This lightweight camp axe from SOG Specialty Knife and Tool cuts weight down to sensible levels and still performs reliably and well. Ground from one piece of high carbon 420 stainless steel, there’s not much in this axe to break so you won’t need to worry about repairs.
G-10 handle slabs bolted to the steel tang give a solid grip and provide finger notches for extra security. Overall weight of 18.6 ounces is light enough for backpacking and justifiable if you plan to stay for a while. The 11.1-inch-long axe provides 2.4 inches of cutting edge and handles small chopping chores well. A black oxide finish gives the axe a tactical look, and a nylon belt sheath makes it easy to carry or to stow in other gear.
While it’s a good axe, small camp axes don’t handle every type of camp work. This axe is only 0.186 inches thick, so the back of the axe head won’t drive stakes efficiently. The short handle places your fingers in close proximity to anything you’re hacking, so be careful that you don’t smash your fingers if you’re chipping a notch in a large log or splitting some kindling for the fire.
Hardened only to Rockwell 51 to 53, the axe edge is tough but will need sharpening frequently. The F09-N Hand Axe was forged in China to SOG’s specifications.
See the SOG Fusion Tactical Tomahawk for another light field axe made in the Vietnam Special Forces pattern.