I’ve been trying out the Straight Grain Supply Axe Balm. It’s one of those products that kind of flies under the radar and certainly shouldn’t. Particularly if you’re conscientious about taking care of your hand tools.
What is Axe Balm?
The Hand-Poured Axe Balm is a simple means of protecting both wood and metal surfaces. Specifically on hand tools that get exposed to the elements. It’s a licensed formulation of Beeswax, Linseed oil and Clove Oil. When applied to wood surfaces, it helps preserve and protect the wood from the elements. On your axe head or metal tools, it will inhibit the formation of rust.
How do you use it?
Using it is as simple as cleaning any dirt and debris from your hand tools. Once cleaned, apply a thin layer of Axe Balm to the wood handle and allow it to dry for a few minutes. When it’s dried, wipe off any excess and you can apply a second coat for additional protection, again, wipe off any excess.
On the axe head its basically the same process. Clean off any debris and apply a coat of Axe Balm. Allow it to dry and wipe off any excess.
Does it work?
In brief, yup, it works great. I haven’t used it for an extended period of time yet but once applied, water will bead up on the surface immediately. When I applied it to the axe head I didn’t make any effort to wipe off any excess. There just didn’t seem to be a point in removing it. On the handle, I did wipe off the excess so there wasn’t any unwanted build up.
My concern was the handle could end up slippery after the excess was wiped off. That wasn’t the case at all. The Balm soaked into the wood and I could barely feel any difference in the treated and untreated surface. I’ve used linseed oil on gunstocks and tool handles for years to protect them from the elements. Combining it with beeswax makes it a whole lot more convenient to apply and store.
I’m as guilty as anyone for not paying a whole lot of attention to my axes when it comes to storage. When I do some splitting or chopping I try to put a little oil on the head if it’s gonna be a while before I use my axe again. Unfortunately, the handle usually gets neglected until it’s starting to ‘grey’. Right now my Adler Canoe Axe is tucked away in the camper waiting for our next trip. The Hand Poured Axe Balm is definitely going to help protect it between trips! It will really help prevent rust from any condensation that might collect on the axe head.