Are you shopping for an axe? These versatile tools are a must for campers and individuals performing wood-chopping tasks regularly.
Buyers are recommended to factor in various aspects when choosing an axe, such as its type, handle material, handle length, the weight of the head, etc. All these factors influence the control people to have over the tool and the velocity and power of the swing.
The guide below will assist you in picking the best axe.
Consider Your Needs
When purchasing such a tool, buyers are supposed to factor in selecting the best type of axe. These multi-purpose tools are mainly used for chopping wood, harvesting timber, camping adventures, etc. For instance, hatchets and tomahawks are the smallest types of axes you can find in the market, allowing individuals to use them with one hand.
The average length of hatchets is eighteen inches, whereas the approximate weight is between 1.5 and 2 pounds. These tools are incredibly versatile when going camping, as campers can use them to cut small trees, remove bushes and branches, and split firewood.
In contrast, tomahawks are mostly used as self-defence or hunting tools when going into the woods, which isn’t surprising given their original role of war axes. Their average length ranges between fourteen and twenty inches. Click here to see some useful tips on throwing a tomahawk.
Medium-sized models, also known as limbing axes, are larger in size and weight. Their usual weight is about two pounds, whereas the average handle length is at least twenty-four inches. These axes allow users to execute powerful swings as long as they handle them with both hands. They aren’t just powerful but versatile as well. Medium-sized models are the right choice for splitting firewood, chopping down trees, and removing their limbs.
Ultimately, felling axes and splitting mauls are known as the largest-size models, suitable for felling massive trees and splitting large logs. Felling axes are designed for chopping down large trees. These tools range from thirty-two to thirty-six inches in length. In terms of weight, they are a minimum of three pounds heavy. Nevertheless, swinging such an axe requires skill and strength, which are mastered over time.
Splitting mauls, on the other hand, are even larger and heavier. Their approximate length is forty inches, while their weight reaches up to seven pounds. The shape of mauls is different from the shape of traditional axes, as the head is designed to look like a hammer. Mauls aren’t adequate for camping, but they are undeniably powerful when it comes to splitting wood.
Pick The Best Handle Material
The following aspect to have in mind when purchasing an axe is the handle material. Most of the best wood splitting axes come with wooden, fibreglass, steel, and plastic handles. Wooden handles seem to be the favorite, as these are lightweight and comfortable to hold. However, Wood tends to wear down over time, thus requiring users to replace the handle.
Always make sure to do your research on how to use or swing an axe before you purchase one check on the Axe Adviser for an easy how to guide to use one properly and safely.
When buying a model with a wooden handle, make sure it isn’t varnished. These models are inconvenient to use when the hands of individuals are wet, as they can easily slip from their hands. In case you purchase a model with a varnished handle, use sandpaper to eliminate the varnish. Consequently, you’ll be able to maintain better control over the tool when using it. After sanding the handle, you can use oil to treat the surface and prevent moisture from causing rot.
Fibreglass composite handles are capable of absorbing some of the shocks when using the tool. Nevertheless, these handles aren’t believed to perform well at sub-zero temperatures. Conversely, the ones made from reinforced plastic are light but stronger than wood. When plastic gets damaged, the handle is uncomfortable to hold and difficult to replace.
Steel axe handles are the most long-lasting but undoubtedly the heaviest. In most models, the head and handle are combined in one piece. Steel models, however, are incapable of absorbing shock.
Consider The Length Of The Handle
After selecting the most promising handle material, the next point of consideration should be its length. As mentioned before, the length of these tools ranges from at least fourteen inches to a maximum of thirty-six inches: the greater the length, the more powerful the swing.
As far as precision is concerned, longer tools impose more difficulties for hitting precisely. Therefore, beginners are advised to purchase an axe, which is 31 inches long, to master their technique before moving to a longer handle.
Single vs Double Bit
Another feature to take into account when buying such a tool is the bit. It refers to the part of the axe head responsible for splitting the wood. There are single-bit and double-bit models, depending on the preferences of users. The largest part of tools has a single bit, making them suitable for performing all kinds of woodcutting tasks.
On the other hand, double-bit models provide better balance, as both head ends are of identical weight. Consequently, you’ll have better control over the tool while swinging, leading to greater accuracy.
Check The Weight Of The Head
The weight of the head is worth the attention when buying such a tool. Heavy axe heads are believed to provide greater force when making a swing. Anyhow, weighty heads cause a contrary effect as users struggle to make a swing. Unless you are experienced in chopping wood, a heavy head will make you lose control over the tool.
Beginners are suggested to choose a model with a head of three pounds and use it until they become more skilful. Once you acquire more skill, you can move on to a model with a heavier head of over five pounds.
Make sure the tool you choose feels comfortable in your hands.
Unless you are in control of it when chopping wood, there could be an accident!