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Using your axe as an ice chisel...

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  • Using your axe as an ice chisel...

    I know it can be done, but I cringe when I see people hacking through ice with their good axes! I carry an ice chisel for that job, but am I being overly protective of my axe?

    Visions of chipped blades running through my head...

  • #2
    Probably shouldn't damage the blade unless there is gravel or rocks frozen in the ice, I'd be more worried about the shaft if trying to make a hole in thicker ice, I certainly don't like the idea of my axe getting wet. It's certainly a fairly common thing though for folk who were brought up without anything fancy like a chisel or auger.


    • #3
      Unless you hit a stone you're more likely to chip an axe on frozen wood than ice.
      Dirty ice can dull an axe though.
      I've used an axe on thinner ice, but as the ice gets thick you have to make an awful big hole to make room to swing without hitting the handle.
      Early ice an axe works fine though.
      That reminds me, I hate my current spud. I intended to make a new one this summer. But apparently that didn't happen.............


      • #4
        I am one of those cringe-worthy people who uses an axe. Hot tenting is a heavy and complex kit but I try my best to keep it at a minimal level. I set up and tear down almost every day so having less things and less weight is a big asset.

        I have never had a issue hitting a rock. I have gotten close a few times but I could see them coming so I was able to relocate my blows. Worse case, I can touch up the edge if needed.

        I would hate to have to chip through a thick ice sheet but with my axe but it is not hard to break through 10-12" of ice. I don't open a hole, I just poke a small hole through the bottom which fills up the chipped out basin in the ice. That being said I usually look to get water from a slush layer which find a lot easier/faster to use.

        If I should ever get hit by too much ice for my axe I can melt snow which I already do if I am feeling lazy.
        Last edited by timdaman; 11-30-2021, 09:51 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo and added a clarification.


        • #5
          ice shouldn't chip the blade, but it sure dulls it fast...