How to Sharpen an Axe the Right Way
When it comes to house Woodworking equipment, an
But an axe isn’t of any worth if you don’t make sure that the blade is kept sharp at all times. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time getting your chores done.
The good news is; it’s not that hard of a job to accomplish. It’s actually fairly simple, and anyone can learn to do it. That’s the point of this whole article.
There isn’t just one way of sharpening axes. But, still, today, I’m only going to explain the most basic of them all. So, how to sharpen an axe the right (and safe) way?
How to Sharpen an Axe: Here’s What You Will Need
HOW TO SHARPEN AN AXE: Three Easy Steps
First Step: Preparation
The most nagging aspect of
Second Step: Take out the Burrs and Nicks
For the best result of axe sharpening, it’s best to use a very aggressive sharpening file. You’ll have to use it to get rid of any significant burrs or nicks. This is what you have to do first. Once that’s done, you can now move on to the actual sharpening.
Third step: Edge Sharpening
What can be considered as the most crucial part of the sharpening process is getting the right angle. The file must be held at a specific angle, which will vary from one blade to another. It won’t be too hard to figure it out by yourself. You just have to experiment a bit, and you’ll know it when you get it. It’s a matter of feeling.
Use the file to make a number of passes on the blade. DO a few on one side and then flip to the other and do the same
Some professionals in the field see that it would be a good idea to do a number of horizontal passes on the blade. But you should still finish the job with several vertical ones nonetheless.
We can’t forget to mention the safety aspect of the process. While sharpening a blade is relatively easy, you can never be too careful. The process requires giving it your full attention. One tiny error can lead to an adverse outcome. You don’t want to mess around with a sharp blade.
This is where work gloves play an essential part. To protect your fingers from any possible incidents, you should have a pair on at all times.
How to Sharpen an Axe: Alternative Methods
The method mentioned above is my favorite and the one I recommend you follow every time you need to sharpen your axe. It’s simple and doesn’t require any expensive equipment. But you still have several alternatives. Here is another method that you can adopt when learning how to sharpen an axe: replace the file with a whetstone. Easy, huh? Alternatively, a whetstone can be added to the file to ensure a sharper result.
You should operate the whetstone by hand if you want the best result. There are even some whetstone bench grinders if you’re thinking about getting one.
Here’s an affordable whetstone that I recommend checking out:
Now, How Do You Use Your Sharp Axe?
Having a sharp axe isn’t the only thing to worry about. The most important aspect is the proper way of using it.
Beyond having a reliable tool, you should also have a clear working environment and a proper hold on the axe. Now, as for the execution, precision is way more crucial than the force at the beginning. You should swing the axe in slow motion at first. Maintain a steady tempo. Try to hit the point you’re aiming for a close as possible.
Give it some time. Eventually, you’ll start to add some power and speed to it naturally. Here’s a great video that you can check on axe safety:
Sharpening axes isn’t rocket science. All you have to get is some clamps, a file, and a whetstone if you want to take it to the next level.
After reading this article, we hope that any trouble that you had with the process are going to fade away. So go ahead and give it a try.
PS: if you want to take your skills to the next level, check our buying guides and reviews, where we cover everything you may ever need in your tool box, be it a Cordless Circular Saw, Tile Saw, Chainsaw Under 200, Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Random Orbital Sander, Circular Saw Blade, Chainsaw Mill, Cordless Tool Set, Table Saw, bucks, or even Chainsaw Chaps. We also like to compare power tool brands, such as DeWalt and Milwaukee.
- Our own experience