Using a dull axe is not only tedious, but it’s also dangerous. A dull blade can just bounce off of the wood you’re cutting and go somewhere else – such as into your leg. It also means your work will take longer. Sharpening can be tedious, but a sharp axe will quickly make up for the time spent on the sharpening. That’s why this article is all about five of what I think are the best axe sharpeners out there. I’m sure one of them will be right for you and your needs. Read on to find out which ones they are!
Axe Sharpener Reviews
Sold by Dianova, this whetstone is the Fallkniven DC4 – a name that is highly regarded among outdoorsmen and blade users. The DC4 combination whetstone is a very straightforward yet highly effective axe sharpener. You may wonder what you could do with a sharpener that looks like a brick, but believe me, this is one capable sharpener.
One side is made from fine ceramic and the other from coarser diamond. The ceramic side of the sharpener has a 2000 grit rating, while the diamond has about 800. Thanks to this, this sharpener can be used both for “rough” sharpening and fine honing to make it shaving-sharp.
The 800-grit rating makes the diamond side rather coarse, though it certainly is far from being the coarsest out there. Still, it should be capable of removing metal from the blade to help you get rid of chips and repair the blade.
The much finer 2000-grit ceramic side can be used for “polishing” and honing the blade and for removing scratches from it.
The thinness and compactness of this whetstone sharpener make it great for camping and carrying along. It’s four inches long , 1 and 1/4 inches wide, and an 1/4 inch thick. It weighs just shy of 2.3 ounces (65 grams). This is it’s only drawback, really – if you have a larger axe or knife it might be a bit inconvenient to sharpen them with this whetstone. Oh, and by the way – Fallkniven recommends to use it dry, no water or oil. That’s a big plus in my eyes.
Lansky’s puck sharpener is another simple yet very effective sharpener on our list. This one may be less convenient for you than Dianova’s whetstone if you have very limited room in your backpack, but it has other advantages to make up for it with.
First of all, the puck shape makes this sharpener more comfortable to hold. Its contoured shape is easy to grip, which makes sliding it against the blade edge easy and convenient.
Like the Dianova/Fallkniven FNDC4 whetstone, the Lansky Puck has two sharpening surfaces – a coarse side for shaping and quick sharpening and a medium side for final sharpening and polishing. So in terms of sharpening functionality, FNDC4 and the Puck are very similar.
What’s also great about this product is that it’s a 2-pack – it includes two Pucks. Given that this 2-pack is cheap, you are getting some good value for the money.
This Bahco is a (bastard mill) file, not a blade sharpener. If you’re looking to give your axe a razor-sharp edge, this won’t do it. What it will help you do, though, is roughly sharpen degraded (rusted, chipped) axe bits as well as reshape them if you so please.
It tends toward the finer side of files, with 44 teeth per inch. At 8 inches in length, it’s a very good length for sharpening axes – not too long as to be unwieldy during use, but not so short that it’s a pain to get decent coverage of the bit with each stroke.
When it comes to the comfort of use, this file is better than many other files you can get online. That’s because it has an ergonomic bi-mold handle that makes holding and using it more convenient than other bastard mill files which don’t have handles. Their effective filing length is reduced, too, because you need to grip them by the metal filing section itself.
Bahco is made in Portugal in Europe, so it’s a solid product that doesn’t have the same quality problems that mills made in Mexico or China (which are most files sold in the US nowadays, even those by traditionally US companies such as Nicholson) do. All in all it’s a great little tool and I especially recommend it if you’re going to be using various sharp tools that take a lot of abuse (axes, shovels, spades, and so on). A file will get a dull edge back to sharpness much faster than a fine whetstone – I would recommend to use the two together.
SHARPAL’s 112N sharpener is an interesting one. It isn’t designed like your regular whetstone sharpener.
The Sharpal consists of a rubber handle, a safety guard right below it, as well as sharpening slots at the bottom of the safety guard. One of those slots is made for knife sharpening and the other for axe and machete sharpening.
You sharpen your axe with 112N by placing its slot onto the edge of the blade and sliding it back and forth. The slot is just guided along the blade, which makes its use highly convenient.
On the other hand, the design of the 112N sharpener is a bit limited compared to the other sharpeners on the list. You can’t really reshape the axe blade with this sharpener. It is more suitable for blades that are in good condition but just need some honing.
The last thing that should be mentioned in this sharpener is its handle. It is rubberized and easy to grip, first of all. The handle is large, which should allow you to hold it even if you have thick gloves on.
And the last sharpener on our list is an excellent choice for out-in-the-wild sharpening. Work Sharp’s sharpener looks like a whetstone sharpener, but it is more than that.
The thing is that this sharpener has multiple sharpening surfaces. It has coarse and fine diamond plates on the top and bottom, a ceramic rod on one side, and a leather strop on the other side. Basically, you get a sharpener that can perform any sharpening task, be it reshaping or polishing the blade.
Overall, Work Sharp sharpener is a great choice if you need a lot of functionality but don’t have much room to spare.
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment if you have any questions or want to tell others about your favorite axe and blade sharpeners.