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Estwing Hatchet Help

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by InkEd, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. InkEd

    InkEd Well-Known Member

    My wife bought me an Estwing Hatchet (actually it's the carpenters axe model) that I wanted as a replacement for my rusty old worn out hatchet that belonged to my grandpa. I am impressed with the overall quality of the new on. It is made out of one solid piece of metal just like the Estwing hammer I'be had for over a decade.

    Anyway, my problem is we ordered it online and it came delivered COMPLETELY unsharpened. I want to know where I can take it to get sharpened?(After the original sharpening, I'll maintain it myself like I have any other axe or knife.)

    I live in the suburban Memphis area. Thank you.
  2. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Well-Known Member

    Use it as an excuse to buy a grinder.

    Seriously, everyone needs a grinder.
  3. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    I would contact Estwing & see about having them take care of it. I do agree about the grinder tho. Everyone needs one ( or 2)!
  4. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Well-Known Member

    Or a good belt sander! Or a couple of good grinders AND a belt sander!
  5. InkEd

    InkEd Well-Known Member

    Have one but since it's sharp as a spoon right now, I want somebody better at it than me to put the initial edge on it. I may contact Estwing about it. You think a local hardware store could do it?
  6. X-Rap

    X-Rap Well-Known Member

    Check the phone book for saw blade sharpeners for starters.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    And you don't want a grinder unless you want your new hatchet to look like somebody took a grinder to it!!!.

    You want a belt sander.

    It will do a course grind with a course belt.
    And a shaving edge with a very fine belt.

    And still look like new when you get done.

    On the other hand, ax's & hatchets have been sharpened for century's by hand with a fine cut file & stones.


  8. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Belt sander then a set of stones.
  9. Vonderek

    Vonderek Well-Known Member

    I have the same carpenter's hatchet. I found it in my backyard where it looked like someone used it as a shovel instead of as a hatchet. The edge was actually rounded. I don't have a belt sander or grinder so I put it in a vise and sharpened it with a file and it works fine for its intended purpose. Just make sure you wear heavy gloves if you use a vise as its an easy thing to make contact with the edge with your fingers as you are running the file.
  10. jdh

    jdh Well-Known Member

    And that ain't no ****!


    That was with a glove on BTW.
  11. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    Grinders aren't a good way to do it. They take off too much material, and they hollow grind it at the same time, with is exactly the wrong way to shape an edge for wood cutting.

    The edge should be convex, smoothly tapering at an increasing radius to the edge. That makes it rounded to the ouside, and as the edge is forced into the wood fibers, it spreads them and accelerates the shock - causing the wood to split along the grain. A hollow grind doesn't, it just gets stuck in the wood because it doesn't aggressively spread the wood fiber.

    If anything, sharpening on a grinder is usually the worst thing to do - most grinders have heavy coarse wheels on them, they run too fast, removing far too much of the steel and heating it past it's temper. Just say no to grinders.

    Best thing to get is a good quality 12 inch "mill bastard" file, which is a smooth cut file with a single cut diagonal tooth - not a crosscut. It shaves the excess steel off the higher slope of the edge, and runs the taper back into a fine line where it becomes sharp again.

    Axes don't have to be razor sharp - none really have the steel and temper to hold that fine an edge, they would chip out. What they do in cutting is use the impact of a swing, which is why they need a lot of material behind the edge in a convex shape. A hollow ground edge is much weaker and prone to more chipping, plus gets stuck in a tough grain which prompts twisting it out - cracking it even worse.

    File an axe, it lasts a lot longer than grinding away on one. So will a knife - hand stones are a better solution than power operated ones.
  12. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Well-Known Member

    Scrounge a belt sander and carefully put it belly up in a bench vise, Use 120 grit because you are new at this and going too slow is better than cutting too fast. Have a bowl of water handy to dip the blade in as you go so it doesn`t over heat and damage the blade. Finish with a stone or puck.

    120 grit doesn`t bite much at all, so as long as you are using the belt grinder correctly and have it secured in a cradle or vise you should be ok. Wear a dust mask and eye protection because the sander throws off everything from grit to steel to resin.
  13. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Well-Known Member

    Fine, use it as an excuse to get a grinder, belt sander, bastard file, and a set of stones.
  14. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Well-Known Member

    +1 on the belt sander upside down in a vice. I've used mine for everything from shovels (weed choppers) to axes and machetes. I don't remember what I paid for mine, but probably under $50 at a big box store. The water bucket is critical, easy to overheat expecially when the edge gets thin.
  15. witchhunter

    witchhunter Well-Known Member

    I would clamp the axe in a vice, not the sander. Or use a stationary belt sander, start coarse then fine, keep a good angle (35 degree) on the edge not like a knife (15 degree), you don't want it to chip!
  16. icanthitabarn

    icanthitabarn Well-Known Member

    QUOTE And you don't want a grinder unless you want your new hatchet to look like somebody took a grinder to it!!!.

  17. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Well-Known Member


    Mine also came dull, but I always thought this was a working edge so it wouldn't be prone to chipping? Is this wrong?
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    My guess is, they ship them sort of dull to keep every dummy that runs his thumb over the edge in the store from getting sliced open like the one in post #10.

    And / or slicing pieces off the leather sheath putting them back in, before not buying them.

    Clean-up in the hatchet aisle, don'tca know!!!

    Paul Bunyan shaved with his ax.
    And I imagine most of those Collage Lumberjack champions you see on the TV show could too if they wanted too.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  19. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    Funny guys.

    A file or fine stone is what the old boys used, and they took them into the woods with them to keep them sharp during breaks.


    If - if - there are huge chips, gouges, and nicks in the edge, a grinder or belt sander is good to get things back into shape - but not to get it sharp. One thing every pro mentions about the grinder is that it will take off too much material in the wrong place too fast, and it will overheat the steel and ruin the temper. Then you wind up filing a lot of soft steel into shape, which deforms, chips, and gets gouged again. Recipe for disaster.

    Grinders are the last thing to recommend, and if the axe is that badly damaged, it might well be better to get a new one. File it from new, and it won't get that bad.
  20. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    A working edge for most axes should be hair poppin' sharp to start, IME.

    I use a belt grinder for most of my axe sharpening. Field maintenance is with either a DMT diamond hone or a double cut handy file depending on requirements.

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