I recently bought this axe to use in my garden. This is not a standard gardening tool, I know, but I have four tree stumps in my garden that need some serious attention! And a chain saw isn’t a lot of use on a tree stump. I could have rented a stump grinder, but I want to go the more traditional route. I got it from Amazon here in the UK so, as is often the case, I paid more than you might in other countries, but . . .
This axe is made in Finland and the excellent reviews on Amazon were a big influence on my choice. Scandinavia, it seems, is the home of the more lightweight type of axe.
Nowadays when we think of removing trees or stumps or trimming branches, our minds turn to powered tools. But there is a huge upsurge in interest in all things to do with bushcraft and wilderness survival in recent years. Many people have a strong urge to get closer to nature and having a greater respect for the environment has a lot to do with this. One effect of this interest has been a greater appreciation of the tools of bushcraft, particularly of equipment that is well made and has a long tradition. And this certainly includes axes.
Axes come in all shapes and sizes depending on the job to be done. There are a number of different basic designs depending on whether it is used to split logs, chop down trees, cut off branches, carve wood, or carry on trips – the list is very long.
I knew I needed an axe that would split the wood so I could get some wedges into the split. A wanted a good quality axe but at a reasonable price. The keen bushcraft enthusiast might go for something very traditional and made more or less by hand, but that was going to be outside my price range. I was happy to buy a well designed axe made of modern materials, and the Fiskars super splitting axe absolutely fitted the bill.
The handle is good at absorbing the shocks. The product description says it is almost impossible to break, something that can happen with wooden handles if you miss your mark. I can keep the blade really sharp by using a sharpening stone. No axe can do its job unless the blade is sharp. The locking blade protector is a great safety feature. I must say I found this video quite persuasive.
If you are buying an axe for two-handed use, make sure it is long enough for your height. If it is too short and you miss your target, the axe head can hit you rather than the ground.
I have started on stump number one. It’s huge, and I’ll need to do a lot of digging round the roots too, but I’m up for it! I’ve also got plenty of logs to split from the cut trees so I’m going to be busy over the winter.
I enjoyed this video about the product developer at Fiskars.