And still they are doing it wrong.
Boy Scout me just died a little inside.
oh, wait he's doing that.... BEND YOUR FUCKING KNEES! also you gotta reeelaaaaaaax
He can't relax, that axe is too light and not that well profiled for efficient splitting so he's got to put a bunch of extra force in to it.
Step 1, shouldn't you be using a splitting axe to do your splitting?
(I checked the web site, they literally don't even make a spitting axe at all)
They even call it a felling axe on the site, and yet there they are showing a guy splitting with it. I mean, you COULD split with it but it's going to be a pain in the ass to do a whole log (unless it's bone dry birch or something... oh yeah).
Anyhow I've got a nice old Norlund Voyager ($0.00) with no rust and the original handle and that's all I need so hipsters go home.
No idea what year, but the previous owner got it in the 60s so it's definitely a "cool hatchet" which is pretty gross, but I lived with farm workers (well, orchard although one of them did some winter sheep herding in the off season) for a few years so there were just a lot of old axes and adzes and things around all the time and it seems natural to have something. If nothing else I still use it for cutting wedges and cracking coconuts.
I personally HATE splitting wood. I don't mind bucking it up with the chainsaw, but that last mile is no fun at all. If you have a wood stove it's essential, but I don't, and I can assure you that with a little Technique you can be burning full logs as easily as the split stuff.
I enjoy it, but that's because I've lived in large cities my whole life and get fleeting joy from unnecessary outdoorsy manual labour. It's even slightly dangerous! Wee!
For the record, I've a Hartwell Bros. Grey Gorge axe, double bladed, 10 1/2" from blade to blade. It's an old axe, could have been made before WWII. It'll probably be around when the sun burns out.
I used to hate it until I helped some friends clear a field a few years ago and had a proper splitting maul and my god, it is the most satisfying thing you can imagine when you're using the right tool. I did it for about two hours without a break and then felt like I'd been run over by a bus for the next 4 days but it was worth it and the only reason I don't do it all the time is that I have no space, reason, wood or axe.
If you use an axe like the one in this video you have to but a bunch of force on the downstroke and it's jarring and hard to control and doesn't really sink in that well so you need to take a lot more strokes but they're jarring and hard to control so you miss the last stroke and don't make any progress and then oh shit your axe is stuck again and now you have to get it unstuck and
With a bit of practice and a splitting maul you could knock a green hardwood log bigger than the one in this video in half with one stroke, and most of the effort would just be swinging the maul up over your head, on the downstroke it does most of the work. I'm not very good at it so usually it takes me a couple strokes to get a log split but I've done it on the first stroke a few times and man is it ever satisfying.
If I didn't live in a city I'd be in much better shape, but I'm moving into an apartment where I'll have the space to set up some drums (horrible, wrist damaging, rubber on a board style 80s electronic drums, but still better than nothing) and drumming is even more fun than splitting wood, as far as physical activity you can do with your pants on.
By the way most of the products offered by this company are just generic-but-decent-quality products with a huge markup. The extra-expensive ones are those that they bedazzled, but it's still the same generic product underneath.
It's a bit fun to try to find the real generic of one of their products and compare the price.
No surprise at all there.
I don't really know about axes but you could definitely get a good quality handmade saw that had real value as a tool (relative to a factory saw) for the same price as one of these.
for that money you could buy a hydraulic wood splitter
a high quality, small hand saw is way more useful than any kind of splitting tool for the things I do.
But not that kind of quality, I'm more than satisfied with a pair of good, professional quality off the shelf Japanese saws you can get for about $40 each from Japan Woodworker (before the couple that owned it retired and sold it to Woodcraft, I've got no clue what they charge now), they're night and day compared to the crap you get at home depot for $20 a the really fancy ones are only a little better. It's going to be hell to sharpen but the way Japanese saws are hardened and the way I use it, it'll be at least a decade before I need to. It took some practice but for most non-plywood jobs it's just about as fast and accurate as a circular saw when you factor in setup and cleanup.
My Grandfather used to chop wood and I can feel his blood coursing through me when I hold this axe. We decided to camp another day, sustaining ourselves on what little prosciutto and cliff bars we had left. I felt Jack Kerouac's ghost that night. The stars were fierce and so were we.
in 60 years all English speaking women will sound like Henry Kissinger
Axe Hipster is a good band name.
Or the worst smelling kind of hipster.
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