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What is the job of a fishing ice auger? Drilling holes in the water and removing the ice from the water, right? Then, you use these holes for fishing through. Sometimes, your ice auger may not dig holes inside the water. You are wondering: why is my ice auger not digging?

Your fishing ice auger may not dig if its blades are dull, incorrect, upside down, loose, or don’t have the right angle. The problem can also happen if you don’t warm up the digging tool enough or the throttle is frozen or sticky.

Why Is Your Ice Auger Not Digging And How To Solve The Problem?

A fishing ice auger may not make any holes inside the frozen water. It can happen for various reasons.

The followings are the primary causes of this problem and how to tackle this problem.

Why Is My Ice Auger Not Digging

01. Your Ice Auger Blades Are Upside Down

One of the common causes of improper working of a fishing ice auger is installing the blades upside down.

Installing the blades upside down will prevent you from cutting or digging any ice.

You want to set up the beveled edge of the blades towards the auger

In contrast, keeping the flat side of the blades towards the ice is necessary.

The blade’s side, which directly contacts the ice, is known as the flat edge of the blade.

If you are not using the ice auger, keep Blade Guard On. Apart from ensuring safety, it will keep the blades sharp for a long time.

02. Your Ice Auger Blades Become Dull

The lifespan of ice auger blades can be five to ten years, depending on the quality, fishing frequency, and maintenance approach.

Sometimes, dull blades may look sharp. Do you think they will cut ice smoothly?

If it reduces its sharpness significantly, you want to hone the blades. Generally, sharpening the ice auger blades after 2-3 years is a solid rule of thumb.

The blades will become pretty dull when you mistakenly use them to dig rock, gravel, or sand. 

First, try honing the edges of the blades. If it doesn’t work, replace the current blades.

Plus, not all fishermen have the skills for sharpening ice auger blades. Maintaining the right angle is a prerequisite for digging ice perfectly.

If you don’t know how to sharpen ice auger blades, grab new blades or take them to an expert to hone them perfectly.

03. Your Ice Auger Blades Are Loose

The ice auger blades have a few nuts to keep them firmly in place.

Sometimes, these bolts may become loose from regular usage. It can happen if you have recently replaced the blades.

A loose blade changes the angle where the blade bolts on the cutting edge. 

But how can you know if the nuts of the ice auger blades are loose? The simple trick is inspecting the spot between the cutter and the drilling tool.

There should not be any gap between the blade and the ice drilling equipment.

If there is any gap, you want to tighten the bolts perfectly. Use a screwdriver or similar tool to compress and screw up the nuts.

You can use a small amount of nail polish to prevent it from letting go easily in the future.

04. Your Ice Auger Blades Don’t Have The Right Angle

Maintaining the right angle in ice auger blades is crucial to dig holes in the frozen water.

The angle of the blades may change and become inappropriate for use if you continuously and regularly bang it on the ice.

You can see this problem even in new or resharpened blades. They might be razor sharp, but their wrong angle can ruin your digging job.

Unless the blades sit perfectly at the right angle, you can’t dig ice or may stop in the middle.

This problem may also occur from incorrect installation. If you don’t know how to install the blades of a fishing ice auger, take expert help. 

Maintaining a consistent angle through the length of the blade is necessary to dig ice appropriately.

05. Ice Is Building Up Around The Ice Auger Blades

When the fishing water gets frozen, they become at least four inches thick.

Hence, it takes a few minutes to reach the bottom of the ice and finally create holes.

Sometimes, anglers may see the ice building up around the ice auger blades before it digs deeper. This mainly happens if the temperature is extremely low.

It may occur if you push down on the auger. The additional pressure causes this problem. However, the problem may happen due to its design.

One effective solution is snipping the drilling tool a few times to remove excess water. Then, keep it out of the snow.

Another effective approach is using Pam cooking oil or WD-40. Spray the solution before using the auger. It will prevent ice build-up problems.

06. You Are not Warming Up the Ice Auger

Some fishermen instantly start drilling after turning on their fishing ice auger. It is okay during the summer months.

But warming up the device is crucial to bring out the best performance when the temperature is less than zero degrees Celsius.  

Turn on your ice auger and warm it for one to two minutes before starting drilling. Avoid leaning it up against anything while warming up the device.

Otherwise, it will be more than likely to fall over due to vibration.

The engine inside the ice auger becomes cold due to freezing weather. When you warm up the device for one or two minutes, the rings on the engine expand extremely fast.

The bearings and rods of the ice drilling tool also expand too. Once it becomes hot enough, you are ready to go and drill rigidly.  

07. You Have Installed the Wrong Size Blades On The Ice Auger

The blade size of a fishing ice auger ranges from four to ten inches. Choosing the right size is crucial. It should not be too long or too short compared to your ice auger.

But how can you figure out whether you have installed longer or shorter blades on your ice drilling tool?

You have installed the correct one when there is a half-inch space between the blades and auger.

Too long blades will not keep any space between them. In contrast, shorter blades will create a larger gap between the cutter and the ice drilling tool.

Generally, various blades have various hole patterns that determine the particular size of the ice auger.

Correctly measuring the size of the blade is necessary to get the right option. It is better to contact the manufacturer to get the best size.

08. You Have Installed Incorrect Type Blades On The Ice Auger

Do you know which type of blade your fishing ice auger needs? Generally, two types of blades are available for this ice drilling tool: chipper and lazer.

Chipper blades come in handy for digging old holes and dirty ice. They are highly durable too. But this type of blade cuts slowly and has a higher kickback.

On the contrary, lazer blades are ideal for faster cutting with minimal kickback. But they become dull quickly.

Installing alternative blades may prevent you from digging the frozen water in the lake or pond. After all, the ice auger is specially designed for use for only a particular type of blade.

Hence, ensure you know what type of blades you are recommended to use and install them correctly.

09. Sticky Or Frozen Throttle

Does the throttle of your fishing ice auger become sticky or frozen after turning on the device?

It is a common scenario during freezing weather. The throttle is likely to be frozen.

It will prevent running the ice auger at full throttle. You may think the ice auger is not digging any holes.

Generally, the ice-digging tool might take more time to cut ice and make holes. Removing ice from a particular spot may take twice or thrice.

Another problem can be sticky throttle. When was the last time you lubricated the cable of the ice auger? How often do you apply lubricant to the line?

If you don’t lubricate the wire for a long time, it will wear out soon. Regular lubrication is essential to operate the ice auger at full throttle.

10. The Lake Or Pond Has Some Problems

Does your ice auger work on other lakes or ponds but not on a particular one?

Your fishing ice auger might be working completely okay. The particular lake or pond may have some issues you can’t figure out.

Factors like its depth, diameter, location, surrounding environment, etc., affect the drilling capability of your drilling performance in a particular lake or pond.

You may try using a different type of ice auger or get another new option to check out its capability.

Wrapping Up

Unless your fishing ice auger functions correctly, you can’t dig holes in the frozen water perfectly. Make sure to sharpen the blades to cut holes perfectly regularly.

If it becomes too dull, you want to get a new one. Choosing the right size and type of blades is important to ensure perfect compatibility.

Hopefully, now you won’t ask any more the question: Why is my ice auger not digging? Scan the factors we have mentioned and implement the best solution depending on the problem.

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