AX Use and Maintenance - Part 1

John White, of Avalon Forge in Baltimore, contributes this valuable instruction.

Having been in the hobby almost 30 years, I have observed that many 21st century persons have only scant knowledge of how to properly use and maintain this very basic tool.

Axes are designed for cutting, chopping and hewing wood ... nothing else. Many think that the poll (the part opposite the cutting edge) is there for pounding tent stakes, splitting wedges and the like.


This part of the ax apparently was added by Americans to give the ax better balance. I have seen many axes destroyed by having been used for pounding. You will note that the walls of the body surrounding the eye are fairly thin. Compare with the walls of a sledge hammer, maul or wood splitting maul which are at least twice as thick.

In part two, I will address keeping the ax sharpened.

John White
Avalon Forge - Baltimore

"All Manner of Replicas for Living History"