Do-it-yourself sharpening an ax. Types and purpose of axes

For quick and high-quality splitting of firewood, you must have a sharp ax. Over time, its severity is lost. Therefore, the ax should be sharpened regularly. This procedure can be performed both with the help of a special master, who is called to the house, or with your own hands. A blunt tool for sharpening an ax can harm human life and health. First of all, during chopping, it can slip off a log and cause serious injury to a person. When working with a blunt instrument, more force should be applied to achieve the set goal than with a sharpened one. Ax sharpening must be carried out in compliance with certain rules.

General information

An ax is a special tool that is used to process or chop wood elements. Such a device consists of three elements: a sharpened blade, a fixing wedge and a handle. The last element is usually made of wood.

ax sharpening
The blade is made from various types of steel, which contains more than 0.7% carbon. This condition must be met. As a metal, both special types and ordinary are used. These two types of metals differ in the amount of impurities. In the first, their higher content is observed. In the production of metal, as a rule, phosphorus, sulfur, oxygen, etc. are added. Stitching objects from ordinary metals have a short service life. Therefore, when choosing an ax, you should pay attention to the marking. The letter A means that the highest grade metal will last longer.

Before buying a tool, you must also determine its destination.

kitchen hatchet
A correctly selected ax helps to save time and effort, as well as efficiently complete the task.


There are such varieties of axes:

  1. Multifunctional. Such a tool combines several functions. As a rule, it is made in small sizes. An example would be a small pickaxe, a nail clipper, or a kitchen hatchet.
  2. Universal. It is also called carpentry. This is the most common tool that has a straight blade shape. In some cases, a rounded shape is also used. The most popular model is the Fiskars ax, used by carpenters and joiners. To perform various types of work, it is necessary to perform a certain sharpening of the tool. This kind of hatchet can also include a kitchen hatchet, but only some of its models.
  3. Ax cleaver. This large ax serves to split wooden logs into pieces. The procedure takes place using a special blade, which in its shape resembles a wedge. The handle of the cleaver ax is made of durable material of rather large dimensions. This is done to increase the impact force.
  4. Lumberjack. This is a large ax designed for cutting branches and trees of various sizes. This tool is characterized by high weight. It can reach more than 2 kg. For trimming branches and small trees, lightweight versions are used, the weight of which reaches 1.5 kg. The most popular model is the Fiskars ax.
  5. Tourist. This tool is characterized by small overall dimensions and weight. It fits easily in a backpack and is used for various purposes. This is the ideal ratio of the weight of the device and quality.

How to sharpen an ax

As mentioned earlier, it is an important building tool that is used to perform various types of work with wooden structures.

ax fiskars
After the acquisition, you must sharpen it. Such a procedure will still have to be carried out regardless of the quality of the factory sharpening the ax. It is better to spend some time sharpening the blade than to torment yourself later with a blunt instrument.

Preparatory work

Before you start sharpening the device, you need to make a template according to this scheme:

  • take a piece of metal of small thickness;
  • select the desired angle of sharpening an ax;
  • cut the corresponding pattern;
  • attach the finished device to the ax blade;
  • find out the necessary angle to achieve the desired sharpening level;
  • make appropriate marks on the blade of the ax with a pencil.

Influencing factors

Ax sharpening is done after studying the following factors:

  • hardness of wood;
  • moisture content of wood;
  • type of work performed;
  • characteristic of the metal of which the ax blade is made.

When performing factory grinding, only the last two factors are taken into account.

Correct sharpening angle

Before performing this operation, it is necessary to determine the desired angle. The final sharpness of the blade is influenced by factors such as chamfer size and sharpening angle. The latter characteristic is selected depending on the type of proposed work.

big ax
To cut or trim wood, use an acute angle. This indicator can be no more than 20ΒΊ. Also study the characteristics of the proposed tree. For harder rocks, use an obtuse angle.

At home, as a rule, sharpen the blade at an angle of 25 to 30ΒΊ. This is enough to perform small wood processing tasks (for example, chop logs or cut down small trees). To perform more accurate work, experts advise using an angle of 15 or 20ΒΊ. Sharpening with these parameters will help to finish the wood. This technique is used in the manufacture of individual parts of furniture.

Chamfer Size

This characteristic affects the sharpness of the ax blade, as well as the tool life. However, it is very difficult to change this indicator at home, compared with the choice of the angle of sharpening. To change the width of the chamfers, a significant amount of physical force should be applied and a lot of time should be spent. The procedure is no different from ordinary sharpening.

Chamfer is the distance from the axis of the blade to the surface of the ax. In some sources you can find such a name as descents (although this is one and the same). The correctness of the selected sizes can be found at well-known manufacturing companies or noble masters.

ax sharpening angle
Moreover, such a tool does not need to be redone, and the sharpening of the blade is quick and easy.

So, to change the size of the descents, it is necessary to remove the excess amount of metal from the ax to a certain size. To do this, use a method such as a retractable blade. This is an ancient and still common way, which consists in constant regrinding. The end result is a easier tool, which greatly simplifies the work.

how to sharpen an ax
Most manufacturers use low-quality metal in the manufacture of the blade, so changing the size of the chamfers has become commonplace. In order for the cutting quality to be higher, the sizes of the sides should be slightly different.

Do-it-yourself sharpening

In order not to constantly contact special workshops, this procedure is performed at home. Devices for sharpening an ax are bought in a store or made independently. The most common way is grinding with an abrasive wheel. This device is fixed between two wooden beams. Moreover, the angle of their installation is determined by geometric rules. The abrasive wheel is hypotenuse, and the beams are legs. The circle is fixed at a certain angle. The ax blade is held upright and traversed along the horizontal plane of the circle.

Ax sharpening can be done in another way, however, for this you need to purchase some additional tools:

  • hard metal brush for removing rust;
  • sandpaper of different thicknesses;
  • protective glasses;
  • the cloth;
  • device for polishing metal surfaces;
  • gloves
  • surface with a vice;
  • a brush to remove metal dust;
  • file;
  • wax and engine oil;
  • whetstone ;
  • construction line.

ax sharpener

The work is performed in the following sequence:

  1. The ax blade is cleaned of rust. This is done using a special tool and a metal brush.
  2. The surface is ground with a dense emery in all directions, capturing every corner of the surface.
  3. Repeat the previous procedure with an emery of softer stiffness.
  4. Using a cloth and polisher, the surface is polished.
  5. The ax is fixed on the edge of the table or in a vice so that the edge of the blade hangs from the table, and the handle fits snugly against the surface.
  6. Sharpening an ax with a file. The angle is chosen independently, depending on the type of proposed work.
  7. A metal chip is removed with a brush.
  8. The blade is ground with a double-sided stone in a circular motion. Before this procedure, the surface is lubricated with oil or water.
  9. Sharpening of the blade on the other hand follows the same method, however, a less rigid stone is used.
  10. After the work is done, a tool is applied to the surface to prevent corrosion.


So, we found out how to sharpen an ax. As you can see, this procedure can be done with your own hands.


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