Need some info is there a standard for the sharpness of a axe or just leave them factory cut this is a ? that a few guys are talking about me i say leave them as you got them factory cut

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Fire axe is sharpened different than a woodsmans axe.You don't want a fire axe too sharp.Most of our roof work is done with a Gas axe,so we don't dull up the axes too often.Like Mick says,restore it to factory angle and take the burrs and divots off.
I learned this way out at FDIC this past year. It really does work better on residential roofs with plywood and shingles.
by polishing/ waxing the axe head (removing the paint and polishing the metal) and keeping the factory angle on the axe head i've personally noticed the axe could be razor sharp and still not get stuck in the cut. the wax acts like a lubricant allowing for easy removal. However this does require alot of maintance of the tool. STAY LOW, STAY CALM, STAY SAFE -John
I do beleive that the essintals manual give you the way to sharpin an axe. You want the cutting edge sharp but not tappered, you want that blunt. Otherwise it will get caught everytime you swing it. The old OK red books did have something about how to do this, if your dept kept the books.
Kinda depends on what you use the axe for, when I worked for the Forest Service our axes and pulskis were razor sharp for cutting trees, sapling and brush with one quick swipe. Later when I went to work for L.A. County Fire Dept. the fireman's axes were used to break down doors and open a roof, more of a buldgening tool than a cutting tool.

I disagree. The axe and haligan tool should be inspected and cared for at the beginning of each shift or after use. These tools should be treated as any other tool used for forcible entry. Do you check the compressor and fittings for the jaws on a regular basis? The irons are just as important or more so than those motorized tools we rely on. They need to work every time. We should take pride and ownership in our tools and keep them in prime condition. Just my opinion.

 

I disagree. The axe and haligan tool should be inspected and cared for at the beginning of each shift or after use. These tools should be treated as any other tool used for forcible entry. Do you check the compressor and fittings for the jaws on a regular basis? The irons are just as important or more so than those motorized tools we rely on. They need to work every time. We should take pride and ownership in our tools and keep them in prime condition. Just my opinion.

 

A little necroposting there Chad?

For the most part you are crrect, but seem to miss the gist of what was being said in your reply. Moose wasn't talking about ignoring care and maintanence of such tools, but that there are such tools that do not need the same time involvement. I agree with inspecting and caring for tools, but realistically, it takes less than a minute to really inspect a set of irons and ensure they are ready to go. That is a lot less time it takes to check a set of jaws.

 

The other aspect in regards to the discussion you posted from, entailed the issue of keeping the blade of the axe less sharp and using the flathead part of the axe to do your chopping. You do see this technique being taught and utilized more often and it does tend to be more effective than what a sharpened blade can do. It isn't using the axe to chop firewood, etc where having a sharp blade is definately beneficial, it just goes to show the diversity of uses within the fire service. A sharp blade may not be the best thing for a fire dept, that doesn't mean neglecting care and maintanence, just that one doesn't need to put forth the same time and effort sharpening an axe to chop firewood to utilize for the fire service.

thanks for that i was wondering what ifsta or somebody else said

gas axe...priceless

Im glad someone else does this technique.  Works better and you dont waste energy removing a stuck axe blade from the roofing material.

I have never sharpened an axe.  The fire axe, correct me if I am wrong, is designed to "crush" its way throught the wood using the weight behind the wedge shaped blade, so it does not get stuck in the wood and is easily retreivable on the back swing.

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