Why should I buy from Council Tool?

Council Tool’s philosophy is to make top quality products, to offer outstanding value and to be innovative in the manufacture of products. As a result, our tools are recognized as benchmark products in the industry, and most other reputable tool makers are still trying to catch up. Additionally we feel strongly about purchasing products made in the USA and hope you do as well.

What is a good axe for camp chores?

The definition of “camp-chores” varies widely, and can become an extensive list.  These include clearing trails/campsites, setting up camp/tents, harvesting firewood from surrounding areas, processing firewood and kindling, using the axe/hatchet as a pot hook, making cooking utensils such as spoons/ ladles/ spatulas, etc.  A good rule of thumb is bigger axes for bigger jobs, and little hatchets for smaller jobs.  Figuring out where the majority of the required tasks fall, will help dictate which type and size of axe that should be used.  Camp axes typically fall between 1.75 lbs. and 2.5 lbs. head weight, and overall lengths between 16” and 28”.  Boys Axes that are traditionally 2.25 lbs. and 28” long, are capable of many of the larger tasks and some of the smaller tasks.  Hatchets are good at light splitting and processing kindling, rough carving and making utensils.

A few of Council Tool axes and hatchets have a special feature of having hardened polls, that enable them be used like a hammer, if the need arises.

Happy Camping!!

What makes a forged tool better?

Forging is simply striking hot metal with a hammer into a desired shape. Blacksmiths have been doing this for centuries. As blacksmiths experimented with new techniques, they found that more complex shapes could be made by hammering the metal into a die. (The die contains the shape of the finished product.) Instead of hammering by hand, modern forgings use a falling hammer or a power hammer and top and bottom dies to form the desired shape. This is drop forging. At Council Tool, we use a variety of forging methods.

Drop forging- Hammering hot metal into dies.
Press forging – Instead of forcing hot metal into a die with a hammer blow, it’s pressed into the die using hydraulic pressure.
Roll forging – The hot metal is pressed between two rollers.
Cold forging- For smaller parts, the metal can be pressed into the die without being heated.

Another way tools can be made is by casting from molten metal or by machining, which is cutting material away from a larger block of metal. The advantage of forging is that it improves the strength of the metal by aligning and stretching the grain structure. A forged part will be stronger than a casting or a machined part. Before you buy a tool, ask if it is forged. Ours are.

What is a good axe to split with?

Picking out an axe to split with, is like picking out tires for a truck.  There are lots of options, but the best decision is based on specific application and what kind of wood is being split.  There are other variables to consider, such as species of wood, green (freshly cut) vs. seasoned (dry for sometime), straight grain vs. knots, time of year/climate, technique, and experience/skill of the person splitting.  Many species of conifer/evergreen such as Spruce, Pine, and Fir, can be split with many types of axes, including double bit axes, Daytons, Jerseys, Fallers axes, and even our FE6 flathead.  Medium hardwoods such as Cherry, Poplar, Cottonwood, Box-elder, etc. can be split with the larger Jerseys, Daytons, Fallers, and FE6.

Splitting mauls can also be used on these woods.  Heavy/dense hardwoods such as Hickory, Ash, Oak, Walnut, Locust, Elm, etc. are typically split with splitting mauls or heavier axes.  Our 8 & 6 lbs. Splitting mauls, Fallers axe and the FE6 are set up to do heavy splitting.  Many firewood enthusiast, who split by hand, use multiple axes, mauls, and splitting wedges in different combinations, to process firewood.

Happy Splitting!!

Where are your tools made?

Council Tool buys its raw materials – namely steel, wood, and fiberglass – from domestic sources. We forge, finish, and assemble our tools in North Carolina. When you buy from Council, you’re buying a true Made-In-USA product!

How do I care for my tools?

Our cutting tool products are shipped with sharp edges! The best way to maintain sharpness is to use a flat file, followed by a whetstone.

Maintain the convex face and chamfer as it originally appears.

Prevent rust by wiping or spraying metal parts with light oil during long periods of storage.

How do I replace a wooden handle?

To replace a wooden handle, first clean the eye thoroughly. Store the handle overnight in a warm, dry room to ensure dryness. Fit the new handle with a rasp or sandpaper. The handle should be driven tight into the head. Saw the handle flush with the head, then drive the aluminum wedge in flush with the head.

How do I sharpen my axe?

We do not recommend an electric high speed grinder to sharpen your axe. This will leave the steel too soft to hold an edge and will ruin your tool. Most people today will not have access to an old style pedal grindstone, so your options are limited to a flat file and a whetstone. It’s best to use a file with a guard because you will be filing towards the cutting edge. Be sure to wear a pair of heavy gloves.

Clamp the axe to a workbench at a comfortable height with the cutting edge facing out. File towards the poll (back) of the axe in a fan shaped motion and maintain the same direction throughout the process. File the edge approximately 2 to 3 inches at the middle point of the axe. Work your way from the cheek down to the actual edge, keeping a rounded profile. Stop filing once you have filed one side so that the burr of metal can be felt on the back side. Turn the axe over and repeat the process on the other side. The angle of the edge should be about 25 degrees, but should be slightly convex.

Now it is time to hone the edge with a whetstone. The honing process finishes and polishes the edge and removes the burr of metal left from the filing. Honing should always be done immediately after the filing process has been completed.
The last step is to apply a protective coating to the axe head itself. Wipe light machine oil over all the steel on both sides of the axe. With proper care your Council axe can be passed on to the next generation. See this video for step by step instructions of sharpening your axe.

Where is Lake Waccamaw?

Lake Waccamaw is wedged into the southeastern corner of North Carolina. It’s approximately 36 miles west of Wilmington, 65 miles north of Myrtle Beach (SC), and 45 miles east of Fayetteville. The Lake itself is a natural, spring-fed body of water measuring about 5-1/2 by 7 miles. Cypress trees laden with Spanish moss rim the entire lake, and it’s a refuge for many types of flora and fauna.

In God We Trust