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posted
Hey all-

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
And
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.

Suggestions?

Bruce



Hanlon's Razor /prov./ A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, that reads "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

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Posts: 2512 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
Picture of arfmel
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Estwing with the rubber grip

http://www.estwing.com/ao_campers_axe_long_handle.php

Though if you want to split wood, you want a maul and a couple of wedges. Or a hydraulic splitter.




 
Posts: 21252 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I learned about the existence of splitting axes on Sig Forum. Had never heard of such a thing.

https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars...h/dp/B00004SD7B?th=1
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.
 
Posts: 1069 | Registered: August 01, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Rustpot
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jimb888:
I learned about the existence of splitting axes on Sig Forum. Had never heard of such a thing.

https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars...h/dp/B00004SD7B?th=1
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
https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod...ilpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014M9LQGG
$47.78 is the historic low on that one, it was $65 a few months ago
 
Posts: 5383 | Location: Romeo, MI | Registered: January 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lighthouse Keeper
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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.
 
Posts: 791 | Location: America's High-Five | Registered: December 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fool for the City
Picture of MRMATT
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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.
 
Posts: 4759 | Location: Pottstown, PA | Registered: April 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of old rugged cross
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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"
 
Posts: 11814 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
posted Hide Post
Fiskars.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 44592 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been splitting wood for 30yrs , Fiskers is the answer!


Guns-I have some
 
Posts: 195 | Location: missouri | Registered: December 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
Picture of Gustofer
posted Hide Post
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
 
Posts: 13625 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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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.
 
Posts: 270 | Location: Arlington, VA | Registered: March 11, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
...and now here's Al
with the Weather.
Picture of guardianangel762
posted Hide Post
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.
 
Posts: 8937 | Location: Lake Stevens, WA | Registered: March 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Throwin sparks
makin knives
Picture of sybo
posted Hide Post
Fiskars Wink
 
Posts: 4647 | Location: Nashville Tn | Registered: October 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
posted Hide Post
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
 
Posts: 8601 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of MBOYD
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jimb888:
I learned about the existence of splitting axes on Sig Forum. Had never heard of such a thing.

https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars...h/dp/B00004SD7B?th=1
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.


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.
 
Posts: 682 | Registered: December 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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