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Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! => Equipment => Ice Augers => Topic started by: Waubay Fisher on Dec 15, 2004, 05:58 PM

Title: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Waubay Fisher on Dec 15, 2004, 05:58 PM
I'm looking @ purchasing an auger for my 2nd season on the ice instead of borrowing one from a friend and was just wondering about a couple things first.  I can't make up my mind if I should go with a hand auger or gas auger considering recent lousy ice conditions in eastern SD and the unforseeable fact that we may not have a very long stable ice season...

Question 1:  Majority of the lakes I fish get from 10-20" of ice depending on how cold it gets, wind, snowfall, etc...  I've been reading on here lately that for 10" of ice or less a hand auger is ideal.  My question is - how long would it take to drill a hole through 12-15" of ice with the Nils Master 8" hand auger for anyone that owns it?  Or would a guy be better off just going w/ a gas auger for anything over 10" of ice?  I would like to keep cost minimal however I also don't want to spend 10-20min. drilling a single hole in the ice when a gas auger will have it done much quicker...

Question 2:  Has anyone had any problems with the Jiffy Legend Lightning 2HP w/ D-Icer Armor & Ripper blades?  This is the auger I will likely be getting if I go with the gas ones... I've heard from other anglers & also read here on IceShanty that Jiffy's are all around probably the most reliable auger there is... although I have heard a few conflicting stories too  ???


Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Waubay Fisher on Dec 15, 2004, 09:33 PM
Slipbob - thank you for replying to my post!

I just cannot seem to decide.  On one hand - I really like the idea of a gas auger and the ease of buzzing through holes in a jiffy, however on the other hand, the reviews I read of the Nils Master hand auger just seem much more reasonable for the cost involved and especially if I don't get out that much this year.  Then again - I keep thinking if I DO get out a lot this year if I'm lucky and in the years to come, it might be a good investment

I guess what it comes down to is an almost unbearable decision to have to make!!! lol...

I appreciate the advice though!  Additionally, it sounds like they (hand augers) don't take near as long to crank out holes as it seems they would and with what you said that only reinforces that idea, so maybe I'll just go with that.  I am in reasonably good shape, so I'm not concerned about being out of 'wind' - I just want to get to my fishin' :)

Thanks again - your advice will definately be taken into consideration when it comes to making my decision!  I'll let ya know what I go with when it comes time to order :)
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Thor on Dec 15, 2004, 09:59 PM

I am also considering purchasing a gas auger.  Currently, I have a 5" Lazer and an 8" Lazer hand auger.  If the ice gets close to 12" or more, I usually bring along both augers (with one interchangeable handle) to drill my holes.

When the ice gets thick, the 8" Lazer is enough of a nuisance that it's worth carrying the 5" as well.  I use the 8" to drill holes for my tip-ups, and then I use the 5" to drill my jigging holes for panfish and trout.  I really hate working up a sweat with the 8".

From what I hear, the 8" Nils probably provides a lot easier drilling than the 8" Lazer, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad.  The 5" Lazer is relatively effortless compared to the 8".  My dad has a 6" Lazer, and it is also much more effortless than my 8".  It's amazing how much more effort is required by adding a few inches in diameter.

If I had to do it all over again, I would still own a smaller diameter hand auger, but I would've used the money spent on the 8" Lazer (plus extra blades) to put toward a gas auger.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: ---ThinIce--- on Dec 16, 2004, 07:22 AM
First of all how much time are you going to spend on the ice and how often are you going to use an auger.I currently own both a gas auger and hand auger. And I love both of them.My gas auger is a Jiffy 30 8" it is 16 years old and it starts first pull every time I have never had a single problem with it. I take good care of it so it will allways work when I need it to. My hand Auger drills holes very fast and with little effort, this auger is a Strike Master Lazer 8". It all really depends on the Ice conditions 8-12" of ice I will useally just take my Lazer with me when the ice gets thicker then I pull out the Gas auger. But if you purchase a Lazer  hand Auger I don't think you will be disappointed at all. There is also another thing you should look at how much do you want to spend there is a big price difference between the two.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Phoenix on Dec 16, 2004, 07:47 AM
Thin Ice, for what it's worth I've been ice fishing for about forty years now. Started with a spud bar, graduated to a spoon type hand auger (alright as long as super sharp), Mora hand auger, Jiffy 3 hp (knee breaker handle), and now a 2hp Jiffy. The Jiffy's okay but I get tired of lugging it around, especially when togue and salmon fishing where the holes are so far apart. And, it is a machine and thus prone to break down from time to time. After hearing the guys here brag about the Nils Master hand auger I ordered one and am awaiting it's arrival. I figure if it works as well as they say it does I can leave the power auger home until the ice gets three feet thick. Other than cutting ease the thing that sold me on the Nils is that you can buy the hand auger, and then get the power head that attaches to it later if you want (just get the right version). And even if you choose to power it, you can still use it as a hand auger if there are motor problems.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: JerryofWNY on Dec 16, 2004, 03:16 PM
I graduated to the 8" Nils last year after using an 8" Mora for years. With the Mora, I found I often had to stop for a breather. Obviously I'm not a marathoner. Also with the Mora I found I had to exert a considerable downward pressure. With the Nils I need very little or no downward pressure and can cut through 24" without a breather. I'm not trying to set a record for how fast I can cut a hole, but just do a comfortable, steady pace. I am more than happy with the Nils. It fits the bill for this 62 year old.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: iwannabfishn on Dec 17, 2004, 09:55 PM
Invest!! Get a gas auger, and you'll find yourself wanting to get on the ice alot more!! It's just as much fun drilling the holes as it is fishing!! You will want to search out the fish more, as you can drill holes much faster and without any effort. Instead of 4-5 hand drilled holes, whynot 10- 15 holes??? I think it makes for much easier fish searching. Also you might want a sled for your gas auger as well.
Just my thoughts,  iwannabfishn
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Waubay Fisher on Dec 18, 2004, 07:22 PM
Thanks to all for replying - I haven't had much time to check the forums in the last few days!

I think I will likely go with the gas auger.  Likely will get the Jiffy i initially posted about.  I've used a gas auger before and loved it - I just wasn't sure what would suit my needs.  On the other hand - the hand Nils having the ability to switch to the power head sounds like an attractive idea too.  I have heard that the Nils run expensive though for the powerheads, so I'll probably just stick to the Jiffy.

I essentially just wanted to get a few peoples input on hand vs. gas and it sounds like hands aren't much of a sweat at all - but I still think I'll stick with the gas as I don't mind lugging an extra 25lbs... not to mention it would be a great investment for the future...

On a side note - weather is starting to get cold here in eastern SD right now!  Next week we get some artic air - can't wait to get out on some good ice!!!
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: MADTOM on Dec 29, 2004, 05:59 PM
I use a 7" lazer. Less effort than an 8" and still a sizable hole for some decent fish. Over 12" of ice it does become work but remember a hand auger always starts on the first pull.
I saved a few guys day when they came out with a power auger that wouldn't start. You can always upgrade.
Just something to keep in mind.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: ybone on Dec 29, 2004, 07:37 PM
Just bought a brand new Eskimo shark. I also own  Mora and nils hand augers.Two years ago I had a strikemaster lazer stolen out of the back of my truck. Since then I haven't been out much. Where I fish we have a lot of ice to go through to hit water, usually at least 3' at the end of the season. My point:when it becomes work its not fishing. If the ice doesn't get too thick then the hand auger is o.k., if not you will probably stay home and watch fishing shows instead of getting out and making your own stories. Buy what you can and budget for what you want next year.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Kodiak Commando on Dec 29, 2004, 08:03 PM
Hey Waubay, how is the access to your Lakes? That question relates to your question. I have a gas and and a a hand auger cuz i have road access to lakes but have to hike to many others and have money to burn. If you can only buy one and have to hike to most of your lakes by all means get a hand auger. Those power augers are pretty heavy to carry and can even wear out a young pup like me and some of my friends who do lots of hiking.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Mr.G on Dec 29, 2004, 11:49 PM
I wouldnt be without my Jiffy (starting problems and all).  Even drilling through 9 inches of ice its worth it to me to pull the handle, start it up and go - and it truly will make fishing more enjoyable with early thin ice or even later thicker ice.  I would keep a hand auger on hand in case your gas does break - or find a friend who has a gas you can borrow - so you can keep fishin.  Invest in the gas - a good long term investment if you want to continue ice fishing for years to come.
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: Waubay Fisher on Dec 31, 2004, 05:46 PM
I posted somewhere in another thread that I went with the Jiffy Stealth 2hp auger.  Anyways... broke it in right before Christmas with a few tanks of gas @ 24:1 mix.  Ran it the last 3-4 days @ the lake fishing and I gotta say it was awesome using it.  I definately am glad I went w/ the power vs. the hand auger.  Most of the area lakes I fish (however have only fished one primarily on ice) have road access - so having to carry things isn't much of a concern Commando.  If nothing else - I have a good sled I made to pull all my ice gear on if I can't drive  ;D

But - I still like the idea of having an extra hand auger along in case the gas doesn't run for some odd reason.  Once I get some extra $$$ I might invest in that too  ;D
Title: Re: Hand vs. Gas Auger ? for newbie
Post by: bushbunny on Jan 02, 2005, 08:16 PM
I have run a Tanaka, the predecessor to the Nils for 18 years.  It gets used like it is stolen, not owned.  I pack it in my pickup box all winter long, just in case that I might have to dig some holes on the lakes that I pass in a days work in northeastern Alberta.  It continues to serve me well!!!(2 pullsand running)  Mix Opti2 with premium gas, and you have the ultimate combination of easy starting engine, and  quick digging time!!! ;D ;D