Estwing hatchets & axes?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by JD Spydo, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    I just got back from a local garage sale and I got an Estwing hatchet and a rock hound pick/hammer. I got both of the Estwing tools for a song and they are used but in overall good condition.
    Not having a lot of expertise in the area of hatchets and/or axes so I thought I would get your input. I've been putting together a small collection of axes and hatchets that I've found at garage sales and thrift stores. So I don't have a big investment. But I do want to stay with quality tools to build the collection with.

    I've also owned other Estwing tools over the years and I personally think they are pretty decent quality overall. Oh I'm sure that exotic brands like Grandfors Bruks and a few others I could mention are probably better. But I still think that these Estwing striking tools are as good as I would ever need for my own uses.

    So I was wanting to get some feedback from you guys who are really serious about axes and hatchets and get an idea of where ESTWING ranks in quality of their axes and hatchets?
     
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  2. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have a Estwing hatchet with a stacked leather handle. I purchased it in 1995. So, about 25 years old. I has been a good tool, whether chopping or hammering, it performs well. DM
    plumb4.jpg
     
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  3. Dr Rez

    Dr Rez

    271
    Jun 7, 2012
    I have an Estwing Camp Axe that was left in a humid shed for almost 2 years and it was still sharp and had no pitting at all just surface rust on the head. Pretty impressive!
     
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  4. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    That's the biggest selling point I've found with any of Estwing's tools. They may not be the very best that can be had but they are a dependable and well built tool all the way around.
    I was going through some tools I've had since high school. One was an Estwing claw hammer that I used on a rough-in crew. I've had it since the early 70s and I still use it from time to time.
    I was wondering how some of you hard core ax and hatchet enthusiasts rated Estwing's axes with some of the other really popular, highly rated axes and hatchets out there?
     
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  5. Square_peg

    Square_peg Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    The Estwing stuff is rock solid but it's kind of thin and so doesn't make a good chopper except for light work. The cheeks are very thin.
     
  6. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I have 2 estwing hammers I've had for years. I use one every day at work. I also have both of the newer style long and shorter camp hatchets. The longer one here;
    1576365935585767829399232718760.jpg
    Also I've got several of the older hatchets with leather stacked handles.
    I think of them as good quality "home owner"type of hatchets. They are flat cheeked and are economically made. They use decent steel and have an average temper.
    I consider mine useful and disposable as in I don't mind beating on them a little. I think that by itself is a valuable contribution. A tool that will do the job that you aren't worried about hurting any.
     
  7. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    They must have changed thru the years, because I thinned the cheeks on mine. DM
     
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  8. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    That surprises me a lot. I think every estwing I've ever seen has been stamped steel and very thin in the cheeks. Even back before the 50's.
    Pray tell, where did you get your estwing that you had to thin down? Do you still have it? I'd love to see a picture of it if you've still got it David.
     
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  9. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I do still have it. I purchased it at a hardware store. That's it above after thinning. ^ I'll get you a photo showing the cheeks compared to that Plumb from 1945. DM
     
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  10. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Ok, here is the photo taken showing the cheeks of the Plumb & Estwing. The Plumb's edge bevel is actually longer and thinner than the Estwing's. Then further up, behind the bevel they are very close. This is after I thinned the Estwing some years ago. Both are very good kindling and limbing tools. I've use the Estwing on chopping / separating chicken parts and it works real well for this. I've used both to drive #60d ring shank barn nails. Which is not a light duty nail. The Plumb excelled better at this than the Estwing due to it's heavier head. DM
    Estwing&Plumb.jpg
     
  11. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Well I guess I just don't know the proper grind or geometry of an ax head. But I've found the somewhat thin grind of the Estwing hatchet kind of nice for minor chopping and firewood prep. I've also found it advantageous for making up kindling for starting fires with as well in the short time I've owned and used it.

    Oh I have axes and a couple of hatchets with a really thick head/bit but I mainly use them for heavy cutting. Actually I kind of like the geometry on the Estwing hatchet I just bought for some jobs I'll be using it on.

    But if I'm looking at it wrong or I'm just overlooking something then tell me about it please.
     
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  12. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    These preform satisfactorily. At the tasks I use them for. For building storage buildings or a barn I'll take both. For processing chickens, only the Estwing because I'll place the blade and hit the head with the heel of my hand to force it through. I don't chop a lot of kindling but I'll use either for that. For limb work I use mostly the Plumb. When building landscape / planter boxes I'll use the Plumb. Camping, I take the Estwing. DM
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  13. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I suspect, had I not thinned the cheeks of the Estwing, the 2 hatchets would have been nearly identical. Which would have been fine. I wonder if mine being older had a little more cheek. DM
     
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  14. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    No I agree with you on that. They definitely have their place and I agree that a thin bit is preferable for certain things. As you mentioned smaller limbs, kindling, etc.
    My interest was piqued when someone mentioned needing to thin one down further than they already come. I didn't know but perhaps they made thicker ones at some point that I hadn't seen yet.
    In my opinion the way the come is plenty thin enough. Further thinning might help with whittling I suppose but I'd just use a knife instead.
    If they weren't found useful their design would've changed somewhere in the last 70+ years. But they didn't! Pretty much exactly the same throughout.
    David, I had the above post written out but forgot to post it yesterday. I was wondering the same thing about yours perhaps being a little thicker. I have a '54 estwing where the leather deteriorated from the grip. And it's just as thin as all the others! Must've just been your preference for the job at hand.
     
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  15. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    There may have been some variations in the grinds on this hatchet. I know HeavyHands thinned his as well. DM
     
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  16. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    One of the really big selling points of all the ESTWING tools I presently own is the absolute solid feel to them. All ESTWING tools I've owned over the years just seem to be built to take almost any kind of abuse.

    I'm sure that there are a lot of ax makers out there that make a better overall tool but I doubt if any of them make one of better overall quality as far as the ESTWING tools having that indestructible feel to them. One of their claw ( carpenter's) hammers that I've owned since high school is still one I frequently use. Only Vaughn hammers I feel like are made better>> however Vaughn should be a thread all it's own.

    The ESTWING company is an American Company that still seems to take pride in their workmanship. I used to say that about COLLINS but it's been probably close to 20 years since Collins has made tools worth bragging on IMO
     

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