As an angler who loves ice fishing, there is nothing as important as having my ice auger always in good shape. A properly sharpened blade adds up to my comfort and confidence when I go out on an ice fishing spree. I prefer to sharpen my blades so that I can keep my ice auger in the best form and also to ensure that no single part of my blade gets ruined.
I will give you a guideline on how to sharpen your ice auger blade as you maintain the factory angle of the cutting edge. This will help you to sharpen your ice auger blades without the risk of ruining them.
Before jumping into the blog, here are a few tips regarding sharpening for a beginner. We often get the grinding job wrong and made some silly mistakes. Things are not always exactly the way we think it is. So here is this video which I found so resourceful about sharpening ice auger blades.
Sharpen your blade by using a coarse stone
Coarse stones are kind of handy tools which you can have em easily. Sharping the blades using coarse stone is so easy and one of the effective ways to make the job done. Just a few steps
Start by removing and inspecting the blades. Pay attention to how they are attached during removal so that you put them back correctly. Take care not to lose the small shims used to maintain the blade angle. Inspect the blade closely for dings, excessive rust, notches, dents, chips, cracks and other signs of damage.
Ice auger blades have two surfaces i.e. a small sharp bevel that functions as the primary cutting edge and a larger bevel that separates and lifts ice. Use a coarse sharpening stone to remove visible scratches, burrs, and other imperfections. Clean up the secondary bevel until you get a smooth surface. Roll it up on the stone until you feel the flat beveled surface. Sweep the other side down the stone, in the same manner, you would when shaving a sticker off the stone.
The next step involves progressive grinding and honing of the secondary edge. You will bring the edge as close to perfection as you can. Use a fine honing stone and finish up by honing with sharpening oil.
The final view of the blade should be like this. Smooth and shiny. And here you go, your blade is ready to cut ice smoothly again.
Sharpening the blade Using sandpaper
Using sandpapers are another way to sharpen your ice auger blades. It’s super easy to hone your blades with sandpaper. Doing it wrongly can even make the blade duller though. So be careful while doing this and be cautious about your angle. It’s very important here.
Check out the status of the blade. Examine properly how it’s attached to the auger so you can reattach it after finishing the grinding job.
Close take a look for the notches, chips, dings, dents, cracks, excessive rust, and any other damages done to the blades. Inspect and mark the area on your mind where you need to fix the visible imperfections, burrs, scratches, etc.
A simple way to find any burrs are by running your nails or fingers along the surface, the nails will be stuck if there are any burrs.
Prepare a wide and clear workspace. Take sandpaper and hook it up with a piece of glass or plexiglass of its(sandpaper) size. Now take the blade and put the beveled side of the blade and put it down on to the sandpaper while facing the backside towards you.
Now note that you don’t wanna touch the flat backside of the blade. Cause if you lose the material of the backside and destroy the angle in the back of the bevel side, the blade will be unable to bite the ice and cut it evenly. The blade sits in the auger and as you spin the auger it digs into the ice because of that angle. So leave the flat side just like it is!
You just wanna hone the bevel side of the blade. Hold the blade and push it on the sandpaper, determine the angle by pushing it on the edge against sandpaper so that the beveled side just touches the paper. You don’t wanna go too low or too steep, just maintain the proper angle. Don’t worry you will get it while doing it.
As you know, auger blades have two surfaces, a large secondary bevel that separates and lifts the ice, and a small sharp bevel on the very edge which is the primary cutting edge. Now it’s time to hone the secondary bevel. Roll the blade up as you draw it on the stone until you feel the flat beveled surface. Now sweep the other side down the stone, as if you were shaving a sticker off the stone.
Grind and hone the secondary edge continuously, clean up and polish the secondary edge until it will really start looking good at some point.
Now time to Hone the Primary Cutting Edge. don’t make the primary cutting edge dull while grinding the secondary cutting edge, be careful there! This can cause you to almost to make the blade trash. This is where the cutting begins, the spearhead of your attack. It’s thin, just like on a knife. So it’s a crucial part of any blade.
You’ll continue using your fine honing stone and oil to bring it to a nice sharp edge. Sharpening it at an angle of about 40 degrees or a little less is a good rule for the best longevity.
And you’re done by resembling the blade to the auger. Your auger blade is ready to cut some ice again. Well, the whole procedure was pretty easy, isn’t it!
Sharpening by using a sharpener
This way doesn’t need much explanation. All you need is to buy an ice auger sharpener provider by mostly ice auger companies. Grinding and honing with these tools is the easiest, it doesn’t require much hassle. But it’s true that I found sharpen ice auger blades manually which is more effective than doing it with a cheap tool.
There are some premium sharpening tools though under 100 bucks which can be quite effective. If you wanna do it with a tool, get the right one which can really make your blade razor-sharp.
Things not to do with ice auger blades
Don’t force it! In case your blades get blunt when you are out there don’t try lifting your auger and banging it on the ice for it to work. This will actually end up damaging the blades and you will have to get a replacement because the damage will be beyond sharpening.
When ice auger blades get dull and can’t function again forcing them to drill through the ice will just make it even worse. Save yourself from too much hassle by making sure you have a spare pair of sharp blades with you.
Ice may build up on your blades and paralyze the whole activity. You can avoid this by simply spraying silicone on your blades and auger. This will prevent the ice from accumulating on them.
Don’t overdo it! You may think over-sharpening your blades will save you from having to do it so often? You are wrong! In actual fact, you are ruining your auger! It just makes your blades to wear out very fast.
Gone in the ice and the ice auger can’t drill the ice the worst feeling an ice angler can have! So it’s good to master this little handy skill. This can save you a lot of money by not buying new blades again and again.
Drilling with a dull blade takes forever to cut some inches of ice. So sharpen it properly and last but not least, always be safe while playing with blades. Stay focused and always wear gloves and eyeglasses. Happy living, folks!