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Selecting a Quality Hatchet

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posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 04:46 AM
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I couldn't find a mention of this topic previously, so I will kick off a discussion...

Being someone who grew up in the country and the woods, I believe that perhaps the second most versatile tool (second only to a good knife) is a hatchet. I own several but am in the process of equipping a family member and his family, so I figured I'd throw this discussion out to see what more I can learn and what we can all share.

What do you folks look for in a quality hatchet? Any brand or design preferences?

I have always leaned toward traditional "wood stock through the steel bit design" (for lack of a better term) hatchets, mainly because of familiarity and that I know I can usually repair the stock if necessary. But I see today's market is flooded with hatchets featuring plastic stocks w/steel bits and solid steel units with the steel handle wrapped in cord.




posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 06:49 AM
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though the traditional hand ax of wood and steel was always my favorite for the reasons you mention i have been rather taken recently by the friskers/gerber synthetic ( plastic but i don't like calling it plactic because of the negitive conatation that calls to mind) i wacthed a friskers/gerber ax being run over by a duce and a half (big army truck) after being buried in the snow all night, no damage was done to the ax. i don't know that wood would have taken that test as well, also i thought about the " i can replace the handle myself fron tree braches" argument i have never tried this i don't know if or how well that actually works(throw it out for comment have you folks ever done this and what was the result ) the ome thing you would have to be carefull about is making sure you got the real deal not some look alike as they are out there by the bucket load and are not as good or any good in some cases.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 05:48 PM
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I have only had one hatchet, but I think the Estwing Sportsman 12 inch is the best. The head and the handle is all made of a single piece of steel and the handle is wrapped with leather and had some sort of clear sealant on it. It has taked all the abuse I could give it while growing up and now my dad uses it since I'm in school now.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 08:50 AM
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I'm actually in the market for a hatchet. I've been studying carpentry the last few months, am very slowly learning the trade, but have yet to buy a hatchet, despite the obvious usefulness in the event of Situation X. I did, however, buy a splitter.

Let me be the first to say, do not mistake a splitter for an axe. I bought a splitting maul thinking it would do just as good a job at chopping as a real axe. The result was a wrenched shoulder, and a piece of wood that lookd like a five year old tried to chop it up. Of course, I also bought a cheap fiberglass model at Lowe's.

However, as far as Axes (and Splitters) go, for the highest-recommended quality and ease of handle replacement, everyone seems to rave about helko Vario. At least that's the word on the forestry forums. Next time I buy an axe, I'm getting it from these people.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 09:19 AM
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I have Snow & Nealley that is just a fantastic hatchet, but they recently have begun outsourcing the creation of their once legendary line of tools and the quality has taken a real beating.

I have heard a lot of good things about Gransfors Bruks equipment and will probebly be looking in that direction for any future purchase.

Don't be too stingy on your basic tools, a good quality hatchet is always worth it!



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 10:18 AM
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Here is another thread, maybe it will help.

ax shovel thread

I always figured that an ax with a hammer backside would be good. A tool should have more than one use.



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 12:12 AM
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Estwing Carpenter's Hatchet E2H

is what splits my kindling,

Sri Oracle



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 12:45 AM
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The handle weight of a hatchet is much less of an issue than with an ax so metal makes a lot more sense. I'd personally tend to go with the Estwing. Can't say that I have one of their hatchets but I do have one of their framing hammers that has been put through all sorts of abuse and is still fine. Even if the handle is bent (hard to do), you can just bend it back. -Fine tool.



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