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Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! => Equipment => Ice Augers => Topic started by: badger132 on Feb 13, 2021, 10:10 AM

Title: In praise of the Pistol Bit
Post by: badger132 on Feb 13, 2021, 10:10 AM
I have worked my way through a series of ice augers- from spoon augers to Eskimo and Mora shavers, to a Jiffy gas auger, and finally, Lazer and Nils hand bits converted to drill operation. This year, I sold several of my bits, and found a 6 inch pistol bit on sale. Since the ice is getting thick enough that my 5 inch Lazer is getting close to its limit, I took out the new bit and drilled a lot of holes last week. I have seen other reviews comparing speed, and would agree that the Nils and Lazer are both faster- to be fair, I run a 4.5 inch Nils and a 5 inch Lazer, but it is clear that the Pistol does not cut as much ice per turn. I would guess that is is only about half as fast. I also noticed my battery was lower at the end of a day, which you would also expect.
What I did not expect was how easy the drill was to hold. There is a significant chance of the Lazer catching at breakthrough, which you have to be ready for. There is none of that with the Pistol Bit, probably because of the ring at the bottom of the cutting head, which would not permit that last partial turn of ice clinging to the side of the hole and catching on the flights.
The drilling torque is also less- possibly because the blades are cutting the ice finer than the re-purposed hand bits, but also perhaps because of the flexible plastic flights. I noticed a difference in the jerking and jamming when cutting layered ice- The Lazer used to catch and jam the metal flights into the layers, and the torque transmitted to the drill. The flights jam in the side of the hole and force the cutting bit down, where it jams into the ice and that torque transmits to your arms.  I damaged my drill handle over several seasons to where it will not stay on the drill body, and last year I hurt my wrist drilling the slushy layered ice in March- it still hurt in July. This was so smooth and easy I would have no problem letting my wife drill with it.
Finally, the weight is just amazing. It is larger diameter and longer than my Lazer, but weighs far less- even less than the 4.5 inch Nils. The drill and battery weigh more than the bit.
The plastic components also seem to gather and hold less ice than steel.
I wanted to make sure those considering just  buying an adapter for a steel flighted bit they already own consider the advantages of the plastic flights and bottom ring around the cutting blades that I have not seen highlighted in reviews. I would bet you could get by with a smaller drill than you might need for a pistol bit too.