View Full Version : Sharpen Ax Top for Firesteel

02-20-2012, 06:56 PM
I saw IAWoodsman's YouTube video on the Cold Steel trail ax and got one. I saw how he used the sharpened edge on the top of the ax for striking his firesteel.

How do you sharpen the top edge of the ax?

02-20-2012, 07:07 PM
Take a file and keep it a flat 90 degrees. CS hawks are pretty soft steel to I am working on mine now other way could be hit it to a belt sander but gotta worry bout heat build up with that. I'm sure others will chime in if I'm wrong on this trust me no expert but that's what Ia told me about my Mora to get it to spark a steel and it does work. By the way side note I tried my hawk before stripping the paint off of it or filing it and it did throw a shower of sparks just know after using my opinel on the ferro that has a sharp edge on the back works a whole lot better

02-20-2012, 07:27 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.
I have no experience working with metal. Which part do I file and what direction?

A) File the top
....move out, away from the ax
....push in, into the ax

B) File the side
....push down
....push up

Should I file both sides, or is one enough?

02-20-2012, 07:33 PM
No expert myself in all honesty though sure you can find a youtube or 2 on the subject that might be the best thing first ya know? I'm still learning just now how to properly sharpen my knives

02-20-2012, 07:33 PM
Just run the file flat across the top. All you need to do is make a sharp 90 degree edge to strike the firesteel with.

You push a file away from you. Do not drag the file as you bring it back for the next stroke. It can dull the file's grooves quickly. You want those grooves to bite into the metal and carve it away.

02-20-2012, 08:00 PM
I'm sure this will go against the grain, but I think nothing of striking the firesteel with the cutting edge of my axe.

02-20-2012, 08:07 PM
You want the top edge of the axe to be a nice sharp 90* angle to the sides of the axe blade. Easiest way is to file across the top until the edges are 90*. Push the file away from you, lifting it clear of the axe to draw it back to you. Go slow and be sure to get the file flat across the axe edge, not angled.
You can use the blade itself for striking sparks, but risk breaking the firesteel or knicking the blade.
I think best way is to hold the blade in left hand and pull the firesteel across it, towards you. For this method I make sure the bottom edge of the axe blade is at a sharp 90*, since the firesteel will be on top of the axe rather than under it, and the handle will get in the way otherwise.

02-21-2012, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the responses. I filed the top like EdD270 suggested and the firesteel sparks were flying!