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Gas

I've have seen Swedish ones that were smaller then 6" dia that I figured would do if I ever had to use a hand auger again.
 

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I use an 8 inch which is plenty big for anything I have ever caught. I have a hand 8 and a gas 8. I have looked into the Nils brand. Seems they come highly rated but are not as durable as some other brands. The trick is to not pound the blades on the ice... ever... even lightly. I have had blades last me several years.
 

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+1 to not pounding the blades on the ice. Did that once, never again. Also, avoid being too rough when using the auger to remove the bulk of the ice. Manual all the way....it takes me less than 5 minutes to drill a hole with my Eskimo manual auger. After I get it started I stick the knob on the handle into my shoulder, bear down and crank away. Combined with my Deeper fishfinder which fits in my pocket and a cell phone in a dry bag hanging from my chest, I'm walking around and finding the edge of the weeds in 30 minutes tops.
 

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I bought an auger sharpener at the end of ice season last year. I guess I will see how that works. I am sick of buying new blades each year.
Let me know how that works, I hear they are difficult to sharpen.

But would be interested if someone find success in doing it.

It's almost like a printer in that is only a few more bucks to buy a new auger than it is to buy replacement blades.

Then again maybe, I should just buy a chainsaw.
 

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Manual all the way....it takes me less than 5 minutes to drill a hole with my Eskimo manual auger. After I get it started I stick the knob on the handle into my shoulder, bear down and crank away.
5 minutes to drill a hole with an eskimo
hand auger? Wow. There's hand augers out there that will let you cut holes in less than 30 seconds (for 4-6" of ice I can cut through in less than 10 seconds with my Nils, no more than a minute for 30" ice).
 

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Nils hand auger....works great (when Goob doesn't show up with his Ion electric)
ah, ha, ha, ho, hee, hee

My manual auger is a Nils.

.
 

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5 minutes to drill a hole with an eskimo
hand auger? Wow. There's hand augers out there that will let you cut holes in less than 30 seconds (for 4-6" of ice I can cut through in less than 10 seconds with my Nils, no more than a minute for 30" ice).
Probably only a minute on 20 inches or so, but I wasn't timing myself. I'm going to have to look into one of these Nils augers. I just don't understand power augers, if you can cut a hole in that much time with a hand auger and it weighs so much less, why mess with a power auger unless you're going through 3-4 feet?
 

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I also have a 6" nils. I'm usually right there with the guys with the gas augers if not faster. They are a little fragile, but also the best hand augers out there
 

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Nils! no doubt! i'v cut holes in 18" of ice in less then 30 seconds. those hand auger's are no joke!
Agreed, nothing better than a Nils. I punched through 21" of ice in 29 turns. I was amazed. I would also go 8". Nothing sucks worst when you have a big fish on and can't get it through the hole. I have had that happen a few times, when using my brother-in laws 6". You should YouTube them.
 

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I've got Strike Master Lazers 6" and 8". The 6" is much easier to drill by hand than the 8" but both are far easier hand drilling than the Mora variety I used to own. I usually get my son to drill with me when we use the 8" auger.

I bought a drill adapter for my 6" and shot a video of me drilling through 9" of ice in 4 seconds with new blades. Now I use the 18V drill until the batteries die then, if needed, change to the manual handle. That's only happened once when I let the batteries get too cold.

I've not had any issues getting trout up to 22" and bass up to 18" through a 6" hole. If I'm at the Gorge I always go with the 8" or fish with someone who has a bigger auger.
 
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