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Old 08-26-2013, 01:32 PM
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Default American-Made Hatchets/Camp Axes

I'd like to pick up an American-made camp axe. Being in MI, I like the idea of a Marble's axe but apparently they're made in El Salvador today and the prices for older Michigan-made ones appear to be geared towards collectors rather than users (read: high prices). Can anyone recommend a quality USA-made camp axe at a reasonable cost, say, around $100 or so?
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:36 PM
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Is Estwing still made in the US?
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:39 PM
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Is Estwing still made in the US?
They claim the plant is still in Rockford, IL.
Estwing Axes and Outdoor Tools
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:40 PM
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From what I here about Marble they have out sourced most of the production to oversea producers. Sad, I have a couple ready nice Marble knives
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:42 PM
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Estwing's web site says Proudly Made in the USA.

Thanks for the tip, I'll check them out.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:46 PM
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I have their leather sportsman's axe. I use it not only camping but also around the house.

It is a great axe! Good balance, good power, and keeps an edge.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:50 PM
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Your best choice are the Estwing axes, several with a street price of under $50.00, and all made in the USA. There are a couple of other axe brands that are USA made, but we're talking prices starting at $150.00 on up.

For the best prices, go to www.knifeworks.com. Best prices on blades on the net, and super fast delivery.

Last edited by Alnamvet68; 08-26-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:11 PM
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I have the leather handle Estwing camp hatchet and one of their rubber handle axes and both have served me very well and they were bought at a very fair price. I should actually pic up a couple more of them as useful as a hatchet and an axe can be in hard times.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -db- View Post
I'd like to pick up an American-made camp axe. Being in MI, I like the idea of a Marble's axe but apparently they're made in El Salvador today and the prices for older Michigan-made ones appear to be geared towards collectors rather than users (read: high prices). Can anyone recommend a quality USA-made camp axe at a reasonable cost, say, around $100 or so?
This is a little off the point of your thread, but Marbles axes appear to be made in the same El Salvador factory that produces Condor knives and axes.

Comparison: Marble's Camp Axe / Condor Greenland Pattern Hatchet

I have recently bought a couple of Condor products that are very well made. That said, I can't argue with the advice to go for a leather-handled Estwing.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:57 PM
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I love my Estwing leather handled hatchets and that mini maul/hatchet called the fireside friend. That thing is a hoss, I've been tempted to try it out in demo work before. The best part of them is they're tough, forged of honest to god steel, and made right here in America.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:00 PM
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Looks like Estwing is the way to go. Thanks for the help, guys.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:35 PM
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Just found a new Estwing 14" Sportsmans axe for $35 shipped on eBay. That's hard to beat.

Estwing Leather Sportsman's Axe
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:55 PM
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If you're like me and prefer a traditional wood handled axe Council still makes them here in the US. They make a nice tool. The Forest Service uses Council tools.

You can also find nice condition old Plumbs, Kellys, etc. on ebay. You would likely have to re haft it, though.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:04 PM
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You can buy the Estwing at Lowes and Home depot if you don't want the internet. I think they are a little over 30 bucks.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -db- View Post
Looks like Estwing is the way to go. Thanks for the help, guys.
FWIW, You can find a new Estwing on Ebay for about $32 delivered. That's where I got mine.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:52 PM
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Estwing Sport axe on sale at Sears for about $28.00. I bought one about a month ago. You'll never wear it out.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooter Brown View Post
If you're like me and prefer a traditional wood handled axe Council still makes them here in the US. They make a nice tool. The Forest Service uses Council tools.
Council makes a nice 26" Hudson Bay axe, a pattern I like a lot for versatility. I can't use one anymore, but the light Hudson Bay style is great for camping, etc.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:08 PM
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Thanks again for the additional info, folks.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:38 PM
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Well, I finally got around to getting back to this project. What I got was an old Plumb Boy Scout axe I found on eBay for what the cheapest Estwing sells for. I like restoring older more traditional stuff when I can. The patented screw-style "take-up wedge" dates it to the 1930s-1940s before they went to the synthetic "Permabond" sometime in the '50s. It looked good on eBay:



Just needed a new edge and some cleaning:




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Old 07-31-2015, 03:24 PM
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Now we're talkin'!

Excellent choice!
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:50 PM
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I have a small Estwing ax that is marvelous. I paid about $35 for it at Home Depot. It is just over twice the length of a hatchet but much smaller than a full size ax and it will chop as well as a much larger ax and it is easy to carry and use even in tight places.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:08 AM
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I have a small Estwing ax that is marvelous. I paid about $35 for it at Home Depot. It is just over twice the length of a hatchet but much smaller than a full size ax and it will chop as well as a much larger ax and it is easy to carry and use even in tight places.

I'll have to check that out.

I have a small double-bit my dad bought me about age 13 and I still prefer it. Unfortunately, the handle is broken and I can't find a replacement in that size.

I'd just as soon cut a tree with an axe or handsaw as a chain saw. My little Japanese Zeta pruning saw is wicked fast.

The hand tools are lower-maintenance, quiet, good exercise, and soothing to the soul to use.

My garage and shed look a little like the place you don't want to go in a horror movie.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:20 AM
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I can't remember who it is and they might have already posted here, but I remember a thread when a member bought old axes and completely restored them. Looked like a great job to me!! If he sees this thread, maybe he has some for sale!
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:07 PM
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That's a beauty of a vintage hatchet.

I wouldn't be able to keep myself from polishing it to a mirror shine, even though that patina is gorgeous.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:34 PM
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That's a beauty of a vintage hatchet.

I wouldn't be able to keep myself from polishing it to a mirror shine, even though that patina is gorgeous.
I was, repeat was like you. When I got anything used it shined like a new nickel within an hour. I ruined literally dozens of antique knives, axes, cartridge and tools before I woke up. I now find beauty in a well used item. The scars and scratches tell the items history. Of all the crimes I committed while shining up stuff that did not need it, I have one regret that haunts me. My father-in-law was the best man I ever knew. He died early and 27 years later it still hurts. I was given his little Old Timer pocket knife that I had given his as a birthday gift. Of course what did I do? You guessed it. I shined her up. Reground the point he had broken off while hunting. Then I cleaned all his pocket lint from the guts if the knife. Now there is no "HIM" left. Just another shiny knife.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:36 PM
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-db-, what a nice job you did of cleaning without removing the character of the hatchet.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by -db- View Post
Well, I finally got around to getting back to this project. What I got was an old Plumb Boy Scout axe I found on eBay for what the cheapest Estwing sells for. I like restoring older more traditional stuff when I can.
Just needed a new edge and some cleaning:
I love that! I have my dad's old Plumb hammer from 1940. What did you use to polish the head?
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:19 PM
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I only hit it with Kroil and a Scotchbrite to remove the rust, leaving the pits and patina. There's a few small spots of original black paint on it I didn't want to remove.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:43 PM
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A couple of months ago, I finally broke down and bought myself an Estwing camp hatchet with the stacked leather handle. I always wanted one; it's not expensive, about $28, but I never felt i had the dough to spare on previous trips to Fleet Farm.

Meanwhile, Conchita found a Plumb shingling hatchet at a garage sale. It needs a new haft and a little light cleaning. The thread on renewing chopping tools gave me a little impetus, so there's a project in the works.

Between those two and my Condor Golok machete, I feel pretty well fixed for choppers at the moment. That doesn't even count the splitting maul and a couple of old axes in the garage.
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