I'm in the market for a decent low priced ax.
My father in law has a cabin where the family spends quite a bit of time. I'd like to help out with wood splitting chores. The problem is, the FIL doesn't much care about axes. I had to take it upon myself to get his sorely neglected Harbor Freight sharpened. I want something that I can:
1) use without hurting myself
2) gift to him and not be worried about the fact that it will spend its life leaning against a wood pile in the rain.
Obviously, this will not be a family heirloom. I just want it to work, be low maintenance, tolerant of neglect, and last a decent while.
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free." -Niccolo Machiavelli
|Not really from Vienna|
Estwing with the rubber grip
Though if you want to split wood, you want a maul and a couple of wedges. Or a hydraulic splitter.
I learned about the existence of splitting axes on Sig Forum. Had never heard of such a thing.
Fiskars X27 splitting axe. Have seen them at Home Depot too.
This axe splits wood like a splitting maul but is easier to swing, but will also cut kindling (unlike a maul) off your split wood. You can leave it in the rain and not worry as the handle isn't wood and won't swell. The metal is soft, but that makes it easy to sharpen, so a trade off. They come in differing lengths. I have a 28 inch version. Good stuff. For big rounds, you'll still need wedges, but diamond wedges (AKA bombs) work better. Recently split some difficult Spruce that started out 19 feet around. Was a lot of work, the bombs helped a lot.
I've used the splitter from Fiskars, and I just picked up a 28" chopper for myself to help clear some brush around the yard. I really like the Fiskars axes.
I'm over 6ft and the 28" feels about as short as I'd go for a utility axe. I can swing it through a 1-2" branch in one go. The 36" should work well to generate some power for splitting.
I paid $27 for it in July, it's currently $42
If you don't currently use Camelcamelcamel and you order from Amazon I'd suggest getting it. It's a price tracking add-on for Chrome (maybe other browsers, too?) that will let you set a price watch and see how the price of an item has changed on Amazon. Other than need-it-right-now items I don't order anything that isn't near a historically low price. Set a watch, keep an eye on it, pull the trigger when the price drops.
Edit: Fiskars does a maul, too
$47.78 is the historic low on that one, it was $65 a few months ago
For splitting duties: http://m.northerntool.com/prod..._200621546?adv=false
I split a few cord of seasoned red oak (exploded when struck) and deadfall birch (split nicely with one swing) with one of these over Labor Day weekend. Low maintenance, stupid simple, and you won't care much if it gets some "patina" due to neglect. I was told to be aware that a shorter-handled version exists, but the one I borrowed was the 34" model.
|Fool for the City|
Another vote for the Fiskars.
"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." George Washington.
i have an eastwing and I absolutely hate it. worst tool I have ever purchase new i believe. The thing is basically a $50 paperweight. I would pick up one at a garage sale. even a double headed axe. Chances are it will be better steel than anything you can buy new on the cheap. I would even buy just the head and then purchase a new hickory handle for it.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
|Little ray |
The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
I've been splitting wood for 30yrs , Fiskers is the answer!
Guns-I have some
from the abyss
Late to the party here, but another vote for a Fiskars.
I dropped a tree on my maul a few years back and broke the handle on it, which gave me a reason to try out their splitting axe.
I bought the 36" X27 and still have not replaced the handle on my maul. This thing outsplits any maul I've ever used, and it easily makes kindling as well.
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
Split enough wood with a regular axe, and realize a little technique goes a very long way. Always aim off center, and slightly twist upon impact.
Always practice safety.
|...and now here's Al|
with the Weather.
I had a business as a 13-15 year old. I had a maul and a lawn mower and could travel to you.
I split a lot of wood. At the end of this a guy wanted me to split an incredible amount of wood and had a hydraulic splitter, all I had to do was run it. Never did so much work so easily and so quickly.
But then of course I might be a 13 year old girl who reads alot of gun magazines, so feel free to disregard anything I post.
|Throwin sparks |
|Age Quod Agis|
If you want something "classic" by which I mean, kind of rusty and old, you should try eBay. There are a number of very nice axe heads for sale there and all you would have to do is replace the haft.
I discovered this doing some research on an old Grove Tool Works hatchet that I have. Mine was liberated from the U.S. Navy sometime in the 1930s. Holds a great edge, nicely balanced, good steel. Slightly beat up on eBay for $29.99.
Lots of nice axes for sale there as well.
If you want new, on budget, get the Fiskars.
"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012
"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."
Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
This. I have several Fiskars axes, Excellent designs and value. They make short hand splitters and others big enough to split anything a maul would split. Super durable and stay sharp a long time.
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