Hatchet vs tomahawk for long term camping?

Old Axeman

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Great, we have another WWW, ( Wilderness Weekend Warrior) with a bullshit opinion. BennyBlade--as anyone who has actually spent any extended time camping and working in the natural world knows; a axe and a knife are both essential tools, but they are NOT interchangeable to perform necessary tasks.
 
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EngrSorenson

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cut down a 10" tree
Were you able to accomplish this, or are you gambling that you could? 8-10 inches is about where I’d be reaching for a boys axe, and I’m noticing that the listed blade length of the Buck Froe is 9.5 inches.

The Buck Froe isn’t really a Froe, either- the design of the Froe is specifically for leveraging and controlling splits.

I have no doubt a buck froe is a tool you find useful. I believe you might be exaggerating it’s utility
 

Ernest DuBois

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In fact this billybuck, or whatever its maker is called, fits perfectly well within the definition of froe, traditional or otherwise and is probably derived from the Japanese traditional version. I myself also use a small parallel grip version for small scale work like draw bore pins and axe handle wedges and so on and so on. Nowhere is it a determined that a froe's grip be perpendicular to its blade.
 

FortyTwoBlades

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In fact this billybuck, or whatever its maker is called, fits perfectly well within the definition of froe, traditional or otherwise and is probably derived from the Japanese traditional version. I myself also use a small parallel grip version for small scale work like draw bore pins and axe handle wedges and so on and so on. Nowhere is it a determined that a froe's grip be perpendicular to its blade.
It sounds like you may be referring to Japanese nata, which are sometimes referred to in English as "bamboo froes" but they're really closer to something like an Italian manaresso, itself being a sub-class of billhooks. While splitting bamboo is in the range of function that nata are used for, they are chiefly a chopping tool and describing them as a froe, which is a dedicated riving tool with specific properties, seems erroneous at best. Many definitions do specify the perpendicularity of the handle, such as the Oxford English Dictionary defining it as "a cleaving tool with a handle at right angles to the blade." Granted, a general dictionary definition isn't to be taken as the sole authority on the meaning of the word compared to more specialized sources, but it does show that yes, it IS determined in some definitions. The etymology of the word is thought to come from the obsolete "froward", meaning "turned away", in reference to the action used with the handle (as in the phrase "to and fro.") This is not possible with a parallel or only slightly canted handle. There's an entire class of knife-like tools with straight inline handles called kindling knives or kindling choppers meant for light splitting by means of batoning or striking through the target medium, and these, too, are sometimes mistaken as being a kind of froe when they are actually their own class of tool with a similar (but distinct) function and method of use.
 

EngrSorenson

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In fact this billybuck, or whatever its maker is called, fits perfectly well within the definition of froe, traditional or otherwise and is probably derived from the Japanese traditional version. I myself also use a small parallel grip version for small scale work like draw bore pins and axe handle wedges and so on and so on. Nowhere is it a determined that a froe's grip be perpendicular to its blade.
I don't know Mr. DuBois... I'm pretty sure this is the froe that comes to mind here in America, and likely in Europe.
A froe (or frow), shake axe or paling knife is a tool for cleaving wood by splitting it along the grain. It is an L-shaped tool, used by hammering one edge of its blade into the end of a piece of wood in the direction of the grain, then twisting the blade in the wood by rotating the haft (handle).

Edit: I think Fortytwoblades has covered this better- just reloaded the page and noticed his post.
 

EngrSorenson

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While splitting bamboo is in the range of function that nata are used for, they are chiefly a chopping tool and describing them as a froe, which is a dedicated riving tool with specific properties, seems erroneous at best.
And just to lard on here, so that I can feel important, I was trying to look up Japanese riving techniques and couldn't find anything that seemed to demonstrate anyone using a "japanese froe" to rive wood.
 

rjdankert

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Bob
 

EngrSorenson

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yeah, shows a guy busting shingles out of wood with that tool, but that doesn't make it a froe or froe replacement tool. i might, for instance, bust shingles out with an axe, wedges, or small shingles with a Mora splitting knife, but that doesn't make them froes. There's missing functionality... namely the long lever for controlling the split.
 

rjdankert

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yeah, shows a guy busting shingles out of wood with that tool, but that doesn't make it a froe or froe replacement tool. i might, for instance, bust shingles out with an axe, wedges, or small shingles with a Mora splitting knife, but that doesn't make them froes. There's missing functionality... namely the long lever for controlling the split.
Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?


Bob
 

EngrSorenson

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Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?
You can make this personal, if you want- what I see is a guy who only thinks he knows what the froe does.
Thankfully your limited understanding of the tool is not a reflection of it's capability.

Or perhaps you've been wonderin' why they put that handle on all funny for centuries?
Never too old to learn, are you gramps?

 

rjdankert

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You can make this personal, if you want-
My post #67 shows two individuals in Japan using hand tools to rive wood. It is a response to the thread. It did not mention anyone or "reply" to anyone.

what I see is a guy who only thinks he knows what the froe does.
My post did not mention "froe" and if you played the videos, you would know that "froe" is not mentioned in them either.

Thankfully your limited understanding of the tool is not a reflection of it's capability.
Are you a mind reader? Have we ever met? Are you a world-renowned authority on The Froe?

Or perhaps you've been wonderin' why they put that handle on all funny for centuries?
Is English your second language?

Never too old to learn, are you gramps?
You have stabbed me through the heart.


Bob
 

Ernest DuBois

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Does your definition rely on the form or function? A tool in my opinion can be roughly classified by form in a ligitimate way as long as room is left for inevitable exceptions but is ultimately defined by its function.
The Japanese - I'll limit it to the obvious instance of the shingle maker. Blade to mark, set with mallet blow(s) to the back, lateral action to complete the split.
The Western. Blade to mark, set with mallet blow(s), lateral action to complete split.
Isolate the language variable and controll for that, froe/nate, who cares, and you have essentially the same tool only a difference in context.
 

Ernest DuBois

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yeah, shows a guy busting shingles out of wood with that tool, but that doesn't make it a froe or froe replacement tool. i might, for instance, bust shingles out with an axe, wedges, or small shingles with a Mora splitting knife, but that doesn't make them froes. There's missing functionality... namely the long lever for controlling the split.
Totally disingenuous. Can we be serious?
 

FortyTwoBlades

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Does your definition rely on the form or function? A tool in my opinion can be roughly classified by form in a ligitimate way as long as room is left for inevitable exceptions but is ultimately defined by its function.
The Japanese - I'll limit it to the obvious instance of the shingle maker. Blade to mark, set with mallet blow(s) to the back, lateral action to complete the split.
The Western. Blade to mark, set with mallet blow(s), lateral action to complete split.
Isolate the language variable and controll for that, froe/nate, who cares, and you have essentially the same tool only a difference in context.

They're distinctly different tools with different ranges of applications. Nata are also used for chopping, snedding, and other miscellaneous brush-cutting and wood/bamboo-chopping tasks, while froes are a more dedicated and specialized tool for riving purposes. One would not use a froe to trim branches, fell saplings and and cut withies, or do general wood shaping chopping work. Many nata are shapes that are quite inappropriate for this kind of riving work, but are still of the general nata tool class.

While this is a nata...

images


...so is this...

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...and so are these...
soulsmithing-antique-nata-study-2.jpg


...and so is this...

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...And then there are even ones that use an axe-like eye like this. But it is still considered a nata by virtue of its blade shape and intended range of function.

FinalHitsunata34511.jpg


Personally rather than calling is a froe, which is this...

440px-Froe_and_club.jpg


...or a grafting froe like this...

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...I would rather call a nata a nata and a froe a froe. They are two different kinds of tools that are able to have some limited degree of functional overlap, but they are of very different lineage and functional approach/intent. Froes are a levered tool, not merely struck.
 

EngrSorenson

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My post #67 shows two individuals in Japan using hand tools to rive wood. It is a response to the thread. It did not mention anyone or "reply" to anyone.


My post did not mention "froe" and if you played the videos, you would know that "froe" is not mentioned in them either.


Are you a mind reader? Have we ever met? Are you a world-renowned authority on The Froe?


Is English your second language?


You have stabbed me through the heart.


Bob
Ohhhh, I get it, you read when I said I couldn’t find anyone using a “Japanese Froe” and just posted some non-contextual Japanese wood craft pictures, expecting no response. :rolleyes:

If you want to discuss your inadequacies further, you can find me in Whine and Cheese and we’ll get it straightened out.
 

The Zieg

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Hey yall. Hope this belongs here, very first post. Recently I've gained an opportunity to go for a very extended camping trip. Putting together a gear list from the ground up, I'd prefer the best of the best as I will be relying on these tools daily for several months. Tomahawks seem a better option simply because hypothetically i can replace the shaft in the field, easier than a hatchet head. But hatchets seem a bit more rugged and hefty. I'm torn. Please give opinions, and please tell me if this post would be serviced better in a different place. Many thanks.

Jay
I dunno about all the to-and-froe going on here lately, but I have an answer for you, OP. I prefer a light axe over a tomahawk for extended work, but I also wouldn't expect to have to fell trees or do a lot of heavy work, either. I think I could live comfortably in the woods around here for a while with my Varusteleka Skrama.

And noe, it's not a froe. It's a Skrama.

Zieg
 

Ernest DuBois

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To be so expansive with the examples, it's called an obfuscation though I get the point of placing the Japanese version within a broader category. Still this has little bearing on the function or application of the shingle making nate. The two nate of mine have never been confused for riving implements in any way - though the double bevel is a good splitter, (not river)- and no self-respecting Japanese shingle maker would go trimming branches with a froe, just the same as I would not with mine, both made specifically for their work, by any stretch of the imagination, so I'll stick to the shingle making comparison as pertinent 'n illustrative, after all in German a froe is a schindelmesser if it's used for shingle making or otherwise and shingle making's probably the most widespread application for these tools I'd wager, with hurdle making occupying a fringe or niche along with the other reasons for want to rive out sections, like greenwood furniture making, or something.

The distinction twixt splitting and riving lies in the matter of controll and the controll gets exercised through the levering action. In the one instance through the addition of a grip mounted perpendicular to the tools blade in the other parallel with it. These claims overstate the importance of configuration Missing the fact that the function is identical, placing the primacy of catigorization over use. OK, if that is your perspective, by all means, you are my guest.

A froe ( in the broad sense ) does occupy a somewhat unique position Implying space for ambiguity rather than emphatic declarations.
 

FortyTwoBlades

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To be so expansive with the examples, it's called an obfuscation though I get the point of placing the Japanese version within a broader category. Still this has little bearing on the function or application of the shingle making nate. The two nate of mine have never been confused for riving implements in any way - though the double bevel is a good splitter, (not river)- and no self-respecting Japanese shingle maker would go trimming branches with a froe, just the same as I would not with mine, both made specifically for their work, by any stretch of the imagination, so I'll stick to the shingle making comparison as pertinent 'n illustrative, after all in German a froe is a schindelmesser if it's used for shingle making or otherwise and shingle making's probably the most widespread application for these tools I'd wager, with hurdle making occupying a fringe or niche along with the other reasons for want to rive out sections, like greenwood furniture making, or something.

The distinction twixt splitting and riving lies in the matter of controll and the controll gets exercised through the levering action. In the one instance through the addition of a grip mounted perpendicular to the tools blade in the other parallel with it. These claims overstate the importance of configuration Missing the fact that the function is identical, placing the primacy of catigorization over use. OK, if that is your perspective, by all means, you are my guest.

A froe ( in the broad sense ) does occupy a somewhat unique position Implying space for ambiguity rather than emphatic declarations.

We'll put it this way: if there were a nata and a froe sitting on a bench and I asked you to hand me the froe, you wouldn't be confused about which one to grab. If I asked you to hand me the nata, you also would not be confused about which one to grab. These terms are inherently better suited to one another than any other combination of labels that could be applied to them. Nata are simply called "froes" or "hatchets" by Western retailers trying to maximize their SEO, not because they are actually froes or hatchets, but because they can be used for SOME (not all) of the tasks those tools are and it gives them more keyword results in Google.
 
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