How To Restore An Old Axe

Restoring the ax is not an easy process, but it will become easy if you follow our instructions. If you are not emotionally attached to the ax, then restoration is not necessary; it is better to buy a new one. If you decide to restore it, then just follow our steps, and that hatchet axe or wide broad ax will be like new very soon.

Blade restoration

Blade restoration is a process that consists of several steps. Some of these steps are easy, and some are a little harder and require better equipment. The most important thing is to be patient throughout this process, and you will bring the ax back to life.

1. Lubricate the blade with oil to remove the first layer of corrosion           

The first layer of corrosion is very digging (that layer remains on the hand when you touch the ax). You can basically skip this step, but our advice is not to do that. Namely, you must first buy corrosion removal oil. When you buy that oil, apply it on a cloth, and rub the head of the ax a few times. Leave the blade to dry for a while, and then wipe it with a dry cloth. You should notice the first layer of corrosion on that cloth, but the ax will probably stay the same. So we go to the next step.

2. Grind the ax to remove the second layer of corrosion

The second layer of corrosion cannot be removed with oil; it requires heavy treatment with special tools. But if you don’t have special tools at home, then you can do it with sandpaper or a rasp (but the process will be longer and more laborious). In essence, if you are going to use a grinder (or any other tool), then fix the ax head to something. Do not grind immediately at maximum speed, but medium. After a while, you should notice the silver glow on the axe. Then just continue this action until you have removed all the corrosion from the ax.

3. Sharpen the blade

Since you have done the previous two steps successfully, then let's do the last step-sharpening the blade. You can do this with a grinder, rasp, or sharpening stone. If you want to sharpen the blade as soon as possible, then use a grinder. But if you want the blade to be very well sharpened then, do it with stone.

Handle restoring

Blade restoring is a slightly more difficult task, while handle restoring is a cat’s cough. Namely, if you have not used the ax for a long time, it would be best to change the handle immediately. That means you have to buy it or make it by yourself. We suggest you buy it because making it is a really difficult job (trust us, we have experience). And if it happens that the handle is healthy and in good condition, then it only needs sanding, and after that, the ax will be like new and ready to use.

If you own a metal ax with an inseparable head and handle, then you just need to change the surface material. It is best to put rubber, but if you like some other material, feel free to put it on. If the handle is drastically damaged, then it is not worth restoring the ax; you will have to buy a new one.

Restoring and cleaning ax handle


We hope we helped you bring the ax back to life. If we missed a step, or you have some advice, please share it with us in the comments; it will surely help someone.

Also, if none of the above is clear to you, then we leave you with this video that will be clearer to you. And also you should know why you should always carry an axe with you. If you know how to restore an old axe, then you also can learn how to make an axe.

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