How To Use A Drill As An Ice Fishing Auger

Ice fishing can be a lot more strenuous and exhausting than fishing in other seasons.

And when it comes to making your fishing holes, you might be looking for a more convenient method. In this article, we’re diving into how you can use a power drill as an ice fishing auger. 

While the power behind a drill can be extremely useful in making ice holes, you need to have the right kind of drill. You also need the right specifications for your auger and some kind of adapter piece. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to connect your ice auger to your drill and get the job done. 

Keep reading to learn about the above topics in more detail and familiarize yourself with the best techniques. 

Using the Right Drill

First things first, you need to have a drill that is powerful enough and charged enough to drill an ice hole. It also needs to be a drill that will be compatible with an auger (has a ½-inch chuck). This is why a run-of-the-mill power drill just won’t work. 

You need a minimum torque of 100 inches/pound per inch of radius in your ice hole. A good example is the Dewalt 20V Max XR Hammer Drill.  

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)
  • DEWALT-built high power, high efficiency brushless motor of DEWALT 20V hammer drill delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
  • The cordless hammer drill features heavy-duty 1/2-inch ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts for superior bit gripping strength
  • 3-Mode LED provides lighting in dark or confined spaces up to 20X brighter than previous model
  • LED Spotlight Mode features 20 minute shutoff function allowing for extended work time in dark or confined spaces

You may want to find a drill that has a built-in light component if you prefer to fish at night. Another quality that’s essential is changeable speed settings. And of course, your power drill needs to be cordless. 

Using the Right Adapter Piece

Next, you want to make sure that you have the right attachment piece to adapt your auger into a drill-auger. Based on the diameter of your shaft and the drill chuck size, you can choose an adequate adapter. Some ice augers are sold specifically for use with drills, so they come with an adapter attached already. 

If you want to be extra safe in the attachment, choose an option that features anti-slip or fool-proof connection elements. Amazon has many options for adapters, from basic to advanced.

Ice Fishing Auger Stopper with Drill Bit Adapter (9"disc, fits up to 8" auger blades) for Cordless 20volt Lithium Battery Drills - Prevent Auger Blade from Slipping Beneath The Ice.
  • PERFECT SOLUTION –It is essential that you...
  • QUALITY - This item is a newly manufactured...
  • MEASUREMENTS –Stainless-steel adapter; Diameter:...
  • ASSEMBLY REQUIRED –The Auger Stopper includes 4...
  • INSTALL – Once disc is assembled remove handle...

Using the Right Auger

And of course, your auger needs to be compatible with a drill adaptation. As previously mentioned, you might opt to buy a specially designed drill-auger. But if you just want a traditional, manual auger, look for one with a chipper blade. 

Since you’ll be attaching your power drill, you want a blade that won’t dull as easily when drilling. You also want to look for a 6- or 8-inch auger, in general. This one on Amazon comes with an adapter.

Nordic Legend E-Drill Unit - Cordless Nylon Ice Drill Auger with Centering Point Blade, Ice Auger Bit with Drill Adapter & Top Plate for Ice Fishing
  • High-Performance Drilling: 8'' auger diameter,...
  • Lightweight & Heavy Duty Nylon Material: 39" shaft...
  • Replaceable & Stability Blades: Upgraded dual flat...
  • Universal Adapter & Bit-saving Top Plate: The...
  • Package Contents: 1pc Ice Drill Auger, 1set Blade,...

Hooking Your Drill Up to Your Auger

Once you have all three (or two) pieces, you can connect them. It’s a pretty simple process when you have an adapter, but you need to be careful that the fit is snug. 

Otherwise, you could end up dealing with a drill that keeps disconnecting from the auger.

Another common issue – one you want to avoid entirely – is losing your auger in the water because of a loose connection. In this case, you can’t really get it back if it gets away from you. 

Operating Your Auger-Drill and Making Holes

Now, when drilling your holes, there are a few things to keep in mind. Before you begin, make sure you have a firm stance and a firm grip on your drill. 

You want to start slow – slow and steady wins the race. If you start drilling at high speed, your drill or drill battery could overheat. You could also end up with a dull or dirty blade on your auger. And you might cause an issue with the connection between the drill and auger. 

Also, keep in mind that once you have started drilling a hole, you need to finish. You don’t want to get to a point where your battery dies and you have to leave the auger in the half-finished hole. This could seriously damage your blade, as well as your auger.

Once you’ve finished drilling the hole to your preference, make sure to clean the hole and your auger blade.

Tips for Drilling Holes

When using a drill for ice fishing holes, keep in mind the following suggestions to help you out:

  • Always use the lowest drill speed setting
  • Don’t push too hard on your drill-auger (wait for the auger blade to do the work)
  • Make sure to use the auxiliary handle on high-torque drills
  • Make sure you’ve chosen a good spot before you start drilling your hole(s)
  • Clean as you go – every now and then you can lift up your auger for a few seconds while it’s still spinning to clean shavings out of the hole
  • Use lithium batteries for your drill if possible, as they hold a charge better and longer
  • Store your drill batteries in a warm, dry place when you head out ice fishing so they’ll perform better
  • Make sure to clean and sharpen your auger blade before going out on an ice fishing excursion
  • Stand on snow, rather than ice (if possible), while drilling your ice fishing holes

Final Thoughts – How to Use a Drill as an Ice Fishing Auger

More and more anglers are turning to handheld power drills to assist them in making ice fishing holes. If you choose to take this route, make sure to use the right kind of drill, auger, and adapter for the best results.  You also want to make sure to clean and sharpen your auger blade regularly and use a low setting to drill. These steps will help you to get a clean hole and maintain your gear.

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