I think it really depends on how much ice you are dealing with here. I no longer trap beaver thru the ice but still put out 3 pike spearing shanties each year. Normally I'm dealing with about a foot of ice and cut my holes 2' by 4' and the chain saw is the only way for an old geeser like me to do the job. Hehe. I've been using chain saws here in MI for over 25 years and have never had a problem with the law. I even looked it up in the book and there's no law prohibiting the use of one. A good spud will do the job just fine for thinner ice, but I do several alterations to the chisel point to get more depth on each chop. I've heard a good ice saw is great because the rakers are made for ice but have never used or found one. I do have an oil problem that seems to float one top of the hole for several days and like your one response stated, run it oil-less as the water will stop any binding. If you do decide to use this method, don't run the saw dry for long and by the way, ice really dullens the teeth fast. Oh, and we only use the saws when cutting the first holes or moving the shanties to new areas. The rest is all spud work. Hope this helps as I really live in these shanties most of late December thru Febuary. Good luck!