Can You Use A Post-Hole Digger For Ice Fishing?

You can be spoilt for choices when searching or buying tools for projects around your property. Some tools complete multiple tasks. Ice fishing enthusiasts might have wondered if using a post hole digger for ice fishing is possible? We've researched this topic and found some curious answers.

Yes, you can use a post hole digger for ice fishing. Most post hole diggers and ice augers have similar power heads and gearboxes. You could change or interchange the drill bits for different surfaces.

Are you a bit confused as to how this is possible? Read on as we explain in detail which drill bits are suitable and whether it is a good idea in general.

A young man is fishing from a hole on ice, Can You Use A Post-Hole Digger For Ice Fishing?

Post Hole Diggers For Ice Fishing

Mixed race family ice fishing

You could use a post hole digger for cutting cut holes when ice fishing. On the other hand, you could also use an ice auger for digging fence post holes.

Interchanging ice and dirt auger bits is not recommended. However, utilizing damaged earth or ice auger bits could save you money. The smart move will be to purchase a hand auger with a motor and separate bits for ice and dirt.

They are interchangeable while maintaining their sole purpose. You will have a dirt bit that can drill holes in the earth and survive rocks. The ice bit will remain sharp to tackle ice when fishing.

Using An Ice Auger To Drill Fence Post Holes

You can use an ice auger to dig post holes. If the ice auger no longer cuts into the ice and it's lying around your garage, utilize it for digging post holes instead.

However, don't use it on rocky soil because the bit cannot handle it. Moreover, the force it will generate when it hits a rock or roots could dislocate your shoulder!

Here's a demonstrative video on how the ice auger digs holes.

Types Of Augers

An auger is meant to drill holes for ice fishing, fence posts, or planting crops. Before purchasing an auger, you should comprehend the different types available.

Earth Auger

farmer using tools hand-held soil hole drilling machine or portable manual earth auger for prepare the soil for planting trees with garden background organic farming

They are meant to drill holes in the dirt. They can easily scrape through dirt, roots, and rocks in the ground. Earth augers have thick sharp blades that cut through the soil like butter.

Have a look at this Earth Auger on Amazon

Ice Auger

Winter ice fishing

An ice auger is designed to cut through ice and crush it along the way. They are ideal for ice fishing and very popular in the food industries, where they cut huge blocks of ice.

The blades are sharper and not too thick. Ice augers allow you to drill small enough holes for fishing.

Check out this Eskimo Ice Auger on Amazon

Ice augers are further divided into:

  • Electric Augers: They are quiet and ecologically friendly. Ensure that you always have an extra set of batteries to use the tool longer.
  • Gas Augers: They are powerful and cut through thick ice with ease. The downside is that they are noisy, pricy, and heavy.
  • Manual Augers: They have ergonomic handles that make the job manageable. Don't venture using them on thick ice because it will be an uphill task.

Hand Auger

They are not powered by any motor like the ice and earth auger. Hand augers dig relatively shallow holes and are popular when mining, unclogging drains, ice fishing, or making post holes.

Have a look at this Hand Auger on Amazon

Garden Augers

Garden Fence Post Hole Auger Earth Hand Drill - Telescopic Tree Pruner Saw Blade Lopper Cutter

Garden augers are lightweight and easy to use in any gardening activity. These augers are attached to drills to dig post holes, landscaping, or plant bulbs.

Check out this Garden Auger on Amazon

The Best Drill For Garden Augers

Garden augers are made to fit most drills. A garden auger's shaft is 3/8" in diameter. It'll fit a drill chuck of 3/8". 

Cordless drills die out fast and are more expensive than corded ones. Therefore, pick a drill with enough volts for effectiveness.  

Do Manual Ice Augers Work In Dirt?

No, they don't! The placement of the blades makes it difficult for the manual ice auger to cut into the soil. You could attempt using it, but it will take a lot of time and strength. If you don't own a post hole digger, you could rent it.

Do Augers Come In Standard Sizes?

Yes, they do! Ice and earth augers bits are long, and the least measurements are 6" (150mm) in diameter and 31" (800mm) in length. You can find bits larger in hardware stores or online. Garden augers can be found in smaller sizes.

Which Auger Bit Is Ideal For 4x4 Fence Posts?

4x4 fence posts are 3.5"x3.5". The additional dirt and cement will require a large hole. Use a 6" diameter earth auger bit to dig a hole that will accommodate the fence post, backfill, and cement.

The depth of the hole should be 36" to 40" deep depending on the frost line in your zone. Remember, wooden and metal fence posts have different requirements.

How To Pick The Ideal Post Hole Digger

Digging holes can be tedious and more complicated if you use the wrong tool. You can't guess how well any hole digger will perform before using it. Before you make a choice, here are some things you should consider:

  • The type of soil on your property.
  • Effectiveness of the chosen tool.
  • The cost of purchase or hire of the tool.
  • The versatility of the tool.

Watch the following video before you settle on any post-hole digging tool.

How Deep Can You Dig With An Auger?

Augers can dig post holes as deep as three feet. If you wish to dig deeper holes, you could rent an extension. It will cost you more, but you will have the required depth.

Power augers are faster and will accomplish more. Some power augers need to be operated by two people. However, ensure that you have a third person to shut off the machine if you hit a rock or tree roots.

How To Correctly Use An Auger

Adhere to all safety precautions when operating any powered tools. Even if you use them often, do not lax about safety. Use these tips when using a powered auger.

  1. Measure and mark the spots you want your fence post by using stakes beforehand.
  2. Ensure that the auger is aimed straight into the ground before you commence digging.
  3. Don't use the auger on top of wet soil. Use a shovel to remove the top layer to avoid weighing the auger.
  4. Drill wider holes instead of narrow ones. The fence posts will sit better in deeper holes.

Whichever auger you choose to use, use it properly. Whenever possible, engage the services of a professional or a friend.

In Closing

Winter fishing, ice fishing

You can use an ice auger to dig holes in dirt and an earth auger to dig holes in the ice. However, handheld augers will not do a good job.

To avoid damaging a new auger, purchase interchangeable bits. Use each auger for the intended purpose. Moreover, if purchasing isn't in the books, you can rent one.

Take advantage of more information from these posts:

Can A Post Hole Digger Go Through Roots?

How Big Is A Post Hole Digger [What Size Do You Need?]