View Full Version : Optimum edge angle for an axe.
Yesterday I was sharpening my axe ready for having my first go at making a spoon. I went for a 30 degree ish angle and all went well from the stone point of view, but it left me wondering what is the optimun angle. My hunting knife (main usage although does get used for bush craft as well) get sharpened to 25 degrees from the horizontal and my leatherman get 15 degrees, so what is it fro an axe??? :oops: .
Kripes man!! You mean you know what angle all your blades are sharpened to?!? :shock: :-? :roll:
Guess I am just a bit of a knuckle dragger, I just sharpen stuff till it cuts what I want it to without being damaged in the process. When I first got my SFA it had a real thin edge which turned over when cutting green elm, hit it with a ceramic rod and put a small secondary bevel on, problem solved.
If the angle you have used works then use it. If you think it needs to cut better reduce the angle till the edge can't take the abuse, then back it off. There, simple :lol: :wink:
Sorry. Hope someone more techincal can give a proper answer!
All that Gransfors say on angles is 25-30 degrees for dry wood.
Outside that, they think you should try and keep the original shape.
Saying that, experimentation is they key to progress. How many tools have been tweaked to perfection??????? :idea:
When a axe 'bites' into wood it is severing fibers and then pushing them apart with the mass of the head. A few such blows should produce a healthy spray of wood chips. A dull axe will merely batter the fibers into a messy porridge. Most cheaper ( read junk) axes are far to thick. This is to compensate for inferior metallurgy and finishing. Angles depend on what your axing to cut. A thicker edge will work better on grubbing roots or splitting sawn billets. This is actually a wedge like a dedicated splitting maul. Sharper edges will be thinner with sophisticated brands having compound curves forged in. There may be some regional variations due to local woods etc., but most fall within Granfors Bruk's angle. If you acquire an american pattern double bit axe the best of both worlds is available ( these are also double dangerous.) Remember that filing a axe starts well above the edge and works down. Don't forget to check handles for clear grain running vertically with the head. A good handle should be capable of being "sited" from butt to axe head much like a Bisley target rifle.