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Thread: best axes?

  1. #1
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    Default best axes?

    Am trying to research the best axe(s). I am also trying to figure out if I will need a felling axe, a seperate axe to trim limbs, etc. Have a splitting maul to split firewood with, but want axe to cut down trees, build furniture, and maybe someday a cabin. Broadaxes, felling axes, adzes, etc. Best brands for holding edge and cutting. Thanks!!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Axes

    Hello and welcome to the forums. Here are my suggestion for your new collection. First, a good single bit axe in the 3 to 3 1/2 lbs range is good to have hung on a hickory handle for general chores. Next, a a westcoast pattern double bit felling axe if you are going to cut large diameter trees down or to wedge out undercuts. You may prefer a Michigan pattern double bit instead with a 2 or 2 1/2 lb head. Some people call these a cruiser axes and I like to use mine for de-limbing and keep it super sharp. To complete the package, you may like to have a smaller single bit axe for cabin, kindling, or furniture work in the 2 lbs range with a 20" handle.

    Like the rest of American manufacturing, the axe has gone away. Except for the china forged junk on the store shelves, with a couple exceptions. The good news is that used good American steel vintage axe heads are abundant on E-bay and garage sales. My favorite brands are Collins and Plumb. True Temper Kelly and Kelly Axe are also top of the line. Most axe heads will ship in a USPS flat rate box for $9.99. E-bay is my secret for finding good axes. One think you want to look out for is that some people ruin axe heads by heating them in the fire or with a torch to burn the handle out of the head. That method destroys the tempering and metalurgical properties of the steel. You can often tell if the axe head looks roasted or if you see the colors run caused by the heat. I have always held a interest in old axes and collect a few. I take pride in using a good American made tool with a great piece of hickory.

  3. #3
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    Default

    How hard is it to get a new handle?

  4. #4

    Default Quality axes

    Google up the name Gransfors Brux. A swedish company that hand forges quality axes. In their catelog you should find and fulfill all axe needs.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    Google up the name Gransfors Brux. A swedish company that hand forges quality axes. In their catelog you should find and fulfill all axe needs.
    I second that they are the best made just be ready for sticker shock.
    Chuck

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    Default handles

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew cochran View Post
    How hard is it to get a new handle?

    Andrew,

    Fortunately, most common axe head designs accept the same handle. So there are a couple options for a double bit and most single bit take the same handle, then a couple choices for the smaller axe heads. Most hardware stores carry them. You will have to do some minor fitting on the new handle to hange an axe head properly. Again, another one of those lost skills. Flame tempered hickory is the best way to go.

    There is a cool website at the Dept of Agriculture that has informative manual on axes. An Axe to Grind: A practical Manual. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/...2823/index.htm

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    Default thanks

    lots of good info. looking at ebay. anyone know anything about norlund axes? thanks for all the info so far

  8. #8

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    They are good I have one I use for log work. Do you live in Anchorage? If you do try the Pack Rat Mall on Old Seward and Dowling. They are a treasure trove of fun stuff.
    Chuck

  9. #9
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    Default

    If you are looking at axes then you need to look at "The Ax Book: The Lore and Science of the Woodcutter" (previously published as "Keeping Warm with an Ax") by D. Cook. It has all the info you could need and can tell you exactly what you need. Some of the chapters include, Ax or chainsaw, THe Right ax, limbing and bucking, handles, felling, effects of temp and weather, etc. It really is a good read.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    Google up the name Gransfors Brux. A swedish company that hand forges quality axes. In their catelog you should find and fulfill all axe needs.
    I'm pretty sure that Northern Knives in Anchorage has some of these.

  11. #11
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    Default Marble

    Quote Originally Posted by haff202 View Post
    Marbles Knives, made in the U.P. of Michigan, has made axes since 1898.
    Their "safety axe" is supposed to be one of the longest running production axes ever made.

  12. #12
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    Default

    snow and neally( www.snowandneally.com) still makes some very good axes they are forged in Bangor Maine, and have different models depending on if your splitting or chopping. Up until about 2 years ago they made a lot of different tools bark spuds, draw shaves,pulp hooks, pickaroons, rakes and shovels.
    I have thier 2.25 lb ax I use guiding and trapping, its always in my truck or on my sled, I use it a lot and like it for this type of work. I have many of thier other tools also, they all have been good taken a fair amount of abuse, hold and take a good edge.

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