Best Axe Edge Geometry?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Iboschi, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Iboschi


    Sep 17, 2009
    A while back I purchased two Wetterlings. One 19 inch Hunting Axe and one 26 inch Small Forest Axe. They came with a secondary factory bevel but were pretty darn sharp. Now, i'd like to get them in shape for maximum performance but I've read a few accounts of secondary bevels and also zero grinds on axes. It would seem like a zero grind leaves less material behind the blade and makes for a slightly weaker edge. Should I keep the secondary bevel and broaden it? Make it convex? What is optimal?
  2. chenko


    Feb 5, 2009
    I like "zero" convex grind on axes and hatchets, I believe toughness depends on how much obtuse it is, rather than zero or non-zero. I put the geometry on my tools personally, and I have since been happy with the results: last outdoor trip I made I used a lot a small axe I reprofiled, it cut like a knife but even hitting some rocks the edge didn't chip or bend.
  3. Snow


    Jun 3, 2001
    I suppose a lot of it depends on what you want to do with the axe and how hard the woods in your area are. Will it be for limbing, felling, splitting, all of the above? I look forward to hearing from more knowledgeable members about this, as I don't know much about axes.
  4. Iboschi


    Sep 17, 2009
    Although I'll say all of the above, I probably won't be doing a lot of felling.
  5. paleojoe


    Nov 5, 2009
    The great thing about convex is not just the durability for general use and sharpness, but the versatility in tweaking the preference in edge.

    So I'd recommend to try a convex on it first.
    See how it performs.
    If you want it steeper for more penetration or carving, you can always remove more...
  6. Iboschi


    Sep 17, 2009

    Are you recommending full convex zero grind or secondary convex bevel? This knife grind thing sure gets complex!
  7. paleojoe


    Nov 5, 2009
    Full convex, no secondaries.
    Like a bullet, to a point.

    Easy to sharpen, easy to modify or steepen later on if you decide to.

    My 19" Wetterlings is full convex, chops and cuts very, very well.:thumbup:
    A big little package! My only problem is the big nob at the head/shaft juncture that digs into the wrong area of my wide palms uncomfortably...
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  8. theamazingdrew


    Nov 18, 2009
    FWIW i agree 110%
  9. TwinBlade


    Aug 1, 2008
    For axes, I like a heavy convex edge with a hollow grind behind it for penetration.
  10. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries

    Mar 19, 2007

    The is how the GB Small Forrest Axe comes.

  11. OwenM


    Oct 26, 2000
    It does, but the small Forest Axe(and probably most GBs) needs to at least have a steeper microbevel if you're chopping anything much harder than pine.
    I dinged mine up on oak and roots, but it's been fine after making the edge a little steeper. 'Course I haven't been hacking at roots and getting into rocks with it since, either.
  12. Stormstaff


    Dec 14, 2007
    I so NEED to learn about all this sharpening lingo and develop the skills too. :(
  13. hlee


    Dec 5, 2005
    Maintenance, Tinkering, and Embellishment.

    Be careful what you wish for.
  14. 11x11x


    May 21, 2008
    Use it as is. I been using mine and need no alteration. It has worked flawlessly on Hard and Soft wood. On the flip side, I mod'd my Snow and Neally axe, and now it bites too deep. Very annoying to keep jerking it out of the wood.
  15. paleojoe


    Nov 5, 2009
    Ideal sport grind, I agree Jeff,
    but pretty hard to do on your own, and takes a bit of work,
    esp. for a novice....
  16. Iboschi


    Sep 17, 2009
    Well, there seems to (as always) be some disagreement. I think I'll keep the 26 inch as is and make the 19 incher a full convex soon after the edge dulls a bit. Thanks for the info thus far. Ya'll are a great resource.

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