A backpacking axe or hatchet is essential if you’re an avid adventurer. They make getting fire and food (almost) hassle-free. We’ve put together a guide of how to sharpen your axe, a sharp axe is a safe axe after all. Create a razor sharp axe using the method below!
It’s important to remember that there are multiple ways to sharpen your axe however there are some which will provide a sharper blade than others.
Sharpening it by hand - Using a file
Sharpening your axe by hand is a longer process which often doesn’t yield the best results, but it will definitely get that axe sharpener! Once you learn to sharpen your axe with a file, it becomes a pretty simple process.
You can pick a file up pretty cheaply from DIY shops. To begin with, there are two basic shapes you want the cutting edge to look like when you’re finished. One is called a rounded bevel edge and the other is a straight edge - if you own an axe you’re likely to know what these different edges are used for, for example the round bevelled edge is better for cutting hard wood or even frozen wood whereas the straight edge is a much more appropriate carving axe.
A File & A Bench Vice
Although you can just use a file, this takes some skill without a bench vice as your axe will be moving around as a bench vice will help keep it in place. Simply attach your axe to the bench vice carefully & sturdily and then sharpen with a file. Much like the method above, but you don’t have to worry about holding your axe in place.
Sharpening stones are one of the lower cost options for axe sharpening and they do get that razor as sharp as can be. Prices can range based on size of axe and quality you want/need. at the lower end of the price range is the Lansky Puck, a two-sided circular stone ideal for getting a quick edge back on your blade, through to the Hultafors Grinding Stone, both of which are ideal to slip into your pack and spend a happy few minutes around the fire honing your edge.
Once you have your stone in hand and your axe edge coated with honing oil or water (depending on what kind of stone you have), you want to place the stone against the edge. Rub it in circular motions against the edge, applying even pressure and going from one end to another.
Hopefully the above has helped you with understanding how to sharpen your axe. Here at Heinnie Haynes we provide a full Bushcraft Axe range. If you have any questions please get in touch with us here.