Broken Wetterlings Axe

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Lars, Oct 19, 2012.

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  1. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    Over the past few years, I have used a friend's Wetterlings Large Hunting Axe and always wanted one for myself. I think it is the perfect size. Anyways, a few weeks back I got my own Wetterlings Axe and only tried it really quick on some green wood on our property. Everything was ok. Today, I actually used the axe in the forest for the first time. I wanted to take a branch off a dead tree and made 3 or 4 swings. I looked at my new Wetterlings axe and saw that a chunk was missing. :15: How is that even possible. I used the my friend's axe frequently and it still looks like new.

    Here is the branch location (finished it with my folding saw)...

    [​IMG]

    Wetterlings Axe. The photo is a little unsharp. Had trouble focusing through my tears...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And another one...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  2. BighornBob

    BighornBob Scout

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    Looks like a flaw in the forging to me, I am guessing there should be no trouble with a warranty return...
     
  3. vagabound

    vagabound Tracker

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    im sure they will replace that.
     
  4. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    sometimes they break ...if they get used ,sometimes the handle gets lose -on all axes , they impact tools
     
  5. Looker

    Looker Guide

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    Yeah, I'd use the warranty. Sometimes a bad one slips through. There are plenty of us who love and use our Wetts, you obviously just got a bad one. Better luck with the replacement, I'm sure it will be much better.

    Looker
     
  6. Adam B

    Adam B Guide

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    Any others that have forged metal think that area of the head just behind the bit looks like it was overheated?

    Can you take a closer pic of the steel from the bottom of the axe so we can see the steel where it broke?
     
  7. ineffableone

    ineffableone Guide

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    The only way you would break a chunk of an axe off like that if it were not a flaw in the forging is if you hit some other metal or a rock. However the likelihood of such a big piece breaking off even hitting another hard object is so minimal with a correctly forged axe that I would say it is practically impossible.

    Contact Wetterlings, or the shop you bought it from, they will replace it, and likely offer serious apology for the failure. That is not something normal, and so don't let it sour your impression of Wetterlings. As you said your friends Wetterlings has worked fine for years and still looks great. You just were unfortunate to get a lemon. It happens but they will fix the problem and make good.
     
  8. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    Yes I thought the same thing!


    Larry
     
  9. MarcoMontana

    MarcoMontana Scout

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    The axe damage is awful, the picture you took it in was amazing... I will give you my axes to smash on a rock if i can run around that area and feel the freedom!
     
  10. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    Like this? ...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Turtlewolf

    Turtlewolf Guest

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    Actualy an axe that has been hardened to much will pop as well, but that is pretty uncommon. From the looks of this it is certainly a forging flaw.
    There have even been (very few mind you) reports of GB axes cracking under normal use but the Swedes are about as close as we will ever get to a true production "hand forged" axe so the few failures are pretty tolerable, yes?
    BTW, hello Ineffableone!
    EDIT:actualy this is one of the reasons I try to inspect all axes before purchase and suggest others do the same. Please keep us posted as to how well the warranty is.
     
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    I don't think you would have been able to spot the flaw before it was busted. Just a guess, but that sort of thing tends to be invisible prior to incident.
     
  13. Turtlewolf

    Turtlewolf Guest

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    Sometimes you can spot a crack or other flaw, you see the discolored area in the last picture? There is a good chance that there were multiple crack like flaws that were present at the time of forging. A simple MPI test at the factory probably would have prevented this item from making it into the market.
     
  14. rlh2

    rlh2 Guide Bushclass I

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    Warranty. Sorry about that bro.
     
  15. Adam B

    Adam B Guide

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    I don't know...that grain looks bigger to me away from the edge but that may not mean anything. I wonder if the worse problem is the presence of all those little cracks on the left. I've gotten things like that from hitting steel cold.

    Hard to tell what happened for sure, but an axe shouldn't shatter like that.
     
  16. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    Nordic axes are known for being hard and thin and squared corners are more sensitive to strain than rounded ones. Combing that with the fact that it wasn't just pine that was being chopped, but the limb of a downed and long-dead pine means it's likely there was a lot of hardened pitch in the limb, causing it to be much harder than regular pine. Combine that with the possibility of prior strain to that region and you have the recipe for what happened here. There may very well have been some form of flaw, but I don't think that one was necessary to cause the event that transpired. Just some fuel for thought. Again, there could have been some sort of flaw, but it's worth tossing that other possibility out there.
     
  17. KajunKat

    KajunKat Guide

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    The darker area on the fracture surface is a pre existing flaw. Most likely a hydrogen flake from the quenching or a hot lap from the forging. The dark color is from a high temperature oxide indicating it occurred at high temperatures. The rest of the fracture surface (the light gray area) indicates a fairly ductile fracture for such hardened steel. So, you got a good piece of steel with a manufacturing flaw in it. Get it replaced by warranty and you should be good to go. Great pictures by the way.
     
  18. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    Thank you all for the feedback. I contacted them and I will let you know what they say.

    There are some more photos I took today. I will work on a little trip report and post it tonight or sometime tomorrow.
     
  19. bushcrafbasics

    bushcrafbasics Tracker

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    beautiful country you are in my friend...sorry about your axe, any reputable company that stands behind their product will replace that, it just sucks to be without for a while...
     
  20. rolandsilvajr

    rolandsilvajr Banned Member Banned

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    forget tears I'd be pissed.... unfortunately this is the second time I have seen this on the same model in the past two months makes me glad I went for the gb similar model though I have to say I traded off a wildlife hatchet and that seemed to be better quality than the gb small forest axe I got, the handle material and forging everything seemed not quite as good, what the heck and they starting to produce stuff like the us maufacturers really sorry but I think somethings up with wetterlings..... profit is not made by producing more profits are made by reputation...... they are great on their warranty though may want to try the other company.....
     
  21. Sandcut

    Sandcut Bushmaster Vendor

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    You should've bought the Snow and Neally Hudson's Bay axe! (Just thought I'd stir the pot a bit. :) )


    From looking at your photo here, it appears that the darker areas along the fracture cleavage plain are oxidized (aka rusted). To my knowledge, the only way that you could get rust (iron oxide) to form on the INSIDE of the blade would be if there were a stress fracture at that point from when it was manufactured. I'd presume that, during the forging process, the smith let the metal get too cold and the metal lost some of its maleability and formed a small fracture line instead of bending.

    Like others have said, give the company a call and send them this photo by email. I'm sure that they'll make it right. Just be sure to give us a report on how their customer service was.

    And the poor focus through the tears comment had me laugh so hard that I scared my dog!


     
  22. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    From an axe to grind publication.
    The whole face of that axe looks pretty rough to me for a newish axe.

    broken axe.jpg
     
  23. KuRUpTD

    KuRUpTD Guide

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    Contact Wetterlings ... I'm pretty sure they will replace it.
     
  24. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    To be fair, you pretty much hit that dried conifer at the base of a branch which is where the hardest knots form and are well known to nick axe blades. It is practically as hard as glass/ceramic. They are know to be very super hard and dense - excellent, long lasting wood burning properties, but I smack them with the BACK of the axe because they are brittle. I believe you can even find reference to this in Kephart and Nessmuck. General use axes have to have blade profiles which strike a balance between hard, all around, abusive use for hardwoods et al but are also expected to be able to limb green stuff smartly, with one fluck of the head or else "they're no good".

    Even with that said, you may have had a defective or non-optimal tempering and i hope you can get a replacement gratis. I suggest to us, as a group, however that there are no magic blades and that which should be "tempered properly" is our expectations and scope of use - "...tool for the job".

    As an aside, I have always thought that this property of knots could be used advantageously to form very sharp (though maybe brittle) arrow or spear heads via an abrasive process - rub 'em against a rock.
     
  25. Sylvan

    Sylvan Scout

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    Here is an excerpt from the US Forest Service Specs on a boys axe. For perspective on hardwood knots.

    4.5.2.6 Practical cutting test. The practical cutting test to determine compliance with 3.2.6 shall consist of
    striking hardwood knots of any size a minimum of 10 heavy blows with each cutting edge. After striking a
    minimum of 10 heavy blows, there shall be no evidence of chipping, dulling, or turning over of cutting edges,
    loosening of the handles or wedges, or any other damages to the tool heads or handles.
     
  26. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    So far, neither Wetterlings nor the store I bought this axe from have replied to my emails. Maybe there will be some kind of reply on Tuesday.
     
  27. Mr.Black

    Mr.Black WILDEROXEN Tracker Pack #1 Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I got a Great Axe, its had three Heads and 8 Handles

    Thats The thinking that got the old timers past these catastropic woopsies ...Get to work the wood needs cuttin lol
    M/BK
     
  28. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Banned Member Banned

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    just keep on em and they'll replace it for you....ive been forging blades for nearly three decades and i can spot a pre existing hairline crack when i see one.
    when i look at those photos, its very obvious to me the axe head you recieved was defective from the get go...period!...woods
     
  29. Lisa West

    Lisa West Guide Vendor

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    Flawed before the heat treat probably, maybe a stress fracture then the quench finished it..That crack was there before it broke..Its already oxidized..That grain looks pretty large too.. Id almost swear it was overheated if i didnt know better..
    It was clearly flawed before it left the factory..They should replace it..Ive heard good things from their customer service..Hope you do too..
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  30. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    That's too bad on the axe. Bad luck I guess to get the bad one. I have the same axe and it has been fantastic for me.

    I can't imagine them giving you a hard time about replacing this one. If they do though I'd reference this thread with a link and I bet you have your new axe shortly :)

    Thanks for the update.
     
  31. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    Is there a better contact email than info@wetterlings.se for warranty issues? I sent them an email on Friday, another one on Monday, and another one just now on Tuesday because I have yet to get any kind of reply (I did check my spam folder as well). This is starting to get very frustrating. :(
     
  32. DCP

    DCP Guide Bushclass I

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    Friend them on Facebook and post the picture on their Facebook page, bet you get an answer pretty fast.
     
  33. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    That might be an idea. I also did send them a private message on facebook yesterday and the failed to respond to that as well. :(
     
  34. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    just look into those eyes and tell her you broke yer ax

    [​IMG] i know someone who knows her ...personally , shes the CEO of wetterlings ...;)
     
  35. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Where did you buy it? I'm surprised you haven't heard from them. Most of the time a good place will take it back for you and send you another one and they'll get the replacement from Wetterlings.
     
  36. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    KnifeCountryUSA. They just did reply to my second email. I guess they also sent an email to Wetterlings and were (still are!) waiting for a reply from Wetterlings before replying back to me. Looks like the store will replace my axe BUT I have to pay shipping both ways which as far as I know is uncommon for a broken product.
     
  37. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    just send it back for a full refund...
     
  38. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    so you don't like blue eyed brunettes?? lol
     
  39. Yatyas42

    Yatyas42 Tracker

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    I don't know much about axes, but man! What a view in that first picture!! That's quite a place to call your back yard!
     
  40. ineffableone

    ineffableone Guide

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    This coming from someone who over on my Wetterlings Forester's Fine axe review on ZS forum kept insisting that Wetterlings used drop forging and that Julia's response to my question about a gap in the head was a description of drop forging. The comment made by Julia was definitely not a description of drop forging, just a description of punching the eye for the handle. This debate can be found over on ZS on my Wetterlings Forester's Fine Axe review there. Though the responce from Julia was posted here, on BCUSA on my review I posted here. Below is Julia's comment quoted for folks.

    So from my POV, Julia knows a lot more about axe construction than someone who does not know the difference in forging techniques.

    But then Turtlewolf and I have debated this a bunch on ZS and he refuses to recant his position, thinking he knows more about how Wetterlings axes are forged than the CEO of the company.
     
  41. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    I think you'll find it's common in most industries to refer to the process of manufacturing an item using human-operated equipment as "hand-made." They may be using a series of dies for most of the forging process but there's still a lot of human operator skill involved. Compare that to the automated drop-forging process used by a company like Estwing and you'll see a clear difference even though both use forging dies. Just my perspective on it, though, so feel free to disagree. For a truly hand-forged axe you'd have to go with a custom or small-scale maker like John Neeman.
     
  42. cellis

    cellis Post less. Do more. Supporter Bushclass II

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    Keep it on Zombie Squad guys. There's a reason many of us here don't read there. All I can say on the actual message is that is consistent with the way Swedish speak English from my experience in communicating worldwide for about 10 years and yes this person does know their stuff.

    At the OP keep pushing do not accept them telling you to pay shipping both ways. Find the retailer's stated policy (you won't get anything from the manufacturer yourself you need to be hounding the retailer.) If that is stated well then you are screwed and shouldn't have bought from them in the first place. But if it is not stated you can tell them that is not acceptable for a product under warranty. Where your leverage will then be is in how you paid and how long ago it was. If it was credit card call and push if it was paypal, 60 days to start a dispute (be careful what evidence you present and when you escalate it.) If it was cash in any form, well I'll just make it all short, just keep pushing and do your best.

    I am on the other side of these things as an online retailer, and if I saw that I would have sent a new axe out to the customer and taken the loss hoping he actually sent it back to me. Good luck!
     
  43. cellis

    cellis Post less. Do more. Supporter Bushclass II

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    Also btw I didn't bother looking it up for knifecountryusa where you bought it, but most smaller online companies go through multiple channels to get there stuff. It takes moolah and on deposit too to buy direct from larger manufacturers. So don't let that excuse of them waiting on an email from Wetterlings go. It will probably never come just like one to a end user customer. As a smaller retailer it is on them to go through their smaller wholesaler, larger wholesaler, giant wholesaler, manufacturer channels, etc. Not you. Go through your payment provider and do it asap if the guys at the site you bought aren't satisfactory.
     
  44. cellis

    cellis Post less. Do more. Supporter Bushclass II

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    I was ready to jump down your throat man after a hard day's work lol. But great post. Why don't you start a thread on modern axe forging techniques in the Edged Tools forum, you might find a better reception here with your thoughts. Keep it cool and calm sounds like you have thought a lot about it. And yeah WAY off topic for this thread.
     
  45. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Well I was curious so I read knifecountryusa's return policy and it's pretty crappy. They cover their butt first, not yours. Looks like you could return it for a full refund since you're not satisfied with the product(obviously).

    I'll PM you a good place to buy from...plus it's much cheaper...
     
  46. Rook

    Rook Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor

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    If you can't discuss or debate without name calling find another venue to throw sand at each other.

    Last warning
     
  47. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    I was referring specifically to the forging process--not assembly. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  48. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    Lars- don't get complicated, its just a piece of steel that was cracked and broke , send it back for a full refund , is the cheapest best way , then buy something else , i had steel :chip , roll, crack , snap ,bend ,rust ... don't let it affect your WA , its just an object , again send it back for a refund and buy another object
     
  49. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    I wish I could just return it. The store says "Manufacture defects fall under their warranty policy." but Wetterlings does not reply to me.
     
  50. ineffableone

    ineffableone Guide

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    I am sure Wetterlings will get back to you. They are a small company, and probably have to go through quite a few emails. Be patient and they will respond to you.
     
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