Ice Augers vs. Earth Augers: Which Bit is Right for Your Billy Goat?

Billy Goat’s new AGR1301H auger makes it easy to dig holes in dirt, because it fits in a truck bed, it’s self-supporting, and it doesn’t require angle adjustments. What about drilling ice? Dropping the Z-link support and cutting through ice in seconds sounds a lot easier than having to wrestle a one or two-man ice auger. The good news is you can use your auger this way, but you need to take a few things into consideration, including your choice of bit and the support needed to use this machine on the ice.

What’s the Difference Between an Ice Auger and an Earth Auger?

Ice augers are designed to drill holes in ice for fishing. Ice density is fairly uniform, and it’s very hard. To cut through ice, these augers use bits that are closer to a razor than a hardface earth auger bit. While earth auger teeth are used until they’re chipped, ice teeth can and should be sharpened to maintain performance. Since pressure on the auger is constant, it can be made from thin, lightweight materials. This makes the auger easier to attach and move around.

Earth augers have to withstand impacts with rocks, tree roots and other underground obstacles. As a result, they use thicker construction that makes them heavier than ice augers. Bits wear down faster if they’re made of harder material, so manufacturers offer a range of materials to fit each drilling task. Billy Goat’s dirt teeth are made for pure soil. They’re the softest and longest lasting, Their hardface teeth have a hardened surface that cuts through rocks and hard soil, but they wear out the fastest. Carbide teeth are in between these two extremes. You can buy earth teeth that fit ice augers, but the auger bit won’t last as long as an earth auger.

The drive system on your Billy Goat auger can spin in both directions. However, it’s only designed to apply force when rotating clockwise. That’s fine for earth augers, since they always have clockwise fluting. However, some ice augers have fluting designed for counter-clockwise rotation. If you decide to get an ice auger bit for your AGR1301H, make sure it runs clockwise.

Can I Take My Auger Onto the Ice?

The AGR1301H weighs 600 lbs. If the area is safe for operating snowmobiles and ATVs, it should support your auger. You need at least four inches of clear ice to support this machine, or at least 8 inches of white ice. If you aren’t sure how thick the ice is, use an ice chisel or a drill with a wood auger bit to dig a small hole that you can measure. Even if the area is supposed to be safe, ice thickness is rarely consistent. It’s a good idea to verify thickness at least every 150 feet.

Once you’ve drilled the hole, move your auger back to solid ground. Over time, the weight of the auger will push down on the ice, which may make it crack or sink below the waterline.

We Have Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat

Billy Goat Parts carries the parts and accessories you need for your equipment, whether you have the new Z-link auger or an older mower. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat as well as their manufacturing partners, so we have everything you need to fix or upgrade your equipment. Our advanced search engine can show you parts that fit your machine, as well as exploded parts diagrams and descriptions. That way, you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. Visit us at our website, We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada.

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