Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Review: MTech hatchet1
I have a great fondness for hatchets and tomahawks, and have quite a collection these days, ranging from the low-key Fuller camping hatchet to the knockabout United Cutlery M48 to the singular Boker Tomahook.
A new addition to my armory was a very blingtastic addition, is the MTech - Tactical axe.
At 36cm (14 1/4") overall, this is a decently sized chopper, and at 650g (1.4lbs) its a lightweight piece. Lighter than I would have expected. The axehead is 18cm (7 1/8") with a 9cm (3 1/2") cutting edge. It has a spike on opposite end, some interesting secondary edges, and to top it all off, it's titanium anodized to a gold finish.
It has a black rubberized ABS handle with lanyard loop, which was lightly textured, and peppered with 7 locking bolt and nuts, with Torx fittings. One thing that struck me was that ABS, it really felt flimsy.
Not that it was flexing under my grip, more that it was light, and sounded hollow. The black nylon sheath was simple enough, with a press stud retention loop, and press-stud closures at the rear to keep it in place.
The blade was shipped-sharp, and had a knife edge, with deep secondary grinds not only along the primary face, but also a deep inwardly curved bite in the top of the axehead, as well as the underside of the beard as well. The top of the axe also features a set of aggressively cut jimping.
I was hard pressed to think of what that top scalloped edge would be useful for, except as an "upwards" thrust with the axe. However, scalloping the blade inwards, rather than having it sweep forwards into a point like in a Dane Axe seemed counter productive. Perhaps as a branch trimmer? More likely to make it look extra cool and scary. Gold. Plated. Scary.
The edge at the underside of the beard was alright as a down-sweeping cutting edge, although it did come back quite close to the very top handholds, and my delicate pink flesh, when using a choked-up grip.
There are cut-aways in the bottom of the axehead for thumb and forefinger to rest in, and they were well placed, but again, there was no beveling, and the sharp edges seemed too close and unguarded.
At the back of the axehead is a spike, ground down into a diamond cross-section, and down to quite a significant point.
I liked the geometry of it, and it certainly had a fair "bite" when punching holes in logs, chipboard and cans.
Overall, the cutting power of the axe was somewhat limited by its light weight design and whilst the knife-edge blade was sharp, and with a thin cross-section. It chopped into boards well enough, and cut through bike-tyre like no-ones business, but on a meaty target like a log, it bit and stuck.
Too light to travel deep enough to cleave, too narrow to form a splitting wedge.
I gave the butt-end a strike, to test durability and its utility as an impact weapon and THIS happened. The ABS plastic, which is what LEGO is made out of, shattered at the shock of impact.
It also exposed the inside of the axe handle, which is something else that I wanted to bring up.
Having felt how light and "hollow" it sounded, I had taken the handle apart with my trusty min/Inch TORX screwdrivers, and popped it open.
It turns out that as well as the thin and hollow framed handle, which I could have lived with, and probably either filled with resin, or replaced with a cord-wrap, the handle itself was made of three separate pieces of different steel. One for the Ti-anodized blingtastic head, a powder coated lanyard loop piece at the butt-end, and a plain piece through the middle.
I'm sure that made the fabrication easier, but I don't know what kinds of steel are in there, and the welds don't look all that flash to me. I would have some concerns about wailing too hard on a solid door, or a wall, or even a tree-trunk with this.
Perhaps a metallurgist out there can tell me otherwise, but I'm going to relegate to the back of the collection and save the serious work to serious tools.
It seems my MTech Extreme Cleaver was the exception to the rule that these are not hard-use tools.