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Thread: Axe or machete for chopping?

  1. #1
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    Axe or machete for chopping?


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    I already know my next purchase will be a large chopping tool, but I can't decide between an axe or a machete! I enjoy pruning trees with large blades, using them when camping, and just chopping for fun. I have used a Pakistani bowie (10" blade, 3/16" thick) as well as a cheap Coleman hatchet. They seem to perform about the same, but I want something better than both of them.
    I'm currently looking at either a Condor Golok (14" blade, 1/4" stock) or a Cold Steel Trail hawk.
    Any other suggestions would be awesome, but please keep it under about $60 for now.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'd say take a Fiskars X7. its about 30$. And it works.

  3. #3
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    There are several online dealers who have the Wetterlings 15" Swedish Axe in stock for less than $60. It's a great tool for the money and you would probably find it to be much better at chopping hardwoods than the Golok or Hawk.

  4. #4
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    I have more use for a machete in my backpacking/bushcrafting trips than I do for an axe. The right machete can chop almost as well as an axe of comparable size/weight/packability, but that axe cannot come close to clearing brush and undergrowth as well as the machete.

    If I were building substantial, long-term wood shelters each time I went out then I might lean more toward the axe. But I'm not, and if I had to in a pinch I could do so just fine with my machete.

  5. #5
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    I don't have much use for a machete, but I sure do like having an ax around.
    Nemo me impune lacaset

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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input! I'm thinking of buying the Golok and an axe, just to see which does better.
    Last edited by crowmagnon; 02-26-2012 at 09:26 AM.

  7. #7
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    That is very sensible. Let us know your opinion on how they compare.

  8. #8
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    The Condor 15" Greenland Axe looks pretty awesome...

  9. #9
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    *UPDATE*

    I have decided on an axe, but I'm still stuck between the Fiskars that M.L. suggested and the Condor Greenland.

  10. #10
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    I'd go for the Wetterlings 15".

  11. #11
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    Buy whatever makes sense for the climate, region, season, weight considerations.

  12. #12
    I've been happy with an estwing sportsman hatchet for years. The blunt side works great for pounding stakes, etc. and the blade does what it is supposed to do. You can reprofile the edge to your liking without breaking the bank either. They have a two handled model which is a tad shorter than a full size, but 2.5x the lenght of a hatchet. All one piece so nothing to break. Made in usa too. Even Home Depot carries them for about 40 bucks. I wouldn't backpack with an axe or hatchet for that matter, but it is fine for family camping, gardening, yard maintenance in the West, etc.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sargent View Post
    I'd go for the Wetterlings 15".
    +1
    Well worth it
    you will not need another
    Neeman

  14. #14
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    I think for that price range you can get a Condor Swedish ax, an Estwing campers ax, a Cold Steel trail boss and several others which are all gonna be awesome choppers. I have a trail hawk and it will work good for chopping no doubt but I think for any heavy duty chopping work you're gonna want a bit more weight and a bit more edge. As for machetes, there are also tones of great one out there as even a $12 machete will work great for grass,brush removal and more if need be. There is the Esee Lite machete which I think is about $50, and Condor has the Boomslang which although its about $15-20 over your budget, will be worth evey penny and is more compact with an 11" blade. Condor makes a great product, as does cold steel and at their prices you can get more than one or get one of each,etc,etc. Ka-bar also has their 14" grass machete which is nice. I think with all the options available and the suggestions you will get here you'll find the perfect tool for your needs. Good luck
    Here's a few pics
    TS-TCS90TA_540.jpgestwing-campers-axe.gif!CEneHJg!mk~$(KGrHqIOKiYE0D7!,ErOBNSbV4t3m!~~_3.JPG386fbc00.jpg

  15. #15
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    I would also go for the Wetterlings 15". And I will when I get my tax return back!

  16. #16
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    I have done a small comparison myself and found my golok (bark river) to out-chop both the Lee Reeves belt axe and the Gerber hatchet I had. My Busse CF BWM outchopped both as well, but didn't do as well as the golok.

    I don't have the golok anymore, but I would put my 12" fiddleback machete up against it as an equal in chopping and better for fast-swing brush clearing.

    In my experience (remember that I said that!), axes have an advantage in chopping when you start getting up into the 20"+ range of axe handles, and that advantage lies in chopping larger logs/trunks, 3"+. Shorter axes/hatches are evenly matched (and sometimes, as in my example above, outmatched) by mid-sized machetes/goloks in chopping smaller branches and saplings.

  17. #17
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    So many great suggestions, so little funds!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrapmetal View Post
    I have more use for a machete in my backpacking/bushcrafting trips than I do for an axe. The right machete can chop almost as well as an axe of comparable size/weight/packability, but that axe cannot come close to clearing brush and undergrowth as well as the machete.

    If I were building substantial, long-term wood shelters each time I went out then I might lean more toward the axe. But I'm not, and if I had to in a pinch I could do so just fine with my machete.
    ^I agree. An axe is the way to go for dedicated felling or splitting, but a machete is still able to perform those tasks if necessary while being able to handle a much wider range of targets.

    Quote Originally Posted by brewcitymike View Post
    I think for that price range you can get a Condor Swedish ax, an Estwing campers ax, a Cold Steel trail boss and several others which are all gonna be awesome choppers. I have a trail hawk and it will work good for chopping no doubt but I think for any heavy duty chopping work you're gonna want a bit more weight and a bit more edge. As for machetes, there are also tones of great one out there as even a $12 machete will work great for grass,brush removal and more if need be. There is the Esee Lite machete which I think is about $50, and Condor has the Boomslang which although its about $15-20 over your budget, will be worth evey penny and is more compact with an 11" blade. Condor makes a great product, as does cold steel and at their prices you can get more than one or get one of each,etc,etc. Ka-bar also has their 14" grass machete which is nice. I think with all the options available and the suggestions you will get here you'll find the perfect tool for your needs. Good luck
    Here's a few pics
    TS-TCS90TA_540.jpgestwing-campers-axe.gif!CEneHJg!mk~$(KGrHqIOKiYE0D7!,ErOBNSbV4t3m!~~_3.JPG386fbc00.jpg
    Lots of different Condor options, and for Estwing I'd like to suggest the Rigger's Axe. I actually like it more than the Camper's Axe. The thing is a heck of a multitool.



    I've heard nothing but good things about the Wetterlings, too, so that sounds like a very good option as well.


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  19. #19
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    I'm going to make someone an offer for a Wetterlings Small Hunter 15". I'll let you folks know how it goes!

  20. #20
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    That's the one I was going to suggest but I thought I stick to the more woodsman model since it seemed like that's what he was looking for. I really gotta get a rigger for myself soon
    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    ^I agree. An axe is the way to go for dedicated felling or splitting, but a machete is still able to perform those tasks if necessary while being able to handle a much wider range of targets.



    Lots of different Condor options, and for Estwing I'd like to suggest the Rigger's Axe. I actually like it more than the Camper's Axe. The thing is a heck of a multitool.



    I've heard nothing but good things about the Wetterlings, too, so that sounds like a very good option as well.

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