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Council Fire Axe returned (and now replaced)

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Square_peg, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Today I received and returned a new 6lb. Council Flathead Fire Axe. The axe head itself was really nice, good high centerline (convex cheeks) and reasonably sharp and well-shaped right from the factory.

    And the handle was well-slimmed and had the feel of a vintage handle, but it was horribly warped. It had a comfortable swell. I could have put it work straight-away without mods if only the handle had been minimally usable. I think it would have been a fantastic splitter.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    garry3, muleman77 and Agent_H like this.
  2. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    Oh my.
     
    Agent_H likes this.
  3. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    With a good handle I think this axe would outperform any of the big name splitting mauls at a lower price. Plus it would chop like a SOB!
     
    muleman77 likes this.
  4. junkenstien

    junkenstien

    485
    Feb 15, 2017
    Are you getting another one?Got a 5lb council Dayton and it’s a heck of a splitter.
     
    Miller '72 and muleman77 like this.
  5. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I might be getting another in a few weeks. I've been contacted by a dealer.
     
    muleman77 likes this.
  6. muleman77

    muleman77

    177
    Jan 24, 2015
    I use a lot of newer councils with the red head. They are fine steel, and perform great. Chop, split, pound wedges.

    That handle you got though, was not ok!
     
    Square_peg and Trailsawyer like this.
  7. LegionPrime

    LegionPrime

    64
    Feb 13, 2010
    Nothing wrong with that handle, just swap it out and stick a hewing head on it. LOL
     
  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    An update on this axe. I sent that warped axe back for a refund. Then I ordered a new one from Whiskey River. It arrived today. It has the features I liked in the warped-haft axe and came with a nice straight haft. Kudos to Whiskey River for stepping up and placing an order for these based on a client's need.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now to the axe. The head is great. The haft isn't quite as slim as the last one but it ain't bad and it's straight! Overall length is 35-3/4". Axe head measures 8-1/2" x 4-3/4".
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    Stamp on the front side reads 'USA 18'. Backside has the standard Council Tools logo.
    [​IMG]
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    It has the convex cheeks of a classic American axe, something I've very fond of. The bit/cheek geometry is really very good. I don't know of another maker currently producing axes with this geometry.
    [​IMG]
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    The profile is excellent, pretty much right to the FS axe gauge.
    [​IMG]

    The edge needs only a light filing and honing to be a very good chopper and splitter. For it's intended purpose, fire axe/demolition, it is ready to roll from the factory.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm pleased with it. I plan to lightly file and hone the edge and give it a go as a chopper. But what I really wanted to test it at is as a splitter. I suspect it will blow away most if not all available splitting mauls on all but the biggest hardest pieces.

    My recollection is that Councils standard line axes (not Velvicut - 5160) are made of 1060. If someone knows otherwise please correct me. This is a fine steel for a utility axe. On the lower end of 'high' carbon but with great toughness, adequate hardenability (to high 50's RC - I don't know the RC hardness of this axe but I think Council aims for low 50's) and it forges relatively easily to keep these affordable.
     
  9. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Images are acting goofy tonight. Stand by.

    Edit: Fixed
     
  10. phantomknives

    phantomknives

    Mar 31, 2016
    Whiskey river seems like a nice company, goes by officialcounciltooldealer on instInsta if you guys are ever on it.

    Didn't realize that stamp was a date code, mine says USA16. Props to CT for semi-serializing their tools.

    I think their railsplitters like the Jersey got downgraded to 1045 but it's been a while since iv checked but I imagine the fire a es are gonna be slightly more skookum, the FSS and limited edition boys axes are 1095, iirc
     
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  11. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    Real nice, and I like the convex cheeks.
    This is all I know of in production today aside from the Vaughan sub zero hatchet.
     
    Square_peg likes this.
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Last I knew, the base series was still 1060. :)
     
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  13. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    This one certainly looks better than the previous and kudos to Whiskey River Trading for switching it out for you.
    Your shot here is reminiscent of a larger rafting axe in profile from top down:
    [​IMG]
    At six pounds I bet it will make an effective splitter - that is a big boy axe to swing very much at one time.
    The handle might be somewhat thick but the head being that large might make it look thinner than it is.

    For a new axe made in the USA, that is a score. Did it come in a box? I only ask because if they do then Whiskey River may have had a stack of them and filled the order without opening the box, you know, expecting a Council Tool to be in good form.

    Can't wait to see it in action! :thumbsup:
     
  14. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Looks like Whiskey River received a box of 4 of these from Council and shipped one of them on to me in the box from Council. If I were Brandon I would have taken this opportunity to grab the pick of the litter for myself. If there was one better than this then he did very well. The haft is good solid hickory with good grain, 11 gr/inch and maybe 20° off vertical.
     
    Agent_H likes this.
  15. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014

    A quality tool at a fair price.
     
    Agent_H likes this.

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