How to Sharpen A Wood Splitting Axe?

13 minutes read

To sharpen a wood splitting axe, you will need a few tools and follow a step-by-step process. Here's how you can go about it:

  1. Gather the necessary tools: You will need a file, a vice or clamp to secure the axe, a sharpening stone, and a pair of safety gloves and goggles.
  2. Secure the axe: Clamp the axe head securely in a vice or use a clamp to attach it to a stable surface. Ensure that the axe handle is firmly held and won't move.
  3. Inspect the axe: Check for any nicks, chips, or deformities on the blade. Use a wire brush to clean off any dirt and debris from the blade.
  4. Establish the angle: Determine the angle at which the blade should be sharpened. Most wood splitting axes have a bevel angle of around 25-30 degrees.
  5. Start file sharpening: Using a file, begin sharpening the blade. Remember to follow the original bevel angle. Apply pressure on the push stroke and lift the file slightly on the return stroke. Work your way along the edge, filing each section evenly.
  6. Check for burrs: After filing, examine the edge for any burrs - small raised metal edges. Gently remove any burrs using a flat file or a honing stone. This will help in achieving a sharper and smoother edge.
  7. Use a sharpening stone: To further refine and hone the blade, use a sharpening stone. Wet the stone with water or oil (depending on the type of stone) to provide lubrication. Hold the stone at the determined angle and move it in a circular motion along the edge. Repeat this process on both sides of the blade until you achieve the desired sharpness.
  8. Test the edge: After honing the blade, carefully remove the axe from the vice/clamp. Use a piece of paper or a small wood chip to test the sharpness by slicing through it. If you are satisfied with the edge, you can now reassemble and start using your sharpened wood splitting axe.


Remember to prioritize safety during the entire process by wearing protective gloves and goggles to prevent any potential accidents.

Best Splitting Axe in June 2024

1
1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt - German Splitting Axe, Made in Germany Wood Splitter and Wood Splitting Axe Midsize Medium Splitting Axe - Head 4.5 lbs, Handle 28 in. (Spaltaxt) #13582

Rating is 5 out of 5

1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt - German Splitting Axe, Made in Germany Wood Splitter and Wood Splitting Axe Midsize Medium Splitting Axe - Head 4.5 lbs, Handle 28 in. (Spaltaxt) #13582

  • Handmade in Germany: The Spaltaxt is a German-style splitter suited for splitting rounds and heavy firewood. The dual wedge head design delivers powerful, effective strikes that increase splitting efficiency and prevent the head from becoming stuck or pinched in logs. The Spaltaxt’s mid-weight 4 ½ pound head and comfortable 28 inch handle keep the wielder fresh during long sessions. This axe handily outperforms others in its class, and stands up well against much heavier tools.
  • C50 High Carbon Steel: 53-56 HRC - Helko Werk axe heads are open-face drop forged individually by hand from German C50 high grade carbon steel. Drop forging is a process in which the blacksmith uses tongs to hold and shape hot steel as a drop hammer falls repeatedly onto it.
  • Grade A American Hickory Handle: Linseed Oil Finish, 150 Grit Sanded Sustainably sourced grade A American hickory handle. All Helko Werk camping axes and hatchets have handles individually hand finished and selected for grain orientation and density with a boiled linseed oil finish and sanded to 150 grit for a comfortable and smooth finish on your axe handle
  • Includes Full Grain Leather Sheath and 1 oz Bottle of Axe Guard Protective Oil: All Helko Werk axes and hatchets include a vegetable-tanned premium leather axe sheath to protect your axe blade and head. The Axe Guard oil is a metal protecting oil to help maintain the steel of your axe head, and prevent rust over time.
  • Dimensions: Head Weight: 4-1/2 lb, Length: 28 in, Total Weight: 5-3/4 lb
2
Council Tool 5 lbs. SB Splitting Axe; 36 in. Straight Wooden Handle

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Council Tool 5 lbs. SB Splitting Axe; 36 in. Straight Wooden Handle

3
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe - Wood Splitter for Medium to Large Size Logs with 36" Shock-Absorbing Handle - Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe - Wood Splitter for Medium to Large Size Logs with 36" Shock-Absorbing Handle - Black

  • MULTI-USE AXE: Sharp blade axe is an ideal wood chopper designed for firewood, yard work, and lawn cleanup, with maximum efficiency for more one-strike splits; Perfect for medium to large size logs
  • EFFICIENT AND COMFORTABLE USE: Shock-absorbing handle with textured non-slip grip reduces hand strain, improves control, and prevents overstrike damage; 36" handle is ideal for taller users
  • LONG-LASTING AND RELIABLE: Hardened forged steel blade stays sharper longer than traditional axes and advanced bevel convex design splits efficiently and makes the blade easier to remove from wood; Provides excellent durability and lasting value
  • QUALITY OUTDOOR TOOLS: Designed to help you embrace the outdoors, Fiskars axes and hatchets are equipped with smart technologies and award-winning, ergonomic features that make it easier and more enjoyable to tackle outdoor tasks
  • INCLUDES: 1 Fiskars Super Splitting Axe with protective sheath; Backed by a lifetime warranty
4
KURUI Wood Splitting Axe and Hatchet Set, 15” Camping Hatchet & 34” Chopping Axe for Cutting and Felling, Long Handle Splitter Axe with Shock-Absorbent Fiber Glass Anti-Slip Handle and Blade Sheath

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

KURUI Wood Splitting Axe and Hatchet Set, 15” Camping Hatchet & 34” Chopping Axe for Cutting and Felling, Long Handle Splitter Axe with Shock-Absorbent Fiber Glass Anti-Slip Handle and Blade Sheath

  • MATERIAL WITH HIGH STRENGTH – Our splitting axe consists of a strong helve made of high-quality fiber glass material, which can effectively reduce the vibration while splitting wood, and a durable and high-strength axe head made of hardened carbon steel, which stays sharp longer that traditional axes. This durable 34" camp axes and 14" hatchets is built for a better using experience.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN – The handle of KURUI splitting axe tool is covered with flexible TPR material for a better shock absorbing result. the black TPR handle is also of excellent resistance to slipping. The ergonomically designed proportion of the head and handle offers ultimate using comfort.
  • EASY USE – When you receive this camping axe, you will find that it has already been sharpened, so you can directly use it for chopping wood easily; when you need to sharpen it, just use a sharpening stone and grind on the blade lightly.
  • GREAT HELPER FOR LOG & FIREWOOD – KURUI camping axes & hatchets makes it easy for you to deal with solid wood, kindling, stems and twigs with high efficiency, serving as your ideal and reliable companion for gardening, camping, surviving, hiking, split wood and all other outdoor activities.
  • WHAT YOU GET – You will receive 1 34-inch axe, 1 15-inch camping hatchet. Each outdoor splitting axe comes with our 1-month free refund & replacement warranty to ensure your shopping satisfaction and worry-free service for you!
5
MLTOOLS Splitting Axe X28A - Camping Axe with Fiberglass Ergonomic Handle, High Carbon Steel Head - Torque & Weatherproof Survival Axes and Hatchets - Non-Slip Grip - Protection Guard & Lock - 28”

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

MLTOOLS Splitting Axe X28A - Camping Axe with Fiberglass Ergonomic Handle, High Carbon Steel Head - Torque & Weatherproof Survival Axes and Hatchets - Non-Slip Grip - Protection Guard & Lock - 28”

  • Chop With Efficiency - Chop and split wood with unparalleled efficiency using our survival axe or survival hatchet! They come in handy when you go hiking, camping, or tend to your garden at home.
  • Tough & Aggressive - The non-detachable heads of each camp axe or camp hatchet stay on the handles no matter the force. They’re made of high carbon steel - perfect for aggressive cutting angles.
  • Non-Slip Handle - Swing with confidence thanks to the top-grade fiberglass handles. Our camping axes & hatchets are shock-absorbent and helps reduce strain even as you keep a tight grip for hours.
  • Long-Lasting Tools - Make room in your shed for an axe for wood splitting that will last you years. These tools are built for the outdoors and can withstand high levels of torque and extreme weather.
  • Easy Carrying & Storage - Always have a wood cutting hatchet ready. You can bring this wood chopping axe anywhere you go because they’re lightweight and come with a protection guard and lock.


Is it better to sharpen a wood splitting axe by hand or using a machine?

Both hand sharpening and using a machine to sharpen a wood splitting axe have their own advantages and disadvantages.


Hand sharpening allows for more control and precision. It ensures that you can add the right angle and shape to the edge of the axe. Additionally, hand sharpening allows you to remove minimal amounts of material, which helps maintain the overall shape and weight balance of the axe. This method is also more portable and requires fewer tools, making it convenient for quick touch-ups in the field.


On the other hand, using a machine can be faster and more efficient, especially if you have multiple axes to sharpen. It is particularly helpful for removing larger amounts of material if the axe is very dull or damaged. A machine designed specifically for axe sharpening can produce consistent results if properly used. However, it requires an initial investment in the machine and may not be as precise as hand sharpening.


Ultimately, the choice between hand sharpening and using a machine depends on personal preference, skill level, and the condition of the axe. If you are comfortable and confident in your hand sharpening skills, it may be the better option. However, if you have many axes to sharpen or prefer a faster method, using a machine can be a good choice as long as you take care to maintain the axe's original shape and angle.


Should I remove the axe head from the handle before sharpening?

It is generally recommended to remove the axe head from the handle before sharpening. This allows you to work on the blade more effectively and prevents accidental injury. It also makes the sharpening process easier and provides better control over the blade. However, make sure to follow proper safety precautions when removing and reinstalling the axe head to avoid any mishaps.


Does the type of wood I split affect how often I need to sharpen the axe?

Yes, the type of wood you split can affect how often you need to sharpen your axe. Softer woods like pine or cedar are generally easier to split and cause less wear on the axe blade, so you may not need to sharpen the axe as frequently. On the other hand, hardwoods like oak or hickory are denser and tougher, requiring more force to split, which can dull the axe blade faster and necessitate more frequent sharpening. Additionally, certain types of wood may contain abrasive elements like sand or grit, which can further accelerate the dulling of the axe blade. Therefore, the type of wood you split can impact the maintenance needs and frequency of sharpening for your axe.

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