Monday, May 2, 2016

Commando Axe chopping test

So today, I decided to "bite the bullet" and test the 3-piece "Commando Axe" on chopping [See my earlier blog "Commando Axe" - experimenting with a 3-piece axe [2 short vids]    I did this with a lot of reservation, as I was so sure it was going to fail and break.

But before the actual chopping test, I decided to test my other hand axes so I could have a reference or gauge for the Commando's performance. I used four hand axes for today's testing [Top to bottom] S.O.G. Fasthawk; Track of the Wolf Tomahawk; Collins [ACE HARDWARE] camp axe; BUDK 3-piece "Commando Axe":

Tomahawks and Axes tested

I started with the S.O.G. "FastHawk", which weighs around 1 lb. and has a 2" cutting edge. Test medium was a [I think] Walnut log about 4"-4.5" in diameter and about 14" in circumference. The Fasthawk chopped through the log in about 5 minutes time:

S.O.G. Fasthawk

Next up was the TRACK throwing tomahawk. This is an NMLRA approved competition hawk. It weighs around 1.5 lbs. and has a generous 4" cutting edge, The log used measured appx. 4" in diameter and about 13.5" in circumference. It chopped through the log in 3 minutes:

TRACK Throwing tomahawk

Next came the COLLINS camp axe. This axe has a 1.25 lb. head and with handle weighed in just under 2 lbs. Cutting edge was about 3". Test material was same wood, with diameter of 5" and a measured circumference of about 15", so a little larger than others tested. It completed the task in 3 minutes, and I judge this the best performer for this informal test:

Collins [Ace Hardware] Camp Axe

Finally, it was time to test the Commando Axe. Same wood, this section app. 5" diameter and 16" in circumference, so the largest section attempted. To my complete surprise, it completed the task in about 5 minutes with no breakage or deformation. I recorded the test, and make comments through the video:

Commando Axe chopping test video

The biggest problem I found was not the head loosening, but actually the rubber grip handles moving and slipping. It gave me the illusion the head was twisting and I lost time stopping to [unnecessarily] re-tighten the head. In order to be efficient, the handles would need to be glued to the steel handle shaft sections. Not sure but thinking GORILLA GLUE maybe(?) and if anyone has some glue suggestions I would welcome them.

Anyhow, I hope you find the test interesting. At the end of the day, I would have to say my Collins camp axe would be my choice for serious camp firewood chores, but the Commando, as well as the others were great fun to work with.

Happy Hiking!

Bushcraft Woods Devil
[Goblin Ranger]

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