Gas powered ice augers may be the gold standard for most anglers, but many grow tired of the stinky fumes and ruckus that these units create. Anglers of the past had little choice but to deal with these problems or switch to a manual auger, which obviously places a considerable burden on their body.
Fortunately, modern ice anglers have other options such as the ION X Electric Auger.
ION produces three different electric augers, and the ION X is their premium model. It features an 8-inch bit, easy-on rocker switch starting and 60 percent more battery capacity than their other augers.
It features a power-packed rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, which can cut through 1600 inches of ice on a single charge. The charger is included, it takes about 5 hours to fully recharge it according to the manufacturer.
Just by pressing a reverse button, it flushes the slush back down through the hole you’ve drilled.
Because it is an electric unit, you don’t have to worry about mixing fuel, cleaning up spills or breathing in the thick exhaust fumes that pour out of most gas powered augers.
However, you give up a little bit of cutting speed by switching to the electric design, but the ION X’s ease of use, comfortable operation and ability to cut precise holes more than make up for this weakness.
Going electric doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance either. The ION X features premium, super sharp 8-inch shaver-style blades, designed to cut a smooth hole through the ice. In fact, many ice anglers report that it cuts smoother holes than many gas powered units do.
Specifications & Comparison
Although the StrikeMaster Lithium Chipper has a more powerful battery and lower price point than the ION X, it is the lightest auger in its class and is the only one that is capable of operating in reverse. The comparison is based on 8-inch cutting diameter.
|Product|| || ||
|Length||34 in||43 in||42 in|
|Weight||22 lbs||24 lbs||25 lbs|
|Propulsion||40-volt Lithium-Ion battery||50-volt Lithium-Ion battery||Battery or car cables|
|Motor Warranty||2-year limited||3-year limited||1 year|
|Battery Warranty||1-year limited||1-year limited||1-year limited|
Rating the ION X Electric Ice Auger
The following is based on a 1 to 5 stars rating.
One of the best qualities that it boasts is its light weight. While there are lighter augers available, few match its functionality and cutting ability. This makes it especially valuable for anglers who like to move frequently in pursuit of the fish. 4.5 stars for its weight.
Ease of Use
It features a push-button start so cranking it up is much easier than fiddling with the choke and primer on a gas powered unit. Additionally, it cuts smoothly and tends to push right through the breakthrough moment, which prevents jagged ice around the bottom of the hole that can snap your line.
Plus the bicycle-style handlebars place your hands in the best position to control the tool and avoid fatigue. 5 stars for its ease of use.
Though it is one of the best electric augers on the market, it has trouble competing with the speed of gas units. That said, most users inclined to use an electric drill find the cutting speed to be adequate, especially when the other strengths of the tool are considered. 3 stars for its cutting speed.
The Straight-Through™ blades cut well and leave a smooth-sided hole. There are higher-quality blades on the market, but most users report that the ION X’s blades perform satisfactorily. 3.5 stars for its blade quality.
Because it features fewer moving parts than gas powered units, the ION X is more reliable and durable than its similarly but differently powered competitors.
And because the ION X features premium internal components, it is also more durable compared to other electric augers. 4 stars for durability.
Most ice anglers find the ION X to be the finest electric auger on the market, but it boasts a price tag that is more or less $600. It fails to cut as quickly as comparably priced gas powered augers do, which also hurts its value score.
However, by including a 12-inch extension, and thereby enabling anglers to drill through ice up to 46-inches-thick, it makes up some ground in the value category. It also features a reverse function, which is not available on any other electric models in the marketplace. 4 stars were given for its value.
The ION X received an overall rating of 4 stars. It stands head-and-shoulders above most other electric augers, and it performs almost as well as comparably priced gas augers. Unless you have to drill a lot of holes, you will probably find the benefits provided by the ION X outweigh its one drawback – somewhat slow cutting speed.
If you want the perks of a powered auger without having to deal with the downsides presented by gas powered augers, the ION X is a great choice.
There are better options available for anglers who place a premium on cutting speed, but for those who want a lightweight, easy-to-operate, reliable auger that can be safely used indoors, there is simply no better option.
Perhaps the application in which the ION X shines best is re-opening ice holes. Not only does it offer the precision and performance needed to cut through old holes, but it also does so while producing much less noise and vibration, so you are less likely to spook your quarry lurking below.
Its reverse function is also a unique and helpful feature, which alleviates the need to scoop out the sluch from your hole.