With fall upon us you will soon be dusting off the old ice fishing equipment for this winter. You’ll check your tipups to make sure they’re fully functional. Maybe respool some line. Double check the ice sled and tent. And you’ll be sure to tune up your motorized ice auger. That is, if you have one. Many ice fishermen work with a hand auger. Whether the motorized augers are out of their price range or they just like to exert all that energy drilling holes in the ice by hand (who really enjoys this??), those anglers just don’t take the plunge into the motorized auger realm. Good news- over the past few years products have been introduced that will convert your cordless drill into an electric ice auger. But, as exciting as they sound, do they really work?
Having not had a chance to work these devices on our own personally (mainly because there is no ice on any lakes at the moment), all we could do was research the products a little bit. Fortunately, many ice fishermen are adept at posting YouTube videos and doing a simple search for Cordless Drill Ice Augers gave us many examples of these augers in action. Here are a few of our favorite videos we found:
In this video we see this angler use a $20 adapter. I looked around and found it here. It’s a little under $20 and for that kind of money, if you already own a hand auger and an 18V cordless drill, you’re drilling some decent ice fishing holes with little effort. Not a bad investment if you ask me. This guy was drilling in 4 inches of ice, but I’m sure this drill could drill down deep if necessary.
This angler was able to drill seven holes in succession relatively quickly using his cordless drill ice auger. That’s pretty amazing if you consider the effort it would take to do it all by hand. And keep in mind, you’re not talking about a super heavy contraption. Certainly not as heavy as a gas powered unit. So going the cordless route is really very practical for not only how inexpensive it is compared to gas models, but also because you won’t tire nearly as much as you would with the other units. I couldn’t find this exact adapter used in the video, but he did mention eBay. I did find an adapter similar to his here, just without the handle.
Here we see a true competition between a gas powered ice auger and a cordless drill ice auger. The gentleman using the cordless drill ice auger mentioned his adapter is a homemade contraption, so I’m guessing he’s not selling it anywhere, at least no where I can find. In any event, the concept is the same to the adapters displayed above. Clearly it demonstrates the torque of the electric cordless drill outperforms that of the gas engine drill. It relates to electric vs gas cars. You get more power when you accelerate to the wheels with electric because of how fast it supplies the power. I would imagine the same principles apply here.
In this video we see a test of the NILS Cordless Drill Ice Auger system. It took only seconds to drill through the ice. I’d say if that’s any indication, this drill works pretty well.
So it looks like so long as you have the right cordless drill (18v or better), you should do alright with a Cordless Drill Ice Auger. They’re lighter to carry, smaller than their gas and electric counterparts, and they’ll drill holes as fast or faster for you than any of the other options out there. If you’re one of those who uses a manual ice auger, consider some of these options for this season. Your arms will be happy you did.