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Thread: Cordless drills for ice auger.

  1. #1
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    Default Cordless drills for ice auger.

    Anyone else out there doing this? I'm seriously going to try it out this year.
    Clam researchers drilled through 700 inches on a single charge but that was using an 18v Panasonic litium ion drill that used a 3.3ah batter with I believe 400 lbs of torque. I'm going to get a 20v Mastercraft lithium ion hammer drill that has 375 lbs of torque. The only problem is that the biggest battery size you can get is 2.6ah battery and it only comes with a 1.3ah battery.

    I do a lot of panfish fishing and drill a good number of holes while chasing those little buggers around.

    So I guess my question is really for people with experience doing this and guys with a bit of cordless tool knowledge. Will the upgrade from 18v to 20v help in regards to the drop off in battery longevity? Also, will 375 lbs of torque be enough considering 400 lbs of torque rips through 16 inches of ice with a 6" auger?

    I know I could go the route of a $400 drill but I'm also trying to cut costs and still be portable. Not interested in having all my gear smell like gas anymore either.

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  3. #2
    Getting the hang of it

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    You need to keep the batteries warm and never use the hammer setting as that could change the angle of your blades.

  4. #3
    Swims with the Fishes

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    I tried it and for me it didn't work
    That rug really tied the room together

  5. #4
    Needs a new keyboard

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    Do you have a bike to carry a battery on? Or just power a drill from the 12v bike battery...If so it opens a whole bunch of options. Otherwise go propane (or Jiffy gas)

  6. #5
    Just starting out

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    I use my Cordless Dewalt 18 Volt drill. Depending on how thick the ice is, I can usuall get 4-6 holes drilled using two batteries fully charged (12-18" ice thickness). I wouldn't use an expensive drill to use for ice fishing.

    Definately do not use a hammer setting.

  7. #6
    Apprentice

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    my buddy has this set-up with a pretty standard cordless drill (nothing fancy), we swiss cheese the ice (12" thick on avg) and I actually have not noticed him change the battery once...maybe he has. he brings extra bats, but I am super impressed with this set up. soooo small and easy to transport.

  8. #7
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    I do a lot of holes with my drill.

    I have an 8" and a 4" auger. The drill is a high quality Snap-On. I am using Nickel Metal and Nickel Cadmium batteries.
    Lithium is OK, but there is a tendency for the protection circuits to trip out on them due to the very high sustained torque.

    On the 8" auger it is hard to hold the drill and it can chew 3-5 holes in 24-30 inches of ice.
    On the 4" auger you can drill lots of holes (we had an ice party with 24 guys fishing, I think i changed the battery once).

    You do NOT have to keep the batteries warm. Batteries generate a lot of heat when you use them, you may find that there is little power when you first start the hole, but the batteries will warm up and by the time you get to the end of the hole (where you need the most power) they are up to full power. We even left the drill out on the ice overnight once, -22C, worked fine the next morning.

    I also tried a cheap 18V "Job Mate" (piece of crap canadian tire drill). It would turn the 8" auger, but couldn't break it through. I was lucky to get one hole. HOwever, for the 4" auger it worked pretty good drilling about 12 holes (this is an old drill too).

    A 6" auger takes 250% more power than a 4" auger to turn.
    An 8" auger take 400% more power than a 4" auger.

    We pulled an 7lb bass through the 4" hole no problem last winter. Lots of other posts from last year on hole sizes and fish sizes.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #8
    Apprentice

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    I wanted to add that you MUST add a plate to the top of the auger, I had to make mine myself. The plate should be larger than the auger (so a 5 inch diameter plate on a 4" auguer).

    Why?

    Because when the auger falls off the drill, and it will, it will spin itself down the hole and be lost forever.

    You don't even realize the auger is loose on the drill since the pressure of the ice pushing back keeps it in place. Then the auger breaks through the ice and the downward force as it suddenly bites through will rip it right out of the drill chuck. The plate on mine has saved the auger at least a dozen times.

    The reason I say Metal is because my first plate was made of thick plastic and it shattered when it hit the ice (still saved the auger).

  10. #9
    Needs a new keyboard

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarkner View Post
    I wanted to add that you MUST add a plate to the top of the auger, I had to make mine myself. The plate should be larger than the auger (so a 5 inch diameter plate on a 4" auguer).

    Why?

    Because when the auger falls off the drill, and it will, it will spin itself down the hole and be lost forever.

    You don't even realize the auger is loose on the drill since the pressure of the ice pushing back keeps it in place. Then the auger breaks through the ice and the downward force as it suddenly bites through will rip it right out of the drill chuck. The plate on mine has saved the auger at least a dozen times.

    The reason I say Metal is because my first plate was made of thick plastic and it shattered when it hit the ice (still saved the auger).
    Great post and tip Steve...especially coming from an expert!..

  11. #10
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    Went with an 18v Litium ion drill with 480 lbs of torque. Batteries are thermal guarded for work in cold weather. Bonus feature. May go with the $50 clam conversion kit as then I won't need a plate to stop the auger from going down the hole as the clam conversion kit has you remove the drill's chuck and directly attach it to the auger.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FynLfcMFYTU
    Last edited by vanimal; December 6th, 2013 at 08:50 PM.

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