Saturday, November 14, 2009

Axe, and ye shall receive

A dear friend gave me a gift certificate to for my birthday. I figured, a birthday gift should be somewhat indulgent and not practical, so I looked at some earrings and silk pajamas and fuzzy sweaters. My amazon wish list is several pages long, but it contains mostly books, and I use it mostly as a convenient memory jog before I head to the library or to Gulliver's, and rarely purchase from it. Finally, I used my gift to purchase a splitting axe. So much for my attempt at asserting my femininity through retail therapy.

My very well-made and very beloved Estwing axe feels like it was made for me. It's the perfect length, the perfect weight, and the perfect balance. It's also beautifully forged of one piece of steel. I used it to remove half the tree stumps from my front yard this Summer. But alas, my axe is just not the optimal tool for splitting wood. The blade is too narrow, and makes more work out of wedging a log open than I would put in with a tool designed specifically for the purpose. Typically, people use a maul, or a wedge and sledge for the tough (very large, knotty, and/or twisted) logs. But I don't think I'm big or strong enough to use a maul effectively and safely. Enter my birthday present, Fiskars 7854 Super Splitting Axe. It's the same length as my beloved axe, only with a head that looks like a wedge! And check out those reviews! How could I resist?

Well, it arrived this week, and it cuts like a dream. Seriously, one whack from that thing splits a log open like... well... I can't think of a simile because there really aren't too many things in life that you split deliberately, but some of the amazon reviews say that it goes through wood "like a hot knife through butter", and that isn't too far off. It was light work to take apart logs I had struggled with before, and I even whacked apart some logs I had given up on and had put in the "when I rent a chain saw" pile.

Amazing. I now count it among my prized possessions (along with my Estwing axe, my Wusthof kitchen knives, my jade pendant from my mother, and my copy of Shigley). :)


mdr said...

Wear mask and glove when chopping. Pls watch your back. Be careful.

Debs said...

Almost all my favourite things are also practical. I think it's because the right equipment for the job means life is better - there's nothing worse than a pair of shoes that don't fit properly to wreck your day (see, even girly things like shoes can count, though my favourites are a pair of walking boots lol)

I still haven't spent my birthday money, I might have to do something about that.

Max R. said...

It's so you. I can hear it now, Hey wanna see my Axe Collection?