With power augers, experienced ice anglers will tell you that idling your power auger for a few minutes before drilling any holes is smart. Also, it’s smart to keep a spare set of spark plugs and a tool for replacing them. Finally, be sure to always use the manufacturer’s recommended oil and gas for your power auger.

When you are ready to start cutting, resist the urge to bang your auger against the ice. Like a saw or a steak knife, simply allow the auger to do the work and use as little pressure as you need to in order to drill the hole.

Another important tip for maintaining your ice auger is to always make sure to dry your auger blades after returning home from a day on the lake. Be sure to be extremely careful, though, as the blades are very, very sharp. It also helps to apply a thin coat of oil to the blades when you’re not using them, to help prevent rusting.

Please—and I can’t stress this enough—please do not attempt to sharpen your auger’s blades if you’re not sure of the proper way to do it. Allow a professional to do the work, or replace the blades entirely, if you don’t know how.

It’s smart to carry a spare set of blades on you at all times. Be sure to bring the necessary tools for changing the blades, too. Also, I’d also keep the blade guard on your blades when they’re not in use, in order to preserve their life. This also reduces the chances of accidentally cutting yourself.

Manual and power augers are sturdy, reliable tools for drilling holes through thick ice, but even they need some TLC. Keep the tips outlined today in mind to keep your auger blades sharp and your auger cutting smooth holes for several years.