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Fiskars X-series Axes and Striking -- they're X-treme!! (new 36" Splitter too)

Post in 'The Gear' started by brages, Dec 17, 2010.

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  1. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    My thoughts exactly. Though I'd also be interested to try a 6# version just to see...

    Those looking to buy the original 4.5# SS, try here: http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=7164692
    $39 shipped

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I'd have to asume it is you who has used neither or certainly not both. As soon as I aquired the long handled version, the short one went in the truck tool box for "emergencies". Next month wehn I get the 36", the 28" will go in the truck, and the 22" in the shed, where it may live forever, other than an ocasional camping trip.

    I like splitting rounds on the ground. I can just do that with the 28, but not effeicently. With the 36 it will be a joy. The 36 has two advantages, faster head speed for the same swing speed, and when splitting on the ground, more momentum.
  3. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    I agree with Bigg_Redd and look forward to the new model.
  4. Spikem

    Spikem Member

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    So you're okay with the short handle and you're looking forward to the new model.

    Huh?
  5. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    I have the 28-inch model Fiskars SS. It's splitting abilities are formidable, but the short handle scares the cr@p out of me. I had an incident two weeks ago where it bounced off a hickory round and made a nick in my shin. One inch to the left and that would have been a trip to the emergency room. a Longer handle would put the user farther away from the round and impart a greater degree of safety.
  6. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    Yup. Probably the same ppl who gripe about their EPA stoves not burning green firewood lol.
    Personal, the amount of 'extra work' lifting a log onto a splitting platform/stump is negated by the fact that
    you have a hard surface to split on, which increases the force of each swing from the tool.
    Also, I use a tire to hold rounds so I can cut a round into many splits and not picking them off the ground to stack em ;)
  7. chad101

    chad101 Member

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    I'll admit that I'm far from being a seasoned wood burner/splitter. This is my second year burning wood and all of my current stock was split by hand last winter (roughly 5 cords).

    I think 5 cords is enough to chime in and say I'll never buy a Fiskers w/ a short handle. I stand 6', 3" and yes I'm terrified to swing one of those damn axes; I'm not in the market for a prosthetic leg....

    Side Note: I'm young, I don't mind the extra work involved w/ lifting logs onto a stump. For one, I'm tall. Two, it's good exercise and it keeps me in shape.

    Now that I have a splitter, I still find myself splitting w/ a maul, sledge and wedges. Infact I'm cocky enough to say I can beat most hydraulic splitters, if I'm working w/ good clean grain rounds.
  8. Spikem

    Spikem Member

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    Young enough.
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I am calling B.S. on this. I bought the 22, splits wood great, but real sucky hard to use with the short handle. Bought the 28, much better, still too short. Waiting for the 36. Have no doubt I will be happy with it.
  10. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    if you are calling BS on the fact that splitting on a hard surface vs the moist or even frozen winter ground transmits more force to the wood being split, you need to go back to HS physics class.

    22" handle = long hatchet
    28" is a scandinavian standard handle length for axes less than 2.2Kgs for about 1000 years http://www.gransfors.us/AncientAxeBook.pdf
    I guess they aren't tall, those crazy Swedes nor do they know anything about chopping wood :)

    Also the axe everyone wants has been made by Helko for a while now. 1500G Tomahawk http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/14666
    longer handles = slow axe head speeds
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  12. brages

    brages Member

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    Of course the force is "more" on a hard surface, but is it significant? The physics aren't that simple.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    What are you talking about? Nothing could be further from the truth.
  14. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    pretty simple physics, all of it

    An axe, a maul are all basically hammers with built in wedges. Some wedge shapes are more efficient, which is demonstrated by the superior
    shapes of the scandi axes and sharp edges vs blunt mauls doing more work with less weight. You have more control with a shorter handle.
    The longer handles are 'safer' for people who have no control, evidently

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer#Effect_of_the_head.27s_mass

    Effect of the head's mass
    The amount of energy delivered to the target by the hammer-blow is equivalent to one half the mass of the head times the square of the head's speed at the time of impact (). While the energy delivered to the target increases linearly with mass, it increases geometrically with the speed (see the effect of the handle, below). High tech titanium heads are lighter and allow for longer handles, thus increasing velocity and delivering more energy with less arm fatigue than that of a steel head hammer of the same weight. As hammers must be used in many circumstances, where the position of the person using them cannot be taken for granted, trade-offs are made for the sake of practicality. In areas where one has plenty of room, a long handle with a heavy head (like a sledge hammer) can deliver the maximum amount of energy to the target. It is not practical to use such a large hammer for all tasks, however, and thus the overall design has been modified repeatedly to achieve the optimum utility in a wide variety of situations.

    Effect of the handle
    The handle of the hammer helps in several ways. It keeps the user's hands away from the point of impact. It provides a broad area that is better-suited for gripping by the hand. Most importantly, it allows the user to maximize the speed of the head on each blow. The primary constraint on additional handle length is the lack of space in which to swing the hammer. This is why sledge hammers, largely used in open spaces, can have handles that are much longer than a standard carpenter's hammer. The second most important constraint is more subtle. Even without considering the effects of fatigue, the longer the handle, the harder it is to guide the head of the hammer to its target at full speed. Most designs are a compromise between practicality and energy efficiency. Too long a handle: the hammer is inefficient because it delivers force to the wrong place, off-target. Too short a handle: the hammer is inefficient because it doesn't deliver enough force, requiring more blows to complete a given task. Recently, modifications have also been made with respect to the effect of the hammer on the user. A titanium head has about 3% recoil and can result in greater efficiency and less fatigue when compared to a steel head with about 27% recoil. Handles made of shock-absorbing materials or varying angles attempt to make it easier for the user to continue to wield this age-old device, even as nail guns and other powered drivers encroach on its traditional field of use.
  15. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    what part of that tells me that the head travels slower with a longer handle?

    They say that the problem with longer handle is control/aim. Well I can hit the same spot over and over, so aim isn't a concern. SO, given that aim is not a factor, then give me a better reason that a longer handle is worse...
  16. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    I'm talking about a slower wind-up until you hit the wood. It's not a constant speed, it peaks.
    A 28" handle is going to have a faster head speed due to faster wind-up (and less work) than a 36"
    but you might gain some of that back due to increased leverage ratio. But as noted above, it increases fatigue.
  17. chad101

    chad101 Member

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    I'm scratching my head on that too. Maybe if you plan on "throwing" your axe?!

    I would also like to state that these ancient axes were designed to be multipurpose tools, for hunting, self defense, etc. A long handle would get in way and make the user less mobile.
  18. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    you ever spin on a swing or merry go round as a kid? what happened when you put your arms out? You slowed down.
    When you pulled your arms in, you spin faster. That's wind-up speed. You are the one doing the work, not the axe
  19. chad101

    chad101 Member

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    That sounds logical.

    But a shorter handle is still harder on the back when you're hunched over swinging a glorified hatchet.
  20. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    You want to talk physics, lets talk physics. The longer the moment arm, the faster the linear speed at the end of the arm for the same rotary speed. Period, end of discussion. Everything else is B.S.
  21. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    I split wood for years with an 8lb maul with a sledgehammer handle. I broke several of them.
    When I first used my friends fiskars pro splitter, I thought the same thing this thing is too short.

    After I adapted and started using a 18-20" high splitting block of hard oak or other solid wood, along with the tire or bungee cord trick, I split more wood with less work.

    Y'all take that anyhow you want. I see it as doing more work with less effort due to a combination of all the above mentioned factors. Get a long handled version with a heavier
    head if that floats your boat. It's nice, but certainly not necessary once you learn how to use a tool correctly
  22. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    You are totally right. Too bad it's not a linear speed we are talking about. It's a swinging motion that has peak speeds. Because it's a compromise.

    Do you know how a trebuchet works? It's the same principle. A longer arm requires more weight to throw it but then at some point the mechanical advantage of the longer arm kicks in and gives you more force, depending on the length of the throw.
  23. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Whatever buddy. Come on up north here and we'll kill a tree and see if you can split more wood with your 22" axe than I can with my 36" axe.
  24. CJRages

    CJRages Member

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    Hang on just a second... This discussion is intriguing.

    IMHO Here is what happened when you switched from the 36" handle 8# maul to the 28" handle 4.5# fiskars:
    First you learned the two tools don't swing the same and adapted a new approach to splitting.
    You have developed faster swinging speeds that more than make up for the loss of mass in the striker. (Also a more balanced and efficient transfer of striking energy)

    Now a new tool comes along - we still DO NOT KNOW (do we?) how much the new fiskars weighs... let's assume it has the same 4.5# head and so the tool weights slightly more. The windup you speak of shouldn't change - how would it? The difference now is the same weight moving at a higher velocity/speed - dropping from a greater height at greater speed. What's not to like?
  25. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    No thanks. I enjoy my 8 month growing seasons too much to waste a trip up there when it's actually nice. You can enjoy all the 'alternative lifestyles' out on your islands all by yourself ;)

    Nice tater chips tho!
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