Author Topic: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review  (Read 2022 times)

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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« on: January 23, 2017, 07:53:04 AM »


Here is a look at the soon to come Saddle Axe from Council Tool.  It will be in their Velvicut line of axes.  Here are the specs:

OAL   15.25"
Head Weight  2lb, 5160 steel
"C" stamped side has a 25 degree edge and the "USA" stamped side is 32 degree edge





Comes with a two piece sheath with matching stamps.  It's a handsome setup







I hit the woods to see how it did.  First up was harvesting some pitchwood from low hanging dead pine branches











ended up being a good little harvest for few minutes work



I also used the wider edge to clear some thorn vines.  Having two edges was pretty nice as I could do ground work and still know I have a nice sharp edge on the other side.  Backpackers could really find this handy for clearing out the ground shrub and roots for their sleeping spot.



Next up I found a dead standing pine and felled it















It worked very well.  The handle on this one is spot on.  It has that "just feels right" in your hand.  The end swell is nice and it's nice for choking up on too.  At 15 inches it is just long enough to do a two handed swing if you want as well.





I notched out a V cut on the stump and proceeding to saw a few logs







Splitting it down was no problem







I left this little pile to come back to in the future.  It was pretty damp from all the moisture we've had here lately.



next I wanted to see how it would do for carving out flat sides and it did good here too.





I decided to keep with the carving theme and proceeded to make a mallet with it.  The 2lb head is a nice size for carving.  Not too heavy to wear you out but just heavy enough the head does most of the work for you.  I started out sawing it to length and sawing the head part in a little.













Came out pretty good for about 10 minutes of work



A handy way to split with a double is to sink the head in the stump straight up and then you can baton your logs down on to the edge.  It's a very safe and controlled way to split.





Edge held up great all day.  I will mention the edges were razor sharp on arrival.  Both were hair shaving sharp.



Grain was certainly acceptable on a hatchet. 



Overall I think this saddle axe makes a great woods companion.  It's easy to see why Nessmuk liked them in his travels.  I found the weight and length to compliment each other and the added benefit of two working edges at all times give you confidence to get a job done right.  Here's a parting Nessmuk trio pic and my gear for the day.  I think I'll find this axe in my pack a lot.





thanks for looking
 



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Offline wolfy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 09:00:10 AM »
I always wanted one of those little DBs, but the old ones are becoming outrageously expensive or in such poor condition that I wouldn't even consider them.  This appears to be an obvious solution.  About how many frogskins will it take to own one? :shrug:
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 09:04:37 AM »
I always wanted one of those little DBs, but the old ones are becoming outrageously expensive or in such poor condition that I wouldn't even consider them.  This appears to be an obvious solution.  About how many frogskins will it take to own one? :shrug:

Yeah I've been on the lookout for an older one at a reasonable price for awhile and that hasn't happened.  This one is definitely a good one.  I don't know on the pricing.  I wasn't provided that information with it.  I'm assuming it'll be in the range of the other Velvicut axes. 
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 09:10:11 AM »
Thanks for the review.  I've been reading about them for a while now and they seem to be well liked and good little axes.  I think I'd like them even better with an 18 - 20 inch handle and didn't leave the haft proud, but the proud haft is an aesthetics thing and easily fixed.

wolfy, on the Council Tool website they're out of stock, but the price is listed at $188.60.
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 09:14:07 AM »
Thanks for the review.  I've been reading about them for a while now and they seem to be well liked and good little axes.  I think I'd like them even better with an 18 - 20 inch handle and didn't leave the haft proud, but the proud haft is an aesthetics thing and easily fixed.

wolfy, on the Council Tool website they're out of stock, but the price is listed at $188.60.

Thanks nuk!  That price was for an Anniversary special run they did.  This one isn't officially up yet. 
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
http://outdoorenvy.blogspot.com/

Offline imnukensc

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 09:57:24 AM »
Gotcha, OE.  Thanks for that info.  Will be interesting to see what these go for.  Sorry for leading anyone astray on the price.  I need a "sticking foot in mouth" emoticon.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 10:07:08 AM »
  Looks like you had a good day out having some fun,  your review was very good,  it's abut time an axe mfg. came out with a small double bit hatchet again,  while there are still some vintage saddle cruisers available on the used market the prices they command are not for the average common man's purse.
  Now if Council Tool or some other quality manufacturer would market a lighter model something along the lines of the Norlund of years ago that was truly a belt or bag hatchet that was more in the 1-3/4 pound range over all that was easier  to carry it would be a good thing also.
  I have several camp hatchets,  a vintage Wetterlings made circa 1970's in the style of a Boy Scout hatchet with a 14" handle, a Plumb with a 19" handle,  a Gransfors Bruks Mini,  and a Norlund Hudson Bay hatchet with a 14-1/2" handle, the Wetterlings and the plumb both weigh in at close to 3 pounds inc. handles, when you're trying to keep your pack weight down to under 15 pounds both are too heavy.
  As for the GB mini  and the Norlund, the Mini is a good little carving axe but not a serious camp hatchet,  the Norlund at about 1-1/2 pounds overall is not meant to take down trees,  but it does just about anything else that you'd need around camp, splitting 3" dia. fire wood,  carving,  making tent pegs and pot hooks, and it's a joy to carry.
 Some times the ratio of head weight to handle length makes a difference in felt carry weight,  for example,  I talked about my Wetterlings and Plumb hatchets feeling heavy for pack hatchets,  both have head weights around 2~2-1/4 pounds, handles from 14"~ 19",  but I have a Swedish "Boy's Axe" and a Norlund Hudson Bay Canoe Axe, both have heads that weigh about 2~2-1/4 pounds and both have handles 24" and 26" long,  those two Axes "feel" lighter to carry and use than the two shorter hatchets with the same weight heads.

  Thanks again on a great review,  I'm sure that when that hatchet catches the eyes of the market they may be in short supply for awhile.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 10:22:56 AM »
Thanks for the great review.  Neat axe and that "mallet" you made is really nice. 
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 11:20:55 AM »
Thank you guys.  Glad you got something out of it. 

The axe will MSRP at $147.77
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2017, 02:39:39 PM »
Thanks for a great review  ODE! Your photos are fantastic. I've been watching the buzz on that unit as well and feedback has been positive. Other than from a collectors stand point I don't think I have a niche that I think that piece would fill. I have several 2ish pound doubles on slightly longer hafts that I barely ever swing. I love Councils offerings. I haven't pulled the trigger on one of there boutique choppers yet. Once I get 2 bills burning a hole in my pocket I want the felling axe. I'm very impressed with the mallet, super nice! Thanks for posting.

Creek
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2017, 02:56:17 PM »
Thanks creek.  You guys are cracking me up on the mallet compliments.  LOL!

I think this head is big enough to be a cruiser if you wanted it to be.  I know they did use a cruiser size eye on it.  I've seen talk that there could be a longer handle offering of this one.  Nothing for sure but seems like it would work well.  I'm a fan of weight in an axe head.  Light axes are okay for mild use but a real working axe should do the work for you.  Your only job is to keep it sharp and hit your mark. 
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
http://outdoorenvy.blogspot.com/

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 08:12:38 AM »
:thumbsup: Clever trick that is for splitting wood, I'll have to try that one out  :chopwood:
Quite pricey, though. I hope Council makes a timber cruiser double bit similar to the Barco Industries Kelly Wood-slasher. Better yet would be a non-Velvicut/standard version of the saddle cruiser. Man, those would sell like hotcakes :D.
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 08:51:28 AM »
:thumbsup: Clever trick that is for splitting wood, I'll have to try that one out  :chopwood:
Quite pricey, though. I hope Council makes a timber cruiser double bit similar to the Barco Industries Kelly Wood-slasher. Better yet would be a non-Velvicut/standard version of the saddle cruiser. Man, those would sell like hotcakes :D.

Thank NEB, I agree with you on the pricing.  I think the major problem the market has is folks think a great axe needs to cost over $100.  If the axe is $40 they just assume it's not as good as the others over $100.  And no one wants to bet their life on a $40 axe when the time comes.  LOL!  That's a bit farfetched but is the reasoning a lot of folks use when they buy one.  My Council FSS Boy's axe I got for $45 is just an outstanding axe.  I love using it and use it more than any other axe I have.  I bet the regular boy's axe version for around $30 is just as good for the most part.  Council though is looking to fill that niche group though that wants to buy a quality heirloom axe and is willing to pay for it.  So I do like that they are stepping into that market and putting a USA made axe up against the swedes.  This high end axe market is the dominate one right now so it's a wise move to get in on it.  The Velvicut axes really are great quality from the two I have used.  I really do view it as a "buy once" kind of purchase.  I would buy a high end Council Tool before I buy another Swedish offering.     
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 08:58:54 PM by OutdoorEnvy »
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
http://outdoorenvy.blogspot.com/

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 08:57:45 AM »
I have a couple of axes but no double bits.  I like that one but $188 seems a  bit high for that but at my age everything seems a bit high priced.  I have a  Norlund hatchet I got at a flea market a couple of months ago and am going to see how it works for light limbing and splitting small rounds.  If I can fashion one of those mallets it should be fun.  Thanks for the great photos with this, you really nailed it.
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2017, 11:14:20 AM »
I have a couple of axes but no double bits.  I like that one but $188 seems a  bit high for that but at my age everything seems a bit high priced.  I have a  Norlund hatchet I got at a flea market a couple of months ago and am going to see how it works for light limbing and splitting small rounds.  If I can fashion one of those mallets it should be fun.  Thanks for the great photos with this, you really nailed it.

Thanks Stan!  Post up some pics of that Norlund and the mallet after you get it all done.  I'd like to see it.  Also the axe will be $147 so it's a little more palatable.   
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
http://outdoorenvy.blogspot.com/

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 02:08:51 PM »
 :D  Tis more palatable!
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2017, 08:16:56 PM »
I think you are right OE. Pricing is about perception. And why let the swedes own the market, however, I agree with the notion that a proper copy of the Norland saddle could possibly have many more folks chomping at the bits, so to speak. It is a good thing I'm happy to see them trying something new

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 03:14:07 PM »
Added some eye appeal to the handle



Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
http://outdoorenvy.blogspot.com/

Offline upthecreek

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2017, 03:31:46 PM »
Ain't that nice!  :chopwood: Handsome tool. Do you know the bevel angles? ...sorry I went back and read....I see them  :doh:

Creek
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Council Tool Velvicut Saddle Axe - Review
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2017, 04:09:19 PM »
I liked it before, but I REALLY like it now! :drool:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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