Bahco Swedish Clearing Axe


Swift, fun-filled brush maintenance

This tool came into my life years ago when preparing a campsite. While the rest of us were clearing the area with loppers and bow saws, one fellow was blazing past all of us with one of these — and actually enjoying it! I borrowed his funny-looking axe and was impressed enough to get my own from Gemplers. It’s sturdy (a hickory handle) and has a good feel when you swing it.

With loppers, you have to grab the branch and squeeze two handles. Using a saw takes even longer. Swinging an axe handle is much quicker, but a small axe doesn’t extend your reach like the brush axe does. The handle is 20″ long and the head is lightweight (it really feels as if you’re swinging just an axe handle), so it’s easier to swing and less awkward than a typical axe.

I also feel safer wielding the brush axe instead of a machete, because the area of the exposed blade is smaller. I haven’t had to sharpen my blade yet, but I have removed it from the head to see how much trouble it would be. Once I figured to clamp the head in a vise and lever the handle to “pinch” the ends of the head closer to each other, the blade came right out. Assembly is just as easy, and I imagine the blade will be much easier to sharpen when it’s free from the axe!

Whenever an ice storm fills my backyard full of tree limbs, I now reach for the clearing axe. Chainsawing through the big stuff isn’t a problem, but getting to it can be tedious — usually you have to chainsaw away the smaller stuff so you’ll have enough room to work on the big stuff safely and easily. With this axe, that clearing work is now safer, often quicker, and certainly more enjoyable than maneuvering a chainsaw the whole time.

-- John Bodoni 03/12/07