I received an order of the recently released Adler Canoe Ax and actually had a chance to try one out. Right up front I have to tell you it’s a great ax for the outdoorsman or even around home. Let me tell you a little bit about it.
Ever since I read the release of the Canoe Ax was coming I’ve been anxious to get my hands on one. Over the years I’ve carried a number of different axes along on our camping trips. They’ve ranged in size from full blown felling axes to hatchets. In recent years I settled on the Boys ax that’s been in the family for many years. I love that little ax but gotta admit, the Canoe Ax is my new take along.
Adler is based in Germany and has been in business for over 100 years. They’ve gained a reputation for building a quality product at a reasonable price. Their axes are built to last and used.
A couple of things that jumped out at was the shape of the head. The bit measures just shy of 4.25″. It’s kind of a blend of a Broadax/Hudson Bay/Tomahawk. Lots of cutting surface on an ax this size.
The handle is a robust stick of American Hickory and they’ve painted the handle with a textured paint. Even wet hands will have an easy time hanging onto the ax. There’s also lots of extra wood behind the head for added strength. It’s also perfect for hanging onto to do some carving or shaving twigs off from a limb/
The head shape is a combination of a felling and splitting blade. Narrow at the edge but flares at the eye for easy splitting. This shape was great when I went to chopping a fallen oak limb that was rock hard. As small as the Canoe Ax is, it had no problem chewing into the dried oak. I didn’t split or chop a whole lot of wood but as hard as that oak was, there was no sign of the edge rolling.
It was a snap splitting some of the oak firewood I had pre-cut. I was really amazed at how easily it split these dried logs. Another thing I like is the poll is wide enough to make a little batoning possible if need be. Don’t go beating on any axe head with another metal tool or rock but nothing wrong using another piece of firewood. I’ve used the Boy’s Ax to split kindling in the past and the difference in the two axes splitting abilities is huge. Even though the Canoe Ax is about 6″ shorter, the head weight is a big advantage.
The Canoe Ax at 19.5″ long is the perfect size to lash to your canoe or attach to a backpack. Its also fits behind or under the seat of the Jeep or truck with no problem.
One of the complaints I’ve had using smaller axes is they can feel a bit awkward. I think I’ve used a full size ax enough that the shorter axes always make me feel like I have to ‘reach’ for my target and swing harder to get the desired effect. Maybe it’s the weight of the head on the Adler Canoe Ax that gives me the feel of a bigger ax when I swing it. And when you hit wood, it bites in. The balance (for me anyway) feels damned near perfect.
Overall, I’ll give the Adler Canoe Ax a definite nod for anyone looking for the perfect all around camping, canoeing, portage friendly tool. Cleaning up the campsite, trimming brush, shaping stakes, splitting firewood, you name it. Don’t think you’d be disappointed!