Sharpening an ice auger blade is not only important for quickly drilling ice fishing holes into the ice, but also to prevent damage to the ice auger and potential injuries.
In this guide, we walk through how to sharpen ice auger blades at home quickly. However, let’s go over how often to sharpen ice auger blades and when to sharpen ice auger blades, so you have a good ice auger maintenance schedule to properly maintain an ice auger.
How Often Do You Need to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades?
Ice auger blades should be sharpened a minimum of once per year. Sharpening ice auger blades every season will ensure the ice auger is as sharp as possible to shave through the ice efficiently. This will also prevent damage from occurring like bending or chipping of blades because of being dull.
Most old ice augers you will come across at garage sales or at a friend’s house will be rusty or have chipped and bent blades. This is all due to either little or no regular blade sharpening maintenance being done.
The best way to keep your ice auger both looking and operating as good as new is to sharpen ice auger blades once every season it will be in use.
When to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades?
The best time to sharpen ice auger blades is at the beginning of the ice fishing season. Sharpening an ice auger at the beginning of the ice fishing season will make sure the blade is in the best condition for efficiently and safely cutting holes into thick ice.
If you sharpen your ice auger once every year at the beginning of the season, you will be able to cut holes quickly to get to fishing faster and probably have one of the best looking ice augers out on the lake.
Having a sharp ice auger blade will prevent you from being fatigued after drilling a few holes into the ice. Sharp ice auger blades will also prevent even worse situations, such as getting hurt if the blade is dull enough to get caught up while drilling.
How to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades at Home
- Get Ice Auger Sharpening Stone Pucks
- Remove and Examine the Blades
- Clean with Coarse Grit Stone Puck
- Grind with Medium Grit Stone Puck
- Hone with Fine Grit Stone Puck
- Re-Install the Ice Auger Blades
Let’s now dive into each step.
Tools to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades
Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. Here’s exactly what you’ll need to sharpen ice auger blades:
Most of these can be purchased at your local hunting supplies store or get a complete sharpening puck set here on Amazon.
Remove and Examine the Ice Auger Blades
In most scenarios, the blade will click right off. This may vary slightly between models, be sure to check your ice auger’s owner’s manual to be sure.
Once the blade is removed, give it a full once-over. This is your chance to look for any damage or wear and tear. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Anything else that doesn’t look right
Over time, your blade might have enough damage that a simple sharpening won’t fix. If your blade is too far gone, it’s best to properly dispose of it and get a new one. Be realistic and honest when making this determination. You don’t want to put in all that effort only to find your blade can’t be salvaged.
Clean the Ice Auger Blades with a Coarse Grit Stone
This step isn’t technically sharpening, but it’s still a necessary part of the process. The coarse stone serves as a cleaning tool, just scrape it along the blade to clean off any of the visible imperfections. Move the stone in upward motions.
Make sure to follow the natural shape and angle of the blade, there’s no need to apply much pressure.
The coarse stone will remove any surface-level imperfections, making the blade even and smooth for the next steps.
Grind the Ice Auger Blades with a Medium Grit Stone
When the blade is looking smoother, set aside the coarse stone and pick up the medium one. This is when the sharpening begins. The blades’ cutting edge should be the closest to you, laying flat.
Gently rub the stone making sure you’re not pushing too hard and changing the shape of the blade. It is important in this step to have a good level of focus on the sharp edge of the blade. You want this to be as even as possible, so the blade is prepped for the final step.
Hone the Ice Auger Blades with a Fine Grit Stone
Again, using upward motions and grind the stone against the blade without pushing too hard. For the best results, sharpening at about a 40-degree angle gives the blade the most effective longevity.
You can apply a little bit of oil to the surface of the blade. This allows for the pores of the stone to keep clean. This will also enhance the sharpening action to make it a more smooth motion.
Re-Install the Ice Auger Blades
After you finish with the fine grit stone, your blade should feel significantly sharper. Once you have sharpened it to your liking, you are all done with the process. All you have to do from there is snap the blade back into the auger and then you are all ready to get out on the ice.
How to Keep Ice Auger Blades Sharp
It is great to know how to sharpen your blade, but keeping your blade in good condition is also important. Taking care of your blade will help extend its life in the long run. Proper blade care will also extend the amount of time between sharpenings.
With that being said, here are a few of the best tips on how to keep the blade of your ice auger sharp.
Stay Away from Dirt
Dirt can cause serious damage to an ice auger blade by rubbing against it and causing imperfections.
You’ll encounter dirt on ice that has heavy foot traffic. It’s easy to avoid dirt, so finding an area that’s as dirt-free as possible will be beneficial to your blade in the long run.
Let the Ice Auger Do The Work
Many people think it is necessary to try to jam the auger into the ice. Hitting the ice at a high impact will almost certainly dent or even crack the blade.
To avoid this you just have to trust in your auger. These tools are very powerful and with a sharp blade, they will cut right through the ice.
Using force to penetrate the ice will not only damage your auger, but it will also put you at risk. The augers cut the ice a certain way, you start slamming it into the ice, you run the risk of having too much ice cracking which can be very dangerous to anyone standing on the ice.
Use Proper Blade Protection
No matter how far you travel with your blade, or where you store it, proper protection is necessary. This is important for protecting your blade, but it’s also an essential safety precaution.
When you are traveling you should never allow your ice auger to bang against other tools or metals. If your blade bangs up against anything, it runs a high risk of becoming damaged. Store your ice auger in its own bag. This also eliminates the risk of you getting seriously injured by reaching blindly into a toolbox or bag.
Your best bet is to invest in an ice auger blade cover. They are not too expensive and will save you time and money in the long run. Of course, the best cover will depend on the make and model of your ice auger, but even then there are different types of blade protectors.
The choices can be overwhelming, here are a few of our favorites to help make the purchase less overwhelming:
|Strike Master Ice Augers Power Auger Storage Case||Protects the entire ice auger, including the blade Has extra pockets for storage Heavy duty handle for carrying||A little more expensive than other options|
|Eskimo 8″ Power Auger Blade Protector||Great reviews Sturdy||Doesn’t protect the entire blade|
How to Keep Ice Auger Blades Sharp
Throughout the course of their lifespan, ice augers are put under a lot of stress if they are used consistently. This will lead to some wear and tear damage like the blade dulling out or potentially needing to be replaced.
If you find yourself in the position of needing to sharpen your ice auger blade, you should consider completing the task on your own. You have the ability to get it professionally done but this can be very expensive and doesn’t necessarily come out any better than it would if you did it yourself.
With this guide presented here, you should have a good understanding of the process of sharpening an ice auger blade as well as how to prevent the blade from dulling in the first place.