Some time ago, while viewing the catalog of Bahcho, I found this ax (ref: HUS-0.8-500) that caught my attention for several reasons, firstly the size of 50cm ash handle (which I think is ideal for carrying backpack), the design of the head and the relatively low price at around € 30.
As I am a happy owner of an SA Wetteelings Large Hunting Axe, this purchase was more consumer momentum and curiosity than a real need for a new ax.
The handle is 50cm long, partially painted orange and completely covered with varnish. The head is partially coated with the same orange ink as cable being secured to the cable by a plastic wedge !? The most curious of the wedge is that include a mount that is probably to hang them on the display shelves of stores. This type of wedge is not at all usual and let me have some doubts as to their safety, although during all tests never gave up or showed signs being loose . In the negative side this axe does not bring any kind of sheath
This axe was 2 major flaws in my opinion (not sure if this is a chronic problem or just bad luck with this specimen)
1. the ax was poorly mounted because the head is not centered with the handle. This may cause problems of use
2. The orientation of the wood grain of the cable is completely wrong. This will not affect performance at all, although remove stiffness and strength, increasing the medium / long term risk of cracking or breaking the cable
As usual in this and other brands, the edge in the so-called "safe mode" , so to start to work with it you it was necessary to spend some time make the new edge
Comparatively, the head of the Bahco is a bit larger and heavier than the Wetterlings, with a geometry that is more like an splitting ax . The greater area and geometry of the edge , in my view, gives some the vantage when it comes to heavier work but when it comes to more detailed work like carving wood or featherstick clearly loses to Wetterlings.
In the test of cutting and splitting wood, were used 10 and 20 strikes with each of the axes. In both tests there were no significant differences. (Left Bahco and right Wetterlings)
In the tests featherstick there as a striking difference , the thicker edge and the size of the head makes it more difficult this operation, although it is possible to do a fair amount of wood chips that would be more than enough for a fire starting.
To conclude here is some picture of the axe after i made the changes and the sheath i made for it.
It is an ax that does not let you down in 95% of field tasks that usually do, process wood for building or fire.
To make it usable is really going to need some work, especially at the edge, but nothing that 30 minutes of work with a file and sharpening stones can not solve.
The two problems I found the ax, has the same origin, the handle. These problems are easily solved by Bahco with better quality control. I confess I did not detect that the performance of the ax was affected by poor alignment of the head.