Do-It-Yourself Ice Auger


In winter, ice fishing is a great activity. However, a difficult dilemma that anglers face is cutting a hole in the ice. Specially designed ice augers cost anywhere from $50 to $500. When it comes to drilling a hole in the ice, $500 is a great deal of money, especially if you don't ice fish on a regular basis. Fortunately, you can turn regular tools such as a chainsaw, a post digger and a power drill into ice augers. These do-it-yourself ice cutters cut holes in the ice, allowing anglers access to the water.

Things You'll Need

  • 2- to 3-foot mini-chainsaw
  • Crowbar
  • Dip net
  • Post digger
  • Power drill
  • 4-inch drill bit


  • Obtain a mini-chainsaw. Many hardware stores sell chainsaws that range in size from 2 to 3 feet long. These chainsaws are small enough to transport with fishing gear.

  • Insert the chainsaw's blade into the ice, then push down and back on the blade. Cut a straight line approximately 4 feet long. Position the blade at the corner of the cut line and slice another straight line. Continue cutting until you have cut two more 4-foot lines. On completion, you should have a 4'x4' square box in the ice.

  • Cut a circular 4-inch hole in the center of the square box. Take a crowbar and knock loose ice, creating a 4-inch hole.

  • Insert the crowbar into the hole and pull upwards on the crowbar. Lift the entire block of ice out from the cut square. It may break into pieces. If this occurs, remove the ice fragments with a small dip net.

Post Digger

  • Obtain a post digger. If you do not have one lying around in your home shed, visit a hardware store. Select a small, lightweight post digger that you can carry with you. Some hardware retailers sell models of post diggers in the 5-foot range. This size is small enough to carry with your fishing gear.

  • Grab both poles of the post digger and slam the digger into the ice. Make repeated thrusts with the digger in the same area. Use the two joined ends to gather up ice in the shovel ends. Lift the collected ice and dump it several feet from the fishing hole. Repeat the process several times, until you have broken through the ice and reach water.

  • Construct a circular hole at least 3 feet wide and 3 feet across. Chop away at the ice with the post digger and gather up ice fragments with a small dip net for removal.

Power Drill

  • Obtain a portable power drill and a 4-inch or larger drill bit. The combination of these two tools will create a hole within the ice and grant you access to the water.

  • Operate the power drill and bit by placing the tool onto the ice and pressing downward as the gears turn. In order to create a 2-foot-wide hole, you will need to drill several times in a circular motion. Be patient as you drill. Do not use too much force, as the drill bit can break under the pressure.

  • Determine the size of the hole before selecting the bit. For small fish such as bluegills, a 4-inch bit will suffice. However, for larger fish such as walleye or northern pike, use a 6-inch bit.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want a larger hole for bigger fish, drill around the edges to make the hole larger.


  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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