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India ? ....

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Drum4fun, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Drum4fun

    Drum4fun

    167
    Mar 21, 2018
    I picked this up at local thrift with plans to clean up and
    give to a friend. As I started to clean it up I noticed a (previously
    hidden from view) imprint "M INDI". Does this indicate the
    ax was made in India ? Do they use substandard steel ? What is
    the issue with detractors of India steel, too soft ? Should I just
    keep it to practice (re-hang, edging etc.). re-donate ? My friend
    just wanted one for his truck in case he had to clear a tree branch
    from his property trail. Thanks.

    btw...I only gave $5.00.

    forgot to mention...the eye seems to have missed top dead center.

    Charles
    https://imgur.com/a/hrVKI
     
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    [​IMG]

    It looks like an H to me and my first though was HF (for Harbor Freight).

    Photo below from Google image search result for
    axe hf india
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Drum4fun

    Drum4fun

    167
    Mar 21, 2018
    Thank you Mr. Tall. I believe you are correct. When I interrogated the archives I
    learned that most ax/hatchets etc. with origins in India are not highly regarded.
    I'm pretty sure this will be a "give away" after I sharpen, tighten, strip the varnish,
    sand and test. The photo you linked looks identical. Thanks.
    Charles
     
  4. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    Your axe here really does look like garbage, but it could be an ok splitter.
    I think this is an older harbor freight axe, the current ones look way better.
    Now this doesn't mean the steel will be complete garbage.
    I bought a $12 HF hatchet about 5½ or 6 years ago and the steel isn't bad at all, it holds a shaving edge pretty well.
    You'd normally think such an edge on a cheap import would just roll or chip right away.
    Maybe I got a 1 in 100 good example or they currently just do a decent job with them, but it tells me the can have an acceptable axe or hatchet made for them in India.
     
  5. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    You found a $5 axe, your buddy wants a truck axe if he ever needs to clear a trail now and again. Sounds like a perfect match to me.
     
    Trailsawyer likes this.
  6. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    Wow thick eye walls just like a classic 'rafter'. Either the East Indians are aware of this or they're wisely taking into account the quality of steel they're working with. A file will tell you about the blade and physical use will tell you everything else. It looks to be a north American (or other 1st world destination) 'export' pattern though. As a truck axe (much like a snow brush, pry bar and cheap boxed tool set tucked under the seat) as long as it's sharp you won't go wrong.
     
    David Martin likes this.
  7. Drum4fun

    Drum4fun

    167
    Mar 21, 2018
    Thanks to all respondents ! I will make this presentable to my buddy.... in the future I will pay better attention to Country of Origin. The metal file seems to indicate the cutting edge is pretty soft...able to get sharp, but doubtful it will hold an edge. Sounds about perfect for a truck ax. Thanks for the input. This was also my first full metal wedge (at least that I have noticed !).

    Charles
     
  8. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    The worst axes I have ever seen were made in India. Not to say they're all that bad. A few years ago a local hardware store had "American fellin axes" made in India. Just like a classic American axe they looked like they had been used to cut roots for 50 years and had toes 3/4" shorter than the heel. It's as if they looked for pictures of "American axes" online and found a bunch of worn out axes and thought that's how we liked our axes. How totally disconnected do you have to be to do that?

    Then there's the lines of malleable iron striking tools from India. Made in the shape of picks and cutter mattocks and such. But they crack under mild impacts. They are pick-shaped objects only.
     
  9. Drum4fun

    Drum4fun

    167
    Mar 21, 2018
    Thanks Square Peg.... as most casual users know nothing about these issues
    I will warn my buddy about the limitations, and (of course), safety issues.
    Thanks for the insights.

    Charles
     
  10. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I agree with 300,-- a classic rafter ax. Should the file test come out soft. You can give it a better heat treat. DM
     
  11. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My idea of a rafting pattern is different.
     
  12. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Trailsawyer and FortyTwoBlades like this.
  13. Miller '72

    Miller '72

    Jul 25, 2017
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I had one of these too...
    Very soft steel, would not hold an edge long at all.
     
  14. Drum4fun

    Drum4fun

    167
    Mar 21, 2018
    Thanks Miller '72.... seems to be the consensus of opinion on this forum... one
    always holds out hope for that 1 in 100 ...but I don't think my blade is that one.
    Thanks for the great photos.
    Charles
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  15. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    India isn't exactly known these days for making steel tools with hard edges. Most are like butter. Still, it's useful to have around for things like root chopping and the like. If you use it as a truck axe, make sure you have a file and coarse stone in there as well.
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  16. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    All I pointed out was the overly thick eye walls as being 'rafter'-like. I very much doubt the poll has been hardened and I suspect the eye material is overly thick because the metal quality is low.
     
  17. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Could be. DM
     
  18. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    Yes, and I can see the bent bit from here.
     
  19. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    I have an axe made by Valley Industries that has thick eye walls like that. They advertise it as S2 steel, a medium carbon shock resistant steel. I presume it's an import. I've never hung the head or sharpened it so I have no idea of the quality.

    http://www.valleytools.net/app/stx.products.asp?cid=246
     
    Miller '72 likes this.
  20. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Drum4fun's axe:
    [​IMG]





    Another "Made in India" example, with details listed below, says this one's made of 1045 steel, comes from the 2nd largest manufacturer of striking tools (etc.) in the world, with 45% of their sales going to North America:
    [​IMG]
    Quick Details
    Place of Origin:
    Punjab, India

    Brand Name:
    Gardex
    Model Number:
    60111102
    Type:
    Felling Axe
    Axe Head Material:
    Carbon Steel 1045

    Handle Material:
    Wood
    Overall Length:
    36 Inch
    Weight: 4.5 LBS

    ------------------

    GARDEX is the 2nd largest manufacturer of Striking Tools, Files / Rasps & Horse Shoe Nails in the world...
    Total Employees: 101 - 200 People
    Total Annual Revenue: US$10 Million - US$50 Million
    Year Established: 1995
    Top 3 Markets:
    North America 45.00% [of revenues]

    Central America 15.00%
    Southern Europe 10.00%


    from Alibaba dot com
     
    300Six, Square_peg and Miller '72 like this.

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