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Author Topic: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion  (Read 2110 times)

Offline Splattypus

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Preface: I got a gift card for Fleet Farm and planned to buy a battery powered 8in auger. The 24v strikemaster and the ion alpha in 8in are comparably priced at their current sales prices.

I was initially thinking a drill combo, but til I get a drill and, and an auger, I'm going to end up spending $100 more, easily.  While I need some power tools, I do t need them now and can wait.
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I've seen how well the 40v strikemaster performs. It's impressive. Haven't seen an ion out to use in person, but the videos suggest they are equally impressive, if not more.

Comparing the differences is a little tricky though, between the brands, and even between the models within the brands.

I have gleaned that the primary difference be the ions is the alpha has a standard steel bit, the alpha+ has composite. Equating to a savings of about 4lbs and the expense of about $120.

The strikemaster has the lite-flite on the 24v, the Lazer auger (I do t really know what that means, in application). The 24v is a slightly small battery with less output, equating to about halved performance based on advertised inches-per-charge. They also appear a bit bulkier, and several pounds heavier than their respective ion counterparts.

What else am I missing? Which has better performance, longevity, and customer support? Where would your money go (hard-earned or ill-gotten)?  If I get a strikemaster, the bits are easily transferred to a drill setup right?

Cost is my primary focus, portability closely behind. All I really know is I'm done with with my manual auger. Hundreds of inches of holes this season have taught me I'm getting too old for this nonsense.
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battery of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #1 on: Feb 12, 2023, 10:55 AM »

Here's some  older (ion gen 2) comparisons I found that might be helpful to others in the same boat as me.

https://www.fishingduo.com/ion-ice-auger-vs-strikemaster-your-guide-to-picking-the-best/

https://www.fishingduo.com/strikemaster-24v-ice-auger-a-definitive-review/

The 24v might suit my purposes and budget the best... I hate to sacrifice battery life and general performance, but 30-50 holes a day is still a lot. Though by mid/late season it's not unrealistic to be drilling through 20 inches of ice around the MN metro area, much less if I were to take trips up north
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Online hardwater diehard

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #2 on: Feb 12, 2023, 11:33 AM »
The ION Alpha seems to be the BIG BAD DOG for now ...note some are 10" augers ...I was impressed



&t=6s

Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #3 on: Feb 12, 2023, 11:35 AM »
Yeah I was blown away by the ion 10s. It's way more auger than I personally need, but holy cow those things are incredible
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline Buckshots

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #4 on: Feb 12, 2023, 05:19 PM »
Don’t get the 24v strikemaster. They’re disappointing. Super slow.

Milwaukee 2904, 12ah battery, and 8” SM lite flite bit will drill faster than any auger you listed. I can easily get 1200+ inches of ice with that setup. The biggest positive on it is the 5 year warranty. The batteries have a great warranty too. Much better than the 1 year on all other setups.

I will say, that 10”ion is impressive. That’s a lot of ice.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #5 on: Feb 12, 2023, 06:37 PM »
I've seen so many people people have problems with their 2904 specifically, though, that I'm leery about making it my primary auger component. Plus, between drill and dedicated auger unit, the price is approaching that of an ion.

But... Fleet Farm's app crashed and screwed me out of my order and tried to jank my $50 gift card. So maybe I end up sitting on it for a while and do end up with the ion or the Milwaukee setup.

One of the strong arguments for the 24v strikemaster is basically I'm buying the lite-flite at a slight markup, with a power head that can work until I buy a proper drill kit (which I need, not just drill, but saws and stuff too)
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline HWeber

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #6 on: Feb 12, 2023, 07:33 PM »
I've had great experience with my 24v, we get a bit more ice than you so I have 3 batteries but usually only get into the third on a bad day where we're drilling out multiple lakes. That said it doesn't compare to the 40v or alpha for inches drilled. It's positive is portability

Offline Buckshots

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #7 on: Feb 12, 2023, 07:39 PM »
No issues with my 2904. This is the first I’ve heard about issues with them.

The lite flite can be picked up for 150 or less right now. They are on sale at multiple places. 2904 bare tool can be found for 100 bucks. Most I ever got with my 24v was 540”. SM even sent me a whole new unit and battery. Same results. And it drilled like crap. Super slow. Put that same bit on the 2904 and it rips! I couldn’t believe it. Same price as Ion, maybe, but I’ll take the 5 year warranty.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #8 on: Feb 12, 2023, 08:14 PM »
Yeah real hard to argue with the Milwaukee warranty. Plus bigger battery capacities means less items carried with you out on trips
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #9 on: Feb 12, 2023, 08:31 PM »
I've had great experience with my 24v, we get a bit more ice than you so I have 3 batteries but usually only get into the third on a bad day where we're drilling out multiple lakes. That said it doesn't compare to the 40v or alpha for inches drilled. It's positive is portability

The portability is really what puts this in strong contention for me. And obviously price.   Even if the battery only lasts 20 or 30 holes a day, that's still more than I can drill by hand (and still have energy to fish).

I'm typically fishing 6-18inches of ice, any more and I'm usually with someone with a gas auger. On a good day, I'm 1-8 holes, bad day is probably... Well I dunno, as long as the battery lasts? Bad days I'll probably use all the juice I've got with me
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline burgerunh

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #10 on: Feb 13, 2023, 10:23 AM »
If you "need" a drill as well I think you are crazy not to bite the bullet and buy the milwaukee 2904 with one of the lightwieght 8" auger options (k-drill, strikemaster, eskimo, etc.)

Keep your eye on the "deals" thread.  Guys are always posting deals for the milwaukee drill.

Love my k-drill / milwaukee combo!

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #11 on: Feb 13, 2023, 10:35 AM »
Well, 'need' is maybe an overstatement, but I really want a decent set of power tools. I have one sad little black and decker drill and nothing else. So at some point, the plan is to buy a good combo kit, but it doesn't need to be right now. Still, you may be right. But that's a bigger cost investment than I was planning on. And until I buy a house with an actual garage for working on projects, I'm not really going to be doing much to justify owning the power tools besides just owning them so that one day I can have projects
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #12 on: Feb 13, 2023, 12:05 PM »
A dedicated ice auger is a uni tasker ..a cordless drill set up is a multi tasker .Price is debatable ...with so many options ...add sales..discount codes..end of season clearance deals can be had .. my choices for a dedicated auger would be the SM 40v  light flight and the ION alpha Plus both in 8 inch ...I lean a tad toward the ION because of flat/shaver blades. As for drills I am a Milwaukee fanboy..but other drills work just fine given they have the right specifications  ...the after market composite augers drill units are very good and do just a good of a job as the name brands ..and those can be had for $120 or less .. I do like my Clam Plate ..others not so much .
Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline Ice_Fly_Guy

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #13 on: Feb 13, 2023, 03:36 PM »
I'm not so thrilled with the performance of my 24V Strikemaster 8".  It is slower than expected and I don't get as much ice drilled per battery as they claim.  If I could do it over again I'd go Ion, for sure.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #14 on: Feb 13, 2023, 04:01 PM »
How much ice are you drilling and how many holes do you average with it?

I just got to working on my taxes. Not filed yet, but they look to be very encouraging so far. So if I can put it off, I may end up with the best of both worlds- an ion alpha plus and a good power tool combo kit. Then I can have any setup I want.

... If I can demonstrate the slightest bit of patience....
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline joesp

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #15 on: Feb 16, 2023, 08:16 PM »
I have ran drills on clam plates, strikemaster 40V and strikemaster 24v. Out of all of them my preference is a draw between the 40v and 24v. The drills on clam plates or with handles just seem to be abusive to the drill after drilling alot of holes in a row. Overall the way I look at all this is the dedicated ice augers were engineered and tested for ice fishing where as all the drill kit ideas people are finding out they work but maybe could fail but that is a risk you take and if truly the drill manufacturers could determine you used these for ice augers my guess is they would not honor warranty but sometimes it is easier to pay warranty on a cheap overseas made drill than risk loosing a customer.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #16 on: Feb 16, 2023, 08:28 PM »
I ended up pulling the trigger on the 24v. There were a couple factors. The first- the price. I got it for $249.42 cost to me (sales, rewards, gift card). Next, it's an 8in lite-flite that can be adapted for a drill at barely higher than regular retail msrp. Third, it's light and small; easy to pack and carry, and store. 4th- dedicated auger with a warranty. Replacement batteries aren't any more expensive than good drill batteries, either (especially if I modify a $60 greenworks battery to fit).

And lastly it's what I need without being more than I need. It'll punch more holes in a day than I can drill by hand, even if it falls short of advertised numbers. And it was available now.

The auger bit gives me room to change without having to buy all new everything. And it was such a good price. Not to say I couldn't have pieced together a drill setup for a comparable price over months of bargain hunting. But I'm going fishing with it on Saturday, no waiting on shipping or running to several different stores.

I'm very excited for it. I'll be sure to report on my findings of it. I'm sure it's targeted more at guys who usually only get 6-15 inches of ice and a few weeks a year to fish, and fish mobile. Save for the ice thickness, that's basically me.

Besides, if I buy top of the line now, what will I buy next year?  ;)
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Offline joesp

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #17 on: Feb 16, 2023, 08:45 PM »
Very nice Splattypus. You won't be disappointed with that choice. I still have both a 24v and 40v and use the 24v more due to ice where I live averaging less than 16". Plus if you watch you can find strikemaster batteries for 24v on sale for $70.  Plus if you don't like it you can sell the powerhead separately and but the bit adapter and drill if you want to try that out but like you said takes a good amount of bargain hunting.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #18 on: Feb 16, 2023, 09:00 PM »
Anything is a step up over my 6" hand auger, so no matter what, I'm happy for an upgrade.

Hopefully I get to a point where I can have the time to travel to thicker ice, at which point I'll probably need something a little more powerful, but I'm pretty firmly in the electric camp no matter what, and really excited to see new developments over the upcoming years. Whether it's drill combos or proprietary units, the last few years of innovation have been very impressive, and as battery technology continues to improve I'm sure things are going to be really exciting
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

Online hardwater diehard

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #19 on: Feb 17, 2023, 07:07 AM »
Splattypus good luck with your purchase ...it is nice to have options...but the choices can be daunting . More holes more equals  fish ...move move and more move .
Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline Ice_Fly_Guy

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #20 on: Feb 17, 2023, 08:27 AM »
Good luck with the 24V!  Like I said, I would get the Ion if I could again.  However, I am overall pretty satisfied with the Strikemaster.  I had a Jiffy Pro4 prior to this, and I am sure glad I don't have to lug 42 lbs around to drill.  The weight difference alone allows me to drill way more holes than I normally would, just due to being less fatigued.

Offline Splattypus

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Re: Battle of the battery powered augers: strikermaster vs ion
« Reply #21 on: Feb 17, 2023, 05:14 PM »
I'm really stoked. I'm not expecting this to be the be-all-end-all, I know there will be room for improvement over the years, but this is a huge step up for me from my current digs, and it's going to be such a quality of life improvement.

Kinda last on my list now is bigger sled, then an actual proper big house that I can post up in for entire days with company. And better rods, but that's a given. Never have enough rods.
A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.

 



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