Sharpening Made Easy
Knife Sharpening Information and Equipment
Sharpening an Axe
An splitting axe is the ultimate example of the
convex or Moran edge. The thickness behind the edge not only gives it
strength, but acts as a chip breaker when chopping and as a wedge when
splitting wood. A felling axe is much thinner with a bevel of
about 30 degrees, the same as a wood chisel. Most axes you can buy
today are general purpose, not heavy enough for splitting and not thin
enough for felling, however they can be converted for felling.
Since the steel in an axe is softer than a knife to prevent
chipping, sharpening can be started with a file. Support the axe head on a
workbench or cutting block, and file on each side. Keep following the
original contour until the edge is as sharp as you want it. File
sharpening is enough for most applications.
The edge can be improved with a bench stone. Rather than
try to move the axe across the stone, support the axe head and move the
stone across the axe. To keep your fingers out of the way, lay the stone
down on the bench or other flat surface, then pick it up. As long as you
don?t shift your grip, your fingers are safely behind the stone surface.
Special round stones are made just for
axes and other outdoor tools.
A circular stroke is easiest to use when
sharpening an axe. A coarse stone is probably all you need, but you can
keep on with finer stones until you can shave with it.
If you have a belt sander, the slack belt
section works well with an axe.
Updated June 23, 2015
Copyright 1996 - 2021 by Steve Bottorff