Author Topic: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?  (Read 705 times)

Offline Greekman

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how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« on: July 19, 2019, 01:08:34 PM »
I did the mistake to buy a 20 inch Husqvarna splitting axe.
Actually it must be an older model cos it is half way between a hatchet and a real splitting axe (it has a thicker wedge edge, but a curved one.)

It was half price and I will be keeping it, even to give it away.
I think it is the right size to split 6-8 inch wide wood for a small woodstove.

But i do not know how to sharpen and profile it. Like a traditional axe, knife sharp?
Or should i go for a more moderate grind to maintain a lasting splitting edge?


Offline CharlesH

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 02:17:45 PM »
I use a splitting maul, as opposed to the splitting axe.  For the maul I do not find it needs much sharpening.  Just a file to remove burrs keeps it functional for me.  I’m not sure if that would be different for a splitting axe.  The axe has less mass, but presumably hits the wood at a higher rate so your bite may be a bit less than with the maul, but probably not much.  I’d use it until you start noticing it not biting well, then see if a quick file is enough to get it back in shape.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2019, 06:31:24 PM »
I would keep it sharp since it doesn't have the weight a splitting maul would have. The downside is be very careful while using it. With the short handle I would guess it should be used while kneeling since standing up would be a great way to hit your lower legs. :o

Offline Greekman

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 06:30:46 AM »
I see..but I don't intend on splitting on the ground but on a stump to catch the head if it slips.
Unless there is something I am not getting in your advice.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2019, 05:56:16 PM »
Take that thing in your hand and in a standing position Carefully hold it to your side and see where the head of it lines up with your leg. That's the most likely place you will strike if you miss your target, even while the wood is on a stump. In my case if I were to use it I would drill a hole in the handle and install a lanyard to go around my wrist. Nothing worse than losing control of the splitting hatchet from wet gloves or sweaty hands and hitting a bystander. Just saying be careful. ;)

Offline Greekman

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 11:48:16 PM »
I see...thanks

Offline rustyknife

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 05:29:24 PM »
With the smaller axes and splitters we try to use more power in the the swing than say if we had a splitting maul with a full length handle. Same thing happens with a knife that's not sharp ie we try to over power its dullness. I carry a double bitted forester ax when on hikes in the mountains around here. Same problem as it has a 24 inch handle. So I keep it razor sharp so it will take less applied energy to get the same amount of work done and I know it's razor sharp and will hurt me if I'm not careful. Sounds like I'm beating a dead horse but would be sad to learn that you or anyone else were injured. Respectfully. :)

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: how to sharpen a SPLITTING axe?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2019, 08:31:49 PM »
I sharpen a splitting axe with a much thicker angle filing than for a felling/cutting axe.  Probably more like 30 degrees.  Not sure, I just go by sight, but it is significantly greater angle than on a cutting axe blade.  And I sharpen a splitting axe perhaps once a year, whereas a felling/cutting axe will get a touchup after every substantial use.