Best hand axe value for $50 or less


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sleepyone
April 18, 2013, 12:23 AM
Looking for something I can carry in my hunting back pack either on the outside or in the main storage compartment. Don't really want to carry it on my belt as I will have my hunting sidearm and a pocket knife on the right side and my rifle on my left shoulder left shoulder. Would like it to come with a sheath. My back pack is a Tactical 5.11 Rush 24.

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Gordon
April 18, 2013, 01:38 AM
Gerber has shorter hatchets, but this one actually cuts trees and is light!
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/573982

sleepyone
April 18, 2013, 08:56 AM
Gordon, saw this one on Midway last night before I created this thread! Looked like a good value. Thanks for the reference. I have an old Gerber lock blade knife from 25 years ago back when they were made in U.S. The nylon belt holster still has the Made in U.S.A tag. Been a great knife, but I have been buying Kershaws the past few years. Even some of my Kershaws are Chinese made though. Have you noticed a decline in quality since Gerber was outsourced to China?

Just measured out 17 1/2" on my desk. That is pretty long, but the price is right and it is lightweight. Can you think of anything shorter but still a substantial axe?

Gordon
April 18, 2013, 10:18 AM
Like I said Fiskars and Gerber (look the same) have shorter ones but IMHO that is the shortest/lightest one that really will cut wood around camp easily.

sleepyone
April 18, 2013, 10:22 AM
I have used Fiskars loppers for years and they have great warranties. I have broken a pair, and all they required for a free replacement was a picture of the broken pieces. An exact replacement was shipped free of charge that same week.

Unistat
April 18, 2013, 11:17 AM
Estwing Campers Axe (http://www.amazon.com/Estwing-E44A-16-Inch-Steel-Campers/dp/B00047F130/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1366298098&sr=8-2&keywords=estwing+axe)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Z00fgr8NL._SX450_.jpg

This the 16" model. They also have a 26" version, both under $50. Also comes with a sheath.

Shanghai McCoy
April 18, 2013, 11:46 AM
The Eastwing is a classic. Solid and pretty much "sailor proof"...
You might want to look for an older Plumb Boy Scout hatchet if you have a used tool and antique store around. I have a couple and they are great little hatchets.

saltydog452
April 18, 2013, 12:35 PM
Best to W.E.B.Griffin, Mac.

Whatever happened to McCoy?

When camping up on the Sulphur River, we used to carry an Eastwing Goegolist's Hammer in an improvised thick Copper wire hammer carrier.

Lots of fossils and such up there.

salty

DDeegs
April 18, 2013, 12:48 PM
Timberline "Kommer Bush pilot survival hatchet" 9" OAL
knifecenter has them for $40
I own one, works well for camping, chopping up wrist thick and smaller limbs.

Dan

rcmodel
April 18, 2013, 01:15 PM
Woodmans Pal
Better then a hand ax for hunters brush clearing.

http://www.woodmanspal.com/categories/woodmans-pal-military-premium-model-284

rc

messerist
April 18, 2013, 02:56 PM
RC and Unistat both made excellent suggestions. Can't go wrong with either I think.

sleepyone
April 18, 2013, 03:01 PM
So far I like the Kommer Bush pilot survival hatchet 9" best for its small footprint. Seems like a perfect hatchet for my hunting backpack. I like the Estwing 16" Camper's Ax for its value being an all-steel hatchet and I like the Gerber/Fiskars for their size yet still being lightweight. I've also been needing to get a hatchet for camping trips that can chop some larger limbs than the Kommer is probably capable of doing. The Estwing or Gerber might be the ticket. Thanks for your suggestions.

RC, I'm sure the one you recommended is fine, but my pricepoint was $50 or less.

P.B.Walsh
April 18, 2013, 03:49 PM
Estwing is made in the U.S.A., the Gerber is not, that should indicate which one to purchase.

Unistat
April 18, 2013, 07:43 PM
I actually use the Estwing Rigbuilders' Axe. It doesn't come with a sheath though, I had to make my own. It's also a little more expensive.

True story: When I pulled it out of the box when it arrived my two year-old said "Don't smash the baby!" (referring to the 7 month-old.) And so it was christened.

The shorter version is the Carpenters' Hatchet.

Carpenters' Hatchet (http://www.amazon.com/EstWing-Solid-Carpenters-Hatchet-Cutting/dp/B000KKWN82/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_5)

http://www.wylaco.com/image/cache/data/Estwing/E3-1H-500x500.jpg

heron
April 18, 2013, 08:12 PM
I've got an Estwing in my truck bag; it looks like the model in post #6. I wanted something that I couldn't break. One-piece forging -- Dennis the Menace couldn't break that thing. It's sharp, too.

Sam Cade
April 18, 2013, 08:15 PM
Estwing is made in the U.S.A., the Gerber is not, that should indicate which one to purchase.

I've got both and like the Gerber better.

I have no problem buying products from a Finnish company that employs twice as many Americans as Estwing does.

sleepyone
April 18, 2013, 10:35 PM
Just ordered the Estwing E44A 16-Inch Steel Campers Axe for $39.99 with free S/H from Amazon and the Russ Kommer Timberline Bush Pilot 9" Survival Hatchet for $44.99 with free S/H from Midway USA. It was a hard choice between the Estwing and the Gerber/Fiskars, but the Estwing will be strictly a camping hatchet whereas the Russ Kommer will be carried in my hunting pack. Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

One more question. What is a good sharpener to carry with me?

P.B.Walsh
April 18, 2013, 11:14 PM
Gerber is Finnish.... learn something new every day!

Gordon
April 18, 2013, 11:22 PM
All good choices and I have a wonderful OLD Eastwing with a leather handle in my jeep. But the combination of the very light weight with the long handle (which fits in a Harley Roadking saddle bag FWIW) which allows real two handed chopping just isn't available anywhere else .Mine will stay attached to the side of my trekking pack.

Sam Cade
April 18, 2013, 11:30 PM
Gerber is Finnish.... learn something new every day!

Fiskars bought them in the late '80s.

edit: Wiki says 1987.

rio nueces
April 19, 2013, 03:42 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Timberline-6013-Kommer-Survival-Hatchet/dp/B001E8B920
I had to see it. I think it's too short. But I'd have to handle it to be fair.

I have a Gerber, but the Estwing Camper seems better, with the one piece construction.

Brian Williams
April 19, 2013, 09:22 AM
Norlunds camp axe or hatchet.

BLB68
April 19, 2013, 06:45 PM
The OP has already made a purchase, but I'll throw another name out there: Condor Knife and Tool has some nice looking axes and hatchets that I've read positive reviews on.

bubba in ca
April 20, 2013, 02:20 PM
Eastwing is a tough old beater, but might be a little heavy for backpacking. A good hickory handle is lighter.

Ames All American and Condor are not chicom and have traditional models with hickory handles. From what I see on the net, anything under 50 bucks will need some carefull sharpening to be useable, and many over 50 bucks aren`t any better!.

Certaindeaf
April 22, 2013, 09:47 PM
I see you've made a choice already.
I've always had an Estwing. Great but a tad heavy for hiking.
A sleeper for around $45 is a 15" Husqvarna at 1.2 pounds.

http://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-Hatchet-1-2-lbs-Handle/dp/B004VLKLJE/ref=sr_1_37?ie=UTF8&qid=1366681269&sr=8-37&keywords=wetterling

witchhunter
April 22, 2013, 10:28 PM
A hickory handle might be lighter, but I still have my dad's Estwing, and I am an old man nowadays. I couldn't break it, I can't say that for his bamboo fly rod.

Deltaboy
April 24, 2013, 06:16 PM
The Eastwing is a classic. Solid and pretty much "sailor proof"...
You might want to look for an older Plumb Boy Scout hatchet if you have a used tool and antique store around. I have a couple and they are great little hatchets.


My Father got an old Plumb scout ax from the 1950s. You could SHAVE with it.

308win
April 24, 2013, 07:39 PM
I don't have first hand experience with their products but I am sure someone here does; Council Tool (http://www.counciltool.com/product.asp?pg=product&item=17HBS18)has some nice looking axes and hatchets. They also have a Hunters Ax that has a shorter handle and Dayton head configuration.

earlthegoat2
April 24, 2013, 07:49 PM
If you look around used you might find some great values.

I have found Wetterlings Hatchet and Camp Axe for just above 50 each. Got hatchet off ebay even.

krupparms
April 24, 2013, 08:29 PM
I have 3 of the Gerber / Fiskers all different sizes. They are very handy & lite. I just was given a 26" Estwing campers ax as a gift. It is a very nice tool. Sounds like you already made some good choices. Don't forget a good ax Sharper, it will come in handy. Good luck &hope you enjoy your new tools.

sleepyone
April 24, 2013, 11:16 PM
Don't forget a good ax Sharper

krupp, have any recommendations?

krupparms
April 25, 2013, 02:46 AM
I would recommend eather Lansky or Work Sharp. They have some good choices. Also a good round file & a round diamond hone. That is a good place to start. Axs & hatchets need to be sharpen different than a knife. A quick check in a camping guide or book should show the proper method. Good luck hope that helps.

shinyroks
April 25, 2013, 04:44 AM
Just ordered the Estwing E44A 16-Inch Steel Campers Axe for $39.99 with free S/H from Amazon and the Russ Kommer Timberline Bush Pilot 9" Survival Hatchet for $44.99 with free S/H from Midway USA. It was a hard choice between the Estwing and the Gerber/Fiskars, but the Estwing will be strictly a camping hatchet whereas the Russ Kommer will be carried in my hunting pack. Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

One more question. What is a good sharpener to carry with me?
For the axes a small hand file will do wonders. It is light and with a little practice can sharpen to a shave. Stones and other sharpeners take forever, as the steel in the Estwing (can't comment on the other) is much harder than any knife, and thicker to boot.

Oh yes, and i see as you have already made your selection I really like the classic looks and performance of the leather-handled Estwing. Liked it so much that I just had to buy a leather-handled hammer to match :D.

Sam Cade
April 25, 2013, 09:28 PM
Stones and other sharpeners take forever, as the steel in the Estwing (can't comment on the other) is much harder than any knife, and thicker to boot.

Estwings are 55-56 RC, IIRC. Not hard at all.

Wetterlings and GBs get as hard as 58, knives will get into the low 60s depending on steel and intended usage.




http://www.wetterlings.se/the/index.php

MMmmm.....purty axes.

CaptFlint61
April 29, 2013, 03:50 PM
Estwing has served me well over the years, carry one in my truck kit along with a collapsible saw and machete - just recently picked up what appears to be Swiss Army hand ax, cost me $15 for work in the yard; Takes a great edge and looks to be indestructible. you can never have enough 'edged' tools.

shinyroks
May 1, 2013, 01:17 PM
Estwings are 55-56 RC, IIRC. Not hard at all.

Wetterlings and GBs get as hard as 58, knives will get into the low 60s depending on steel and intended usage.




http://www.wetterlings.se/the/index.php

MMmmm.....purty axes.
Those are some purdy axes... I didn't realize axes were actually so much softer than knives. Must be the thickness that gives them that feel while sharpening.

Certaindeaf
May 1, 2013, 01:42 PM
Those are some purdy axes... I didn't realize axes were actually so much softer than knives. Must be the thickness that gives them that feel while sharpening.
I just found out that some of the good stuff (Gransfors etc) use laminated steel. woot! Quite interesting considering that a normal axe (Estwing etc.) works/cuts wonderfully.

jyo
May 7, 2013, 03:18 AM
I went with the Gerber/Fiskars 14" camp axe---smaller, lighter, mine was pretty sharp as delivered---works well...

Deltaboy
May 11, 2013, 09:48 AM
I scored a old Estwing clone for 5 bucks off ebay.

Certaindeaf
May 11, 2013, 10:07 AM
Hopefully it'll cut. I blew a hole through an old Chinese hatchet (they still sell the exact model) with a 30-06 many years ago because it would just bounce off of any wood regardless of edge angle/grind etc.

Deltaboy
May 11, 2013, 01:17 PM
Hopefully it'll cut. I blew a hole through an old Chinese hatchet (they still sell the exact model) with a 30-06 many years ago because it would just bounce off of any wood regardless of edge angle/grind etc.
It proofed stamped Made in the USA. It just like my uncle had and used till the rubber handle dry rotted , he then roped wrapped the handle and he still got it except it sports a new rubber coat blue handle.

Deltaboy
May 21, 2013, 10:22 PM
I going to get a Ewing this Summer.

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