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How to Maintain an Axe Properly?

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How to Maintain an Axe Properly

If you are a lover of adventure, travel and sightseeing, you must go on hiking, camping, swimming, hunting, fishing, or visiting different countries. In almost all the cases, you need some particular tools to get prepared. The best axe is one of those tools which is extremely useful!

Wherever you go, you must need to cut things such as- wood for activating the fireplace. An axe will assist you through this and it has many other advantages as well. Here, I have discussed few types of axes that might be of help to you.

What are the Different Types of Axes?

Most of the people use the following types of axes:

Standard Axe

The full sized axes are the standard ones. This type of axe is mostly used to cut things for the maintenance of your house or garage. For example, you can cut down trees to make the fuel of your fireplace.

A standard axe can also be used to cut trees that are very old and left around your house. It is better to cut those trees as soon as possible because they may fall on their own anytime! Generally, the standard axes are large and heavy. Only the experienced ones should use it.

Camp Axe

A camp axe is smaller than the size of a typical axe. It looks like a hatchet. As the camp axes are small, they are lightweight and easy to operate. So, they can be carried without trouble while going for camping out.

The little parts of the wood are cut with a camp axe and those parts can be used for lighting up the fire. Camp axes are also used for removing shrubs or withholding the tents.

Camp Ice Axe

The camp ice axes are not like the typical ones that you see most often. They are long and have a unique design. The blade of a camp ice axe is thin and its handle contains a sharp spot at the bottom. They are exclusively used while trekking up snowy or icy hills. They protect you from the risk of falling down the mountain and keep you steady. They are more like a walking stick to aid mountain climbing.

How to Maintain an Axe Properly?

If an axe is properly sharpened, it will prevent accidents and will be more efficient for cutting or chopping tree and wood pieces. Do not start to sharpen your axe’s head without some pretreatments. Prior to sharpening, clean and polish the overall surface of that axe. It will make a pristine work surface and let you find out the trouble areas where rust accumulated severely.

Steel wool is used to remove the rust. If you do not find any rust, skip this part. Blemishes and scratches can be healed by using fine-grit sandpaper. You can do it with power tools also. A drilling machine with a disc sander can perform this job within a very short time.

Take a classic pedal grindstone to sharpen the axe manually with hand. Files and whetstones are also used to do this as well. You are lucky if you have a pedal grindstone. Be careful about keeping the belt wet. You can do it with your drip cut or continuous water supply.

If you sharpen the axe’s blade without water on the stone, it will destroy the temper on your blade. At that point, the edge of the steel will be blue. In that case, you have to reshape the edge back toward the point where the tempered part exists. Make sure the handle intersects the grindstone at 90-degree angle by holding the blade and stone face to face. The grindstone should rotate towards the blade’s edge, not against it.

If you do not want to use a grindstone for the sharpening purpose, you can use tools like- an axe bit width gauges, mill bastard files, carborundum scythe stone, carborundum axe stone, and a notched carborundum sharpening stone. All these are standard axe sharpening tools.

You can also use in lieu of carborundum stones or natural Arkansas sharpening stones for this purpose. Secure the axe to a bench or worktable and use the file and file into the edge. Do it by placing them towards the handle and eye of the axe.

It is suggested to use gloves because they will protect you from severe injury. Work away from the check and take the file near the blade edges. Turn the axe when there is a ridge or burr is formed on one side of it and do the same to the opposite side. Hone the edge with the whetstone if you are satisfied with the shape of the blade. It will polish the surface and eliminate burr produced from the filling. Honing is done to retain your cutting edge on a regular basis.


The advantages of an axe are best known to our ancestors. Take the axe and put it in the ash or antler handle. Do a little knapping for maintaining the sharpness of the blade. The existence of your ancestors would have been impossible without an axe! They used it for creating shelter, fuel for lighting the fire and cooking. They also used it for protecting themselves from troublesome neighbours.

The contribution of an axe has gradually reduced with the invention of more efficient tools. However, people still use an axe for chopping wood or cutting down trees or bushes in the garden to keep it clean. A simple chopping axe works more efficiently than a garden saw.

It is believed that an axe would lessen the stress on fingers and wrist. It would put some weight on the action. If you cut through the trunk of a tree quickly, hone the axe to perfection. A honed axe is thousand times better than a blunt saw.

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