Preferred Wood Processing Tool?


Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 63
Ted Pinson wrote:

 Also: bears.

You obviously need the chainsaw! :)

I see what you are saying on the rest though. I try to just have a nice stock of them and keep it in my car camping kit. 


Dustin Stotser · · Springfield, MO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 353

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Jason.  In your situation, a chainsaw seems ideal for you and it seems you are responsible with one.  But I treat questions on here like a game of Family Feud, you have to think like the masses.

Jason Todd wrote:

A big ass fire feels great after a day of swinging ice tools. I've had more than one party saunter over and make conversation after their no-see-um fire proved to be a bit underwhelming. 

A big ass fire seems like a necessity in that situation :)

I just can't bring myself to buy wood though. Seems like pulling on gear, it's just not the same. 

It's the only viable low impact option in many car camping areas considering the volume of people.  

I'm not really advocating anything, simply replying to the query as to the preferred tool.  

If you are publicly supporting something, you advocate it by definition.

I prefer to get the firewood gathering over as efficiently/quickly as possible. As far as bad stewardship goes, I disagree that chainsaws are any more impactful than buying wood.  Especially if it isn't local wood.  

I agree completely, in the hands of responsible users.  I was more worried about the number of novice campers reading this here and thinking it to be the best idea for all situations.  A bunch of irresponsible people with chainsaws is definitely more impactful.

One should endeavor to minimize transport of firewood to help limit the spread of many diseases. 

I agree, all wood should only be gathered/purchased locally, as per the law in most areas I know.

Sorry for the digression, Ted.  Hikingdrew had very good suggestions!  Get an axe for splitting if you wish, but I personally prefer a hatchet for packing consideration.


Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40

Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards.  It will at least annoy the bear, or I could use it to injure my partner so that he is slower and the bear goes for him.  Oh...and the wood thing.  It wouldn't be a MP thread if it didn't digress.  I probably opened Pandora's box by even hinting at collecting wood from the site...in all honesty what I would (probably) mainly use it for is paring down logs that I buy, but I like to leave my options open should I decide to do something in the backcountry.

So it seems like a lot of people trust Gerber...their 14" hatchet is on sale for $35 on amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00KCY7W1O/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1497793016&sr=1-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=hatchet&dpPl=1&dpID=3178VKDW0nL&ref=plSrch

There's also an Estwing for the same price, which is much sexier:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00BNQR4SG/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497793016&sr=1-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=hatchet&dpPl=1&dpID=41pXINwcV-L&ref=plSrch

Thoughts between the two?


Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 50
Ted Pinson wrote:

Plus, hitting things with axes sounds fun.  Also: bears.

Yup. Well, the fun part. I don't think the bear cares.

Make sure you buy one that can be sharpened. Stupidly, they do sell cutting devices that can't.

Buy a flat metal file and pack that too, to quickly get an edge back. You can also do yourself a favor and put an edge on your shovels. Keep one face flat and angle off the other. It takes awhile to do the first time, but only a minute or two to sharpen up after that.

If someone is brand new to using an axe, odd as it sounds, if they kneel down to get the swing of it, you get their legs out of range of the axe. If you are chopping a tree, that also minimizes the stump if you also need to whack that out.

Best, OLH


Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 613

Ted-  

I own both brands of tools, not those particular models though, and either would be fine.  

Estwing is heavier, definitely sexier, and made in the US.


Halljt3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Ted Pinson wrote:

Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards.  It will at least annoy the bear, or I could use it to injure my partner so that he is slower and the bear goes for him.  Oh...and the wood thing.  It wouldn't be a MP thread if it didn't digress.  I probably opened Pandora's box by even hinting at collecting wood from the site...in all honesty what I would (probably) mainly use it for is paring down logs that I buy, but I like to leave my options open should I decide to do something in the backcountry.

So it seems like a lot of people trust Gerber...their 14" hatchet is on sale for $35 on amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00KCY7W1O/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1497793016&sr=1-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=hatchet&dpPl=1&dpID=3178VKDW0nL&ref=plSrch

There's also an Estwing for the same price, which is much sexier:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00BNQR4SG/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497793016&sr=1-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=hatchet&dpPl=1&dpID=41pXINwcV-L&ref=plSrch

Thoughts between the two?

Out of those two options, I would recommend the Estwing.  However, I highly recommend taking a look at the Husqvarna Traditional Axe.  It is quite comparable to the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe, but slightly less refined and less costly. With a little bit of work, you'll have an excellent cutting tool.  Do a little research.  I don't think you will be disappointed. http://www.husqvarna.com/us/accessories/axes/traditional-multi-purpose-axe/576926202/


Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 25

Chainsaw. When possible.

Friskars X11 splitting axe or more compact Friskars blah-blah-blah hatchet.

Cheap pocket chainsaw (hands driven).


Peter M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
Jon H wrote:

I have a nice Gransfors Bruks hatchet that I use for splitting rounds and quarters and then a stout 8" fixed blade (Morakniv - solid steel, but only a whopping $12) that I use for splitting the quarters even further down into kindling.  

This ^^^ A++ 

my first love is survival skills, bushcraft, and primitive wilderness living skills. You should always have a morakniv in a pack. And a gransfors bruks axe is the axe to have. I take a GFB small forest axe in a pack, if I'm canoeing or staying in cold weather like the notes Forrest in winter then I have a longer axe which is 25" handle and that's the Scandinavian Forrest axe. And if you get a bahco Laplander for cutting up branches then you will look like the kind of woodsman who knows the business haha.


Peter M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Learn how to properly swing a hatchet and a axe. If you have a hatchet please use it kneeling down so if your swing misses it will hit the ground and not your shin. Always always pay attention to where your axe will go if the hit reflects and bounces off. You can die pretty easily in the bush from a axe injury.


Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 60

Hults bruk Kisa axe hand forged Swedish made axe that does not break the bank .  This is an awesome small axe that works well as a hatchet too  better quality and holds an edge amazingly well 


Jeff Hildebrand · · Pueblo, CO · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 0

Look at a rigging ax. I framed houses for years with one. Very good woodsman tool, as well. It is the first tool I bought on my own, still have it 32 years later. 


T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 730

my preferred way is the  KISS method which involves burning larger pieces of wood in half and requires no shopping or extra crap to bring.


John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 888

I love these threads............. Here's how you do it Ted. 

  1. Bring enough pre-cut seasoned firewood for the size fire you desire for the weekend with you as most public camping areas will be picked clean and people with axes will have chopped, bludgeoned or torn off all limbs low enough to reach off all the nearby trees.
  2. When you establish your campsite walk into the woods a ways to find smaller dead wood, gather said smaller dead and dry wood off the ground.
  3. Place a back log into the fire ring and rake up a pile of dry leaves and dry grass and pile it next to the log.
  4. Pile the slightly larger dead wood on top of that starting with twigs and working your way up. 
  5. Light it........ if you can't get it going (unlikely, but possible) apply girl-scout-juice (gas or other combustible liquid) as needed.

Note, no axe hatchet or chainsaw is needed, no trees are cut down or harmed in the park, you will not have a smoky fire from burning green wood AND/OR the frustration of trying to light green wood, you won't tick off your neighbors (except for fire envy) by running power saws or smoking them out. You will save a ton of time and energy by not chopping a tree down. And most importantly you won't anger the Park authorities.


Scott Powers · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

I personally prefer a small folding saw and a large knife like ESEE laser strike or ESEE 5.  A mora is also a good choice.  


Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 85

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 570


I'm with John Barritt if you have to have a fire. ^^^ do it his way. I tend not to but do get out with folks who do. Just drag over some loose branches and fire it up. 

However- 

I was finding myself far off the main roads in the Pacific Northwest, and fearing that I might find myself trapped by a log falling over the road blocking the vehicle, I started carrying the Chainmate chain saw:  https://smile.amazon.com/Chainmate-CM-24SSP-24-Inch-Survival-Pocket/dp/B0026OOS60/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497890767&sr=8-1&keywords=chainmate+chainsaw  I've used it a few times for small trees and it gets the job done with a fair amount of effort. It's light, so you can pack it in and cut the blow down over trails. As it's a hand tool, you can use it in the wilderness areas as well. But it's slow. @ a 16" tree is the largest I've cut and with the rests to get my panting under control, take maybe 45 min to an hour to cut it. That was an Alder, fir would cut faster. You won't set any speed records. Cheap, light, effective, slow. Comes with a slick little carrying pouch so you won't have your runners compromised:-) It works better with downfall rather than standing timber, you get the saw under and go to town. Bring a small handsaw for backup as the movement of the pieces may pinch your saw and get it stuck. The handsaw can go top down to finish your cut and retrieve the chainsaw.



Last Chrismas my kid bought me an Ego Cordless 16" Electric Chainsaw with the 5mah battery. Holy crap this thing is amazing. Last Saturday I was out, and a tree had fallen over the only parking spot. In the old days, I would have A) Drove up over the tree or B) Gone down the way and found another spot. This time, buzz buzz buzz and 13 cuts and a few min later the tree was in 16" long rounds.. Best of all is that unlike a gas saw that can be heard for miles, you get total stealth cuts. No need for hearing protection. https://smile.amazon.com/56-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Included-battery/dp/B01M4QK2DL/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497891010&sr=8-3&keywords=ego+chainsaw



The batterys fit in all the Ego tools, so you can electric power your string trimmer, hedge cutter, blower, lawnmore. This stuff is great. 


Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

A good tip my brother once taught me was how to use a candle to start a fire. You can melt the base and stick it to a rock. Place the rock in the base of the fire and the wax from the lit candle will provide a good amount of burn time while you get smaller things to catch.


bruno-cx · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 0
  1. Pickup Truck
  2. Large Dead Tree 
  3. Chain

Drag it down the down road until it disintegrates. Bonus points if it disturbs other campers.


Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 87
Nate Doyle wrote:

For the backcountry and survival, consider a knife. Check out some of Nutnfancy knife reviews:

...

Nutnfancy thoughts on axe as a survival tool (ie. non car camping):

We're talking about a bunch of guys with disposable income camping in the lower 48 of the US on a rock climbing trip, the "survival" talk is ridiculous.  Unless you're going to carry the axe on route and cut your arm off Aaron Ralston style, there's no reason you need any silly "survival" equipment.  Just get in your car and drive back home to NYC or wherever you live.

All that being said, I have a fairly inexpensive 24" Gerber axe that works great for this kind of stuff.  Even if you bring firewood, it's nice to be able to chop stuff up to get the fire going, etc.


John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 888
bruno-cx wrote:
  1. Case of cold beer and or fifth of whiskey
  2. 4WD Pickup Truck with rebel flag attached
  3. Large Dead Tree  or multiple railroad ties
  4. 5 gallon can of gasoline 
  5. Chainsaw
  6. Logging Chain

Drag it down the down road and into your campsite. Saw as needed and ignite. Bonus points if it disturbs other campers, or attracts women. Negative points if it ends in multiple arrests or a forest fire.

I fixed it.......... ;)


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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