How to convert an ice drill to an electric screwdriver

Adapter for ice drill for screwdriver. A trick for professional fishermen

No self-respecting winter fisherman appears on a frozen pond without an ice-axe. It is as obligatory element of winter fishing as a rod or a box. Of course, it is possible to go without it, relying on holes left by colleagues, but even after a short snowfall it will be very difficult to find them.

An axe is not the best option, either. If the ice is thicker than 20 cm you will have to work up a sweat, and after that the fishing will not be fun. It is easier with ice-axe, especially if its blades are well and properly sharpened. It takes only a few minutes to drill, and the rest of the time you can enjoy your favorite activity.

In recent years, an improved tool that is a symbiosis of an ice pick and a construction electric screwdriver has become very popular.

The connection of an auger with an electric screwdriver is an unusual solution to get an excellent automatic device for drilling ice of any thickness and structure without any effort. Today the fishing market offers drills, already adapted for an electric screwdriver.

Such production can boast the well-known Swedish company Mora, but not every fisherman can afford this rather expensive tool.

But there are craftsmen who have learned to make automated ice axes of domestic products. This work requires certain skills and knowledge.

It is not enough to simply cut the handle with an angle grinder, you need to know how to connect the auger with an electric tool, and most importantly. to choose the latter correctly, because a low-powered model will not cope with the task.

convert, drill, electric, screwdriver

So, what is the best electric screwdriver to choose for an ice pick? Let’s try to figure it out, but first let’s make sure that it really needs to be done.

Over many years of practice in catching various types of fish the most effective ways have been found:

Advantages and disadvantages of ice picks equipped with an electric screwdriver

Compared to manual models, automated ice axes offer several advantages. First and foremost:

  • Saving of time. When the fish are passive, sometimes you have to search for them for a long time, making many holes. With a hand-operated drill, the search can take hours, and the winter day is short enough as it is.
  • Saves energy. No physical strain, just a little effort to keep the tool upright.
  • Greater opportunities. An upgraded ice axe can handle any ice, even the driest and densest.
  • Silent. When the ice cover is clear, without snow, the ice axe hits the body of water with a loud thud. After that, the fish will not come under the hole for a long time yet. The automated ice axe is another matter. It works not only quickly, but also quietly.
  • Versatility. No need to store the tool in its pre-assembled condition. the electric screwdriver can be removed and used in the home for its intended purpose.
  • Self-Esteem. Not every ice fishing enthusiast has such a device. Competitors, who continue to chisel with an ice axe in the old fashioned way, will look at the work of the miracle ice axe with undisguised envy.

Unfortunately, some of the weaknesses of the power tool also manifest themselves during fishing.

convert, drill, electric, screwdriver
  • Winter fishing takes place in low temperatures, which is a major problem. If at.The tool can still somehow cope with its function at 10 degrees Celsius, but at a harder frost, you have to take out the battery and keep it behind the sinus.
  • Unstable work devices with ice axes, in which the auger rotates counterclockwise. After a certain number of turns, the adapter becomes loose and begins to slip in the chuck.

As you can see, this tool has a lot more advantages than disadvantages. They are what made it popular.

Which ice axe to choose?

Every fisherman who is tired of working with his hands and has made the choice to improve, faces the issue of choosing an electric screwdriver. This machine has a number of requirements. What parameters to pay attention to when buying an electric ice pick and which one to choose:

  • The possibility of use in extreme conditions. In our case it is low temperatures. Not every electric screwdriver is able to work in freezing temperatures, so you should look in the passport of the device information about at what temperature minimum it can be operated.
  • Voltage. This parameter determines the performance of an electric screwdriver, that is, its power. There is only one rule: the higher the value, the more powerful the tool. For fishing is suitable 18-volt device, but it is better to stop at his professional “cousin” working from 36 volts. It is sure to cope with heavy loads.
  • torque. This physical value, which determines the force of rotation of the working element, depends on how easy it will be to drill. Here, too, the principle should be followed: more is better. If you don’t have extra money, you can choose a device, which works in the range of 40-70 Nm (newton/meter), but if finances allow you to buy a more advanced model. 80-90 Nm.
  • Battery capacity. The more it is, the longer the device can work without recharging. Usually this parameter varies from 1.5 to 4 Ah (ampere-hour). It is clear that with 4 Ah battery you can drill more holes on one charge.
  • toughness of the body. In difficult winter fishing conditions, anything can happen. For example, during assembly an electric screwdriver accidentally slips out of your hands and hits a hard ice. In order not to be disappointed in the first day of the automated ice pick, you need to choose a quality electric screwdriver for it, resistant to shocks and other mechanical effects.
  • Handle. The side handle is very handy. Thanks to this additional element it is possible to hold it firmly with two hands and not to be afraid of injuring the hand.
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To ensure that on the pond an electric screwdriver for the ice drill does not turn into unnecessary ballast, it is important to choose the right battery to it.

Nowadays, tools of this type are most often equipped with two types of batteries: lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium. Nickel-metal hydride batteries are less common.

Updating an ice pick with an electric screwdriver


Today we offer the topic: “rework of the ice drill with an electric screwdriver” from professional fishermen. We have tried to cover the subject as extensively as possible. Feel free to ask any questions in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев after the article.

Some winter fishing methods involve constant movement of the fisherman in the water area and drilling holes. Even with well-sharpened blades, a day’s fishing can be exhausting, especially if you’re drilling through thick ice. Facilitate the situation can be an electric screwdriver for the ice drill, which allows absolutely no effort and, accordingly, less fatigue and enjoy being on the pond.

convert, drill, electric, screwdriver

Today, there are drills on the market that are originally adapted for connection with an electric screwdriver. These are the products of the Swedish company Mora. Some craftsmen adapt domestic products, leaving the auger and cutting the handle.

Automated homemade ice drill with an electric screwdriver has a number of advantages over a purchased one:

  • It is very easy and simple to improve a conventional auger in this way.
  • It is much cheaper to attach an electric screwdriver than to buy a factory-made specialized ice drill.
  • For all work you will need a minimum of tools and materials.

As a result, we get an excellent automated ice drill, the work of which can be enjoyed every time you go out on the ice.

In order for the ice drill to be able to drill any thickness of ice, it is necessary to choose an electric screwdriver with high power. A weak tool will not be able to drill properly in thick ice.

Naturally, for our purposes, only cordless tools that do not require constant connection to the electric network are used. It is imperative that the electric screwdriver has good physical strength and reliability. It has to be able to withstand various loads, possible shocks and other bad weather conditions during fishing.

An electric screwdriver for an ice drill should have the following characteristics:

  • Torque of about 80-90 Nm. In general, the higher it is, the easier the tool will cope with dry and thick ice.
  • Battery voltage 18-36V. The higher this parameter, the more powerful and workable is considered an electric screwdriver, it is easier to drill the ice cover with it.
  • Battery capacity not less than 2.5 Ah, and better up to 4 Ah. The higher the value, the longer the tool will work without recharging.

Japanese companies Makita and Metabo are not bad screwdrivers, which are suitable for ice drills. Although you can use any other brands that meet these parameters.

Today screwdrivers are equipped with two types of batteries:

  • Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) is lightweight, fast to charge, but “unfriendly” to low temperatures. A tool with such a battery is expensive.
  • Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) weighs a lot, but is able to operate at temperatures up to.150 degrees.

It is obligatory to take two rechargeable batteries to a body of water with you. They should be kept warm, for example, in the inside of a jacket. While one is working, the second should not be out in the cold.

Of course, to create an automated ice drill with your own hands will be useful not only an electric screwdriver. It is possible to apply other “twisting” power tools:

The latter, by the way, does not work on battery power, but such an idea is technically difficult to implement.

Not every ice drill can be adapted to an electric screwdriver. Domestic products are not suitable, because they rotate in the same direction as the chuck nut unscrewing. As a result, it has to be jacked up all the time. Some craftsmen get out of this situation by using a reducer. But not every fisherman will be able to make it.

It is best to make an ice drill from an electric screwdriver from foreign products. Almost all Mora models can be adapted to an electric tool. For them in any store you can buy an adapter, which allows you to reliably connect the chuck to the auger.

Special mention should be made of Mora Nova System ice drill. The manufacturer allows the sale of an auger with a removable cutting head, which is connected to an electric screwdriver. For drilling thick ice you can buy a special extension.

For the products of the Swedish company “Mora” offers two types of adapters:

We can also mention adapters with a handle. They are more convenient in operation. The first is an adapter from “Higashi” with a diameter of 18 mm. it is suitable for all Swedish augers and for some domestic augers, for example, products from “Nero”. The second is for the ice drill “Heinola EasyRun”, which also has a fitting size of 18 mm and fits other products.

So, now that all elements, necessary for making an ice drill with an electric screwdriver, are considered, you can proceed directly to the assembly. Nothing complicated here already, when all the parts are at hand:

We connect the chuck with a screwdriver through the adapter. That’s it. automated ice drill from electric screwdriver is ready.

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As mentioned above, instead of a cordless electric screwdriver, you can use a wrench. It is more expensive, because this tool is produced only for professional use. But, it has a very strong body and is made of higher quality materials, so it will last longer.

The choice of materials for the blades

A screw is a fundamental part of the tool. Most fishermen use ready-made knives, taken from hand-held ice drills. They meet the strength requirements of steel. Such blades are easy to adapt to an electric screwdriver.

Ice Drill. electric screwdriver with their own hands

The best blades for power ice drills are Expert Pro, Nova System, Ice Micro, Tonar, Tornado, Barnaul.

To create an auger with their own hands will require a tube and plates made of metal, steel knives. The hardened steel of R18 brand or analogues with hardness from 30 to 70 units is the best.

Note! Making an auger with your own hands is a labor-intensive process that requires special knowledge. Fishermen recommend buying a ready-made auger.

What is better an electric screwdriver or a nutrunner

an electric screwdriver is the closest to the requirements for conversion, but some anglers use a wrench. This is due to a number of advantages of the tool.

  • The nutrunner is characterized by a more massive body.
  • The nutrunner is a direct alternative to the screwdriver.
  • There is no difficulty in making an adapter.

In the absence of a screwdriver, anglers are also allowed to convert a drill or chainsaw. But they require work skills and are not always safe.

READ Grinder with their own hands at home

High-capacity metal-hydride batteries are better for making an ice drill

Turning a Harbor Freight drill into a power ice auger

Peculiarities of electric screwdriver selection

Before making an ice drill from an electric screwdriver with your own hands, you need to choose a tool that matches the characteristics of the operating conditions.

  • the battery resistance to frost;
  • Voltage (18 volts);
  • Torsional torque. the bigger the torque, the better;
  • battery capacity. the higher this parameter, the longer the ice drill works without recharging;
  • Ergonomics. a comfortable handle and thought-out body shape provide a secure grip and ease of use.

The choice of an electric screwdriver is made according to technical characteristics and battery type

Screwdrivers with 18V power

On the market there is a wide range of screwdrivers with 18W power, which correspond to the price-quality ratio.

  • Makita 8414 DWAE. Weight of the device does not exceed 3 kilograms. Torque 63 Nm. There are 2 batteries in the set.
  • Makita 8434 DWFE. Small in size. Torsional torque is 64 Nm.
  • Hitachi DS18DSFL. Quality electric screwdriver with lithium-ion battery. Battery capacity of only 1.5 amps.
  • Bosch GSR 18 VE-2-Li. Set includes 3 Amp lithium-ion batteries. Weight not more than 3 kg.
  • Bosch GSR 18-2. Has a mass of 2 kilograms. The battery type is nickel-cadmium.

Before buying, you should study the information on the top models and consider their characteristics.

Which is better an electric screwdriver or a wrench

An electric screwdriver is the closest to the requirements for remodeling, but some anglers use a nutrunner. This is due to a number of advantages of the tool.

  • The nutcracker has a more massive body.
  • The nutrunner is a direct alternative to a screwdriver.
  • No difficulty in making an adapter.

In the absence of a screwdriver, anglers are also allowed to use a drill or chainsaw. But they require skill and are not always safe.

Capacious metal-hydride batteries are better suited for the ice drill

Choice of materials for blades

An important part of the tool is an auger. Most anglers use off-the-shelf blades taken from hand-held ice drills. They meet the requirements for the strength of steel. It is easy to adapt such blades for an electric screwdriver.

The best blades for motor ice drills are Expert Pro, Nova System, Ice Micro, Tonar, Tornado, Barnaul.

To create an auger with their own hands will need a tube and plates of metal, steel knives. The best suited hardened steel grade R18 or analogues with a hardness of 30 to 70 units.

Please note! Making an auger with their own hands is a time-consuming process that requires special knowledge. Fishermen recommend buying an already ready-made auger.

Fitting an electric screwdriver to an ice drill

The main problem in the manufacture of the tool is how to attach an electric screwdriver to the ice drill. This will require a special adapter. The adapter is better to buy ready-made in the store, taking into account the dimensions of the devices.

The adapters have a shaft on the drill side and a hexagonal head in which the cutting part is clamped. The length of the shaft is on average 6.8 centimeters, the distance from the auger attachment point to the end 2.6 centimeters. The correct connection scheme has a sequence of electric screwdriver-adapter-ice axe.

Please note! Preference should be given to adapters with handles and one stop. Do not take structurally complicated variants.

Ice axe from a screwdriver with your own hands

To choose the right screwdriver for the ice drill, you need to focus on the technical characteristics of the power tool: voltage, type of battery and torque value. An important requirement for the device is also its safety, so that when working with it the fisherman did not get injured limbs.

The screwdriver has these requirements:

  • High operational characteristics, typical for products of “Metabo” and “Makita” brands and a number of domestic producers.
  • The battery should have a minimum voltage of 18-36V. powerful devices are much more expensive, so you can buy a tool with multiple 18-volt batteries.
  • Torque must be between 80 and 90 Nm. A smaller torque value would make it more difficult to drill through dry, thick bottoms. To quadruple the torque and use a household electric screwdriver with a torque of 12-16 N / m is possible with a gearbox.
  • Optimal power supply capacity is 2.5. 4.0 Ah. The higher this value is, the longer the tool will work without recharging.
  • For safety, the screwdriver should have an extra handle that makes it possible to hold the device with both hands.

How to choose a battery?

One of the main parameters of an electric screwdriver is the battery, which comes in:

  • Lithium-ion (Li-Ion). Pros: short charging time and low weight. Minus: cold intolerance. However, there are models designed to be used in sub-zero temperatures. When choosing, you should carefully read the operating ranges, and be prepared that the battery still has to warm up occasionally under your clothes.
  • Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd). Advantages: cold resistance. Disadvantages. heavy weight.
  • Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH). By its properties it is something between Li-Ion and Ni-Cd. It is more resistant to cold than the former and lighter than the latter.
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Photo Gallery

Li-Ion battery Ni-Cd battery Ni-MH battery

Top 5 best screwdrivers

In 2019, the top 5 best cordless screwdrivers for use during winter fishing looks like this:

Model Voltage, V Torque, N⋅m Battery capacity, A⋅h Battery type Weight, kg Additional handle Lower price limit,
AEG BS 18C Li-402C 18 51 4 Li-Ion 1.7 Yes 15 150
Makita DDF444RFE LiION 14.4 70 3 Li-Ion 2 Yes 18 990
DeWALT DCD920B2 18 55 2.6 Ni-MH 2.8 Yes 15 819
Bosch GSR 18-2-LI Plus 18 63 2 Li-Ion 1.49 No 10 559
Metabo BS 18 LT 18 60 4 Li-Ion 1.8 Yes 12 224

How to choose an electric screwdriver for an ice drill can be found in the video. Footage taken by the “Fishing with Solonitsyn Dmitry” channel.

Homemade ice drill

For a homemade ice fishing drill, you will need:

Parts must be welded together first, then sanded. It is recommended to paint the finished tool: so it will be less susceptible to corrosion.

Kovac 2 Ice Master Drill Adapter by onza04

The quality of drilling will depend on two factors:

  • Hardening of the blades. Knives with a hardness between 30 and 70. These knives will be made of either P18 steel or steel coated with titanium nitride.
  • Quality of knives. Correctly sharpened cutting edges. the key to high drilling speeds. there should be two cutting edges.

In the video from Michael Smantsyrev’s channel it is considered in detail how to make a self-made ice drill for a fisherman.

Ready ice drill

For connection with an electric screwdriver, ready-made Mora (Mora) ice drills are well suited. The advantage of these Swedish devices is that it is easy to buy a standard adapter that will reliably connect the auger and chuck.

The Mora Nova System model allows for the separate purchase of an auger with a replaceable cutting head. It is he who connects with an electric screwdriver. If the ice is thick, it is possible to buy an extension cord.

Two diameter adapters are available as standard with the ice drill:

Mora Mora Nova System

On how to work with ice drill “Mora” it is possible to learn from video, shooted by channel ExivBRN.

How to make an adapter with your own hands

To make an adapter with your own hands will be needed:

The procedure for assembling the device is as follows:

  • The hexagonal part, acting as a nozzle, using an L-type wrench is clamped in the chuck of an electric screwdriver. It stops the auger turning.
  • The cylindrical part is connected to the auger through a hole in the cylinder and is bolted to the auger tube.

How to take care of the tool

No matter what kind of screwdriver-based ice auger is made, in order for it to work for as long as possible, it is important to properly care for it. The following rules should be adhered to for this purpose:

  • After finishing fishing, the auger is wiped with a dry rag, even if there is a protective layer of paint.
  • To store the tool, use a special case made of thick fabric with special holes for ventilation.
  • In case of long-term storage in summer, the product is lubricated with motor oil.
  • No ice or snow stuck to the cutting edge is ever dislodged. This will cause the blades to wear out quickly.
  • If you use a drill consisting of several elements, regularly lubricate the joints with motor oil.
  • If the fasteners become loose, it is important to correct the problem immediately in order to prevent a permanent tool breakage.
  • Rust can form in places where scratches occur. If these effects are detected, they must be painted over.
  • When drilling a hole, it is important to distribute the load evenly. This prevents the screwdriver from being overloaded and breakage.

As you can see, making an ice drill with your own hands is quite a simple process. The main thing is to choose correctly an adapter, a screwdriver and a cutting part of the product. After combining all components into a single design, you get an indispensable assistant in winter fishing. Such tool allows to drill a hole in the ice of any thickness in a few minutes.

Tips and useful information on selection and operation

Experts advise to pay attention to the following nuances:

  • If you do not have an extra handle on the machine, you can use an adapter with a welded handle. The ready-made design allows you to save money on the main equipment, to purchase a more budgetary model.
  • if the screwdriver is equipped with a lithium-ion battery, it is better to have a spare when fishing in winter. While using the main one, the other one must be kept warm.
  • Some craftsmen replace the standard screwdriver with a screwdriver. The latter is characterized by a highly durable body and better performance.
  • During the creation of holes trace that the ice axe turns in the opposite direction from the movement when unscrewing the chuck on the screwdriver.

It is up to the future owner to choose and decide whether to buy an expensive or economical device. Purchase of budget model often becomes the reason of repeated purchase of fishing devices due to low durability, breakdowns and inability to drill the required number of holes during one day. Cheap is not always quality and reliability.

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