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Dozer

Best auger at best price?

23 posts in this topic

My strikemaster blew up on me today. What do you think is the best auger? Who has the best price on one?

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Im not really sure how this thread will end up it is usually a chevy vs. ford vs. whoever else. but i'll throw my .02 in anyways. I have a Jiffy and love it but the 3hp is a little heavy at times but runs like a champ. I have heard really good things about the new Jiffy STX PRO. Your unfortunate situation has come at a very good time of year when almost everyone is or will soon be selling out there ice fishing supplies. Reeds Sports has them on-sale right now for $395 down from $439, but you might be able to get a better deal from a smaller store.

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My father has had a 3hp jiffy for 20 years and that thing has never ran right. It always starts on the first or second pull but never really runs right.

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Have you tried adjusting the carb? or changing Gas/Oil mixtures?

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 Originally Posted By: Dozer
My father has had a 3hp jiffy for 20 years and that thing has never ran right. It always starts on the first or second pull but never really runs right.

3hp Jiffy Stealth and I had to mess with the carb adjustments this fall and now it runs great....Still too heavy for search and destroy missions, but great for just hopping out and popping 2-5 holes and fishing.

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Tried everything. Taken it in many times to many different places. Tried a whole new carb, and ignition. Finally gave up on it last week and bought a new one.

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Dozer it is too bad that someone did not adjust his carbs because I just sold my Jiffy model 30 and it ran great for 20 years but I did adjust the carbs every 4-5 years so that it would idle and that the high speed would kick in. I just got done posting this in another thread but you really should go to one of the get togethers and try a Nils and look at the quality before you start to make any judgments and let price drive your decision. If you plan to ice fish for many years make sure to not let the cost make your final decision because I did that and ended up buying a brand new piece of doo doo for $300 and then went out and got a different auger cause it cut so bad .Try a Nils once and you will be SOLD.

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Sometimes you just get a bad one. There was now adjusting on that thing. You could tweek it in one day and it would run like a top but then the next it wouldnt run worth a [PoorWordUsage]. You shouldnt have to tweek on the thing eveyday to make it run I dont care what anybody says. Im not saying Jiffys are bad Ive used alot of them and they all run great except his. No matter what brand you buy there is a chance you will get a dud, and thats what he got.

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Also should have mentioned it before but my Father gave up on his jiffy and bought a strikemaster. Handle broke on the first weekend! Not so sure they are the answer either.

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I would agree with jimalm, go out and try a nIls before you purchase anything. They are very light and cut as fast or faster than any other auger made.

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There's a couple on craigslist.

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harvey does Nils make a 10" blade?

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What makes a Nils so good? Kinnda leaning tward a jiffy at the moment. Just got off the phone with my dad and got some more info on the new strikemaster. Says it doesnt idle and there isnt a mixture adustment screw. (dont like that) Says it runs just fine if you fire it up and just start drilling. Doesnt stall like the old jiffy did at the bottom of the hole. Strikemasters turn slower than jiffys. I think jiffys turn too fast. Does a new strikemaster have a primer? My old strikemaster didnt and it didnt start very well. The old jiffy did and it started on 1st or 2nd pull everytime.

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 Originally Posted By: Dozer
What makes a Nils so good?

They shave right thru the ice, the handles are not too far apart, the throttle is a longer lever type so your hand wont slip off of it and it is light. Starts right up in cold weather and they say it has a commercial engine on it.

(I got to use one at the get together on Sunday and i was sold after 2 holes grin.gif)

 Originally Posted By: Dozer
Kinnda leaning tward a jiffy at the moment.

If your going to go to the lake and pop 2 holes and fish, the big Jiffy would be fine...but if your a run and gun type or drill till you mark fish, then the nils is going to be what your after.

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 Quote:
What makes a Nils so good?

The overall construction is great right down to the welds and the way the handles are positioned and YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PUSH IT DOWN all you do is rest it on the ice and let it do its thing. It has a kill switch because once it starts no matter which position you put it in it keeps on running not like my Jiffy which always killed if the second you layed it down.Weighing in at 22# was a HUGE plus.

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 Originally Posted By: matt_bewley
harvey does Nils make a 10" blade?

Nils currently does not make a 10"

Don't forget that they also come standard with a longer auger (48") so there is a real good chance you will never need an extension.

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I bought a Strikemaster LazerMag 8" and I've not had any problems with it. It does not have a primer, but a modern two stroke shouldn't need it. It has a choke lever and decompression switch for easy cord pulling. I run chainsaws all winter for work and they don't have primer bulbs, but they start every time. If the motor has a good self-priming system it doesn't need a bulb.

The strikemaster may turn slower, but with the lazer 2 blade auger its plenty fast and it cleans the holes out very well. Usually a scoop or two and I'm ready to fish. It is kinda heavy, but lighter than the Jiffy. I've not had any problems with it despite dropping it more than once on the ice. I think for the price, the SM is your best bet.

That being said, the Nils is a superior auger. That motor is as tight as any two stroke I've ever used. Its much faster than anything else out there and a heck of a lot lighter. Its got a different cutting head design that just pulls its way through the ice. If you haven't tried it you should. It also comes with its own handle for the auger so you're buying the hand auger and powerauger in the same package.

THe SM lazermag costs ~$350-400. The Nils is $489. I've spent enough money buying "lesser" gear and upgrading later to know its a waste of money. If you are serious about ice fishing and want your gear to last more than a couple years than the money for the Nils is nothing. If you're limited by the price point, than I think the Strikemaster is a good alternative, but don't try a Nils cause you'll get buyers remorse.

I'll be selling my auger next year to buy a Nils.

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It wasn't meant as a huge Nils promo, they are just that good. It just happens to link to the store every time you mention their name.

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I have a 12-year old Jiffy Arctic Blast, a 2 hp model pretty much the same as today's White Lightning. My friend's have the 3 hp Jiffy, and Strikemasters and all except one Strikemaster user says mine cuts and runs better than theirs. These are all chipper blades and mine is the original blade that I sharpen once a year. If I were to buy a new one which would be used for running and gunning, I would look at the Jiffy 2 hp STX models (these have several chipper blades) but since the price is close to a Nils I would look at them also. Can the Nils blade be sharpened easily? Has anyone worn their Nils blade out? One of my friend's doesn't like the decompression button and I don't like plastic handles. It's fine that Strikemaster's customer service is good, but what happens when the handle breaks during a fishing trip?

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Almost have to have an extra handle for the strikemaster wainting in the truck just in case! \:D

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I don't know where all the handle talk has come from. I haven't heard of a broken handle until it was posted recently.

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I also have never seen/heard first hand of anyone breaking the poly handle on their ice auger. (though I bet if you do, just give Strikemaster a call and I am guessing they'd be more than helpful)

As for the decompression button on the new augers, I picked my lazer 224 up from D-Rock and he showed me exactly how to use the decompression button and I am guessing mine works how it should. Extremely easy to pull and starts on the first couple of pulls every time....(even in below zero weather)

If you still have your old auger and the drill on it is still good and you didn't have any problems with it, probably your most cost effective way to get a "new" auger would be to give D-Rock a call in New Brighton and just purchase a power head from him. Yes, the units are "previously used" to drill some holes for a fishing tourney, but he'll start up the unit before you leave and the break in and adjustments are already done. Excellent service!

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I'll chip in as I've owned or used just about every auger that's been mentioned here thus far. There isn't a bag auger in any that have been brought up here. The Jiffys and Strikemasters built good equipment. I liked the Strikemaster Lazer Mags so well I bought two of them. But after using the Nils just a few times I was sold. It's just that much better. It's faster, lighter, and very durable with an engine rated for twice the life span as those used by the other mentioned augers. The drill head design pulls the auger through the ice. Just hang on and let the auger do the work. I'm very happy with mine and most guys that have used it say the same thing. "WOW!"

As far a customer service goes they all have good support. Some guys biggest concern with the Nils is, "What am I going to do if it does have issues?". Any Tanaka engine dealer can make warranted or other repairs. Parts come quickly if they don't have them in stock. I did have some issues with mine and was back on the ice in 4 days. But most shops with their workload have a 7-10 turn around. As far as the heads needing to be sharpened. I fish very hard and drill a lot of holes. Just ask anyone who has fished with me. I look for fish by running and gunning. I'm not a bucket sitter. My heads started to show a need for being touched up after nearly 2 years of cutting. I can't even guess how many holes that was. There is a link for getting them sharpen right through Fishing Minnesota. Turn around is about a week. I have a second drill bit just in case.

Good Luck!

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