Regardless of whether you’ve been a survivalist enthusiast for years or you love nothing more than spending time in the great outdoors exploring and getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – one of the most important things you can do when spending time off the grid is to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and equipment to stay safe.
When it comes down to sharpening an ax, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to do – regardless of whether you have experience or not.
Still, it’s important to note that there are a variety of different methods that can be used to sharpen an ax, and each one requires a slightly different process.
In this post, we are going to be sharing with you how to sharpen an ax with a file.
Below, you will find simple step-by-step instructions on how you can easily sharpen your ax with a file.
Unlike other types of tools or even a bench grinder, a file is one of the most affordable ways to sharpen an ax as well as one of the easiest ways to sharpen one, too.
Along the way, we’ll also be sharing some additional tips to make sure that you use the file correctly. Read on!
Understanding The Shape Of The Cutting Edge
Before you begin sharpening the ax with a file, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want the cutting edge of the ax to look like once you are done sharpening it.
Generally speaking, there are two standard shapes that you can file your ax to look like, and these are either a straight edge or a rounded bevel edge.
Regardless of which shape you decide to sharpen your ax into, it’s important to make sure that you ensure both sides of the ax have the same shape and length.
Along with this, it’s important to make sure that you remember that the cutting edge of your max should always be at least 1/4inch in both width and length from the top to the bottom of the bit.
This will ensure that you are able to get the very best performance out of the ax (Another way to increase performance is having a good ax handle. Check out How To Replace An Axe Handle).
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s break down the two shapes that you can sharpen the ax into:
- Rounded Bevel Edge: This is the first way that you can sharpen the ax. As you might have already been able to guess from the name, a rounded bevel edge consists of a curved edge that offers more support and stability. This is the most common way to sharpen an ax, and is best suited for chopping wood.
- Straight Edge: The next way that you can sharpen your ax is by creating a straight edge. As the name suggests, this is where the sides are entirely flat in order to create an edge. This is the trickier out of the two, and is better suited to carving wood purposes.
How To Sharpen An Ax With A File?
Now that we have broken down the two most common ways to sharpen an ax, we are now going to be providing you with two simple methods that will allow you to easily sharpen your ax.
Let’s take a look below:
Method One: Push File
The first way that you can sharpen your ax with a file is by following the push file method.
Simple as can be, this is the most common method when sharpening an ax with a file, and simply consists of pushing the file directly over the bit in order to create your desired cutting edge shape and sharpness.
With each stroke that you make with the file across the bit, small amounts of metal will be removed – all you will need to do is to simply keep filing in this way until you are satisfied with the shape and sharpness of the cutting edge.
Method Two: Draw File
A lesser known method of sharpening an ax with a file is the draw file method.
While this isn’t as common as the push file method, the draw file method is worth mentioning because it will offer you the ability to apply more force to the file.
Thanks to this, it means that, while following this method, you will have the ability to easily apply more pressure with each stroke that you make in order to speed up the amount of metal being removed from the cutting edge.
In order to do this correctly, all you will need to do is to simply take the handle of the file and then place it directly on the ax’s poll.
From there, you will then need to make sure that the remainder of the file has extended past the bit of the ax, and then take your other hand and firmly push the file against the cutting edge of your ax.
Once you have done this, you will then need to pull the end of the file downwards, which will begin filing the cutting edge.
The Bottom Line
Over to you!
Now that you have taken the time to read through our guide above, we hope that you now have a much better understanding of how you can sharpen your axe with a file.
As we have already mentioned above, sharpening an axe with a file is not only one of the easiest ways to sharpen an axe, but it’s also one of the most affordable.
Along with this, files are small and portable, which makes them easy to travel with for those that like to spend time camping or exploring the great outdoors.
By following the instructions that we have provided you with above, you should find that you are able to easily sharpen your ax in just a few moments.
Thank you for reading!