How To Drill a Hole in Ice Without an Auger

When breaking ice for fishing, auger drill bits are the best and most ideal option. Why use a hand auger to drill through the ice? This is so that you can quickly and easily drill a hole without putting in much effort. But what if you don’t have an auger drill? How To Drill a Hole in Ice Without an Auger? 

Upset about not having an auger to drill holes for fishing? Simply go get an axe if the ice is thicker than 10 to 12 inches. Additionally, some other wonderful alternatives to augers are a spud bar, a digging iron, a chainsaw, an ice saw, or an ice chisel.

Since we lacked a power auger to cut through the ice, we were forced to invent some other ideas. However, if you are expecting to use some alternative idea instead of using an auger drill bit, make sure you go through the entire article since we have some valuable tips waiting for you!

What Tool can Break Ice?

A beveled wood chisel works well for breaking big blocks of ice, however, we generally use a drill to break the ice when fishing. In addition, a spud bar, chainsaw, ice saw, pick axe, digging iron, or ice saw can also drill through the ice, but they won’t generate an accurate hole like an auger.

Do We Need Several Tools to Break the Ice?

No, you don’t need multiple tools; rather, you should choose your tools based on the kind of ice you wish to break. Like an ice chisel is ideal for breaking thinner ice, a hand auger works well for both thick and thin ice.

What can I use instead of an auger?

How Do You Cut an Ice Fishing Hole Without an Auger? Axes, digging irons, spud bars, or ice saws can all be used to create holes instead of augers, as we have mentioned before. Below, you’ll find some precious information. Let’s explore alternative methods for breaking the ice.

How do you Make a Hole in the Ice without a Auger?

A cordless drill for ice auger is time saving tool for drilling ice for fishing. If you think you don’t have an effective way to make holes in the ice without an auger drill bit, you are completely wrong. We should always think outside the box! This content is going to offer you some other great alternatives to break the ice. So, take your popcorn and read this whole section.

Cut with The Axe

You just visited to enjoy fishing without an auger where the ice is nearly eight inches thick. What should you do? Well, the first option for an auger is to cut through frozen ice with a sharp axe. The axe can cut through ice up to 10 inches thick.

How To Drill a Hole in Ice With an Axe

You can even use your axe to make a square cut that is 12″ across when you have one. A hole that you intended to create will eventually be created by continuous cutting. With each swing, the angle cut will be accurate, chipping away ice and deepening the V. Also, synthetic fiberglass grips are a great option since they are lightweight and effective in subfreezing conditions.

Spud Bar And Digging Iron Can Work Well

Power augers are outstanding but expensive; therefore, allow us to suggest a decent substitute. A spud bar or digging iron has a chisel at one end and is used to remove material by breaking, cutting, or making holes for any purpose. They are almost like using an ax.

The ice must be chipped out to create a hole, and the maximum thickness of the ice you can use for this technique is 12 inches. It’s also best when you choose to cut a hole that is six to eight inches in diameter out of a twelve- to sixteen-inch shape. Strike it at an angle to release the button.

Chainsaw is a Best-friend

Your new best friend, a chainsaw with at least a 12-inch bar, is now here to cut out the hole in the ice. Some ice fishermen don’t believe electric chain saws have the strength to quickly cut thick ice. Just mark the cutting area, but don’t cut through ice that is less than 4 inches thick.

How To Drill a Hole in Ice With a chainsaw

The first cut should be made from behind the bar’s end. The ice block should then be removed from the hole using a crowbar or spud bar. But it must be noted that ice chains eventually lose their effectiveness. Hence, keep the chainsaw safe.

Use Ice Saws

For cutting holes, we typically utilize a spud bar or an ice auger. To cut large holes in the ice, however, for spearing, fishing, or angling, one must use a folding ice saw. Using a spud bar approach, such as drilling a hole before cutting, is necessary when using an ice saw. Over a foot of ice can be sliced with the help of an ice saw’s cutting blade.

It should be noted that after beginning a hole with a spud, you should switch to your saw and cut while angling the blade. Keep the blade at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees to cut a straight line. Hopefully, you will get your desired hole for fishing.

Ice Chisel Won’t Be A Wrong Pick

The final suggestion is an ice chisel, a thick pole with a sharp blade at the bottom. Make sure you securely hold the chisel and follow the circular pattern. Then, try repeatedly lifting the chisel up and down. Depending on how thick the ice is, it can take a little longer than 1 to 2 minutes. A good tip for you is to attach a rope to the chisel. Additionally, a chisel will make your job much easier as you employ it at the starting point of cutting holes with other tools.

Safety Precautions Before Drilling Holes in Ice

Always put safety first whenever you undertake any drilling job, whether it be cutting holes in the ice for fishing or anything else. You should wear protective eyewear since breaking the ice can send pieces flying in your direction. The only other ways to break through ice require hitting or hammering a sharp object onto a sheet of ice over icy water.

ice fishing

Usually, we use sharp tools to make an ice fishing hole and never use blunt tools, such as a sledgehammer. Then, you should never go fishing where the ice is less than 4 inches thick. Verify that the ice is clean, firm, and free of thaw cycle pockets. Additionally, stay away from cloudy, old ice.

FAQ on How To Drill a Hole in Ice Without an Auger

How do you drill through thick ice?

For drilling through the ice for fishing, non-coring augers are generally employed. You can accurately drill a hole by rotating auger drill bits by hand. Other inexpensive tools like an axe, an ice saw, a chisel, a digging iron, or a spud bar won’t be any less successful in breaking ice than an auger.

Can you drill through ice with a drill?

Utilizing an auger drill bit is the ideal solution. Within 30 seconds, you can quickly drill through 8 inches of ice using a cordless drill and a long, five-eighths-inch wood auger bit.

If you go ice fishing, can you use a shotgun to blast a hole in the ice?

Yes, you can use a shotgun to carve a hole in the ice, but keep in mind that a pistol shot fired at point-blank range only removed approximately an inch of ice. It would be better if you purchased an ice drill or chainsaw to drill holes rather than trying such a strange idea.

Ice fishing without ax or auger. Possible?

Yes, ice fishing is possible without the need for an axe or auger. The job of breaking the ice or cutting a hole into the frozen ice above the water can be accomplished by melting through the ice with a lot of hot rocks or by using a spud bar, digging iron, ice saw, or ice chisel to make a hole in the ice for fishing.

Final Section

Ice augers have always been the best performers when you need to drill holes in the ice for fishing. We hope that after reading this article, you have understood How To Drill A Hole In Ice Without An Auger. To make things easier, use an axe, a digging iron or spud bud, an ice saw or chainsaw, and an ice chisel instead of auger drill bits. In addition, always think about your safety first.

We hope this article has provided you with the proper knowledge on how to drill holes in the ice without an expensive and effective auger. However, more inquiries can be solved with proper tips. So, feel free to ask for any other information related to the ice auger or the drilling hole in the ice.

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Samuel H. Murphy is DIY expert and Interior Designer. He is also a part time content writer of Capische. He lives in Warren city, Michigan. He test tools like drill, saw, sander, air compressor etc and helps readers to find out the best tools.

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