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I love my hatchet!
Many folk will tell you it's very therapeutic to chop wood and I'm no different. I have a chainsaw, a bow saw, several handsaws, a log splitter/maul and this handy little hatchet which I use to make kindling.
This particular steel one is relatively new and it is much better than the wood handled one I had before which had to be retired on Health and Safety grounds after the shaft became loose and stubbornly resisted my repair attempts. I took a bit of a risk buying this on-line as I would normally like to handle this kind of tool prior to purchase to test for quality and feel.
I like the fact that it has a nice rubberised grip. This helps to ensure that there are no slips which could cause accidents or lost digits. It feels good to hold. I get a couple of loads of logs every winter to use in our wood-burner and select several knot free ones to set aside for chopping. This is important. No hatchets like knots and your fire doesn't light as well with knotty kindling. Lots of sparks.
The weight is just right - any lighter and it wouldn't be man enough for the job - any heavier and it might have been a difficult or a bit tiring to wield repeatedly when chopping sticks. The distribution of the weight is also good. Can't imagine all these factors haven't been designed in to make this an effective and comfortable tool to use.
I like the little leather-look cover for the business end, which I always use to put my hatchet away for the next time. This has been something of a novelty for me as my last tool enjoyed no such luxurious accoutrement.
This hatchet has never been sharpened and because I only use it for kindling it hasn't suffered any knocks or scrapes to damage the blade. Although it has only seen one season's chopping, it works very well and I would have no issue recommending it.
I find it eminently fit for purpose and it makes short work of chopping kindling. Always remember, however, that using a hatchet is very dangerous. They are not very forgiving if, in an absent minded moment, you leave your steadying finger in the way. Do take care! Keep your fingers well away from the business end. You need a good hand/eye coordination for this task.
As some of you will already know from reading my reviews we have a log burner. Even better we also have friends and neighbours who give us any old wood that they have which they need to get rid of meaning free fuel for us. One of our friends is a landscape gardener and often gives us branches of various thicknesses from trees that he has had to cut down.
Sometimes these are thin enough for me to saw through with my trusty bow saw but sometimes they are so thick that they need to be split first. Dave has a long handled axe specially designed for splitting wood but it is too heavy for me to lift and swing effectively so I use a small axe and my claw hammer - let me explain.
The axe that I have is the Faithful Steel Shafted Hatchet which is currently just £9.53 with free delivery from Amazon. It is actually sold as a camping hatchet but as I said I use mine at home.
This axe weighs just one and a quarter pounds with a handle length of eleven inches. It comes complete with a protective leather sheath which fits over the blade and which is slotted meaning that the axe could be carried on your belt if that was what you wanted to do.
The handle of the axe has a really comfortable rubber grip which is equally effective and comfortable whether I am wearing gloves or not. The shaft and the head of the axe are made from bright shiny steel.
The head of the axe is flat at one end and sharpened at the other and the way that I use mine is this - I place the sharp end of the axe on the top of my piece of wood in a spot where it looks as though it might be easy to split it. I then hit the flat end as hard as I can with my hammer thus driving the axe into the wood. I continue doing this until the wood begins to split. Depending on how easy it is to split the particular piece of wood I then continue hitting the hammer until the wood splits in two or I lift the axe still stuck in the wood and hit the whole thing hard on the floor thus splitting the wood.
Some wood is really easy to split and some is so difficult I have been known to get the axe stuck and have to leave it until Dave gets home for him to get it back out for me! I do find that the drier the wood is the easier it is to split.
I also use this method to split pieces of planed wood such as floorboards or pieces of decking which are too wide to fit into our log burner.
I have had this axe for a few years now and it stills works just as well as it did on the day that I bought it.
All in all I would recommend this axe to anyone. I find that it makes what would otherwise be a job that I would have to leave for Dave to do easy enough for me to do.
I would, however, like to tell you a cautionary tale.............
A couple of years ago I was outside enjoying a cup of tea talking to Dave and my sister. Being the artistic ones they started designing our new waterfall so I decided to keep myself busy and chop a bit of wood forgetting that I was only wearing slippers - you're way ahead of me now aren't you?
I got the axe into a piece of wood and lifted it up, hitting it all on the floor to make the wood split. The wood did indeed split and a large piece flew into the air and landed on my left foot breaking my big toe. I now wear proper shoes or working boots when I chop wood and I would advise you to do the same!
All Steel camping hatchet with a bright finish and a comfortable rubber grip. It is supplied with a protective sheath which is slotted so that it can be carried on a belt. Size. 1.1/4lb.