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Little hand axe with 1080 steel

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Ripshin Lumberjack, May 8, 2017.

  1. Hacked


    Jun 1, 2010
    Seems like a silly question to ask on an axe sub forum. The honest answer is preference combined with I enjoy Backpacking in the Appalachian Mountains. The first photo above was taken near the Priest shelter about 200' below the summit. Obviously it was effective for it's uses on that trip. Weight starts to matter in situations like that and the choices are big knife which I never found to be enjoyable to use, saw which I sometimes use but don't enjoy using, or nothing which is sometimes an option I go for. Being a short trip that I was doing for fun, I took my hatchet. In order to out chop my little hatchet a knife would probably have to weigh more, and would exert more stress on ones wrists in use, neither is appealing when Backpacking and using a trekking pole to aid in ascending and descending on the trail.
    Agent_H likes this.
  2. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    I didn't know the answer. Sorry.
    cityofthesouth likes this.
  3. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    I think @Park Swan touched on several of the reasons for a light hatchet over a chopper in his thread quite well.
    A hatchet has a shorter thicker blade. And the weight is concentrated. And the blade is wider. As alread said this makes it a splitting win. You can even still "baton" with a hatchet, and still benefit from the thickness. The shorter "blade", bit is safer in some tasks. People who give the advice to carry a hatchet or belt ax and a folding knife are passing on some old school knowledge that is worth listening to. The boy scouts back when they still were, did exactly this. I carried a hatchet for a long time. You can prepare a fire and a meal with nothing more than a sharp hatchet. You would be better off with just a hatchet than a long blade in my opinion. That does not go for just a half pounder, but a hatchet in general. Personally I have been spoiled by convenience, and scoff at anything shorter than a boys ax. But there was a time.
    Hacked likes this.
  4. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    You can take an 8oz hatchet with you whenever you go into the woods, especially when you don't think you don't need an axe or hatchet because you just never know.

    They have the advantages of being top heavy so they chop better than a much heavier camp knife ( much lighter for belt carry as well ) that won't even work very well for fine knife tasks. The 8oz hatchet will probably perform these small tasks a bit better than a big chopping knife, but certainly not as well as a belt knife like a Mora or a pocket knife like a Barlow.
    It's also easier to chop a point onto a peg with a small hatchet which you can also use to tap it in.
    You'll never know how well a small hatchet like this actually works until you experience one.
  5. littleknife


    Nov 29, 2000
    I have been a member on these forums since 2000. This does not make me neither special, nor more knowledgeable, just more aware of what are the things discussed by the new regulars - like most people who posted in this thread - and the regulars of say 10 years ago.
    The utility of a small hatchet has come and has been discussed quite a few times here over the years.
    A long time ago, a then well respected Canadian regular, Old Jimbo has posted here and on other forums as well his thoughts and experience regarding hatchets of several sizes, makes, profiles etc. He has also explored how much he can do with a tiny pocket hatchet. The short answer was: a lot.
    Some of his post were the ones which ignited my interest in axes and hatchets, and while I have learned the most from the most recent regulars here over the last 4-5 years, I still think of him and his posts very fondly and respect him a lot.



    The tiny hatchet in the last link is the Vaughan SubZero Sportsman/Sounding Mini Hatchet reground by Mike Stewart of Bark River Knife & Tool.
    At the time the heads of these hatchets were thicker, so they could be reground and still have sufficient amount of metal left.
    The recent makes are thinner and do not permit such re-profiling any more.

    What Old Jimbo did with his tiny hatchet is more than what I would likely be able to achieve with a 1 1/4 lb hatchet.
    On the other hand, while I find these pocket hatchets cute, they just feel too tiny to me.
    The smallest hatchet which I would use is the GB Wildlife Hatchet, and even that feels light and small to me.
    Hacked, jblyttle, Moonw and 1 other person like this.
  6. Hacked


    Jun 1, 2010
    Old Jimbo was what inspired me to give the often criticized mini hatchet a try. Typically they are met with questions about how useful could such a small hatchet possibly be As I said my use case is generally Backpacking or other trips where I am weight conscious. Liking axes and having a hatchet that weighs less than a typical machete seemed worth a try. The Vaughan in my pictures is the current Sub Zero Sportsman's Axe. I also have an older version that is stamped, the profile on the current one is better IMO, but the fit and finish was pretty bad. Old Jimbo definitely had some interesting posts, whish I'd been around while he was still active.

    I thinned out the bevel a number of times till I got to a point were I'm happy, about 6.5 degrees per side or so with slight convex. Removed the paint, and smoothed out the face of the head. Expanded and straightened out the eye using chainsaw files. And replaced the 11" factory handle that broke with a custom 12.5" handle with a much nicer shape and feel.

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