An ice auger is a handheld tool with a long blade similar to a screw that drills holes when turned. These are used to cut or drill ice.
They make a sharp, clean-cut that is safe and easy to use. Ice augers can also be beneficial for ice fishing.
Under normal use, the auger blades can be re-sharpened 2-3 times before needing to be replaced.
But their performance is affected by the thickness of the ice and the quality of the blade you use. And that’s where this article comes in. Ice drills can be easily sharpened using various methods.
Learn how to sharpen ice auger blades and maintain them at home so you can rely on them for years of usability.
Sharpening Auger Blades: Whetstone Method
A whetstone is a type of natural stone used to sharpen the edge on blades. The whetstone method is one of the oldest methods available for sharpening knives.
It is one of the best strategies, allowing you to get the best possible edge on your blades without using steel or synthetic materials.
Sharpening shouldn’t be that hard. When drilling holes in the ice, you need to ensure the auger blades are razor sharp and smooth.
Having sharp blades can be achieved by following a step-by-step sharpening process below.
In this article, you will know how to sharpen ice auger blades using honing stones. You will need a coarse stone, medium stone, and fine stone, each measured with grit.
Step 1: Inspect The Blades
First, carefully remove the blade in its place, also keeping in mind its proper position so you can place it accordingly after sharpening. Attentively check for dents, notches, dings, and excessive rust on each cutting edge.
Ice augers are huge drill parts or rivets with sharp blades set at a specific bevel; the primary edge or primary bevel, the secondary edge or secondary bevel, and the back bevel found on the very edge of the auger blade.
Step 2: Sharpen The Primary Bevel
The primary bevel is the spearhead of your tool. Place the stone on a perfectly flat surface, so you don’t make any fault movement.
Using your fingers, feel and put the blade flat on the honing stone and make a stroke movement against the stone.
Manually sharpen the blade with light pressure. You don’t need to put too much tension as it will damage its original sharp blades. After sharpening, polish the same level on your honing stone with a higher grit.
Step 3: Sharpen The Secondary Bevel
Using your finger, feel the cutting edge on the secondary edge and slowly lay it flat on your sharpening stones.
The secondary edge of your ice auger blades is the one that separates and lifts the ice on the work, so this part is very important.
With very light pressure, make a sweeping stroke to remove all metal particles and dents. You can do a few strokes and then move on to polishing with a fine honing stone.
Step 4: Sharpen The Back Bevel
Don’t forget the smallest angle of your ice auger blades. It may be small, but it is also important as the other cutting edge.
Do it with gentle movement and care using your finest stone. Lay it flat according to its angle and make a few gentle strokes. At this point, you should have shiny, sharpened ice auger blades!
Sharpen Ice Auger Blades With Sandpaper
Sharpen an ice auger blade with sandpaper. As the world heats up, so does your ice auger’s sharpness. A dull blade is just about useless for drilling ice into frozen water.
Fortunately, you can sharpen your auger blades yourself using sandpaper and some elbow grease.
The easiest way to sharpen ice auger blades is by using sandpaper. Professionals also prefer sandpapers and are recommended to use if your auger blades aren’t that damaged.
With this method, follow the steps provided below:
- Remove the auger blade.
- Inspect any notches, dents, and rust.
- Starting on the primary edge, make a few slight strokes following the angle of the edge.
- Moving on to the secondary edge, make arch light passes to clean the burrs and dings.
- Sharpen the back level with the same instruction very lightly.
- Polish the edges for razor-sharp auger blades using fine sandpaper.
Auger blades and auger bits are some of the most important tools in your toolbox. They allow you to drill heavy-duty holes in the ice. However, they can also get dull over time.
That’s because we don’t use them properly. Poor maintenance can result in blade rusting and chip-outs. Fortunately, there is a simple and direct method for keeping your auger bits sharp.
Prevention is better and cheaper than cure. There are practices you can do to prevent damage from your ice augers. After multiple re-sharpenings, blades may fall outside of specification and will no longer cut efficiently.
When the blade turns blunt, it is time that it will be necessary to buy a new set of blades, but it is still better to prevent it. Here are some insider tips.
Avoid Using An Angle Grinder
Using a power grinder may overdo the edges of the auger blade. So if you’re not cautious, you may damage its original sharpness, causing it to lose even more sharpness.
Protect The Blades
You’ve probably heard of knife safety, but what about the blades? Your auger comes with a blade protector cup, and you want to use it often, especially if you are not using the tool.
Please protect it from objects that will bang or chip and dull the blade’s edges when transporting.
Don’t Strike The Auger
Don’t strike the auger. It will save you a deal of time and resources in the long term. When making a hole, don’t bang the auger on the ice. Striking the auger and pressing it down might make you think to get the job done quicker, but it’s not.
When you bang it on the ice, you’re probably just damaging the blades. It would be best if you let the machine do the work.
Store Away From Debris
We all like to save and store away small and big objects that we use. Avoid storing your auger in areas that are dusty and muddy.
Especially if you haven’t put the protector cup, you want to provide a safe and clean space to prolong its life.
There has to be a better way to sharpen it yourself than in factories. Why spend money if you can hone the blade on your own?
With enough practice, you can master the art of sharpening in just a slight gentle stroke.
Auger blade sharpening is a step-by-step process that brings the blades to ice-shredding sharpness.
Sharpening auger blades at home isn’t difficult, and it allows you to sharpen them as soon as you need them. The key to keeping your ice auger sharp is to avoid dulling it in the first place.
Prevention is better and cheaper than cure, an ounce of cure goes, and the best way is to keep them sharp.
Find a clean spot for your auger to clean up and polish the secondary edge. But always remember to be cautious every time you file these blades. After all, sharp edges are still dangerous.