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Help me evaluate this new axe?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by redmike512, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. redmike512


    Jan 20, 2017

    I recently bought an Estwing 45 axe, and had some questions about the quality of the axe I got. I know they're not an amazing manufacturer, but the axe that I received has some of what I would consider problems, and I wanted experts' opinion as to if I am overreacting.

    1) The edge has burrs of metal on it, as if they didn't finish sharpening
    2) The angle to the cutting edge (is it called a bevel?) isn't even on each side. One side has a much more sharp angle than the other.
    3) There's a very small divot in the cutting edge, like you might have it you hit something hard when chopping. It's super small, but this is supposed to be a new axe, no?

    I've attached some photos that show the burrs, and the unevenness in the bevel. The bevel ones are blurry because I couldn't get the camera to focus properly, but I think you can still see the unevenness.

    Welcome thoughts and opinions. Should I return it? Just hit it with a sharpening stone and go on my way?

  2. SC T100

    SC T100

    Apr 2, 2014
    Many axe makers leave the edges rougher, as the finishing work is where costs can really add up. It also allows the end user to tailor the edge to their needs (e.g. rough use/cutting roots = leave an obtuse angle, fine chopping and limbing = thinner, sharper edge).

    I'd decide how you plan to use it, and go from there. If it's cutting and limbing, get a file and thin it out and hone it with stones. All axes, with the exception of the higher-end models (i.e. gransfors, Velvicuts, etc) come with rough edges. Again, this is due to cost and shipping concerns.
  3. redmike512


    Jan 20, 2017
    Thank you. Anything to worry about with the bevels, you think?
  4. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Estwing only puts "courtesy grinds" on their axes and so any edge that's present is likely to need some work. They're not intended to be used as provided, even though you could if you had to. What you've described is totally normal for most axes in factory condition, and won't take long for you to get in ready-to-use shape.
  5. Lieblad


    Jul 24, 2015
    Estwing does not make tools to satisfy obsessive nitpickers.
    Aside from recent product lines to cash in on recent masculine fads. They make tough functional tools to suit the mass market of folks who "work hard & put away wet".
    The minor "tune-ups" suggested, if it makes guy happy, do it...
    Its a bit over the top for majority of intented users.
  6. Boston_Strong


    Jul 7, 2016
    I recently read in an older thread on BF that the uneven bevels are supposed to prevent the axe/hatchet from getting stuck in the wood so easily

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008

    Huh??? :confused:
  8. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    Dec 20, 2015
    All other things being equal,there's NOTHING under the sun that can keep an Estwing from sticking.Hard.And EVERY time.

    Lieblad has put it well above,except that i'd add that ALL models of Estwing axes are an Accutrement for a Lumber-sexual,and were never meant for chopping.
    They're shaped as a very fine Hewing tool,but are VERY poorly balanced for that,so looking cute is their primary value.
    I've much else to critisize them for,but no point in doing it here.
    If the intended use is occasional and casual,(and in a mild climate),they work just fine.
    And,on the plus side,the alloy used,+it's HT,is very,very good.(I've been destruction-testing an Estwing in my forge employing it as a hot-cut,incredible how much abuse it continues to absorb,i'm Very impressed).
  9. Boston_Strong


    Jul 7, 2016
    I'm looking for the specific thread right now so I can quote it

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  10. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    :eek: Lol!
    I used to be worse but I can kind of see now that they work for some people. And I just eventually tired of voicing my opinion.
  11. SC T100

    SC T100

    Apr 2, 2014
    I wouldn't worry about it. As you file it to your needs, just file the steeper bevel a bit more until it's evened out. Those have thin cheeks and bevels anyway, so it won't take long. Follow the An Ax to Grind tutorial on YouTube and you should have it ready to go in no time.
  12. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I don't see anything in your pictures that I would complain about.

    Estwing makes very sturdy stuff. You find it all over construction sites - hammers, flat bars, nail pullers. Their hatchets and small axes are also very durable. But as mentioned above the bits are too thin to make good choppers - they're too sticky. I like the hatchet with the leather handle. Decent for splitting kindling or sharpening a stake. Their longer axe is a good limber and fine for driving felling wedges. The drawback on the longer one is that you can't really choke up on it because of the narrow neck.
  13. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have this same Estwing hatchet and have used it for over 20 years. It has been a very dependable tool for me. I've not given it much special care. Just sharpen and use it. I don't obsess or nit pick over it. If it's dull I sharpen it, peel the burr off and use it. I carry it every where and it's be a great American made tool. I use it for pruning, making kindling, framing buildings, ect.. I like the grind on it. The company here in the U.S. has been making axes for 90 years. They could have had a new employee working at the final grind station and he didn't get the bevel quite correct that day. I wouldn't consider this small example a flaw toward this product. I'd correct it and use it a few years and see what you think of it's performance. DM
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  14. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    I'll echo that sentiment. These are assembly line implements where every effort is made to keep labour costs down so that the end product remains affordable. Far as I know these are still made in USA which in itself is a miracle. If Estwing sent out entirely unfinished blades many people would complain and if they sent out intently honed edges reluctant buyers would then be complaining about the price.
  15. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008

    Moral of the story: People love complaining. :D :D :D

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