Ecclesiastes 10:10

10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 in Other Translations

KJV
10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
ESV
10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.
NLT
10 Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.
MSG
10 Remember: The duller the ax the harder the work; Use your head: The more brains, the less muscle.
CSB
10 If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength; however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the iron be blunt
With which a man cleaves wood: the axe, made of iron: and he do not whet the edge;
with some proper instrument to make it sharper, that it may cut the more easily; then must he put to more strength;
he must give a greater blow, strike the harder, and use more force; and yet it may not be sufficient, or; it may be to no purpose, and he himself may be in the greatest danger of being hurt; as such are who push things with all their might and main, without judgment and discretion; but wisdom [is] profitable to direct;
this is the "excellency" of wisdom, that it puts a man in the right way of doing things, and of doing them right; it directs him to take the best methods, and pursue the best ways and means of doing things, both for his own good and the good of others; and so it is better than strength, ( Ecclesiastes 9:16 Ecclesiastes 9:18 ) .

Ecclesiastes 10:10 In-Context

8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.
12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.