Carving vs kindling hatchet???

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by jackpine, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. jackpine

    jackpine Fire? I don't see any fire!? Supporter Bushclass I

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    What’s the difference between them?

    I’d like a carving hatchet for larger projects but is it merely a name or is there a difference?

    My research to this point has come up empty on the subject
     
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I *think* it is the difference in the shape of the bit/cutting edge.
    A carving hatchet has a thin profile, while a kindling hatchet would be thicker.
    I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in @jackpine .
     
  3. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Supporter Bushclass I

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    In my experience it's profile, shape and size of the bit. My carving hatchet has more edge length than what I would consider a typical hatchet. It typically offers the ability to "choke up" on the handle very close to the head for finer control.
     
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  4. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Supporter Supporter

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    I just use a Craftsman Scout hatchet to rough out wood for carving. I keep it shaving sharp. Maybe my Plumb carpenter hatchet would work better since it has Thinner blade.
     
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  5. JD Miller

    JD Miller Guide

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    pics ?:51:
     
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  6. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    It is one of those questions that benefits most from in-person experience I think.

    I used to use my Gransfors SFA for roughing out spoons, then. GB Mini, then a Wolf Creek Forge carving axe, then I tried a Nic Westermann carving axe and Re-profiled the WCF.

    There was a huge difference each step of the way in effectiveness, fatigue, and accuracy. A good carving axe is a real joy to use. If you are ever at a meet and can try one it will answer your question.

    There is certainly something to be said for and against specialty tools, and a carving axe is certainly that.

    Give one a try if you have the opportunity.

    4D4DB707-3F13-460F-812F-512AB3287868.jpeg
     
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  7. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A shorter handle, and a head heavy balance can make nearly any hatchet with a good edge profile perform very well at carving. Longer upswept bits can also make roughing fun and relatively easy. The heads can also come in many different shapes, although the WCF carving axe above is a very popular design.

    They can be v edged, or chisel ground, or convexed.

    A kindling hatchet may make a poor Carver, but a we'll set up carving axe would make a killer kindling hatchet.
     
  8. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Not trying to derail here but I know any hatchet can be used for carving, more or less, but is it a no no to use a carving axe for things like splitting small wood, clearing trails, etc? Kind of like using a filet knife to baton Kindling?
     
  9. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Who's gonna prosecute? This is just a collective of opinions. There's no jury. Lol

    What you'll see is the more you use your carving axe for regular chores, the more you'll be sharpening, honing, and stropping it.

    Here is my carving hatchet next to my beaten up Skrama. I don't use the hatchet near the ground to avoid this type of damage, bit I do use it for general camp chores.
    IMG_20190724_000530318.jpg

    I had written about this at the beginning of the year. Truly dedicated spoon carving axes can be delicate, or awkward to pack and carry. I'm more fond of more traditional hatchets due to their ease of carry and durability. A well made handle can be fitted to any hatchet making it a great hewing axe, which is mostly the "carving" people are referring too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  10. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    What is a kindling hatchet? Any old hatchet someone leans up against the wood box to split kindling? A more modern splitting hatchet that is a one trick pony?

    The vintage American made hatchets such as scout, hunter, house, camp, ect were designed to perform a variety of tasks, some designs leaned heavier one direction than another. Some of the European hatchets seem to lean more towards carving with their thin rounded bits. I would encourage you to try a variety of different ones out until you have a better idea of what you are looking for if you are thinking of dropping serious bucks on a dedicated carver.
     
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  11. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    I use carpenter hatchets for roughing out bows and they do really well for me but I am cutting a lot of fairly straight lines. The single bevel and straight bit lends itself to cutting right to a line very accurately. My favorite one has a curved bit though, kind of a compromise and a little more versatile.
     
  12. Thorns

    Thorns Tracker

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    that's one beautiful axe Pastor Chris
     
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  13. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    thin cheeks for me, and a curved edge ...
     
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  14. Thorns

    Thorns Tracker

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    is it not correct that carving hatchets traditionally had more bevel on one face than the other? Seem to remember GB carvers do.
     
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  15. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    My friend Stim Wilcox is a well known bowyer. He advocates an edge geometry like you're referring to for roughing out staves.
     
  16. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    I don’t have a definitive answer to your question... the definition or specs question.

    But I will point out something. If you Google “best carving hatchet”, the number one choice on the first link that comes up is the Helko Rheinland... which is also an *outstanding* kindling/splitting hatchet. (And a great chopper.)

    I do not (yet?) have a dedicated carving hatchet, but I have owned quite a few high-end hatchets and small axes, and have tried pure splitters like the Fiskars and Gerber. I really don’t think the categories are or should be mutually exclusive.

    If you want a dedicated carving hatchet, you would look for a pronounced beard and (maybe) a single bevel. There are some lovely (and expensive) hand-forged carving axes coming out of the Scandinavian countries. Also, Robin Wood in the UK is one of the most respected greenwood carvers in the world, and he has designed and had produced a really good carving axe at a reasonable price.

    Wood describes his axe this way: “A razor sharp axe that will do anything from felling small trees to splitting firewood, where it really excels is as a carving axe.”

    But look... it’s the Rheinland pattern! It’s a slightly lighter version of the Helko Rheinland.

    I *really* like the GB Outdoor Axe as a light and capable axe to carry when hiking, but if you want a hatchet that excels at both carving and wood processing, I really urge you to take a close look at something in the Rheinland pattern... like the Wood or Helko.

    Here's mine, with some aftermarket and custom leather.

    FAA22A15-2F92-47E3-ACC2-D1A711729D18.jpeg
     
  17. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    P4010912.JPG

    Here's three: A Granfors , a Hans Karlson, a Keresuando. The first two are definitely carvers the HK is right hand beveled so the side you don't see has a different bevel. The GB is also asymmetrical. I did carve with the Keresuando but found the heft of the small hatchet too light for efficient wood removal and rough shaping work--it was great for finer detail work but I can do that with the HK as well. The GB is my heavy hitter--wood removal--bowls--bigger stuff. The HK is for lighter wood removal--shaping--finer control. Of course all three can cut kindling do some other chores. I'd rather use my Plumb hatchet for other chores and if I really have to get into the dirt after roots or something I have a no name hatchet that I found on the road one day that can surely take a beating.

    100_1259.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  18. garry3

    garry3 Scout

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    Thanks for sharing that nice group with us.
    Curious about the bevels on the HK. Different bevel angles and not just sharpened more on one side? Did it come asymmetrical or did you grind to suit your needs?
     
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  19. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    P6251740.JPG P6251738.JPG P6251737.JPG A lot of the specifically made carving hatchets can be purchased with a symmetric or asymmetrical bevel. One chooses based on which hand is the major hand using the tool. My HK is right bevel. People will also grind to suit their needs. I have an old carpenters/roofing hatchet that had different grinds on each side. Most likely done by my grandfather. The edge needs some work but I've maintained the asymmetric bevel with a file. The hatchet is now part of my wood working kit rather than a general use tool.

    Perhaps in the photos you can see the differences with the polished edge on the sides.
     
  20. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Scout

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    Here is a GB Wildlife hatchet and a Hans Karlsson carving axe.

    The Karlsson has a much more comfortable handle and much better balance.

    GB is almost a flat grind, Karlsson is a scandi edge. This Karlsson is a neutral bevel, but can be ordered with a left or right hand bevel.

    55D4F354-068F-4794-BE0D-ADB7B67CB5BF.jpeg DC868DE0-2F15-4910-ACC7-BC3887DBECD0.jpeg E2EE998A-EDE6-45C1-ABFB-7125819B5840.jpeg 57F43BED-920E-4D6E-84B9-02B20D513833.jpeg
     

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