What size pack axe is best for you?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by ljcsov, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. ljcsov

    ljcsov Scout

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    I own a couple of axes now, specifically a Fiskars x7 and a Council Tool Hudson Bay. The x7 measures in at 14" while the Hudson Bay comes in at 26". The x7 packs very nicely and surprises me with its performance by being perfectly capable of handling some large chores. The CT at 1.75lb carries nicely but the handle can be a tad cumbersome at 26". Overall, they have both been great tools for me thus far. I am also experimenting with a CS Trail hawk.

    My question is, what weight head / handle length works best for you when you are looking at a scenario where you will be packing the axe? Feel free to mention specific models!

    Small hatchets provide excellent portability but often lack in power. Larger forest axes in the 26" range still allow for packability but become a burden when carrying a large pack. Is the 19" the ultimate compromise?
     
  2. Northman242

    Northman242 Scout

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    [​IMG]

    Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe is my choice.
     
  3. SemperFiHunter

    SemperFiHunter Scout

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    Same here.
    GB SFA all the way.

    SFH
     
  4. Looker

    Looker Guide

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    I love my old Norlund, which is nearly identical to your Hudson Bay. I was very skeptical about the performance of the shorter "hunting axes" because I felt that the handle was too short. I recently traded for a Wetterlings Large Hunting Axe, which is comparable to the SFA that Northman just posted, and I can assure you that there is no lack of performance. I thank the 19-20" is the way to go.

    Looker
     
  5. bearhunter2

    bearhunter2 Guest

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    i like the GB forest axe or CT boys axe. i like a little more length in a handle. i believe that it makes for a more versital tool and able to handle real chores much better than something with a 18-20" handle.
     
  6. SASBob

    SASBob Tracker

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    Right now I carry a Collins hatchet (1 1/4 lbs.) with a 14 inch handle.

    Since I am not a logger, I haven't found a use for a big axe, and I can use the hatchet for carving and small camp chores like splitting kindling and chopping firewood.

    Hint: Carry a folding camp saw or buck saw for cutting up big pieces of wood.

    Learning how to make the most of the tools you have is part of Bushcraft, and lots of fun to boot.
     
  7. Taliesin

    Taliesin Guide

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    Something between 15" and 22" inches in length. The longer I plan on staying out, the longer I like it, but I don't like heavy. The CS Trailhawk suits my needs most of the time. I also carry a saw.
     
  8. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    warm weather=19 inch wetterlings
    Cold weather=26+ inch
     
  9. bluewanders

    bluewanders Scout

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    This is mine:

    Its the Gransfor Bruks Outdoor Axe... #425... 15" long and the head weighs a little over a pound. If I thought I would be needing to do more than harvest small branches I would take my GB Forest axe... but this one is light, short... and absolutely up to what I need it for and more.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. vermillion8604

    vermillion8604 Guide

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    I carry a W.C. Kelly perfect true temper 2 pound double bit ax on a 26" haft. Works very well for me.
     
  11. skummdogg

    skummdogg Scout

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    I just ordered a GB SFA, but I don't have it in hand yet. I've always carried a hatchet (cheapo) and paired it with a folding saw (cheapo). Im hoping that this "mid sized" chopper will be my main wood processing tool from now on.
     
  12. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    hate to waffle, but "it depends". i kind of live and play in two distinct forest environments.

    Year round, i'm in western LA, which is mostly flat, piney, and covered with the nastiest, gnarliest, thickest mess of underbrush, poison ivy, blackberries, and greenbriar vines i've ever experienced. occasionally, there's a low spot the timber companies can't reach called a "hardwood bottom" that has mostly magnolia and a few oaks in it. the pine needles make it easy to start a fire, but the pine branches need to be split to burn well. the "hardwood" is generally punky and rotten, even "standing deadwood", due to the humidity. for this type of environment, on foot, i carry a machete, which can be used (carefullly!) to split firewood. i also carry a small folding saw much of the time.

    If i'm canoeing in LA, where weight is no problem (it's all flat water here, either creeks or lakes. the worst portage is lifing over deadfall), i'll carry my GB Small Forest Axe (19" handle) and not the machete, along with a larger bucksaw.

    Part of the year (twice, if i'm lucky), I get back to my home forest, the Adirondacks, for about a 3-4 day outing each time. There is a wider variety of terrain and trees, less underbrush, and the canoeing and backpacking opportunties are thus more varied. since i'm not beating the bush (sticking to marked trails, mostly, or waterways), i usually carry an axe vs machete (specifically, my Vaughn mini or my cousin's Norlund, which as mentioned is similar to the GB SFA). If i'm backpacking, or doing a trip with a lot of portages, it's the Vaughn. if i'm doing a canoe trip with few/no portages, it's the Norlund. You didn't ask, but re saws, if i'm walking or portaging, it's my Fiskar's folding saw. if a canoe is doing the work, it's the larger bucksaw, kinda the same as when i'm in LA.
     
  13. ALwoodsman

    ALwoodsman Tracker

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    In the past I have only carried a 15" Sven Saw which is a great lightweight cutting tool. I recently purchased a 19" Wetterlings hunters axe. I have not yet taken it backpacking but I believe it is going to be a great option. Of course it will add a little more weight than the saw, but it will also accomplish more.
     
  14. Darkstar

    Darkstar Tracker

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    I've never been a fan of Gransfors axes because of their poor ability to split wood. I usually carry my Plumb boys axe that has a 26 inch haft. It has a great head design that works well for any camp tasks.
     
  15. herpingmad

    herpingmad Scout

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    ditto on the GB SFA
     
  16. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Guide

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    I went with one of the Bark River modified axes. It is around 18" long, I am very pleased with it. I can use it two handed for power or single handed like a hatchet.

    Big plus is it is short enough to fit in a variety of packs too.
     
  17. swamprat

    swamprat Guide

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    Like seeker a machete is often more usefull down here in the south. But I carry a 19" Wetterlings when I think an axe is needed. I rarely use a machete for splitting, but it works well batoning.
     
  18. woodsmannorway

    woodsmannorway Guest

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    Give me any Swedish Axe.
    Here is the work of a Wetterlings 19".
    [​IMG]
     
  19. ljcsov

    ljcsov Scout

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    Wow thats some impressive work with that sized axe.
     
  20. stronghorse

    stronghorse Guide

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    Wow, I'm impressed.
     
  21. Arizona-Hermit

    Arizona-Hermit Scout

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    Roselli Axe for camping, Roselli Hatchet for carving.
     

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