It wasn't long ago when you only had a couple options for boring holes in the ice, a manual ice auger or a gas powered unit. Gas power augers were big, bulky, temperamental units that were often a pain to start and inconvenient to transport to your favorite ice fishing destination.
Recently a number of companies have popped up with an awesome solution, a cordless drill adaptor that attaches to your manual ice auger in place of the manual crank handle.
I picked up this Ice Master unit at Outdoor Pros and I find it fantastic. It has a free spinning collar and safety strap (originally it had a black bungee but it broke). This wire loops back over the drill and catches the auger in case your drill chuck loosens up, saving your auger from slipping into the pond!
Other adaptors are available that are cheaper & without the collar and equally functional at boring holes.
The adaptor attaches in place of the handle using the original hardware, in my case a plastic handled wing bolt, so you can easily switch back to the old handle if your drill stops working.
Most cordless drills will with a 1/2" chuck work fine, my drill of choice is my Milwaukee M18 Fuel. This drill has a brushless motor that delivers much crazy torque and better battery life than the standard M18 or other drills. It has Milwaukee's newer style Red Lithium batteries which are resistant to cold. When boring 6" holes I use this drill in Low gear and usually with the extra handle attached, it's a high torque drill and when the auger bites into hard ice you'll know it!
I've yet to reach the end of my M18 Fuel's battery life drilling holes in the ice. Last year at Sooley's cabin we drilled over 40 holes in 18" of ice with the battery showing 3 out of 4 bars power remaining.
February 2020 Update:
This winter I fabricated an auger extension to make my ice auger longer when using my cordless drill adaptor. My Mora Fin Bore Micro is compact but it's quite short which is a problem when the ice gets thick.
The smaller diameter pipe is actually a section from the original manual crank handle that I no longer use. The larger black pipe is a piece of 3/4" inside diameter 3/16" wall pipe I had laying around the garage and was the perfect size. I drilled 2 sets of holes in the heavy wall pipe, I drilled all holes 13/64" so I could tap one side, the opposite side I drilled out to 1/4" for the bolt to slide through.
This is the finished product after extending the threaded portion of the bolt and trimming to length. I wanted the smooth portion as pictured so the drill adaptor wasn't touching bolt threads which will wear and become sloppy.
Trimmed and threaded to proper length.
I used my de-burring/chamfer tool to clean up the end of the cut bolt so it threads in easily.
After I had finished I decided to install two nylock nuts as an extra level of safety for the bolt coming loose and loosing my auger down the hole!
By removing the upper bolt I am able to reinstall the old manual crank handle in place of the drill adaptor should the drill fail or battery die.
Fully extended I'm over 36" of drilling depth which should be plenty for around here, if not I'll by a longer piece of 3/4" black pipe!
Adjustable height is great, makes it a little more compact for travelling, by removing the wing bolt I can separate the unit and fit it in my ATV box with ease. Overall the Ice Master Drill Adaptor is a fantastic product that I highly recommend especially if you have a quality cordless drill. The bungee breaking is really the only design flaw that I believe will be a non issue now with my homemade extension.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith