There’s a line from Robert Heinlein’s military sci-fi classic Starship Troopers that’s always stuck with me: “If you load a mudfoot down with a lot of gadgets that he has to watch, someone a lot more simply equipped — say with a stone axe — will sneak up and bash his head in while he is trying to read a vernier.”
It’s about the value of simplicity in the battlefield and at home. Sure, the complicated Corner Shot 40mm Grenade Launcher is a great addition to your arsenal for, say, urban warfare, but there’s an understated utility and elegance to dispatching your foe with a standard-issue E-tool. Sometimes, the best tool are the simplest ones.
That’s the logic embodied in the Council Tool Double Bit Saddle Axe, the wonderfully efficient forged steel hand axe perfect for any outdoor adventure. Sure, it’s not ideal for actual combat (and, with apologies to Johnny Rico, won’t cut stone), but as camping and trekking essentials go, this double-edged bad boy beats out most standard hatchets. Here are the specs, per Whiskey River Art and Training Co:
This Saddle Axe is a beautiful example of a quality American made tool. The head is a solid 2lbs of drop forged 5160 steel and the haft starts with 16 inches of smooth, finished hickory, is trimmed during the hanging process to a little over 15 inches.
One side carries a 25 degree flat grind that excels at tasks such as cutting, shaving and carving, while the opposite side carries a wider 32 degree flat grind that is perfect for taking care of your heavier work such as splitting and limb-ing. To protect the razor sharp edges and your fingers, this axe ships with a leather double bit mask.
If you’re headed to Iraq or Syria, perhaps stick with the E-tool if you’re in a sticky situation. But for camping and all manner of outdoor adventure, the Saddle Axe looks like a man’s best friend.