Gerber Axes and alternatives


PDA






alaskanativeson
March 19, 2009, 03:25 AM
Does anybody have experience with the Gerber/Fiskars axes in very cold weather? I'm worried about the durability of the handles in a place that gets to be -50 in the winter. Are there other axes available with composite handles? I know the Estwings are certainly very strong, but I'd like to keep things as light as possible for packing a sled to run trap lines up here.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gerber Axes and alternatives" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
geologist
March 19, 2009, 03:33 AM
I have a plastic handled Fiskar hatchet. I keep it in my trucks for general purpose use.

When I go into the real bush as a geologist, I carry a 24" hickory handled 1 3/4 lb Iltis Ox-head ax in a leather sheath.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i155/pbgeologist/S5000001-2.jpg

WardenWolf
March 19, 2009, 04:02 AM
I took a look at the Gerber axes in Cabelas. I was rather disgusted with their handles. Hollow plastic handles that aren't even covered on the end. Can get dirt, moisture, and other things in them with no way to clean it out. It also would transmit vibrations right through your hands and tear them up. I generally avoid Gerber products. They tend to copy other brands and, while sometimes being quality in their own right, are generally inferior to the original(s) in some significant way.

alaskanativeson
March 19, 2009, 06:21 AM
How about this for an alternative? Does anyone here know of someone who can custom make me an axe? A fairly standard shaped axe head with a slender steel shaft of around 20" all the way down to the handle? The shaft and handle would be covered in Micarta (I could do this part myself, if needed.)

red_metallic
March 19, 2009, 10:26 AM
I prefer war hammers for close-in work myself.

http://www.kingego.com/shop/images/643.jpg

jimmyraythomason
March 19, 2009, 11:00 AM
Hmmm...must have been around the grandbabies too long (not possible)when I see Gerber in the tag line and wonder what baby food has to do with axes...

highorder
March 19, 2009, 11:20 AM
I took a look at the Gerber axes in Cabelas. I was rather disgusted with their handles. Hollow plastic handles that aren't even covered on the end. Can get dirt, moisture, and other things in them with no way to clean it out. It also would transmit vibrations right through your hands and tear them up. I generally avoid Gerber products. They tend to copy other brands and, while sometimes being quality in their own right, are generally inferior to the original(s) in some significant way.


OK, so you made a judgment based on a short fondle?...:scrutiny:

The Gerber axe handle is made of PolyamideT. (Nylon) It is very tough, and dampens vibration very well.
If you do get any dirt or moisture in your handle, you can blast it out with air or water. This is a non-issue.

Your anti-Gerber bias doesn't really help the OP.



I have owned and used the same Gerber Camp Axe for 10 years.

It's seen deep Michigan winters, backcountry trips in the Adirondacks, the Berkshires, the deep forests of Kentucky, and splitting kindling in the backyard.

Its been dropped, thrown, flexed, hammered with, and used as a wedge.

Its solid, and easy to sharpen. I value mine so much, I'm amazed when people dismiss it so quickly.

mcwjr13
March 19, 2009, 03:59 PM
I have the gerber machete with the long handle and curved blade. I use mine for everything from clearing brush and building blinds to splitting and cutting small firewood. I use i year round and the coldest wether it has seen was below freezing in Louisiana. It is very rugged and has done everything I have asked it to.

lightbulb0413
March 19, 2009, 04:09 PM
I have a Gerber Hatchet with the knife in the handle, never had a problem with it. I also EDC a Gerber knife. Never had a problem with it either.

I don't know how Gerber has gotten such a negative persona.

UA8
March 20, 2009, 12:31 AM
I took a look at the Gerber axes in Cabelas. I was rather disgusted with their handles. Hollow plastic handles that aren't even covered on the end. Can get dirt, moisture, and other things in them with no way to clean it out. It also would transmit vibrations right through your hands and tear them up. I generally avoid Gerber products. They tend to copy other brands and, while sometimes being quality in their own right, are generally inferior to the original(s) in some significant way.

If you think this is a weak piece of equipment. ( and you would be wrong) Take a look at knifetests.com

Lone Star
March 22, 2009, 07:28 PM
Keep in mind that Gerber hatchets and axes are really the Fiskars brand, and are made in Finland. Yes, they've seen some cold weather...

I bought mine partly because I was concerned that a head might come off of a wooden-handled axe.

It's done well by me in limited use, some in minus-freezing weather.

Lone Star

messerist
March 22, 2009, 09:42 PM
I've used my Gerber hatchet(the one with the knife in the handle) here in Minnesota at @-10. Maybe not as cold as some parts of Alaska get but pretty darn cold just the same. It worked just fine splitting kindling for our Scout's fire

danweasel
March 22, 2009, 11:15 PM
I live in Fairbanks and have used mine all winter. It is just the little Fiskars Hatchet. I use it to cut kindling. No worries about the cold.

jbkebert
March 23, 2009, 12:17 AM
I have three of these little jewels. The oldest being the 17 1/2" handle model the i bought in Topeka I would say 13-14 years ago when Rusty's outdoor sports was still open in Kansas. I still have it and I still use it all the time. The handles do collect mud and crap at times but there is very little shock when using them. Between the three I would venture to guess they have topped out 80-100 trees over the last few years. We cut around 6-7 chords of wood each year for home. I will not tear up a saw chain trimming branches after a tree is felled. A couple wacks and branches 2" dia or so are cut and out of your way.

CWL
March 23, 2009, 02:22 PM
Fiskars is a Finnish company. They are quite familiar with extreme cold and making reliable tools for harsh conditions. Plastics first started being used because they are much less sensitive to extreme cold or heat.

I have seen complaints about the plastic handles cracking before and while I believe that it can happen, I also believe that nothing is 100% perfect. I also believe that wood-shafted tools probably break and wear-out at a higher rate than the Fiskars plastic, but you just don't hear about it because people expect these things to happen with wood.

Fiskars does have a lifetime warranty and they will replace any broken tools.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gerber Axes and alternatives" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!