Best way to sharpen an axe

Posted on March 22, 2017 By

An axe is a very useful tool for any woodsman, just like it was centuries ago for pioneers. A man with a good axe can build a bobsled, cabin or fence or could just use to chop firewood to keep himself warm. There are a lot of various ways to sharpen an axe, depending on if you want to smooth planks for a table, fell a tree, or shave the hair off of rawhide.

The best way to sharpen an axe is listed below. Remember, your edge isn’t meant to be razor sharp and it will never be suited to shave or carve anything, but it is great to be used and it can take a lot of abuse and still do its job.

Start by clamping your axe in a sturdy vise, with the edge up. Take a file and remove the burrs and nicks in the blade.

Make several passes with the file on the edges on side in a downward motion. Be sure to alternate sides and remove the metal evenly until the all dings and chips are file away and the edge becomes smooth. Be sure to use caution when you are filing towards the edge of axe, as if you aren’t paying attention you could lose a finger.

Once the burrs are removed it is time to head to the finishing stage. This is where you will need to use a fine file or coarse stone. Using downward strokes to clean up the edges, removing the marks left from the files and maintain the angle.

Lastly, use a medium stone and using a different stroke, start at the top corner of the blade and stroke to the bottom. Continue until the edges are polished and you are ready to tackle anything with your axe.

By sharpening the axe this way, you will be able to create a good and durable edge that will last for a hard day’s worth of work, assuming that you are chopping wood and not rocks and dirt.