The new Ion X Electric Ice Auger means power drilling all winter long. Ion specs say it cuts 1600 inches of ice per charge! That’s 80 holes in 20″ of ice! So how long would that take? I’ve used the older style Ion and it’s pretty zippy ice drill. The way I fish – the sane way – means if I drill 20 holes in a day, that’s a lot of holes. I’m not into running all over the lake, but that’s me. I prefer to wait for the fish to come back around to me as opposed to chasing them with a 60 hole grid pattern, but if drilling grids makes your day go faster because you have ants in your pants, knock yourself out with the newly designed Ion X ice auger.
The Ion X features a more powerful motor, 60% more juice for more holes (up to 1600 inches of ice per charge), and LED lights on the underside for you crazy guys who get out there at the crack of dawn or dusk. Push the button and light up the drill. Another design change is the narrower-set handles for drilling in the corners of your Ice Castle and better packing in your cargo sled. They’ve also designed a new cast aluminum bottom ring to hold the Ion blades in place, This new ring comes with a starter point and guides your holes for a straighter drill compared to the older steel ring which would have a bit of a wandering problem when re-drilling holes in wheel houses. Having a starter point allows you to re-drill old holes with less jumping around by the blades. We all know what happens when an auger jumps around or takes too big of a bite in a re-drilling in a fish house with solid walls . You get to test out your knuckles.
The other improvement is more power. More power/torque, combined with the starter point affords you the drill’s ability to break through the bumpy ice surface and start its own track, again, sparing your knuckles. Also, there is a ring on the bottom that reduces the blades from digging into sides of the old hole again keeping it on track. If you’ve ever used a ringless auger design in re-drilling a hole, you have undoubtedly experienced when the flutes of the auger shaft violently pull you downward to the hole if the blade breaks through before making the old hole round. A ring can reduce that effect.
Based on my past experience with the older design, this increased torque, narrower handles, increased battery storage, and cast ring blade assembly will be only make your day of drilling more fun. But, don’t forget – this is an electric ice auger. You gotta keep the battery warm, so if you don’t have the little insulated Ion battery case, you can always get a $8.00 soft-sided ice cooler and put the battery in there. One other thing you can do if you are running a long distance in northern MN via snowmobile, throw in a disposable hand-warmer into the cooler and you’ll end up with 4 hours of heat. Since those packs run on oxygen, you’ll probably need to open the case every now and then to get some fresh air in there. Keep the battery warm, and your day will go a lot better. For those who don’t understand what “keep the battery warm” means, it means removing the battery immediately after every use and putting it someplace warm. Keeping it on the auger and crossing the lake for 20 minutes in 0 degrees is the opposite of “keeping the battery warm” and not recommended. Remove the battery when not in use and if you don’t keep it warm, you’ll be nowhere near the 1600 inches of ice you planned to drill that day.
One other point. I had a customer who ignored the “remove the battery” part of the instructions and pounded his Ion across the ice in a cargo sled behind his Skidoo. When he got to the other side, the ride had cracked a part of the locking assembly off his Ion ice drill housing. Those batteries come off in about 3 seconds or less. How hard is that to do? So, no whining if you don’t get your 80 holes in 20″ of ice or need to use a bungee cord to keep the battery on the machine because you cracked a piece off. It’s simple.
This is a good auger and like all augers which are not gasoline engines, the Ion needs slightly different handling. It’s neither hard nor difficult to adjust to drilling smokeless holes in your fish house or a 60 hole grid on the search for perch. Keep the battery warm, push the button, and drill holes with your Ion X ice auger.