Every tool is designed to perform a specific task, and so is an earth auger. You may already have an earth auger. If you are a new angler, you might think of using the tool as an alternative to an ice auger. But will an earth auger work on ice?
You can’t directly use an earth auger on ice because its blade design and bit size completely differ from an ice auger. Earth augers will not spin as fast as ice drills ice. It may stop in the middle of the drilling. But you can make a DIY adapter collar to fit the shaft of your earth auger Powerhead and attach a handheld auger to drill on ice.
Can You Use An Earth Auger On Ice?
Using an earth auger on ice will be a waste of money and effort because earth augers have a different blade design than ice augers.
An earth auger is designed to break up dirt and rocks from soil, clay, gravel, and till. Its main job is loosening up the pre-broken objects.
The blades of an earth auger have a round shape with carbide welded. They can withstand a lot of hard abuses.
In contrast, ice augers have sharp blades. They are mainly designed for shaving and chipping ice. Hence, you can’t replace earth augers with ice augers.
The different cutting edges of the earth auger will spin half as fast.
You will have difficulty getting a consistent bite in the ice or something. The blades will not go well and may even get damaged.
What Are The Difference Between Earth Augers And Ice Augers?
Knowing the difference between earth and ice drills will help you learn why one can’t be used as an alternative for others.
|Digging center drill
|No center drill
|Blades pitched to dig into the dirt
|Blades pitched to slice ice
|Cutting Edge Design
|Cutting edge hardened but blunt
|Straight cutting carving
|Suitable for warmer weather
|Suitable for colder weather
01. Drill Pattern
Earth augers have a digging center drill pattern equipped with a pod-type or spiral drill.
Their rotting metal pipe or rod has one or several blades on the bottom section.
The main job of this lower edge of the screw blade is scraping dirt at the bottom of the hole.
In contrast, ice drills don’t have a center drilling pattern. Its blades are directly attached to a spiraling metal shaft at the bottom section.
They rotate continuously to scrape, cut, or siphon out ice. Its powerful motor bogs down and pushes a huge amount of ice shavings out of the hole.
Compared to earth augers, ice augers have more RPM. Ice drilling equipment can be as high as 360 RPM.
In opposition, earth augers have a maximum RPM rating of 160 RPM.
The most important part is utilizing the maximum RPM. You will get more cutting speed in ice augers than in earth augers.
Compared to ice augers, earth augers are a bit heavier.
Their heavy-duty engine and other additional items make them less portable to carry around.
However, some ice augers can be less lightweight than earth augers.
04. Blade Design
The helical screw blades of earth augers are pitched to dig into the dirt.
When you start the device, its blades will wind around the bottom end of the shaft and route displaced material out of the hole.
Oppositely, ice augers have a straight-through or serrated blade design. It will bite ice without requiring much force from you.
The drilling tool will first shave off the ice, and its lower cutting-edge area will remove shaved ice.
05. Cutting Edge Design
The cutting edge of earth augers is hardened but blunt. It is often integrated that you can’t separate.
People generally use its shearing cutting edge for loosening and agitating
Contrarily, ice augers have a straight-cutting carving. You can remove or separate the cutting edge for sharpening.
It has a sharpened cutting edge for cutting ice and scraping them out from the hole simultaneously.
06. Ideal Usage
An earth auger is carbureted for warm weather. It will slow down in cold weather.
They have more mechanical advantage on flutes to move dense spoils. But the rock is smaller than the flute size.
On the other hand, an ice auger is designed for use in severely cold temperatures. They have more open flutes to move less dense spoils, almost all being shavings.
The manufacturers mainly use lithium batteries in ice drilling tools. Cold temperatures have very little effect on lithium.
Plus, they have a special system to run smoothly on the device, even in freezing weather.
How To Convert An Earth Auger To An Ice Auger?
As mentioned earlier, every tool is designed for some specific jobs. The same rule goes for earth augers and ice drills.
However, by following some techniques, you can convert an earth auger to an ice auger. Nevertheless, don’t expect the same level of results.
One of the most popular options is the earth auger Powerhead. You will need an adapter collar to attach a handheld auger effortlessly.
You can either make it of your own or buy it online. But make sure it fits perfectly the shaft coming out of the Powerhead of the earth auger.
It may take some time and elbow grease to get nice tight holes of the right dimensions.
Can You Use An Ice Auger On Earth?
You can’t use an ice auger on earth objects such as compact dirt, soils, rocks, or others.
Ice drills are designed for shaving ice, but earth augers are specially made for digging the earth.
The transmission on the earth is pretty strong. In some cases, ice augers may work, such as digging a few holes in soft ground.
But when you use an ice auger to drill on a hard object, it will fail to absorb the vibrations and shocks from drilling through the ground.
You may hurt your arms and hands as ice drills don’t have a spring shock absorption system.
Hence, it is better to avoid using an ice auger on earth. Apart from damaging the tool, you will hurt yourself. Either dig the soil manually or get an earth auger to dig the ground.
Ice drills are the best choice when it comes to cutting thick ice and creating larger holes. You may think about using an earth auger and wonder will an earth auger work on ice.
It won’t work perfectly or don’t work at all, depending on the model and design. If you are strong enough, get a handheld ice auger that costs only a few dollars.
But creating larger holes on thicker ice requires using a gas-powered option to save time and effort. Now you know why you should not use an earth auger work for digging ice.