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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:18 pm
Posts: 73
I'm not sure why the thread title only allows the use of one (knife OR axe).I've always carried and used both.

I can't bring myself to call a hatchet absolutely useless but nonetheless,I've never been impressed with any I tried.

Reduced weight axes are a good idea as long as you accept the fact that the lesser weight becomes a compromise.A larger and heavier axe is much to be preferred when it's time to cut wood but the trade off in having one easier to carry is desired by many.

There is no right or wrong answer.When in the Yukon region,I always used a full sized axe but in your area,extreme cold is not an issue.Various people have different ideas about what's acceptable and what is not when it comes to reducing the weight of trail gear.




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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:55 pm
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Location: Missouri
A few things popped into my head the other day about all this. I certainly don't plan on chopping down large trees if I'm trying to survive. I probably wouldn't even chop down big trees if I were camping (and were allowed). The biggest I'd ever chop down would probably be 4-5" diameter trees. I couldn't imagine cutting down anything bigger than that in any situations, unless nothing else was available. A half-sized axe (somewhere between full-sized and hatchet-sized) would probably be just fine for that, and be shorter and lighter. I'm pretty much decided on the Snow and Nealley "Our Best" 2-3./4 pound axe with a 28" OAL. I'm trying to keep from buying the Hudson Bay axe (1-3/4#, 24") just because it looks cool. I don't know how much the lighter weight would handicap me on actual chopping, particularly if it were a tough tree. I think an extra pound is a worthy sacrifice for a lot of extra utility. Besides, the 2-3/4# axe is a bit cheaper....... go figure.

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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:31 pm
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A knife with a blade under three inches. That way, you can have it when you need it in your survival situation.


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 Post subject: Re: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:18 pm
Posts: 73
K4b00m wrote:
A few things popped into my head the other day about all this. I certainly don't plan on chopping down large trees if I'm trying to survive. I probably wouldn't even chop down big trees if I were camping (and were allowed). The biggest I'd ever chop down would probably be 4-5" diameter trees. I couldn't imagine cutting down anything bigger than that in any situations, unless nothing else was available. A half-sized axe (somewhere between full-sized and hatchet-sized) would probably be just fine for that, and be shorter and lighter. I'm pretty much decided on the Snow and Nealley "Our Best" 2-3./4 pound axe with a 28" OAL. I'm trying to keep from buying the Hudson Bay axe (1-3/4#, 24") just because it looks cool. I don't know how much the lighter weight would handicap me on actual chopping, particularly if it were a tough tree. I think an extra pound is a worthy sacrifice for a lot of extra utility. Besides, the 2-3/4# axe is a bit cheaper....... go figure.



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It's all a trade off (compromise).I don't prefer a full sized axe because I intend to chop down a "large" tree.The reason for my preference is that the full sized axe is easier to use and faster at getting the work done.I'm not preaching that you should do likewise.I understand the appeal of reduced size axes.

The larger axe is more to carry around (more work)but easier(less work)when it's time to cut wood.The advantage of the smaller axe is the exact opposite.Pick your poison.

If you're not camping in extreme cold than I think the smaller axe will be fine.In mild weather,a portable bow saw may be plenty.

We all shift around a bit to find out what feels right to us.I've always been willing to reduce the weight of gear in other ways to satisfy my sense of priorities.To each,his own.

Over time,you'll discover your own preferences and no one elses opinion on the matter will even concern you.I know what works for me and so I'm very unlikely to change.

I've never been fond of ultra-light guns either while someone else will think they're wonderful.Again...to each,his own.


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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:18 pm
Posts: 73
I posted just a few minutes ago and something else just occured to me.

I don't know how tall you are but if you're tall,I think you will learn to hate a short handle on an axe.If you're cutting wood on the ground,you'll be nearly constantly bent over.You will work twice as hard at getting the same work done.

I'm over six feet with long arms and I find even the common 36 inch handle to be "barely" tolerable.

From my point of view,the small axe seems to be prefered by those who don't plan on doing much cutting.If you cut enough for an all night fire (especially if it's cold),the heavier axe will be more than worth the slight extra hassle of carrying it.

I recall a book written by a trapper living in Canada some years back who stated that he needed to travel extra light on occasion and so he would leave behind his gun,bedding,and cooking gear.But guess what he NEVER left behind.His axe and it was full sized.

I seem to be among the minority on this because I see the overwhelming majority of those traveling on trails by foot to prefer a small axe.I may be wrong but I visualize them having to work their butts off while making camp.But perhaps I'm just set in my ways.


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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:35 am 
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Location: Missouri
Well, I finally done made up my mind. Usually I don't do this much back-and-forth just to decide on getting something. That's my wife's job. Maybe she's rubbing off on me. Ended up ordering that "Best 2-1/4lb" one last night. It's halfway between a small ax and a full-sized one (I guess you could call it a 3/4-sized ax). I'm about 5'9", by the way. I think I'll be really happy with it. I've got a full-sized one, and I'll take my khukri over my hatchet anyday (I haven't seen my hatchet in years). Of course, there's a distinct possibility that I'll get the Hudson Bay at some point as well. Surely you're not gonna say a man only needs one ax, right? I've got a knife collection.... why not an ax collection?!

Supposedly, ax is the more correct spelling, hence my switch. Who knew?

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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:18 pm
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Nothing wrong with having a little fun.

Ax and Axe are both correct.It depends on where you're from.The same with Mold and Mould.Many other examples.Lots of words have dual spellings.

I was under the impression that money was a bit tight and you were trying to pick ONE axe for general woods camping.Since you'll be accumulating a collection.you'll surely find what suits you best.

A word of advice....If a lot of cutting will be needed,you'll do much better work with an axe of a size that you're used to.Too much switching back and forth between different sizes and weights will feel odd and awkward.That will not help your axemanship one bit.It's better to stick with one.


For limited amounts of wood needed,a reduced size axe is fine.My preference for full sized axes was mentioned to try and make life a little easier for those who will need to cut a lot of wood in winter but yet carry a small axe because they've been told repeatedly that it's "just the right thing" for trail use.

Keeping an all night fire in the winter time running parallel to a lean to requires a lot of wood.


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 Post subject: re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:39 pm 
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Location: Missouri
Nah, money is certainly not tight for me right now. That may change as soon as Barry starts redistributing MY wealth.

A lot of people use a tiny, one-handed hatchet for trail use because it's what they've been told is "the best". It's by far the worst choice, particularly for someone who's never swung an ax in their life (and you're probably right about the regional spelling thing... it is a rather common thing).

It probably will be my one ax for general woods camping/outdoorsman stuff. I'm used to the 30" axes with about a 3-4# head, and the big ones I already own will probably end up becoming splitting/bucking axes more than anything else. This one will be much more convenient for everything else. Came today, and I'm quite happy with the weight and balance. I've got some limbing to do this weekend, so I'll get to try it out. Thanks for all the advice!

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 Post subject: Re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:02 am
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An axe is a tool used for chopping or splitting objects, such as tree limbs or logs. Axes come in multiple sizes, and are used for different purposes. A forest axe (also known as a range axe) is used to cut or split large pieces of wood. Both hands are required to use a forest axe. A hatchet (also known as a hand axe) is appropriate for cutting dead branches, twigs and firewood, and can be operated with 1 hand. You can buy an axe at a home improvement, hardware or camping store.

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 Post subject: Re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Location: NW Wyoming
I don't understand the question.

I always have a knife with me, whether I'm horseback in the Teton Wilderness or in church, so I guess the choice is made. I carry a hunting/survival pack almost everywhere. Depending on the weight of other things I'm carrying, and what I'm doing in the backcountry, it contains one of two fixed blade knives in addition to the BM folding knife I always carry; either a 4" drop point hunter, or a Cold Steel SRK. I also carry a relatively small utility saw in my pack. This is mostly for hunting, to clear branches, but if I needed to cut a pole to drop the plastic tarp I also carry in my pack over for shelter, it would be a lot easier than using the SRK.

Horse packing I carry a bigger, better saw, mostly for clearing deadfall. Usually an ax too, but I readily admit that I'm not skilled with an ax--and wish I were. I always feel admiration when I see a tree cleared from a trail and note that the guy who chopped it out only used a few swings of the ax to cut the tree.

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 Post subject: Re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:14 am 
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Location: Mississippi
I have a Ka-Bar Camp Knife, with a semi-Bolo shaped 8" Blade of 1095 Steel. It's an older style, with the same black rubber handle, guard, and steel pommel found on the black USMC knife. Good chopper. Like a longer version of the blade on the Topps Tracker knife. Lower section of the blade is good for cutting, carving, whittling, etc. Closer to the tip is heavy and good for chopping. Blade heavy balance. Kydex sheath. I use it to clear brush.

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 Post subject: Re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:37 pm
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I like my kabar/tanto, but I would bring my sog tomahawk if I could only choose one of the three. It has many more uses and can disarm without being as close.


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 Post subject: Re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Location: Mountains of North Carolina
I would take a good quality hunting knife with at least a 5" blade any day over an axe. Have you ever tried to clean a fish or skin a squirrel with an axe?

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 Post subject: Re: THe axe or the knife
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:48 pm 
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Depends on where I was at and the environment and temperature and if I had a pocket knife also. For what I use and the way I camp hunt fish I'd pick a largish knife unless it was the dead of winter.



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