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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to add an Estwing Camper's Axe to my bug-out bag back packs. I have an Estwing Sportsman's Axe, with the leather handles, but it is a one-hand axe, and I wanted something I could grip with both hands and had more heft for when you are chopping. The smaller axe is okay for kindling splitting and smaller tasks, but for dropping a tree or splitting wood, a two-handed grip is much more powerful.

I like the grip the molded rubber handle gives you, and I like that it will cut down on vibration and shock to your hands and wrists. The axe itself is surprisingly light in weight, which helps in carrying it, and you can wield it one-handed.

The nice leather sheath is an added bonus. Now I need to get some mink oil on it, as soon as I remember where I stashed my mink oil. Mink oil, for those who might not have heard of it, is a leather preservative that waterproofs leather goods (great on boots).

The axe is made in the USA, but the sheath is made in Taiwan. USA ally, and they make good steel parts these days.

The rear of the axe can be used as a hammer, for tapping in tents stakes, and if you are wearing eye protection, can be used to drive the smaller axe through wood as a splitting wedge or to get the axe unstuck, which happens a lot when splitting wood that is knotty.

It also has self-defense capabilities, although last ditch efforts are just that. It could help in clearing your path, cutting shooting lanes, making a shelter, quartering large game, and chopping ice for drinking water meltdowns.

It cost me ~$42 OTD (I hate sales taxes) so it is not inexpensive, but it is a top quality tool that will last a lifetime, and if you take care of it (oil and properly sharpen the metal) it can be a family heirloom.

I have decided that I need to get very serious in my preps, so I am saving up to get the best gear I can, although delayed gratification does not make things fun, but at least you end up with gear that will stand the tests of time and hard use.

If you are in the market for a good all around axe, you might want to give these a look. Home Depot sells them in the tool area, in with the hammers.

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Discussion Starter #2
For some reason my other picture did not post - using my iPhone for the first time to shoot and upload, so probably operator error, but here is the other picture:

image.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, maybe it did post and my iPhone is not seeing it, sorry.

Working or playing wirelessly can be so much fun sometimes...!
 

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Very nice...the axe...not the phone thing...lol

I too have a 16" Estwing (# 5) with the blue handle. It's rode around in the Jeep with me for a couple of years now. It's main use is as an off road tool for trimming back brush and limbs on old loggging roads or Jeep trails. It's big enough to get a good swing but not so big as to be in the way.

I also have the 12" Estwing with the leather stacked handle. It does the lighter chopping chores. My third ax is a Norland hatchet, that never leaves the camper.

The most common complaint I've heard about the Estwing is that the shaft that supports the head bends under pressure. To that I say it's an axe, not a pry bar, and that same type of pressure would likely snap a wood handle.

In practice, I've never seen an Estwing bent, probably because I use mine as they are intended to be used...as an axe.

I don't care for (trust) the really inexpensive hatchets and axes, nor do I feel compelled to drop a small fortune on an axe. Anyway, I'd say if a person was looking for a good middle of the road axe, the Estwing deserves consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How much does that puppy weigh, and about how long is it?

Edit: Facepalm.... 16" campers axe. Doh.
Not sure about the weight - no way for me to weigh it, and no weight given on their website.

It is probably around four pounds, if I had to peg it. Light enough to easily carry, heavy enough to chop wood.

It balances in your hand real easy. I lugged it around Home Depot for awhile shopping, and it was easy to carry. But it did spook a few customers...!

It will ride in a back pack well; the size and weight are just right, in my book, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, Seneca, I agree.

I use Estwing for framing hammers, 22 ouncer. It has never failed me. It will drive a common nail with two swings.

The Sportman's axe with the leather handle is pretty light in weight, so I wanted something with more oomph to chop with.

There are more expensive axes out there, but for the money, and for general purpose use, Estwings are tough to beat....
 

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FYI, I picked up some axe and hammer heads on ebay for next to nothing. I put some hickory handles on them and ended up with some really good tool for my shop and my bob. Good luck finding replacement handles at the depot or lowes. I still like going to Furrows or any old mom and pop hardware store. just my $.02

punch
 

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Discussion Starter #9
FYI, I picked up some axe and hammer heads on ebay for next to nothing. I put some hickory handles on them and ended up with some really good tool for my shop and my bob. Good luck finding replacement handles at the depot or lowes. I still like going to Furrows or any old mom and pop hardware store. just my $.02

punch
All of our mom and pop hardware stores have gone out of business because of the not-so-great recession and influx of big box warehouse retailers....

And Home Depot actually does sell replacement hickory handles and steel wedges for tools, believe it or not.

I have some beater mauls, sledges, axes and hatchets with hickory handles that I use for work around the homestead, but they are too heavy for my BOBs. Plus the wooden handles get marred from splitting, which is why manufacturers switched to fiberglass and composite handles.

Estwings are high grade tool steel. Virtually indestructible and light in weight. Last a lifetime.

But different strokes for different folks, that makes the world more interesting!
 

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Estwing solved the issue of broken handles.

I've shopped the handle selection at the big box stores. The handles are usually for the brand of hammer axe shovel etc. that they are carrying at the time. It's great if they have the handle you need and it never hurts to look. My best luck at finding the right handle straight off has been either at a hardware store or a lumber supplier.

If you need an axe that has to work in an enviroment where shopping for a replacement handle isn't an option, the Estwing is the way to go.
 

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Here's my Eastwing Camper's Axe, on the far right in the pic below. It looks different than yours. You sure yours is not the Camper's Hatchet?

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yep, I'm sure. There are actually two Camper's Axes, one 16" and one 22" version.

You have the Camper's Axe Long Handle. I looked at that closely but it was too long for my back pack/BOB.

Estwing Long Handle Camper's Axe

Very nice collection of axes and hatchets you have there.
 

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I agree thats quite the collection...
This^ got me digging (packrat) and I came up with a collins single bit axe head I had squirreled away sometime ago with the notion of putting a handle to it or using it as a trade/barter item. I have several handles but not for that particular axe head...I keep the Estwings for use and have the others for well...whatever...lol
 

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I've got a few old Collins that I have, or am, rehandling. But based upon your description, I am wondering what yours looks like?

Here's some I just refinished and rehandled:



Here's an 1860ish Collins that I am about to rehandle that I am having a hard time finding a handle for - I'm probably going to end-up carving one myself.

 

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Looks like the single bit in the picture with the handle (to the right).
That's a 30s-40s Collins - it's a great axe, one of my favorites. It had been used to drive iron - so it had a curled lip on each hammer edge that I had to file off, but it is a sweet all-purpose axe. Great steel. Not too soft, not too hard, holds an edge well and is plenty heavy enough to chop or split.
 

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Eastwing make a very fine axe for a BOB or behind the seat of the truck axe. I've had one for years and years and it has never failed me.
 
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