Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Boy's Axe

Sometimes it's great to be a boy... or at least, it's great to use their tools.

Recently I was cruising through a hardware store, getting parts for a work project, when I stumbled across a most curious tool. It was a compact axe, and it was so striking that I had to bring it home with me.

Before I say much more about my new axe, allow me to set up the hole that it fills. In my life, I've encountered 3 common axe-type objects: the hatchet, the full-size axe, and the splitting maul. All three are great for certain tasks, but have weaknesses that are very limiting. 
  • Hatchets are light and easy to carry, but their light weight and short handle leave them lacking in actual chopping power.
  • Splitting mauls are the exact opposite, with heavy heads and long handles. They hit like sledgehammers, but packing 6-10 pounds of maul isn't anyone's idea of a good time. They're also useless for tasks like felling trees or cutting downed timber to length. That big head which splits firewood like a dream makes them very difficult to control in anything but a straight downward swing. 
  • The full-size axe is a decent middle ground between the two, but it's still a bit heavy to carry in a pack, and the full-length handle is a bit cumbersome to pack around as well.
Enter the Boy's Axe, so named because it's an axe suited for young men to use. With a 2-2.5 pound head and 24-28 inch handle, it's about half the weight of a standard axe, and about 10 inches shorter. Its compact form factor is still a foot longer than a hatchet, with roughly twice the head weight, which means it hits far harder than the hatchet while being much easier to carry than its full-size brother. The longer handle also allows for (almost demands) 2 handed use, granting even more control and power than the hatchet can muster.

As with most tools, prices vary from "the cost of a decent meal" to "I'll never financially recover from this." And as with most tools, you get what you pay for (to a point), but buying the most expensive one isn't going to garner much of an advantage. 

If you're buying online, find one that has a substantial number of reviews with a consistently high rating, like the unit linked. If you find one locally, handle it a bit; the handle should be comfortable to hold, with no burrs or snags, and move easily in your hand. The head should have a decent edge, be firmly affixed to the handle, and have some kind of finish on it to minimize rust and corrosion.

If you do pick one up, have fun hitting and splitting.


No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to