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Strikemaster 40V – Problems and Review

Strikemaster 40V Ice Auger

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The Strikemaster 40V ice auger has been reviewed a lot. So much in fact that you’re probably sick of hearing about it. Well this review is a bit different, it’s about that one time one person had a problem with it. I’m going to break this review down into three parts. The first part is where I will share what the issue was, the second part will be my review and in the third I want to talk about value.

The Problem? It’s stuck…

I received the Strikemaster 40V ice auger over Christmas and was very excited to get out and use it. From the moment I hit the start button and began cutting ice I knew this auger is powerful. Electric motors are known for their torque and this thing has it in spades. As the auger broke through the bottom of the ice on my very first hole the flight got hung up, catching me off guard and almost ripping the auger from my grip. That should’ve been my first clue something wasn’t right, but I chalked it up to user error and kept on fishing. Since I opted for the 10” auger flight over my old 8” I figured it was a result of the extra surface area the auger needed to cut. Or maybe it was the fact that my hole wasn’t quite straight. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, I was still happy with my new toy. 

But again and again, hole after hole the auger would stick. Sometimes I would have to restart the cut two or three times before making it through to the bottom. I would even brace the powerhead on my leg or hip just to help it out. That just couldn’t be normal. 

After a few more outings with the same issues I took to the internet to see if I could find anyone with the same problem. I would think if Strikemaster was out to dislocate peoples shoulders someone would be talking about it. But my search came up empty. There were stories of blades coming loose or breaking, damaged auger flights and motor troubles but nothing quite like the problem I was facing. 

With nothing to go on I turned to my favorite fishing forum and posted my experience. In a matter of minutes I had plenty of advice and another forum member offered to meet me and do a head to head comparison with his auger. Talk about comradery! We met a few days later to try each others auger out and the difference was striking. His blades were well used but there was still nothing but buttery smooth ice cutting performance coming from his auger. After that I was on a mission to exchange it. 

Since we were close to the end of the selling season most retailers stock is getting low. There was only one left but I managed to make the exchange at my local Cabela’s and am happy to say that my new fight cuts very smoothly. No sticking or binding at all. 

So what was the problem? It’s tough to say without taking some angle measurements but I believe the issue was how the blade carrier was welded to the flight. There was a slight gap on one side where the flight meets the steel that holds the blades. This would cause the blades to sit at an angle other than 90° to the flight. Any auger service center would tell you that the blade angle is one of the most important components of a good cutting system, even being off by 5° will have an affect on performance. 

Strikemaster 40V Ice Auger Blades
Even a small misalignment of the blades can mean big problems.

It was not an issue I could have fixed myself, and if you are experiencing something similar it’s best to take it in right away. If you are unable to exchange it like I did, Strikemaster warranty will take care of you too. 

My Review

Although me and the Strikemaster 40V got off to a rocky start, I can confidently say I’m happy with the product. As I said earlier, this ice auger has a ton of torque. I opted for the 10” auger for a number of reasons listed throughout and the 40V motor has no problem turning it. With the old flight the auger would get hung up just before it broke through the bottom of the ice, but instead of dislocating your shoulders the motor cuts out. Which is a great safety feature that you won’t see on any gas or cordless drill ice auger.

Being electric, the Strikemaster starts cutting with the push of a button. The convenience of pulling the auger out of the carrier and cutting a hole as soon as the blades touch the ice is wonderful. There’s no pulling a starter cord, playing with a choke, or waiting for it to warm up before beginning to cut. Electric is a convenience that is easy to get used too.

Battery packs do have their advantages, such as being able to be charged where ever there is power but, to be honest, in use I don’t find the battery significantly more convenient than propane. Batteries still suffer the same kind of faults as propane too, such as poor performance in cold temperatures and the need for extra bottles/batteries for multi-day trips. The propane bottle and Strikemaster batteries are even similar in size. To ease some of the inconvenience of having only one battery pack, Strikemaster will often have sales during the season and include a second battery for free. In my opinion, that is a better deal and more eco-friendly than using 1 lb propane bottles. 

Strikemaster 40V battery
Side by Side – the 40V battery isn’t a whole lot smaller than a 1lb propane bottle.

I can’t emphasize enough just how quiet the 40V is! That was the first comment my friend made when he was walking out to our spot while I was drilling holes. He said he could see me drilling but couldn’t hear a thing. My propane Jiffy is also quiet compared to two strokes but that might be the same as comparing yelling to screaming.

A big advantage Strikemaster has over other electric brands is that they come with a long auger flight. It’s long enough that I may not need an extension. I measured from the top of the blades to the bottom of the motor to be 39 inches. As a comparison my Jiffy auger flight is 36” long. I’ve only used the extension a handful of times, and usually just for an extra few inches. The Ion auger flights are 34 inches long but I believe the extension is thrown in to the package. Even though its nice that Ion includes an extension, I would rather not have to mess with changing it out.

As a backpacker I am conscious of the weight of my gear. The Strikemaster, when ready to go with battery and blade cover installed, measured 2.9 lbs lighter than my Jiffy Pro4 lite, also ready to go. So there is a tiny weight savings. 

Jiffy Pro4 Lite 8” = 29.3 lb

Strikemaster 40V 10” = 26.4 lbs

Lastly, I would like to talk about the blades. Strikemaster is known for their curved style blades and just how effective they are to cut with. It’s true that they cut very well but for how long remains to be seen. 10” Strikemaster blades are listed for $90 CAD locally while the competitors blades are listed for around $65 CAD. That’s quite a difference, especially if they can’t be resharpened at your local sharpening service for a few bucks. 

Strikemaster 40V ice auger blades

Value 

A lot of hype has built up around the Strikemaster 40V ice auger and when I finally got my hands on one I had pretty high expectations. Overall, I am quite happy with the auger, it just didn’t blow my hair back like I thought it would. It’s no fault of the auger of course, it does everything an auger should and does it well. I probably have to chalk it up to the hype and maybe temper my own expectations. At the end of the day it’s a tool that cuts holes and a lot of augers do that well.

The biggest reason I wanted to upgrade to the 40V Strikemaster is my Jiffy propane auger is temperamental and fighting to get it started gets in the way of fishing. The speed and performance of the Strikemaster is excellent and, unlike my Jiffy, totally reliable. There is no guessing that it will start every time you hit the button. I also love the extra room in the 10” hole for electronics and for sight fishing. Good value is important to me and if you want to go electric, this auger, coupled with the second battery deal, is currently the best value on the market.

Check Out THe Latest Prices:

Strikemaster 40V:

Cabelas.ca | BassPro.com | CanadianTire.ca

Strikemaster Lite-Flite:

Cabelas.ca | BassPro.com

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15 thoughts on “Strikemaster 40V – Problems and Review”

  1. Pingback: String Theory Angling turns Two! - String Theory Angling

  2. My new 40v. After just 7 holes drilled the handle broke beefing up on Red Lake not much to do but compromise holding it as we had 4 more days of fishing limped it thru walleyes were bitting
    Took the power head back to Strike Master in Minnetonka they gave me a new one off the check. Did paperwork. I was happy out the door
    Week or so later I noticed something shiny on the ice I picked it up. It was the Auger blade on the small end Shit more problems cracked from the threaded hole so I thought bad steel? Too Hard?
    Went to Sheels bought new blades. As I was replacing them the other blade was broke as well
    As I loosened the bold yup it broke it the same place as the other one. That’s when I figured it out thes aren’t made in Sweden like my replacement ones are So now what?? I’m off to Strike Master to have a conversation. Replacement blades are not cheap

    1. Sounds like you had a bad run of luck! I’m glad to hear Strikemaster took care of you out the door. I’ve dropped my powerhead on the floor and bounced it off the tailgate onto the ice while hole hopping and it’s barely scratched. In my experience the 40V is a tough unit. Strikemaster did announce they had a bad run of blades recently – any drill units purchased after August 1st, 2021 may be eligible for free replacements.

      Im not a pro-staff or connected with Strikemaster but as far as I know the blades are still made in Europe. They are definitely not cheap and they should last. The blades on my 10″ have three seasons on them and are still very sharp!

      Thanks for the comment!

    1. Could be any number of reasons, Chuck! I would start by checking the voltage with a multimeter and then contacting Strikemaster directly – they’ve always been helpful and responsive.

    2. I have an issue with it wont charge unless battery is drawn way down. If l go out and only drill 15 holes, put it on the charger it says charged. But the next trip out you find it definitely wasnt fully charged. The service center is trying to find more out as they say they haven’t had that complaint. Is that similar to what yours is doing?

      1. Hi Jim. You know what, mine may be doing the same thing. Just this season I noticed that if I only drilled a handful of holes in a day the battery wouldn’t need charging. I know it wasn’t doing that last year. I had chalked it up to the fact that I keep everything in my garage that is just above freezing, so it may not be charging because of the temperature. Let me know if you find anything out! My battery is a couple years old now, how old is yours?

    1. I certainly hope you can! I would reach out to Strikemaster directly, I’m not affiliated with them personally but they do have good customer service. They might be able to get you a part or direct you to a place that can fix it. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Anyone else have major issues with the blades? If I get hole with a little dirty ice they are done. When I say done I mean they are toast. I can’t keep buying new blades everytime there’s a bit of dirty ice.

    1. Hi Bodie, I cant say I’ve experienced that with my blades. I’m finishing up my third season on the original blades and they are still plenty sharp. Up north where I live there are a lot more trees than fields and the ice doesn’t get that windswept dirt and sand that prairie lakes seem to get. Is your auger new this season? Strikemaster had a bad run of blades but sent a recall notice out.

      If not there are some sharpening services that you can use, they will be much cheaper than blade replacements! There is one mail order service out of Winnipeg that sharpens SM curved blades – https://www.thehandofgord.ca/ice-auger-sharpening

      Hope this helps!

  4. I think I got a bad batch of blades. I cut maybe 15 holes thru 30” of ice. On my second trip out I got one hole cut and nothing more after that. Blades seem to be sharp, no knicks of chips in the blades. But once I went to go cut a hole, the blades wouldn’t catch any traction, it would just spin in place.. I called LOTW Sports headquarters here in Wpg, they said to call Strikemaster for a new set of blades.. so I’m waiting on that, hopefully that’s the end of that..

    1. It kind of sounds like your blades were knocked out of alignment rather than being dulled? I’m sure you checked the screw tightness but I would be tempted to take the screws out and inspect them and make sure they didn’t bend or break on you. Also, I know when my auger blades get full of slush and snow it won’t cut at all. With the stock blade cover I would often set the auger down in the snow without replacing the cover and it would freeze up. I switched to one of the Cold Snap Outdoors covers and since they are easy to put on a take off I use it every time – very helpful to keep your blades protected as well as ice and snow free.

    1. Hi Mike, the 40V works really well on deep ice. I’ve buried the 10″ bit to the motor (no extension), never clearing the chips once and it just keeps digging. The 40V has more than enough torque for late season, crappy, slush filled ice. Yes, you can get it to stall out. I’ve had the auger bind up when we had layers of ice, slush and hard crust on top, but in those conditions every auger we had out there struggled. Years later, I’m still impressed with the original 40V. As long as you keep the blades sharp and in good shape, it will get you through the ice. Thanks for the comment!

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