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Thread: Stihl axe made by Iltis Oxhead- opinions?

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    Default Stihl axe made by Iltis Oxhead- opinions?

    Hey everyone, my local Stihl dealer has a Stihl chopping axe which is a re-branded German Oxhead medium forest axe. I already have a Finnish Fiskars axe (great but steel is too soft) and a Wetterlings Large Hunting Axe but was looking for a 28"-31" handled full sized axe that can both chop and split yet is built tough as nails.

    Pretty sure this thing will chop well but I'm not sure if that head design will split very well. Anyone with experience with the Stihl or Oxhead version of this axe? I want to take the axe on a sled with me during winter backcountry trips here in the Rockies and need something very well built. I'm also looking at the Wetterlings American Felling axe but Wetterlings prices are just getting ridiculous lately since Gransfors took them over. Can't afford a $200 Gransfors Felling axe so please don't recommend them to me! Snow & Nealley is using China built heads and from what I hear the steel is too soft these days. I'm also looking at the Council Tool axes but there is just not enough long-term info about the durability of these axes (American made but they have no warranty, strangely).

    Basically I want a good all around pack axe that can chop and split well without the steel being too soft.

    thanks!

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    Dr. Fishguts Bush Class Basic Certified kgd's Avatar
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    It really is a tough market out there. Frankly, what I've read review wise from Oxhead has not been too promising. You've already hit the main issue - its really made for felling, but that thin grind will not be good for splitting. For winter backcountry, I think you want an all-rounder axe that can both chop and split (well that is what I want anyhow). I have a newer S&N hudson bay and its not really that bad regarding softness, but I'm probably not going to buy another.

    I notice there are some old ones to be had on ebay. There is a seller called 'the_lost_chapters' who has a decent selection of Collin's, a few plumbs and others for between $50-$70. The seller does provide good close up pics of the heads and some of them look pretty decent, others look badly nicked. They all look like they need some dedicated sharpening work, but getting an old axe head from a classic company is one way to go on the cheap(er).

    Personally, I almost convinced myself into one of the above Collin's axes. Then I started thinking, by the time I pay shipping and buy and axe handle and put in a few days sharpening the head....Well, sorry...but that line of thinking shot me straight to that GB felling axe. Yeah, its expensive as hell, but what is $200 for a piece of equipment that you can will to your son after you are gone? So thats the solution I'm going with. If I felt a little more ambitious on being handy, then I'd be going after an old plumb or Kelly true temper head and working that thing back into a good old chopping machine. I might still do that as a side project one of these days, maybe with a double bit..

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    KGD- thanks for that info. So do you own the Gransfors American Felling axe? My other two possibilities are the Wetterlings American Felling axe and the Council Tool Jersey axe, which from the few comments I've heard is great at both jobs, except that it has a big 36" handle. I've also considered the Snow & Nealley "Our Best" and the Council Tool Boy's Axe. I really like my Wetterlings Large Hunting axe but it's just too light and thin to split anything of size well (though great as a general small camp axe or for non-winter outings).

    As for the old axes, yeah, it will end up costing a bit and my workshop is not yet up to par in order to do all the work myself.

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    Having Been a dedicated stihl chainsaw user in the past, when i went looking for a bushcraft axe, stihl was a brand i went after, i was very disapointed to say the least, the eye was offset as was the grind on the edge, very poor.

    Rob

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    It is astonishing to me how hard it is to find a proper axe. I have a phone that can do everything but provide womanly companionship, but I still have to work to find a decent axe.

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    I ended up ordering a US made Council Tool 32" handled Jersey Axe with a 3.5lb head for under $45. Through lots of digging on the internet I found several people who said the steel on the Council Tool axes was harder than the newer China-made Snow & Nealley axes, plus the reviews were overwhelmingly favorable. I also found out that the US Forest Service has used Council Tool products since the 1930s along with numerous municipal and wildland fire depts. My guess is that their rating of 45-55 RC means 55 at the bit and 45 at the untreated hammer end.

    I decided on the Jersey axe because it seems to be a good shape for both chopping and splitting and most of the old time axe guy's blogs that I read say how much the Jersey axe is their favorite.

    The 32" handle is an option so I have to wait up to 2 weeks for it to be built but will do a review here once I get it. I was going to buy a Wetterlings American Felling axe but most places want $105-$130 shipped for them, way too much for something without a Gransfors name on it in my humble opinion

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    I've got a couple Ox-Head and the Stihl version. Good solid performers in all. Surprised by the negative comments, but there is lemons in all aspects of products.
    Council is a sturdy axe and well built. After a little bit of stone action on the edge you'll be good to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post
    I've got a couple Ox-Head and the Stihl version. Good solid performers in all. Surprised by the negative comments, but there is lemons in all aspects of products.
    Council is a sturdy axe and well built. After a little bit of stone action on the edge you'll be good to go.
    Harpoon, do you own any of the Snow & Nealley, Wetterlings or Gransfors and if so how do the Oxhead and Council axes compare? thanks

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    Here is a review of sorts that Kevin Estela did on a OxHead small forest axe. He seemde pretty happy with it.

    http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/sh...hp?tid/815362/

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valcas1 View Post
    Here is a review of sorts that Kevin Estela did on a OxHead small forest axe. He seemde pretty happy with it.

    http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/sh...hp?tid/815362/

    Paul
    To be fair, that did visit Scott Gossman first. I think a chinese stainless steel axe might even be worthwhile after a trip to his shop, haha.

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