A Pulaski axe is not like any other ordinary ax you may find out there. The special tool is designed to help you carry out your gardening, landscaping, and wild-land firefighting. Its design stands out and features two sides with one of its sides serving as a hoe and the other side as an ax. This gives you versatility and the ability to utilize the tool depending on the task at hand. The tools have a long history, and as time goes by, more and more brands are being released to the market. This has made shopping a quality tool a tall order for many.To help you choose the best Pulaski axe, keep reading this review. We have features high-quality brands that have been tested and have passed all the industry standards. But before then, check out the featured brands and our grading according to their quality.
Our best pick has to be Council Tool Pulaski Axe. The tool features a forged steel head which hydraulically sits onto a 36” long Hickory straight handle for your general gardening and forestry tasks. With a Rockwell hardness of 48 to 55, this tool won’t chip and can withstand all the forestry abuse without impacting its efficiency. Its body is surfaced with a red enamel finish while its edge with a clear lacquer for resisting rust making it the go-to axe for your firefighting needs.
Truper 30529 Pulaski Axe is the go-to model when on budget. The tool boasts of its heat treated blade for an exceptional cutting experience. Its 35-inch hickory handle is durable, strong, comfy and professionally designed to help you complete different tasks in your farm, home, recreation, sporting, and gardening among others. Its 3.5 pounds head makes it ideal for use by rookies and experiences firefighters making it our best budget pick.
Quick Comparison: Top 5 Best Pulaski Axe
1. Council Tool Pulaski Axe
Featuring a forged steel head this Council Tool Pulaski axe will withstand any misuse. Its head sits hydraulically on its 36-inch straight hickory handle and is fixed with a serrated aluminum wedge. By nature, aluminum is durable and lightweight which means you won’t get exhausted faster.To prevent any chances of the handle material shrinking or loosening the material has been dried perfectly well and has a moisture content below 10%. The body is surfaced with a red enamel coating while the cutting edges are coated with clear lacquer for a rust free blade. Having met all the ANSI hardness Rc, it is a sure sign that this Pulaski axe will offer you exceptional performance and the confidence to conquer any forestry or gardening task.
2. Truper 30529 Pulaski Axe
This Truper 30529 Pulaski ax is designed to offer you great versatility and is ideal for use at home, for sports, recreation, gardening, and on the farm. Its blade is heat treated for incredible performance and great versatility. It's hickory handle is quality, comfy, and durable which enables you to conquer different tasks without having to worry about loosening or losing grip of your ax.The 3.5 pound Pulaski ax is an excellent pick for those who may be looking forward to buying a quality ax for gardening and home use.
3. Nupla PA375-LESG Pulaski Axe
If you are a firefighter who is hunting for a quality Pulaski ax, then Nupla PA375-LESG could be an excellent choice for your wildland firefighting tasks. The tool boasts of a durable fiberglass handle which is resistant to insects, weather and chemicals.Its non-slip grip enables you to maintain a secure grip even when the conditions are not favorable making it one of the best Pulaski axe for firefighting.
4. Barebones Living - Pulaski Axe
Barebones Living Pulaski axe is a high-quality tool designed to make your chopping and splitting tasks manageable. The tool touts of its durable construction which features a High quality 1055 Carbon steel head. The blade retains its precision for long and is designed to be sharpened by hand making its maintenance easy.Its 21-inch Beechwood handle has a steel pommel at its base for your hammering purposes. The handle offers a secure grip and is built to last. Owning this Pulaski ax can end your gardening, chopping and splitting woes.
5. Collins HP-3 1/2FD-C Pulaski Axe
Looking for the best Pulaski axe for landscaping? Then why not try this Collins HP series. The tool touts of its high-quality steel blade which facilitates high precision cutting. Its steel forged head is durable and robust offering you years of quality performance.Its 34-inch fiberglass handle provides you with a secure grip for an excellent performance. Though it is recommended for landscaping, the ax can be great for firefighting.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pulaski Axe
Everyone dreams of owning quality tools and Pulaski axes are not an exception. So before you choose on the model to settle down for, you ought to check out if indeed it meets all the requirements. And here is what to consider:
A quality Pulaski ax should have a sharp blade which can retain its accuracy for long. Though most models are hand sharpened, investing on an inferior blade will require you to sharpen it more frequently consuming much of your time. For high efficiency, consider investing on models with a steel blade or High carbon steel which is forged, hardened or tempered.
The Rockwell hardness of your ax helps you determine the quality of your blade. International standards require manufacturers to produce tools with a hardness rating of 45- 60. Any model within this range is a sure sign of quality and will resist chipping.
Pulaski axes feature different head weights. Your head weight determines the force you hit the wood which impacts its efficiency. Heavier models deliver more power which enables you to complete your tasks effectively.
However, as much as heavier models will help you strike with more force, using an ax with head weight more than 5 pounds can be challenging, and you have high chances of losing your swing accuracy.
For rookies, it is recommended you use a 2lb or 3lb head weight, and as you polish your skill, you may upgrade to heavier models.
Pulaski axes come with different handle materials which differ in quality, feel and features. The most common types you will come across include wooden, plastic, and fiberglass.
Wooden ax handles are popularly used by manufacturers to give your tool a traditional look. But different wood can be used with the most common ones being Beech and Hickory. Beech wooden handles are flexible and robust but are susceptible to moisture.
Hickory, on the other hand, is reliable, durable and efficient. If dried well, hickory handles retain their shape minimizing any chances of your handle loosening or shrinking. If you happen to settle for a hickory handle, ensure it has a moisture content below 10%.
Unlike most wooden handles, plastic handles are resistant to moisture. They are lightweight and easy to maintain but will require you to be careful as they may break easily.
Fiberglass handles or glass reinforced plastic handles are sturdy and quality. Compared to wood and other metals, the strength of fiberglass materials is five times higher. Better still; fiberglass is resistant to chemicals, insects, and weather which make them great for designing ax handles.
However, that does not mean the other options are not great. With proper care wood and plastic are a great pick for your Pulaski tools. Remember as much as the handle plays a role in your experience, the quality of the blade is the key to your tools efficiency.
Besides, this shouldn’t be a reason enough to choose a weak handle. Handle choice should be a personal decision.
Your handle design plays a significant role in your comfort levels. This means you have to be keen and examine how the manufacturer has designed the handle to save you from the agony of sore hands.
Pulaski ax handles are either curved or straight. Since a Pulaski ax is designed to help you complete different tasks by flipping it around, a curved handle may not be more productive and will not offer you a natural feel.
Choosing a model with a straight handle will not only offer you convenience but also allow you to flip your tool around for use quickly.
Your handle length dictates the force needed for you to have an impact. Most people love longer handles but in most cases longer handles are not good. A longer handle will require you to swing it with more force to make an impact compared to a shorter one. To relieve yourself from the pain and strain of having to use more energy to get the job done a shorter handle is the best way to go.
However, the handle length is also sized depending on the task it is suited for. For instance, a felling ax is best suited with a 31 to 36-inch sized handle. For gardening, splitting, and chopping, a 21-inch handle and above is highly recommended.
While some models sell only the Pulaski ax, others may come with other items like a hex key and a sheath. The hex key enables you to remove the Hex nut for easy re-handling while the sheath helps protect your blade from moisture.
Ease of maintenance
Pulaski axes like any other tool require proper maintenance. This will vary depending on the blade and handle material. And as much as you are looking forward to owning a high-quality tool, you should be ready to keep it in good physical shape.
Poorly maintained tools deteriorate with time and reduce their performance which will call for replacement. With these hard economic times, no one would like to undergo this experience. That's why before choosing your preferred model, you need to know its maintenance routine and determine whether you are in a position to commit yourself.
However, maintaining a Pulaski ax shouldn't be a hard task, but it’s not worth ignoring.
Quality goes hand in hand with the cost of your tool. You cannot expect to enjoy an exceptional performance in a cheap model. For excellent performance, consider high-quality models. However, avoid spending more than what you have budgeted for else you risk going through financial runaways.
Every manufacturer will offer the warranty duration and its terms. Most consumers’ focus more on the guarantee period that they forget to check out the conditions. Always make sure you have taken time to read your manufacturer warranty terms prior and know which parts have a warranty and for how long.
Adhering to your manufacturer’s warranty terms will save you from disappointments. Avoid using your ax for tasks other than the ones listed by your manufacturer.
How to sharpen your Pulaski axe
After regular use of your ax, you will notice a decrease in efficiency which may call for more force which translates to fatigue. However, while sharpening your blade is highly recommended, the process should be done carefully to make sure the cutting edge is sharp enough but not too thin to prevent chipping.
Before sharpening it, you need to prepare it to make the process more manageable. One of the routine preparation procedures is cleaning. Washing your axe cutting edge helps remove dust and other metal particles that may be stuck on the surface.
In case your cutting edge has any signs of rust, it is a great idea first to get rid of the rust before sharpening. Use a rust eraser or coarse sandpaper to clean your rusty blade.
Once through, you can sharpen your ax using a file or a whetstone. The file sharpening is recommended when your ax is dull and does not have a decent cutting edge otherwise skip to the whetstone sharpening process.
File sharpening process
- Look for a flat surface
- Put on your safety glasses and gloves
- Place your ax on the surface and hold your file with one hand. Strike the file on the cutting edge while applying even pressure in a sweeping motion
- Keep making repeat strokes until you attain a precision edge. Repeat the procedure on both sides for a high precision edge
The whetstone sharpening process requires you to choose different stone grades depending on the condition of your cutting edge. For dull edges use a whetstone grit of 1000 to 3000. In case the edge is chipped, use a 1000 grit stone while for a clean edge a 4000 to 8000 grit stone is preferred.
Once you have the right whetstone, prepare your ax by oiling the edge with honing oil or water then follow these steps.
- Place your stone against your edge. Using circular motions, rub it against the edge while applying even pressure from end to end. Repeat the procedure on both sides until you have a thick edge.
- Use the finer whetstone and do the finishing for a more refined edge
- Once done, apply beeswax or a protective layer of oil to retain moisture. If you do not have oil or wax, you can use Vaseline instead
Pulaski axe maintenance tips
- Always ensure your cutting edge is properly cleaned after use by wiping out the dirt. Wear safety glasses to prevent any dust particles from finding their way into your eyes. Once dry, apply oil on the cutting edge to prevent rusting
- Store your ax in a sheath. Temperature fluctuations caused by weather changes can cause your ax blade to chip. In case you live in cold areas, make sure you heat your ax when temperatures go below freezing point.
- Before using your Pulaski ax, always examine the handle for any twists, rotting signs and cracks. In case any of these signs are identified, you should not use your tool until you get the handle replaced
- Newly replaced handles should be dry and fitting
- Avoid using a loose handle as this may hurt any stander by
- When using a Pulaski ax, avoid standing when your legs are in contact with each other but rather curve your knees slightly and place your legs apart to prevent any chances of injuring your feet. Use safety boots to prevent injuries or losing stability
- Avoid hitting your ax head with another metal as it may chip
- Never carry your Pulaski axe around without a sheath as it may injure you. Always wear non-slip shoes to avoid sliding when carrying your ax
- Never let an inexperienced person use your ax