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The Wait Is Over. From this thread, orders for the 2023 BladeForums Traditional Knife are open & here's your handy order button. OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS $200 ea, one per household, must have been a member prior to 3/2023
I have used lots of axes' including the ones mentioned and more. The very best small hatchet that I have is one that Donald Lange forged for me from W-2....it wins hands down with any other small ax/hatchet I have ever used or seen someone use.
They are lots of guys who forge who would make you one...mine is based on the Herter's design.
For a small ax I like a 3/4 single bit ax, a 2 1/4lb 'boy's ax' as it's often called. They usually have a 28in handle and if you find a nice one, I have an older Collins that I like, the head is decently hardened and finished and they chop very well. They seem to run about $15 or so these days. A nice looking smaller one is the Vaughn builder's hatchet, a 28oz model that typically runs a bit shy of $30. The Cold Steel hawks look nice for maybe half again as much.
I'll second Clay's recommendation. I've owned & used quite a few hatchets, including some of those mentioned above, but I've never had one that can equal a good khukuri's performance. In fact, my HI 18" WWII model is the best kindling machine I've ever owned.