Crack in the brand new ax handle - is that a problem?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Vovan, May 14, 2018.

  1. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Got a brand new ax and it came with a crack in the handle where it was fitted in the eye. There is no crack on the other side of the head so I wonder how common this is and whether I should ask the maker to fix this.
    The ax is from a well-known and highly regarded ax maker - Autine.

    Autine Hunters Axe.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  2. WILL

    WILL Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    5,872
    Location:
    Florida
    Never bought one new like that, but I can't seem to re-handle an ax without it cracking exactly like that. I'll usually smoosh some wood glue into the crack and it's never been a problem. That makes it almost invisible too, especially after you start using it and it gets dirty.
     
  3. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    3,242
    Likes Received:
    17,006
    Location:
    NE Washington State
    If it bothers you for the money you paid, I would at least communicate with the maker and ask them about it. If they don't immediately offer to re-handle it, I would ask them pretty closely how much longevity to expect from this handle, and can I get a written offer of a significant discount or free shipping for the handle replacement.
     
    Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  4. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    You are right, it certainly bothers me as none of my other axes have any cracks and this is one expensive ax!
    P.S. I did read just now that apparently many metal wedge handles exhibit similar cracking but I wonder how frequent this phenomenon is...
     
  5. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,543
    Likes Received:
    9,564
    From aesthetics view (your pocketbook) I can see an issue perhaps. I bet it won't fell. It's not furniture, it's an axe. It's intended purpose is to swing at big wood and make little wood. I think I'd run with it. I'm not perfect and I don't expect more from my axe.
     
  6. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,638
    Likes Received:
    18,987
    Location:
    Michigan
    I don't use an axe nearly as much as others here, but I've hung my share and used them enough to say that something like that would bug the heck out of me. If that happened to one that I hung I'd pull it off and do it again, but then I never use metal wedges so I've never had it occur.
    Opinions are going to vary, but I'd personally be getting a refund or replacement.
     
  7. garry3

    garry3 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    1,170
    I am a little surprised that the Elm split like that. Hard to say how dry the haft was when he wedged it though. Shipping hung hafts around the world and to all climates would be an issue. I always seal the heads with bees wax anyway to keep out moisture and that is what I would do with that. It won't cause you any problems.
     
    Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  8. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,790
    Likes Received:
    19,488
    It's unsightly. But I doubt it will fail you.

    Some gorilla glue or similar, a couple long thin slivers of wood, and a little fiddling might help to clean up the looks. I'd forgo the glue and use fatwood personally.

    Better yet, use it enough chopping old crummy logs and a bunch of dirt and debris will get jammed in there!

    It's pretty common for metal wedges to cause cracks, somewhat like yours there.

    Not sure how big issue it will be for you, and I don't blame you for being bugged by it. But I'm not sure it voids any kind of guarantee.

    As already said, in the end it's an axe.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  9. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    They sent me a picture of the ax before it was shipped but the view was from the side so that crack was not visible. I wish they sent me a view from the top like I did or at least made me aware of this crack...
     
  10. City Bushcrafter

    City Bushcrafter Hooah!

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    8,231
    Location:
    South of "The South"
    I would return for exchange if it was me. When I buy something new I expect it to be perfect. A crack to me is lack of quality control and attention to detail. If I was the maker I would be ashamed to ship that.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  11. batmanacw

    batmanacw Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    4,245
    Likes Received:
    11,897
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    It would bug me on an expensive axes, but I have lots and lots of axes I hung myself that cracked a little. Very few that cracked that badly unless they were a very questionable salvaged handle.
     
  12. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    15,081
    Location:
    Scott County,Tennessee
    Yeah, metal wedges will crack like that. Never had one crack that badly though.
    Something tells me that may work loose.
    No opinion on returning it, though.
     
  13. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    3,881
    That's a premium priced axe and I'm surprised at the cost!

    For that much $$$, if you don't like the crack, send it back for one that doesn't have a crack!
     
    City Bushcrafter and Kreger like this.
  14. Fights With Tools

    Fights With Tools Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    444
    There is no reason to assume that the crack existed prior to shipping - assuming otherwise is just looking for problems where none exist. Wood is a dynamic material; it flexes, expands, and contracts. Rather than sending back the entire axe for a fault in the handle (a replaceable part), ask the manufacturer/retailer to send you a replacement handle. Use the axe as is until the handle fails and then replace.
     
    NattyBo likes this.
  15. SC T100

    SC T100 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    Lowcountry, SC
    Throw a little BLO in there and go use it. If it comes loose it's an issue and contact the vendor. If not, run it! Handles are a consumable item...they break and get chipped and cracked. Chances are after a few uses there will be more damage to the handle from splitting and shopping and dings and whatnot to even notice or worry about the split. It's a common occurrence for metal cross wedges.
     
    highlander and WILL like this.
  16. JD Miller

    JD Miller Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    861
    Likes Received:
    2,300
    Location:
    the West
    That is why I dont install those metal wedges. Wood
     
  17. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,204
    Likes Received:
    8,493
    Location:
    southern california
    Actually It tells me the wood is very hard /dry.
    That's actually good since some wood is so soft that wedge has little effect in expanding .
    Make sure the ends of the handle are sealed well and it should be fine.
    I've seen it a lot and it doesn't migrate down the handle .
    I've seen it/done it enough that I'd get more concerned of there were no crack there.
     
    americanstrat98, highlander and WILL like this.
  18. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    544
    I purchased a new GB small forest axe and it had a crack like that when new.

    GB looked at a picture and advised me it was fine, and they guaranteed it would not come loose.

    If it makes you sad, send back. I suggest using it to satisfy yourself a crack is no big deal.

    I just rehandled a 3.5 pound axe and it split similar to above (not as wode a crack since no metal cross wedge) and I doubt it will ever come off. I should have skipped that last blow to seat the wedge.
     
    WILL likes this.
  19. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Thanks everyone for their responses! I really appreciate it.
    I contacted Autine by email yesterday - so far no response; in fact, they didn't respond to my last 3 emails and never sent me tracking (at least I didn't get any) and the package just showed up at my door. We'll see what they say when and if they respond...
    This crack indeed could have originated during the shipping - who knows...
    Ideally, I would love to have this ax perfect since it cost a LOT of money.
     
    WILL likes this.
  20. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Quick question:
    some people mentioned using wood glue to fill those cracks. That seems like a good solution to me. Any disadvantages to this? Just curious...
     
    highlander likes this.
  21. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    15,081
    Location:
    Scott County,Tennessee
    No real disadvantage. If you use the Tite Bond II it’s water resistant and would keep moisture out of the cracks. I think that a good soaking in BLO would actually help swell the wood.
    Elm has a twisty gnarly grain. Well, what I’ve worked with has had.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
    americanstrat98 likes this.
  22. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    3,881
    Do you guys who are suggesting use it as is, realize that this axe costs several hundred $$$?

    If it was my money I wouldn’t accept it!
     
  23. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,638
    Likes Received:
    18,987
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is the thing that would bug me the most.
     
  24. 62flint

    62flint Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1,773
    Autine's prices make GB seem more reasonable.
     
  25. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Also, Autine uses elm for their handles which is not as hard as hickory.
    In fact, hickory (1820 on the Janka scale) is way harder than elm (769) so theoretically elm should crack less less often...
     
  26. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    3,881
    I'm not familiar with elm as a handle material. Why choose it over hickory?

    For the price of those axes I would expect them to use the absolute best materials!
     
  27. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Hickory doesn't grow in Europe. They use what's available in the region.

    P.S. I suppose they could order hickory but they prefer to source everything locally. As much as I would've loved if they used hickory instead, I was ok with their choice as well.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  28. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    3,881
    I just looked them up and it looks like they are in Latvia. Makes sense to use local materials, I fully understand that.

    I always just assumed Europe used ash and we used hickory, but after doing a search that was not entirely correct and that elm is just as good.
     
  29. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    You are correct, they are located in Latvia. They also pride themselves as being one of the highest-quality ax makers in the world. The same ax as I bought (Hunter's Polished Axe) won 1st place in Australia last year:
    http://autinetools.com/en/articles/autine-axes-on-top

    Now I just need to figure out whether they stand by their quality and what they are willing to do to fix it...

    P.S. Elm is softer than hickory and not just by a little bit.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  30. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    5,173
    Likes Received:
    16,625
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    For what it’s worth. I saw a review of an Autine axe on YouTube about a year ago. The head on that axe came lose after some use. The resolution Autine gave was to send a replacement handle. It was deemed more cost effective since the axe head itself had no defect.
     
  31. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Yeah, I saw that too. But that was Wrangler Star and he's too famous to ignore :)

    By the way, I found their QC pic they sent me. here it is. It's a very bad lighting and not the best angle so it's hard to say but i don't see the crack here:

    IMG_3417.JPG

    And here's mine from the side (close-up):

    IMG_3418.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  32. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,204
    Likes Received:
    8,493
    Location:
    southern california
    Now it makes even more sense that it would split.
    The top of the eye is larger than the bottom so any thing you'd put in there is going to split.
    With that much expansion, it's not coming out till you remove the wedges .
     
  33. Nic7364

    Nic7364 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    222
    For an axe like an Autine I would expect more. I would think they would be very keen to help you out, but maybe they're not what I think. I would think elm would be a lot more resistant to cracking. I would demand a replacement or a new handle just in case it loosens.
    Nic
     
  34. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Good news, guys!
    Just heard back from Autine team.
    They offered another ax if I'd like. I said "Yes, please".
    I'm really glad they stand by their products!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    Ryan Alexander and WILL like this.
  35. Nic7364

    Nic7364 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    222
    Thats good to hear!
    Nic
     
  36. Ryan Alexander

    Ryan Alexander Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    1,040
    Location:
    New York
    I would be a bit worried with the eye cracked like that. Its not a guarantee it will break but the possibility is there and for the money paid i'd be very upset if it was me. Good to know they stand by their products!

    I think my biggest concern with it is the crack traveling down the handle during heavy use.. that wouldn't be good.
     
  37. Vovan

    Vovan Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Yeah, I agree.
    I'm glad they are willing to fix this problem as for this much money I want absolute best and a crack in the handle is not it...
     

Share This Page