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clampdaddy

The perfect axe?

15 posts in this topic

Last week I was in the garage sharpening the chain on my saw when I had a "doomsday prepper" moment and thought to myself "without gas, that bad azz Stihl is useless" so I decide buy myself a good quality hatchet. I picked the 16" Estwing. It's a wonderful tool and pretty much indestructible but now I want to get a good do it all full sized axe. I thought about getting the 26" Estwing axe but while it would make a good little felling axe, the head is to thin for splitting wood. Any suggestions?

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All of the hatchets and axes I own and use are all over 50 years old. I have over a dozen I use and have collected all hold a razor sharp edge. I've picked them up over the years everywhere from garage sales to relatives and from Ebay. The steel is better in my opinion and they seemed to have known the best head designs. I'm sure there are some good new models available but I just don't own any. Nothing like using a good axe or even a hatchet. My favorite yard axe is a double bit model.

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Eastwing axes and hatchets have two design flaws. one is the shape of the head, it makes it hard to sharpen well. And the other is the steel handle,After more than an hour or so of hard use it tires the user out because of the vibrations it sends back. Years back I worked as a plumber and Eastwing hammers were the best for that job. the steel handles wouldnt break if you used them to pry with. But you never saw a carpenter using one. The constant pounding would leave the user with sore wrists and elbows. Thats why a good wood handle has been around so long. My best axe was made by the Plumb Company. Its made of good steel, has a good head shape, and has a 26" wood handle. DR

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I actually bought the Estwing specifically because of the eye-less head and steel handle. I was always taught that a hatchet shouldn't be used for hammering anything but wood or plastic stakes because they are prone to breaking at the eye. If it ever had to serve in a survival situation I'd feel better with an Estwing knowing that it isn't going to break. I'd really like to get one of their rigging hatchet and reshape the blade. It would make an excellent tomahawk.Today I took a drive out to my dads ranch and rummaged around the shop where I found two old double bit axes. One is made by Plumb, the other has no markings that I can find but it has a thinner blade and it looks like it would be a better chopper.

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John,You are my hero, garage sales have so much to offer.Tom

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Today I did a little searching and Baileys was offering free shipping on their multipurpose Husqvarna axes. A little more searching told me that Husqvarna has contracts with three of the best axe makers in Sweden, so I bought one. At 26" it's an in between sized axe. Bigger than a hatchet, smaller than a full sized splitting axe. It should be a good all around bushcraft tool.

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The only advantage of a steel handle hatchet is that you will never break it. That being said, if you anticipate doing hours of work with a steel handle hatchet or hammer you may be in for shoulder or elbow problems that won't go away without proper medical attention. The heavier the hatchet or hammer the more likely you are to have problems. Not good if you are in a dooms day situation.

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That's one way to look at it, another way to look at it is that you let the extra weight of the tool do the work and use less physical force which leads to less physical strain. To test the theory try chopping thru a good sized log with a small hatchet and then do another with a properly sized (heavier) axe. Besides, if you end up with a dehabilitating injury by swinging a hatchet that is a little heavier than you would like, then chances are you aren't up to taking on a survival situation in the first place so you may as well lay down and wait for the buzzards. While I will agree that the stacked leather handled Estwing sportsmans axe might be bad for transmitting shock to the user, the blue nylon handle on my Estwing hammer kills shock and vibration better than any of my wooden handled hammers so I'd expect the same of my blue handled camp axe. There is a reason that their rock picks are considered the best around.

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:signlol2iu: I've always got at least one of the 3 W's on my mind: Whiskey, women, or weapons :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

I sure wish I could afford an axe like that though :504:

It's the voices, they make me think like that. Who said that?! Who said "Who said that?!"??? :crazy:

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Fiskars makes some good light axes great for packin but your going to have to make a holder you really don't want the one that comes with it LOL. Its made in Finland and is the same design Gerber which licences the design from Fiskars (some of the gerbers are made in china some are made by Fiskars in Finland) I have a x7.

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You might consider adding a lightweight bow saw to you pack.

http://www.fiskars.ca/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Pruning-Saws-and-Tools/Bow-Saw-21-inch-53.3-cm

They make lighter weight specialty saws, but I have packed one like this in on several trips. I even started leaving the axe home and just taking the saw and a good knife. Some of the places people backpack into can be short on wood and the only dead wood is some good sized trees. People who have axes do not harvest the wood from these downed trees as it takes too much time. You would be surprised how a good saw makes short order of this work.

Happy camping,

David

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This is a easy one for me a double sided collins axe is all thats needed , if the wood is fresh. I've had this one for about 10 years and it has split wood trouble free all of them . I have axcess to and endless supply and split for firewood and friends for fun . As a young man my parents house was heated here in NY with a wood burning stove , mom said the amount of money saved was countless due to my love of chainsaws and axes which started at 17. At the present time i own a 10 # maul that is rarely used due to the fact that i only chop wet wood 90% of the time . My main ax is the double sided collins , it stays sharp and is perfectly balanced with a solid hickory handle. I absolutly love my estwing camp ax it also holds a great edge and is not a primery splitting axe so it dosn't have a chance to weight on my body . This axe serves me well for fire wood secondary splits to small up the logs before home use . And a standered hatchet with a fiberglass handle is all ive needed for years of fun . Here's just a small pile i worked on 14" echo 310 and a 20" husky farm boss rule the roost for my cutting needs . Love my wood bigcookie2.jpgbigcookie1.jpg here's another pile from a while back that i spent time on , this is the yard behind my friends bar with 80 acres of privet land behind it that i shoot squirelles on. woodpile2.jpg

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I'm really liking the cold steel spetnaz shovel I got for Christmas. $20 or so. It's a great little shovel, but all sides are sharpened and it works pretty good for chopping small wood.

As for an ax, living in the city I don't have much use for one anymore. I lived in Running Springs for 2 1/2 years, and we used only wood for heat and cooking. Chopped wood 5 days a week from trees we felled ourselves. I used to love it. I really like the Council tools Hudson bay ax if I were to get one now.

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