in need of a new camp axe or hatchet

JCTex

Observer
Question: My grandfather gave his axe to my father who years later replaced the handle. My father gave it to me; and years later I had to replace the head. Is it still my grandfather's axe?

Jerry L
 

chromisdesigns

Adventurer
Question: My grandfather gave his axe to my father who years later replaced the handle. My father gave it to me; and years later I had to replace the head. Is it still my grandfather's axe?

Jerry L
Sure, I've got one like that. Grandpa to Dad to me, 3-4 handles, at least 2 heads, several wedges. Definitely grandpa's axe, though. Has to be, it's in his toolbox, too!
 

boxcar1

boxcar1
The Eastwing is not a splitting axe, it is more of a fallers axe , Sticks a lot when splitting . The head is to narrow.
I carry one in my recovery gear.
The FISKERS IS BY FAR MY FAVORITE splitter. Life time guarantee , holds an edge , light handle with heavy head makes for less effort to get the job done.
I also have my Grand fathers axe. It's a wonder. BUT I hesitate to haul it to the woods as I could never replace it.
 

StreetsofCompton

Adventurer
The Eastwing is not a splitting axe, it is more of a fallers axe , Sticks a lot when splitting . The head is to narrow.
I carry one in my recovery gear.
The FISKERS IS BY FAR MY FAVORITE splitter. Life time guarantee , holds an edge , light handle with heavy head makes for less effort to get the job done.
I also have my Grand fathers axe. It's a wonder. BUT I hesitate to haul it to the woods as I could never replace it.
which Fiskers are you specifically referring to? Sorry, I'm at work and didn't have time to read through the entire thread if it's already been stated
 

RuffnReadyXJ

Adventurer
Admittedly I'm to lazy to read through a lot of this thread but it did catch my eye. Just thought I'd suggest a Hults Bruk, I believe mine is the Salen model, I know it's the 20 inch handle one. I'm sure someone will know better than me but the quality seems great and it was a lot cheaper than a Grandfurs or Wetterlings. The handle is grained perfectly, the head is solid and over all the quality is great. Again, not saying it's the best but if you search around they can be had for 85 bucks. It's perfect size for hiking, stashing in the Jeep but it still does what I need and at 85 bucks if I forget it in the Sierras or desert I won't cry over it.

My two cents...
 

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Scoutn79

Adventurer
So to tie this up in a pretty little package, an 18-24" Splitting or chopping axe would be your choice for a rig/camping tool?
You either get a splitting tool or a chopping tool Either can do both but not well. To split you want a wide heavy head, that doesn't need to be super sharp that will quickly and abruptly create a wide cavity along the grain,this is called a splitting maul. It looks like a sledgehammer with a fat wedge on one side of the head.
For chopping you want a very sharp slender head that will cut across the grain and make a thin cut, like a knife blade, but not so heavy as to be difficult to wield horizontally to fell a tree. If you try to cut down a tree with a splitting maul you are just going to be crushing the wood fibers instead of cutting them. If you try to split with a chopping/felling axe you will need to put a lot more energy into the light weight head and it won't do a very good job of ripping the fibers apart to split the wood.
As mentioned before a chopping/felling axe, with the longest handle you can fit in the space available in your vehicle, would be best. Generally at camp for MOST of the year you are splitting small diameter logs that a chopping axe will do just fine and removing dead-fall across the trail. I would not want to try to cut a 12" diameter tree that fell across the trail with a splitting maul...it all boils down to what YOUR needs are.
Are you going to be removing dead-fall and small diameter dead trees and splitting them for a small camp fire? Use a chopping axe. I carry this in my truck all the time.
Are you wanting to split large diameter logs that were cut with a saw of one sort or another? Get a splitting maul. This I use a home for splitting wood cut with a chainsaw for filling my fireplace.

I have carried this for about 30 years, great quality for the price and has a solid steel shaft wrapped in a soft grip. It is a little short for any real chopping (I personally wouldn't get one shorter for any sort of two hand chopping) but since it fits perfectly where I want to store it in my truck and is quickly accessible no matter how full of gear my truck is I don't plan on getting another.
http://www.estwing.com/ao_campers_axe_long_handle.php

I wouldn't purchase an expensive axe to be used where there is a good chance you will hit rocks/dirt or be called upon for other uses for which it wasn't intended.

Keep the faces polished smooth and the axe blade sharp and life will be much easier.

A friend has a full size double blade axe that was purchased as a gift for him but due to it's size he doesn't leave it in the truck all of the time. It works much better than mine but....if you don't have it when you need it it does you no good.

Everyone has their own ideas of what is best for their uses, these are mine.

Darrell
 
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StreetsofCompton

Adventurer
Hey Darrell,

Lots of great information. Thanks for your insights. Living in Atlanta, the local hardware and Big Box DIY stores don't have the best options for axes. Very limited sizes/variations. Ive only found one Fiskars, 19" chopping axe, 3-4 Fiskars 36" splitting axes and plenty of splitting mauls. Based on my projected usage, going with an axe like you recommended seems like the best option. I could see carrying a solid chopping axe to clear trails and possibly a 14" splitting hatchet for kindling, etc.

Quick amazon search shows that exact Estwing for about $55. Or the black "Special Edition" version for the same price. Very cool.

Thanks again!
 

Jerry Ward

Adventurer
I have quite a collection of axes ranging from forged Swedish pieces to 100+yr old American patterns. That being said, the one I grab most often when working the trapline is a 2 3/4lb Hudson Bay pattern head cast in India that I ordered from Bailey's back in 2003 for $16. Since then it's dug trap beds, skinned game, pounded stakes, cut firewood, cleared trail, built shelters, and accomplished all sorts of camp chores. I occasionally use the others for specific projects, but the ol' trapline axe is a constant companion.
A note on the Fiskars series-the handles will shatter in extreme cold weather.
 

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
Hey Darrell,

Lots of great information. Thanks for your insights. Living in Atlanta, the local hardware and Big Box DIY stores don't have the best options for axes. Very limited sizes/variations. Ive only found one Fiskars, 19" chopping axe, 3-4 Fiskars 36" splitting axes and plenty of splitting mauls. Based on my projected usage, going with an axe like you recommended seems like the best option. I could see carrying a solid chopping axe to clear trails and possibly a 14" splitting hatchet for kindling, etc.

Quick amazon search shows that exact Estwing for about $55. Or the black "Special Edition" version for the same price. Very cool.

Thanks again!
I've been using a Home Depot maul for 10 years and it works fine.
My small axe is an Estwing Camper's and I keep it sharp.
Good combo and didn't break the bank.

I also have a Fiskars pruning saw in the kit and a Sven Saw. Saws usually make easier work of logs.
Anybody that knows my wife knows that there MUST be a large campfire every night and morning...
 

Tazman

Adventurer
I've been using a Home Depot maul for 10 years and it works fine.
My small axe is an Estwing Camper's and I keep it sharp.
Good combo and didn't break the bank.


I just bought a Esteing. Very well build and SHARP. When I was looking at it in the Ace Hardward store, the thing was so sharp I cut my thumb putting it into the carrying case. I had to have it so I bought it. Made in America, well built for a lifetime of use, as sharp as hell.
 

lysol

Explorer
I have the Fiscars X7 hatchet. While it does a great job initially at cutting small branches and whatnot, the edge gets rough and uneven quick. I have to make sure I have my hatchet sharpener with me and even then, I have to shave off so much metal to just get a decent edge back on it... I wish I had a good rough edge picture to post.

 
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