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Old 01-12-2012, 10:15 PM
Ballenxj Ballenxj is offline
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Default Best Axe or Hatchet for Bush Craft & Bug Out Bag?



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I've been looking at the Granfors Bruks Wilderness hatchet in the 14 to 15 in range that will work for survival situations.
Do I really have to spend that kind of money, or are there better, cheaper alternatives?
I'd like to hear from those of you who might have more experience with them.
Is a Gerber or Husqvarna hatchet good enough? Fiskars?
-Bruce
Old 01-12-2012, 10:31 PM
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Hands down my favorite is the Wetterlings Large Hunting Ax. It is made in the same factory as Granfors Bruks but is less expensive. The LHA is 20 inches so a bit longer then what you are looking for but I would take this Axe over all others. www.wetterlings.se is the web address to Wetterlings and here is a link to the axe on Amazon (Amazon says Extra large hunting axe but its the same as the Large). Also look at the S.A. Wetterling Axes 174 Classic Scout Axe with American Hickory Wood Handles off of Amazon. I havent used it before but I hear great reviews. It is slightly smaller I think 17 inches but its got a red painted handle so you can find it easily if you set it down in the brush.
You can find a ton of youtube videos on the Wetterlings and how well people like them.
Hope this helps,
-Andy
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:09 PM
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Andy, Thanks for the information.
-Bruce
Old 01-12-2012, 11:31 PM
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This one goes in my canoe....


http://www.boundarywaterscatalog.com...cfm/4,751.html
Old 01-13-2012, 06:55 AM
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I second the motion for Wetterings; also, I like the older Plumb hatchets. They show up on ebay regulary, or I think I paid $10.00 for my last one I found at a second hand store.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:18 PM
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I have a Husqvarna hatchet and I have split wood, hammered nails, chopped through bone, and it is light enough to carry without being burdensome. I must admit I never had a GB or Wetterlings but since my Husqvarna I don't feel the need to have to have one. I am fully satisfied with its quality.
Old 01-13-2012, 01:28 PM
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Here's mine. It's a Wetterlings that I had a welder friend cut down to a more tomahawkish look. Made it a bit lighter but I've got the same cutting area as before (and yes, I admit it - I think it looks cool).
Here's the head before -
Click image for larger version

Name:	Hatchet 1.jpg
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- and my drawing of what I wanted to do . . .
Click image for larger version

Name:	Hatchet 2.jpg
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ID:	60329
Here's the finished product . . .
Click image for larger version

Name:	Hatchet 3.jpg
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ID:	60330
You can stil see the logo
Click image for larger version

Name:	Hatchet 4.jpg
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ID:	60331

The hatchet head I found while cleaning out a garage, so the only expense was the handle. My buddy did the alterations for free.
Old 01-13-2012, 02:31 PM
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There is a short 14 inch Fiskars that is pretty bullet proof from what I have seen , warranty is awesome, they have pictures of trucks driving over the handles
Old 01-13-2012, 03:29 PM
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I just got the Gerber Gator Axe and Saw combo as a tool to keep in my car and while I prefer a traditional wood handle this thing is rock solid the only place they let themselves down would be the saw in my opinion. Its handle is far to small for my hand. I would also call it a hatchet rather than an axe though I am uncertain of the exact definition and this may be were the lines blur. It came in a pretty good belt holster and is the right size for hanging off my belt without becoming intrusive. It seems to have a nice balance and overall seems good, I'm not too worried about the saw as it will only be a back up because I folding pull saws in my kits like the Bahco laplander.
Old 01-13-2012, 07:16 PM
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Fiskars axes/hatchets are the same as Gerber but the Fiskars are actualy a lot cheaper over all. I've been using the old model and new model 14" hatchet for ages with no issues at all. For a cheap tool that should last a life time you can't go wrong with Fiskars.
cheers
Old 01-13-2012, 10:00 PM
Ballenxj Ballenxj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtlewolf View Post
Fiskars axes/hatchets are the same as Gerber but the Fiskars are actualy a lot cheaper over all. I've been using the old model and new model 14" hatchet for ages with no issues at all. For a cheap tool that should last a life time you can't go wrong with Fiskars.
cheers
RE: Fiskars vs GERBER. While I have read that they are the same hatchet, I also have read that the Fiskars doesn't have a sheath, while the Gerber does? Did I read that right?
To me, having a good sheath for my hatchet is also very important.
-Bruce
Old 01-13-2012, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguy8555 View Post
Here's mine. It's a Wetterlings that I had a welder friend cut down to a more tomahawkish look. Made it a bit lighter but I've got the same cutting area as before (and yes, I admit it - I think it looks cool).
Here's the head before -
Attachment 60328
- and my drawing of what I wanted to do . . .
Attachment 60329
Here's the finished product . . .
Attachment 60330
You can stil see the logo
Attachment 60331

The hatchet head I found while cleaning out a garage, so the only expense was the handle. My buddy did the alterations for free.
That is pretty awesome! How much do you think it would cost? I might have to send you one of my Wetterlings to get it done up like yours.
Old 01-13-2012, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballenxj View Post
I've been looking at the Granfors Bruks Wilderness hatchet in the 14 to 15 in range that will work for survival situations.
Do I really have to spend that kind of money, or are there better, cheaper alternatives?
I'd like to hear from those of you who might have more experience with them.
Is a Gerber or Husqvarna hatchet good enough? Fiskars?
-Bruce
My advice is to skip the 14-15 inch hatchets and go for a smaller axe in the 24-26inch range. The extra weight is marginal but the capabilities are twice as useful.

A 14-15 inch hatchet is primarily good for knocking out small branches or thumb size sticks and cutting foods. You CAN knock out something wrist size, but it is not as effective. Now when you get to 24-26 inch range, you have a lot more leverage, de-limb, cut out staves, quarter wood etc etc.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:27 PM
Turtlewolf Turtlewolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballenxj View Post
RE: Fiskars vs GERBER. While I have read that they are the same hatchet, I also have read that the Fiskars doesn't have a sheath, while the Gerber does? Did I read that right?
To me, having a good sheath for my hatchet is also very important.
-Bruce
Same axe same "sheath" just different color and usualy Gerber is a lot more expensive. The Gerber axe/hatchet were also upgraded just like the new Fiskars-which I like very much. The old model realy didn't have anything wrong with it but the new X series are pretty decent.
cheers
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:31 PM
Turtlewolf Turtlewolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
My advice is to skip the 14-15 inch hatchets and go for a smaller axe in the 24-26inch range. The extra weight is marginal but the capabilities are twice as useful.

A 14-15 inch hatchet is primarily good for knocking out small branches or thumb size sticks and cutting foods. You CAN knock out something wrist size, but it is not as effective. Now when you get to 24-26 inch range, you have a lot more leverage, de-limb, cut out staves, quarter wood etc etc.
I beg to disagree as I've used (and still use) both and usualy find myself just using the hatchet, it's handier and causes less fatige (?) when making large amounts of kindling. I've often used hatchets to chop 4" logs with little effort and the shorter handle is much easier to control for detail work.
cheers
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtlewolf View Post
I beg to disagree as I've used (and still use) both and usualy find myself just using the hatchet, it's handier and causes less fatige (?) when making large amounts of kindling. I've often used hatchets to chop 4" logs with little effort and the shorter handle is much easier to control for detail work.
cheers
Ohh I agree. Kindling and fine cuts a hatchet would be the proper tool. But for general "survival situation", I would choose the small axe any day as it entails a lot of wood processing for fuel and shelter building. A correct tool for every job. Hard to pick one without defining the actual jobs needed though.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:51 AM
Turtlewolf Turtlewolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
Ohh I agree. Kindling and fine cuts a hatchet would be the proper tool. But for general "survival situation", I would choose the small axe any day as it entails a lot of wood processing for fuel and shelter building. A correct tool for every job. Hard to pick one without defining the actual jobs needed though.
Good point and I should have asked if you were talking about axes in the 2.5lb range as I consider a 3.5-4lb range a small axe but they are generaly difficult to choke up on with any accuracy for detail work where the hatchet and boys axe are pretty well ballanced for detail work as well as chopping very well. But then I'm about 150lb with my work boots on so someone that is 6'6" and 270lb might find the 4lb axe pretty easy to use for detail work.
cheers
Old 01-14-2012, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade89 View Post
Hands down my favorite is the Wetterlings Large Hunting Ax. It is made in the same factory as Granfors Bruks but is less expensive. The LHA is 20 inches so a bit longer then what you are looking for but I would take this Axe over all others. www.wetterlings.se is the web address to Wetterlings and here is a link to the axe on Amazon (Amazon says Extra large hunting axe but its the same as the Large). Also look at the S.A. Wetterling Axes 174 Classic Scout Axe with American Hickory Wood Handles off of Amazon. I havent used it before but I hear great reviews. It is slightly smaller I think 17 inches but its got a red painted handle so you can find it easily if you set it down in the brush.
You can find a ton of youtube videos on the Wetterlings and how well people like them.
Hope this helps,
-Andy
Curious where you got that information that Wetterlings are made in the same factory as Gransfor Bruks. I have never heard that. Would love a link if you have one.
Old 01-14-2012, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 375H&H View Post
Curious where you got that information that Wetterlings are made in the same factory as Gransfor Bruks. I have never heard that. Would love a link if you have one.
Good catch, seems I was mistaken I heard it in a video I was watching about Wetterlings vs GB. I tried finding the video again but I found some articles instead saying they are not together but Gabriel Branby CEO of Gransfors did buy Wetterlings but kept them two separate companies.
http://bensbackwoods.blogspot.com/20...tterlings.html
I do apologize for the misleading information.
-Andy
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade89 View Post
Good catch, seems I was mistaken I heard it in a video I was watching about Wetterlings vs GB. I tried finding the video again but I found some articles instead saying they are not together but Gabriel Branby CEO of Gransfors did buy Wetterlings but kept them two separate companies.
http://bensbackwoods.blogspot.com/20...tterlings.html
I do apologize for the misleading information.
-Andy
Ok, thanks.
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