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ESEE Gibson Axe and Avispa folder

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January 05, 2020, 04:15 PM
DrDan
ESEE Gibson Axe and Avispa folder
I received a couple of Christmas gifts I would like to share with the members here. The first is the recently released ESEE Gibson axe. It is named after, and designed by, Master Bladesmith James Gibson. I was fortunate enough to take a bushcrafting class from him while he was in the process of developing this axe, and have been waiting for its commercial release ever since. IT is a smal axe, and the market info calls it a "camp axe," but Gibson really thinks of it as a carving axe. That being said, it does have enough heft to do most hatchet-type chores one would need to do in a small camp - think of a backpacking type camp. If one wants to chop serious firewood for a blazing campfire for a dozen hunting buddies, you'll need something bigger. But, for the small campfire consisting of 3"-4" or small wood, it is just fine. I batoned it well into a rotting pine tree to extract a pitch knot to start a fire, and, as one would expect, it stood up very well. Thinking along the carving axe lines, one will notice it has a beard, so you can position your hand nicely for carving, and it mine came shaving sharp. In fact, one of the reasons to get this axe (like one actually needs a reason), is that my local Scout council does not allow fixed blade knives on their properties. Thus, I bought this to augment a folder, but to take the abuse I would dish out to a hard-use fixed blade knife. It feels really good in the hand, and very well balanced. As can be seen in the second picture below, it has the perfect rocker form - the heel rests on the log when the center of the blade is resting. The size makes it easily to carry even in a small day pack. In fact, it has a permanent home in my "go-everywhere" pack.




While I was shopping, errr, I mean, while my wife was shopping for the axe for my present, she came across the Avispa folder, designed by ESEE, but made in Taiwan and sold by BRK. She knows I am not a huge fan of large folders, but for $30, this looked like a nice frame-lock and decided to get it, as well. She did good, as I have found that I like this knife a lot more than I had expected. It is very sharp and makes a great slicer. The blade shape is similar to the ESEE fixed-blades I like, the 3 and Laser Strike. It is too big for me to EDC, but it makes a great knife for campouts. Here are pics of it closed next to the Gibson axe, to give an impression of size. The next photo is opened, showing the frame-lock and blade shape.







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January 05, 2020, 04:50 PM
soflaac
Very nice, thanks for the ESEE Gibson axe review. Just saw these were available and have been looking at them myself, mentioned it late for Christmas and the wife rolled her eyes (she already something on the way).

Thinking this would make the perfect anniversary gift soon. Maybe a his & hers even. Big Grin Big Grin

Big fan of the ESEE brand and peeps behind it.



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America, Land of the Free - because of the Brave
January 07, 2020, 06:24 PM
ArtieS
I know this is smaller than the other axe you camp with, but how do they compare?



"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
January 12, 2020, 04:34 PM
DrDan
quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:
I know this is smaller than the other axe you camp with, but how do they compare?


The tomahawk is definitely the better chopper, but it weighs more and has a 19" handle. I really think that the Gibson axe is best thought of as a carving axe, or heavy knife substitute. As a test, I split a 6" long, 4" dia seasoned oak log with it. The tomahawk would have split that pretty easily. The Gibson axe got buried, and I had to work to finish splitting the log. Had a baton been handy, my estimation is that it would have been about the same effort as batoning the Laser Strike through the same log. For me, this works out fine, since I bought it as a substitute for a fixed-blade, when a Scout event prohibits sheath knives. Though I have never seen one, I wonder if the Gibson axe might be an alternative to something like the Gransfors Outdoor axe.




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January 13, 2020, 11:54 AM
ArtieS
Thank you, my friend. I note that the Gibson has a very narrow blade as it is made from plate steel, rather than forged, with an eye for the handle. If I had thought about it, that would be sensible. I see how it would be a good heavy knife substitute.

Very nice tool. DrNatasha comes through again!



"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