I’ve been using this Husqvarna hatchet for good two years now, and I decided that we knew each-other well enough for me to be able to say something about it.
My opinion about the hatched changed radically relatively recently. At first I was a little disappointed and thought the thing was too heavy and the shaft was too wide and uncomfortable. Then I kind of got used to it and thought it was ok but nothing special.
In the meantime, I was using other, smaller and lighter hatchets and they felt alright. Maybe even better than the Husqvarna. Or so I thought at the time. Some time ago, I came back to this one and I couldn’t believe I’d ever thought it was too heavy, too wide or unwieldy.
What I think happened there was I simply got stronger from using various axes and hatchets for carving (especially with one hand) and suddenly all the draw backs turned into big advantages. I could finally focus on work instead of whining about how heavy the hatchet was.
Yes it is easier to swing a lighter hatchet but because it’s lighter you have to lift it higher and drop it faster to get the effect you would when hewing with a heavier one. It’s easy to miss and hurt yourself this way. It also isn’t as precise as when lifting the axe lower. It’s simply a lot easier to hit the spot your aiming for when you don’t have to swing the axe too hard.
And finally that wide shaft… It actually assures a firmer grip. It prevents the hatchet from glancing and turning in your hand.
I have quite a few inexpensive axes and hatchets such as a stainless Silverline axe, a Draper hatchet and a Cold Steel Tomahawk (Trail Hawk). None of these came with a protective sheath or a mask, which meant I had to either make, or buy them separately if I was going to put them in a back pack and transport them safely and securely.
Sheaths or masks are really useful things and it’s a shame most inexpensive axes or hatchets don’t come with them. It’s understandable though. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be inexpensive anymore.
I noticed that it is possible to learn how to do the leatherwork yourself without spending any extra money. Especially if you have some of the materials needed at home. If you do not, it still won’t be very expensive since all you need is a hammer, a few rivets, press studs with their punches, bolts and those little anvils, and scrap leather from an old bag, boots etc.
Of course, you most likely won’t be pleased with your first attempt. Possibly even your second. I know I wasn’t. But you still have to keep trying to get the experience and learn all those things you won’t learn by watching videos or reading books and blog posts. Hands-on experience my friend. Good luck and have fun 🙂