Just my thought, as we know, all blades get dull as we use them. It takes alot of work in order to get a axe
dull. There are several ways you can sharpen them. You can use a file, a stone, or even a belt sander. The blade
dose not need to be as sharp as a razor, for it could cut someone using it. . If you are unsure on how to sharpen
it, I would take it to someone who sharpens lawn mowers blades, hedge cutters,gardening tools etc.
I hope this will help you, and I will add to check with the manufacturer to whom made the axe, to get
there recomondations in what you need to do first.
I was always taught 3 things.....1st...if a tool isn't sharp it is useless.....2nd...If you are worried about cutting yourself then you shouldn't be using that tool in the first place....3rd...a dull tool is a dangerous tool... And, yes, there is a proper tway to sharpen an axe...the cheeks have to be filed down as to allow penetration and yet not so narrow as to get caught in the cut...use a good file and a hand stone...takes time but if done right makes a world of difference....Stay safe.....Paul
I recommend an axe edge that's not too sharp. Very sharp axe blades have very thin striking edges that are prone to chipping or turning if something metal like a roofing nail is struck. I sharpen mine to a moderate sharpness with a hand file, then run a powered wire brush across the edge a couple of times until the keen edge is rounded off.
"The cutting edges of exes, hatchets, and similar tools should be sharpened to a dull edge. An edge that will not turn on striking a nail or glass fragment is of more value than a keen edge, for the normal uses of these tools." Source: Fireman's Training Course: Basic, University of Maryland, 1969, p 520 (emphasis added)
"Sharpen blade as specified in departmental SOP. Some axe blades are intentionally left only semisharp to make them less prone to chipping." Source: Essentials of FIrefighting, 5th Ed., IFSTA, 2008, p 411 (emphasis added)
I would stress that the sharper the blade is not always better. To be honest, I will drop a hole in a residential occupancy plywood and asphalt shingle roof probably 10 times quicker by turning the axe over and only striking with the flat head (blunt side) as compared to a guy using a sharpened blade...
Can't think of the last time I used the blade side, except for splitting firewood.
Exactly what I was going to say. I use the blunt side as well, it blasts through the roofing and does not get stuck or wedged into the cut, allowing for you to make a hole quicker and easier. I think that none of the depts I have belonged to has ever sharpened any of their axes. Good equipment maintenance is important, but thier are some tools that are just plain self sufficient and do well with little maintenance. Thats what firefighting tools should be like, less time maintaining and more time helping others.
Here is a link to a great training video about using roof tools effectively. 2 minutes long.
I don't use the grinder wheel to sharpen the axe - I do that by hand.
I do use the power brush and take a couple of strokes to get the specific edge I want after hand sharpening. A couple of light brush passes won't temper the blade.