Sharpening tools

I bought a small axe/hatchet recently to try to chop us some logs into smaller pieces for kindling - it was as blunt as it could be.

The cheap sharpening stone I bought will take ages to sharpen it.

What would you use?

Ideally some sort of powered wet stone so you don’t temper the edge. Or, an angle grinder with a linishing disk but take it slow, move the disk around and try to avoid going to blue steel on the edge.

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Google. For the nearest cheap kindling provider with free delivery.

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Thanks, yes, I’ve been looking at some powered grinders on Amazon - maybe worth trying a £40 one, maybe not, but woudl I use a £200+ one enough to justify cost, probably not.

Suspect there must be some local people who could properly sharpen tools too.

It just rather surprised me that the tool provided is so blunt.

May be the cheapest option, but where’s the fun in that ! :slight_smile:

At home I will use a bench grinder, mainly because it’s there and I’m used to using it. If out to collect wood, someone who has offered me timber for turning, I have a puck style sharpener, find them on Amazon or at a specialist outdoor/survival dealer. A cheaper option could be a scythe stone, easier to hold and keep your fingers away from the edge.
Rather than an axe, a froe and mallet work well. You still need to keep it sharp and they are not cheap. The DIY option is a blade from a lawn mower and some metal working skills.

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Given that splitting kindling wood doesn’t require the best, finely honed edge, I find an angle grinder works well. Not that you’d want to buy one just for that purpose. With a bit more elbow grease, I find a regular metalworking file does the job.

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I would take it to a professional sharpener to put an edge on it. I have sharpened an axe that somebody found buried in the garden, just as an exercise, when my boys were in Scouts. I have the tools to do it, but would not want to do it again. Somebody in your community is retired and making extra money sharpening. They have the tools. Seek them out. Use them. New axes are cheap, too, and professionally sharpened by machine. Recovering almost lost edges is almost a lost art, and for a reason. Old school skills are becoming older every day.

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I looked at the slow power water grinders but they do work out quite expensive.

An alternative I’m trying out is a diamond whetstone. You can pick-up this package double sided whetstone with a neat hand held stone for about £30 - probably need to file out any of the bigger nicks first.

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A bench grinder should do the job. But unless you really know what you’re doing, why bother? I usually take my axes in to our local garden machinery shop where they sharpen them up for me for very little cost.

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Forgot to say Be careful with that axe Eugene.

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Just found a chap who’ll do it for a fiver. Seems a good option to me.

Trouble is from what I’ve seen is that new axes are often pretty blunt requiring sharpening before first use (the one I got was), There may be logistics or legislation causing this, I don’t know, maybe I bought a poor brand.

I wouldn’t bother trying to get a splitting axe too sharp, I use a billhook to split up logs and got it plenty sharp enough with just an angle grinder. You might find it better to split old pallets for kindle as opposed to rounds of wood.

I cut a resonable amount of wood per year, 20-25 stere maybe and have two axes, two silkys & three Husqvarna chainsaws and still do a bit of climbing for dismantle work.

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Anybody else here remember when the man used to come round the streets with his sharpening machine. I recall being sent out with various items for him to do when I was a kid.

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I sharpened my little kindling axe with my angle grinder with a reasonably fine feather disc on it then finished off with a whet stone. I was very proud of my efforts while using it and thinking I must warn SWMBO that it was very sharp as I was certain she would do herself an injury.
5 minutes later I was looking for her so she could drive me to the doctor with much blood coming from my left index finger which was fortunately only cut halfway through the second joint. Apart from some nerve damage (causing numbness) it is fully functional again.
So yes “BE CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE EUGENE”.

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Whoops!! I find the finish you get from an angle grinder or file is perfectly adequate for splitting kindling, and anything more is just unnecessary and dangerous. A nice thick leather glove on the hand that holds the wood helps, too. I like to use lined welding gloves.

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Reminds me of when I was 9 years old and decided to make myself a fishing rod. Found a bit of bamboo and proceeded to split it down the middle (lengthwise). Being possibly a bit naive, I cut TOWARDS myself, got the inevitable sudden give as passing through one of the ‘knots’ (? name) and made a very deep and wide cut near my left wrist. Dad took me to the Ambulance station just down the road, where I was given butterfly stitches. I still have the scar to prove it. Taught me the hard way NEVER cut towards yourself.

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Yes, along with the Corona van, milkman, coalman, rag and bone man & scrappie.

Used to ‘earn’ a few bob, swapping empty corona bottles for milk bottles :grinning:

Yes angle grinder just the ticket, good gloves essential when splitting. I use those Oregon chainsaw gloves as they are nice supple leather,provide a good grip on the wood with protection on the back of both gloves, not just the left one.

Edit Also have a pair of Husqvarna goatskin gloves for ‘Sunday best’, they are lovely!

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