Task Camp Ax - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Handy to have around the shop or home, it's also light enough to carry on a belt or in a rucksack

task_ax_lead

Task Camp Ax



The new Task Camp Ax (T73081) looks like a mini axe, but functionally is more like a hatchet. At just under 14" in overall length, and slightly under 2 pounds in weight, it's both small and light enough to carry around in a knapsack or even on a belt when tromping through the woods. Homeowners looking for a inexpensive hatchet to use around the home or cottage will be pleased with its under $15 price tag.
 
The 1-1/4 pound head is made of drop forged, case hardened SAE 1045 carbon steel. This is a medium carbon steel widely used in manufacturing products that need to both hard and strong. Case hardening, a process of diffusing carbon into the outer layer of steel at high temperatures, further increases surface hardness.


021-1
Rounded bit (cutting edge) makes the axe more versatile  
023-5
Head is firmly attached to the handle
               
At just under 3 pounds the T730081 is a fairly light axe. It's also very well-balanced, particularly when holding the handle about half way up the shaft. The head looks to be firmly attached to the handle, which is comforting - you don't want the head to work loose and fly off in use. It has a classic axe shape - the cutting edge (the bit) is slightly rounded, and there is a gentle curve to the cheeks. This makes it easier for the axe to penetrate wood.

022-01
Thin cutting profile with a slight curvature to the cheeks 



057-4



Double injected fiberglass handle is guaranteed to be unbreakable
The handle, which runs all the way up through the head, is made of double injected fiberglass. Task guarantees the handle against breakage. I also noted that the handle is perfectly aligned with the head, which goes a long way to increasing cutting efficiency with an axe. The only issue I have with the handle is that it's somewhat on the smooth side, and when your hands are wet, it slips. A textured surface would help here.
 
The head is finished with a matte paint to help protect from rust. Still, it's a good idea to clean the head and coat it with a light lubricant after each use.
 

001-23
The blade comes reasonably well sharpened. I used the T73081 to limb some large shrubs, and split some 3" and 4" diameter blocks. Piece of cake.
 
The weakest part of any striking tool is the neck - where the handle meets the head. I pounded the heck out of the neck - whacking it a dozen times against a 4" log. The T73081 didn't even wince.
 
I think that just about anyone will find the T73081 to be a capable general purpose hatchet, suitable for a variety of cutting, splitting and shaping tasks, from splitting kindling to felling small diameter trees and shrubs. The poll also does double duty as a hammer or mini sledge.
 
The T73081 is light enough to carry on a belt or in a rucksack, and nicely balanced. And, at just under $15, it's great value.


KEY FEATURES:

  • Drop forged, case hardened steel head
  • Double injected fiberglass handle
  • Soft Touch rubber grip
  • 1-1/4 pound head
  • 1 lb. 15 oz. overall weight
  • 3" blade
  • 14" overall length

Manufacturer:Task Tools
Available From:Find a Retailer
Retail Price:$14.99
Model #:T73081
Made In:Mexico
Carl Duguay, December 2011
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!