9 Best Axe Sharpener 2020 – Learn How to Sharpen an Axe

Best Axe Sharpener 2020
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An axe is an essential, ubiquitous tool to have in an arsenal when going day hunting, backpacking to harvest timber or for a great exercise. They say “A sharp axe is a safe axe,” but to add to this, it is also one that can help get the job done more effectively, efficiently and safely.

Having a sharp axe means that users can do more with it, and with less effort compared to a dull axe. An axe that isn’t sharp won’t bite when it strikes the wood, consequently resulting in bounce back or deflect. 

Adding to this, an axe with dull blades makes the task even more difficult, and in worse cases could cause serious injury. Buying one of the best axe sharpener allows users to sharpen the axe at home, and have it ready when its time to head out to the great outdoors. You can choose between the Top 10 best axe sharpener listed below to sharpen your axe.

Quick Overview: Top Rated Best Axe Sharpening Tools 2020 Comparison Chart


9 Best Axe Sharpeners 2020


1. Work Sharp Knife – Best Motorized Axe Sharpener

This axe and tool sharpener by Work Sharp tops this list of best axe sharpeners for several reasons, starting with its repeatable and consistent, superior performance. It is equipped with high-quality abrasive belts (Coarse (P80), Medium (P220) and Fine (6000) that do not cause damage to the steel blade when sharpening.

One of the other noteworthy features is that this machine sharpens blades to a 40-degree angle and 50-degree angle for outdoor tools. This electric axe sharpener comes with everything needed to get started with sharpening edge blade tools including a 40” kitchen knife guide and is backed by 1-year warranty.

Pros
  • Lightweight at 1.9 lbs.
  • 1-year warranty
  • Abrasive belts included
  • Adjustable angles between 15° and 30°
  • Delivers top-notch performance
Cons
  • Quality of plastic wheel overbearing could be improved
  • May not work well for large axes

2. ​​Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener – Best Compact Axe Sharpener​

Another hit from the Work Sharp stable of award-worthy products, the Guided Field Sharpener is an ideal compact solution to sharpen axes and other bladed tools. The diamond plates that come with this tool can be detached and attached easily, while either keeping the abrasive exposed or flipping it over when traveling.

Similar to the diamond plates, the included ceramic honing rod can be rotated to expose fine and coarse honing surfaces, and a groove surface that comes handy to sharpen fishing hooks. Adding to this, it also features another small ceramic rod that is best used for sharpening serrations.

Made in the USA, this axe sharpening tool showcases a compact and durable design and comes with a 20-degree angle guide to sharpen diamond plates, and 25-degree angle guide to hone a strong micro-bevel. For the best axe sharpener that can be used for several other tools as well, the Work Sharp Field Sharpener is a great choice.

Pros
  • Ceramic rods, diamond plates, sharpening guides, leather strop

  • ​Consistent blade edge angles
  • Portable and compact design
  • ​5 grit stages
  • ​Angle guided
Cons
  • A minimal grip on the tool
  • Not the best size for large hatchets

3. Nicholson 06706N Axe File – Best File Axe Sharpener

The Nicholson 06706N Axe File is an excellent, no-frills solution to sharpening axe blades and more, and features a single cut on one side and double cut on the other. Additionally, it is engineered to provide excellent service life and maximum gram removal per stroke.

It tips the scales at just 6.4 ounces and is manufactured to meet stringent quality standards. The Nicholson 06706N Axe File features two safe edges and American pattern design.

Pros
  • ​Two-sided design
  • ​Lightweight and compact
  • 8-inch size
  • ​Manufactured to rigorous specifications
Cons
  • ​Lacks grip for better handling
  • Teeth may fall off if not used properly

4. Sharpal 103N All-in-1 Tool Sharpener – Best ​All-in-1 Axe Sharpener

Sharpal is a company that has been manufacturing knife and tool sharpeners for a wide range of industries including sports, garden, and kitchen for over 18 years, and the 103N All-in-1 Tool Sharpener is yet another excellent addition to the company’s massive lineup of products.

This multifunctional tool sharpener features 3 sharpening slots of preset optimal sharpening angles – one ceramic bar to hone and restore all types of scissors, edge tools, and knives and a carbide bar. It features premium abrasive material, which has been tested over 10000 times and still causes no damage to the equipment.

Unlike some other axe sharpeners that offer little or no grip, the Sharpal tool sharpener is appointed with an oversized handle to grip onto and one that prevents slipping and injury. Speaking of safety, this tool features a 1-3/8-inch-wide handguard to protect hands from coming into contact with the blades.

This axe sharpener can be used for myriad other knives and tools including straight knife edges, single beveled blades, wide bevel blades, chisels, scissors, scrapers and features a lanyard hole to carry it around quickly to the field.

Pros
  • 3 preset sharpening slots
  • 1-3/8-inch-wide handguard
  • Oversized handle
  • Abrasive material tested over 10000 times
  • ​Can be used for several different knives and tools
Cons
  • Cannot be used for serrated blades
  • ​No rubber grip

5. Sharp Pebble Premium – Best Whetstone File Sharpener

The Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone contrary to what the name might suggest can be used to sharpen axes as well for razor level sharpness. This bundled kit comes with a double sided ((#1000/#6000) high-quality whetstone, premium bamboo base to hold the stone in place, instruction guide, knife sharpening angle guide and a detailed eBook that includes tips on using the device for all skill levels.

This durable and long lasting axe sharpener as the company claims can sharpen any blades in the market, be it scissors, hunting knives, chisels or axes. The included non-slip bamboo base is embedded with a silicone base to secure the stone in place further. It easy to use, and assemble and can be used with water instead of what can be expensive honing oils.

Pros
  • Double-sided whetstone
  • Premium bamboo base
  • Detailed eBook included
  • ​Silicone base inside a non-slip bamboo base
  • ​Easy to assemble and use
Cons
  • Does not come with a carrying case
  • Item may be cracked while shipping, so return if this is the case for replacement

6. Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition – Best Axe Sharpener

The Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition is equipped with an adjustable sharpening guide that can create perfect edge bevels from 15 degrees to 30 degrees and is powered by a robust 120Vac/1.5-amp motor for 1-hour continuous operation.

This variable speed motor can handle any sharpening tasks, from grinding to honing, and offers enhanced cooling and even the option to choose between high speed grinding and slow speed honing.

The Ken Onion Edition axe sharpener is fitted with a superior quality abrasive 6000 grit belt that renders a long-lasting, razor-sharp convex edge for better contact with gut hooks, serrations and other hard to reach edges. The package includes 3/4 x 12″ abrasive belts and a user guide.

Pros
  • Variable speed motor
  • Flexible belts
  • Adjustable angle guide
  • Can choose between high-speed grinding and slow speed honing
  • ​Accurate edge bevels from 15 degrees to 30 degrees
Cons
  • The sides of the blades should be taped to prevent scratches
  • ​Power cord could be longer

7. Fiskars Xsharp Axe & Knife Sharpener – Best Budget-Friendly Axe Sharpener

The Fiskars Xsharp Axe and Knife Sharpener can be used for both axes and knives and comes fitted with two sharpeners in one.

The ceramic grindstone has clearly marked cutting grooves for axes and knives, so it’s hard to get confused at the time of sharpening,

This axe sharpener from Fiskars weighs just 90 grams and measures 165 mm in length, making it easy to carry even in a back pocket. It offers an easy to use mechanism, and an optimized angle for blades of most sizes, and most bladed tools.

Pros
  • Two sharpeners in one
  • Clearly marked cutting grooves
  • ​Lightweight design
  • Easy to use mechanism
  • ​Works on blades of all sizes and most bladed tools
Cons
  • ​May work better on Fiskars axes
  • May not be a good choice for large axes

8. Lansky Puck – Best Puck Axe Sharpener

The Lansky Puck axe sharpener is an easy way to get razor-sharp blades and can be used in the home, shop or field. It works well with all types of axes and blades, and a variety of cutting and chopping tools including machetes, shovels, and spades.

The company recommends using the coarse grit side of the puck first for badly worn, nicked or very dull edges. The medium grit side should be used for tools that need a touch-up or dressed edge.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Coarse grit – 120 and medium grit – 280
  • Can be used for most types of bladed tools
  • Weighs just 9.6 ounces
Cons
  • Could be a bit finer
  • Does not come with lubricant

9. Smith’s 50185 Jiffy-Pro Sharpener – Best Puck Axe Sharpener

The Smith’s Jiffy-Pro Handheld sharpener is a dependable solution to sharpen most types of blades and measures 7 5/8″ overall. It is appointed with a soft grip handle, which allows users to sharpen blades without causing strain on their fingers and wrists.

Adding to this, this axe sharpener from Smith’s features two-stage sharpening for razor-sharp results – coarse and fine, and both ceramic and carbide surfaces. The handle of the sharpener comes with a large slot that is specially designed for game shears.

The Smith’s Jiffy-Pro has an onsite floating carbide rod, which adjusts automatically to fit the accurate bevel of the blades. Speaking of which, the blades are precision ground. Hence they provide nothing less than smooth and consistent metal removal.

Further, it is designed for both field and home use and has preset sharpening angles. With regards to portability, the Smith’s Jiffy-Pro axe sharpener can be easily attached to a belt or backpack and is a perfect choice for sharpening scissors, knives, game shears, axes and more.

Pros
  • Soft grip handle
  • Abrasives include ground carbide (coarse), fine ceramic (1,000 grit) and carbide rod (coarse)
  • Patented floating carbide rod
  • Large slot in handle for game shears
  • ​Made from lightweight, durable plastic
Cons
  • Not suited for gardening by-pass pruners
  • ​May not work well for extremely dull blades

Axe Sharpening Tools 

Before moving further, it is important to note that sharpening tools for mauls can vary slightly from axes, and you can read about the difference between a maul and axe to understand why.

There are several tools available to sharpen axes and hatchets​, and some of them can even sharpen knives. The words axes and hatchets are often confused for each other, due to their similar functionality, but there are key differences between the two tools.

Axe sharpeners can be a honing stone, strop, file or grinder, where a file is the most commonly used tool to sharpen an axe especially one with an extremely dull edge. Regardless of which type you use, it is a good idea to learn how to store axes to avoid sharpening them frequently.

Stone is good to sharpen smaller size edges, and is also highly portable, making it easy to carry on the road. Grinders typically are a great choice when looking to sharpen two-sided axes, and a strop can be used for the final stages of sharpening.

How to Sharpen an Axe with a File?

Before sharpening an axe, it is essential to take the necessary safety measures, given that the process involves working with a sharp blade.

Start by paying attention to the bevel or angle of the bit end, because the angle of thickness differs throughout the edge of the blade.

For example, most axes have a 15 – 20-degree angle about a ½ inch from the cutting tip and a 30 – 40-degree angle at the end of the bit. Please take note that the bulge that’s a bit away from the edge is the part that provides the axe with its cutting power.

When sharpening the axe at home, it is recommended to secure down the axe for safety – something that might not possible in the field. Once the axe is clamped down in a mounted vide of edge up, then grab an aggressive file and remove any burrs or nicks that are present.

Use the file by stroking it in a downward motion, while making several passes on each side of the edge. The pic below illustrates the rough angle to hold the file when passing it on edge.

How to Sharpen an Axe or a Hatchet with a File?

Be sure to alternate between sides to ensure that all chips and dings are filed away, and the result is a gleaming arc of steel. Pay close attention when filing towards the edge of the axe, as a slight miss can lead to a big cut. Wearing a pair of safety, cut resistant gloves is always a good idea.

How to Sharpen an Axe with a stone?

If there are a sharpening stone and some lubricant handy such as water or oil, it’s easy to use both together to sharpen an axe. Here’s some expert advice on how to use a sharpening stone the right way for knives and other bladed tools, and is a must read especially if you are familiar with how to use an axe sharpening stone.

A sharpening stone offers several benefits and has two sides to it – a finer side and coarse side, which is the side that needs to be lubricated with oil or water.

How to Sharpen an Axe or a Hatchet with a stone?

Now, position the tip of the axe’s head on the stone, and ensure that it matches the angle of the bevel. Next, apply slight pressure and move the axe’s head in small circles, while making a note of the number of strokes, and repeat this process from one side of the axe to the other.

At this point, there will probably be a little bit of paste that is generated, which should not be wiped off. Once a pass is completed after going forward and backward to the starting point, flip the axe over and apply the same process to this side of the axe blade and for the same number of strokes.

Now that the axe has received the course side treatment apply the lubricant to the fine side of the stone, and perform the same steps as the course side 2 -3 times. The axe head should now be razor sharp, and its sharpness can be tested by running a fingernail along the blade.

How to Sharpen an Axe with a Grinder?

Bench grinders are regarded as one of the best axe sharpening tools, and it is essential to use safety gear when using them.

Start by powering on the bench grinder, and match the angle of the bevel to the grinding wheel, while applying light pressure when grinding.

How to Sharpen an Axe with a Bench Grinder?

Ensure there’s a bucket or tub of water handy to dunk the head of the axe to cool it off and preserve its temper. Repeat the same process for the other side of the blade, and lastly clean up the edges with a wire brush for that razor sharp edge.

How to Sharpen an Axe with a Puck?

The contoured shape of a puck makes it an ideal choice to sharpen a wide range of blades including axes, lawn mowers, hatchets, spades, and other cutting and chopping tools. First, place the axe in an upward position with the blade facing upright.

How to Sharpen an Axe with a Puck?

Lubricate the coarse side of the puck, and then work it in small circles on one of the sides of the blade, and do not wipe off the paste that accumulates. Repeat this process on the other side as well. The blade at this point should be sharp enough to cut paper.

Now to sharpen the axe to cut tough logs of wood, apply lubricant to the fine side of the puck and repeat the same steps as the course side for roughly 3 – 4 times. If the correct sharpening technique has been used, the axe will be ready to take to the field — quick video tutorial to sharpen with a puck​.

What to Look for in the Best Axe Sharpening Kit?

Before using any type of tools for sharpening, it is wise to take the necessary precautions to avoid injury. Additionally, it is also crucial that you buy the right tool for the job such as chainsaws to cut dense wood.

There are a few factors to consider when shopping for the best hatchet and axe sharpener, most notably:

For sharpening stones and pucks, it is nice to buy one that has a two-sided grit – course on one and fine on the other. Adding to this and regardless of the type of tool, it is a good idea to buy a bigger size, especially to sharpen large size axes.

Multipurpose sharpeners can sharpen axes as well as other tools such as kitchen knives, scissors, hunting knives and others with blades. If buying a multipurpose axe sharpener, ensure it rests on a sturdy base to prevent tipping over.

Some types of axe sharpening tools require cleaning and flattening such as whetstones, which can be a daunting experience when sharpening several blade tools at once. So, try to buy an axe sharpening tool that requires minimal maintenance.

Conclusion

Axes can experience several problems, but the biggest one is typically is a dull blade. The efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of a respective axe or hatchet depends mostly on the sharpness of its blade. When looking to sharpen an axe, there are several options to choose from, with the most common ones mentioned on this list.

To sharpen an axe quickly and to perfection, both the Work Sharp motorized sharpeners are excellent choices. Also, for axes sharpeners that get the job done right and ones that are easy to carry around, the axe file, manual and puck sharpeners won’t disappoint in terms of performance.

To help with the sharpening process, this list also includes video tutorials to demonstrate how to use the best axe sharpening kit. So to top things off, we’ve also listed 10 best axe sharpeners to ease the buying decision.

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