How to rustproof an axe head

This blog post will answer the question, “how to rustproof an axe head” and covers topics like how to maintain your axe, methods of removing rust from the axe, and frequently asked questions related to the topic.

How to rustproof an axe head?

The axe head can be made rustproof by applying oil and rustproofing sprays to it. Dust and humidity increase rust, so don’t put your axe away unclean or damp. To safeguard your axe head, apply some oil. Rust may be removed with vinegar and fine steel wool.

How to Get Rust Out of a Metal Axe Head?

Anything made of metal is susceptible to rust accumulation. If you utilise that instrument in a damp atmosphere for whatever reason, the chances are significantly higher.

That puts us in a scenario where we have a corroded axe head that we have to work with in order to have it back in working order. What we mean is that we need to find a way to remove the corrosion and then re-shine it.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This is a step-by-step instruction that shows how to prevent corrosion from a metal axe head and make axe repair simple.

Steps for removing rust from axe head:

  • Remove the Metal Axe Head from the Axe
  • Immerse the Axe Head in White Vinegar for a few minutes.
  • Make sure the liquid can fully immerse the axe head.
  • Use a metal brush to clean the axe head.
  • The axe should be rinsed in warm water.
  • The Axe Head Must Be Dried
  • Protect the axe from moisture by insulating it.

Materials Required for this process:

Materials Needed
Dry cloth or paper
Steel Brush
White Vinegar

I will now elaborate on the guidance given above.

Remove the Metal Axe Head from the Axe:

You must first detach the metal head of the axe from its handle before beginning the corrosion removal operation. Otherwise, you won’t be able to continue with the rest of the operation, which involves immersing the metal head in household cleaners. Putting wood in different cleaning treatments, such as vinegar, may also brown it.

Immerse the Axe Head in White Vinegar for a few minutes:

Take a plastic or similar jar large enough to retain the axe head securely. Fill the jar halfway with water and halfway with white vinegar. White vinegar can be added directly to the mixture without being mixed with water if you want it to be more powerful.

Make sure the liquid can fully immerse the axe head:

Now, set the vinegar-filled box and axe head in a dry area for 24 – 48 hours. This timeframe is highly dependent on the amount of corrosion on the axe head’s surface.

After the time has passed, you may observe that some of the rust coatings have begun to peel away. This is owing to the presence of acetic acid in the vinegar.

Use a metal brush to clean the axe head:

When the white vinegar solution’s timer expires, some of the corrosion will fall out of the axe head, while others will remain weakly connected. 

Steps of removing rust with a metal brush:

  • You’ll need a brush or pad with metal bristles to get rid of those loosely adherent rusts.
  • Rub the worn-out surface of the axe head with the steel-made brush. Make sure you’re removing corrosion that has previously been eliminated with a few splashes of hot water.
  • Heavy rust will be present in certain areas of the axe head, while mild corrosion will be present in others. 
  • Make sure you’re dealing with each section of them according to how deep they’re buried.
  • Don’t forget to do this with the axe eye once you’ve finished with the axe head profile. 
  • The axe eye is the connection between the axe head and the axe grip.

The axe should be rinsed in warm water:

Here’s how you do it:

  • After you’ve completed the corrosion cleaning technique, you must remove the rust by immersing it in hot water. 
  • Use the same jar you used to make the vinegar solution.
  • Make sure the hot water has a high adequate temperature to remove both the corrosion and the vinegar’s foul odour. 
  • Inspect to see if all of the corrosion on the axe head has been removed. 
  • If not, repeat steps 1 through 4 to see if you can get a better outcome.

The Axe Head Must Be Dried:

 Why drying is compulsory?

  • As previously noted, vinegar has a tenacious odour that is difficult to remove.
  • So, at this point, you must dry it out in the sun. Remove the water from the exposed metal surface before allowing it to dry in the sunlight. 
  • Because water is the primary cause of rust, it is possible that it may rust again.
  • Replace the axe head on the axe handle after it has dried fully.
  • Protect the axe from moisture by insulating it.

This step is more of a preventive measure in case your axe is prone to rust development.

To avoid corrosion from forming on the axe head, coat it with oil, lubricant, or any similar substance. Vegetable oil and mineral oil are both suitable for this purpose. If you can’t locate either of them, gun oil or vaseline are the next best possibilities. Linseed or olive oil can also suffice.

Here are the two best oils I found.

Purpose of these oils:

The primary objective of this step is to keep the axe head from coming into direct contact with damp air. If you keep your axe in a dry place, all you have to do is put the sheath on and it will do the work.

How to maintain your axe?

Wood handled axes require minimum care to keep them functional and performing at their best. Appropriate storage methods, as well as frequent oiling of the heads and handles, as well as cleaning the leather sheaths, are all part of these procedures.

We suggest performing this procedure at least once a year, with twice a year being the optimum practice. Oiling the axe should be done more regularly if you are frequently out in damp circumstances. Tool handles made of wood are pleasant, sturdy, flexible, resilient, and environmentally friendly. 

Cleaning and maintenance steps for your axe:

  • Remove any corrosion that has formed on the axe head before using it. This may be performed with a weak acid and a green pot cleaner (vinegar). 
  • Steel brushes can be used to remove thicker rust. When you’re done, wash and dry your head.
  • Clean (with a damp towel) and dry the axe handle before using it. Any ground-in dust or surface debris can be removed with fine sandpaper.
  • Because heated wood absorbs oil easier, the optimum time to treat a handle is on a hot sunny day (in summertime) or a clear sunny day (in winter).
  • Fold a paper towel around the handle.
  • Pour a little quantity of oil over the paper towel/handle and rub it in until it is completely soaked.
  • Apply oil to the head (above the eye) of the handle and the base (knob) of the axe with a damp towel. 
  • Both of these places have exposed grains and are particularly vulnerable to water infiltration, therefore they must be thoroughly oiled.
  • Rub a moist paper towel along the length of the handle, then roll it in the towel like a mummy.
  • Permit the handle to heat and soak the oil by placing it on a window ledge in direct sunlight (winter) or outside in the sunlight (summer).
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the axe.
  • Wipe off the handle with an extra towel or a piece of cloth after you’re done.
  • Because the oil will make the handle appear smooth, you can use bee’s wax to give a sticky layer to boost the handle’s grip.
  • To oil, the axe’s heads, spritz a few flushes of gun oil on each side of the head, brush lightly to spread equally, and then set the head down on a tiny piece of cardboard to dry for 1 – 2 hours. When you’re done, don’t wipe away any extra oil.
  • Clean the leather cover with a damp towel and set it aside to dry. On one side of the leather, massage a good amount of Leather Cleaner into it and set it in the sunlight. 
  • The leather will soak more leather as it heats up. If the leather takes all of the paste, add more until the leather is no longer absorbent.
  • Reverse the process and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Wipe away any excess paste and wipe with a dry cloth when finished.
  • Your axe is now fully equipped for its next adventures.
Materials Needed
Wood oil 
Gun Oil
Paper Towel
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Leather Better
Piece of Scrap Cardboard
Latex Gloves (optional)

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “How to rustproof an axe head?”

How do I stop my axe head from rusting?

After each usage, gently oil your axe to keep it from rusting. Metal, timber, and leather all benefit from a little layer of oil or wax to keep them looking their best. Wet axes should never be stored. In your field kit, keep a microfiber towel drenched in linseed oil or beeswax in a zipper-lock bag.

What do you oil an axe head with?

To oil, the axe’s head, spritz a few sprays of gun oil on each side of the head, brush lightly to spread equally, and then set the head down on a tiny piece of card to cure for 1 – 2 hours. When you’re done, don’t wipe away any extra oil.

How do you finish an axe head?

Finishing steps of axe head are given below:

  • Immerse the Axe Head in Linseed Oil for a few minutes.
  • Now that you’ve acquired your tools, you can get started.
  • The Axe Head should be sanded. If you desire, you can sand the axehead once it has dried.
  • The Axe Handle should be sanded.
  • The Axe should be rubbed with oil.

Should an axe be razor-sharp?

Your axe must be razor-sharp. For smooth, quick, and joyful work, all woodworking equipment, especially axes, ought to be sharp enough to shave with. To get a new axe into good form, it takes anything from an hour to a half-day of hand honing. A dull axe is ineffective and exhausting to use.

Does linseed oil swell wood?

The practice of immersing axe handles in boiling linseed oil has reached mythological dimensions in recent years. The major reason is that it is said to have the potential to swell the wood. The issue is that boiling linseed oil doesn’t seem to swell wood fibres.

Should I wax my axe handle?

Both will help to keep moisture out of your axe handle’s wood fibres. Oil is a superior solution in my opinion since it gives more comprehensive protection because the oil soaks straight into the wood fibres. Wax is an excellent BARRIER, but it may rapidly erode away on an axe handle with frequent usage.


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