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Being a lumberjack or cutting down trees is about as manly a task as it gets. I’m not going to get myself in trouble and say women can’t chop wood, because they can. But that doesn’t make it any less a manly job.
To get the job done, and done well, you need to know your weapons of choice – your best axes.
There is a wide range of different axes you can get your hands on, and they all serve a different purpose. When it comes to felling, chopping, hacking and hewing trees, you’re going to make life a lot easier with the right tools for the job.
Here is a guide to familiarize yourself with some of the axes you’ll need to get to grips with if you’re going to best those trees with ease.
A felling axe has a very sharp and thin blade. They typically have mid-weight heads and are easy to swing so you can get a good start on a tree. The head is tapered to make slicing across the grain of the wood a little easier.
You can stump trees and hack the limbs with ease. A longer handle version with at least 30″ will give you the most flexibility. It’s a great all-rounder, and incredibly good at digging into tough bark.
Hudson Bay Axes
For those interested in history, the Hudson Bay axe is named so because it was used by French fur traders in the Hudson Bay area in the 17th century. And, like every good axe it’s stood the test of time and is still very effective.
It’s a smaller axe than the felling axe, with a shorter handle and lighter head. Making it a lot easier to handle, and quicker to chop up wood. If you want to chop piles of wood into smaller pieces, this is your weapon of choice.
A splitting maul does what the name suggests, it splits wood, and splits it well. It’s not an axe for beginners, you need to have a good command over the accuracy when swinging a large, heavy axe.
A little fact a lot of people don’t know is that the splitting maul has a wide butt for a reason. You can use it to hammer a second maul if it’s stuck in a piece of wood. The heads typically weigh around 8 pounds, so it’s a good work-out when swinging it.
The broadaxe is a woodcutting classic. It’s a large axe with a broad head and is typically used for hewing logs. They have long handles and are wielded with two hands for a great deal of impact.
High quality broadaxes have a bevelled finish on both sides. Allowing you to hack large chunks out of a tree trunk, as well as splitting logs or making precision cuts.
A carpenter’s axe is usually a little larger than a generic hatchet. It was designed for use in traditional woodwork. They are pretty useful to have close to hand as you can chop small trees, make incisions, and split of hack of limbs on the fallen trees.
They typically come with a finger notch on the neck of handle to ensure a good grip. You can either hold it near the head for precision cuts, or make wide swings holding the axe near the tip of the handle.
Choosing the right type of axe is crucial in getting the job done. Know what your woodwork requires, and carefully get the axe that best fit your needs. Read more about Axe Maintenance here.
This post was written by Mark Miller, from Smart Beard, where he blogs about all things manly, from health, sports, shaving tips and more.