Axe - If I could only have one tool, it would be an axe. The axe can be a multipurpose tool. Although it does not make a
great knife, it can get the job done if needed, nor can it put the firewood away as fast and easy as a saw, but it has been
doing the job for centuries. Not to mention it makes a first rate hammer.  The axe that I prefer in summer is the Hunting
axe made by Wetterlings in Sweden. Its measurements are 20” long , has a 1.5 lb. head with a fairly thin blade, and will
handle any camp chore with ease.

In the winter months, if you need to cut or split a lot of wood, a larger axe should be used. The 32" Copping axe  or the
26" Forest axe are just the tools for the job and will keep you in a full supply of firewood.  A small mill file thrown in your kit
will keep the blade razor sharp.

Safety Tips
  • Don't ever swing a shorter handled axe like you would a full size axe.  When cutting in front of yourself always keep
    your hands below your knees or kneel down on one knee.  
  • Don't ever split kindling while holding it with one hand and bring the axe down with the other.  Use a stick to hold the
    wood up or lay it down across a small log.
  • Don't ever cut a pole or tree down standing directly in front of it.  Stand with both feet off to the side of where the
    edge of the axe will strike the tree.

Knife –  The best knife for the woodsman is an all-purpose knife.  A knife that can gut a fish, cut through a sapling, or
prepare dinner with ease.  There are a lot of great knifes on the market these days and it can be confusing on what is
best.  A sturdy, functional, lightweight knife that fits well in your hand and holds an edge is of the utmost importance.  A
blade 4 - 5 inches in length, made with high carbon steel, with a full tang is ideal. Remember like most tools, its not the
knife but the skill of the user.  Your focus should be on becoming proficient with your tools, not on the tools themselves.

Saw –  One might wonder why you go through the trouble of packing a saw when you have an axe. Until you use the saw,
then it becomes an essential piece of equipment. When you need to put the firewood away, nothing is as fast or easy as a
saw. I like a 24” folding bucksaw.  Anything less then 24” seems to be to small to cut wood efficiently and anything larger
just doesn't pack well. The saw uses a standard bow saw blade so you can replace it with a blade found right at your local
hardware store. You can watch a video of the saw in action .  
 Watch Video
The Big Three
Good cutting tools are essential to the outdoorsman.  Something will always need to be cut, chopped, skinned, gutted, or
whittled. Good tools become reliable friends and taken care of will last for years, if not a lifetime. If you ask 100 woodsman
what they prefer you will probable get 99 different answers and that's being generous. They would all be correct in their
answer because that is what works best for them. The following are the three cutting tools that will be part of any
woodsman's kit.