Fiskars axe?

Joined
Jul 27, 2013
Messages
19
Hey guys, I'm looking at getting a new axe with a handle made of something a little more indestructible than wood for longer trips. I was looking at getting the fiskars x15 chopping (felling) axe and I was wondering what you guys think about them. They have a 23" handle and I was wondering how well they split?

thanks, Alex
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hi Alex, I ought to warn you I'm an old guy with more opinions than functioning brain cells, but this is what I think:
-axes can be made to chop or split but not both well. If you have a chopping axe then just make wedges from the wood your working on. Use them to help you split.
-Fiskars axe handle are tough but if it ever breaks then you're well and truly screwed, there's no way to replace it.
-Look at the Fiskars axe side by side with any of the quality axes offered in the market place, if the Fiskars is still the one you'd pick then it probably is the one for you. And that's not a compliment.

All most all of the broken handles that I've seen have been the result of operator error. That's a terrible cutting edge that's swing around while we chop and if it's not absolutely under control the wound it can inflict can be horrendous. You are thinking a stronger handle for longer trips? Well, I'm thinking air evacuation to the hospital.
If I was you, I'd carefully learn my axe at home (near to the E.R.) and really concentrate on each step of the process, looking for where the danger points were. I'd buy, read and learn from "Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival" by Mors Kochanski.
If you do that, then you don't need to worry about broken handles, but with an axe always you need to worry about being safe and careful.

Best Wishes, Rob

P.S. For the money I'm really impressed with the line of Husqvarna axes. Baileysonline.com has them and the shipping is free.
 
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That's a terrible cutting edge that's swing around while we chop and if it's not absolutely under control the wound it can inflict can be horrendous. You are thinking a stronger handle for longer trips? Well, I'm thinking air evacuation to the hospital.

Saws too.

While I was paddling the Green I had a friend on another trip putting on a week behind us who had to evacuate from the canyon. He was cutting a willow with a saw and went through rather more quickly (and with less control) than anticipated, resulting in a nasty leg wound.

Fortunately one of the few jeep roads was at the top of a canyon nearby and his companions were able to get him up top and flag down a passing 4WD.

I have stopped routinely bringing either saw or axe unless I foresee a serious need.
 
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Saws too.

While I was paddling the Green I had a friend on another trip putting on a week behind us who had to evacuate from the canyon. He was cutting a willow with a saw and went through rather more quickly (and with less control) than anticipated, resulting in a nasty leg wound.

Fortunately one of the few jeep roads was at the top of a canyon nearby and his companions were able to get him up top and flag down a passing 4WD.

I have stopped routinely bringing either saw or axe unless I foresee a serious need.

Mike, there's no need to limit your own tools, at least not because of someone else's mistake.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
A Fiskar's axe is adequate (barely), but as mentioned, axes cut, hatchets split. In the right hands (ie, someone whose father coached them from childhood), an axe can do everything you need. In ignorant hands, it's a deadly accident just waiting to happen. A plastic/fiberglass handle is just a crutch... an expert doesn't break handles because he never misses what he's aiming at.

A full sized bowsaw can also be dangerous in the wrong hands... careless handling can lead to ragged cuts.

I have noticed a fatal attraction between the ignorant and sharp tools that often results in injury.

A better combo for most people, after some basic instruction, is a small folding saw, like a Bahco Laplander, and a hatchet (properly sharpened and safely used to SPLIT, not cut). As mentioned, for many trips, you can get by without either tool, especially in the summer.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Ah...Seeker, I love your "I have noticed a fatal attraction between the ignorant and sharp tools that often results in injury."

When I was just a little sprat, a kindly old man would council me to "slow down" and his other one, oft repeated was to "pay attention." Now all these years later, it's still good advice. It seems like the 'modern man' tries to cram too much into too small a time. I hear a lot about multi-tasking; it may be that I'm limited between the ears but I think it's a bunch of flam-flam nonsense.

I don't see that we're fore doomed to get cut with any tool; it's only when the vigor of our movement exceeds our skill level. If we start out with baby steps and when the skill builds up, then and only then increase the stroke or swing. (Along with instruction from Mors book)

I really like the lessons taught learning to shave with a straight razor. And I'd bet you a nickle that your best multi tasker gets pretty single minded when he applies that thin blade to his throat!

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Mike, there's no need to limit your own tools, at least not because of someone else's mistake.

I have for some years been lessening the frequency of trips on which I bring an axe or saw. In the past I often brought both, and just as often used neither. That was followed by years of bringing one or the other as seemed most appropriate for the venue, and often not using it.

The Green does not need axe or saw. There is lots of small deadwood from the dying Tamarisk, and the firepan regulations make it less inviting. You aren’t going to be cutting a new path through the tummies or willows unless you have all day, and you would be hard pressed to find a log strainer on which to pin a boat (one good reason to bring a saw).

When I was just a little sprat, a kindly old man would council me to "slow down" and his other one, oft repeated was to "pay attention." Now all these years later, it's still good advice.

Rob, my tripping mantra was become just that – “Slow Down” and “Pay attention”. I still take great pleasure in the movement and activity of paddling, but on finding my Zen in a quiet and peaceful solo camp I can happily stay for some days, just looking and listening in silence with an otherwise empty mind.

Slow Down. Pay Attention. Think about the time and place you are there and now, not where you’ve been in the past or where you’re going in the future. The past is unchangeable and the future is unknowable.

Be there now.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hmm..... did some more thinking about #6 above. Even if your really accomplished in working with your axe or saw, if your tired or cold or maybe your guts are in an uproar from eating bad chow, then it's really easy to make a mistake.
I guess that falls under the heading of "know thy self" or perhaps being able and willing to recognize that conditions have changed from what's normal or what you started out with.

That's one of the lessons from the straight razor: it don't matter how many times you've done it, each time's a new opportunity to cut your throat.

Rob
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hi Mike, If I could grow a crop like that I'd know much less about razors! If I had to pick a photo to illustrate the word "contentment" yours would be a hard one to beat.

Rob
 
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