I live in the sticks where gas has not even been invented yet ( we do have electric though...) and therefore my little house is heated with a solid fuel stove. This runs my radiators and hot water and although it is a pain to have to light fires and deal with ash and dust etc, I actually really love having a fire in my house. I burn special anthracite nuggets for burners and a lot of seasoned wood so as a result I have a variety of axes around the house. My logs are delivered and are a mix of hard and soft wood so I usually have to chop a fair amount and then stack them up the wall by my burner to further dry.
This is the poshest axe that I have ever owned and indeed seen. It is almost too pretty to use but use it I have and here is my review of its abilities and features.
Crafted by Estwing, this is one of their " sports" axes. Estwing make a lot of high end stunning striking tools and are based in Illinois, USA. Estwing products are constructed of one solid piece of hardened tool steel for strength and this axe is no exception.
It comes with a leather embossed and studded protective sheath cover featuring oak leaves and acorns. This both protects the blade and looks very attractive.
This axe is a hand axe, ie you do not swing it. I use it mainly to chop up my logs into smaller sizes and to make kindling. It is well balanced for a smaller axe and the head is good quality and sharp. The axe is small enough to be portable ( ie we have taken it to the beach with us to chop up wood for our fire pit ) yet well crafted enough to be efficient. It manages hard and soft wood with equal ease and is also pretty good at chopping up wet and knotty logs.
I find that some cheaper axes create work. The point of an axe is to let the tool do the work. Easy to aim and use, the axe needs minimal force to cut through most woods.
The solid steel one piece head creates a safe striking surface with no fear of it shifting against the handle or breaking. The handle is very attractive and lacquered, fitting nicely in your hand with no danger of slippage.
This particular model starts at about £38 which is quite a lot for a smaller hand axe but it is very well made and the company have a good reputation. There are many axes out there for as little as £7 which are ok as basic workhorse tools but this is my favourite because it is well crafted and beautiful.
If used a lot, like all axes this will become blunt so I also advise buying a whetstone to keep it sharp. I use an oil and whetstone to keep my axes sharp and efficient.
Conclusion- A beautiful and efficient hand axe.
Garden Hand Tool Category: Hand Axe / One piece solid forged construction, fully polished and with leather grip. Length of cutting edge is 3.1/4in. (82mm) Supplied with a leather sheath.