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#104963 - 10/18/08 11:14 AM Re: small axes [Re: phat]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Phatt has it nailed.

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#104964 - 10/18/08 11:18 AM Re: small axes [Re: Spock]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
No Spock, that would be a hammer. Phat has it chopped <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#104965 - 10/18/08 02:59 PM Re: machete [Re: Jimshaw]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
especially if you're courteous to the worst of them, then they really fear you

LOL. That is so true. Being unflappable shows you are in control, not them.

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#104966 - 10/18/08 05:59 PM Re: small axes [Re: Tango61]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
I carry a small saw when BPing:
http://www.silkystore.com/Catalog/Folding-Saws/POCKETBOY-130-Large-Teeth

I use it for clearing the trail. I believe it's better to cut fallen limbs out of the way when practicable rather than widen the trail by making a route around them.

I only burn wood that I can break with my little paws. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
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#104967 - 10/18/08 09:22 PM Re: small axes [Re: phat]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

Thus, the can of worms I mentioned. I believe the type ax you prefer would be more akin to this one:
http://www.gransfors.com/htm_eng/produkter/new_prod/p_jagarensyxa.html

These gransfors are beautiful, good steel, and easy to sharpen.

I have three or four axes/hatchets and each has its own unique characteristics. But like you, I typically end up going with the 17-19" handle and 1.5lb head. It just feels 'more better'.

As you can probably tell, I love knives and axes. Have from a very young age when my dad gave me my first knife and taught me how to sharpen it.

Tango

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#104968 - 10/18/08 10:13 PM Re: small axes [Re: Tango61]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Indeed - in fact I have had said gransfors axe in my hand - and it's very nice. The local Lee Valley tools sells them. I've so far been unwilling to part with enough ching to buy one to replace my 25 year old beater that I've been carrying around since I was a young pup <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#104969 - 10/19/08 05:12 AM Re: small axes [Re: phat]
Dryer Offline

Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
I've so far been unwilling to part with enough ching to buy one to replace my 25 year old beater that I've been carrying around since I was a young pup



That's where I am in this axe/hatchet thing. I actually use to split firewood as a kid, and still have the axe, sledge, and wedges....can't remember the last time I used them. My hatchet is an old, 1 piece Craftsman (sears) I've had since Boyscouts, I use only to split chiminea wood. It goes car camping and only because it happens to reside in my tool box. I don't think I've ever used it for anything camping, except in Scouts in the 60's. The things are pointless for ultralite hiking.
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#104970 - 10/19/08 05:20 AM Re: machete [Re: BigMatt68]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Check out the movie "The Art of Travel" and you will see what a machete is really used for. But don't take the movie to seriously, it's just entertainment.
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#104971 - 10/19/08 10:41 AM Re: small axes [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dryer phat etc

As some have pointed out - you either learned to use a real axe as a kid splitting fire wood, or you have no concept of what its for and how to use it. A hatchet or axe is worthless in the hands of someone not an axeman and is more dangerous than a grizzly bear. People casually swing the axe not thinking that a very heavy sharp edge is moving at high speed towards their legs. Even splitting kindling with a small axe is very dangerous because you can chop a finger off if you don't move it out the way in time. And a dull axe is dangerous because the blade tends to bounce off the wood rather than biting in and the reflected axe could hit you.

Perhaps the ONLY reasonable use the average camper has for a hatchet is making and driving in tent pegs. An axe is pretty much useless without a saw to cut log sections, then split em with the axe. And generally that only matters when ya wants 16 inch sections so they fit into a stove.

THAT SAID: Some of us old farts do know backcountry axemanship and the old time camping skills and if I was lost in the bush with only one thing to my name - I would choose a "slash axe" - one step smaller than a felling axe and easier to use. It has the potential to bring you shelter, protection, and heat, and maybe food. To a Native American, next to a blade, and bow and arrow, a hand axe was the most important tool. SO is a small hatchet an important camping tool - you betcha - but only to those with the skill and a place where those skills are appropriate, like in Central Oregon.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104972 - 10/19/08 11:46 AM Re: small axes [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
[quote]
A hatchet or axe is worthless in the hands of someone not an axeman and is more dangerous than a grizzly bear. People casually swing the axe not thinking that a very heavy sharp edge is moving at high speed towards their legs. [quote]

So perhaps the short handle is better advice - it will hit the higher bits and have more opportunities to remove the important pieces to allow for collective clue increase through self-darwinsim - just make sure you take that there little dull hatchet before you reproduce <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#104973 - 10/19/08 12:20 PM Re: small axes [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
phat

I guess the difference between a hatchet and an axe is a 1 hand or 2 hand grip respectively. With a hatchet, You can hold the target in one hand and chop it off with the other. The hatchet is rarely going fast enough or wild enough to remove a kneecap though. An axe is held with both hands and the path of the axe and all potential paths of the axe, should be controlled such that a miss goes into the chopping block, ground, or in the worst case, between your legs. Like swinging a baseball bat and hitting a home run, it takes some experience to hit the target squarely with an axe all of the time.

Actually when I was canoe camping in Canada I carried a medium weight axe. A saw would have been better for collecting wood as the axe was mainly employed in chopping down dead trees. It took less energy tp break the wood than to chop it.

Anyway I refer to ANY one handed, short handled light weight chopper as a hatchet, not as a short axe. A short axe is like my slash axe used for removing branches from felled trees. It weighs 3.2 pounds and has a 26 inch 2 handed hickory handle. My felling axe weighs 5 pounds and has a 3 foot hickory handle. If you really care - get a classic shaped hickory handle. Why hickory? Because it gives just enough to save your hands, is warm when is cold out and the shape guides your hands and arms as you use it.

I have hatchets too - but lets not confuse them with axes.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#104974 - 10/19/08 12:52 PM Re: small axes [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline

Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
When my dad and I cut and split wood, the ax was mostly used for de-branching a felled tree. Once the splitting process started, the ax would be used to cut the remaining fibers on bigger logs that didn't split cleanly. Cutting down a tree with an ax is hugely non-productive. This is why saws were invented. Dad and I used a bow saw, sledge, wedges, and an ax.....until he brought home a chainsaw. Oh Man! Gimme a chainsaw any day, even for de-branching. And a hydraulic splitter.
I agree, a hatchet is used mostly to hack sharp points on tent pegs, or banging them home. Maybe for making rustic wood pegs, stool legs, and such. A saw is much more productive in making firewood....any saw. Breaking up firewood can be accomplished as well with a baseball bat sized piece of wood used as a club, as can an ax or hatchet, in most cases.
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#104975 - 10/19/08 03:47 PM Re: small axes [Re: Jimshaw]
rootball Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/08
Posts: 112
Quote:
phat

I guess the difference between a hatchet and an axe is a 1 hand or 2 hand grip respectively. With a hatchet, You can hold the target in one hand and chop it off with the other. :


Do you mean that you chop off the hand that is holding the target?
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#104976 - 10/19/08 06:21 PM Re: small axes [Re: rootball]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
rootball
"phat

I guess the difference between a hatchet and an axe is a 1 hand or 2 hand grip respectively. With a hatchet, You can hold the target in one hand and chop it off with the other. :


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Do you mean that you chop off the hand that is holding the target?
_____________________________________
depends on you... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#113451 - 03/29/09 01:23 PM Re: small axes [Re: Jimshaw]
Adam Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/05/09
Posts: 2
Loc: N. Utah
Ever since reading the book "Hatchet", I desired to have a hatchet of my own. I grew up with my dad's old hatchet, and used often when backpacking for splitting wood for fires, pounding stakes, and other camping chores. I have my own now, and I take it with me when I go. I think am off to go read this book to my sons, now...

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#113516 - 03/30/09 02:58 PM Re: machete [Re: Dryer]
Sleddoggin Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 11
Loc: CA, USA
Usually I'll carry a good knife, and a nice leatherman. A machete isn't needed where I live. No vines to cut down! ;-)
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