How to sharpen your axe?
We recommend using an axe file in step 1, and a diamond file in step 2. You can sharpen your axe step by step, which is the right way to sharpen your axe. You will also need a sharpening stone. Two-sided files are most often used, with a rough side and a smooth side.
It is possible to sharpen with a file or an angle grinder. When sharpening with a file, follow these steps Sharpen only the blade with a drachma file, making wide cuts away from yourself. The wide part of the bevel of the blade itself should be about 5 cm.
Using a sharpening file for dressing cutters
Various tools are sharpened on the electric grinder to carry out carpentry work: chisels, gouges, etc.п. To get a sharper cutting edge, use a special sharp object, a fine-grained stone, and a low-speed sharpener.
Working with metal structures where a lot of drilling is required, there is a constant need to sharpen metal drills. In this case, the craftsman needs to know at what angle the drill bit is tucked. Each material has its own hardness. Approximate values of sharpening angles for different kinds of materials are given below.
To properly sharpen the drill bit, various devices are used, holding it at a certain angle to the abrasive wheel. How such devices look like is shown in the photo below.
The seemingly easiest operation is to sharpen an axe. It is difficult to overheat it, because it has a significant mass of metal. But here, too, difficulties can arise.
- Each operation performed with an axe requires a certain sharpening angle. For example, for working with fresh, raw wood it is 20 degrees, and for cutting dry wood it is 30 degrees.
- Sharpening an axe on an electric grinder overheats the blade metal, making it more brittle. Such an axe will re-blunt very quickly in operation.
- Grind the axe at low RPM and avoid abrasive beating as much as possible.
- Use a water-cooled rotary tool or always dip the axe into cold water.
- To grind the axe, keep its blade against the rotation of the abrasive disk. The blade should be at a 45 degree angle to the wheel.
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Observe safety rules and regulations when working with the electric grinder. Do not use the sharpener without protective guards: the abrasive wheel in operation can break and injure. Eye protection against dross and sand is also a must.
The stone axe was probably the first tool created by prehistoric man. For thousands of years the axe has been a faithful companion of man at home, at work and in war. As the centuries passed, the stone axes were replaced by bronze axes, and the bronze axes were replaced by steel axes. And all this time the question of the sharpness of the axe has not lost its relevance. It helped to work better, and in war could save a life. These days the axe is gradually ceasing to be the basic tool in the house, bit by bit giving up positions to the power tool. But knowing how to properly sharpen the faithful helper is a matter of honor for every home craftsman.
To properly sharpen an axe at home, it is important to choose the right way to handle the cutting blade. It will depend on the following factors:
- what kind of wood they will have to cut. in this case, the stiffness of the fibers and their twist, and their other parameters must be taken into account;
- It is important whether the wood is wet. then the blade will need to go deeper;
- the type of carpentry. whether the axe will be used for chopping trees, chopping firewood or debarking logs;
- The stronger the steel from which the cutting blade is made, the more difficult it will be to sharpen it manually, but the result will be more durable;
- always consider the width of the chamfer. this figure should allow the blade to sink into the material to be worked;
- The angle at which sharpening is performed is important.
During work, it is important to observe several safety rules, so as not to harm your health.
Protection is important. not just your eyes and hands, but your whole body. over, it is a good idea to wear a respirator when working with an electric device. The entire working space should be free of unnecessary problems, leaving only the axe itself and the devices required for its sharpening. Finally, it is important to exclude the presence of people who are not involved in the work.
How to Sharpen an Axe. A Simple Guide to Razor Sharpness
Keeping your hiking axes and bushcraft axes sharp is important for their effectiveness, safety, and reliability.
We will see how you can sharpen an axe at home by hand, using tools such as oil stones, wet stones, a file, and even a stone.
We will also look at how to sharpen an axe using machines such as a sharpening machine or a dremel tool.
For those without basic tools, we’ve added a bonus section with two methods for properly sharpening an axe without tools using a stone.
Recommended Protective Equipment
Safety is important when sharpening an axe. You are working with a blade that could cut you to the bone with one wrong move.
We recommend the use of leather safety gloves and eye protection.
No matter what sharpening process you use, you need to keep your hands and eyes safe.
If you are using a dremel tool or bench grinder for sharpening, wear hearing protection as well.
Cleaning the Axe Head
Cleaning the axe head first removes any dirt or rust that makes it difficult to sharpen the axe.
Secure the axe either in a vise or on your knees with the axe head between your legs, as in the picture above. Use a steel sponge to remove any rust or dirt from the surface.
Once you have cleared most of it, you can move on to your preferred sharpening method.
- Secure the axe either in a vise or firmly on your lap.
- Use a felt-tip pen and paint the entire bevel as a guide.
- Take a 10-inch milling file and bring it up to the blade.
- Align the angle of the bevel and the angle of the file.
- Press the blade in long, continuous strokes 5-10 times.
- Perform the same number of motions on the other side of the blade.
- If the blade is still damaged, make a few more moves on it.
A cutting axe, for example, has a thin nozzle and a sharpened edge that allows it to cut lumber across the fibers without putting pressure on your hands.
On the other hand, the cleaver axe has a wedge-shaped axe head, which is much heavier because it has to split logs vertically along the fibers.
And if it’s a molding axe, it has a flatter curve that’s easier to sharpen because the bevel is smoother by default.
The rule of thumb is to always follow the curve of the blade.
How to sharpen an axe with a file
A simple 10-millimeter file is one of the easiest ways to sharpen an axe with a razor-sharp blade.
- Clamp the axe in a rigid vise or on your lap if you’re sharpening it outdoors. Make sure the file is securely clamped before you start working on it.
- There are two ways to clamp the axe: horizontally and vertically. The vertical clamp allows you to file one side of the edge at a time, which often gives better results. A horizontal clamp makes it easier to use the file. You can use whichever method you are comfortable with.
- Use a felt tip pen to color the beveled edge.This allows you to keep an even bevel when sharpening.
- Align the angle of the bevel with the angle of the file.
- If you’re using a piercing file, press down on the edge, making long motions, evenly removing a layer of metal until you get a sharp edge. Repeat on the other side.
- If you are using a drawing filing, align the bevel and run it across the edge. It usually takes 10 to 15 strokes on one side. But you might need more, depending on how blunt the edge is.
You have to be very careful moving toward the edge of the blade.Even a tiny lapse in the grip can cause a cut to the bone. This is where cut-resistant gloves come into play.
How to sharpen an axe with a sharpening or oil stone
An oil stone, sharpening stone, or sharpening stone, whatever you want to call it, is a simple tool for sharpening an axe. It has a rough side and a smooth side, and we will use both sides to sharpen the edge.
However, the type of stone (not grit) should depend on the type of blade you are trying to sharpen.
For flat edges, such as an axe, a soft sharpening stone, such as synthetic water stones, is best.
If you want to sharpen a curved edge, e.g. on a stabbing or cutting axe, a sharpening stone with a harder matrix, such as Norton’s India Stone, is better suited for this purpose.
This does not mean that you cannot work with a soft water stone as a cutting axe or with an Indian stone as a shaping axe. Quite simply, harder stones wear out more slowly, resulting in a smoother bevel.
Bench Grinder Primer. Tips Tricks & Axe / Hatchet Head Restoration
Both water and oil can be used as a lubricant. But use grease sparingly, as it reduces the friction between the stone and the axe blade, thereby reducing efficiency.
- Soak the sharpening stone in water for 10-15 minutes. The stone is porous and you should see air bubbles as it absorbs water. Once that stops, it’s time to get to work.
- Place the axe head on the stone so that it coincides with the natural bevel angle.
- Now make circular motions to cover the entire head of the axe.You’ll begin to notice a silvery slurry begin to form on the stone. Don’t wipe it off. If the stone seems too dry and a gray powder forms instead of paste, put some water on the stone and continue sharpening.
- Keep checking the edge. You don’t want to overdo it.
- Once you’ve finished one side, turn it over and work on the other side.
Sharpen the edge
Check the edge of the axe. It should already be pretty sharp.But we’re going to sharpen the edge a little bit and make it thinner.
To do this, simply turn the sharpening stone over and repeat the same steps above. Always keep the sharpening stone slightly moist and make circular motions.
That’s it. You have just put a razor point on your axe. But we strive for perfection.
How to correctly sharpen an axe | Construction portal
Axes are used for woodworking, felling and chopping. They consist of metal blades that are rigidly attached to the handle. Sharpening the tool properly makes it easier to use and ensures efficient operation.
- Axe Overview
- Proper axe sharpening
- How to properly sharpen an axe with an electric grinder
- How to properly sharpen an axe by hand
- Rules of axe use
An axe is a tool necessary for chopping and woodworking.
The tool consists of an axe, a sharpened blade and a fixing wedge.
The basic material for the handle is wood.
The axe part is usually made of tool steel. It contains more than 0.7% of carbon.
Metal is divided into quality and regular. The difference of the second kind of material is a higher content of impurities. such as phosphorus, sulfur, and oxygen.
Axes made of this type of steel have a shorter lifespan. Therefore, it is preferable to buy a tool with the letter A in the marking, which corresponds to good quality metal.
Before choosing a cleaver, determine for what work it will be used. The right tool will save you time and effort.
Depending on their purpose, axes come in several varieties:
A multifunction axe combines the options of other tools. Its shank is made in the form of a pick, hammer or nailer. Relevant use of the tool for small amounts of chopping, in the absence of a larger arsenal of tools.
The carpenter or universal tool is the most common type. It usually has a straight cutting edge. But often the design uses a rounded shape of the blade. The model is used by carpenters and joiners of a wide classification. Therefore, identical-looking axes often differ in the type of sharpening, and they are designed for different types of work.
A cleaver is designed for splitting logs into large pieces. The shape of its blade often resembles a wedge. The chopping part is thickened and narrowed, preventing it from getting stuck in the wood. The axe has a long and powerful handle, which increases the impact force.
A cleaver’s axe is geared for felling trees and pruning branches. The weight of the tool exceeds that of its analogues. It usually weighs more than 2 kg. There are also lightweight varieties weighing 1-1.5 kg.
A camping axe is a compact and lightweight tool, due to its specific application. When choosing a tourist tool the optimal ratio of weight to quality often applies.
Proper sharpening of the axe
The axe is an important tool for work in the countryside and the construction of wooden structures.
After selecting the axe there is a new problem, how to sharpen it. Regardless of the quality of the sharpening, it will soon wear out.
It is usually more efficient to take the time to properly sharpen the axe than to act with a blunt instrument.
Before you start sharpening the axe, make a template:
- Take a piece of tin or other similar material;
- Select the desired angle of sharpening;
- make an appropriate notch;
- Place the template on the blade to be machined;
- Determine the angle of deviation from the desired result;
- Use a marker on the blade of the cleaver to make the appropriate marks.
Proper sharpening of the axe takes into account a number of factors:
- the hardness of the wood species;
- The level of humidity of the wood;
- the nature of the work to be done with the axe. For example, chopping logs or debarking wood;
- type of metal from which the blade is molded.
Carry out the sharpening by taking into account the type of axe, taking into account the type of work to be done.
In accordance with the requirements of GOST, the sharpening angle is:
These are the average recommended parameters. That is why in some cases it is sensible to change the standard sharpening.
The smaller the angle of sharpening, the sharper the axe blade. The less effort you have to put into your work. But it tends to blunt quickly if the sharpening is sharp. It can bind in the wood. And you will have to put extra effort to pull it out.
Therefore you should use heavy axes with a sharpening angle of 35-40° for chopping logs and small trees.
For chopping logs and felling large trees, sharpen the working tool at 25° to 30°.
The question of restoring the functionality of the axe can be solved by yourself or to refer to a master.
How to correctly sharpen an axe with an electric sharpening tool
It is not always possible and time to go to a specialist. So it is important to understand how to sharpen an axe correctly.
You can sharpen the blade by hand or use an electric sharpening machine.
The apparatus is an abrasive wheel, with a high speed of rotation.
To sharpen an axe with an electric grinder, you will need:
- axe with blade;
- A double-sided sharpening stone;
- Finishing paste;
- Dressing tool for the grinding wheel;
- Pernament marker;
- Personal protective equipment;
- Angle gauge.
Wear safety glasses and gloves when sharpening the working tool.
Set up the machine on a firm, level surface.
Check the surface of the work area for imperfections.
If necessary, run a double-sided stone across the grinding wheel to level it.
To update the sharpening at an existing angle, paint over the blade with a black pernament marker.
Secure the axe against the sharpening stone. Position the axe so that the wheel rotates against it.
Lower the tool blade to the sharpening wheel.
Adjust and lock the sharpening angle with the sharpening nut.
Use your hand to make two turns of the sharpening wheel.
Unsharpen the axe and check the cut under the marker. With the right angle, the sharpened surface will completely rub off. At a small angle, the very end of the hacked blade will rub off. With more, the surface behind the painted area upward toward the handle.
How to properly sharpen an axe with an emery tool
Sharpening an axe is the process of removing a layer of metal from its blade in order to obtain a sharp edge. Since the work is simple, it can be done with your own hands. You can sharpen an axe with an electric tool or a sharpening stone. The difficulty lies in maintaining the correct sharpening angle. The rotation of the tool is accompanied by a run-out that begins when the blade approaches the abrasive. As a result, irregularities form on the machined surface, which affects the quality of the final work.
The material to be sharpened is high quality, high-carbon tool steel that is hardened to 55 Rockwell. To sharpen the tool, an abrasive of different grit sizes is used. Its degree decreases as the work progresses. The coarsest grit is used in the initial stage, and the fine grit in the final stage, when the final finishing is done. To sharpen the axe better, it is better to remove the blade from the handle. This provides additional convenience. It becomes possible to move it in different directions. Angles are controlled by means of stencils or a protractor.
Common mistakes when sharpening an axe
Properly sharpening an axe is a whole art. Beginners often make the following mistakes:
- When sharpening the blade, do not let it rest against the abrasive for a long time. Otherwise, this place is subjected to tempering, which leads to a loss of hardness of this area and a decrease in sharpness. The material turns black and loses its properties.
- No angle grinder is used as a tool to sharpen the blade. It is impossible to hold it in the hand at a certain angle for a long time. The tool is heavy and constantly sideways. In some cases, the angle grinder is fixed in a vise, but it does not work either, because it is difficult to control the desired position of the blade in space and it is not possible to grind it properly.
- Working on worn equipment. Negative results are obtained because of permanent beating of the old tool. Failure to achieve the desired angle and width of the chamfer. The product cannot be sharpened as a result.
- The cutting part of the tool must not be in the direction of travel of the abrasive wheel. There will be increased metal removal without sharpening the edge.
As a result of the metal being pressed too hard against the grinding wheel, the internal structure changes due to overheating. You can avoid this by periodically wetting the surface with water or other coolant.
The secret of success is the right sharpening angle
in order to grind the axe properly, you need to know what you are using it for. There are the following shapes:
- Wedge-shaped or straight. The blade penetrates the wood well.
- Oval. Used for wood.
- Razor. Used for precision work.
To sharpen an axe, it is necessary to make a choice of the sharpening angle. It ensures the necessary degree of sharpness of the blade.
The table shows the values of the angles and the work performed with such a tool.
|15||Precise work in wood for minor repairs.|
|20||Used for log handling.|
|25-30||Used in home conditions. It splits logs well.|
Depending on the type of wood changes the angle of sharpening. It is made more blunt when working with acacia wood, because such wood is among the hardest.
Ideal chamfer width
The bevel is the distance from the axe’s central axis to its edge. Not only the sharpness of the blade depends on this parameter, but also the service life of the axe until a new sharpening.
Chamfer width depends on the sharpening angle. The sharper it is, the less the chamfer, and the higher the performance of the axe. Much depends on the quality of the material used. If the steel is not up to standard, too small an angle causes the tool to blunt quickly. A chamfer of 1 to 2 mm is regarded as optimum. If the steel grade does not allow for such parameters, the chamfer is produced asymmetrically. It is 15° on one side and 25° on the other, as shown in the second figure.
Simple ways to sharpen an axe
There are two ways to sharpen an axe at home:
In doing so, the axe blade needs to be sharpened in a certain way, depending on the nature of the work to be done and some factors:
Beforehand a template is made of tin, which is used to check the progress of the work.
Sharpening with a power tool
To sharpen the axe, an electric grinder is used as a sharpening tool. The equipment includes an abrasive wheel, which removes the desired layer of metal due to its high speed of rotation.
The work procedure consists of the following steps:
- Place the sharpening stone on a flat surface without any imperfections.
- The axe is clamped so that its tip is directed in the direction of the rotation of the wheel.
- The surface of the axe to be sharpened is painted over with a marker and brought to the abrasive.
- Fix the desired angle with a nut, and turn the wheel a few times by hand.
- The correct angle setting should be checked. The entire marker must be wiped off. If this does not happen, the adjustment continues.
- Next you need to sharpen the surface of the axe until all imperfections are completely eliminated. Periodically the blade is turned over so that the metal is removed evenly.
- Turning the workpiece at a 45° angle to the abrasive, chamfer it. This is done first on one side and then on the other.
- Periodically the sharpener is brought to the abrasive wheel for levelling the surface.
How to sharpen with your own hands?
Sharpening the axe is a process of forming a cutting edge. It appears on the line of the junction of two chamfers removed on both sides of the blade at the same angle. In order to obtain a uniform and symmetrical sharpening edge, it is first necessary to make a template, which is usually cut out of a piece of tin plate with scissors. Before starting work, the template is applied to the blade, assess the amount of work and mark the lines limiting the sharpening area with a marker. This should be done on both sides of the blade.
In addition, it is necessary to prepare a tool, which can be used as a tool:
It is more convenient to use an electric sharpener, but if you don’t have one, you should use what you have. An experienced craftsman gets a good result on any device, here the main factor is the availability of appropriate skills. It is advisable to study the special drawings before starting the process.
You will need
Moisten the sharpening stone at the electric grinder with water. Sometimes you even moisten the stone with machine oil. This is because the axe is made of hardened steel. If it is overheated during sharpening, it will become soft at the tip of the blade and will blunt quickly. When sharpening also periodically dip it in water. During the work, make sure that the plane of the blade accurately and evenly adjoins the sharpening stone. The angle of the axe should be at least 35 degrees for carpentry, make a larger angle for chopping firewood. The wheel should rotate towards the axe. Hold the tool by the butt with one hand and the axe handle in the middle with the other hand, turning it from time to time by one side or the other, so that the sharpening of both sides is identical.
After sharpening at the sharpening stone, take a block with coarse grain, moisten it in water and begin to grind the axe slowly, removing the burr that appears. Work one side of the blade first, then the other, each time checking to see if any metal residue is removed. Wipe the blade.
When sharpening with the stone, you may hold the stone in your hands, or you may put it on the table and guide the axe over it. Continue working on the fine bar, refining the edge of the blade even more. Wipe the blade, take a thick leather strap, place the axe on the edge of the table and run the strap across the blade. That way the axe will be completely ready for use. Such fine sharpening is of course only appropriate for the carpenter’s axe. A sharpening on an electric grinder will be sufficient for the chopper. A hiking axe can easily be sharpened with a small, flat bar.
The process consists in removing from the working part of the blade the necessary layer of metal to obtain a sharp edge. The material to be machined is high quality tool steel with a high percentage of carbon, hardened. Less quality and, accordingly, cheap material contains a large amount of impurities. But any quality steel at work, which consists of strong blows on the surface, does not save from the fact that the blade loses its sharpness and the work becomes less productive and uncomfortable.
Tools for sharpening axes used in private households are uncomplicated. a sharpening stone, sandpaper or an electric machine. This work can be done independently. The difficulty, how to properly sharpen an axe in home conditions, lies in obtaining the necessary angle at which to sharpen.
Sharpen an Axe With A Grinder
For the universal type, the recommended angle. from 20 to 30°, and for the sharp. 35-40°.
During the process, you must take small breaks, otherwise overheating may cause the steel to soften and the edge will wear out much more in the future. A precautionary measure is periodic pouring cold water over the place to be sharpened.
When electric tools are used, rotation is accompanied by beating, which causes irregularities. To make them visible, before sharpening, the surface of the treated part is painted with a marker. When checking the work done, its traces may remain on the convex parts, indicating the need for further refinement.
For sharpening axes, abrasives of different grit sizes are used. Its degree is gradually reduced. Use coarse grit in the beginning, and fine grit at the end for final finishing. It is more convenient to sharpen the blade by removing it from the handle on which it is mounted. This makes it possible to move it in different directions. Check the angle by means of a protractor or a template. It is made and applied as follows:
- Prepare a small piece of tin;
- Determine the angle of sharpening;
- To make a notch in the future stencil;
- put it to the edge of the blade and determine the inconsistency;
- After each adjustment perform a control.
Important parameter. bevel. the width of this parameter determines the performance. If sufficiently sized, the axe can easily cut into the wood without bouncing off it.
Cutting edges can have different configurations:
- Oval. Used for rough work.
- Wedge-shaped. Its other name is straight. Universal, allowing a variety of operations. Has proven itself in trees with different characteristics.
- Razor. Used for fine work. carving, trimming.
When cutting firewood and freeing the area from trees, it is necessary to understand how to properly sharpen the axe for chopping. wedge-shaped axe is reasonable for common household purposes. When working with wet wood is recommended to make the angle of 20 °, and for dry. 30 °.
Grinding by hand
The main recommendation on how to properly sharpen an axe with an emery machine is to move the material from a large grit to a small grit. The simple method is to use a sharpening stone, which is sold in construction stores. Its rounded shape allows it to be held comfortably in the hand, while the curvature allows to observe the required angle. For manual sharpening, a band file is also used. The work will go faster and less effort will have to be applied.
Using the grinding wheel is effective. Setting it at a chosen angle is carried out between the angles of wood. Angle is calculated from the known geometry formulas of a right triangle, where the bar itself is considered the hypotenuse, and the cathetus. the surface of one of the angles. The blade is guided on the wheel, keeping the horizontal plane.
Sharpening with an electric sharpening machine
The main part of the electric machine. the abrasive wheel, which has a high speed of rotation. The process of working on it consists of the following steps:
- Place the power tool on a stable surface.
- Check that there are no irregularities on the sharpener. If any are present, use the corrective stone on the surface of the sharpening stone.
- Paint the place where the blade will be sharpened with a marker.
- Secure the axe so that the rotation of the circle is toward.
- Set the angle of sharpening with the help of the angle gauge and fix it with the special nut.
- Bring the blade closer to the abrasive.
- Carry out a couple of turns of the wheel by hand, pointing towards yourself.
- Check the cut with the highlighter. If the inclination is correct, the paint will wipe off all. A smaller angle will wear out only the end of the blade; a larger angle will wear out the area closer to the handle.
- Repeat these steps until the selected angle is reached.
- Sharpen the blade by turning it regularly in different directions that ensures uniformity.
- Apply grinding paste to the wheel and polish the sharpened surface of the axe.
- Apply an anti-rust agent to the metal part of the tool.
When working, you should not forget to periodically wet the treated surface with cold water to avoid overheating.
A higher rotation speed has a grinder, which everyone knows under the name of angle grinder. Before working, you should read the manual, which specifies how to properly sharpen the axe with an angle grinder. This method is more dangerous and when using it, you should carefully follow all the recommendations.