How to Sharpen a Hatchet

The signature wood-cutting tool is the hatchet. It combines the precision of a one-handed tool with the heft and strength of an ax. The hatchet must be sharp all the time to achieve its best performance. Today we are going to talk about some great ways to sharpen the hatchet at home.

Here Are Some of the Tricks You Can Use at Home

1. Files

Using a file is the most common choice for sharpening a hatchet. When using a file, clamp the head between your knees, with the blade facing outwards. Then place the file against the blade, and draw the file across with long strokes using steady pressure. Usually, half a dozen strokes are enough to sharpen one side, then repeat the same with the other side. In the end, your hatchet will be perfectly sharpened and ready for use!

2. Whetstones

Whetstones, in particular, are usually used to sharpen knives, but we can use them to sharpen hatchet too! There are several grades of whetstones.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • up to and including 1000-grit whetstones
  • 1000 to 3000-grit stones
  • 4000 to 8000-grit whetstones

Now follow these steps: Place a whetstone on a stable surface, then place your blade on an angle and roughly pull it across the whetstone. Give the blade a dozen strokes on each side, and you should be good to go!

3. Grinding Wheels

The grinding wheels are the classic sharpening tools it makes the edges very sharp. This method is quick and effective. You need to hold the blade against the grinder’s flat at an angle, matching the bevel.

Then, slowly draw it back and forth against the wheel to fully sharpen it. Do the same procedure with the other side. Always wear safety goggles to protect yourself from the sparks that will fly during the process.

4. Rotary Tools

Rotary tools can replace a grinding wheel. They are much easier to carry to work sites. The main difference in using a handheld rotary tool is that rather than stroking the hatchet against the grinder, you clamp down the hatchet and stroke the grinder against the hatchet blade. And remember, always wear safety goggles while using this method!

5. Use Rocks or River Stones

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations when we won’t have a file, grinding wheel, or any tools around. Life can surprise us, and even the best woodsmen can get caught out in a bad situation. We found a solution for that! For this method, you can use:

  • Large, smooth stones
  • Smaller stones. Coarser or smoother.
  • Moderately hard sandstones.

River stones are the best for sharpening your hatchet. The method is the same as the sharpening with whetstones. Start with a coarser stone. Whet the stone and the blade, and make circular motions up and down the blade’s length. When done with the coarse stone, move on to the smoother stone and repeat the process.

6. Dremel Tool

When using a Dremel, you’ll need to match the angles first. Then use light pressure and grind from one edge of the blade to the other. While grinding, don’t forget to wet the Dremel so it can cool off and preserve its temper. Grind the other side with the same method. In the end, you will be able to enjoy a perfectly sharpened hatched!

Smith’s 50582 Axe & Machete Axe and Machete Sharpener


Material: Aluminum
Brand: Smith’s
Color: Yellow
Product Dimensions: 7.32 x 2.15 x 3.15 inches; 6.08 Ounces
Grit Type: Coarse


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