How to: Sharpening Hatchet

How to: Sharpening Hatchet

Sharping an ax or hatchet is easy! Follow a few simple steps and your blade will easily chop wood on your next camping adventure.  To get started you will need a heavy duty sharpener or file, and a polishing stone or finer grit sharpener.  Set aside 10-15 minutes of your time and you can bring back any beat up hatchet back to life.

shop vice grips

When sharpening a hatchet, vice grips can help free up both hands which will make the job easier and more precise.  If you have a vice grip, add some cheap rubber teeth to keep from marking up the handle.  

Cleaning FIle with wire brush

Inspect your file before sharpening.  If you notice the file filled with material, make sure to clean with a wire brush.

Filing hatchet to sharpen

First, match up the file with the beveled angle of the hatchet. While keeping a matching angle push the file against the edge. Always file in one direction, avoid pulling back on file.  Make sure to keep track of the number of strokes. Start with 5-10 passes before switching to the other side of the bevel. By switch side more frequently, it may lead to a more even edge.  Make sure to hit both sides equally.  Use a wire brush if more material fills the file. 

Polishing Stone for hatchet

Now you can move to the polishing stone, mine has two grits to get a super smooth polished look.  Start with the corse side, match the stone to the angle of the bevel and use a small circular motion.  Again keep track of your passes, to keep an even bevel on both sides.  Repeat until you remove all the visible scratches. Repeat the same process with the finer grit side.  You will know the job is complete when you run your hand along the edge without feeling any burs.

Hood Hatchet chopping wood

Now you are ready for Chopping

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