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X39 Fiskars

Post in 'The Gear' started by holland_patrick, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    That's a good idea, I hadn't really thought about the "signature" feature. I'll start tallying up my gear.

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  2. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I cut my rounds to about 17". Being and hand splitter and a wood snob, I am usually working with Red Oak, White Oak, Ash, Cherry, or Black Locust. I am far enough ahead, that I don't waste my time with anything that I can't split easily and quickly by hand. It is probably because of this that I can get away with using the lighter Fiskars tool. I did have to break out the sledge and wedge last week for some very dry and knotty Black Locust.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Well Done on the Signature.... Well Done.. My buddy as work has a Lopi Liberty (Beast) along with a Quadrafire CB 1200 (Bought his 1 week after he seen mine). That Lopi is a Hoss. Ridiculous Heat out of that Firebox.
  4. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I loaned it out once over 25 yrs ago,came back bent & they told me "I'm sorry,it accidentally got backed over..." :mad: :-S Cracked right at the weld.So I had that cut off,a piece of 1" x 12" steel rod inserted in the bigger shaft next to the head & end pipe welded back on.That held up for quite a few yrs until the weight/shape of the steel rod inside began to cause the thinner outside pipe to 'bend' with the shock of the occasional overstrike,when it eventually broke.Solved everything when I drove that thicker wall pipe over the whole shebang,cut it off to original handle length of about 30 inches.Did add extra weight though,total is 20lbs now on accurate bathroom scale.

    One thing though - Sure its a heavy beast,but its NEVER gotten stuck in any wood,period.Cant say that about my X25 & prized Plumb 5lb double bit.
  5. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    I have to say, having used both the Gransfors and the Fiskars, that I prefer the Fiskars Super Splitter to the Gransfors. They're both good quality, but I can get a much better "snap" at the end of the swing with the Fiskars, and that gets the tougher wood split faster. And the GB is $160, the Fiskars was $55.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Reading this thread made my right elbow hurt. You guys got some wicked splitters for sure, but after many years of processing wood with an axe, I don't plan on giving up my hydraulics. Come to think of it, maybe my elbow hurts BECAUSE of the axe.
  7. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's why I like the 2 1/4 lb Fiskars. I think it will save my body for more years of hand splitting. Maybe put off the hydro for a few more years.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I had the same logic till I cut down a fence line, petrified, barkless, piss elm and tried to process it into firewood. It was ugly, with a capital UG. Then came the hydraulics and I never looked back.
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I hear you, but buying hydaulics kinda takes a bite out of the "free firewood" thing. I don't really have a good place to store one on my suburban 1/4 acre either. Hate to take up precious space with a somewhat large, single purpose machine. Another reason to stay far enough ahead that I can afford to be a wood snob and stay with the easy splitting species.
  10. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I'll admit the GRANSFORS attracted me because it is hand made, looks more like a craftsman's tool than a "high tech" space age trinket. Until I cut more trees I'll have to wait. The X27 splitting axe was interesting as an alternative to the maul for wood up to 12-15" in diameter.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I always look at payback and time value of money. If it makes sense in the long run, I go for it. The TIME that a hydraulic has saved me (as well as my body) has payed me back many times over. If its a $1000 and that can be payed off by offsetting dino juice in a year - no brainer in my book.

    p.s. - that is also why I built my own. $600 out of pocket for a machine that performs with the best of them (if not outperform).
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would say yours outperfourms!
  13. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    For me it's sort of a toss up between the Gransfors and the Fiskars SSA. The short length and light weight of the Fiskars give good maneuverability. It's easy to swing the fiskars in with a five or ten degree angle if that's what the situation calls for. It's also got more snap as you point out.

    I like the shock absorbing wood handle of the Gransfors. I'm also more accurate with the Gransfors. I think it has something to do with more weight trailing the handle as it accelerates. Sort of like the difference between throwing a spear from the middle of the shaft versus the back of the shaft.
  14. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    Jags, I kind of look at it that splitting by hand is my workout routine and will keep me in shape. Hydraulics are for when I can't handle it any longer. I broke my hand last week pushing a hydraulic connector on the Bobcat with both hands so I am out of commission for 6 weeks. Driving me crazy. So I am kind of pissed at hydraulics right now.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I can understand that, and on occasion still split by hand just to see if I remember how. On the other hand (not the broken one ;-) ) you can run a splitter one handed. :coolsmile:
  16. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the great 'group photo' of your arsenal. Very interesting. I just saw a Fiskars X25 at WalMart for 39 bucks recently. Having heard so much over the top positives about Fiskars, I went ahead and bought the thing. So far, I am very impressed with it. I think it's going to soon become a favorite or likely 'the' favorite here. BTW mine is like your 4th from the left item- with the narrower blade. It's light but potent with a hard swing. Doesn't seem to rattle my teeth much, either. If it jams, it's a lot easier to free it compared to anything else I own.

    BTW how do you like that one 3rd from the left with the red handle? I got one of those, also from Wally World, which had obviously been returned. It was rusty. I got the manager to give a little on the price, but regretfully, not that much. I say regretfully because I was very disappointed with it. Tends to bounce out of the work piece a lot. The taper gets way too wide, too fast. I don't really use it much. I'm guessing it would be OK for straight- grained Pine or Birch or whatever.

    Thanks for the idea of using a short handled hammer as a sort of mini sledge (for starting wedges). I have one of those languishing at the bottom of a tool box. Planning to pull it out and put it with the wood tools now.

    I have a 6lb maul that looks a lot like the last on the right, but with a simpler head shape and a blue fiberglass handle. It's good. But the Fiskars may prove to be nearly its equal. Time will tell...

    [​IMG]

  17. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    "BTW how do you like that one 3rd from the left with the red handle? I got one of those, also from Wally World, which had obviously been returned. It was rusty. I got the manager to give a little on the price, but regretfully, not that much. I say regretfully because I was very disappointed with it. Tends to bounce out of the work piece a lot. The taper gets way too wide, too fast. I don’t really use it much. I’m guessing it would be OK for straight- grained Pine or Birch or whatever."

    Actually I like that True Temper. If yours is bouncing a lot try thinning out the cutting edge with a belt sander, mine improved a lot after that. Also take any rust or sap off if you haven't already. It can be done pretty quickly with a razor blade scraper followed by some fine grit sandpaper. This reduces friction and will improve performance quite a bit. The thing I like about that wide abrupt head is that it usually prevents the axe from blowing right through the round. This is nice if you're splitting on the ground because you get less edge to ground contact. It's also nice when you're using the technique where multiple rounds are held together with rope because you don't strike the handle as often on splits that are between you and the round you're splitting. For people who don't like big box stores or Indian steel and fiberglass handles, there are similar designs made by DeWit of Holland and Mueller of Austria.


    Here's the Mueller axe. 4lb head on a 30 inch hickory handle. $140

    [​IMG]
  18. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, trailmaker-

    We may be comparing apples and oranges, depending on what mix of wood you are splitting there. Here where I am, it's mostly Red Oak and some other tough stuff like Tulip (Yellow) Poplar and Black Gum. Anyway, they can be fairly hard splitting a lot of the time. I picture this axe as being very effective on Pine and Birch and such.

    I imagine the belt sander might cause less heating than my hand grinder with an abrasive wheel. I'd be a little worried about ruining the temper of the metal. When I first got it, I did grind this axe some and cleaned up the rust as well as possible. I tried to do much of the sharpening with a big, single- cut hand file. It was rusty up the sides of those ramps, not so much on the blade. I got all the rust off.

    The bounce I have seen occurs in the first inch of the blade length, mainly. I can tell that the ramps are contributing to bounce- out at times. I measure 2-3/4 in width at the maximum swept point of the ramps, and that's only about 4 in back from the edge of the blade. I'm thinking that they just made it way too wide.

    The blade is ground to a fairly thick shoulder. I'm going to try your suggestion and see how my belt sander does in making the edge a thinner taper. I agree that should probably help some. If the sander isn't cutting it, I'll get out the grinder again. I can see you've ground yours thinner than mine. Your sharpened area is wider.

    I'm built fairly small and wiry, and I'm getting into retirement age here. Could be that this axe just wants a lot more velocity than what I can safely give it. Probably would do great in the hands of a tackle or lineman, maybe not as much in the hands of a quarterback. At this point, I'd still have to rate it as the least effective of all my long- handled splitting tools. Well, OK, I guess it's better than my hatchet. ;-)

    P.S. The ramps on that 140 dollar Mueller look less swept, less wide, than these tools are. I just measured, and these darned ramps stick out nearly an inch beyond the blade profile at that point. They make the tool 2 inches wider. The Mueller looks narrower, looks like they stick out about a half inch each. Also FWIW the blade on the Mueller looks to have been ground much thinner than what I've got here.
  19. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    Yes we are splitting totally different species. My species, from easiest to hardest splitting, are Madrone, Douglas Fir, Shreve Oak and Coast Live Oak. I'm not sure how they compare to your east coast woods. I find that the biggest problem with my True Temper is that it gets stuck if you don't sink the head in far enough for the wings to take effect. Keeping it sharp and low friction seems to help me get enough penetration to put the wings to work.

    I guess you might as well have some fun modifying that axe since it's not working well anyway. I suppose you could even grind those wings down a little or if you wanted to get really experimental grind one down more than the other so there's a little bit of lever action as the head sinks in.

    That Mueller does look a little thinner and it is razor sharp on arrival. I'd love to get one but I'm saving up for one of their broad axes right now.

    I'm small and wiry too it's a good physique for a lot of this kind of work. The big guys overheat and tire out too easily ;-)
  20. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    'Wiry'...Yeah- I just blew my back out tonight loading bags of pine bark mulch into my car trunk. It was the 6th bag, last one, that got me. OK, I'm exaggerating slightly, but poor abdominal muscle tone leads to these sort of things. I took a couple of Ibuprofen- about a day's worth of that should nip it in the bud and the back will straighten right up. Many lower back pains are just simple muscle spasms, and a good anti- inflammatory will get things calmed down fast.

    I took your advice and spent about ten minutes early Saturday morning at the workbench with my True Value splitting axe in the vise. Using a flat file, i patiently took those shoulders down a fair amount. The sharpened portion is now about 2-3x as wide as before. I managed to nick my thumb on the now sharp blade at one point. Had to stop and go get a Band Aid.

    Anyway, I took that bad boy out back this morning along with my Fiskars X25 and did just a few splits of various types to see the results. I'm pleased to report that the True Value axe had taken on a rather different personality and was actually splitting better and even getting stuck at times, as opposed to bouncing out a lot. I'm going to call it an unqualified success. Will keep trying various things with that axe and eventually I'll have a better idea where I am with that tool. BTW one would think that they'd want to sell you a sharp tool- but I guess not- labor costs no doubt a factor here...

    You may be right- grind down those shoulders. I've been thinking about that all along. I'll keep thinking on it a while longer. ;-)
    Seems likely I'll eventually try that. Thanks for the advice, worked for me.
  21. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    I'm glad you were able to increase the performance some. A little elbow grease turned mine from worthless to useable.

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