For the ice fisher with ice fishing gloves, knowing how to sharpen ice auger blades is an important skill to possess. You’ll be able to spend more time on the lake and less time waiting around for your equipment to get fixed by the shop guy you know from high school.
The process of sharpening an ice auger blade isn’t too hard if you know what you’re doing and have all the right tools. But if you’re unfamiliar with it or want to brush up on your technique, take a look at this guide!
We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website.
Learn more about our Amazon affiliate program
Ice Auger Blade Sharpening Techniques
There are a lot of different ways of sharpening the blades of an ice auger. It doesn’t matter which way you do it, but there are some differences in how it’s done.
Manual hand-held files are often good for sharpening the blades of an ice auger. Whetstones and sandpapers are other tools used to achieve evenly-sharpened, fine auger blades.
First, you must thoroughly clean it of any surface debris. A wire brush attachment for an electric drill can help you clean your blade while you work on it.
How to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades with Whetstones
In this method of sharpening an ice auger blade, you’ll need a sharpening stone. There are a lot of different types of sharpening stones out there, and it all comes down to personal preference.
They usually come in fine ground grit. They can be used to sharpen things like knives (around four hundred grit). The more fine your stone is, the better the edge you can make, but it would also take more time to get there.
Some whetstones are actually wet stones. They need to be soaked in water before they can be used, and they need to be kept wet even during the sharpening process. Start with three stones of varying grit.
The exact grits don’t matter. A coarse stone is important because it can quickly remove a lot of metal. Then, two graduated stones are used to remove scratch marks and make the surface look a little more polished.
Making Sure Everything is Ready
Closely look at the blades for cracks, bits, gouges, bumps, fractures, extreme rust, and every other damage that might be there. Oil or water can be used to clean stones.
When you remove the blades, pay attention to how they are attached so that you can put them back in the right way. Take a look at the tiny shims which are used to keep the blade angle the same. They are easy to lose.
The secondary and rear bevels are all you need to work on if the edge is in good shape. If your edge has a lot of nicks and chips, you may have to work just on the primary bevel first.
Use a Marker
Color in the whole primary bevel with a marker. This will help you figure out if you’re getting the entire primary bevel on the stone.
Turn the Blade Bevel Back
In order to find the main bevel, turn the blade bevel back and flip the edge down. Create long, gradual, wide-ranging strokes with very little pressure, and check the primary bevel from time to time to make sure it’s clean.
If some places are still marked, you aren’t operating the whole bevel against the slab. This really is going to require a lot of practice.
Improve the Primary Bevel
When you’ve leveled the primary bevel to just a flat, even edge, move on to the next grit and keep going until you get the level of polish you want.
Make the Secondary Bevel Sharper
A large secondary bevel separates and lifts the ice, while a sharp pointy bevel on the very edge is the main cutting edge.
Using a coarse sharpening stone, remove all of the visible shortcomings, burrs, scratches, and so on, cleaning it up as much as possible to make it as smooth as possible, then polish it to a mirror-like finish.
Roll the blade up as you drag it on the stone until you can feel the flat slightly curved surface that you’ve made. Once that side is done, you’ll sweep the stone down the other way.
Grind and Polish the Second Edge
This is where you’ll make the surface as perfect as you can, or as close as you can get. The first step is to use your fine sharpening stone dry.
The last step is to use sharpening stone oil to finish it off. When you’re done, the secondary edge should have a reflective quality to it.
Put the Blade on Its Back
Place the blade on its back to make 15 to 20 light passes with it, and then let it dry. This will remove any burrs from the back edge. After you sharpen the blade, you should look at it and see if you did a good job.
Cutting edges can look different from each other, but that doesn’t mean anything if they don’t look better than their own neighbors. The goal is for all of your blades to have the same sharpness and beveled edges across them.
Re-sharpen them till they exactly match with their neighbors. So that’s it. Now you can put your auger back together. Sharpening auger blades, as with most things in life, takes some practice to get good at.
Sharpening Auger Blades with Files
1. Put the file in a plain position at the moment to cover the cutting edge in such a manner that the file goes on the blade surface.
2. Within that position, start moving slowly and then gradually increase your pace, and over time, the surface should start getting finer. Check to make sure that you keep the angle the same as you move along. If you speed things up too much, you could damage the blade.
3. With one hand, hold the file. With the other, file the blade in an upward movement. Keep in mind that all the metals are built the same way, so this means they only work in one direction. You must only stroke the edge from a forward direction. Afterward, check the auger blade to make sure it’s sharp enough. If not, keep filing until it becomes sharp enough. After the blade has been ground down, you can either leave it like this or finish it with fine sandpaper. This is the best way of sharpening jiffy ice auger blades.
If you’re an avid ice fisherman, you know how important it is to sharpen ice auger blades and keep them in good condition.
Having dull blades not only affects your catch rate but you can also cut yourself with a blade that’s jagged.
Whether your auger blades are straight or curved, proper care of them should include regular sharpening, which makes them safer and helps cut through thick winter ice.