Best Axe Edge Geometry?

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

Are you recommending full convex zero grind or secondary convex bevel? This knife grind thing sure gets complex!
 
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Paleojoe,

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

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...
 
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Nov 18, 2009
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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...
FWIW i agree 110%
 
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For axes, I like a heavy convex edge with a hollow grind behind it for penetration.
 
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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.
 
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Maintenance, Tinkering, and Embellishment.

Be careful what you wish for.
 
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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?

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.
 
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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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