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      Auger vs. chisel?     

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Lailoken
distinguished member (145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/23/2021 04:57PM  
After melting snow on six winter camping trips, I'm wanting to try lake water, as it takes me about 45 minutes to melt snow per litre and is use of a lot of fuel. I would be carrying the auger or chisel on a pulk and moving a lot, any advice on favorite method to get water (make hole in the ice)?
 
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01/23/2021 07:58PM  
Auger is slightly bulkier but....will get you a hole a hell of a lot faster. Especially one big enough to dip a cup out of. Especially once the ice is a foot plus thick which is most of the time in the BW it seems

Treat the blades like they're made of glass and you'll be good. Abuse the blades and they'll be dull faster than you'd like
 
01/23/2021 08:25PM  
45 minutes to melt snow? Takes me about 45 seconds to drill through 30 or so inches. Augers are bulky, but efficient. Don’t know how long it takes to go through 30 inches with a chisel.
 
01/23/2021 08:47PM  
Nills Ice auger.

Fast, easy. Literally able to drill through the ice faster than a motorized auger as well!

Just pack on the top of your pulk.
 
brulu
member (46)member
 
01/23/2021 10:58PM  
I have a 4 inch Mora Lazer hand auger, I think it's the smallest size they make but I still rarely bring it because I don't like the bulk (and I'm not much of a fisherman so I don't absolutely need it). So I've been melting snow too, and it's been fine, but I've also been looking for something better.

I did get an idea from the Calvin Rutstrum 'Paradice Below Zero' book: melt ice (chipped from the lake with a hatchet or ice chisel) instead of melting snow. Theoretically it would require the same amount of fuel, but there would be some time efficiencies since you could fit a full batch into the pot just once at the beginning and you wouldn't need to keep gathering and adding snow as it melted and freed up space in the pot. I haven't tried it yet but I would expect it to work at least marginally better.

Somewhere while browsing a lot of old winter camping posts on this site I stumbled on something called a spoon auger. I had never heard of them, but they were apparently the missing link between ice chisels and spiral-fluted augers back in the 50s and 60s. It seems like they were all made in Sweden (by Mora) and imported here. They aren't as fast as the spiral type, but they're less bulky since they just have the spoon blade at the end, a connecting rod, and the hand crank. No one makes them anymore (as far as I can tell), so you have to look on ebay or Craigslist. Most of them are in rough shape and would need refurbishing. I managed to find a never-used 4 inch replacement blade that was nice and sharp, and adapted it to the hand crank from my Lazer. It cut through a foot of ice on the harbor here in Duluth in a minute or so with no problem. It's a pound and a half lighter than the Lazer, and without the bulky flutes it can nestle into the bottom of my sled rather than strapping on top. Can't wait to try it out on a bwca trip!

 
ArrowheadPaddler
distinguished member(684)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/24/2021 06:00AM  
There was a similar question/discussion earlier this month:
auger vs. chisel
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13555)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/24/2021 07:44AM  
I would take a hand auger vs a chisel. Faster and more efficient. A chisel you need to get down and scoop out the ice chips. It’s really a pain to use them in more ways than one.
 
Duff
senior member (90)senior membersenior member
 
01/24/2021 12:24PM  
4" hand auger would be best, especially if you aren't an ice fisherman.
I bring a 6" or 8" Nils depending on whether we are targeting stream or lake trout.
The bigger hole is nice for dipping in coffee pots, and doesn't shrink freeze as quickly. But a 4" is super easy to pop new holes when water is needed.

We used to bring a 4" hand auger on ice fishing trips outside the BW, just to use for a transducer hole in between our power augered 8" holes in our solo shanty's. So much less effort than using an 8" or even a 6" hand auger.

Chisel's take a lot of time, and are probably just as heavy as a 4" hand auger.
Many many minutes vs literally seconds with an auger.

 
bwcajohn
member (9)member
 
01/29/2021 09:28AM  
I have two Mora augers that I have replaced blades on or had the blades sharpened, and they just do not cut well. I have tried everything including shims and new blades. I have heard that this is common with Moras.

Last week I replaced them with a Lazer Strikemaster 6" auger from Gander Outdoors in Lakeville and it cuts like a hot knife through butter. The handle also can be quickly removed to cut the length in half which makes it easier to pack. The blade cover is much better than the stock Mora one as well. I think I spent about $95 plus I paid $12 for the protection plan which will allow me to replace it for any reason in the next two years.

You can have a hole drilled in under 30 seconds this way.
 
01/29/2021 11:59AM  
bwcajohn: "I have two Mora augers that I have replaced blades on or had the blades sharpened, and they just do not cut well. I have tried everything including shims and new blades. I have heard that this is common with Moras.


Last week I replaced them with a Lazer Strikemaster 6" auger from Gander Outdoors in Lakeville and it cuts like a hot knife through butter. The handle also can be quickly removed to cut the length in half which makes it easier to pack. The blade cover is much better than the stock Mora one as well. I think I spent about $95 plus I paid $12 for the protection plan which will allow me to replace it for any reason in the next two years.


You can have a hole drilled in under 30 seconds this way. "


Lazer is the best hand auger out there....unless you're gonna spend a couple bejamins on a Nils. And yes, if you're purely going for water get one even smaller than 6". If you're fishing too, stick with 6 or so. Most lazers here in IA new are in the $80 range
 
schweady
distinguished member(7199)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/29/2021 12:49PM  
No need for a huge hole to collect water through the ice. Glue a cap on a length of 4" PVC pipe. Drill 2 holes and attach a rope handle.
 
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