How To Sharpen Ice Auger Blades at Home: Two Methods and Step-by-Step Instructions

Sharp blades are safer than dull blades, which is true for ice augers and knives as well as axes and axes.

Sharp auger blades will bite ice with minimal force. Less downward pressure means less risk of the auger kicking or biting. A sharp auger can also chew through hard water quickly, making it easier to fish.

This is not a doubt. However, dull auger blades can be more common than you might think on ice.


It is expensive to send them back to the factory for sharpening.

Imagine if I said that your home could perform as well as the factory.

Continue reading to learn how to sharpen your ice auger blades by yourself

Ice Auger Blade Sharpening Techniques

Before I go into how to sharpen ice-auger blades, I want you to be clear. You don’t want to do it.

Even if your blades are cooled with water, never use a power grinder (angle grinder) or grinder wheel on them. Overheating the thin edge will eventually cause it to lose its temper and become softened.

Blade-specific power tools such as professional sharpening machines and belt sanders are exceptions.

How to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades with Stones

Whetstone Basics

Similar to sandpaper and whetstones, sharpening stones or whetstones vary in their coarseness. The grit is measured in metal removed. Each stroke also polishes the edge.

Stones can be found in common grits such as 120, 400, and 1000.

Whetstones can be literally wet stones. They need to be soaked in water before being used and then wetted more often during sharpening. The water acts as a lubricant, lifting the small metal particles from the surface of the stone.

This prevents the stone’s pores from clogging and creates a polishing solution that floats on top of the stone. It also enhances the stone’s performance.

Oil stones, as you might guess, require oil to sharpen them. Make sure you read the instructions carefully so that you know what the differences are.

Water stones won’t work with oil stones, and they will not work with oil stones.

The Whetstone Method

Start with three stones. These could be something around 120, 400, or 1000. Do not get too focused on the exact grits. You must have a coarse, non-metallic stone that can remove metal quickly. Then you have two graduated stones that remove scratches and give your surface a polished finish.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. The SE silicon carbide is my favorite stone for rough work. It is affordable and comes in 120 and 240 grits, which really help to get things moving.

This will give you a sharpening tool for your auger, which won’t cost much.

Step 1 – Preparation

As needed, prepare your stones with oil and water.

You should take a close, detailed look at your blades. You should pay extra attention to any nicks, dings, or damage to your edges.

There will be some chips on the left side and uneven wear.

As you can see, auger edges are made of three surfaces back bevel is nearly flat to the edge and the front has two surfaces: the primary bevel and secondary bevels.

The back and secondary bevels are exaggerated for clarity, please refer to the following.

You only need to fix the secondary and back bevels if your edge is in good condition.

If your edge is brittle or chipped, you might need to fix it first before moving onto the secondary bevel.

Step 2 – The Guide

Use a Sharpie to color the entire primary bevel.

This guide will help you determine if you are actually getting the entire primary bevel onto your stone.

Step 3 – Coarse the Primary Bevel

To find the primary bevel, flip the blade bevel downward and tilt the edge.

Use long, slow strokes to create sweeping lines. Very light pressure check the primary bevel periodically.

A Sharpie is a great tool!

You don’t have to work the entire bevel against stone if some areas are still marked.

You will need to practice your technique!

Step 4: Refine the Primary Bevel

Once you have ground the primary bevel to an even, flat surface, you can move on to the next grit. Continue this process until you achieve the polish you desire.

Use very gentle pressure and let the stones do their job.

Step 5: Sharpen the Secondary Bevel

This can be done with your most precious stone.

Place the blade on the primary bevel. Make 10-20 light passes.

The primary bevel is not in direct contact with the stone.

Are A micro-secondary bevel is created this will make the edge more difficult without compromising on cutting.

Use very, very little pressure

This step may seem unnecessary as your blade is already hair-shaving.

Do not!

This tiny secondary bevel will increase the life expectancy of your edge and greatly improve its performance.

The micro-bevel can be clearly seen, which is amazing.

Step 6 – Clean up the Back Bevel

This can be done with your most precious stone.

Place the blade flat on its back, and perform 10-20 light passes. This will remove any burrs from the back of your blade.

This is also a crucial step!

Don’t skip it.

How to Sharpen Ice Auger Blades with Sandpaper

Professionals who prefer sandpaper over stones are people I know. Don’t let this fool you.

Some basic supplies are needed: duct tape and a piece of glass, tile, or metal that is perfectly flat. Flat surfaces are the key to success.

You will need a variety of grits for sandpaper, just like the stones: coarse, medium, and fine.

Set up by carefully cutting a piece of sandpaper just a little smaller than your flat surface.

Tape the sandpaper down, pulling it tight so that it doesn’t wrinkle, and then place it on your flat surface.

Get your blades wet and you are ready to go! Just follow these steps!

Last Thoughts

You can achieve results that are comparable to the factory sharpening service with just a little bit of preparation.

You can make your auger blades razor-sharp in under an hour with practice.

We hope you found this article helpful. If not, we would love to hear about it!

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Check out our guide to essential ice fishing gear.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.