New Hatchet

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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
Lost my Gerber/ Fiskers hatchet (14") that I have had for a long time. As much as I liked it, I'm not interested in another one. I am looking for a standard 14-18" wood handled hatchet. I will be using it for general functions (chopping, camping, hammering, splitting). $50-100 range. Want it to be the "last hatchet I ever buy" quality without being extremely expensive.

What are other people using?
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,353
Whitmore lake, MI
I have a Gransfirs Bruks small forest axe and a Gransfors Bruks outdoor axe. The small forest axe is longer and probably a better fit for your needs. It can be used with one or two hands. However it is outside your $100.00 limit coming in around $155ish. I love it. If you are looking for a cheaper buy there’s is always Council tools or Hults Bruks. If you are looking for a more vintage appeal there is always eBay.
 
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CincyBurner

Minister of Fire
Mar 10, 2015
697
SW Ohio
I own Penobscot Bay kindling axe ($57.59), and mini maul both by Snow & Neally, Bangor ME.
I use the hatchet all the time, but hardly ever the maul.
 

rwhite

Minister of Fire
Nov 8, 2011
1,887
North Central Idaho
I usually carry a boys axe style when cutting for hammering wedges and small limbing. At the house I prefer the estwing fireside friend. Basically a small handheld maul.
 
Another vote for the estwing axes/ hatchets. Solid 1 peice metal construction. Just about unbreakable and come in at least 3 or 4 different sizes. Very reasonable prices and I believe made in USA I have 4 of them
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,594
07462
I bought 2 no name hatchets from our local farm supply store about 8 years ago, to be honest, I dont look for extreme quality on them, I just sharpen then really sharp and make sure it isnt to heavy or bulky since it stays on my side when I'm using the wood splitter.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
I have an Estwing hammer I got when I was 16 (I'm 39) and its the best hammer you can buy. I also have the larger Estwing axe and it's very well made and has its jobs, but I don't like it for what I want a hatchet for. It chops well, but if I chop anything with any size at all, it sticks on every swing due to the very thin profile. It won't split anything because of how thin again. I've also found that the profile makes it very susceptible to skipping off a log while limbing it, which has come back at me a few times. I do still like it and use it, but I want a little more of traditional style hatchet.

I am leaning towards the Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe (18") or the Snow and Nealley Penobscot Bay Axe (18"). Both have a pretty good price range and look like they will both do what I am looking for. Going to continue my research before I buy one and appreciate any and all opinions.
 
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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
Council Tool Hudson Bay 18" is ordered. I made sure to get the "sport utility" finish. I did not want the paint on the head. Will give updates once I get it and do some modifications.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,025
Downeast Maine
I own Penobscot Bay kindling axe ($57.59), and mini maul both by Snow & Neally, Bangor ME.
I use the hatchet all the time, but hardly ever the maul.
A local Mom 'n Pop store carries the Snow and Neally stuff, so I can see myself acquiring a few.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,353
Whitmore lake, MI
What mods do you have planned?
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
1. Get the edge how I want it but don't know what I'll need to do until I see it.
2. Sand all the varnish off of the handle and get it to clean wood.
3. Maybe change the profile of the grip a little if I need to. I like to flatten the sides on the handle out a bit.
4. Improve the grip half way up the handle or so. Maybe some divits or wrap it so I can hang on better when choked up.
5. Maybe a leather wrap or guard of some kind just on the shoulder for when I miss.
6. I've been painting some part of my handles (not the bottom where the final grip is) with a color that sticks out in the woods. I use a hard, oil-based heavy equipment paint.
7. Probably burn the handle for looks before I paint it and BLO.
8. Add a small lanyard to hang it. I don't like long lanyards. I think they just get in the way but I prefer to hang a tool with a wooden handle.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,353
Whitmore lake, MI
Skillcult on YouTube has the council tools boys axe I believe. He has quite a bit of content on axes. There’s also Kevin’s Disobedience. He talks about changing the geometry of the bit to suit basic camp needs.
 

Solarguy3500

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2020
250
Western MA
4. Improve the grip half way up the handle or so. Maybe some divits or wrap it so I can hang on better when choked up.
5. Maybe a leather wrap or guard of some kind just on the shoulder for when I miss.
Parachute cord.
IMG_20201205_143650.jpg

When I got my Gransfors Bruks splitting axe, I wrapped the shoulder to protect from breaking the handle on a missed swing. While I was at it, I figured I'd also wrap the bottom of the handle for better grip. It has worked out well so far.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
Parachute cord.
View attachment 289962

When I got my Gransfors Bruks splitting axe, I wrapped the shoulder to protect from breaking the handle on a missed swing. While I was at it, I figured I'd also wrap the bottom of the handle for better grip. It has worked out well so far.
I have some handles wrapped with paracord on some other tools and I like it. I may keep this one a little more "natural" and use leather for an over-swing guard. I've done a little leather work in the past, but not with anything decent and I don't have any real leather tools. May use this as a good excuse to buy some and make the sheath at the same time.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
Showed up a few days ago. Haven't used it yet but first appearances I'm pleased. I think it's going to be just what I am looking for.
The only thing I have done to it so far is scrape the varnish off. More to come tomorrow.

0DFDC035-479E-460D-BA2D-596A2E7CD620.JPG
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
469
ohio
Used it really for the first time yesterday after the storm. It does all the tasks I wanted it for great. Limbing, marking logs and splitting kindling. Couldn't be happier with it. Council Tool makes a great little axe and I would buy more of their stuff. The 2lb. head makes a man out of you using one hand but I like the weight.

94B02A3D-0D2B-4387-8976-0CCB8BA8A464.JPG