To sharpen a splitting axe, secure it in a vice, use a mill bastard file to sharpen the blade at a 20-degree angle, maintaining consistent strokes. Finish by honing the edge with a sharpening stone.
Getting your hands on a splitting axe is just the beginning of your wood-splitting journey. To ensure a smooth and efficient experience, keeping your axe sharp is essential. Whether you're a novice or seasoned outdoors enthusiast, this guide is tailored for beginners looking to master the art of axe sharpening. Say goodbye to struggling with dull blades and embrace the satisfaction of effortlessly splitting wood. Let's dive into the basics of how to sharpen a splitting axe with ease, ensuring you're always ready for your next outdoor adventure.
It depends on the type of axe and the type of wood you're splitting, but generally, you'll need to sharpen your axe every few months.
If you're using an axe to split hardwood, you'll need to sharpen it more often than if you're using it to split softwood. And if you're using a dull axe, you'll need to sharpen it more often than if you're using a sharp axe.
In general, I would say that you should sharpen your splitting axe every few months. But always check the condition of your blade before each use and ensure that it's sharp enough to do the job safely.
Related: How to Sharpen a Hatchet?
Best way to hold the splitting axe while sharpening it
When sharpening an axe, you want to hold it in a way that allows you to control the blade and keep it steady. There are two ways to do this: with one hand or with two hands.
With one hand, you can hold the axe by the handle with your dominant hand and use your other hand to guide the blade. This is the most common way to sharpen an axe, and it's good for smaller axes.
With two hands, you can hold the axe by the handle with both hands and use your body weight to help keep the blade steady. Again, this is a better option for larger axes.
Related: How to Sharpen a Splitting Maul?
Be sure to watch the video before sharpening a splitting axe:
How do you sharpen your splitting axe using a sharpening stone?
If you're looking for a way to sharpen your splitting axe, you've come to the right place. Here I'll show you how to sharpen your axe using a sharpening stone.
- First, you'll need to gather a few supplies. You'll need a sharpening stone, water, and a towel. You'll also need a sturdy surface to work on, like a table or countertop.
- Next, wet the sharpening stone with water and then towel dry it. This will help to keep the stone from slipping while you're working.
- Hold the axe in one hand and the sharpening stone in the other.
- Start by moving the stone up and down the blade in a circular motion. Apply moderate pressure as you work.
- Continue sharpening the axe until you've made a nice, sharp edge. Then, wipe the blade with a clean towel to remove any remaining stone dust.
That's it! You've now successfully sharpened your splitting axe using a sharpening stone. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to do this quickly and easily.
How to sharpen a splitting axe with a power grinder?
Assuming you have a power grinder and the necessary safety gear (eye protection, gloves, etc.), follow these steps to sharpen your splitting axe with a power grinder.
- First, you'll need to set up your work area. Ensure you have a sturdy table or workbench and that the power grinder is securely mounted. You'll also want to ensure you have a good supply of water on hand, as you'll need to cool the axe blade frequently while sharpening.
- You'll need to select the right abrasive wheel for your power grinder. A standard aluminum oxide grinding wheel will work fine for most axe blades. However, if your blade is particularly damaged or blunt, you may need to use a more aggressive wheel, such as a diamond-coated one.
- Once you select the right wheel, it's time to start sharpening. Begin by holding the axe blade against the wheel's side, with the blade's edge pointing away from you. Next, apply steady pressure and move the blade back and forth across the wheel until you have a nice, even edge.
- As you're sharpening, frequently dip the axe blade in water to keep it cool. If the blade gets too hot, it could warp or even break.
- Continue sharpening the axe blade until it's as sharp as you need. If you're unsure how sharp to make it, start with a fairly dull edge and then sharpen it more if needed.
- Once you're finished sharpening, clean off the blade and apply a light coat of oil to help protect it from rust.
With these simple steps, you can easily sharpen your splitting axe using a power grinder. Just follow all safety precautions and take your time to get a nice, even edge.
What are the common mistakes people make when sharpening a splitting axe?
When it comes to sharpening a splitting axe, there are a few common mistakes that people often make. Here are six of the most common mistakes people make when sharpening a splitting axe:
1. Not using the proper sharpening tools
One of the most common mistakes people make when sharpening a splitting axe is not using the proper sharpening tools. When sharpening an axe, you need to use a sharpening stone or file designed explicitly for sharpening axes. Using the wrong sharpening tool can damage the blade and make it more difficult to sharpen in the future.
2. Not sharpening often enough
Another common mistake is not sharpening their axe often enough. An axe should be sharpened after every few uses or when it feels dull. Sharpening an axe regularly will prolong its life and keep it performing at its best.
3. Not using the proper sharpening technique
Many people don't realize there is a specific technique for sharpening an axe. If you don't use the appropriate technique, you won't be able to get a sharp edge on your blade. Make sure you follow the directions that come with your sharpening tools or watch a few online tutorials before you start sharpening.
4. Sharpening at the wrong angle
One of the most important things to remember when sharpening an axe is to sharpen at the correct angle. The angle you sharpen at will depend on the type of axe you have and the kind of edge you want on your blade. If you're not sure what angle to sharpen at, consult a professional sharpener or refer to the instructions that came with your sharpening tools.
5. Not honing regularly
In addition to sharpening, it's also important to hone your axe regularly. Honing helps keep your blade's edge sharp and prevents it from becoming dull too quickly. Honing is a simple process that only takes a few minutes, but it's important to do it regularly.
6. Not storing your axe properly
When you're not using it, it's important to store it properly. The blade can become dull or damaged if you don't store your axe properly. Always store your axe in a dry, safe place when you're not using it.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can keep your splitting axe sharp and in good condition for many years.
Tricks for maintaining the edge on a splitting axe
If you've ever had the misfortune of trying to split wood with a dull axe, you know how important it is to keep your tool sharp. A sharp axe not only makes the job easier, but it's also much safer. Here are a few tips and tricks for maintaining the edge on your splitting axe:
- First, it's important to understand the anatomy of your axe. The blade is the sharpened edge, while the poll is the blunt end. The bevel is the angle between the blade and the poll.
- When sharpening your axe, it's important to use a sharpening stone appropriate for the job. A coarse stone is best for roughing out a dull edge, while a fine stone is better for polishing and finishing.
- Always sharpening in the same direction. Sharpening in one direction only helps to ensure that the edge is sharp and consistent.
- Use a honing oil or water to help lubricate the sharpening process.
- Start with the coarse stone, and work your way to the finer stone.
- Be extra careful not to over-sharpen the blade. Over-sharpening can damage the blade and reduce its lifespan.
With these tips in mind, sharpening your splitting axe will be a breeze!
The next time you go to sharpen your splitting axe, take a few minutes to practice the techniques we've shown you. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to keep your axe sharp and make quick work of even the largest logs. Have any other tips for keeping an edge on your splitting axe? Please share them with me in the comments below!