Sharpening Handbook - Axes Because sharp enough
... usually is not.

Guidelines shown below are for Included Angles (⍺).

Notes about Secondary Bevels are at the bottom of this page.

Sharpening axes on the Tormek uses the Tormek SVA-170 Ax Jig. Alternatively, an angle grinder can be used with a 120 grit flap disc.


There are some who recommend that the overall grind be convex (see also, An Ax to Grind: A Practical Ax Manual from the U.S. Forest Service). I have found that using a secondary bevel removes that need.

General Guidelines
Ax Type α Secondary Bevel Notes
Soft Wood Hard Wood
General 20º 25º 2º - 5º This is a guideline. Exact angles are not required.
Carpenter 20º 25º Grind the edge so there is a longer side facing the wood.
Felling 30º 35º
Hunting 30º 35º


Notes & Comments
Information regarding Grindstones


Good videos showing the use of the Tormek SVA-170 Axe Jig:



Tormek is a copyrighted logo of Tormek AB. Its presentation on this site is used to help the user quickly understand when specific Tormek tools, jigs, or setting are being used. For specific information regarding Tormek AB, or its products, please refer to the www.Tormek.com.


About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.