Axes, Are they necessary for the Novice Outdoor person….The Knowledge search continues

Well here we go again, Lately I have been selecting certain words or names I see in the survival,Bushcraft outdoors world. Just random words and doing a search in Google and Bing, Youtube, pinterest to name a few places. It has been fascinating to see the myriad of information out there. To be honest I learn alot this way. Although at times it’s frustrating sorting out the information thrown at me. Often contrary, often very negative but always informative. I have a process, I find the written word information first then often go to youtube for the visual information. Both have a lot of differing views and ideas. I think I have discovered the secret to all this information. There is no way you can honestly know the good from bad.

Personally I will try to read all and glem from that who the experts are. By going with how often they are referred to. This for me has been fairly successful in the past. I am sticking with it until it fails me ……

Most, if not all the experts referred to, will have some sort of Blog, website or Youtube channel. Perfect for my personal type of learning. From this I then put into play a very basic plan on how to use the information. Of course my end game is to actually put this knowledge into practice. Sometimes making a video to share with my subscribers on my Youtube channel, and as I am doing now with you on my blog/website. Unfortunately not as often as I should.

So forthwith here is my knowledge I have gained ( Remember I am a Novice as it comes to Axes. Having never used one, although I do own a “Tomahawk” and have used it very sparingly.) on the word AXE.

When you first search 99% of the time the results will be shopping related, rather than general information. Below is a clip of the first result posted……NOTE THE ABOUT xxxxx RESULTS . In this case over 400 million…the horror.

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This shows the first results shown on a google search AXE

Fortunately the first Axe shown says ( Gransfors Bruks) Outdoor Axe, Hmmm. A good start. The reason soon became apparent. It is probably the most well known outdoor ,woodsman, Bushcraft Axe out there. They are mentioned in the majority of written and visual results. Although in the past I have been sorely tempted to the search the name, I persisted and stayed with the Axes results. I wanted more general, Novice type information. Not the most popular Axe out there. I need the basics.

What is an Axe (Outdoor hand Axe)?

What are the parts of an axe? ( the anatomy of an Axe)?

What types of Outdoor axes are there?

Uses for the outdoors person Axe?

The best type of Axe for me ( Type, Style, weight, Cost)

If I am convinced  ( Should not take much) I will then start searching for the best Axe for me. We will see!

WHAT IS AN OUTDOOR AXE?

This search produced some interesting results, After filtering through the selling portions, The only description I got was.

The axe is an ancient and ubiquitous tool that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood, harvest timber, as a weapon and a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. The axe has many forms and specialized uses but generally consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve.

Axe – McGill CS


cs.www.mcgill.ca › ~rwest › wikispeedia › wpcd “
This was the only general description I got . Basically what is used for !
WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF AN AXE?
The Parts of an Axe Head
  • The Axe Bit: The cutting portion of the ax head; also known as the blade or the edge. …
  • The Axe Toe: The upper corner of the bit is known as the Toe. …
  • The Axe Heel: The bottom corner of bit is called the Heel. …
  • The Axe Beard: …
  • The Axe Cheek: …
  • The Axe Butt or Poll:

untitled
A great picture from Pinterest (AXES)
There seem to be many names for the different parts but in general this picture gives the best descriptions.

WHAT TYPES OF OUTDOOR AXES ARE THERE?

This search gave differing answers from “there are 4 types to up to 16  types.”

These are the common types mostly mentioned in the results

  1. Felling axe  (Also known as the Camp Axe)
  2. Hatchets (Small “hand Axe”)
  3. Tomahawks (Often referred to as Trade axes)
  4. Splitting Axes
  5. Double Bit Axe (2 sided head)
  6. Tactical Axe (Battle Axe)
  7. Carpenters Axe

There are alot of options offered. However for me I am looking for an all round Bush/ Camp axe. From the descriptions given I believe this Axe to be a Felling Axe. The uses given in a description I found was,

“The felling axe is also often referred to as a camp axe and it is most commonly used to chop down trees and branches.This type of axe has two distinguishing features:

  1. The blade is flat, thin and sharp.
  2. The head weighs about two pounds, while the handle is about two feet long.”

This came from the website CLUTCH AXES

Sounds about right. Size and the weight would be about what I would expect.

TYPICAL USES OF AN AXE FOR, THE OUTDOORS PERSON?

( Gransfors Bruks)

Forest Axes are made to be used in the forest for everything from felling large trees to limbing small logs.The distinguishing feature of Forest Axes is a long, rounded edge, with a flat elongated axe head.Forest Axes are specially designed to cut across the grain of the wood fibres, for example when felling and limbing, in contrast to log splitting, where the axe goes along the grain of the wood fibres.

 

Probably the most popular “Camp Axe” used in the USA certainly, Is the GRÄNSFORS OUTDOOR AXE. Searching on Amazon the price ranges from about $175 to $200. Unfortunately That puts it way out of my Budget. 

THE BEST AXE FOR ME?

Certainly for me I would personally like to won the Gransfors Outdoor Axe. Unfortunately as explained above I just cannot afford it. If this is within your budget it would be my advise to get it. All the research indicates its the best camp axe out there.

So for me this meant shopping for the closest, best Axe I an find within my budget based on my research results about Axes. Before I continue though, There is something you should do before purchasing an Axe.

RESEARCH on the How to,

Correct use of an Axe, Maintaining the Axe, and MOST IMPORTANT SAFETYKeep in mind that any tool you use that is designed to cut is a safety hazard. You MUST be aware of the dangers involved in the use of the tool. With Axes this becomes doubly dangerous when considering the types of accidents you could have. It is not a hand knife that is designed to cut. Although considered a “Hand Tool” it is a LARGE hand tool. It not only has the danger of cutting you. ( Most good , well designed Axes will allow for an extremely sharp cutting edge, Some as good as any knife. Just bigger !!) There is the weight behind it to make matters worse. Remember you are “swinging” an Axe. The weight and force behind it is extremely dangerous to those who do not Take care in understanding safety practices when wielding an Axe. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Be prepared and understand the dangers involved with improper use.

Oh, This goes for any cutting tool you own.

OK! we continue. Where was I , Yes my search for the Axe that I can afford and do the best possible job of the tasks I want it to perform. As usual I landed on Amazon. During my research on Axes I made notes regarding the most mentioned Axes for Camping. From that list I searched looking for the right one, The big issue being cost. To be honest If I could not find a Axe with in the budget I gave myself, I would not have purchased one. It’s that simple for me. It’s a Money thing, My budget is just that, a budget because of my income limitations.

Fortunately I believe I have found the Axe thats suits me, Will perform the tasks I need and its within my budget. Before I purchased it, I did some digging on reviews. Surprisingly they were very promising. We will see.

My Axe!

What started all this research and learning was I wanted to know if a camp Axe can make fire in the woods . That is start to finnish. When I go on my camping excursions I make a point of practicing survival Skills and basic Bushcraft I have learned. As they say “Practice makes perfect”. And having the tools is no use in a survival situation, if you cannot use them. I have always used my KNIVES OF ALASKA CAMP KNIFE to make fire. Yes I have the trusty Bic Lighter with me, but I need to practice the skill of using just a knife and Ferro rod to make fire. A basic survival skill everyone who wanders aimlessly in the woods should be comfortable with. And that brought me to Axes as a survival tool. Can I use it to start a fire, as well as gather wood to burn, make a shelter etc. We will see.

The Axe I purchased is the Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe, 27 Inch. The reviews were all positive and most commented the best Axe for the Price Range. Works for me. Well hopefully. Here is the specifications on the Trail Boss from cold steel.

  • Hawk Length: 6 1/2 – Inch
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Overall Length: 26 – Inch
  • Steel: Drop Forged 1055 Carbon
  • Primary Edge: 4 1/2 – Inch
  • Weight: 2.70 lbs.
  • Drop Forged 1055 Carbon Steel

The cost $37.28 and free shipping from Cold Steel on Amazon. my Budget was $40.00. Thankful for the free shipping.

Here are some pictures out the box.

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I will be researching more on it. Such as how to sharpen, maintain and recommended upgrades etc. Then its off to the woods for some dirt time. Making fire! Start to finnish using the Trail boss and a Ferro rod.

Stay tuned.

Remember, Knowledge is a survival skill. Research and Dirt time is part of that knowledge.

Have a Safe and Wondrous 2020.

The Novice survivalist

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