Hi, for the past year I have been casually watching for a new hatchet. That probably sounds easier to buy than it is, especially for someone like me.
There are a few applications I have in mind for it:
- Camping - general wood cutting around the campground. We don't hike far from the van, so it isn't like it is going on a Mt Everest expedition.
- Replacement for a knife. That probably sounds strange, but it would be really handy to just carry a small hatchet rather than a larger knife, at least I imagine it to be so.
- Tree root cutting. Perhaps the most difficult application of all - removal of various small tree roots in the yard. I continue to be impressed by just how tough and flexible tree roots really are, and what a pain it is to dig out even a small stump. I have had some luck with using a hatchet that I sharpened about every 20 strokes, but that was a real pain. If I didn't keep the blade razor sharp, the root just bounced off, and of course the sand in the roots just wears down a blade.
The challenge of course is that most people would recommend a blade that is not super hard (like a ceramic) due to its brittle nature, but that would be really nice for staying sharp.
I saw some high end meat cleavers, and was actually fairly impressed with them. Nonetheless, the sales people frowned at me when I mentioned using it on tree roots.
I was wondering about the possibility of finding a 6 - 8 inch ceramic blade and gluing it into some kind of hatchet / blade holder ?
It was also pointed out to me that modern hatchets all have curved blades, although I don't really know quite why.