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Estwing E24A 14-Inch Sportsman's Axe with Leather Grip & Nylon Sheath
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- Forged in one piece using the finest American steel
- Hand sharpened cutting edge
- Beautiful genuine leather grip
- Includes heavy duty ballistic nylon sheath
- Made in the USA
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Estwing's world famous 14-inch Sportsman's Axe is the choice of outdoorsmen everywhere. Both the head and handle of the axe are forged in 1-piece and are fully polished. This classic axe offers unsurpassed balance and temper. It has a genuine leather grip that is sanded and lacquered for a beautiful finish. This axe also comes with an attractive rugged nylon sheath. It has a tempered 3-1/4 in. cutting edge for easy cutting. A must for all campers and outdoorsman alike! Made in USA. Protect your eyes from flying particles and dust. Always wear safety goggles.
Top customer reviews
A couple of observations/recommendations: I note one reviewer whose hatchet handle rotted. Well yeah. As these come from the factory the handle is given a glossy varnished finish and the stacked leather grip underneath is very dry. It looks nice when it's new but the varnish will crack and chip with use, and then the grip will absorb water like a sponge, ruining the leather. Thus, knowledgable sportsmen have long looked fondly on that glossy factory finish and then taken a couple of sheets of 100-grit sandpaper and sanded it off. Mask off the metal part of the shaft of the handle, no point in scratching that up, but do round off the sharp edge of the metal washer at the base of the handle to make it more comfortable in use. Be sure to get all the varnish off, the leather underneath will look almost white when you're done sanding. 100 grit is fine, there's no need to finish with finer grades.
Then get a bottle of Fiebing's Neatsfoot Oil (available at Amazon!) and rub it in. If you didn't get all the varnish off you'll immediately notice light spots where the oil isn't soaking in, stop and sand those off. You'll be amazed at how much oil that leather grip will absorb, my new one has taken at least an ounce of oil and it's still sucking it up. It will take several applications over several days to do a thorough job -- the idea is to completely saturate the leather grip -- just slather it on with a fingertip at first and then rub it in after a couple of days' applications. Put some on the sturdy leather sheath they provide while you're at it. The neatsfoot will give the grip a nice antique brown finish and a slightly sticky, non-slip feel, and once the grip is thoroughly saturated it will be nearly impervious to the elements *forever*. I have hunting knives and another old Estwing hatchet that were given this treatment by my dad and grandfather before I was born -- that was a long time ago -- the grips have turned black over the years but they're still as sound as the day they were made and they've seen a lot of weather over the years.
Then get a Lansky "puck" dual grit sharpener (also available at Amazon!) and sharpen the blade. They come dull, probably for product liability reasons it will only be as sharp as you're capable of making it, but it will take a fine edge with a little effort. Then avoid chopping it into the ground, rocks, or what have you -- it will take you several patient hours to put the initial edge on the blade and all that effort will be wasted if you whack it against a rock. The blade should never touch anything but the wood it's made to cut.
Learn to split kindling safely by taking a 1-2' piece of wood 2-3" in diameter, holding it by one end pointed away from you and resting the other end parallel to the ground across a larger piece of wood. Split the far end by chopping through it sideways into the chopping block and then giving the hatchet and the wood a deft twist to split it lengthwise (a glove on your off-hand isn't a bad idea). Repeat with each half until you have enough kindling. Whatever you do, don't try to hold a piece of kindling on end and split it lengthwise lumberjack-style, that's a good way to lose a finger or chop yourself in the knee.
Guys, this is a tool every manly man should treat himself to and learn to use! There's darn few things in this world that are the same high quality they were 90 years ago but this is one of them.
Only minor downside is the black finish isn't holding up well, but under the conditions I use it for, understandable.
I read the reviews and said yes. The edge on the ax is very well honed. It is made and looks like my 35 year old rock hammers. The leather grip doesn't slip as easily with sweaty hands. The leather will keep for a long time with a little leather dressing. This is almost too pretty to use, thus it makes a great gift. This is going into the camping boxes for use in the woods. This size is a perfect fit for the lift top storage boxes holding his camping equipment. To top it off, it has a sheath for a belt that is made of leather. Men like pretty things that can chop and cut wood!
I paid $25.49.