5 Best Snowmobile Ice Scratchers of 2022

Even though you ride your sled in the snow, it can still overheat. Whether you are running an older machine or just don’t have much fresh snow on the ground, overheating is a problem for many riders.  

An easy solution to help prevent this is to use ice-scratchers. I’ve had a few sleds overheat on the trail over the years, and while you can usually wait it out, it can also cause lasting damage to your snowmobile. 

The BTL Designs 15-6425 Dura Flex Ice Scratchers Kit is the top option that I’ve used in a while. They have a carbide tip to help dig in and create enough snow dust to keep everything running cool. 

I’ll show you a handful of the best options currently available here, all of which will be effective on ice and hardpack snow. 

Let’s dig in and stay cool. 

Top Choices for Best Snowmobile Ice Scratchers

Ice scratchers don’t need to be all that fancy or expensive to be effective. They do need to be strong and durable enough to dig into ice and hardpack to get up snow dust. All of the options here come recommended because they do just that. 

1. BTL Designs 15-6425 Dura Flex Ice Scratchers Kit

  • Best for: Overall
  • Key features: Strong, durable, easy to install, hefty weight, good scratch
  • Material: Steel and carbide
  • Compatibility: Reverse and non-reverse gear
  • Style: Bolt-on 

This Dura Flex Ice Scratchers Kit is my go-to choice for just about any sled. They provide excellent dig and bit into ice and hard-packed snow that will kick up enough dust to keep your engine and track running cool all day long.

The carbide tips built into these scratchers make them highly durable as well. You won’t have to replace these anytime soon. The tips will scratch even the coldest ice effectively. 

The Dura Flex also has a heavier weight than a lot of the other scratchers I’ve used. This makes them work better across the board and adds to their already good value. Heavier materials lead to more scratch, which leads to better cooling when you need it. 

The center portion is made of braided steel that is strong and flexible, giving you enough movement to adapt to changing conditions without slowing you down. 

This kit will work with all reverse and non-reverse geared machines, so it is versatile in application and use. 

They are also easy to install or take off with a one-bolt mounting system and come preassembled to make things even simpler. 

They are a little expensive and are not a spring-style design, but I’d pay a bit more for quality performance any time.  

2. IFJF Flex Ice Scratchers Kit

  • Best for: Budget Pick
  • Key features: Affordable, strong, good down pressure, improved crimps, easy to hook on rail
  • Material: Zinc plated
  • Compatibility: Reverse and non-reverse geared 
  • Style: Bolt-on

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a decent set of scratchers. The IFJF Flex Ice Scratchers Kit is a great budget option with this in mind. 

These aren’t anything fancy, and they don’t stand out in any way except their affordable price. But they still get the job done and make for an effective option to keep your engine cool. 

They are strong and durable thanks to a zinc-plated wire rope. This material is relatively heavy, which helps increase down pressure for more dig into hard surfaces. It’s also built to last and won’t crack or start to come apart. 

This kit will work with all snowmobile types and is compatible with both reverse and non-reverse geared machines. That’s pretty standard on any option, but you always to double-check when you go with a budget pick. 

Another stand-out feature here is that the flexible rope can easily be moved onto the rail of your sled when not in use. That means you won’t need to uninstall these scratchers when you don’t need them.

The downside to these is that you don’t get as strong of a tip as other more expensive carbide options. This leads to faster wear, and you might need to replace them after a season of use.  

3. RSI Racing SS-1 Snow/Ice Scratchers

  • Best for: Racing
  • Key features: Easy install, good dig, universal fit, affordable
  • Material: Billet aluminum collar bolts, steel
  • Compatibility: Universal 
  • Style: Spring

Snowmobile racers often need specialized equipment to help them boost speeds and increase performance. The RSI Racing SS-1 Scratchers is the option to go with if you’re in the heat of the race often. 

These are a simple but effective spring-style type of scratcher that gives you quick and easy install while providing decent dig. 

They are lightweight but durable with steel construction and billet aluminum collar bolts. They will stay in place and kick up plenty of snow dust to keep your engine and track cool while you throttle ahead of the competition. 

Universal in application, the SS-1 will fit on any sled’s rear suspension, and with a quick install, you’ll be ready to ride.

A powdered coated steel spring keeps them effective and high-performing for race after race. 

These don’t have a flexible rope and are a single-piece, rigid design. While this is good if you always use scratchers, they are more difficult to position on the rail than metal rope-style options.   

4. Straightline Ice Scratcher Kit

  • Best for: Bite
  • Key features: Replaceable carbide tip, excellent bite/dig, rail mountable when not in use, can be run at all times, durable
  • Material: Stainless steel rope, carbide tip
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Style: Bolt-on

If you want to make sure you get plenty of snow dust for proper cooling, you need scratchers that really dig in. The Straighline Ice Scratcher Kit has the best bite out of any option I’ve used. 

These will produce reliable cooling when conditions are rough. You won’t need to worry about your sled overheating, thanks to a heavy-duty construction that will produce reliable results. 

The key to this effectiveness is sharp and heavy carbide tips that will pierce ice and hardpack snow with ease. Even better, these tips are replaceable, which means if they do ever start to dull, you can quickly get a fresh set in place. 

They also have full stainless steel rope braids that allow for good bounce and flexibility when you want to scratch but can be moved out of the way when not needed. 

The kit comes with a large mounting base to avoid rail wear and comes available in multiple lengths to match your sled or situation.

This is an expensive option, especially since you’ll have to pay extra when you want to put on a new set of carbide tips. But if your situation demands the best bite in the snow, this is the way to go.  

5. Qualipieces Trail Blizzer Carbide Scratchers

  • Best for: Durability 
  • Key features: Replaceable wear points, very durable, anti-loosening system, easy install
  • Material: Stainless steel and carbide
  • Compatibility: Universal 
  • Style: Bolt-on

Another one of the best options around, especially with durability in mind, is the Qualipieces Trail Blizzer. 

These scratchers are built to last and will continue to kick up plenty of dust to keep things cool and running correctly winter after winter. 

They are made out of high-end stainless steel and extremely strong carbide tips that offer excellent dig with plenty of weight to ensure good scratch. 

On top of that, they have replaceable wear points, which means you can keep them in a sharp and strong condition at all times without needing to purchase a new set. 

Another great feature of the Trail Blizzer is that they have a unique anti-loosening system that will keep them reliably in place no matter how hard you ride or if you bounce around tough terrain. This leads to high performance all of the time. 

They are expensive and might be over-engineered for the average rider. If you only run scratchers every once in a while, you probably don’t need to dish out the cash for these. 

What to Look for in Snowmobile Ice Scratchers

Keep the following considerations in mind when you are looking for ice scratchers. 

Construction

A good initial consideration with any set of scratchers is their construction. You’ll find either a cable type of design or a single metal bar style. They are both good, but some riders will have a preference. 

I like to use the cable type of design as I find these to be more effective and easier to mount onto the rail when I don’t need to use them. If you always use scratchers, the single bar style might be best. 

Tips

The tips of your scratchers are the most critical part of their design. This is the point where the metal meets the ice or snow, and the amount of dust created by the tip is what will effectively cool your machine. 

Carbide tips are the best because they are the strongest material and will dig into snow and ice easier than regular metal. They are also more expensive. If you use a more standard tip, they will dull faster. 

Overheating

While scratchers can help to prevent overheating, they are not going to stop it from ever happening. If you snowmobile often enough, chances are you are going to run into an overheating issue at some point. 

The main thing to know is that you’ll need to let your sled cool down for maybe 30 minutes before starting it back up. You risk damaging your engine if it gets too hot. Check out this video for some more tips on cooling down an overheated snowmobile.

My Verdict

One of the best ice-scratchers you can use is the BTL Designs 15-6425 Dura Flex Ice Scratchers Kit. These will give you ample amounts of cool snow dust to keep your engine from overheating when you’re riding in low snow or icy conditions. 

I’d recommend having a set of scratchers around at all times. Even if you don’t use them, they can help prolong your sled life and are pretty affordable and easy to install. 

About Chaz Wyland
I’m a snowmobile fanatic. I live for riding and am out on the trails or backcountry as often as possible during the winter months. I was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains and have snowmobiled in dozens of North American locations. When the snow is falling, you’ll find me on a sled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.