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Homemade Ice Chisel – Inexpensive, Easy, Effective

Homemade Ice Chisel – Inexpensive, Easy, Effective

If you ice fish, you need something to cut a hole in the ice.  I have reviewed ice augers in the past.  The quickest to use is the gas powered auger.  A hand auger is less expensive and easier to carry, but difficult to use.  When I hiked into a lake, I did not want to carry a power auger.  I found the best alternative for me was an ice chisel.  I decided to make a homemade ice chisel.

Ice Chisels

ice chisel
54″ heavy duty chisel $22

Ice Chisels come in different lengths and weights.   This one piece chisel is 54″ long and heavy-duty.  It is selling on Amazon right now for $22.  Just click on the image to buy this chisel.

Other models, including two and three piece pack-in chisels are sold at:

Click on the banner.


Homemade Ice Chisel

A good ice chisel cuts fast but the hole will not be completely round.  There is a tendency to make the hole wider at the top than at the bottom with an ice chisel.  This isn’t bad as long as the bottom is the size you want.  You will need a good ice scoop if you use a chisel.  It’s easy to make an ice chisel.


two 24″ x 3/4″ pieces of galvanized pipe with both ends threaded

galvanized cap

galvanized coupling.

3/4″ steel chisel

Quick set cement (optional)



Block of Wood


Stand one section of pipe on end.  Place the handle of the steel chisel into the  pipe.  Place the block of wood on the chisel blade and tap the chisel into the pipe with the hammer.   The fit will be very tight, but the pipe is soft so the chisel handle should go in up to the blade.

Screw the coupling onto one piece of pipe and screw the other piece into it.  Place the cap on the open end of the pipe. Tie something around the pipe to act as a wristband.  I have lost more than one hand chisel with that last chop that breaks right through the ice unexpectedly.

For added weight, pour some very loose quickset cement into the section of pipe with the chisel.  Connect the pieces after the cement dries.

You will have a nicely weighted, very sturdy, two piece ice chisel.

Enjoy Your Homemade Ice Chisel

I love to ice fish, but I don’t like carrying a power auger.  They are too noisy and too frustrating when they won’t start.  Hand augers are cumbersome.  I also find them difficult to use.  I like my homemade ice chisel.  It packs easily and gets the job done quietly.  What’s your preference?


8 thoughts on “Homemade Ice Chisel – Inexpensive, Easy, Effective

  1. This would actually come very handy for me. For a person who works freely and has a lot of free time on my hands, having the time for this is good for me and I know that I can really make a whole lot of difference with this here. I value what you have shared here especially giving the guide on making ice chisel. I like it and would love to give it a trial

    1. If you live where there is good ice on the lakes, you should give it a try. But, ice fishing is addictive.  Once you catch a fish through the ice, you want to keep going back.  Thanks for commenting.

  2. It sounds as if you do quite a bit of ice fishing. The way you suggested to make an ice chisel sounds very logical to me. I have never had the opportunity to go ice fishing but would love to. I understand the need to not carry a gas-powered auger. It would as you say be heavy carrying out but back as well. When you go to use the ice chisel do you put anything over the end of the pipe to keep it from flaring out or is that to be expected? Do you start out with a small hole and just expand it as needed? It sounds as if the ice fishing can be a great deal of fun. I will have to take a trip north to try it someday. 


    1. Ice fishing is fun. When are use a chisel a hole at the top is a lot bigger than under the water that’s just the way it works out when you cut it. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  3. Seems like quite complicated to make it ourselves. One would have to get all the tools and those will cost money too. If it’s not too expensive, I would buy the ready-made chisel instead. Very interesting to know how to build an ice chisel, knowing how it is built would make me appreciate the chisel more when I buy it.

  4. I love all things fishing and it seems like the simplest little products that you absolutely have to have are the most expensive. thanks for sharing a great solution to a can’t live without item everyone needs to go ice fishing. I’ve seen these silly little chisels go for way more than they should. It’s such a rip off and all because they know you have to have it. 

    1. It happens that I like to make things.  The weight of the homemade chisel makes it much easier to use than the manufactured ones.  Thanks for reading the article and taking the time to comment.

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