Axe or Blade? Which is "best?"

Discussion in 'Blades' started by PapaSasquatch, Jan 24, 2012.


  1. PapaSasquatch

    PapaSasquatch Monkey++

    I know, I know, it's what matters to me, my personal preference, mission specific, etc. etc.

    And of course I can't choose because I have one glaring question...WHICH is MORE UTILIZED? Would an AXE/Hatchet/Tomahawk be the more relied upon tool or would a machete/kukri be more useful.

    And by "most useful" I mean in the scenarios of making camp for leisure AND making camp in survival...with a family of 4 kids and a wife.

    Obviously there'd be need for fire wood, small structure building, and path/foliage clearing. A mostly sedentary fat slob dad (me) is operating the axe/blade in these scenarios and I'm loaded with arthritis. Which is harder on the body physically or cardiovascularly. Which lengths of axe/blade to use for optimal weight/heavy cutting ratio.

    Thanks for your patience and good ideas!
     
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When in the bush, I have packed my 10" Kukuri, and it does the job of both.... that is my choice for the last 4 decades.... YMMV.... there are pictures of it here on the MOnkey in this forum...
     
    Quigley_Sharps, Falcon15 and Cephus like this.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A Kukri is a good all round choice, particularly in the bush

    The Kukri is a good all round blade. Any blade, such as a kukri, that can, well sharpened, and in skilled hands, sever the head of an Ox with one blow, would be useful when used hand to hand.....just ask any German or Japanese soldier that had tangled with a Gurka wielding a Kukri at close quarters (that's if you can find a survivor of course).

    Kukri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    9h0s7 and Falcon15 like this.
  4. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+

    Overall I would say the machette/kukuri/cane knife would be best multitool for camp use.
    The only thing besides durability an axe/hatchet has is in cutting down/up actual trees.
    Matt
     
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    knife for short term... but I like the tomahawk for longer term... i can remove it from the handle and use it as a knife, add the handle and it's a small axe better for gathering wood and building a shelter... excellent weapon for hacking or slashing and defense... break a handle no problem use the head and make another one... given an option i'd carry a knife and a hawk... and i do...;)
     
    Frisian likes this.
  6. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I have one of the heavy kukri it's nothing pretty just solid steel even the handle with a good heavy leather rap. I would have to say that out of the two hands down is the kurkri
     
    Cephus likes this.
  7. limpingbear

    limpingbear future cancer survivor....

    I have a couple of cold steel LTC kukri's. bought them years apart. usually have one or the other on my pack when im out in the boonies. Lighter than an axe but i can chop better with it. Also makes a good draw knife with a little practice.
     
  8. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Anyone tried these from Cabela's...?
    s7_530468_999_01.
     
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    There is a Master Bladesmith (ABS) that used to be one of my neighbors, who built an Alaskan Bush Knife. His Bush Chopper design is now considered the Classic Bush Knife, for around here. He specializes in Twisted Damascus Steel Blades, and they are Works of Art.... I have posted pictures of them, on this forum, in the past. These knives have massive blades, and are heat treated after forging, so they don't chip, and hold their edge, even after chopping down 4" trees and brush. Usually 10-14" in length, and weigh in at 3-5 Lbs. ...... YMMV....
    His Website
     
  10. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    If you can only take one tool into the wilds....Make it an axe... you can do more with an axe... Last year I wrote up a piece on the
    The Art Of Axmanship

    its' much to big to copy/paste here but go to my web site and read it for yourself.
    https://sites.google.com/site/grandpassurvivalshack/the-art-of-axmanship
    Who knows maybe we'll turn you into an Axeman too?

    Edit to add... I will add one very good reason to learn to use an axe...
    it's the closing line from my article at the above link...
     
    Witch Doctor 01 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  11. PapaSasquatch

    PapaSasquatch Monkey++

    lol! I get all excited seeing these Kukri supportive responses and start really seeing that as ideal, then grandpadave comes in being pro-axe!

    If taking down 4 to 10 inch trees with the kukri is doable, along with all the other obvious positives of the kukri are present, then it does seem like the winner.

    But some of the axe support posts here do a good job of qualifying it as a replacement for a machete/kukri tool/weapon. With the right axe you can cut and carve as mentioned which makes it a good utility.

    Frankly, I'm torn..pun intended. But which tears me better? Maybe I need one of those axes that has an embeded knife in it! jk

    Keep the qualifiers coming, your opinions and experiences are great resources. I've got a few sites to read through before I comment further. THANKS SM peeps.



    Also, I'm now wondering what type of steel to look for in a proper kukri blade, roughly 10-12" is what I'd look for. Keep away from 420s-440s steel? Go for 154cm or D2? Or what is the more popular steel that keeps good edges, keeps firm in the spine, etc.etc.
     
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    4" no problemo.... 6" Well Ok... Bigger than 6" a Kukuri is the WRONG Tool for the job. Yea, it can be done, BUT it is still the wrong tool for the job. 10" is chainsaw time, in my world... ..... YMMV......
     
    Falcon15 likes this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I like the idea of a khukhri, but (so far) a cold steel machete has done the job for me up to around 2" sticks. More than that, it's either an ax or chainsaw. Might be a khukhri in my future, but not now.

    Now, if I was off in the woods, I have stated before that a 3/4 ax is my choice. Not going to build cabins anyway. I have shaved with sheath knives (owie) and once tried with an ax. (THAT was a no go deal, I can tell you.)

    Whichever you take, take something to sharpen them with. I've done it with found smooth rocks and water, but it isn't quite as effective as a proper stone.
     
  14. PapaSasquatch

    PapaSasquatch Monkey++

    Yes, good, whetstones for sure, or some other good, portable sharpener. I'm shopping on amazon now and I'd like the cold steel kukri but I'm thinking it's cheap (it's only $20 with pvc handle) and too long (13" blade).

    Ka-bar makes a nice looking one but they're chinese made and just a name these days from what I gather.

    Gerber has a nice looking axe that has a cool saw in the handle but I"m sure that deprives the handle vibration management and strength?

    SOG has a nice knife which keeps us down <10". Not sure I like the serrated spine..I'd like to be able to hammer on that spine to cut things I'm sure. Not sure if I like the 420 steel. Of course I'm getting what I pay for on any of these things that are <$50.
     
  15. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Ka-Bar Gerber... both good as a general purpose sportsmen use...

    but ask yourself... who makes the best Professionals tools??? what tool maker do contractors seek out for rugged hard every day have to get the big job done, use???

    Only a few names rise to the top then ...Estwing surely in the top 3



    45A[large].

    BTW to those of us who do a lot of wood cutting... a well known fact is too sharp a blade will not split as well... in fact it tends to sick in the wood... fine for cutting or shaping but not so for splitting... just something to keep in mind
     
    Falcon15 likes this.
  16. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    I posted it once, I'll post it again:
    ghurka1.
     
  17. Jeff Brackett

    Jeff Brackett Monkey++

    At the risk of drawing a bit of ridicule here, I'll throw in my two cents. One of the things I always consider for something like this is how well the tool can be used in a self defense situation.

    Okay, okay, stop throwing stuff at me. I've been involved in martial arts for more than thirty years - it's just ingrained in me now. :)

    So from that perspective, I'll lay my vote firmly in the machete / kukri camp. I practiced FMA for several years, working with various bladed weapons (including machetes, kukris, and tac hawks). An ax or 'hawk is simply too tip heavy to wield in a hand to hand situation for more than a few strikes.

    I know it's better to have a firearm for sd, but if it's down to blades, I'd go for a long blade over an ax/hatchet/hawk.

    ....unless you're going to chop down trees.

    That being said, it's just my opinion - and you know what those are like.[gone]
     
    Falcon15 likes this.
  18. I always heard that the old guys said that if they only had one thing to take with them to the woods it would be a good axe.

    I have both big blades (including a kukuri or two) and hawks and axes.

    A good axe, sharpened for the intended job can serve to help you do more than most any other tool in the woods.

    In this day and age most of us don't even think about cutting down a tree where we camp, let alone enough to build a lean to or cabin.

    For general camp craft as it is practiced today a 7 inch old hickory knife will suffice paired with a small folder or fixed blade if you like.

    Still I always like having at least a hawk with me in the woods.

    If I were going through a lot of ivy thickets or muskydines etc, then a machete might get the nod.

    Location location location. Need need need. Likes likes likes.

    The more you know the less you have to carry.
     
  19. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Been carrying a panga(Condor) for a couple years now.At 65 the weight saving of my trek gear has become more important than if a certain tool can do a little more efficient job for some things.Took some learning to use a panga over a woodsman axe but now I'm comfortable with it.JMO
     
  20. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Another "vote" for the Kukri.

    Hatchets and Hawks are close to being a pure offensive weapon. The Patriot movie showed how "balance" is achieved by adding knife to Hawk.

    A Kukri is a weight forward weapon.
     
    BTPost likes this.
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