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Old 12-07-2007, 01:57 AM   #1
Volte
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Best Camp Axe?

I plan on spending about a week on a solo wilderness trip up in the Canada Lakes Wilderness Area in January and I would like to take along a nice axe. My plan is to set off pulling a pulk sled with all of my gear, then set up a base camp and do short day hikes from there. I have a nice camp saw, but it's not nearly as fast as a nice sharp axe.

I used to use a felling axe with a 36" handle when I did chores for my father, but that type of axe would be too heavy to carry in the bush. I have tried to find a decent camp axe (ligher head), but they all seem to come with really short handles that more resemble a hatchet than an axe.

My dream tool would have a camp axe type head with a handle 30" to 36" in length.

Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks!

Volte
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Volte View Post
I plan on spending about a week on a solo wilderness trip up in the Canada Lakes Wilderness Area in January and I would like to take along a nice axe. My plan is to set off pulling a pulk sled with all of my gear, then set up a base camp and do short day hikes from there. I have a nice camp saw, but it's not nearly as fast as a nice sharp axe.

I used to use a felling axe with a 36" handle when I did chores for my father, but that type of axe would be too heavy to carry in the bush. I have tried to find a decent camp axe (ligher head), but they all seem to come with really short handles that more resemble a hatchet than an axe.

My dream tool would have a camp axe type head with a handle 30" to 36" in length.

Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks!

Volte
Hi Volte,
I'm a big fan of the hand forged Wetterling axes from Sweden. I wrote a review in the gear section here: http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=1740

There is also a good thread on the subject. It deals with a comparison on different axes:
http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=1777

I hope that helps some!
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:20 AM   #3
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I second the Wetterling Axes.
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:47 PM   #4
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Check out the Gränsfors Bruks line.

Small Forest Axe 19" handle, 1 1/2 lb. http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com...cfm/4,751.html

Scandinavian Forest Axe 25" handle, 2 lb. http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com...cfm/4,755.html

Hand made in Sweden. Excellent quality, no fluff. Expensive but good value IMO.
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:09 PM   #5
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About a year ago now I ordered the 26" Wetterlings...it was back ordered for over 4 mos. before I was finally told that they stopped shipping that model to the US...I was pizzed...

I'd think that size would be about perfect for extended camping like you are talking. With that justification, I'd try the Gransfors Outsider linked.

I've got the 31" Wetterlings felling axe and wouldn't really feel foolish dragging it around in a pulk...especially considering the $30-40 savings compared to a Gransfors.

I have the 13" and the 20" Wetterlings, and they are both great tools as well. The 20" might be big enough for your trip...what size wood are you looking to cut?
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:11 PM   #6
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I don'y have any firsthand experience with Iltis, but they may be worth a look...

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com...36_106_303_484
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:12 PM   #7
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Here's where I got the big Wetterlings....

http://www.wisementrading.com/woodwo...nsfors_axe.htm
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:14 PM   #8
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Better pricing and some more Wetterlings variety...

http://www.888knivesrus.com/category...etterlingsaxe/
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:45 PM   #9
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I have many Wetterlings. Great products for the price. I do not see how you could go wrong buying one. I also have Granfors,about the same quality,but much more money
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:43 PM   #10
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Wow! Thanks folks! Wilderness I will checkout your review on the Wetterlings. Looks like we have a bunch of other Wetterling fans and a few Granfors owners too.

Well I have my list ironed down!

Thanks again,

Volte
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:49 PM   #11
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Looks like I will go with the Wetterlings 31 Felling Axe. I like the longer handle, I've tried the shorter ones and they always seems to be awkward to me some how.

Thanks again for all of your help! Not all that much out on the internet for one of mans first tools. Strange Ah?
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volte View Post
Looks like I will go with the Wetterlings 31 Felling Axe. I like the longer handle, I've tried the shorter ones and they always seems to be awkward to me some how.

Thanks again for all of your help! Not all that much out on the internet for one of mans first tools. Strange Ah?
That is strange Volte,
Very few people use axes anymore since the chainsaw has come into it's own. I found my 20" handle works pretty good at moving lot's of wood. Here's some shots of me cutting with my 20" handle:
http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.p...o+in+high+wind
It move wood very well.

Let us know how the 31" handle works after you try it a while. I've been toying with getting one myself.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:06 PM   #13
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Wow! Nice job on the bench. Seeing the process of you building that bench just solved a small problem I have with a camp that needs a few small custom seats built.

Thank Peanut Butter for the skilled direction and photography of that documentry :-)

All that with the little 20"? whew! Good Job.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:14 PM   #14
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Thank Peanut Butter for the skilled direction and photography of that documentry :-)
The AFKA Peanut Butter is now the artist known as Boreal Chickadee.

Hawk
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:26 AM   #15
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Cool!...

Mine came with some rough spots on the edge....pretty poor workmanship compared the the Gransfors I have...all of the Gransfors (3), INCLUDING the splitting maul came out of the box hair shaving sharp.

I took a few minutes with a file and cleaned up the edge and bevel, them I proceeded to the mousepad w/ 220 wet-dry sandpaper, drawing the axe backwards, from poll to cutting edge...I continued on the mousepad gradually working the edge/bevel with 400, then 800 and finished it with 1500 grit. If I had any 2000 grit laying around I'd have used that too. I use the mousepad method for all my axes to maintain a sharp edge.

Good luck with yours...have fun on the trip...keep us posted on the axe. There's a few "axe heads" around here if ya didn't already notice....lol....
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:22 PM   #16
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Cool!...

Mine came with some rough spots on the edge....pretty poor workmanship compared the the Gransfors I have...all of the Gransfors (3), INCLUDING the splitting maul came out of the box hair shaving sharp.

I took a few minutes with a file and cleaned up the edge and bevel, them I proceeded to the mousepad w/ 220 wet-dry sandpaper, drawing the axe backwards, from poll to cutting edge...I continued on the mousepad gradually working the edge/bevel with 400, then 800 and finished it with 1500 grit. If I had any 2000 grit laying around I'd have used that too. I use the mousepad method for all my axes to maintain a sharp edge.

Good luck with yours...have fun on the trip...keep us posted on the axe. There's a few "axe heads" around here if ya didn't already notice....lol....
Thanks Ken,

I figured I would have to put some time into getting the edge razor sharp. I like that mouse pad method of backstraping!

JLM
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:01 PM   #17
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I took a few minutes with a file and cleaned up the edge and bevel, them I proceeded to the mousepad w/ 220 wet-dry sandpaper, drawing the axe backwards, from poll to cutting edge...I continued on the mousepad gradually working the edge/bevel with 400, then 800 and finished it with 1500 grit. If I had any 2000 grit laying around I'd have used that too.
You use sandpaper in place of a stone? What's the advantage? I've thought of it but have never tried it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:50 PM   #18
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You use sandpaper in place of a stone? What's the advantage? I've thought of it but have never tried it.
Scary Sharp!

http://www.woodbutcher.net/scary.htm
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:37 PM   #19
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I have one of the wetterling axes, A friend gave me, I carry it on most of my hikes and I can agree with Gary, If you know how you can move a lot of wood for a short axe in no time.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:31 PM   #20
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You use sandpaper in place of a stone? What's the advantage? I've thought of it but have never tried it.
Here's another trick that works very well:
When I have a tool that I've bought used, and it's in really rough shape, I've used fine emery belts on my belt sander to remove pitting, and reshape the edge to the proper angle. They work very well to reshape, and clean up the surface pitting. This process works very well as long as you are careful to not over heat, and take the temper out of the steel.

It's a bit tricky, but if you are careful, it sure beats hours with a file, and stone!
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