An ice auger powered by a Tecumseh gasoline engine works by rapidly rotating a spiral-blade drilling bit. As the cutting tip of the bit carves into the ice, the spiral blade carries the loose material up and out of the drilling hole. The operator holds handles on either side of the engine and guides the unit down until the bit breaks through the ice.
There are three basic types of ice augers used to drill holes in lake ice for ice fishing. Manual augers use a hand-cranked drill bit and the user's body weight to create an entry hole into the ice. These are more physically strenuous to use than motorized ice augers, which are typically gasoline or electric units.
A gas-powered ice auger uses a two- or four-stroke small engine to power the rotation of the drilling bit. The engine is similar to that of a lawn mower or chainsaw, differing only by the location of the crankshaft output. The fuel for this type of engine generally mixes gasoline with a small amount of oil to provide combustion and part lubrication simultaneously, as small engines generally don't have a separate oil system. Additionally, ice auger gasoline engines are typically engineered for operating in consistently wet and cold environments.