Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

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JD Spydo
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Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:12 pm

This is a topic that Brother Crux inspired me to do. On my Survival Hardware thread he put up a pictures of a really nice couple of high end axes. One of them was made by CRKT and the other looked like some type of tradesman's ax. Now in the past 5 years especially you can't pick up any knife publication without seeing an article or advertisement of some new type of super high quality ax. And even the custom knifemakers are now in the game of making their own rendition of a "super ax".
Even Spyderco has entered the ax sweepstakes with their newest small ax recently and it's one I'm personally interested in. Now I like all of them even including the old traditional axes like you would see in anyone's tool line up. There is a company in Sweden that makes a really nice ax along with other associated tools and they are known as Grandfors Bruks>> their stuff looks really intriguing to me. The last I heard there are only 2 commercial tool companies here in the USA that still make axes. I believe it's Estwing and Council Tool from what I've been told that still make axes and hatchets here in the USA.
Personally I have a nice collection of axes and hatchets that I've gathered over the years through garage sales and flea markets ect,. I wouldn't go hunting without taking my old Sears, stainless hatchet with me>> and yes it's a full tang and I've found it to be great for all kinds of jobs in the woods. So let's talk about axes, hatchets and these newer specialized axes that you see in so many knife and outdoor publications. Also it would be nice to know all the good blade steels different companies are using in these newer axes or the old axes too for that matter. I see "S 7" tool steel used in a lot of these newer ones. But anything ax or hatchet related is welcome for discussion. Oh! and by the way you can also include a lot of these newer tactical and self defense axes too.

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SpyderEdgeForever
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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:16 pm

The Spyderco Axes look so good and I am sure those and the Cold Steel ones are very great.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby The Meat man » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:17 pm

I have a medium sized Fiskars axe that works great. When I get it shaving sharp, I can easily lop through 3 inch branches in one blow.

I'd love to have a Gransfors Bruks axe but they're not cheap.


(Says the guy who routinely spends $100+ on pocketknives. :rolleyes: )
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:25 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:17 pm
I have a medium sized Fiskars axe that works great. When I get it shaving sharp, I can easily lop through 3 inch branches in one blow.

I'd love to have a Gransfors Bruks axe but they're not cheap.


(Says the guy who routinely spends $100+ on pocketknives. :rolleyes: )
I've seen a lot of those FISKARS axes at sporting good stores and so forth. They actually look really well made and of decent quality. I heard that company is owned by the same people that own GERBER Knives. Do you have any idea what blade steel they used in that one?

Now the two of those FISKARS axes that I've seen are about 18 inches long or maybe 20 inches.. Is that right?

Yeah I hear you on those GRANDFORS BRUKS axes. No they are not cheap by any standards. They also have a splitting maul that looks really well made. I've been told their splitting mauls are the best there are on the market. And it's well known that the Swedes have made great steel for years that I'm aware of.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby The Meat man » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:18 pm

JD Spydo wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:25 pm
The Meat man wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:17 pm
I have a medium sized Fiskars axe that works great. When I get it shaving sharp, I can easily lop through 3 inch branches in one blow.

I'd love to have a Gransfors Bruks axe but they're not cheap.


(Says the guy who routinely spends $100+ on pocketknives. :rolleyes: )
I've seen a lot of those FISKARS axes at sporting good stores and so forth. They actually look really well made and of decent quality. I heard that company is owned by the same people that own GERBER Knives. Do you have any idea what blade steel they used in that one?

Now the two of those FISKARS axes that I've seen are about 18 inches long or maybe 20 inches.. Is that right?

Yeah I hear you on those GRANDFORS BRUKS axes. No they are not cheap by any standards. They also have a splitting maul that looks really well made. I've been told their splitting mauls are the best there are on the market. And it's well known that the Swedes have made great steel for years that I'm aware of.
Yeah the Fiskars axe I have is really tough and I have not had any problems with it whatsoever. However I use it for chopping only - if you do a lot of splitting with it, you may damage the handle part that wraps around the head. My brother did this with his, and eventually it broke. Fiskars does make a larger splitting axe that has two wedge-like protrusions alongside the head in order to prevent this from happening.

Mine is about 23" I think. I wish I knew what the steel is. Whatever they use, it is really good stuff - sharpens easily, takes very fine edges, and stays that way. The other nice thing about the Fiskars axe is that unlike the vast majority of inexpensive axes, the head is actually ground decently thin. Most of the axes you buy at Lowe's for example are absolutely horrible; thick, abrupt edges that look like someone did them with a 36 grit angle grinder. Feels more like clubbing a branch in half instead of chopping.

I have seriously considered one of Council Tools Velvicut axes as a more affordable alternative to Gransfors Bruks. Good things are said about them and the 5160 steel they use.
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby Halfneck » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:08 pm

The Fiskars hatchet is a good inexpensive tool that will accomplish most camp chopping chores.

But the Gransfors Bruks hatchets are far superior. I was lucky and picked mine up for around $70 before they got popular. Best hatchet I've ever owned.

I also use a 2Hawks Tomahawk as a light camp axe if I don't forsee much chopping chores.
2008_02290005 (Small).JPG

JD Spydo
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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:07 pm

Halfneck wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:08 pm
The Fiskars hatchet is a good inexpensive tool that will accomplish most camp chopping chores.

But the Gransfors Bruks hatchets are far superior. I was lucky and picked mine up for around $70 before they got popular. Best hatchet I've ever owned.

I also use a 2Hawks Tomahawk as a light camp axe if I don't forsee much chopping chores.

2008_02290005 (Small).JPG
The Sears Craftsman hatchet I bought back in the 80s I believe might be made by Estwing. Because it sure has a lot of similarities to many of Estwing's products. But I'm not certain because I've not ever seen an Estwing made with STainless like this Sears hatchet I've had for years. It wasn't cheap because I vividly remembering it costing me around $38 back in 1982.

I've not yet bought one of the bigger Grandfors Bruks axes but it's on my list to get. As I said eariler that one splitting maul they make looks better than any other maul I ever seen or used. If I ever see one of their hatchets at a pawn shop or flea market I'll grab it for sure.

I'm kind of surprised that no one has yet to talk about an ESTWING ax or hatchet. I have some Estwing tools and they aren't bad at all.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby Halfneck » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:14 am

The Estwing hatchets are good - after a bit of re-profiling. Friend at an outdoor skills event had one he'd been using for years.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby The Mastiff » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:05 pm

Axes designed to chop down trees are designed differently from those meant for splitting kindling, or even carpentry. For real splitting of firewood the maul was always preferable for me. I heated a house through the winter with wood one year in Michigan and it takes a lot of wood to get through the year and the difference is very noticeable.

An axe can do all the jobs but it is best to figure out what the majority of stuff you need the axe for and decide accordingly. I liked long handled axes for use but for backpacking they aren't ideal. I would bite the bullet and carry one before trying to make do with a hatchet. That is me though and everyone is different.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:51 pm

The Mastiff wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:05 pm
Axes designed to chop down trees are designed differently from those meant for splitting kindling, or even carpentry. For real splitting of firewood the maul was always preferable for me. I heated a house through the winter with wood one year in Michigan and it takes a lot of wood to get through the year and the difference is very noticeable.

An axe can do all the jobs but it is best to figure out what the majority of stuff you need the axe for and decide accordingly. I liked long handled axes for use but for backpacking they aren't ideal. I would bite the bullet and carry one before trying to make do with a hatchet. That is me though and everyone is different.
There's no question that Axes and Hatchets are two completely different animals all together. But it does amaze me how many things you can do with a good quality Hatchet in the woods on hunting trips especially. I mentioned that Grandfors Bruks makes a great splitting maul. But in the meantime I have a couple of really nice splitting mauls made by the old "Collins" ax company. It really made me sad when Collins started making their stuff overseas because compared to a lot of former USA Ax companies the Collins company really put out good stuff.

Now a good friend of mine told me over the phone recently that Collins still made a few of their really super expensive competition axes here in the USA. But I talked to another guy that told me the only USA made axes were Council Tool and Estwing. Not sure if those Fiskars are still made here in the US or not.

Now most of these axes you see in the knife magazines that are the super expensive, super high quality units and many of them made by custom knife makers really should be in the hatchet category. Because the size and length of most of those ones I've seen in recent knife magazines are really made to be self defense axes. I'm surprised that we aren't hearing much about ax throwing competitions with the flood of these newer expensive SD axes.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby silvershade255 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm

You can't forget the old ax heads you find gathering dust in antique stores and flea markets. It's still very easy to find a well made one at a great price. From there it's just a matter of hanging it. The handles you find in hardware stores are usually expensive and low quality so I'd recommend ordering online if you need one. $30-40 and some time and effort can get you rolling with your very own semi custom ax!
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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby Bloke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:34 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:18 pm
Feels more like clubbing
Image
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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby vivi » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:51 pm

I'm a big fan of Fiskars axes.

I own or have owned a lot of the higher end brands.....Wetterlings, G.B., etc.

The Fiskars have worked better for me. I never have to adjust the head and re-seat it in the pole. No wobble, ever. Steel seems to perform about the same.

Never had any issues with the sides breaking from splitting / batoning but I could see how it might happen.

For the price you can't beat them.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=f2dnvbywu_s

I have their 28" chopping axe that I'd normally use for jobs that big, I just felt like putting the newest version of their hatchet through some work.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby The Meat man » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:52 pm

Bloke wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:34 pm
The Meat man wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:18 pm
Feels more like clubbing
Image

Exactly. :D
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby A.S. » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 am

Has anyone gotten to try out the new ESEE Gibson Axe? It is on my to get list sometime this year. I know a good deal of plan and design was put into this model by James Gibson.

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Re: Axes, Hathcets & Camp Axes

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:05 am

I am not an expert on axes. Back home I had a US Forest Service Axe I found couple of months after a forest fire. I was so young I did not know what it was so I carried it home. It was a very good axe, marked US and it was painted olive drab or forest green all over. I do not know the maker but either Council Tool or Collings or some place.

Right now I have a Browning hatchet, one of those with the plastic wrapped around the head. I also have a Gerber Grylls survival hatched that I like quite a lot.
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