American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Axe

I have, in the past, overlooked the importance of an axe/hatchet/tomahawk as an essential piece of gear for the woods. I carried the Bark River Mini Axe (seen here with the Mini Canadian) for quite some time. I suddenly realize that it's great for what it is but not ideally suited for the kind of hard use a tool could see in the woods.

This past week saw my Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet put to use several times and, frankly, I'd be lost without it. Several other axes were present and even a tomahawk. Interestingly there were three or four Gransfors axes and hatchets, one Wetterling, and the Hays Knives Montana Hunter tomahawk.

I used the poll to hammer stakes to lock down a pole bed, cut down several saplings, harvested plenty of dead wood for firewood, and even did a bit of carving. I split down some seasoned hardwood to build a fire for firing pottery. I even used the underside of the bit as a hook to drag a dead poplar back to the tipi.

Don't get me wrong, the ML Knives Kephart was an absolute champ. (I'll write more about it later.) The axe/hatchet is something that I'll now take much more seriously and look to improve my collection of Gransfors Bruks axes with the addition of a Carpenter's Axe in the near future.

Thanks for reading,



At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Wetterlings. I have a Wetterlings small hatchet and it is an excellent tool. Cost a third of the GB hatchet too.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Absolutely. The Wetterlings axes and hatchets are fine pieces of gear. They do require, in my experience, a bit more edge refinement out of the box than the Gransfors do but for a third of the price that's an acceptable issue for some.

The Snow and Neally axes are also quite good for the cost but it's the Gransfors Bruks axes I've got here.

Thanks for your comment,


At 2:48 PM, Blogger mancheechee said...

Which do you think is a better axe...Bark River mini or the GB mini?
Got a Bark River mini axe, but deciding on whether or not I should invest in getting a GB mini...perhaps overkill.
I think that Wetterlings have lately been slipping on quality. I have an older Wetterlings Wildlife and the quality is much superb than the one I "SAW" most recently.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...


I just laid hands on the GB Mini for the first time about a week ago and now have it sitting on the workbench waiting for some time to test.

I really liked the performance I got out of the BRK&T modified Vaughan but the supply has completely dried up and there are no more coming. It sure threw chips though...

Brian G. Andrews (Backyard Bushman) has done modifications on the Snow & Neally axes using the same proven method developed by Old Jimbo prior to BRK&T's adoption of the same. I wonder if he'd consider doing a few of the Vaughan Sub-Zeros with that performance grind to see if he can squeeze the same performance out of them as BRK&T did.

I guess that's the long way of saying, "I don't know yet." :)

I'll let you know soon though.




Post a Comment

<< Home