They are an indispensable tool for any camping or outdoor excursion. Familiarization with the different styles (splitting, hand axe, splitting maul, etc.) and safe handling procedures will ensure you will get the absolute most out of your new tool. First, make sure you have selected the best tool for the job. The hand axe, since the name implies, is designed for single-handed use and is most ideal for cutting small firewood or thinning branches. Hand axes might have either wood or metal hafts (or handles). Viking axe A good principle would be to depend on a hand axe for anything as much as 3″ in diameter. Larger than that, and it’s time to upgrade to a bow saw or two handed instrument.
To bring down live trees, a felling axe is required. Felling axes are designed with various head weights and haft lengths – be sure to choose a size that’s comfortable enough to wield safely. A medium-size felling axe generally includes a 3.5-4.5 pound head and 30-35 inch haft, with larger axes sporting heads as much as 6 pounds. The point is, whether you are dealing with hand axes or felling axes, keep consitently the blade masked when not in use and never leave your axe outside overnight or in wet weather. A quality felling axe is just a very valuable tool that may last a lifetime if properly cared for. Be sure to keep consitently the axe head well oiled to avoid rust, and sharpen the axe with a carborundum stone when necessary.
If you plan to make use of your axe primarily to split seasoned wood, consider buying a Scandinavian-style splitting axe. These splitting axes have a wedge-shaped head which are ideal for wood splitting but poorly fitted to felling work. Scandinavian splitting axes usually have shorter handle lengths than other two handed axes, and commonly depend on a 3 pound head, although other sizes usually are available. Larger splitting axes might be known as splitting mauls. These kind of tools typically have much heavier heads, and have a straight handle, in place of the curved handle. Turnaround hooks are frequently shaped on the finish of a mauls splitting head to be able to assist with flipping logs over throughout the splitting process.