There was inspiration in the air when I grabbed my semi-new Fiskars splitting axe earlier this afternoon. In your hand, the thing’s like lightweight dynamite, or maybe a Glock .40 after you’re used to two-handing an S&W .44 mag for years on the range (whatever yours may be). It’s all murdered out, just like the early Glocks, and it’s full of plastic, so you know it’s modern. On that note, the Harbor Freight maul I’ve been sweating the last couple of years also has a plastic handle; it’s anything but light, but has been perfectly serviceable (I even bought a new one as a back-up: H-F Maul.). The banana yellow-handled maul was designed to give you some kind of sasquatch-level tennis elbow, at best . . .
I’m not really sure how I came across this thing a few weeks back–I suppose I was just wasting time on the internet, and there it was. I had to see it, feel it, swing it around in an aisle at Lowe’s . . . I proceeded to read reams of hyped posts of confirmation (in the thousands) on Amazon, then found that people actually post shitloads of wood-chopping related videos on YouTube, some of which are both weird and surprisingly entertaining.
So once I managed to check one of these things out, I went to Lowe’s, where they had one for about $55.00. I almost ordered one off Amazon, but with tools, much like with shoes, you really should put your hands on the thing before you pull the trigger, no metaphors intended. Upon physical examination, I found that the axe was made in Finland; plastic or not, I tend to trust anything that is made or even designed in Scandinavia. That place is teaming with crazy engineers, and their education system makes that of the U.S. look like perpetual pre-school. So there was cred right there on the handle . . .
Compared to the maul, this thing is super-light. When you pick the axe up (yes, I’m using the fucking “e”), especially once you’ve spent some quality time swinging an 8-10 pound maul, the axe feels like a tennis racket (racquet?). What’s more important is this: Everybody who’s bought one of these things says it splits as good or better than a maul. That’s like being able to shoot .50 caliber bullets with an AR-15 (shoots .22 derivatives–light weight). This is fucking efficiency through engineering, one point of which is a super-sharp blade (with which one should very carefully avoid hitting dirt, rocks, and shins).
This thing is worth it. I will say no more, as unlike the people who post on Amazon.com, I do not chop two cords of wood per day (or year, for that matter). If I did, I’m pretty sure I’d hate my life with great passion.
Spending money on a good tool is like a revelation, every single time.