Need an Ax, what to get?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Caneman, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

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    I need to get an ax for general splitting of fire wood... and don't know anything about axes and not sure what to get... what am i looking for, how do i sharpen it, is there one brand that is "the best", etc. where to buy, etc.... thanks TFF
  2. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Active Member

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    if you want to just split wood i would suggest a 8# mall
    a hardware store would be a good place to start, or such as gander mt. etc
    sharpening an axe is easy. i would recomend a fine flat bastered file at least 10" WITH A HANDLE
    clamp the axe in a vice, start at one point of the blade with the file and end the stroke at the other end.count the number of strokes and repeat on the other side of the axe
  3. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    Read this before you buy an axe so you will have a better idea on what to look for. In my case I just use a file for most of my sharpening, You don't need or want a razors edge but an edge that will hold and do what you need.

    What ace you get depends on how much you are willing to spend, a serviceable axe can be had from Ace hardware but if you are going to be serious about your cutting look into Fiskars super splitting axe. Personally I think you will want two, a chopping ace and a maul, you will get into that in the article.

    http://equipment.ludlowsurvivors.com/axesharp.html
  4. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    I've been happy with my Fiskars splitting ax. But I'll be honest that I am far more likely to use a sledgehammer and wedges when I'm splitting by hand.

    Of course, the 205cc Briggs & Stratton is my favorite tool for splitting wood. :D:D:D
  5. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Different wood splits differently....[scholarly, eh?]
    If you are only splitting red oak, let's say, then even
    a small Fiskars camp axe will do fine.
    Pinon pine would take a splitting maul and wedges often.
    If you have both a maul and a splitting axe, you would be
    covered all the way around...and a wedge or two.
    Wedges are cheap at Harbor Freight. There are also
    different wedges, some that won't get stuck...so they
    say, and cost a bit more.
    Home Depot and Lowes have mauls/axes/wedges.
    I would suggest getting a non-breakable handle on them.
  6. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    If you have bad coordination like me, I suggest a fiberglass handle. It will save you a few handles in the long run. If you want a wooden handle try to find something to protect it just below the bit.

    Just found these. May have to look into them....

    http://www.awesometools.com/handlesavers-handle-savers.asp
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  7. luv2weld

    luv2weld New Member

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    As others have already said, you should get 2 axes. One for chopping and one for
    splitting. Look closely at the Fiskars heads and you will see the difference.
    I have 3 Fiskars axes, and I love them. I keep one in my truck behind the seat.
    I keep a small axe in my bug out bag. The 3rd one is in the barn. I have several other axes, but I always reach for the Fiskars. And don't worry about that sharpening article.
    If you want to shave with your axe, about 2 minutes with a diamond stone on the
    Fiskar and you are there!

    Ralph
  8. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I have both the axe, and a mall with the un-breakable handles, and like you, I highly recomend them. I split logs for making sticks, and I use home made wooden wedges. Like the others have suggested, a file is all you need to keep them sharp. I also have a double bit axe for light work, like triming branches from a log. And a hand axe for splitting kindling. The single bit axe can also be used in a batoning method with a large stick, or mallet.
  9. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    I really like Fiskars.....axes, hatchets, scissors, knives.....
    Fine products. I have only seen non-breakable handles
    on them also.
    I used to have a Bluegrass double-bit axe. It was super.
    A double bit was designed for felling trees. One edge was
    always used to slice downward and the other edge to
    chop the slice out horizontally......turning it in your hands
    as you draw back for another blow to the trunk. The edge
    for the downward slice was always kept very sharp. Because
    of that reason, people did lot let another use their axe.....
    for fear it would be used wrong, and ruin the sharp edge.
  10. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    +1 As long as the wood is sufficiently dry it should split fairly easily.
  11. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    the way I sharpen my axes is with an angle grinder and sharpening only on 1 side and not too much. You can find plenty of axes at any hardware store such as home depot, lowes etc.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  12. carver

    carver Moderator

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    And please sink the entire edge of the ax into a piece of wood when you are finished with it. It won't rust there!
  13. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Axe etiquette....in Axe 101......gotta love it [if your old].
    [although guess it should be spelled American- Ax]
  14. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Old, that would be me!
  15. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Splitting mall with fibergalls handle if just for splitting.
    IF wanting the best axe you ever owned or will own, buy a Gransfors Bruks BUT be prepared for the price! Over $100 and can be over $300 depending on which one. Here is a sample of their axes, I have a carpenters hatchet and LOVE it.

    http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/gransfors-bruks-axes.aspx
  16. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

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    wow, thanks TFF... i knew i could count on you guys to help me out! :bow: :patriotic:

    next summer I plan to get a chain saw so i can get some firewood off the mountain... i guess i will ask next spring about that...
  17. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    Go with a Stihl chainsaw. They have to be the best and most popular saw out there. They are made in Germany and they are very tough. My family has 2 of them. They are old and they still got the power like a new saw.
  18. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Active Member

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    i dont know if the new models are in germany
  19. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    I yam widya Brother....
  20. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper Member

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    except poplar. that stuff way too stringy
    good saws. never had a problem with a craftsman either. easy to fix also
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