How to Use an Ice Auger

How to Use an Ice Auger
A manual ice auger is a difficult tool to use without first knowing how to approach it. The technique employed to cut a hole quickly and efficiently through the ice is not complicated, but it requires that you have a certain degree of physical ability to complete. Once you understand the procedure, you will be able to drill a hole through the ice and start fishing.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • manual ice auger
Step 1
Remove the cover from the blades on your ice auger with great care. Because the blades need to be razor sharp to cut through the ice quickly, they will easily slice through flesh.
Step 2
Select where you wish to drill your hole and place the blade-end of the auger down on the ice. Position your feet so that, if you are a right-handed person, your left foot is about 6 inches and centered to the left of the blades and your right foot's toes are even with the left foot's heel, with the right foot about one foot away from your left and slightly turned toward the right. Reverse the position of your feet if you're left-handed.
Step 3
Center your weight above the handle of the ice auger, with the shoulder of your dominant arm directly above the handle's knob. This can be problematic for shorter people and can keep them from being able to use an ice auger of this type. Take your dominant hand, place it on the knob and grab the handle with your other hand.
Step 4
Bear down with your weight centered directly on the knob as you start to turn the handle of the ice auger. Keep an imaginary central straight line through your shoulder, hand, the ice auger's knob, shaft and the center of the blades perpendicular to the surface of the ice. Maintain constant pressure downward with your shoulder and hand as you turn, keeping the ice auger as straight as possible and bearing down with your weight centered on the knob. Avoid bringing the ice auger into a position where it tilts because the cutting will become more arduous and the hole will be at an angle.
Step 5
Turn the handle until you finally break through the ice. Keep your turning arm's elbow away from your body as you turn the handle; this will make turning it easier. If your blades are sharp and the ice is in the range of 6 inches thick, you should learn to cut a hole in as little as 15 to 20 seconds. If the ice is thicker, the process will take longer. Once you get adept at cutting holes, get into the habit of counting how many turns it takes you to break through. This will allow you to brace yourself for when you push through the ice and into the water.

Tips & Warnings

Replace the blade covers when not using your auger to prevent any potential accidents.

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