Like kitchen knives, scissors, and most things designed to cut solid material into smaller pieces, an axe is only as good as its edge. Best Made Co, purveyors of very fine axes, have gladly and generously shared their technique.
As long as the steel was of high quality to begin with, any axe can become mega-sharp this way, so it's an excellent technique for transforming your dad's or grandparents old blade into something useful. (Replacing the handle is easy).
It's just something you should know how to do.
Step By Step: Sharpening Your Axe [Best Made Projects]