Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Blackjack, Jan 8, 2008.
Anybody know who makes the best as far as axes or hatchets go?
People seem to think the fiskars axes are very decent. Definately the best if price is a substantial consideration. On the pricy side one of my friends seems to be partial to swedish axes.
Ontario Knife Company makes great axes, hatchets, and machetes, as well as knives. I know that Coldsteel has a couple of tomahawk models that I fancy, since I own them and have had wonderful results.
If you are looking for a tomahawk, search Ebay carefully. There really are some nice ones there, or at least there should be still. I personally wouldn't buy the tomahawks that are made for display, but there are some pretty ones out there, and historic ones, too. I always wanted to get one from an indian reservation, hand made. I no longer live out west, but it would be great to discover where to acquire one.
I have a Fiskar ax, it is awsome, well balancedand a good cutter. I carry an ontario knife SPAX in my truck for general hacking duty. We carry the Woodsmans Pal in our aircraft survival kits, they are pretty good for general duty.
got the Gerber/Fiskars "backpaxe"belt hatchet for xmas, its light,sharp,notyet sure if it is better than my folding sport saw for northern forest shelter building (good in the "BOB"),but that was the idea. plus I figure its a fear some weapon...( of last Resort); Splits kindling ,hammers in pegs for shelters and traps.
I use an Estwing campers axe purchased from Home Depot.
That one work pretty good for you?
I always liked the traditional look and feel of the eastwing hatchet with the steel shaft and leather stacked grip.
It goes with me whenever I know I'm going off road.
The anti-vibe handle is a nice plus.
It's well worth the price.
These are some of the best. Expensive...but remember what Grandpa said about cheap, Chinese made tools!
In my experience it would be Fiskar hands down. Now they do make them for various other companies to put their names on, like the hatchet and spliting ax that I have, both have Stihl printed on the side but Fiskar is raised on the head discreatly. They are IIRC Swiss made, they are light weight but heavy duty with hollow 'plastic' handles that have a life time warranty and after 10 years of abuse mine are still in perfect shape. They hold an edge great and chop beter than any other axes I have handled.
Wife got me an Estwing campers ax for Christmas.....I like it.....not too heavy, good solid steel handle.....can't imagine being able to break it.
I broke my gerber camp axe the last time phishi and I were out in the woods. I had had it out on backpacking trips about 4 times. IIRC, TnAndy used it to make a catapult one time....
The gerber and Fiskars are the same hatchet. The estwing is great but don't get the leather wrapped handled version. Leather winding starts to come off after a few years. I haven't used the modern version with the blue handle.
Granfors is the chit! I have only fondled them but they each have a forge mark on them by the guy in Sweden whom made it. Draw knives look good to. Once I break something, I don't buy another of the same.
HOW did you manage to break it??? I took mine out on the Big build and even the host of the show who was banned from touching tools after breaking 2 indestructable hedge handles on tools, an auger, a croscut saw, a chain saw and several other tools includeing a hammer even used them and even he didnt manage to break them. I go through hickory ax handles in under a season most of the time so aside from the 2 years and 5 handles I went through trying to replace those I have used my Fiskar spliting ax and when needed a sledge hammer (gone through 3-4 handles) to drive it to split the majority of the wood we heat with as well as useing it to cut the ends out of steel drums and so on.
I just cant imagine, given the abuse my spliting ax and the hatchet from them through what it takes to break them.
I have seen a fiskars axe break. We were whacking seasoned madrones. Better to whack the larger chunks with a maul. The fiskars axe didn't like the too big chunks the handle failed near the head. But on the smaller chunks the fiskars split the wood easier than anything else we had.
Bark River Knives makes some of the best tools:
Second to none in warranty/customer service as well
Helko makes high-quality German axes:
I have a slew of axes and tomahawks.
Regarding the ones made by Gerber with the knives or saws in the handle: I have two of these; a longer handled one, and very short handled one. The hatchets are nice and the whole set-up is useful, but a lot of abuse has resulted in the magnets (which hold the tools in the handle) in the handle portion have both come out. I guess it would be possible to epoxy in a small rare-Earth magnet, but, after this experience, I don't think a hatchet is a good platform for a multi-tool.
I have a quite heavy big hatchet/small axe by Cold Steele that was the most dull thing I've ever seen. Works fine after I spent some time on it..., but it's a beast...definitely not for backpacking.
I also have their shovel based on some Spetnatz design. Now that thing was sharp....quite useless as a shovel without ruining the edge, but a great hacker.
I have a tomahawk from SOG and one hand-made sold by Dave Cantebury's Pathfinder School:
PATHFINDER SCOUT TOMAHAWK
The SOG is indestructible so far. The pathfinder scout is a work of art, but you might need some wrap on the handle for grip as it is silky smooth (I guess for ease of throwing).
I got to looking for an American made axe a couple of years ago and couldn't find one new..I got on ebay and found 2 old ones.When I wanted a hatchet I went to an antique store and got an old Bluegrass,does what I need it to.
Ilike Marbles Knives and Axes.
Marbles Knives - CrystalFallsTradingCo.com
A little more than halfway down, are the Marbles Safety Axes - I have the smaller No.5. Fits my pack and MC sidebags easily, good for basic camp chores. NOT for major tree chopping, but a very handy little light weight hatchet. The fold-away safety bar makes it pack friendly too without needing a separate sheath.
I still have the thin light-weight "boy's hatchet" my Grandfather gave me when I was eight years old. I made a camo sheath for it, with Alice Clips. No idea who made it, and it was a cheapo - but a good one! Been hunting, fishing and camping all over with it, and it's still going strong!
Fiskars makes good tools, but my favorite hatchets and camper axes are Estwing, and I like their hammers pretty well too.
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Looks like a $200 impracticality to me.
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