Clearing away thick brush can be done with several different tools. When it comes to brush axes in particular, the best one according to many reviews is the Fiskars brush axe. Fiskars has a huge selection of tools and this one in particular is one of their most popular item.
Fiskars Brush Axe
Although there are a wide variety of brush axes available on the market, we have selected the Fiskars brush axe as the one that gives you the most value for your money.
We had some initial concerns about the durability of the blade due to its thinness, this has not proven to be a problem. Like with all tools, using them only for the task for which they were designed will ensure that they last a long time.
The Fiskars brush axe is a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts who have a lot of clearing to do. This tool makes any chore around the house/gardening type work much easier.This brush axe is also a great asset for firefighters and surveying crews. It is a unique tool that combines the characteristics of a machete and a hatchet. This makes the brush axe an ideal multi-purpose tool for all kinds of cutting tasks.
The 10 inch steel blade is able to go through wood, brush, overgrowth.. or anything else you need clearing more easily than you’d expect. That is because the blade is coated in a special material during the manufacturing process that gives it lower friction. The slices feel great and makes your job that much easier.
Although its not a wood handle, the FiberComp is at least pretty lightweight and stronger than steel. They make a point to mention that it is a single molding – so the blade will never come lose from the handle.
When buying your Fiskars brush axe, you’ll also get a safety sheath for convenient transportation and storage. If you decide to carry your brush axe with you when hiking or camping, the sheath will not only protect the blade, but can also prevent accidental injury. Check out the current price on Amazon here.
To learn how to use the Fiskars brush axe properly, and what it can and can’t do, check out this video:
- Hardened steel blade is precision-ground to cut with less effort
- Blade length: 10 inch
- Handle made from FiberComp for durability
- Ideal for clearing brush, cutting trails, stripping logs or felling small trees
- Rust-resistant, low-friction blade coating helps the blade glide through wood
- Lifetime warranty
Besides a brush axe, there are a number of other woodworking tools and axes that have been designed specifically to clear out thick brush and heavy undergrowth from trails. These tools are all used slightly differently and some have a more specific purpose than general clearing.
Firefighters, surveying crews as well as homeowners and gardeners use these tools to clear thick brush, and it might be handy to at least be aware of the different options before going out and buying a brush axe.
Machete: A machetes is used to clear a new trail when surveying a route through dense vegetation. When using a machete, use a slightly angled (off-vertical) stroke rather than a low horizontal swing. Machetes are however not suitable for hacking branches from trees. Our recommended Machete.
Weed Cutters: Weed cutters are also called grass whips, swizzle sticks, swing blades and weed whips. This tool is used to clear a trail corridor of succulent vegetation such as grass, tree seedlings, briars and light brush, and it swung back and forth with both hands. There are two types:
- The triangular-frame weed cutter is used for briars and woody stems up to a half-inch in diameter.
- The L-shaped weed cutter cuts is used for weeds and grass, but is not suitable for use on larger growth.
Swedish Safety Brush Axe: This tool, also known as a Sandvik, looks like a machete with a short, replaceable blade. This tool is probably safer than a machete due to its shorter blade and longer handle. It is fast and easy to control. The replaceable steel blade is thin and flat, and easily cuts through springy hardwood stems.
Woodman’s Pal Axe: This 16 inch long tool is easy to carry and use, and is suitable for cutting and clearing vegetation. Plus it looks pretty amazing – Check out the Woodman’s Pal Axe here.
Bank Blade: Alternative names for this tool includes hook blades, swing blades, bush axe and kaiser bank blades. The heavy blade is sharpened on both sides and a 40 inch long hickory handle keeps you well away from the vegetation you’re cutting. A bank blade is used to cut brush, briar, or undergrowth. Here is a great Ddouble Edged Ditch Bank Blade.
Loppers: Loppers are also called lopping shears or pruning shears. Loppers are useful for clearing heavy vegetation from trails. Their long handles give the mechanical leverage that makes it easy to cut cleanly through all types of thick brush and branches. Cutting limbs of between 1 and 1-1/2 inches in diameter can easily be done with a lopper, but they’re not suitable for removing finer growth.
Hand Pruner: This tool is smaller and lighter to carry than a lopper, but is only suitable for minor pruning. It is used to cut small branches encroaching on the trail and is also useful for cutting tripping hazards such as minor protruding roots.
Brush Axe: Brush axes are also known as brush hooks, bush hooks, ditch blades and ditch blade axes. This tool is suitable to remove brush that is too heavy for a weed cutter, but too light for an axe. A brush axe can either have a double- or single edged blade.
The brush axe’s long handle and heavy head give it a powerful cut when it is swung like an axe. The curved blade does however make it a very dangerous tool, and care is advised when using one. Always use both hands on the handle and make sure you grip it firmly.
Cutting is most effective when the tool is used with a slicing rather than a hacking motion. The handle is pulled back at the end of the swing to utilize the curved blade. A brush axe should be carried with the head forward like a shovel.
To use the brush axe to cut a tree branch, the curve of the hook should be lifted above the branch and short, chopping strokes made downward against the surface of the branch. To cut small brush or bushes, the brush axe should be swung horizontally. The hooked blade will prevent the brush from bouncing away from the cutting edge
Care of brush cutting tools
Taking proper care of any tool will not only help them lasting longer, but will also help you achieve the maximum benefit from your tools. Just like with axes, sometimes a felling job becomes an axe restoration job if you strike something you aren’t supposed to.
- Repair all dulled cutting edges and nicks as soon as possible.
- If the tool is going to be stored for a prolonged period, lightly coat the metal parts with oil.
- Defective handles should always be replaced immediately, and a tool should not be used while the handle is defective. Doing so is asking for trouble or an injury.
- When using a brush cutting tool, always be aware of other people around you to prevent accidents or serious injury.
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