Smith & Wesson’s stainless steel Bullseye is an economical and reliable camp ax with a few odd points of styling that some will like. Blade styles of hatchets are often carried over from old designs, suited to tasks most users don’t perform today. In colonial times, most hatchets were forged for shaping timbers, while the common tomahawk was the lightweight survival tool and personal weapon of the frontiersman.
As carpenter’s axes were worn down, the original straight edge ground away slowly to a broad curve. For woodworking, that’s not a good thing. For rough cutting, it’s just fine. If you want to clear brush or chop wood, a curved edge will do quick work. The shape of this Smith and Wesson is much like what you’d see in an ax that’s been well used–wide, short, and curved.
The full tang construction gives this ax a lot of strength, but that’s held back a little by the short handle length of only 10.75″ overall. Easier to wield than a longer handled ax, this still reduces the velocity of the swing, and in hand work every small difference is important. The black rubberized handle provides a secure grip, but lacks the durability of Zytel.
Hatchets, however, are very simple things. You don’t need a fancy reputation or high tech engineering to chop camp wood. If you want a simple, functional tool that’s less likely to wreck your arm after a half hour of work, this short Smith & Wesson is a good pick.
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[phpbay]Bullseye Hatchet, 2[/phpbay]