How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

You need to know how to sharpen an ax to make sure it is always safe to use. An inspection of your ax is necessary for your own protection. A dull edge becomes a responsibility, especially when you use it for felling, cutting or signaling. This type of edge puts your shins and feet at risk. A sharp weather vane will make things easier for you.

In fact, you will not worry about sharpening the edge from time to time. The only thing you will have to do often is to tune the edge with a flat file.

How well do you know your ax?

A dull ax will require more force to use, which is very true. Not only will it require more strength of use, but it will also be extremely dangerous and less effective. This article will show you how to place an appropriate edge on your ax. It will demonstrate the techniques and show you the gears you need to succeed. You will also be presented with the best and most reliable tips and tricks to sharpen an ax.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

One of the most frustrating things when it comes to sharpening the edge of your ax is the restoration of the edges. In most cases, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a sheet that has some pretty bad chips and nicks. Manual presentation is a good option, which is a technique that has been used for centuries. However, if you have never tried it or have the skills to do so, then it can be really exasperating and your final results may not be satisfactory at all. It can be incredibly difficult to know, maintain and maintain angles.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

Knowing the different parts of your heavy blade tool is important, especially if it is new to this type of cutting tool. The most important parts you need to know are:

  • head (blade, tongue and beard, heel of the bit, secondary bevel and drill bit, tip of the bit, cheek and eye)
  • Handle (shoulder, back of the handle, bottom of the handle / and knob).

Of all the parts mentioned, the most important are the head and the handle. If you get these two parts correctly when you buy your ax, then you will face fewer problems when it comes to sharpening. The configuration of the head and handle will determine how easily your tool can penetrate through the wood.


The first thing you should do is find the pivot point of your ax. To do that, you will need a compass. Place the point of the compass on the top of the foot of the head and make sure the pencil comes into contact one eighth of an inch behind the survey. Make sure the point of the compass is stationary and then draw an arc from the side of the pencil. Be sure to press enough so you can see the mark. Then place the point of the compass on the corner of the heel of the bit and draw a similar curve from the heel point of view.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

The turning point is usually located at the intersection of the two curves that you just drew. With the same compass configuration, place the point of the compass at the intersection point of the two bends and draw the radius on the bevel. This is necessary because most of the time you will find bad axes sharpened by the manufacturer or by another user. You will be surprised to discover, from the radius of curvature, the true position of the cutting edge.

To get the same curvature and radius settings on the other side of the head, go ahead and make a central hit at the intersection point. Use a drill to make a small hole at the intersection point on both sides of the head. After a few minutes of sharpening, as in a belt sander, you will notice large changes in the edge. When sharpening by hand with a file, you may think that you have the correct radius; However, that is not usually the case.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

The fixed point you set when locating the pivot point ensures that all errors that exist on the sheet are eliminated. Slowly you will achieve the correct angles by gently sliding the edge from one side to the other while holding the radius. The routine will enter the back as it corrects the routine of the band you started with. As you continue to rectify, you will finally achieve the correct angle. However, you must make sure to maintain the angle while grinding the edge.

Different types of sharpening tools and techniques.

Sharpening with a belt sander

A belt sander is a mechanism that involves an electric motor in the upper part of a continuous band that is covered by abrasive and is driven by rollers along. The sanding belt is moderately wide, equivalent to your hand. A dust bag comes out on one side of the belt sander. Normally, one of the two handles is equipped with an on / off trigger.

There are several types of belt sanders, which include: vertical belt sanders, bench sanders, table sanders and hand sanders. The most recommended model for sharpening an ax is the design of the table. This particular design allows you to make some unique configurations, such as those mentioned above.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

A table band sander gives you the angle and sharpness of the most precise edges provided you make the correct settings, which you must perform on both the ax and the sander. Locate the pivot of your ax and then drill a small hole on both sides. Make sure that the table model you select has a shorter work support table. Drill a hole in the center of the support table and then fix the pointed metal piece using a screw, a nut and some washers. The pointed object should be facing up.

Then place the point of intersection on the sharpened object so that the head of your ax is supported by the pointing object. Gently lower the bezel to land on the belt. The belts are classified as follows: 120 grains, 600 grains, 800 grains and 1000 grains. The type of belt you use depends completely on the roughness and angle of your blade.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

If it is only the angle that interests you; Then you can directly use the 1000 grain belt followed by a leather belt. Once the machine is turned on, gently push the edge of the belt from right to left to achieve the desired sharpness and angle.

Safety measures when using a belt sander.

  • Make sure that your safety glasses are on when the sander is in operation.
  • Do not operate the machine with the support straps.
  • Be sure to hold the sheet with your hand so it will not be thrown at you.
  • Get rid of excessively rounded belts.
  • Avoid overheating by making sure the blade moves too fast on the belt.

Sharpening with an angle grinder

An angle grinder is a versatile grinding tool with ample finishing possibilities. These grinders come with different accessories that are connected to one end. The best model is the one that presents the next generation engine that offers the best power / weight ratio.

It must be installed with a heavy duty dust ejection system that will effectively expel waste and dust that may enter the machine. You must have large brushes along with a large coiled bevel kit for a double brush life and a long transmission.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

It must have a One-Touch protector that offers a 360 ° rotation with a single action. Your angle grinder should be installed with a sharpening blade. You also need to have the following in place: a bucket with cooling water; abrasive to remove the rust from your ax; a vice to hold the ax in its place; protective goggles, gloves and earmuffs; a compass and a pencil; a drill; and a file.

The first thing you should do is eliminate any trace of oxidation. Then determine the pivot point and draw the correct radius at the beveled / cutting edge.

Place the end of the survey in the vice and lock it; Just be sure to strategically place your head on the vice so you can make the angles at ease. This is so since you need to keep the “true radius” you had initially set using the compass.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

Be sure to cool the blade from time to time to avoid damaging the quality of the metal. When sharpening the blade, try as much as possible to maintain the angle by looking at the radius and remember that the blade must continuously cool.

Safety angle grinder

  • Use all protective gears before operating this tool, including: gloves, ear protection and goggles / a full face mask.
  • Make sure your angle grinder has a wheel guard, which will help keep the sparks out of your face.
  • Make sure there are no flammable objects near your work table, such as a gas tank, papers or loose clothing.
  • Always remember that you are operating an angle grinder to avoid grinding by mistake, since concentration is a key ingredient when using this tool.
  • Do not do it yourself if you have a tendency not to pay attention to details and focus; You should hire someone to do it for you.

Sharpened with a hand file

The best file file to use is the 12-inch bastard file mill. The file should weigh at least nine ounces and should be large enough for an easy file. It should be a single cut file and also make sure to buy a fine grip handle.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

Other items you should have in place include, but are not limited to: gloves, rags, light machine oil, beeswax, leather cords, a vice, a wire brush, and 2 grain ax stones. Determine the pivot point as explained earlier in this article, and then use the pivot to draw the correct radius at the cutting edge.

This radius will ensure that you get the correct angle and that you do not end up with a bad angle. Once you have established the radius, strategically lock the head in the vice, so that you can sharpen the blade at ease. Wear your gloves and glasses. The best technique you should use when the manual presentation is to push the stroke towards the edge of your ax head while keeping the radius. This will ensure that it is filling at an angle and not directly at the cutting edge.

Filling directly at the edge will result in vibrations and rough / uneven markings. You need to constantly clean the file to maintain its effectiveness. You must use a wire brush to remove dust and debris from the file. You should never drag the file back, but you should push it, and this will ensure that your teeth do not loosen.

How to Sharpen An Axe: Different Sharpening Tools & Techniques

File from the opposite side following the same procedure. Loosen your ax and use the stone to remove the debris and tune the blade. Rub the ax with oil and beeswax and store it in a leather case to prevent rusting.

Security of Lima

  • Always wear your protective equipment.
  • Make sure the file is attached to an identifier.
  • Do not use a loose vice.

In conclusion

Sharpening your ax is easy if you have the right skill. However, it can be a very unpleasant matter if you do not have the right skill. This article should help you do it correctly. The three tools discussed are the most ingenious when it comes to sharpening an ax.

Therefore, you should choose a tool based on your skills and experience. A hand file is the easiest tool to use and there are fewer associated risks. With a hand file, it is quite difficult to damage the blade. A belt sander and an angle grinder can easily damage your blade if you sharpen incorrectly. Therefore, always pay attention to the details.

Preparation basics

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