Pros: Construction, Head Material, None
Cons: Handle Material
Great next gen small axe
I have been using this axe to process an ash tree into a variety of projects, and it does an excellent job. I normally use a bearded axe from Ragnar for this sort of thing, but I wanted something with a similar head shape with a handle that would not need to be reset periodically. The full metal haft changes the balance off the head a bit, though it only takes a few swings to find an effective arc. Where this axe truly excels is in the numerous grips possible. Strong chops are anchored nicely at the end by the butt, fine work like de-barking goes fast when choked up behind the blade, and the swell in the middle of the haft is where I park my index finger for a surprisingly effective grip for medium work. My one complaint is that the scales leave the metal haft exposed; I would have preferred to have the metal completely covered, but that would trade off for problems in width and possible breaking scales on a blown swing. I wear gloves for working anyway, so not a big deal, but I may paracord it on the off chance I take it hiking. The exposed steel does give you a truly eery feel of edge control; no other axe or hawk I have used has felt like it. The edge is a standard V grind--it works fine, and if you care about bevels you probably already have the tools and skills to change it if you want. I chop wood so I don't need a delicate paper-slicing edge, nor do I need a spike to fight off the Mall Ninjas. I don't care about "tactical" but I wish they would have marketed it "tacti-tool" instead. My first thought when I opened the box was, "Wow, that's really flat," and that it was unlike any other ax or hawk I own. After using it, I am impressed and consider it worth the money. If the weight puts you off, go find a lighter axe or hit the gym. Keep an open mind on this one, and you will be pleasantly surprised.