An axe is a simple tool, and not many people think that even such a simple tool requires some simple care. It should be done to serve you longer and not have rust problems.
The more often you use your axe, the more attention it requires.
What could go wrong?
One word is corrosion. Corrosion is a dangerous enemy of the axe.
When rust appears, oxygen pulls electrons away from the metal, causing it to decay. Such a tool quickly deteriorates.
Corrosion is relatively easy to avoid - you just need to not leave the axe wet or damp after use and also store the tool in a not too wet place.
Proper care and storage will also help reduce the risk of rusting on your instrument.
Remember the main thing - after use, your axe must be washed and wiped dry.
We will describe below how to care for the axe head and handle.
Each classic axe consists of components that require some maintenance. Proper care of the instrument will allow it to serve you for a long time.
So what are the elements of an axe?
The traditional axe has a wooden handle. As with any tree that is stored or used outdoors, the handle must be protected from moisture. We coat our handles with beeswax to protect them from water.
The second and most crucial element of the axe is its head. A quality axe is made of good steel. The head is hardened so that the axe's point is firm yet has a flexible edge. Keeping the axe head in good shape and reducing the wear resistance will also take some action.
Axe head care.
Once sharpened properly, the axe head needs proper care. First of all, limit the possibility of moisture getting on the head of the axe. Everyone understands that leaving an axe exposed to water for a long time will not lead to a good result in its operation. Therefore, moisture protection is your first priority to maintain the quality of your tool.
Our recommendation is to wipe the axe thoroughly after use in wet weather. The same actions should be taken if you butchered an animal with an axe: rinse the tool from the blood and wipe it dry.
If resin, paint, or glue is stuck to the axe during use, these contaminants can be washed off with acetone or solvent. After that, rinse the axe should also be rinsed with water and wiped dry.
Important tip: If rust is already on the tool, apply a little oil and use metal wool to remove the rust. Then wipe the area clean, then apply oil to the entire axe head as described above.
If you do not plan to use the tool actively soon - lubricate the cutting edge with special spindle oil. This will prepare the axe for long-term storage. Remember that the axe should be lubricated with linseed or mineral oil every half of the year.
Axe handle care.
The handle of a traditional-style axe is usually made of wood. With the right finish and care, this grip can last a long time, even with heavy use.
Most axe handles simply need to be applied with linseed oil from time to time. Lifehack: use exactly boiled linseed oil, not raw. The crude oil will not dry out and can leave marks on your instrument.
Ensure the handle is free of dirt before cleaning, and then simply apply boiled linseed oil to your existing finish.
It is more convenient to apply oil with a cloth. You can also use a brush or sponge.
After the procedure, dry the handle thoroughly with a dry towel. A thin layer of oil will remain on the handle. Afterward, the axe must be put to dry.
This type of axe handle care creates additional layers of protection against moisture and bad weather.
A few words about the leather sheaths.
Keeping the axe in a unique leather sheath - or mask - is a convenient and proper way to care for your tool. This mask is usually needed to protect you and your other equipment from the axe's sharp edge.
However, remember that if the mask is made of leather, it also needs care. The leather sheath mustn't stretch or deform. It is vital. The easiest way to care for the mask is by treating it with water-based wax. After processing, remove excess from the cover and wipe dry. After the sheath is completely dry, the axe can be stored in it again.
It is enough to do this care once a year.
Something to keep in mind.
When caring for an axe, it is also essential to remember exactly what you bought it for. Different types of axes - for camping, for working with wood, for butchering animals - have different sharpening angles and may not involve the specific jobs you want to use them for.
Improper use of the axe, primarily if you use it to chop iron or steel objects, will significantly affect the tool's life. Also, sometimes inappropriate use can lead to deformation of the axe head and thereby ruin your instrument. Use the tool and axe head sharpening only for the operations for which you purchased it.
The way to take care of the axe isn't that difficult, isn't it?
However, it is better not to ignore these rules. Only proper care of the appropriate quality will help your instrument to remain in excellent condition for many years, and even with active use.
Take care of your axe so that it can always serve you when it matters most.