Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Fiskars Log Splitter

When disaster strikes, sometimes it's the basic things that are the most important. Freedom to move is one of those. I frequently travel up into the Dandenong Ranges so visit, collect and return my 3yo daughter, Triceratops Girl. The way is heavily forested, mountainous and prone to storms and heavy rainfall, as well as bushfires. I've had to clear fallen trees from my path on more than one occasion, which is one of the reasons I keep my favorite camping axe in the back of the car. I picked this piece up at a hardware store a number of years ago, after seeing the advertisements where a tractor is pictured sitting on the handle, lent over a log.

Between seeing that, and hefting it in the shop, I was all but sold. If it's something I can trust the Finns with, it's chopping wood. And Vodka. Which may have led to the parking of the tractor on the axe in the first place. The proof, they say, is in the pudding and here is what I can tell you. The hollow haft is made of a lightweight and extremely hard wearing fiberglass material called "FiberComp". This puts almost all the weight in the head, where you want it. It's flexible enough to take the shock of some serious and extensive chopping and splitting, and still sturdy enough to DO all that work. The hook in the handle ensures a positive grip and the haft is well textured for both a good swinging action and also keeping a solid positive grip. as well as having a lanyard hole for added safety.

The head is where the action is. Firstly, the head is molded into the haft, and in all the years I have had it it's never given the slightest hint of budging. The entire head is coated with a non-stick substance called PTFE (Teflon is DuPont's name for it...)which according to Fiskars reduces the friction of blade strike and withdrawal by 25%. Most important to my way of thought however is the blade geometry, which is really special. The convex cross-section acts not only to enure a deep bite, but also provides a wide bevel to force logs open, Star Destroyer style! The convex shape helps keep it from being wedged into its cut. The steel has been drop forged, doubled hardened. What this means for you and I is that it holds a very keen edge and is easy to maintain. There are a couple of dings, from loaning it to lesser humans, who chopped wood onto gravel. I've worked most of the damage out with my diamond files.  So dumb I couldn't even get angry. Just took it away from them, and let them forage for firewood from then on.

I've taken this with me on every camping trip since having it, and over Easter last year, chopped enough red-gum to cook for 10 people for 6 days with it. I bent the ring I was wearing, gave myself a little blister and needed -one- resharpening. A very fine effort. The locking case not only holds the very sharp edge safely, but I have also used it to affix the axe to my hip, either lashing it to my belt, or by feeding my gorgeous little camping-knife in its sheath through the handle like a big button. As you can see, from the wear on the handle and head, I've gotten a lot of use from this axe, and plan to get a lot more.

It's one of the first items that comes to mind when someone mentions disaster preparedness, because its reliable, light, effective and extremely hardy. Fallen trees, barricades, firewood, encroaching Triffid hoards, this axe and I will go a long way to making ready!


  1. Have you heard anything about iron oak log splitter? If not you must visit this online for you to learn something about this great power tool.

  2. thanks siryoz0, i've seen powered log splitters, and they are impressive tools.

  3. Log splitting is something that is commonly done by farmers and regular home owners alike. People cut logs for their fireplaces, their wood furnaces, their stoves, and even for selling to make some extra income. Best Log Splitter


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