Even today in the household can not do without an axe. A simple and familiar tool, consisting of a head with a cutting edge and a handle, is indispensable in a hike and on a fire shield. Each task requires its own type of axe: carpentry, hiking, for cutting meat or chopping firewood. Modern models are made taking into account their purpose in order to make their use in a particular situation the most effective.
Even an imperceptible at first glance difference in the work will manifest itself in the whole scale, so it is not always possible to replace one kind of tool with another. We propose to figure out together how to choose the right axe.
Types of axes
They differ in weight, handle length, material, and blade appearance. Depending on the purpose of the product, it can be a small, neat axe or an impressive tool that only a strong man can handle. Look at the photo of axes: how different they can be in appearance.
A household axe is used by carpenters and construction workers. It can be used to cut a log and chop firewood. At the same time, the product has an affordable price. The disadvantage of this versatile tool is the axe: the wood will dry out over time, and the head is not fixed on it firmly enough.
Carpentry work is done with a special balanced tool. Its medium-thick blade is sharpened directly by the craftsman to suit his style of work. Its head is firmly connected to the handle.
The main feature of the double-sided axe is that instead of a shank, it has another blade of the same thickness. They are made of high-carbon steel. Each can be sharpened differently, allowing one tool to do twice as many jobs.
Well-balanced, the handle is easy to replace if necessary. However, it has a number of significant disadvantages, among which are a solid weight and price, injury hazards.
Wood chopping axe
The blade of the wood chopping tool is sharpened at an angle of 40-60º and is made of carbon hardened steel. Presented on the market in a wide price range. Despite its prevalence, it is suitable only for a narrow segment of work.
A heavy wood chopping axe is unsuitable for other tasks. The weight of the axe makes the blow more powerful. The blade is made of the strongest steel grades and is rounded to reduce the risk of injury. The hickory axe is comfortable to hold.
The axe differs from other types of axes in that it has a long handle made of impact-resistant plastic. The blade is sharpened at an angle of 40-60º. Rather widely represented on the market inexpensive model, which has a low weight. The disadvantage is the narrow scope of application.
Forged axes are exclusive in their own way. Each tool is made by hand. The product is of high quality and has a high service life. The edge can be used as a hammer. But you will have to pay a lot for such a tool.
Tourist axe is intended for use during expeditions, which means it should be light and compact, easy to carry in a backpack. Such a tool must necessarily be in a carrying case.
The sharp blade allows it to be used as a knife. Subject to rust, not suitable for chopping firewood, quite expensive.
The camping axe is similar to the hiking axe in compactness and lightness, both varieties have a sheath. Features a wide, sharp blade and a rubberized polyurethane handle. Quite versatile model that comes in many variations.
The hunting axe has a notch near the handle by which it can be hung from a branch. It is also convenient when cutting a large carcass.
Professional butcher’s tool – meat chopping axe. Distinctive features – a wide blade made of high-density steel, strength and durability. It has a considerable weight (more than 3 kg), so it should be wielded by a man.
The axe is made of wood, which will dry out over time. At home, there is no need for it, the usual universal axe will do.
The fire shield is necessarily completed with an axe. It is used for opening doors and windows.
It differs from its brethren in that it has a wooden axe covered in red paint and weighs no more than 2 kg. The axe is always tested for durability and has a quality certificate.
What steel axe to choose from? As a rule, tool steel, carbon steel or alloy steel are used in production, of which the latter are the most durable.
The stronger the material, the less often you have to sharpen the blade and the longer the product will last. A simple test can be done by tapping on a metal surface. A muffled sound hints that it is better to wait with the purchase, but a ringing sound indicates the quality of steel.
Axes are usually made of various types of wood. The optimum ratio of hardness and strength is demonstrated by birch. After a few years of use, the wood will dry out. It is possible to combat this by putting it in water, or buying a model with a handle treated with paint or varnish.
All-metal axes are extremely reliable, but heavier. Modern models may have a rubberized handle. This is extremely convenient because it prevents the hand from slipping and reduces to zero the risk of getting a splinter.
The blade can have a straight or rounded edge. The first option is sharpened for impact, it is good for splitting objects. The second “knows how” to cut, which will be useful in the carpentry trade.
A sharp sharpening speeds up the work, but such a blade is brittle and will blunt faster. The optimal sharpening angle for large logs is considered to be 40º. Small trees can also be cut with a blunt tool.
Do not forget to specify the width of the blade. The extended working part is more comfortable to work with large objects: trees, logs, because a large area will be covered in one stroke.
For trimming a log or chipping a branch, the medium width is sufficient. Hiking axes and carpenter’s axes have it. The narrow working part is suitable for chopping firewood and wood chips.
The weight of the axe directly affects the force of the blow. Accordingly, the heavier it is, the more powerful the blow will be. The tool, which is supposed to be carried in a backpack, should be lighter and more compact. An imposing weighty axe is suitable for working in one place.
Inspect the wooden handle for cracks and burrs. It will be a plus if it has a bend that provides a confident grip.
Its optimum length is considered to be 6-7 times the width of the axe. It varies depending on the type of axe: tourist models have an axe length of about 20 cm, and in a tool for wood chopping it can reach half a meter.
Choose simple models that do not require special handling skills if you do not use the axe very often.
The price of the tool is largely influenced by the manufacturer. The most budgetary options have a wooden handle, and their price does not exceed 700 rubles. You will have to pay up to 2000 rubles for hiking and hunting axes. Such models are often all-metal with a rubberized handle.
We hope that these tips will help you choose a high quality axe that will serve you faithfully for many years.