Travis Olander 12.20.22
This hiker has rucked by a number of the nation’s most distant terrains. That features superior trails and mountain passes in Utah, the deserts of St. George and Arizona, and the Appalachian Path sections in Pennsylvania. By no means have I gone in a single day within the woods with out my Estwing Sportsman Axe. It’s a small, however robust wooden chopper and it doubles as an excellent makeshift hammer. It’s supplied loads of firewood to maintain me heat for years, and it doesn’t take up a lot area and weight. I believe it’s a must have hand instrument for any path camper. So, we’re doing a fast assessment – and sure, this advantageous specimen is ugly, scratched, and scuffed. It’s my private sidekick and I’ve used it for properly over a decade. You’re getting an sincere assessment, right here.
The Estwing Sportsman Axe Specs
- Metal: 1055 Carbon
- Deal with: Stacked Leather-based (Epoxy)
- Reducing Edge: 33-Diploma Convex Grind
- Edge Size: 3.2″
- Head Size: 5.0″
- Deal with Size: 6.1″
- Deal with Width: 1.5″
- General Size: 13.1″
- Weight: 1.8 lbs
The Leather-based Deal with
The stacked leather-based is certain tightly and it seems to be nice. It’s weathered and worn in properly through the years. I’ve had no points with the deal with holding as much as loads of cold and warm cycles, and a justifiable share of bodily abuse.
The leather-based is bonded, stacked, and cured earlier than it’s formed alongside the backbone. This makes for a seamless transition between the backbone and leather-based itself, eliminating any bumps or sizzling spots that may in any other case begin to dig into your palm after loads of use.
The bottom of the deal with has a refined flare that helps stop slippage, and the slight concave curve relative to the leading edge offers a pleasant strike angle. The deal with is vast and skinny, which prevents rotation when you’re holding it. It’s a easy however efficient design that doesn’t tire out your digits or wrist after loads of chopping.
The butt cap makes use of two massive, peened welds to carry the leather-based tight, and it’s by no means come unfastened or began to wobble. I’ve used it to beat a factor or two, evidenced by the random bits of oxidation and the odd scuff or dent. However it is a robust deal with and cap, make for the lengthy haul.
I really like that the axe head and backbone are shaped from a single piece of solid 1055. One-piece solid axes are simply means harder than the everyday cut up wooden dealt with axe. Plus, the middle of gravity rests proper in the course of the backbone. When you begin throwing all this front-heavy weight round, you’ll discover the Estwing Sportsman Axe carves and digs into no matter you’re chopping.
The axe head is at utilitarian as they arrive: A easy convex grind and vast angle give this comparatively smooth metal loads of resiliency. Sharpening is an rare affair contemplating how smooth this edge actually is, too. Springing for more money on a high-carbon, laborious axe head is, really, a waste of cash. The tougher the metal, the extra brittle the sting — and the extra probably you might be to chip that edge when you begin placing your axe by its paces.
I’ve run this axe throughout dozens of hardwood trunks, and I’ve even used it to cut aside a copper pipe or two. No points with chipping or edge harm. You’ll observe one small nick in the direction of the highest of the sting. That got here from a rock that was sadly hiding within the filth beneath a log I used to be chopping in half. It occurs. Fortunately, the 1055 is simple to grind and restore with a low-grit sharpening stone. Working throughout each side with a 400-grit stone, cleansing it up at 1,200-grit, after which ending off with a 3,000-grit for honing will deliver out an impressively sharp edge. At the very least for a way vast and thick of an edge this factor has.
The bottom of the axe head makes an ideal hammer. It’s a broad putting floor that makes it deft at dealing with batoning bigger logs with a sledge, too, successfully turning the Estwing Sportsman Axe right into a wood-splitting wedge. Extra often I’ve used it to strike tent poles and the like. However this hammer head will stand up to some severe strikes if it’s good to drive by massive logs, however don’t have a bigger axe with the correct swing.
The leather-based sheath is a pleasant robust, too. I concern Estwing Sportsman Axe would possibly’ve discontinued this lovely little piece of leatherwork, although — all the trendy Sportsman’s Axes I see these days seem to come back with a sheath made out of black ripstop cloth.
You possibly can nonetheless purchase the leather-based sheath by itself, and I extremely advocate it: It’s US-made, and has some good stampwork with glorious stitching and rivets. Just like the deal with, it’s worn in with a pleasant patina. It’s a prime grain that resists staining comparatively properly. I’ve often thrown some gun oil on there to maintain it supple.
In Brief: A Low cost, Good Axe
The Estwing Sportsman Axe is a traditional instrument. It’s been round for many years and earned excessive favor due to its legendary toughness and resiliency, and surprisingly low worth. On the time of this publication, you may develop into the proud proprietor of your personal chopper for a cool $40. That’s on helluva worth for this quantity of metal, mounted collectively properly, and made to final. If you wish to see simply how a lot of us love this little axe, check out how we restored another old Estwing Sportsman’s broken handle by making a brand new micarta deal with out of a cashmere scarf.