After buying several Axes on the cheep and being very disappointed I decided to get something of quality. A well know manufacture of quality tools is Gransfors Bruks, but they are well over $100. While I’ve no doubt they are a fine tool, I just couldn’t justify the cost. In doing my research I found that Husqvarna brands a line of axes that were receiving good reviews online from people that were actually using them. Further the price was much more reasonable, about half.
I started with a 26 in. Curved Handle Multipurpose Axe. The handle is a bit short for heavy chopping, but I don’t plan on using it to cut down trees. My intended use is for taking off small branches for something that has already been cut down. Granted I could use my chainsaw for this, but I find a sense of satisfaction in using the axe, plus it is much quieter. I’ve also used it in clearing paths in my woods. I have several machetes, but I’m finding they don’t work as well against the thicker, woody brush in the under growth in my mid-western woods. This axe has worked quite well in this work. It also came very sharp and I’m finding it easy to keep sharp. I’ve been very happy with this axe.
Next I got a 13 in. Curved Handle Hatchet just because it was on sale. My son likes it better as he finds he can control it better after his growth spurt. I find I use it most near the wood stove to split off small bits of kindling to start the fire. Again it came very sharp and I haven’t had to sharpen it yet. Another recommended buy and I consider this a great value.
I finally got a Large Splitting Axe (3.3 Lbs) With 30″ Handle. A splitting axe is different than a maul in that it is lighter and has a sharper edge. To be sure I didn’t really need this as we have a 22 ton log splitter, however I enjoy splitting nice straight grained wood. If I have to split everything by hand it would be a lot more work. Some of the trees I’ve ended up with do not split well and have a lot of branches and forks that make splitting then hard even with the hydraulic splitter. But I’ve found with the easy stuff it actually takes less time than using the hydraulic splitter. If you have access to a log splitter than this is more of a “nice to have”.
I have no regrets in buying any of these items and will never buy another cheep axe from a chain store and I recommend you do the same. These are tools that can last generations. If I could only buy one it would be the multipurpose axe in that unlike other things labeled “multipurpose” it really does do most jobs fairly well and if you find yourself needing to pack tools into your work site you would only need to bring the one item. These heads are hand forged in Sweden which appeals to me as the blacksmiths arts always interested me. This does make the finish of the metal a bit “rough” compared to other tools, but I like it better anyway.