How to Remove Rust From Axe Head




Introduction: How to Remove Rust From Axe Head

I bought this axe head for 10$ from a vulgar local market that opens every saturday in my location, this market sells all stuff you can imagine, most of it is junk and used stuff.

when you buy an axe examine carefully the head, the shape should be pleasant and workable, the most important part is the sharp edge of the axe, an edge with missing (or eaten) metal by rust is junk and time wasting, you should also examine the rest of the axe body, poll, cheek, if the damage is severe don't mind it and move to another one.

Step 1: Soaking in White Vinegar

White vinegar has Acetic acid which remove rust completly :

  1. put the axe in a plastic box that has an enough height to submerge the head with acid
  2. pour white vinegar slowly, and make sure to cover the WHOLE axe, place the box in a safe place, soak it for a day and a half. after few hours of soaking you will notice rust bits removed and sitting on the box floor
  3. after the period has passed, rust will be easily removed, use a steel brush or a steel sponge to rub off all the rust on the axe, take care to also rub in the eye of the axe, where the handle will fit in.
  4. vinegar has a very strong scent so wear medical gloves and if you can, do the process outdoors.
  5. wash the axe thoroughly with hot water to remove the vinegar and its scent,
  6. clean the axe and dry it in a towel or something, it is moisture that encourages rusting so be sure to dry all surfaces including the eye

Step 2: Complete!

To see how i turned this into a full WARAXE, watch this :



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21 Discussions

clearly from this first two pictures this is not the same axe head. I point to the curve in the bottom of the rusted out one. the "restored" one is totally different

2 replies

thank you, of course i sanded the head for sharpness and look, you can see how it turned out in the link above :)

I did mine a little bit differently:

1. clean the rusted axe head with a paper towel or a towel

2. Boil vinger in a pot

3. Put the axe head for 30 mintues on low flame

4. Take the axe head out and dry with a paper towel or a towel

5. Put some WD-40 and clean it with a paper towel or a towel

6. Use rotating metal brush and clean the oxidation from the axe head

7. Grind the axe head blade and make it sharp - if you are a great grind user, grind the entire sutface and make it smooth.

8. Assemble back the handle

Try to cut off a cabbage or a pumpkin, if it was with one strike or two - that means your axe is ready now for battle or for wood cut :-) If it wasn't, you should grind the axe head blade again. It's should take 1 hour, if it's you first time 2 hours tops.

This method works on any rusted thing: tools, car parts, bolts, coins, furnitures, etc.

5 replies

But I'm waiting to see how did you made the handle - It's so cool :-) I bought mine and it not so special as yours.

Thank you so much ! i will post it as soon as i can..

i wanna ask why did you boiled the vinegar and placed the head on flame? is it to prevent hydrogen embrittlement?

Hot vinger makes the process faster, and because it is already on the stove we let the deoxidization of the rust even work more faster - because the time is more important than the temperature I rather to keep the stove on low flame for half an hour.

*** The entire process is still in the pot, you shouldn't take the rusted item out of the boiled vinger.

I don't understand why people don't just buy muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid [HCl]) from lowes. You can derust that sucker in about 1 minute. If the acid strength bothers you, it is a simple matter to dilute it to 5%, as I believe this is the concentration of vinegar. Also, it is infinitely cheaper than vinegar, as HCl is 35%.

It should be noted that hydrogen embrittlement occurs on the iron when using these acid descaling techniques, literally making it more brittle. In the case of an Axe, it shouldn't be too bad. However, doing this to a hammer, would be unsafe. I worked in a shop with a guy who was hammering something into shape when his hammer chipped and this little chip went flying through his heart, killing him. So don't do this on anything which will see impact abuse.

Yes, the hammer guy should have been using a brass hammer for what he was doing, unfortunately, his error cost him his life.

1 reply

White vinegar was in my reach(kitchen) so i used it.

i'm really sorry for your friend.. i'm not a metallurgist so i don't have enough knowledge about these reactions, the vinegar i used contains 5% acid and the rest is water, will this ratio cause embrittlement to the axehead? does it need a heat treatment? would the axe chip if i use it for cutting wood?

I happen to have an axe head that looks just like that.First I need to remove the handle without screwing it up and then into the vinegar it goes.Thanks for sharing this I thought I was going to have to buy a hundred bucks worth of sandpaper to get it to look like yours does.

1 reply

3 years ago

the top two Axe heads are clearly not the same. not sure if you are trying to pass them off as the same but they aren't even the same shape.