How to Sharpen an Axe




About: I like to make fun projects and document it all for my channel BCDesign on YouTube!

In this Instructable I will show you how to give a new axe an ultra sharp edge before you get to work!

I made a quick one minute how to sharpen an axe video for my YouTube channel BCDesign if you like this video and Instructable please thumbs up comment and subscribe and vote here!

Items you will need

  • Diamond stone 600/1000 grit (I use the credit card style stone)
  • Lapping fluid
  • Leather Strop (I use a small carving tool strop)
  • Stropping Compound
  • Rag (to clean away dirty lapping fluid
  • Wooden board
  • Patience

Step 1: Want to Make Your New Axe Razor Sharp?

  • I lie my axe on my bench with a pallet wood/ junk wood board under it to hold the blade up at a nice angle for me to work on it.
  • I start by adding some lapping compound to the axe blade and stone.
  • I hold the card in my right hand with the 600grit side against the blade and slowly roll it over until I find the edge and start to work the stone in a circular motion along the blade.
  • I use my left hand to keep pressure on the axe head and stop it rolling while I work.
  • Have patience and take your time doing this, wiping away the dirty lapping fluid and adding some clean fluid as you work.
  • The small stone I am using is a very useful little sharpening tool to have in your tool kit due to its small size.
  • When you can see the scratches starting to smooth out and the edge getting brighter it is time to change grits on the stone.
  • Now flip the axe over and repeat the process on the other side of the blade.

Step 2: Repeat the Last Step Using...

  • This time turn the diamond stone over to the 1000 grit side.
  • Roll the diamond stone until you find the edge again and repeat the circular motion along the blade, use plenty of fluid wiping away the dirt often as this is where you start to get your really sharp edge.
  • This is also repeated on the opposite side of the blade.

Step 3: Strop and Compound

  • To get a razor sharp mirror finish I like to use a leather strop.
  • I use a small strop that I originally bought for sharpening my carving tools.
  • The reason I like to use the small strop is that I can hold the axe in the same position as when using the diamond stone and use the strop in the same circular motion.
  • I add some stropping compound and begin to strop the blade this will remove the bur that has formed when using the diamond stone and begin to polish the blade.
  • Give this step some extra time and attention and you will start to see a nice razor sharp mirror finish.

Step 4: Finished!

  • Check out my video to see the paper cutting sharpness test, I also use the axe to take some shavings off some hard blackthorn wood!
  • This is a quick way to get a nice functional razor sharp edge on your new axe!
  • The video below gives a quick one minute how to guide that compliments this Instructable and lets you see how sharp the blade is.
  • Please subscribe comment and thumbs up on the video and dont forget to vote & comment here and check out some more of my Instructables! Thank you!

Knives and Blades Challenge

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Knives and Blades Challenge

Epilog Contest 8

Participated in the
Epilog Contest 8



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    12 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Is that sharp of an edge really necessary on an axe? something I've always wondered

    5 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    It kinda depends on what you're doing with it. If you are just splitting kindling, then no it isn't really necessary. If you're chopping down a tree, you better believe it. If you are quartering an Elk or Moose or even a white-tail it is absolutely essential.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I never used to do this but I joined Axe Junkies on Facebook and after seeing results they get with axes sharpened like this,I tried it.I wont be going back its so much nicer to use like this!


    2 years ago

    hey congratulations, i went to your youtube channel to watch some more videos and im probably going to subscribe.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks very much for subbing I just followed you!do you have a YouTube Channel?


    Reply 2 years ago

    no sir. i dont have much of anything to share to establish a youtube channel. :/