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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

This is not a homemade ice chiselIce 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:


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.

tip of a homemade ice chisel3/4″ 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?


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

  1. Ice fishing can be a lot of waiting and then a lot of excitement.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. This is a very interesting article as I have learned a lot. I have done a lot of fishing in my life but not ice fishing.  I like knowing about this. You can make homemade ice chisels and you have provided the way to do it and the materials needed. This is a lot of good information on ice fishing and much appreciated.

  3. I like your idea of a homemade ice chisel. I’m going to pass your article onto my brother who ice fishes (I don’t). I agree with your thoughts about a power augur. The one time my brother got me out on the ice he brought a power augur. After 25 minutes of swearing and useless effort, he finally gave up on the power augur. He ended up walking to the shanty of our fishing neighbor and borrowed… you guessed it… an ice chisel!

  4. For me, is important to be able to improvise when something I need breaks or is lost.  I can’t always run out and pick it up.  Thanks for reading the article and commenting.

  5. I love stuff like this! Thanks for the DIY. It’s important to know how to do stuff like this not only to save money, but also in a case of extreme survival. I’m glad we have the internet to teach us innate survival tactics like this to get by. Great website, by the way. Nice and clean, good stuff. 

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. 


  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. 

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