Monday, January 23, 2017

Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe review

Here is a look at the soon to come Saddle Axe from Council Tool.  It will be in their Velvicut line of axes.  Here are the specs:

OAL   15.25"
Head Weight  2lb, 5160 steel
"C" stamped side has a 25 degree edge and the "USA" stamped side is 32 degree edge

Comes with a two piece sheath with matching stamps.  It's a handsome setup

I hit the woods to see how it did.  First up was harvesting some pitchwood from low hanging dead pine branches

ended up being a good little harvest for few minutes work

I also used the wider edge to clear some thorn vines.  Having two edges was pretty nice as I could do ground work and still know I have a nice sharp edge on the other side.  Backpackers could really find this handy for clearing out the ground shrub and roots for their sleeping spot.

Next up I found a dead standing pine and felled it

It worked very well.  The handle on this one is spot on.  It has that "just feels right" in your hand.  The end swell is nice and it's nice for choking up on too.  At 15 inches it is just long enough to do a two handed swing if you want as well.

I notched out a V cut on the stump and proceeding to saw a few logs

Splitting it down was no problem

I left this little pile to come back to in the future.  It was pretty damp from all the moisture we've had here lately.

next I wanted to see how it would do for carving out flat sides and it did good here too.

I decided to keep with the carving theme and proceeded to make a mallet with it.  The 2lb head is a nice size for carving.  Not too heavy to wear you out but just heavy enough the head does most of the work for you.  I started out sawing it to length and sawing the head part in a little.

Came out pretty good for about 10 minutes of work

A handy way to split with a double is to sink the head in the stump straight up and then you can baton your logs down on to the edge.  It's a very safe and controlled way to split.

Edge held up great all day.  I will mention the edges were razor sharp on arrival.  Both were hair shaving sharp.

Grain was certainly acceptable on a hatchet. 

Overall I think this saddle axe makes a great woods companion.  It's easy to see why Nessmuk liked them in his travels.  I found the weight and length to compliment each other and the added benefit of two working edges at all times give you confidence to get a job done right.  Here's a parting Nessmuk trio pic and my gear for the day.  I think I'll find this axe in my pack a lot.

thanks for looking

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Council Tool Pack Axe & Stihl MS290 WoodCutter's Combo

Just wanted to share a quick update on the Council Pack Axe.  I have found it to be a great faller's buddy.  It's great for limbing, using the heel as a pickaroon to lift the logs, pounding in wedges with the large square poll(that is hardened by the way), and even the length is handy for doing quick measurements on log length for consistency when cutting.  I just can't say enough good things about it.  People falling the big timber would probably want a larger version or axe.  But for most people I think this would be the top choice.  It's a 2lb head on a 18" handle.  There is an in depth review I've posted of the axe as well. 

Also I have added a Stihl MS290 to my outdoor arsenal.  I picked it up used.  I thought it did great for this first job.  Will post more on it later after more time with it. 


thanks for looking!