Hey folks, I was lucky enough to have been chosen by Craig(Rooster) and Council Tool to try out their new Pack Axe which is part of their new "Wood-Craft" line of axes, found here http://counciltool.com/new-wood-craft-axe-line/. Rooster designed this axe and Council liked enough to pick it up. Smart move on both accounts in my opinion. So here is the breakdown and some of my thoughts on the axe.
This is the smaller version:
OAL listed at 19inches. Mine was just at 18 1/3".
Head weight listed at 2lbs. Took their word on it as it felt 2lbs for sure!
Edge length - 3.5" - My only picky miss on this axe is I would have liked to see the edge length in the 3.75-4" range.
I liked the hanging method and found the profile very good for an all-round performer
For those that aren't familiar with the design by Rooster he took the Council Tool boy's axe head and trimmed it down to make it a little lighter and more suited for a smaller handle. But keeping it all axe and not going light enough to make it a hatchet. He accomplished this nicely as I found out. Here are some tasks I put it through that just about any of you would do in any camp.
The axe did very well here. The head profile and weight was biting deep with minimal swing effort and releasing out of the wood nicely.
Had this tree down in no time. Limbing it was quick work too
This was easy work as well. The head weight really lets you swing easy. The 18-19" handle is just long enough for a comfortable two handed swing.
I got a few logs sawed up and it proved to eat through Pine without issue. It feels like an axe as the forward weight of the head gives it a good punch for splitting.
Edge was holding up very well
I also put it to work on some seasoned Cedar and did fine here as well
Edge did fine with a ferro rod
Overall I really enjoyed using this axe. It is right up my alley as I like a heavier head on a shorter handle. I think the fact you can pick your handle length preference is a great idea. As for this size it definitely offers a half axe that works more like an axe than a hatchet. Hits for me were the handle shaping and overall quality of the axe. Also the heel is designed to be used as a hookeroon and found it did work as such. The handle contour is just what I like with a thinner neck and nice palm swell.
alignment was also good and the hanging method with circular metal wedge you can count on holding up over time
I am glad to see another nice bushcraft suited axe from a USA company. Rooster put some good thought into this design. It is a very strong all-round performer and offers something different than the Swedish competitors. You get a true half axe that is not a long hatchet. I also think the steel from Council is better suited for the hardwoods in my experience. l'd like to thank both Rooster and Council Tool for allowing me to be part of the trial run. It was most enjoyable and I hope the new axe line does well. I found this axe to be a great choice for a portable bushcraft axe.
Updated pic of mine after a little staining of the handle
thanks for looking