and convenience of the cordless drill augers, but unless you already own a high speed/torque portable drill unit, your start up cost no matter which direction you go will be about the same as any quality power auger.

    As far as transporting in a small plane, I can understand the advantage. I've only gone ice fishing a couple times in a tandem seated cub, have always broken down my gas power auger and never had an issue. Guess it depends on how big the plane is?
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    They sold out of the kdrill's this year I heard.
    My wife wanted a cordless drill anyway and we needed a new one at home.
    So for me we now have a very nice cordless drill for use year-round and an awesome hand/electric auger.
    I'm not selling my power augers anytime soon.
    I bought the drill,Nills combo because my wife didn't want to use my power augers .
    She also didn't want gas in her SUV.
    But I'm working a crazy slope schedule right now so with this she can still get out fishing while I'm away at work.
    Her shoulders bother her so she also didn't want to hand auger holes.
    For me this isn't instead of a power auger but in addition to one.
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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Same thing in my case. I have a 10" Jiffy gas auger that I use at the cabin. In this case I just wanted a specialty auger that I can fit in the belly pod even when I am carrying a lot of camping gear, etc. This thing works perfect, was very inexpensive and I already had the drill. I needed something simple and it was the best option for me for sure. I wasn't expecting it to work as well as it did. I did a lot of drilling and the battery was still showing a full charge.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt'N'Photos View Post
    Same thing in my case. I have a 10" Jiffy gas auger that I use at the cabin. In this case I just wanted a specialty auger that I can fit in the belly pod even when I am carrying a lot of camping gear, etc. This thing works perfect, was very inexpensive and I already had the drill. I needed something simple and it was the best option for me for sure. I wasn't expecting it to work as well as it did. I did a lot of drilling and the battery was still showing a full charge.
    How much does the whole setup cost W/OUT the drill?

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    How much does the whole setup cost W/OUT the drill?
    A Kdrill without the drill runs about 250 for an 8 inch and about 200 for a 6 inch.
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    The Nils 6" was $129 on sale when I got mine. I looked again now and it looks like they are around $149 for the 6".
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I had the kdrill on my short list.
    I decided on the Nills drill combo because it also had the option of installing the handle for hand drilling.
    I believe the kdrill is drill use only. Correct me if I'm wrong Jedi.
    I know at sometime the batteries will be forgotten or somebody will forget to charge them.
    With the Nills I'll still have the worlds best rated hand auger as a backup so the trip isn't a total bust.
    I spent $179 on my 8" Nills and $65 or so on the clam plate.
    If I had to go it all over again I would buy the exact same setup I did.
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  15. #15
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I had the kdrill on my short list.
    I decided on the Nills drill combo because it also had the option of installing the handle for hand drilling.
    I believe the kdrill is drill use only. Correct me if I'm wrong Jedi.
    I know at sometime the batteries will be forgotten or somebody will forget to charge them.
    With the Nills I'll still have the worlds best rated hand auger as a backup so the trip isn't a total bust.
    I spent $179 on my 8" Nills and $65 or so on the clam plate.
    If I had to go it all over again I would buy the exact same setup I did.
    correct Kdrill designed for a drill only.
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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    I already had an eskimo hand-crank auger, and my dewalt 20Vmax drill. All I needed was the adapter to get the auger connected to the drill's chuck. My first, homemade, version of an adapter only worked for a few holes and then began to wobble too much. I think I paid 35 bucks for an adapter that works perfectly. Last time I went out I drilled over a dozen holes and the battery wasn't getting tired yet.

    That clamshell looks nice, these newer drills will twist your arm off if the bit binds up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    I already had an eskimo hand-crank auger, and my dewalt 20Vmax drill. All I needed was the adapter to get the auger connected to the drill's chuck. My first, homemade, version of an adapter only worked for a few holes and then began to wobble too much. I think I paid 35 bucks for an adapter that works perfectly. Last time I went out I drilled over a dozen holes and the battery wasn't getting tired yet.

    That clamshell looks nice, these newer drills will twist your arm off if the bit binds up.
    which adapter/extension did you buy for your Eskimo hand auger?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    which adapter/extension did you buy for your Eskimo hand auger?
    The Nimrod adapter, this site has it:
    http://www.scheels.com/shop/en/schee...2668-nimrod-w4

    One thing I've seen others raise concern about is the extension and auger escaping the chuck and losing it down the hole. There are a few tether options I've seen, but I don't have one. I've made sure the chuck is extra tight and have been careful when it's about the break through the bottom of the hole. Hopefully I don't send one to the bottom <fingers crossed>
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    I bought a k-drill this year and I absolutely love it. I got the six inch because they were all out of the 8". The 6 is a little small but you can drill holes overlapping each other so it's not a huge deal. Drilled 10 holes the entire length of the auger the other day and still had 66% on my 20v dewalt. I considered going with the Nills but the price of the blades discouraged me as I can buy extra blades for the K-drill for fairly in-expensive just have to make sure you don't forget the drill or batteries.

  20. #20
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    This is a very good conversation. The Nils "Trecker" which breaks down into three section and is adapted already for a portable drill is on average $223.00 most places. I have one and would not trade it for anything else but like everything fishing personnel preference comes into play.

    Home Depot across the USA had over purchased Makita 18V, 5 Amp, 1700 Torque 1/2 impact drills and drives with two batters and a charger for their holiday sale. I know our local store in MI still has one Combo kit left $249.00 this was a very good deal reg retail was $389.00. I was very happy that my Dewalt crapped out and I scored the Makita.

    Spare Auger Head for the Nils ran $108.00 and some change after shipping.

    When I head out I have two batteries, Spare Auger Head and my hand crank for the NILS. Well over 1000 holes in the ice and the Original Auger Head is still razor sharp unfortunately my brother in law found out how sharp and cost him 7 stitches.

    My Brother who owns the six inch Nils decided to see what the capabilities were with the 8 inch with two batteries at 5 degrees out through 12 inches of ice. Two Batteries got us 189 holes.

    If I was not using a Nils and would look at an ION which my father uses. Smooth a little slower than the Nils and has replaceable blades.

    http://www.ioniceaugers.com/ $479.00 on average has a 40V battery. You can also get in in 6, 8 and 10 inch.


    Again Great Thread! Dennis Nice Laker again!

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