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**Looking for a hatchet that holds an edge**

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by farmboy84, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. farmboy84


    Aug 23, 2015
    hey guys and gals,

    i'm looking for a hatchet with a flat back and a blade that can withstand some abuse. I work as a Land Surveyor and use a hatchet to "stamp" markings into steel legal pins. My issue is i cannot find a hatchet that has a blade than can handle the abuse. would i be better off making my own out of the hardest steel i could get my hands on? or is there a manufacturer that makes some sort of thing? thanks in advance.

  2. jblyttle


    Sep 3, 2014
    And you won't. They will either flatten out or chip, there is no in-between. This is not the job for a hatchet and I strongly recommend that you not use one. What you want is a cold chisel and a 3-4lb hand sledge. Picture a hatchet sized sledgehammer.

    If you insist on a hatchet I would just use an Estwing. They are not expensive and decent enough steel. Any high quality "harder" steel would cost more and you would just chip it anyway.
  3. okto


    May 13, 2014
    Seconded. What you want is a cold chisel and a drilling hammer. A hatchet just isn't designed for that.
  4. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Thirded. Cold chisel is the way to go. An undervalued tool these days, but a must have in every toolbox.
  5. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    Not quite sure why it is you don't just carry a framing hammer on your belt specifically for this purpose. Axe polls (unless you can track down a vintage rafting axe) are soft and start to mushroom the first time metal strikes on metal.
    May be investing in an Estwing axe (and treating it as an expendable tool) every now and again is the way to go. They aren't expensive and they are as durable as you're going to get.
  6. the possum

    the possum

    Jul 31, 2002
    Are you using the poll to hammer on some sort of stamp, to mark the pins? Or are you actually using the cutting edge to cut notches in them?

    If you're hammering on a separate stamp, then check out vintage carpenter's hatchets or half hatchets. These have a true hammer head on back that should work. If you're chopping into steel with the cutting edge, that's another matter. I wouldn't personally do it, but again, American hatchets & axes made 50+ years ago had much harder edges than what you can usually find today. Your best place to look for one would be an antique shop, thrift store, estate auction, etc. Sharpen the edge at a steeper angle, and it should hold up against mild steel well enough.

    I'm talking about something like one of these:
  7. markv


    Sep 8, 2004
    nice little chopper.
    often called lathing hatchets around these parts. Mudzoory in the mid-west.


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