Snow and Nealley’s “Our Best” Single Bit Axe chops kindling, splits stove wood, shears branches from downed trees, and works equally well for any number of light chores around the woodlot or farm. This 3.5-pound axe isn’t out of reason for a group backpacking trip, either, provided people are willing to share the community load.
The quality of Snow and Nealley axes is a level above the usual hardware store chopping axe. That doesn’t put this axe at the top of my list. The head is a little light for the really heavy jobs, and the 30-inch handle doesn’t give the user a full-sized swing. What I appreciate more about Snow and Nealley’s “Our Best” axe is the refined shape. The fine-grained steel has a narrow profile that gives it a better cutting action than most modern axe brands.
When tackling tough jobs with a light axe, it’s very tempting to compensate by swinging harder instead of working smarter. If the axe is sharp and shaped correctly, you shouldn’t need all your strength to get good results. The Snow and Nealley gives you a good shot at doing things right and should encourage you to work accurately and safely instead of just trying to muscle through.
The drawbacks include a modern style of axe head without lugs — the lips that extend slightly down the handle in old axe designs. Lugs add some shock resistance and align the axe head to the handle better. A poor fit is only more obvious with the modern design. Handle quality of many mass-produced axes today is marginal — if you want a good handle that fits properly, you may have to do it yourself.
Snow and Nealley provides a leather edge sheath, something you should always use when carrying the axe to and from the work site.
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