Trail Axe

The sawyer's companion
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SalmonCreek
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Trail Axe

Post by SalmonCreek » January 18th, 2012, 7:37 pm

Our group has always carried pulaskis with crosscut saws for trail work. I found out this last summer, a single bit axe is so much better for driving wedges than trying to use a pulaski vertically. Would like your thoughts on the type of axe, and weight of the axe head I might look for. With a balance of ability to drive wedges, cut some limbs, and fairly light for packing reasons.

Thanks

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Crosscut Sawyer
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by Crosscut Sawyer » January 19th, 2012, 9:56 am

I prefer a 5lb single bit. We had some nice snow and nealley axes that did the trick. In large western conifers, the extra weight in the head is worth lugging around when it's time to put a wedge in. I prefer a falling style double bit for chopping, limbing and under bucking, wood handle, and I underbuck rIght off the handle, no fancy tools. It takes practice to use that technique, but the weight I save makes up for my heavy double bit.
I do have a nice 2.2 lb Hults bruk single bit that I tote around in smaller timber, but it's a bit light for much of the work we see. I'll try and post some pics this weekend.
You could use a single bit for all the applications I use my double bit for, its just going to be less efficient. Try different methods and see what you like.

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PATCsawyer
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by PATCsawyer » January 19th, 2012, 10:43 am

My trail axe is a 3 1/2lb Plumb SB with the cheeks narrowed a bit. The narrower profile helps the head to stick better when the axe is used for underbucking. Of course the handle has all kinds of notches on it from using it that way and I've been asked if they represent lost members of my trail crew....... I've carried smaller axes on occasion, but find they don't have enough heft to drive a wedge as well as a larger head.

Aguineapig
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by Aguineapig » January 19th, 2012, 11:51 am

I carry a 2 1/4 pound axe on a 27" handles. Never had the need for a bigger axe for driving wedges, as long as you use thin bucking wedges a lighter axe might take a few more swings but has always worked fine for me. This is my favorite axe for limbing and I feel comfortable bucking with it too. Of course, you are mostly trail workers and I am just cutting small (under 16" most of the time) firewood on a fairly small scale so our needs are different.

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SalmonCreek
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by SalmonCreek » January 19th, 2012, 8:46 pm

Thanks for all the info, like anything else, trade-offs to be considered. I am curious Crosscut Sawyer, where you got the Hults Bruk axe, as most internet sites say it isn't available in the US. Good looking axe, maybe be to light for trail work, but I wouldn't mind having one just the same.

I suppose I should weigh a pulaski, any axe the same or lighter weight would be a clean trade off in packing purposes.

Thanks again, given me some food for thought.

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sumnergeo
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by sumnergeo » January 22nd, 2012, 8:07 pm

7c-big_log_during.jpg
full-length single-bit
We use single-bits for setting wedges. My favorite is a sawed-off version.
8a_big-before.JPG
sawed off single-bit and wedges

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SalmonCreek
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by SalmonCreek » January 22nd, 2012, 8:15 pm

That's a good idea too.

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PATCsawyer
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by PATCsawyer » January 23rd, 2012, 1:36 pm

Ebay is the go-to place for axe heads. I've picked up all manner of good Swedish and American heads for a fraction of their retail costs.

Captain Chuck
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Re: Trail Axe

Post by Captain Chuck » October 31st, 2012, 9:04 am

The 3.5 lb miners axe with 20 inch handles are the most popular on my crew.
Chuck
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