Saturday, October 26, 2013

Update: United Cutlery M48 Walking Axe

I have some bad news, rugged and prepared readers. I took my UC M48 Walking Axe camping with me last weekend, along with my M48 Ranger Hawk tomahawk  and my Fiskars log splitter.

We were cooking and heating by firewood for six adults and four under 10's. This meant a bunch of chopping and we were lucky enough that recent storms had necessitated the Rangers chainsaw a couple of trunks. The Fiskars splitter broke the logs up and we used the three axes to break them up into workable pieces and kindling.

The Walking Axe performed really well, light and fast, and soon out performed the Fiskars when it came to the lighter pieces.

When I got the Walking Axe home to do some maintenance I was dismayed to find that the main spar of the head had developed a serious crack. On one side the steel had even spalled.

It seems the chopping and splitting was too harsh for this design. It's possible that this particular piece had a flaw in its metal, but given the placement, it looked like design flaw to me.

I was really disappointed by this, mostly because of how well the axe had performed in both firewood chopping, but also branch-clearing.

There is still a fair amount of metal holding the head in place, so it is still functional, but how long till a spectacular failure occurs, I just don't know. I will not be staking my life on it, that's for sure.

Still, it did good work, and I was glad to have given it a thorough workout. It will still sit by the door in the umbrella stand / home defense artillery shell, ready to fend off fallen branches.


  1. Worth contacting the company for a replacement/refund? you've barely owned it a month.

    1. already considered that, no replacement/refund offered if item "used", and over a week from purchase

    2. I would still say to contact them.
      This is defective manufacture, design or material, not a change of mind. No idea what the appropriate consumer protection from the purchasing location might be, but it has begun to fail under normal use which is something that the consumer is normally protected from. Also, UC seem to take pride in their product so knowing something failed should be valuable to them.
      All assuming of course you have the time to put into talking to them about it.


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