Can You Use a Chainsaw for Ice Fishing?

To catch fish, ice fishermen drill holes in ice-covered rivers, lakes, and ponds.

This is a common winter activity.

A lot of individuals wonder if they may utilize a chainsaw for ice fishing even though there are many tools accessible for drilling holes.

A chainsaw is a go-to tool for duties, including woodworking, ice sculpting, and, yes, ice fishing.

The large holes required for ice-spearing larger fish like a northern spike or sturgeon are best cut with chainsaws.

If you already have a chainsaw in your garage or tool shed instead of an ice auger, you have everything you need to make a hole for a successful day of ice fishing.

The advantages of using a chainsaw for fishing, safety advice, and alternatives to take into account are all covered in this article.

Is It Legal to Cut Ice?

The use of a chainsaw to cut ice is prohibited in many locations around the world because doing so will release harmful grease into the water body, harming marine life.

You need to know if the lake or river is on private or public land before you decide to use your chainsaw to break the ice.

If you cut ice in a restricted area, you will be subject to unpleasant and significant fines.

Because the body of water may occasionally serve as a breeding ground for an endangered fish species, you must obtain permission before using your chainsaw to cut a hole in the ice.

After getting an active spring or shallow area nearby, you will find yourself in the freezing fluid, which can drown you or cause pneumonia.

So, you need a map or a GPS to determine the stability of the ice sheet.

Can You Ice Fish with a Chainsaw?

You must choose a chainsaw with a non-marking handle that is specially made for cutting through ice.

If you are an expert at it, chainsawing ice is not that different from chainsawing wood.

Never drill two holes close to one another because it will weaken the entire ice sheet and put your life at risk as it starts to crack.

You can use the same chainsaw for over a decade without sharpening the blade.

The professionals advise using it as a chisel to begin the hole.

Set the spud bar away once the hole is big enough for the chainsaw.

Does a Chainsaw Work Well to Cut Through Ice?

A hole can be quickly cut for snow fishing with a chainsaw, but the holes are larger than those made with a tool and square.

Therefore, it’s best to keep things like children and cell phones away from the bigger holes.

Depending on the ice’s thickness, you have to force big blocks of ice out of the hole you’re making.

Avoid using electric chainsaws, a saw with a minimum 12-inch bar and a longer bar for thicker ice is required.

A crowbar or pickax will also be necessary to remove the block of ice from the hole.

In some areas, ice spearing is a well-liked ice fishing sub-niche.

As the name suggests, it entails spearing a target animal through an ice hole that is typically two by three feet in size, such as a sturgeon or muskie.

The best tool for creating these large, rectangular holes is a chainsaw.

Can You Use a Chainsaw to Cut through Water?

Chainsaws are used by farmers, harvesters, and others to clear streams or make holes in ponds for animals.

When via your saw for ice fishing, a few things ought to be obvious.

Ice fishing hole cutting requires gas-powered saws only.

The engine should never be submerged in the water; only the blade should.

It’s crucial to maintain the blade after cutting ice. After cutting through ice, make sure the chainsaw is completely dry, it is advised that remove the chain.

To prevent rusting, lightly oil the chain and the bar.

The best lubricant for your saw’s engine, chain, and bar is machine oil.

Before using the chainsaw to cut ice holes, make sure machine oils are not prohibited by local regulations in your area to avoid issues with local or regional ecological or pollution laws.

How to Use a Chainsaw to Cut Ice Properly?

Be aware of where to drill a hole in the ice before ice fishing. To avoid any accidents if it were too thin, take into account the thickness of the ice or the security of using a chainsaw.

Additionally, you must be careful not to drill holes close to hot springs, shallow areas, endangered species, or uncooperative neighbors!

There are alternatives available if chainsaws aren’t permitted to cut via the ice in your region.

If you want to cut circulation cracks in the ice, use ice-cutting tools like ice augers.

Here are some ideas for getting started if your region permits the use of chainsaws.

How to Set up the Equipment?

A chainsaw isn’t the only tool you need to get through the ice.

After drilling the hole, standard fishing equipment are necessary for fishing.

Clothing will protect you from the elements while using a chainsaw.

You can proceed to drill the hole in the same manner that you would cut a tree with a chainsaw.

A high-quality chainsaw designed for cutting through ice with non-slip handles and effective performance.

Minor accessories like spoon-like items to remove extra ice from the hole and a bucket to catch the ice.

How Can You Pick a Location?

Finding a good location to drill an ice fishing hole is the next step, so, find a region where fish are most plentiful. Instead of drilling numerous homes and testing the water frequently, you can use a sonar device to look for good underwater activity.

The device can also identify water thickness for safety.

To locate gradual drop-offs, use a GPS and pierce the ice with a drill.

If you have an ice transducer, dangle it in the water, and set up tip-ups for ice fishing.

If you can’t catch any fish, keep looking until you do.

To avoid scaring the fish, drill a hole two feet away from a good location where there are lots of them.

When drilling a hole for fishing, one should also take this into account.

You should start your ice fishing trip early in the day or just before dusk.

The majority of fish are most active at this time, and drilling a hole with a chainsaw will be much safer when it is lighter.

How to Keep Chainsaw Safe After Using It for Ice Fishing?

Chainsaws are fantastic tools when used correctly and safely, but annually avoidable accidents occur when untrained or careless users operate chainsaws.

When ice fishing, you aren’t felling trees, but you are cutting ice that may conceal projectiles like rocks, glass, empty aerosol cans, or gas canisters.

Let’s look at some fundamental precautions for chainsaw users.

It’s crucial to thoroughly clean your chainsaw to get rid of any ice or water after using it for ice fishing.

Make sure the blade is damaged-free and sharpen it as necessary.

The chainsaw should also be kept dry and protected to avoid rust.

Can You Use a Chainsaw to Ice Fish in Salt Water?

No, if you’re ice fishing in salt water, you shouldn’t use a chainsaw.

The blade and other parts of the chainsaw may damage in salt water, which could lead to a malfunction or breakage.

Use a hand auger or another saltwater-safe angler’s tool in its place.

Chainsaw storage must be done safely when being transported for ice fishing to avoid damage or injury.

To protect the blade and other parts, always transport the chainsaw in a reliable case or cover.

Ice fishing is possible with a battery-operated chainsaw.

The battery life may be shorter in colder climates, and battery-powered chainsaws might not be as powerful as gas- or electric-powered models.

To prevent sliding or shifting while being transported, be sure to secure the chainsaw in your car as well.


Chainsaw is an excellent power tool for cutting a hole in an ice sheet with a thickness of eight inches.

But the block you have cut should never be brought on the ice’s surface because it will slip and may hurt you.

Cutting through the ice with a chainsaw can be dangerous If done incorrectly.

You must therefore learn everything there is to know, from ice quality and thickness to chainsaw convenience and maintenance issues!

When you do, you won’t need to be concerned about harm or injuries.

We hope this article on using a chainsaw to cut ice was helpful.

So don’t put it off any longer and start getting ready with the appropriate gear and information for your ice fishing trip this winter.

If you have some creative information on how to safely use a chainsaw, let us know in the comment box!