What Are Ice Scratchers and Why Do You Need Them?

When most people think of snowmobiling, they think of cruising through powdery tracks in the woods. However, as any seasoned rider knows, dealing with ice is an important part of riding safely and efficiently. One essential piece of gear for dealing with icy conditions is a set of snowmobile ice scratchers from Straightline Performance. Let’s look at what these devices are and why you need them.

If you are new to snowmobiling and have questions about ice scratchers, this is where to find the answers. This post will give you insights into the concept of ice scratchers, their function, and their importance on a snowmobile. Let’s get you started by explaining what the ice scratcher is.

What are snowmobile ice scratchers?

An ice scratcher is a device attached to the rear of a snowmobile. Its function is to dig into hard snow and ice, then break it into smaller pieces that the device can easily kick up into your snowmobile’s suspension to provide cooling to the rear end, thus preventing it from overheating. Without the ice scratchers, the heat exchanger will get too hot and eventually fail or, in the worst-case scenario, even blow up.

What are the types of ice scratchers?

There are two types of ice scratchers available in the market, cable scratchers and spring scratchers. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type.

Cable ice-scratchers

Cable ice-scratchers are made up of a steel-tipped cable attached to the rear of the snowmobile. The main advantage of this type of scratcher is that it can reach further out and dig easily into the hard snow and ice. Cable ice scratchers are ideal if you will be riding your snowmobile on a worn-out trail that doesn’t have a lot of hard-packed snow to dig into.

One disadvantage of cable scratchers is that they can cause the wearing out of your snowmobile’s rails because of its positioning. If you are using cable scratchers, it is important to regularly check the condition of your rails and have them replaced when needed.

Spring ice-scratchers

As the name suggests, spring ice-scratchers are made up of a metal spring attached to the rear of the snowmobile. This type of ice scratcher has more room for movement and offers more downward pressure, resulting in more snow powder being kicked up into your snowmobile’s suspension. This simply means that spring ice-scratchers can provide more efficient cooling of the rear end of your snowmobile. The cons of this type of scratcher are that before you can reverse your sled, you have to retract the spring scratcher; otherwise, you could wreck it.

How long do snowmobile ice scratchers last?

Most snowmobiles come with a factory-installed ice scratcher. However, over time they will wear out and need to be replaced. How long they last depend on how often you use them and the type of ice scratcher you have. Despite cable scratchers being less efficient, they have the benefit of you being able to reverse your sled without the risk of wrecking the cable ice scratcher. You can also ride your sled on concrete or an asphalt surface without damaging the ice scratcher.

On the other hand, spring ice scratchers do a better job; however, they are more likely to get damaged as you can’t reverse your sled without retracting it. If you are using a spring ice scratcher, it is important to keep an eye on the condition of the spring and have it replaced when needed.

With proper care, a set of ice scratchers should give you a few years of good service. Don’t worry if one breaks; ice scratchers are easy to find and replace. Just make sure you choose one made from the best quality materials.

The best material for snowmobile ice scratchers

When it’s time to replace your old ice scratchers, you will need to choose the material for the new set. Carbide steel is the best material for ice-scratchers as it is tough and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It also can dig easily into hard snow and ice. While searching for your new snowmobile ice scratchers, go for efficiency as it will serve you better. Since you are bound to see some with an outer coating to make them look more appealing.

How to maintain snowmobile ice scratchers

Just like any other part of your snowmobile, it is important to regularly inspect your ice scratchers for damage and have them replaced if they are broken. If you ride your sled on a rough trail, you will be more likely to wear out the edges of your snowmobile ice scratcher. You can also inspect the alignment of your ice scratcher and make any necessary adjustments.

Always support your ice scratcher with a holder. This is particularly important for spring ice scratchers, and it will help the ice scratcher retract without getting damaged while reversing your sled.

Did you know that a snowmobile can overheat if it is not cooled? That is where ice scratchers come in. Though cable and spring are two types of these devices, they both have pros and cons. Cable scratchers may function less efficiently but allow the sled to reverse without damaging them, while spring scratchers are more efficient and more likely to get damaged. Whichever type you choose, make sure you watch their condition to ensure your snowmobile stays cool during your ride. This post also provides tips for maintaining your new set of snowmobile ice-scratchers so that they will last longer and be more effective in digging into hard snow and ice. With proper care and maintenance, your new set of snowmobile ice-scratchers should serve you well. Carbide steel is the best material for ice-scratchers as it is tough and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. So, when it’s time to replace your old ice scratchers, be sure to choose a set made from carbide steel.