How To Choose The Best Survival Axe
If you are a prepper or simply spend time outdoors hiking or camping you will want to be carrying the best equipment that you can afford – and you want to be able to rely on that equipment when you are faced with the unexpected. One of the most vital pieces of equipment that you will be purchasing is a survival axe – but with so many choices how do you make sure that you are getting the best value for money – and a quality product.
Here are some hints and tips to ensure that you make an informed choice when you purchase your survival axe.
The first factor to take into account is handle length. A longer handle means that you will be able to apply more force when you face tasks such as chopping down large branches to build a shelter (thanks High School physics), but the tradeoff is that an axe with a longer handle is bulky to carry. An axe with a shorter handle may not enable you to apply as much brute force – but it’s lighter and easier to pack.
Pay attention to the handle material. Wood or rubber are usually the best as they provide excellent grip. However, if you opt for a wooden handle then sand it down before packing. A varnished handle means that your axe is slippery when wet.
The blunt end of the axe head is called a ‘poll’. The type of poll you have is extremely important. In a survival situation, a spiked poll head can be incredibly useful for digging, while a hammer type poll is great for pounding on a variety of objects.
Take a look at your axe head and speak to someone knowledgable when you make your purchase. You will want to be on the lookout for an axe head made from Carbon Steel (1050-1090, 5150, 5160). It’s soft enough to sharpen but tough enough to offer exceptional service in a survival situation.
There are numerous types of survival axes on the market – but, by and large, your best choice would be a hatchet. They are lightweight, compact and sharp enough to skin game, but robust enough to use as a weapon or for splitting wood.