Axes have a much thinner profile than splitting mauls and mattocks. After years of sharpening, they tend to be thicker at the tip than when they were new creating more of wedge effect than a slicing action. This can be overcome by filing back material further on the blade. In other words, don't continually file just the tip of the blade but reduce the thickness of the head back one-half inch with each filing. To be sure you know how much to take off, refresh your memory by taking a look at a brand new head before starting to sharpen your old one.
Chris, WA, entered 1999-12-18