How to Sharpen an Axe

How to Sharpen an Axe

Is your axe about to rusty? Want to sharpen it but, don’t you know how to sharpen an axe? If yes, get relax! No need to be tensed at all. Through some easy and systematic way, you can make your dull axe like a new one!

A dull axe is so boring when you want to chop something by using it. Without sharpening, your axe may be out of order gradually. But, at the same time, it’s really surprising when you see; some of your known persons use their axes that belonged to their fathers and even grandfathers!

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I’m sure that you are thinking right now, “How it is possible to keep an axe usable for a long time!” Yes, it is possible if you sharpen your axe properly according to the right way. Actually, to get the best service from your axe, you will need to keep it as the best possible condition by regular sharpening.

You will be happy to know that, I have also an axe which is very sharp. Spending a short time, I take care of it regularly. Moreover, in this article, I am going to share my axe sharpening experiences step by step with you, so that you can sharpen your axe properly. So, keep reading!


If your axe head is extremely damaged, you will need to reestablish it by starting a file to get back the original bevel edge including the curve age and bevel face. You should not overheat the edge as it will reduce your axe temper.

There are different types of files for shaping your axe to get back the original look. The Gransfors Bruks Axe file is one of the best sharpening tools which has a fine option for your nicked and damaged edges axe. You will be happy to hear that; the file will be really useful for you to sharpen your axe.

Also, the Nicholson Magicut file with aggressive cutting may be another good choice for your axe. The file maintains the basic function of your axe and its shaping ability is reliable for an economical option.

Before sharpening, the axe needs to be mounted with consistency for filing the axe head with your two hands. While pushing the filing against the sharpening bevel, you should be more careful to avoid unexpected injury.

When you sharpen your axe, try to use firm even strokes and don’t touch the blade edge until the filing completes. Then your axe will be ready to move when you see a slight burr from the opposite side of the axe.


In order to repair slight damage and normal wear of your axe, you will need to replace basic sharpness with a whetstone bench grinder. You can also use, Tormek Sharpener, or a Gransfors Bruks Axe Sharpening Stone. Again, it is possible to do it with a coarse handheld whetstone too.

As a lubricant material, you may use water versus oil on the clay and sandstone whetstones and the Gransfors stone. At the same time, you may also use any light oil for lubrication when you will work with carborundum or Arkansas whetstones and then keep the whetstones from any impediments.

Before grinding, always keep the original bevel shape and a straight bevel edge needs to be a little convex as well. Definitely, a convex bevel is the source of additional strength. Remember that, the edge can deform or break if the bevel remains too straight.

You may use any kind of whetstone as you like. For doing the sharpening bevel evenly ground, you will need to move the axe continuously back and forth. If this process continues right so, your axe will get back its original shape in a short time.


At this sharpening moment of your axe, you will need to hone the end of the edge which has already become very thin and bent. Keeping in a circular motion of your axe, try to remove the feathery edge with a coarse stone and then finer whetstone. I recommend you to use the stones from the side of the axe head in the direction of cutting edge.

Be careful to avoid injury while using the stones. If you want to use your axe professionally, you may choose the long luster Gransfors Bruks Diamond Sharpening File as the most reliable one than the regular files and stones. After finishing ones, with your fine grit stones, you will be completely ready for stropping!


If you want to make the edge very sharp, you can do it by stroking against a leather strop. You should keep running each stroke away from the cutting edge. Continue doing the deal with a few strokes to make your axe too sharp. In the long run, you will face an incredible axe that you can’t believe and you will laugh and think it’s a miracle!

Final verdict

Did the article help you? I hope, it was really useful for you. Methinks, this article has provided you what you were searching for your dull axe. Most probably, already you have understood how to sharpen an axe properly. Actually, proper care keeps your tools always perfect.

According to the above steps of sharpening an axe, you may sharpen your own by saving your valuable time and energy. As an axe owner, I tried to share my techniques what I apply to my axe to keep sharpen always. I hope you are going to sharpen your axe very soon!

Have a nice time with your sharp axe! 🙂

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