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Ken
02-09-2005, 08:18 AM
I finally decided to pick up a hatchet for camping. I've been looking over the Gerbers, Gansfors, Fiskas (sp?), Wetterlings and the Snow & Neally. I really don't need the hatchet for spring, summer or fall, but think that the added utility of the hatchet could justify the extra weight in winter conditions. I wouldn't imagine that my normal firewood gatherer, the Gerber Exchang-a-blade saw, would fair to well pounding nails into ice or frozen ground. Digging around this time of year for a rock didn't sound like much fun either...so I got the axe.

I chose the Wetterlings for a few reasons. First the axe is sort of a nostalgia thing for me as I have some relatives who used to work in the old Adirondack logging camps. This ruled out the new technology hatchets like the Gerber and Fiskas, allthough I'm sure one of these will eventually find it's way behind the seat in my pickup. Snow & Neally has some great looking axes also, but nothing quite this small with the head shape like the Wetterlings or the Gansfors. In making the final decision between these two hatchets, I found some comparisons like these:

http://outdoors-magazine.com/s_topic.php?id_rubrique=20

http://www.physics.mun.ca/~sstamp/knives/wetterling_hatchet.html

It appeared to me that the Gansfors held the edge (why yes...that is a pun /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif )in fit & finish and efficiency, but only by a narrow margin. For me the big difference between the two was cost...

I'm real impressed with the feel of the axe. The head looks to be in good alignment with the handle. The axe took a nice edge after a little stoning. Total weight is 1 lb. 10 oz. with the supplied leather sheath, which looks as well made as the axe. I've been in the backyard hacking up some pine blowdowns and leftover maple top from cutting firewood last summer, and the little hatchet can really cut. I am leery about it's use around the tipi as it would not take much to wind up with a big hole. I also think that a saw might be a touch more safe to use than a hatchet, but both are dangerous if used improperly...

Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase and would recommend a Wetterlings for anyone interested in a quality tool that will not break the bank.

scotsman
02-09-2005, 10:41 AM
I also have a wetterlings axe (small splitting axe). I bought it specifically for using with my teepee for splitting fire wood. As you say the Gransfors axe (of which i have the small forest axe) has a slightly better finish but I find the wetterlings every bit as good and more than up to the task.
In the future I will probably favour the wetterling axes as they are better value for money and every bit as good as axes double the price.

Mike