When sharpening an ax, the most important rule is to hone without heating. Abrasive belts do a good job of shaping and sharpening new axes. Compact units from Work Sharp (worksharptools.com) are easy to use and run on 110 current. Each comes with three belts of different grit. Avoid electric grinders, though, as they can heat an ax head enough to ruin its temper. Old-fashioned hand- or pedal-turned wheels, with water to dissipate heat, work better--but they're scarce.