Have you ever smelt plastic burning while riding down a less snow-covered trail in your sled?
Well, that is your sliders giving up! To protect them from wearing down and help them have a better lasting life, you need snowmobile ice scratchers.
What are snowmobile ice scratchers and why do you need them?
You will be able to learn about it all in this article.
Top-Rated Snowmobile Ice Scratchers
|Ice Scratchers||Our Rating||Price|
|Dura-Flex Ice Scratchers Kit||4.8/5||Current Price|
|StaCool Ice Scratcher Kit||4.8/5||Current Price|
|RSI Racing Snow/Ice Scratchers||4.6/5||Current Price|
|Over The Top Performance Ice Scratchers||4.5/5||Current Price|
|Arctic Cat New OEM Ice Scratchers||4.2/5||Current Price|
What are Snowmobile Ice Scratchers?
In simple terms, snowmobile ice scratcher, like the name suggests, is self-explanatory. They scratch ice underneath your sled.
The scratcher which is installed in the rails of the rear suspension of your snowmobile, one on each side, has a sharp tip that digs into solid snow and ice. This creates a “snow dust” or loose snow and this snow dust is then thrown up into the rear suspension.
Instead of the powder or loose snow that you would normally be riding through, now you would be riding through this manually created snow dust which is needed to help keep the heat exchangers cool under the tunnel and also the hyfax slides under the rails.
The slides protect your rails and are not only much easier but also cheaper to replace than the rails, these need to be protected as long as possible to protect the rails.
Long track snowmobile riders need ice-scratchers installed to help prevent ice and snow from melting away underneath from the heat that is produced from the longer slides. This is when ice-scratchers come into the picture.
Snowmobile ice-scratchers are of two types that are available: rigid spring and spring steel cable. The more productive design is the rigid spring design, but it also has its negatives. To break it up, this design can produce a lot of down pressure on the ice since it is rigid and uses an actual spring, and create more snow dust. However, its boon is also its curse as it is rigid; the snowmobile cannot be reversed while these scratchers are down and they need to be lifted so that they do not get caught in the snow and snap.
The spring steel cable design ice-scratchers are much easier to use. As they are made with a cable, the flexibility is top-notch and can be kept down even while the snowmobile goes in reverse. This makes it easier for the rider because they don’t have to keep in mind to pick them up every time the snowmobile needs to be reversed. They are a good investment for long time use as the tips on the cable scratchers can be replaced.
Best Snowmobile Ice Scratchers in 2020
Dura-Flex Ice Scratchers Kit
Dura-Flex ice scratcher kit comes with carbide tips, which are the topmost quality material that is available when we are talking in terms of hardness. Dura-Flex arguably makes the best of these if you ask some people.
These scratchers are pre-assembled and will work just after bolting them to the snowmobile without any additional mountings/work required. The good thing with these ice-scratchers is that they will work well with both reverse and non-reverse gear equipped snowmobiles.
One general precaution while using these is to coat them periodically with a layer of WD-40, or any other water-displacing lubricant, which will ensure that moisture does not rust the scratchers.
While you are storing your sled for a long time, it is advisable to store them in upright positions, which will ensure that these do not get stuck in their positions, and can be operated after you reuse your snowmobile in winters.
Users have reported that these work on all snowmobiles, including Arctic Cat models from the year 1996, and should just fit well on most of the popular brands, such as Ski-Doo, Polaris, and Yamaha.
These are the best ice scratchers for snowmobiles and sleds. If you are thinking about buying any, then you can’t ignore them.
Over The Top Performance Ski Mounted Reversible Ice Scratchers
Coming from Over The Top Performance, these snowmobile ice-scratchers are advertised to increase the spray to as much as twice when compared to normal ice-scratchers.
These are durable as well, as these are made from 316 stainless steel, which is another high-quality material. These are designed such that they rotate which makes the snowmobile easier to reverse.
Compared to other scratchers that are bolted to the tunnel, these are bolted to the skis, which allows them to put more snow towards the back, with a wider spray pattern.
Keep in mind that sometimes the ski mount may not be thick enough hand you might have to use washers to get it to be tightened completely.
Over The Top Performance ice-scratchers are also compatible with all late and new models of snowmobiles, which makes it easier to recommend for all snowmobiles in general.
Therefore, Over The Top Performance scratchers becomes one of the best ice scratchers for snowmobiles.
StaCool Ice Scratcher Kit
These ice-scratchers kit are from StaCool, a brand known for their excellent customer support, and that’s why snowmobile owners like this brand.
These ice-scratchers claim to increase Hyfax life on hard-packed or frozen snow. Adding to this their improved spray pattern over traditional scratchers guarantees that the cooling performance of the engine is increased.
The installation is very simple and quick, just pull these out of the packing and using the proper nuts and bolts, easily bolt them on to your snowmobile and feature CNC machined billet aluminum mounting posts and high grade, high tension spring steel scratchers.
A good finishing touch by StaCool is that they have provided detailed mounting instructions on the back of the package, and all the required mounting hardware has been provided.
These can be hooked onto rails unless you decide to lower and use these. Replacement springs are available as well.
RSI Racing Snow/Ice Scratchers
This scratcher’s kit from RSI racing mounts onto the rear suspension of your snowmobile. A feature that should be mentioned is that these can be tucked very easily on top of the suspension rail when not in use, which gives a clean look and adds to the convenience.
These scratchers help to throw snow chunks into the Hyfax area, which increases cooling on hard-packed ice and prevent engine overheating. The material of construction is of billet aluminum, while the springs are made from spring steel.
These scratchers are of universal fitting and should fit just any snowmobile, just keep in mind that while these perfectly fit on any Yamaha sled, some modification might be required for installing these on newer Polaris models, while for the older ones, it should be just like a bolt-on part.
RSI has gone a few steps extra here, and have included necessary mounting hardware in the package itself. Extra springs are available for purchase as well.
Arctic Cat New OEM Ice Scratchers
If you are looking for stock or OEM ice scratchers for your Arctic Cat Crossfire snowmobile, your search ends here.
This kit from Arctic Cat provides a factory replacement part for 2005 to 2015 Crossfire XF, ZR, CF and F models, which prevent strip wear when sledding on hard-packed ice. Also, like any other ice scratchers, these provide optimal spray pattern to help cool your engine.
The problem with these pair of scratchers is that these are not compatible with reverse drive, and might get damaged if you try to do that, so exercising caution would surely help here.
Mounting holes on some of the models may need to be drilled, just make sure that the scratchers do not come in come in contact with idler wheels or suspension arms, which might damage the product.
If you want the full list of models compatible with this pair of ice scratchers, just search for SKU# 5639-897 on Arctic Cat’s website.
Whether you own an Arctic Cat, Polaris, or Ski-Doo snowmobile, you can use these ice scratchers by doing some little modifications. But, it also depends on the model you have.
How to Install Ice Scratchers in Your Snowmobile
To install an ice scratcher in your snowmobile, we are going to need a pair of Ice Scratcher, a right and a left one. We are also going to need a quarter-inch drill that is going to be needed for a smaller piece bit. And then a ⅜ drill piece and a working drill are also required. So, make sure, you have your snowmobile tool kit on your side.
The most important thing to look for is where to install the snowmobile ice scratcher. To decide the place where to fix the scratcher on the rail is a bit tricky as you won’t want it to interfere with the suspension and so you need to place it right where it is at a safe distance from the suspension.
Once you have decided the spot, on each side make a quarter-inch hole with the drilling machine for the front of the scratcher. When drilling the hole is done, drill on the scratcher and fix it nice and snug into the hole with a socket on the opposite side so it does not spin and come out.
Repeat the same on the other side as well and when you are done installing, keep the scratchers hooked up when you are not sledding through fresh snow.
Things to Consider Before Buying Ice Scratchers
There are a few things one needs to look for while buying the ice scratchers for snowmobiles. You cannot simply pick any scratcher available on the market. Below are a few points to look out for.
You must look at the very main and important feature whether it is going to make and keep your engine cool on hardpack snow. It should prevent your snowmobile engine from overheating while riding.
If your engine overheats, in that case, coolants play a key role in decreasing the temperature. You can check my other article where you can learn about coolants in your snowmobile.
It should Improve hyfax or skid life on hardpack snow
Hyfax or sliders is the hard plastic strip which is attached to the bottom of the rails on the skid. Without these, the aluminum rails would get worn down. With minimal snow, riding down the trail if you smell plastic burning, it is your hyfax. The scratcher should, therefore, increase the longevity of your sliders.
High-grade spring steel scratchers
It is always recommended to get yourself spring steel scratchers. Steel will prevent from rusting while spring aids flexibility. Spring steel snowmobile scratchers are super durable and do not get caught up in the snow as they are flexible and can move up and down on rough patches while still spraying good enough snow dust on the sliders. Also, it does not need to be lifted and hooked onto the rails while reversing your sled like rigid ice-scratchers.
It should be easy to install and must have a detailed mounting instruction that comes with the scratchers so that it can be installed by neophytes on their own easily and simply.
Some ice scratchers come with a mounting kit for your snowmobile. Make sure, whatever you buy, it is easy to install on your sled.
Hooks onto rails
Until conditions require the use, the scratchers should hook onto rails. This feature can help prevent scratching unnecessarily on gravel and when not in use, it can rest.
Ice scratchers are designed so in a way that they throw a lot of snow and ice chips where you need it on the sliders.
I hope that you had fine some of the best snowmobile ice scratchers today.
These scratchers not only keep the engine cool but also dampen the sound in the tunnel with all the snow. Good Ice scratchers make your sliders last a long time and allow the rider to enjoy even the flat trails without the fear of wearing down the sliders.
Ensure keeping the scratchers hooked up when crossing gravel or dirt road as it might throw gravel and dirt on your tracks equally well. Now you surely don’t want that, do you?