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Hatchet?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Cbiscuit, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Cbiscuit

    Cbiscuit ArboristSite Lurker

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    i got a chainsaw (Echo CS-490) largely based on recommendations here. So, thanks.

    I got that chainsaw to help clear a “natural area” the previous homeowners had - about 1/4 acre maybe. Anyway, i was thinking of now getting a hatchet to help with some of the smaller stuff and for removing limbs. So, first question: right tool? Am i think8ng correctly?

    Looking at good hatchets, i am seeing thr Husqvarna getting high praise. I was trying to keep things 40ish or less. The Husq fits that bill. I am also seeing Council Tool and Snow and Neally getting high praise. I kind like the idea of having an all American axe, but i a: not sure why. For sure, it is not a deal breaker.

    Second question: Snow and Neally vs Council Tool vs Husqvarna vs Estwing? And why.

    Third question: i have a Fiskars something or other i got many years ago. The handle is about 21” measured from the beard. It is too big to easily wield for my purposes and almost too small for anything else. So, i see 18” axes recommended a lot. Is that maybe a better size for what i am looking for?
     
  2. jnance

    jnance ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have the husqvarna and like it. That’s the only hatchet I own.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

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    Look on ebay for an old true temper or keen kutter or even 60 YO or older craftsman.

    What is your primary use? You mentioned delimbing, how about splitting kindling, letting the preteen grandkids hack down a sapling, etc.?

    For camping/backpack, I like the light tomahawk style, for around the house or out of the car, a 60 YO boy scout axe (estwing), or old CCC hatchet.

    Grandmas always used an old CCC hatchet for chopping the heads off chickens for the pot.

    Own preference for brush sized stuff de-limbing is a small double bit 30" handle axe.
     
  4. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    old CB likes this.
  5. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm with sb47 on this. I've owned many a hatchet over the years, and they get used mainly for splitting cookstove wood, or trimming bits that the hydraulic splitter leaves behind.

    When you try to cut small diameter wood with a hatchet or an axe--branches, brush, etc.--it tends to be springy, and the hatchet can't bite well. Works fine if you can lay the small stuff across a solid chunk of wood as a backup, but that's a rare scenario, usually available only once the small stuff is already removed.

    Chopping at small dia. wood also invites injury. Springy material can be surprisingly troublesome when attacked that way.

    A pruning saw, like the Corona pictured above, will suit you a whole lot better than a hatchet for cutting small wood. Start with the Corona, but if you do a lot of work you may graduate to something Japanese, Silky or the like.
     
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  6. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

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    machete for small springy stuff , sharp, good wrist action for fast blade velocity at contact
     
  7. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A Swedish brush ax is the tool for chopping limbs. But another vote for the handsaw as the faster, cleaner, and safer way to go. Silky is a lot better than Corona...but Corona or Fiskars aren't bad. I haven't tried the Notch brand saws, but if I needed to spend less than a Silky I'd give them a try. If you watch, sometimes you can find a great deal on Silkys at Amazon.
     
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  8. dancan

    dancan Spruce , The Best from here to the West

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    What ATH said .
     
  9. Cbiscuit

    Cbiscuit ArboristSite Lurker

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    So I actually have a folding Corona saw already, although not as long as the one pictured above. I bought it at Lowes or something about 15 years ago I think. It is fantastic!

    I am still interested in a hatchet/small axe though. I won't use it enough to justify a GB or the like, but I did find a Council Tool (non-Velvicut) 18" Hudson Bay as part of a camping kit (also includes a 2# "engineer hammer" (mini-sledge), a pry bar, and a garden hoe/pick tool) for around 100. Plus, I would definitely use that stuff camping as well. Thoughts on the CT option, specifically that axe?

    The axe I already have I also picked up from a Lowes or something about 15 years ago. It is a Fiskars. I don't know the model, but it is about 22.5" tip to tip, so about 21" of handle. It is awkward to use one-handed and two-handed; it is in a weird in-between zone. I would have no issues finding a replacement.
     
  10. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sooooo....reading the responses to the original question then the last question as to whether that is the "right hatchet" for what you want to do: Kinda like asking what is the best hammer to drive screws isn't it?

    Machete, Swedish brush ax, hand saw are all better answers for cutting small limbs then the best hatchet regardless of other gadgets that come with it.

    For just a general purpose hatchet if we are beyond talking about trimming branches, I've not found the higher end ones to be too much more functional than a small decent quality hatchet from Lowes/Menards, etc... Axes....yes, the better quality really starts to shine through. I'd buy something that feels like it has good balance in your hand and isn't obvious junk.
     

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