View Full Version : hand auger

11-09-2013, 06:47 PM
looking to get a hand auger? whats the best bang for my buck?

The Dad Fisherman
11-09-2013, 10:10 PM
Nils....if you want the best.
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11-10-2013, 06:20 AM
this one for $9 seems like it would do the job

11-10-2013, 11:43 AM
this one for $9 seems like it would do the job


11-10-2013, 01:38 PM
bring on the ice with that bad boy

11-10-2013, 02:40 PM
You can get a new Strikemaster Mora for less than $50. I bought a 6". Unless you are after really big fish, I'd buy a 5". The smaller the hole, the less work it is to drill a bunch of them.

11-10-2013, 05:04 PM
I was looking for something around 5". our gas auger is 8" and you could lose a small child down one of those holes.

11-13-2013, 11:28 AM
Unless you are buying a new one, check the blades for sharpness.
Nothing makes for a tiring day of drilling than a dull, pitted and chipped blade.
I have a 8" Eskimo hand auger that I replaced the blades on (after more than a few years and more than a few thousand holes) and it "cuts like a hot knife thru butter".

I would also suggest doing some upper body exercising to strengthen those muscles you will be needing to cut multiple holes. I will average between 10-18 holes depending on the fishing conditions.

Keep in mind with the new blades I was able to cut through 12-18" of ice in 10-15 seconds. I have a power auger too for when the ice gets really thick and I need to move often during the day.

11-23-2013, 08:39 PM
Nils....if you want the best.
Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device

Yup. Check out vids on YouTube. I had one but went back to power.
Posted from my iPhone/Mobile device

The Dad Fisherman
11-25-2013, 09:01 AM
I'm looking to get a nils this year...I have a Strikemaster power...overkill for early ice

12-09-2013, 12:44 PM
I've had a strikemaster Mora for years and tell myself each year to get a good auger, finally listened to myself last week and got a Nils. Going to be a good year.

12-16-2013, 09:04 AM
The 8" Nils handauger made its debut for me on the ice this weekend. The double offset handles took some getting used to, but by the tenth hole I was able to get the correct technique down. Fished 3 different lakes/ponds with various ice conditions. The first was a small pond that had an inch of snow/ice crust followed by 3.5" of black ice. The second was 3.0" of black ice with no crust, and yesterday the last was a 4" mixed of black ice on the bottom and the top 2" was a mix of snow and ice. The auger cuts awesome using a slow steady turns and very slight downward pressure, just enough to keep it cutting. The difference is that the entire bit is one single welded piece as opposed to two separate blades. The auger is heavier than other brands. I found that once the bit broke through I did have to plunge it down then ease it back out since it was leaving a little hangnail of ice that the blade was getting hung on without a plunging it. I drilled aprox. 80 holes over the two days, and don't feel fatigued or sore in my arms like I normally do from other augers. I do feel like if there were 5"+ of ice the auger would have done better as the hole would help the auger from wanting to dance during the last turn or two after poking through. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 as a rating for ice 4" thick or less. Will update this post when I get on thicker ice.

12-17-2013, 09:32 AM
the only complaint with the nils is it goes from cutting awesome to wont cut anything quickly.. be very careful of sand or tainted ice...these augers ( Nils ) are far less tolerant to contaminated ice than other brands...

12-24-2013, 11:32 AM
Before you throw in the towel (figuratively) check the blades.
Check to see if they are dull which could be a possibility.
Also check to see if the blades are seated tightly, since even a little looseness could change the pitch of the blades making them not cut.

I picked up a cheap 6" Bass pro model, and when I put it together at home (I wanted to see what it looked and felt like) I noticed that the screws on one blade were not fully tightened. I would not have been prepared to fix that out on the ice without a lot of cursing and fuming!

Hope the issue can be solved at home and you won't have to shell out $$ for another auger.

12-24-2013, 01:43 PM
Looked like there were about 5-6 guys fishing on balpate. I checked hoods pond the edges were still soft maybe by the weekend it will be solid. To bad ill be down for about a week or 2 with knee surgery, I torn my minicus (sp) for the forth time and the usual bone chip removal. Be safe and merry Christmas.

01-16-2014, 12:28 PM
I got a 6" mora this year. Light and works great. The cold looks to be coming back next week, let's hope it hangs around this time.
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01-16-2014, 01:21 PM
It gets very tough to cut holes with the 8" nils by hand if it gets a bit dull or if the blades get at all out of line by being banged around on the truck or on the ice. I was very careful with mine and it was great for a year or so and then it became a real challenge just getting through 6-8" of ice. I got the tanaka engine for it now and it cuts great with that. I also picked up a 5" nils a few years ago which is an awesome hand auger for staying mobile and jigging panfish/trout.

Sea of Atlas
01-20-2014, 06:54 PM
I have an 8" Strikemaster Swedish Mora and a 6" Nils, both work great and have their place. The 8" is really more for lake trout and a transducer cable--the 6" for panfish and long walks.

Frank DeLuca in Minnesota is highly recommended for sharpening Nils blades as he has been doing it a long time. Never head to use the service yet but you can mail your blades to him for expert sharpening. I did buy new blades for the Mora and it works just as good as a Nils.

Finally bought a gas auger a few years ago when I was hand drilling holes through two feet of ice but still use my hand augers 75% of the time.

01-22-2014, 11:08 AM
I had a nice workout this past weekend fishing up in the lakes region.
Hand augers can cut in thick ice conditions, but it's a real workout with ice that is over a foot thick.
I had the handle extended to the max on my eskimo and ended up leaning over it when I finally punched through.

Luckily I only had to cut 2 holes to start and then again when I moved around, or my arms would be completely shot!

Awesome conditions and a few decent fish were caught on traps and jigging rods.

I may need to get the blades sharpened as I did notice a little chipping (from when I bottomed out on an earlier test hole).
It still cuts, but it could be better/easier with perfect blades.

Just doing some test fishing for the big derby next month.

The Dad Fisherman
01-22-2014, 11:52 AM
I was going through 12-14" of ice with my Nils faster than Matt was going through it with My Power Auger.....I was amazed at how easy that went through the ice. No Effort what-so-ever.....