Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by JeepHammer, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    A 'GUN' is a very limited tool, and when it's out of ammo,
    Or one of the small, delicate internal parts breaks it becomes a club with bad balance.

    On the other hand,
    A properly selected edged tool will Feed you, Cloth you, Shelter you and keep you Warm...

    Some people say that 'Opposable Thumbs' are the hall mark of the human race.
    (They have never seen a raccoon pick a lock or barn door latch! Or a Squirrel pick the latch on a bird feeder!)

    Some people say that using 'Tools' is the hall mark of the human race.
    (They have never seen something as simple as an otter balance on rock on it's chest, while cracking a muscle shell with a second rock, all while swimming on it's back!
    They have never seen a squirrel pry the lid off a bird feeder with a stick, or watched a money use a stick to collect fruit with, or seen a monkey fish for termites and ants with a prepared grass stem...)

    Personally, I believe that using fine edged tools is the mark of humans.
    Until fine edges, we were ripping animals apart bare handed, and pulling up plants by the roots.

    There wouldn't have been any Pyramids, Roman Buildings, Inca or Aztec buildings if it weren't for fine edged tools, be they wood, rock or metal,
    And there certainly wouldn't have been any 'Industrial Revolution' that brings us to where we are today.

    So, with that though put to print,
    Now, the all time grand daddy of edged tools is this,


    This is a 'Double Bit' axe, and this is the one I use when camping.
    With even cutting blades on both sides, it's nearly perfectly balanced,
    AND, with two blades, you always have a sharp blade no farther than flipping the axe over!

    As I mentioned, this is the camp axe, It's a cheap axe (about $40) with a fairly heavy edge and an 'Unbreakable' handle.
    Since about every knuckle head that walks by it has to pick it up and dink with it, I though the fiberglass/plastic handle was a good idea on this one!
    (Keeps them from messing with my good ash handle double bit axe!)

    As mentioned before, this is the KING of manual cutting tools!
    With this axe, you can fall, section, split, notch and trim an entire tree in short order...
    With nothing more than just this axe and a hammer, You can build an entire cabin, from floor sills to shingles.


    These things go by a lot of names, Hook blades, Sling blades, but around here we call them 'Bush Axes'.
    Simply put, this is the most efficient way to remove all the really stubborn things,
    Multi-Floral Rose, Heavy Briers, Vines of all sorts, and it will clear saplings up to 3" in diameter with a single swing!

    Next to a Chain Saw and Bush Hog, this is the way to do it!


    This thing is PERFECT for walking the fence line with, clearing the branches that want to hang over or through the fence, briers and saplings that want to grow up through the fence, ect.
    It will clear everything but larger trees, and NOTHING argues with it!

    This is a thick blade version, about 1/4" thick, good for getting down in the dirt to hook and rip out roots for plants like multi-floral roses.

    A thinner blade version, 1/8" or 3/16" is good for general maintinance, and is MUCH lighter to handle and walk with.
    A little thinner blade version of this, and one can strip the limbs off a felled tree faster than a man with a chain saw!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  2. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Other chopping tools from large to small...

    Recently, I have been clearing land for a river cabin, and I do a lot of camping, especially 'Trail' camping when we are out with the Jeeps.

    This is a rundown of tools we regularly use,

    On the top is a new machete I just got in!
    My old military machete is about 30 years old now, and it's REALLY seen better days, so I tried a new one.

    This one is a 'Gerber' brand, was very reasonably priced, and even looks like the saw back might actually be functional (SLOW, but functional).

    The grip on this machete is interesting, and I can't wait to get it out in the brush and see if it's as comfortable as it looks!


    On the bottom is the Gerber brand brush hook I've been using a couple of years now, and I REALLY LIKE IT!

    Vines, small twigs, limbs and briers don't get away from the hook, and it cuts clean. It's light, holds an edge VERY well, and is by far my favorite camp tool!
    Light enough to go with me on hiking trips where every ounce counts!

    If you use it correctly, it will take down a 3" sapling in just two or three swings, but it's too light to tackle dried hard wood other than shaving kindling.

    It was VERY reasonably priced too!

  3. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    For light duty camp work, campfires, ect.
    I usually use the hook from above, but I finally gave in and purchased a Gerber camping hatchet...

    It's got a 'Saw' (if you can call it that...) built into the handle.
    I haven't got to try it out, but traditionally, a hatchet has been one of the most used tools in camping or woods craft.

    I can only assume the 'Saw' is there for making small notches I would normally use a pocket knife for, like for slotting triggers for traps or cutting small items.

    One thing I didn't like about the hatchet, It doesn't have a flat back so driving nails, ect. will be difficult.
    I'm sure I'll find different things about it when I start using it regularly.


    Now, the bottom tool is a 'Ontario Knife Company SP8' tool, it's designed after a tool used by the Canadian special forces for a 'Survival Tool'.
    It has about 1/4" thick blade, and it's VERY handy for chopping, prying and hammering on things.

    I've had this thing for YEARS, and it's never given me one minute worth of grief! The only issue I have is it's as heavy as it looks, but when you are chopping or hammering on something stubborn, that's a GOOD Thing!
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Now, if you plan on going someplace you might get stranded or have to spend the night in the 'Rough', I STRONGLY URGE you to look into a good, solid sheth knife like the ones pictured...


    From the left,
    This is a little Becker (out of business, but there are some still available.) and it's about 1/4" thick at the back of the blade, and it's full 'Tang' meaning the handle goes FULL SIZE all the way to the back of the knife.

    During a recent vacation trip to Alaska, this was the most used knife until my girlfriend dropped it in a swiftly moving river!
    It's not really a 'Chopper', but it was the perfect size for the 'Do All' around the camp, everything from using a rock or stick on the back of the blade to split fire wood kindling to prying open shell to hacking away at food cans!

    In the middle is my 'Usual' field knife.
    It's also a Becker, Thick blade with full length tang. you can use it for hammering, prying, light chopping, ect.

    On the right is a Smith & Wesson 'Hostage Rescue' knife.
    It's not really what I'd call a 'Field Knife', but it fits the general parameters.

    Now, if you get down to the smaller knives, like skinners, then you want to look for something a little different.
    I would have to be in a bad way to use my favorite skinners as 'Chopping' tools, but I do like having a blade thick enough I can pry out stubborn ribs or chop at the occasional stubborn joint when I'm field dressing something large...


    My girlfriend dropped my skinner in the crack between some rocks where it wasn't retrievable for us before she dropped the Becker in the river...

    Since we were RAPIDLY running out of small knives, I made this sitting around one night trying to figure out which way to go the next day...


    Now, believe this or not,
    After dropping $150 worth of very good knives into irretrievable places, she managed to keep and use this for another 7 days!
    She not only kept this the entire trip, but packed it to come home with us!
    (I keep it as a souvenir!)

    This is nothing more than a 'Hobo' Ulu style knife made from a can lid.

    I rolled the sides twice so they weren't sharp, then I rolled the top over on it's self around my knife sharpener.
    Worked fine, cuts through jerky, rabbit, squirrel just like a store bought knife... Just needs sharpened a little more often!

    Down through the years, I've made Ulu style knives out of washers, scrap angle iron, and about a half dozen other things,
    If I had to pick just one fine edged cutting tool,
    I'd pick an Ulu style tomahawk head that came off the shaft.
    (most traditional style tomahawk heads do come right off the handle shafts)

    I made one like that a few years ago, and it was SUPER handy!
    But, like a lot of things, it's got away from me... I think I may pound another one out this winter while it's too cold to work outside!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  5. kevbo

    kevbo Guest

    egded tools

    Hello to everyone, I am new to the site but not the subject of edged tools. I've read the post and would like to include a wonderful tool that i have for a couple of years and that would be the woodsman's pal. Although i don't have any pics it's worth checking out. "woodsman pal .com" ya'll have a good'un talk to ya soon. :)
  6. Strelnikov

    Strelnikov Member

    Great post JeepHammer!

    I would like to add 2, the first being a scythe. If you learn how to use one of these they can take down tall weeds that most mowers can't handle. Most of the technique is getting the back and forth swinging motion right and learning how much of a swath to take with each stroke.

    The second is a pickaxe (don't know if that is the correct term). It has a long hoe-like blade on one end and a long spike on the other. I use it to break up ground and remove buried rocks from my property. It gets down there, loosens up the soil, and dislodges rocks that are almost impossible to get at even with a good sharp spade. I got mine from Home Depot, it has a yellow fiberglass handle like the double-bit axe in the picture posted above. Indispensable for gardening.
  7. GPER

    GPER Active Member

    Nice JH, you are getting your own section going here:D
  8. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    It's the difference between the guys that actually get out and bang around in the woods,
    And those that 'Think' about it, but don't actually do it...

    I have rubbed up against some pretty 'Grizzly' charters down through the years.
    Most people would dismiss them as 'Bums' or 'Vagrants' (usually they were neither of which)

    And just like everyone else, every one of them knew something I DIDN'T!

    The guy sitting in the 'McMansion' house, with the big screen TV, Giant SUV, and Lawn Care service so he doesn't get any 'Nature' on him...
    He's not learning anything!

    The guy with a few acres, a 'Bone Yard' or old vehicles to keep his vehicle running, a large garden, and having the tools to keep the vehicles, garden and older home up and running, that is the guy that knows how to live for HIMSELF!

    Old farmers or Homesteaders don't 'Retire' and then wonder what they are going to do with themselves...
    Old farmers or Homesteaders still 'Tinker', they impart wisdom and self reliance on to the next generations!
    They have ALWAYS got a job, and most of them are darn good at it!

    They are usually happier, healthier, and a damn sight more fun to be around!
    Seeing what other people have done to 'Fix' a problem or take care of an 'Issue' is the fun part for me!

    The more 'Rube Goldberg' the contraption is, the better I like it! Gives me ideas for stuff I can do!
  9. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    No digicam right now but I have all the standard bases covered; hatchet, double sided axe, machete, ulu, pocket knife, multi-tool.

    I've found in my short life so far though that having the right tool can make the job so much easier. Even small variations in tools can be so helpful.
  10. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    How's this for homegrown. Ford 8.8 with limited slip, 35" muds, and an old bush hog. Towed behind my ZJ for keeping the 17 acres down. 373:1 ratio it works well except for saplings. Tires are water filled with chains.

    I carry an old K-BAR and an old very old 14" bowie knife. Pocket knife is a cheap smith and wesson lock blade made in china. I need to get a buck!
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  11. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    I've mentioned in other threads, my preference for a Finnish Leuku blade for most camp-chores. I also carry Gerber axes, both the hatchet and a 3/4 with built-in wedge, and usually have an assortment of other knives around, some of my own manufacture, some factory stuff. Several folders, when someone else needs to borrow a knife... and usually a bow saw, are also stashed in the van.

    And today, I was working on a gladius for a customer.
    Current Project
  12. OFG

    OFG Active Member


    For me this is a must. I've had one of these get be out of some bad situations on more than one occasion. Always a good thing to put in your trunk or cargo box.

    One side is serrated and good for chopping down small trees the other side can be sharpened up quite nicely. You can change the configuration to become a mattock of sorts.

    It can help you get your vehicle unstuck, and its great to use in making a shelter. (or a foxhole) They are fairly light weight, and can be folded up to be quite compact.

    Not your typical edged tool, but a very useful one.
  13. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    That is a solution for something that has been rattling around in my head for a while!
    Thanks for the idea!
    (I know a good idea when I steal it!)
  14. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    I have one of those about all the time, threw one in each jeep and one in the camping gear...
    You never know when you are going to have to dig a 'Latrine Hole'!

    The Soviet special forces (Spetsnaz) shovel that has a hatchet surface on one side of the blade, and a serrated edge on the other side, and is capable of being thrown as a VERY effective weapon is the top choice for shovels!
    Although this is the FOLDING version issued to regular toops, you can see the cutting edge on one side, the serrated edge on the other.

    The Spetsnaz version was much lighter since it didn't have the folding mechanism and with a fixed blade, they were ALWAYS ready to use.
    You could identify the Spetsnaz even though they wore the same uniform as every one else by the shovel!
    Believe that or not!
    Regular troops carried a folding shovel attached to the back of the packs,
    Spetsnaz carried a fixed blade spade, attached to the belt on the front left, or to the web gear on the upper part of the left shoulder strap!

    We used to watch the Spetsnaz practicing with the shovels the way a US Operations troop would practice with Tomahawk or Knife.
    The (thrusted, thrown, swung) shovel was VERY effective!

    Russian Special Forces - Spetsnaz GRU - Combat Training. Spetsnaz Training Association, Moscow.

    Russian Special Forces - Spetsnaz GRU - Entrenching Shovel in Close Combat - Basic Technique.

    I never saw the pictures, but I remember the article about the guy in Wyoming that killed a female bear attacking him with two swings of the Russian shovel.
    The article said the guy virtually severed the head off the bear with two swings...
    (he would up with around 700 stitches, and the bear wasn't using a shovel!)

    Anyway, I think a shovel, especially a very light weight one like the Russian spade is, is a WONDERFUL tool, and you can defiantly classify it as an "Fine Edged Tool" and maybe even an 'Edged Weapon'!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  15. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    Where do you guy's buy the high quality goods? There used to be some nice shops around but walmart seems to have devoured them. need links. Are Cabales and Pro Bass the only options left?

    I've been looking for a good pocket knife, Buck or better.

    Jeephammer. That is an old bush hog I picked up for $500. It has a four blade option but has only two. I think with two more blades it would mulch the sapplings. Right now each blade is taking about 6" swath. Two more blades would each take 3". I need to measure revolutions per ten feet of forward motion to perfect it. But it works. I welded it up in about 3 hrs. I'm a welder/fabricator if you need anything let me know.
  16. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    2.73:1 is a pretty pitiful gear ratio for what you are trying to do, I'd think you would want to spin that drive shaft faster,
    I also see the chains on the tires,
    So I have to assume there was some tire slippage problems even with 2.73:1

    Anyway, that looks like a solution to a problem I've been having with the river house, 1.3 miles of 'Hairy' right-of-ways and no tractor large enough that it isn't an all day job (or two day job) to get it beat down...

    I found a little local hardware store that carries and cuts black pipe and has a pretty good selection of general stuff,

    I do 'Trade' with every small time dealer in the area to avoid Wal-Mart.

    If you order from the Internet, try these,
    Made in USA, America, US, American-Made
    Made in the USA Products Directory

    For me, Kershaw (Ken Onion series) has the best deal in pocket knives right now.
  17. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    Thanks for the lnks.

    It's 373:1 ratio ford explorer axle with limited slip diff. The 35's spin it a tad faster than 235x75-15's would. It's close to 4:1 I think with the large tires. Yes there was allot of slippage. I filled the tires with water to help the chains bite.

    Shoot me an e-mail. I have a smaller idea, works similar and cheaper.
  18. RedRocker

    RedRocker Active Member

    Here's some of my stuff.
  19. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    Does that paracord handle knife throw well? I like the handle on the Bowie. Scary sword there, that'l keep the witnesses from knocking!!
  20. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    Wow, Red, nice collection.

    May I ask where you got the Kard and the Kukri from?