axe comparisons

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by phantomknives, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    so, as we all know, brands made very similar axes. Why not compare them.

    to start off i'v got 2 similar axes, true temper and a collins.
    so, head weight is very similar. 2 1/2 for the vulcan and 2 1/4 for the collins.

    both heads have similar edge geometry but here's where they differ, the collins has an extremely severe hollow grind and as such, doesnt have convex cheeks. the vulcan has a conventional grind with convex cheeks.

    the perfomance category goes to the vulcan due to its slight advantage in weight. keep in mind they have similar edge geometry

    if feel is an acceptable category the vulcan wins again. again, due to its head weight. the collins feels very light and not hefty. it just feels, dainty. it would be more suited as a carver. on the other hand, the vulcan feels just fine.

    next, steel. again, the vulcan wins. it's very resistant to my file where as the collins was softer.

    lastly, carving. this goes the the collins as the extreme hollow results in a more knife-like edge.

    over all i'd pick the vulcan over the collins any day. if you'd like to make your own comparison between 2 axes, post below
    garry3 likes this.
  2. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    This is a good idea.

    Your Collins sounds like a late model Mann era axe with its thin cheeks. The steel in that might be more comparable to a Woodslasher not a Vulcan. So you've got axes of different eras, with different geometries (convex vs. flat) and different steel - premium vs. economy line.

    A good comparison would be a Flint Edge or Vulcan vs. a Legitimus vs. a Plumb.
    phantomknives likes this.
  3. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    in terms of 3.5-4# jerseys, i have a flint edge, kelly perfect, spiller, plumb and a few hand-forgeds, if you'd like to see those i could oblige. even a few boys axes
  4. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I was thinking the exact same thing.
    Maybe this particular Collins could be compared to a current council tool jersy, or to a current TT true American.
    You may not have them, those are just more comparable to a Mann era Collins.
    phantomknives likes this.
  5. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    i have no idea how to date these things. fortunately, there isnt much variety in pattern here so i can give a few more comparisons
  6. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    I am not a big fan of Collins axes. I get the impression they were a budget axe. Their Legitimus line is a step up though.
    Square_peg likes this.
  7. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    my legitimus is awesome. there was some fence wire on a log i was chopping and i didnt even know is was there until i saw it. the edge was perfectly fine. i did a few more cuts just to make sure and the result was the same
  8. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    I would have suspected some minor damage.

    I killed a three and a half pound DBL bit Legitimus removing an old lilac. Lilac is harder than I had anticipated. A soft axe wouldn't have broke but would never have cut it either. I kept some of that Lilac around to test hatchets. It wouldn't break hatchets as the forces are just not that great but I thought it gave me a pretty good idea on hardness and edge holding. Kind of a proof test. I prefer the harder axes even if they are more susceptible to breaking.
  9. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    The early stuff is fine, but the problem is that they got bought out and cheapened earlier than the other major names like TT and plumb and have also had their name sullied with a few decades of total garbage.
    My pre Mann homestead may not be the hardest axe in the world but the steel seems pretty good to me.

    Now my homestead was a lower end axe from them, but I have no doubt something like a legitimus or an early commander would probably have harder steel.
  10. Gator39


    May 13, 2017
    How can you tell if your homestead is pre Mann or newer ?
    I have a homestead full size axe and a hatchet.
    They have different font and I thought that must be an indication of a wide span between their birthdays.
  11. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    The later Mann-era Collins stuff has flat cheeks.
  12. quinton


    Nov 4, 2006
    ...and that fugly look.
  13. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    There are a few axe patterns that usually have flat cheeks, so that can't always be a golden rule.
    If the axe is a pattern that is normally found with convex cheeks, then a flat cheeked Collins example will be a later Mann era axe.
  14. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    for the next comparison, what do you guys want to see? boys axe, michigan DB, jersey or "other"
  15. halfaxe


    Nov 29, 2012
    When I look at non-rusted Collins the earlier axes were more polished for one thing. Legitimus is pre-WWII. A later Collins with the block logos have a rougher grind on the top and bottom where the earlier axes were polished all around, even on the non-cutting surfaces. The block Collins became rougher over time, with some nice polishing on the fifties axes but rougher as time went on, along with dropping convexed models. I don't know if the cutting ability of Collins axes became worse. Maybe that's worthy of comparison.
  16. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Why not put a good Michigan against a jersey and see what happens.
    phantomknives likes this.
  17. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    alright, i'v got a plumb jersey and michigan. both 3.5s when i get a camera i'll get crackin
  18. xyrium


    Jun 5, 2016
  19. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    If both are Plumbs of the same vintage and have the same sharpened-blade profile and sport identical length handles you're gonna wind up chopping through an acre of forest or a mountain of firewood in order to prove nothing.
    How's about trying to do this same stunt with the Kmart Collins and the vintage TT Vulcan with no blade maintenance in between? I suspect there'll be a considerable difference in useful output vs user effort at the end of such a test and I'd love to be surprised.
  20. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    i'm tired. my brains not working right. can you clarify? i had to wake up to even read your reply, 300
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017

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