Cold Steel Axe Gang Hatchet
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The Cold Steel Axe Gang Hatchet is one of the finest battle hatchets produced by Cold Steel. With the staff and management of Cold Steel being active in martial arts and the film industry, they took special care to make this Chinese Gang Hatchet as functional as it is visually appealing. There are many Cold Steel innovative aspects of this hatchet including the differentially heat treated drop-forged head - which has a hard edge capable of reaching razor sharpness, but a soft steel body for absorbing impacts. The handle is made from hand picked straight grain American Hickory and is embellished with the Kanji characters for "Axe Gang" to give the axe added appeal.
- Modern Take on Classic Chinese Gang Axe
- Drop Forged 1055 Carbon Steel Head
- American Hickory Handle
- Kanji Characters Say "Axe Gang"
- Overall Length: 20.25"
- Cold Steel
- Similar Products
I like the weight, however not as sharp as I expected. I will have to put an edge on it before I try to use it. Great price and quick delivery.
This works just fine. Handle is a little slick and the blade need some fine tune sharpening but all in all this is a good product, well worth the price.
This hatchet was produced to capitalize on a movie prop, but it has several elements that make it very useful. The handle is long enough for a two handed grip, the edge is straight allowing it to be used as a carpenters axe and for efficient chip removal, it's light enough to be used for carving and it's heavy enough to be used for chopping.
However, there are several things that have to be taken into consideration if your going to use this (as apposed to hanging it on a wall).
-There is no edge on this, at least not the one I received. By this I mean that it's completely square at the edge, like using the back of a box cutter.
-The edge is left very thick, even if it was finished - right behind what would be the edge bevel your looking at .100" thick. I filed mine down to .030" thick right behind the edge, which involved putting a heavy secondary relief bevel that was about half an inch wide. A substantial amount of file work.
-All of the edges are sharp 90 degree corners with minimal edge breaks. It's worth taking a file to each edge including the pole (back of the axe used for hammering) and round them out to reduce stress risors.
-The handle has a flush square corner at the base of the head. This is to say that on a normal axe handle the eye of the axe is forced onto a tapered shape, where on this it rests on a table of wood. This may cause problems since as the axe vibrates, it will be vibrating on a surface that can push the head away from the handle. You might want to carve it away so that you can push the head farther on to the handle, giving you more room to flare the top out of the wood in the eye out, giving better retention strength.
-The handle is thicker than it needs to be. This will result in more shock going to your hand, it's worth thinning it down.
Some things worth noting about this axe and it's design:
The steel is differentially hardened as cold steel says, you can do an acid etch on it to see the faint hamon line, but it's faint. Cold steel doesn't give a hardness on the edge, but I suspect that it's between 56-57 based on how the file bites into it.
That it has a straight edge is a good thing - you can square up corners for carpentry projects and chips will have a better tendancy of coming away in large peices, since your severing more fibers along the cut than with a curved edge (which severs fibers mostly at the center of the curve). However, the edge is perfectly parallel to the straight handle. This means that the edge isn't tilted to meet the pommel of the handle when laid flat on the ground (imagine holding the handle at a slight angle since your wrist can't bend so far as to make the handle straight with your forearm). It makes it great for carving, but not ideal for chopping.
There is almost no pole on this at all (the metal that's past the handle on the other side of the head from the edge). This is stylistically good looking, but is not ideal for performance. Imagine holding this axe where all of the weight is toward the edge. As you sway your hand left to right the edge wants to swing, like a pendulum. Now imagine holding a double bit axe and swaying your hands left to right - the edge barely moves at all because theres a big counterbalance in the form of a second bit (edge). This is why axes have "polls", to act as a counter balance to increase accuracy when you are chopping, it keeps the edge from veering off left or right due to that pendulum effect. If I were to design this I would add about a half inch of poll to increase accuracy.
Conclusion: for 30$ your getting a very nice set of features, but you have to do a lot of fit and finish work to get it up to usable, and more if you want it to perform excellently. But, you get the material to work with for a very very low price. If it was better fit and finish (like having an edge at all) and it had more of a poll I'd give it a glowing 5 stars. Out of the package it only deserves 2 stars since your going to wear yourself out using edgeless axe. Since you have to do a lot of work on it to get it usable - I'm going to give it a 4 star review.
The one problem I had with it was that the symbols were messed up. They look burned/carved in from the pictures but mike were just cheap vinyl decals that were put on poorly.
The ax holds up well through day to bay activities and chops well.
Blade is very easy to sharpen and seems to hold a good edge for an ax.
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