best axe

The Best Axe

How to Choose the Best Axe

One of the oldest form of crude tools was a stone axe head. And for good reason, axes can be used for chopping wood, skinning hides, and a million other things. That’s why having the best axe around is always a great idea. On the list of man’s tools, it probably ranks right behind fire, and who is to say the first fire wasn’t started with wood chopped by a primitive axe? History has shown that the original Stone Age axe had no handle. It was a simply a stone wedge that used a combination of dual inclined planes to reduce the power required to split wood.

Over the centuries, the axe concept was continually improved upon, with archeologists discovering axes made of various stones and metals all over the world. Eventually, man began to fasten a handle to the blade. This was the creation of the modern axe. All modern axes have two basic parts: the blade and the handle, also called the helve.

Anyone who has ever had to cut firewood using a dull axe can tell you that, it is no easy task. I have seen many callused hands as a result of using a cheap axe. A dull axe can make cutting the smallest logs an intense chore. A rough axe handle can also increase the impact force you feel per cut.  These reverberations are transferred to your bones and joints and can cause discomfort and fatigue.

All of this can make your axe a lot harder to hold onto and significantly increase your workload. If you are like most of us, you are probably ready for a new axe.

How to Choose the Best Axe

It is important that you understand that your body type will be a major factor in choosing the best axe. Also your exact cutting scenario will be equally important. If you are going to be cutting wood, you need a cutting axe. If the majority of your work is splitting firewood, you would want to choose a splitting axe. There are three main purposes an axe serves:

Cutting – A cutting axe is specifically designed to cut against the grain. It works like a heavy razor blade.

Splitting – This blade is wider than a cutting axe. The extra width in the angle helps tear the log in half.

Shaping – This blade is designed to produce an even cut. This is required when converting logs to beams.

Let’s take a second to examine the differences between a cutting axe and a splitting axe. Cutting axes differ from splitting axes in their construction. Most cutting axes have a shallow wedge angled blade. This gives you added precision but sacrifices a little power.

Splitting axes, on the other hand, are more likely to have a deeper angle. This deeper angle allows the splitting blade to penetrate deeper into the wood and assist it in chopping. Better penetration is the key to lowering the power required to split logs.

Over the last several thousand years, the axe design has remained semi-consistent with only the blade material really making improvements from copper to bronze, then from iron to steel. It wasn’t until recently that axe makers made significant improvements in these categories:

Blade material

Axes have seen a drop in overall weight and an increase in strength by utilizing new high carbon steel blades. They can also be infused with other state-of-the-art materials. This has also allowed for axe heads to become as sharp as razors.

Blade shape

There are 100s of axe head shapes. New technology has allowed for improved beveling and angles. All this means less resistance per chop and more control of swing.

Handle material

Carbon fiber composites can significantly reduce weight and user stress. The impact of your cut is absorbed and your cutting force is magnified.

Weight distribution

A perfectly balanced axe can be wielded with proficiency. It should balance evenly while holding the blade in your hand.

Your personal traits and cutting scenarios are a big factor to weigh when choosing the best axe. These are the 5 most important points to consider:

Your height

It is important to choose an axe that matches your height. If you choose an axe that is too short, you will strain your back, if your choose one that is too long, you can lose cutting power.

Your power

You should feel the weight of your potential axe to make sure you can easily manipulate it. You don’t want an axe that is greatly overweight. It will increase your fatigue and the chances of missed cuts.

How often you will be cutting

It is important to consider how often you will be using your axe. If you are planning to do some serious woodwork you should consider spending the extra money on a high end brand.

What you will be cutting

Do you plan on cutting a lot of oak, pine, or birch? Each wood has its particular peculiarities that can affect your axe’s performance. Knowing your wood is an important part of becoming an axe smith.


How will you transport your axe? Are you expecting to carry it for long periods of time? Is it primarily for camping? All of these questions can help determine which axe makes the most sense for you.

The right axe should feel comfortable and precise. It shouldn’t be too heavy and it should be tailored to your specific needs. With all of these factors choosing the right axe might seem overwhelming.  Let’s take a look at a 5 of the bestselling axes on the market.

Axe Comparison Chart

ImageAxe ModelPriceRating
Fiskars X27Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch$$$4.8
Fiskars X15 Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe, 23.5-Inch$$$4.8
 Estwing E3-FF4Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound “Fireside Friend” Wood Splitting Axe/Maul with Shock Reduction Grip$$4.8
 Estwing E44ASE 16-Inch Special Edition Camper’s Axe Estwing E44ASE 16-Inch Special Edition Camper’s Axe$$4.7
 Estwing E24ASEA 14-Inch Special Edition Sportsman’s Axe Estwing E24ASEA 14-Inch Special Edition Sportsman’s Axe$$4.6
Estwing E45AEstwing E45A 26-Inch Camper’s Axe$$$4.5
 Gerber Gator Combo Axe II Gerber Gator Combo Axe II $$$4.5
 Graintex CA1752 Single Bit Camp Axe Graintex CA1752 Single Bit Camp Axe$4.5
TEKTON 3284 20-Ounce 14-Inch Fiberglass Camp AxeTEKTON 3284 20-Ounce 14-Inch Fiberglass Camp Axe$4.3
 Seymour AX-P3 3-1/2-Pound Pulaski Axe Seymour AX-P3 3-1/2-Pound Pulaski Axe$$4.1

Fiskars x27

It only takes one swing to realize that the x27 is a cut above the rest. The Fiskars x27 super splitting axe is the culmination of years of research, design, and use. This highly advanced axe originates from Finland. When Fiskars created the x27 design, their goal was to create an axe that was simple but highly effective. They definitely succeeded.

Fiskars x27


Axe Head

The x27 incorporates an ultra-sharp edge. The axe head uses optimum blade technology to increase splitting power. The use of a softer metal allows the blade to become extremely sharp and the beveled design creates a splitting action as soon as the blade impacts the wood.

The non-stick coating on the axe head works great and the narrow blade design helps keep this axe from getting lodged in your logs. The 27 can easily cut hardwoods such as oak or aspen.

Balanced Weight

This axe uses state of the art material to increase strength and lower weight. The 4-pound head can easily turn logs into kindling.

 Advanced Handle

The patented FiberComp handle is specially designed to absorb the impact shock of your swing. This longer handle translates into more splitting power.

Blade Lock

This locks over your axe head preventing the blade from catching or dulling. The easy-open lock is located at the back of the axe head can be released in seconds. All this means you can transport your axe with greater ease and safety.

Lifetime Warranty

If your handle cracks, you just contact Fiskars and they will replace your damaged axe.


  • ideally suited for taller users
  • state of the art blade angling
  • lifetime warranty
  • perfect power to weight ratio
  • state of the art design provides maximum force


  • due to its longer handle, it is a little more common to over swing
  • loss of some portability due to longer size


The Fiskars x27 definitely holds its own against the competition. Fiskar’s excellent quality control and advanced manufacturing techniques make the x27 stand out among the crowd.


The Fiskars x27 is a great multipurpose axe and a great addition to any outdoorsman’s tool set. The added technology really makes this axe a great solution.

Fiskars x15

It is lighter and stronger than its predecessors. Fiskar’s patent pending design is a break-thru in axe technology. It’s a great alternative to a full size felling axe. When it comes to clearing trees, or cutting downed trees into logs, few midsized felling axes can compare.

Fiskars x15


Axe Head

The x15 incorporates ultra-sharp edge technology into its hardened steel blade. This new axe head is thinner and stronger than previous models.  The use of softer metals allows the blade to become extremely sharp, and the thin blade penetrates deep into the trees with ease.

Balanced Weight

This axe incorporates space age composites to reduce its overall weight. New carbon fiber composites have been specially engineered to increase strength and durability.

 Advanced Handle

A vibration-absorbing chamber keeps your cuts stable by deferring the impact of your chop and dispersing it within the handle. The carbon fiber reduces stress and fatigue and, if your handle shows any signs of breakage, Fiskars will send you a replacement model at no cost.

Blade Lock

Fiskars’ easy to use blade lock allows the x15 to be easily stored. The carrying handle is the perfect size for transportation and it keeps your blade sharp and safe.

Lifetime Warranty

You know a product is built with superior materials when the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty. Even though the x15’s handle is advertised as indestructible, there is always a slim chance your product could have an issue. If you happen to be one of these unusual cases, you can have peace of mind knowing that your product is protected for life.


  • lifetime warranty
  • lightweight
  • cutting edge blade technology
  • blade sheath


  • due to its smaller size, it can be uncomfortable for taller users
  • slight loss in cutting power due to size


The x15 has some unique features that make it stand out amongst the competition. The shorter handle gives it more mobility with little to no loss in chopping power.


If you need a portable axe that can produce results similar to a full size, the x15 is a solid choice for you. The new material used in the construction makes the x15 lightweight and much easier to handle than the competition.

Estwing E3-FF4

The Fireside Friend is a great camping tool, especially because there are a lot of scenarios when a full size axe is not reasonable. You can use it to easily split logs, and the hammer side of the axe head can be helpful when it’s time to nail tent stakes in. The Estwing Fireside Friend truly is the perfect tool for camping.

Estwing E3-FF4


Axe Head

The 4-pound head is perfectly suited for splitting logs with the grain. The patent pending double-tempered axe head design utilizes three tools in one. The E3-FF4 has a maul/splitting axe head that combines many characteristics of a felling axe.

Balanced Weight

Because of the E3-FF4’s lightweight design, you don’t have to lift the axe above your head to make your splits. This increases safety and accuracy by creating the ideal leverage and power for easy wood splitting.


The Estwing E3-FF4 is a small size splitting axe weighing in at 4lb of true cutting power. The Fireside Friend is the perfect size for portability, making it the ultimate camping tool.

 1-Piece Forged Steel

The one piece forged steel design makes the Fireside Friend an incredibly strong axe. It also increases its durability and lifespan by decreasing any weak points.

 Advanced Materials

The Blue UV coating and shock reduction vinyl grip handle reduce impact shock by 65%. This added comfort means you can cut longer and stronger without fatigue setting in.


  • 1-piece design
  • double tempered head
  • balanced
  • made in the USA


  • no sheath
  • small size


Estwing hit a homerun with the E3-FF4. Taking the place of your axe, and your sledge hammer, the E3-FF4 is the culmination of years of experience in axe production. The Fireside Friend balances portability with splitting power.


The Estwing E3-FF4 Fireside Friend makes keeping the campfire healthy easier and quicker. The solid steel one-piece design makes it a sturdy alternative to traditional axes. Whether camping in the middle of a forest or splitting logs for your fireplace, the Fireside Friend is an easy to use tool.

Estwing E45A

The E45A can be used for felling full-size trees without giving up any log splitting power. The E45 is a small to mid-sized axe. It is very similar to large hatchet. The Estwing Axe Company has been providing top quality tools to outdoorsmen since 1923. They are recognized around the world as one of the premier axe manufacturers. This axe also includes a lifetime warranty. It’s a great axe for around $40

Estwing E45A


Axe Head

This unique axe head is designed to be useful in a number of traditionally knife scenarios. The E45 can be used to notch wood and you can even use it to create feather sticks to start a fire. It comes very sharp from the factory and the axe head has an elongated beard like broadaxes. Its compact design is particularly suited to chopping small to medium logs.

Balanced Weight

This axe weighs in at 3.7 pounds. The axe is expertly balanced to increase your power per swing. The balance also helps decrease missed cuts and splits.


This axe is specifically designed for camping. The 26in design means you can store it in your camping gear without having to choose between your axe and other essential tools.

1-Piece Forged Steel

The E45A is constructed from a 1-piece forged steel design. This means an increase in durability and a decrease in weight.

Advanced Materials

A nylon-vinyl deep cushion grip ensures heightened accuracy with every swing. It also absorbs the majority of the impact from your chop. You can even use the E45A one handed comfortably.


  • 1-piece design
  • double tempered head
  • balanced
  • made in the USA


  • no sheath
  • small size
  • loss of leverage due to its smaller size


The E45A provides an inexpensive solution to your campfire needs. It is much more affordable than the competition, costing almost half as much as the leading competitor’s brands.


The combination of different axe components makes this a very useful companion to have in the wild. If you are planning a camping a trip and are in need of an affordable mid-sized axe with excellent chopping power, the Estwing E45A is a solid choice.

Gerber Gator 2

A traditional small sized axe or hatchet can be useful when it comes to splitting medium to small size logs. This trade in size vs. power can leave you at a disadvantage in certain scenarios. The Gator Combo Axe solves this problem with a unique twist. Housed inside the patented lightweight fiberglass filled nylon handle is a 10in saw blade.

Gerber Gator 2



The Gator II includes the benefits of a small axe melded perfectly with the accuracy of a saw. The stealthily hidden saw blade easily springs into action in under a second. This innovative design continues to impress campers worldwide.


The Gator II is specifically designed to work in the roughest conditions. The space age materials provide much more strength than its predecessor, while not sacrificing weight.

Axe Head

The forged steel head of the Gator II is specifically designed to retain its sharpness. The 2.7in blade can easily split medium to long size logs with ease. The blade is slightly curved to assist in the penetration of logs and the blade is slightly wedged to help split firewood.


A patented fiberglass-filled nylon handle means you can swing your Gator II with confidence. The improved weight-to-power ratio means the Gator II can handle extreme workloads without any compromise in results.


The overall length of the Gator II is 15.6 in. This makes it the perfect travel axe as it can easily be stored in your backpack. The Gator II lets you free up space and backpack weight while increasing your ability to handle wood-working situations.


  • light weight and small size
  • durable
  • multi-purpose
  • nylon carrying case
  • one handed use
  • textured handle


  • loss of power
  • one handed


The Gerber Gator II provides allot of unique features that can make your camping experience much more enjoyable. Its short size and lightweight make it a better choice than competitor’s brands and no other brand incorporates a built-in saw.


The Gerber Gator II is a perfect example of merging two very necessary tools to create a light-weight multipurpose device. The Gator II improves on its predecessor in a number of ways, including size and strength. All of these points make this a better axe and a great addition to your camping tool kit.

Best Outdoor TV Antenna

Best Outdoor TV Antenna Reviews for 2020

Best Outdoor TV Antenna for 2020

It’s funny how sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back. It wasn’t long ago everyone in the neighborhood had a TV antenna strapped to a chimney or pole protruding from their homes. But of course they all disappeared when cable came out and only after people got tired of paying absorbent cable bills, we are now seeing the “old” technology resurface again. More and more people are cutting the cord and saying goodbye to expensive cable and satellite bills, by watching free over-the-air broadcasting with an outdoor tv antenna. An outdoor HD antenna is best for people who need a powerful signal, to reach broadcast towers 60 miles away. If you live far from local broadcast signals, or are just looking to maximize your signal strength, you will definitely want an outdoor HDTV antenna.

But which is the best outdoor antenna for you? To find the best outdoor HD antenna, help is just a few clicks away. First it is important to determine where your local broadcasting towers are, and what type of outdoor HDTV antenna is best for your location. You can find this information at TVFool. Signal zones are color-coded and you should look for an outdoor tv antenna that accommodates the zone you need. Remember in all times that signal strength can vary based on your roof, the placement of the HD antenna, and whether it is being obstructed by trees, buildings, or other landscape features. And now we are ready to talk about the 10 best outdoor tv antennas.

Our Top Pick

Channel Master CM-4228HD

The CM-4228HD is an 8-element phased array. The multi-directional antenna receives signals from a span of 180 degrees at a range of up to 80 miles. U-bolt mounting clamp is included. The antenna ships fully assembled, simply attach it to the mast. Mast, mounting kit, and coax cable not included.

Best Outdoor TV Antenna Reviews

RCA ANT702F Digital Amplified Indoor/Outdoor Antenna

The RCA ANT702F is an omni-directional antenna that supports broadcast 1080 HDTV and 4K, as well as VHF/UHF channel reception. The signal range is 40 miles, and the Smart Boost amplifier enhances reception by amplifying weak signals. The RCA ANT702F is weather resistant and installs easily, mounting to most surfaces. Vertical mounting is recommended for best performance. Compatible with splitters. A mounting kit is included for easy installation.

Winegard FlatWave FL6550A Air Attic Outdoor HDTV Antenna

The FlatWave FL6550A is a semi-directional HD antenna that is less susceptible to interference and can pull signals from greater distances. It receives HD signals as well as dual-band VHF/UHF reception. Bandpass filters remove unwanted RF interference for unsurpassed performance. Signal range is reported to be 60 miles. Includes both internal and external amplifier to boost signal strength. Compatible with splitters. Customers say it is very easy to set up. Note that it does not include a coax cable, you will need to provide one.

ViewTV Outdoor Amplified Antenna

The ViewTV antenna rotates a full 360 degrees to find the best signal. Rotation is achieved with a built-in motor, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. This strong HD antenna has a signal range up to 150 miles and is considered the best outdoor tv antenna for rural areas. Satisfied customers rave about the excellent quality and broadcast reliability. Included with purchase: 12-meter coax cable, control box with dual TV outputs, and wireless remote controller. The mounting pole will need to be purchased separately (search for B01CKBFBC8 at Amazon or look for a bundled package that includes the pole).

RCA Compact Outdoor HDTV Antenna

The RCA Compact Antenna is a directional HD antenna with a classic style and it has a signal range of 60 miles. It supports up to 1080i HDTV broadcasts. It is made of long-lasting, non-corrosive aluminum to withstand inclement weather. Its cross phase, multi-element design boosts reception. Installation is quite easy thanks to its pre-assembled design, foldout UHF reflector, and snap-lock elements. Consumers have received satisfactory broadcast quality with both outdoor and indoor installation. An installation kit is included. Compatible with coax cable and splitter, purchased separately.

1byone Omni-directional Outdoor Antenna

The 1byone HDTV antenna has 360 degree omni-directional reception, no directional adjustment needed. The compact shape of this antenna reduces wind interference, providing better reliability in windy or bad weather. The surface is UV-coated and is waterproof and anti-freeze. Consumers appreciate the compact and unobtrusive design. The 1byone Omni-directional Outdoor TV Antenna includes an extra long 20-foot coax cable, a detachable amplifier kit for improved reception strength, and a mounting kit.

Xtreme Signal Long Range Yagi Style VHF/UHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna (HDB91X)

The Xtreme Signal HDB91X is a high-gain heavy-duty antenna for the strongest possible signal. Its range is up to 70 miles away and it has a gain of up to 16dB. It is a directional antenna, so you’ll need to point it in the right position, but once that’s set you’ll find better signal quality and less interference compared to an omnidirectional antenna. Its heavy-duty reflector blocks unwanted signal noise. Built-in transformer compatible with copper coax cable. Mounting hardware is included, is compatible with masts up to 2” diameter. (Mast and cable not included).

Channel Master CM2016 HDTV VHF High Band and UHF Antenna

The Channel Master CM2016 is an outdoor HD antenna with a range of 35 miles. Available at an excellent price, the antenna receives digital HDTV, UHF, and VHF signals. It’s a directional digital antenna with better signal quality and less interference compared to an omnidirectional antenna. It has a wide reception angle in order to maximize the number of channels it receives. It is particularly recommended for rural customers. Customers found it very easy to install and were happy with the broadcast reliability and performance. Mast and coax cable not included.

8 Element Bowtie Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna

The 8 Element Bowtie is a super-powerful digital antenna has an unsurpassed gain of 17.4 dB. It receives HDTV, UHF and VHF signals. Its patented design allows the two panels to swivel to broadcast towers in different directions. Signal range 70+ miles. Consumers are very pleased with the ease of installation. Includes mounting hardware. Mount and coax cable are not included.

Channel Master CM-4228HD EXTREMEtenna 80

The CM-4228HD is a powerful antenna with an 8-element phased array. The multi-directional antenna receives signals from a span of 180 degrees at a range of up to 80 miles. U-bolt mounting clamp is included. The antenna ships fully assembled, simply attach it to the mast. Mast, mounting kit, and coax cable not included.

Mohu SkyHDTV Antenna MH-110585

Critics love the Mohu SkyHDTV line of products for their quality and reliability. This antenna has a 60 mile range. CleanPeak Filter technology filters out unwanted noise resulting in a clearer picture. The remarkable design is based on research conducted for the US military.  It is a multi-directional antenna to get the best signal without constant readjustments. Includes 30′ coax cable and mounting bracket. It weighs only 3 pounds and is 1” thick, allowing for the best possible and discreet positioning. Power from USB or power cube.

And there it is, our very best picks for the top outdoor TV antennas for your viewing pleasure.


Curtains and Draperies

Curtains and Draperies: What to Think About

Curtains really set the mood for a house, apartment, hotel or wherever they might be located. It is therefore important that you choose the right selection when decorating your space. It has to be something that blends in with the rest of the furniture, while keeping with the feel of the overall surroundings. The first thing that needs to be done before making the purchase is deciding on the use of the curtains. Will they be simply for decorating purposes, to divide space, give you privacy, or simply to add a touch of class to the room. The choice is the individuals.

It can be difficult to make a choice as there are a wide range of different selections to choose from. Depending on the room which you plan to decorate your choice will ultimately be based on your own style and taste. For something simple and trendy a good choice of blinds would be the translucent. They give a beautiful light effect during day or night time. However, it is important to note that they will not give you any privacy but they do stop glares coming in, especially during the day time. Sheer curtains are recommendable if you require some extra privacy.

A good place to start your research is online. There are many websites devoted to different selections of Window Blinds. You can browse through what companies have to offer and start to narrow down your choices. The advantages of this is that you can also read some reviews from previous customers. Reviews generally go into great detail about the company and the product they purchased. It will help you better to determine your choice, especially since you can read all about what went wrong or indeed if everything was satisfactory. Spend some time reading reviews.

Curtains and Draperies

For privacy at all times consider lining. You can add a tieback at certain occasions if you want to keep the look at the window. Blackout Curtains are generally used to keep light out. This is a popular choice in the bedroom. It can also save on electricity bills in the long run. The styles to choose from are varied, but they all do the same job that is required from this type of material. Perfect for long summer evenings when you need to cut out sunlight.

A basic style is always best. To create this, it is just a matter of hanging the Blinds on a pole from rings. It is as simple as that. You can purchase everything separately if needed, or just buy a set. A good way to select your material is to ask from samples from a local store. Then you can discuss this with family and even bring it home to compare with your furniture and see if you have made a good match. This is an excellent way to really make progress in finding your ideal Venetian Blinds, or whichever your choice might be. Samples save a lot of time.

For a studio apartment a lot of people favor these items as a space divider. It helps to create some space from your bedroom to the living room or kitchen area. Curtain Rods can do this for you or another option is to suspend poles from the ceiling and then hang your curtains on this. Heavy material is recommended for this purpose. Also make sure you are happy with the presentation on both sides. You will be seeing this a lot, studio apartments have quite a small space so be happy with the furniture and materials you have. Give all your choices serious consideration.

Curtains mood

The only problem consumers tend to have with Shower Curtains and other types is keeping them clean. Constant use and ware and tear happens quite frequently therefore constant cleaning, and washing is necessary to maintain their quality condition. To really clean thoroughly you need to make sure you have the right materials for the fabrics. Check manufacturers instructions before you begin, or read any labels that give ideas into how they need to be washed. Certain brands may require a special treatment or perhaps a dry cleaning service.

Next thing that needs to be done is a careful removal of your blinds. Gently remove all hooks also. If the curtains are from the bathroom and delicate then these can be easily hand washed. However, for the stronger materials that you will have in bedrooms and other places, use the washing machine. Do not add any other clothes or laundry in with them, to really get a good wash they need space to move around. Add a good amount of laundry powder, a little less than you would use on a large load of clothes. For bedroom curtains select small load, and for the living room or another large room select the medium or large load.

Allow them a good amount of time to soak. Once removed, if you find some of the heavier stains still remain then feel free to put on another wash, add a further amount of powder. When the job is complete be sure to hand them up quickly to air and dry. This prevents them creasing which is a common problem. Clear some space out in the back garden or the back of the chair and give them some time to drip or air dry. Allow them to dry naturally, do not consider using a hair dryer, this will only create creases.

Stains and dirt can appear quickly in any home, no matter how clean it may appear. Window Coverings and other materials tend to attract a variation of dust and dirt so keep a close eye on their appearance. Especially during the colder months. Dampness and rain can cause a lot of problems so regularly inspect them and whenever you see dirt appearing remove is immediately. Never leave it as this will only increase the problem and perhaps create more. Your home should be a place of comfort and relaxation, the appearance and surroundings adds to that.

Hog Ring Pliers

Hog Ring Pliers

What Are Hog Ring Pliers Used For?

Hog ring pliers are specialty pliers that were designed for the specific purpose of attaching hog rings to a malleable surface, which could be a wire or a cable. They are specifically molded with a type of groove that is designed for hog rings and allows them to be securely clamped as the operator fixes the hog ring into place and are another of a long list of the types of pliers available today. They are primarily found by contractors in the fencing industry, but are also extensively used by upholsterers and auto mechanics, which include those relevant to boating through using hog ring pliers on harbor freight.

1. Set measurements

The operator should first begin his use of hog ring pliers by adjusting the width of the tool. This can be done by forcefully twisting at the thumb screw or knob that is typically positioned to the right hand side of the tool. Opening or closing this aspect of the tool will likewise open or close the mouth of the pliers, which allows the appropriate size to be selected relative to the hog rings and pliers. Generally, clockwise twists will cause the hog ring pliers to open whereas counterclockwise twists will cause the pliers to close similar to slip joint pliers. However, this is not necessarily true for all brands of pliers and the manufacturer’s directions should be consulted before using the tool.

2. Open the jaws

The “mouth”, or jaws, of the pliers must now be opened to be secured on to the hog ring. In order to do so, the operator must forcefully push in opposite directions of the pliers’ handles in order to pop open the jaws. This might take some considerably force as the tool is widely known as being temperamental; especially if it is stored in improper conditions that create rust. Hog ring pliers should ideally be stored within a metal toolbox that is placed in a cool, dry spot whenever they are not being used. Preventive measures like this will ensure a long life for the tool and that it will still be functional when the time comes to use it.

3. Set hog ring

After the operator has opened the jaws of the pliers, then it is time to set the hog ring in place. There are many types of hog rings, but an emerging and popular option is to use stainless steel hog rings. Stainless steel is a weather resistant material that makes it particularly suitable for outdoor applications, which is where these pliers are typically found. Fencers particularly appreciate the aesthetic qualities of stainless steel as the material will not submit to inclement weather and will shimmer provided the household or caretaker of the property practices safe cleaning measures, which could include only cleaning stainless steel products with a stainless steel approved cleaner and microfiber cloth.

4. Secure tool with hog ring

In an almost intuitive movement, the operator should place the open pliers over the grooves of the hog ring. The specialty mold of the tool should fix itself instantly with the hog ring. The operator should now see his tool positioned in a vertical manner or whatever way he or she feels most comfortably.

5. Secure hog ring

Now, the operator of the tool should squeeze the handles tightly to close the hog ring in place. When sealed, the tips of the hog rings should be touching and give an impression of strength in comparison to an unused hog ring. The operator can verify the seal by gently tugging at the tips of the hog rings. If it is secured to the surface, then the hog ring should remain in place or interact with its environment according to what is to be expected of it, which could be sliding along a wire. If this is not the case, then the operator must remove the hog ring by cutting through it with appropriate wire cutters and re-attempting to clamp or secure it by following the steps above.

Hog ring pliers are a versatile tool that can be found useful for many household applications. They are generally regarded as a specialty tool, so purchase prices can fluctuate. However, many leading building center locations are known to stock these pliers and it is likely that they can be sourced for relatively low costs from leading businesses and establishments. It is up to the operator to be crafty in his or her purchases as it is likely that specialty tools can be stocked for extraordinarily high prices. It is therefore prudent to exercise smart shopping habits by searching for the best possible deal, which is even easier when purchasing from an Internet-based dealer or tool business.

Waste King L-8000 Review

Waste King L-8000 Review (2019)

Waste King L-8000 Legend Series Food Garbage Disposal Review

Does It Deserve All The Good Reviews? As the number 1 best seller in the Garbage Disposals & Parts section on Amazon, you start to wonder how much magic the Waste King L-8000 Food Garbage Disposal can really do…

Jokes aside, though, there are many details you want to know before you invest your money and time.

I have tried to cover everything on this lens here, which includes Power, Reliability, Reviews, Noise and Installation.

The Most Important Product Features At a glance!

Waste King L-8000 specsMost importantly, you want your food waste disposer to be powerful and reliable for many years to come! There are many more product features, but these two are the most important ones I think.


The Waste King L-8000 is equipped with a very powerful, one-horsepower motor. It goes up to a high speed of 2’800 rpm. In other words: power won’t be an issue.


First of all, the swivel impellers are of stainless steel. They reduce jamming really well and you can clean them easily thanks to a removable splash guard.
Secondly, when purchasing the Waste King Legend 8000 on Amazon, it comes with a lifetime warranty against corrosion for the rust free grinding components. I don’t think you could make a food waste disposer more reliable than this!

We’ll talk about noise and installation below.

How Much Noise Does The Waste King L-8000 Make?

Especially compared to other stainless steel garbage disposals. One thing you don’t want is your garbage disposer to make a lot of noise in the kitchen. Of course it’s nice to hear it work so you are sure it’s doing the job…

But it shouldn’t be annoying and certainly not embarrassingly loud when you have people coming over.

The good thing is that the Wasteking Disposal is a really “quiet” one. It makes much less noise than many other food waste disposers and this is one of the reasons why it gets so many good reviews.

However, as time passes by, the rubber throat guard that you feed the waste through widens. This can make it cause to become a bit more noisy…

…thankfully, all you need to do is replace it, which is extremely easy. It’s only a few seconds of work and the replacement gasket is only a few dollars.

How To Easily Install The Waste King 8000 Yourself?

Waste King L-8000No plumber needed! So you’ve waited for delivery and then you also have to wait for someone to come and install it. Annoying, right?

Thankfully, the Waste King L-800 comes with the plumb EZ mounting system… This means that you can easily install this food waste disposer yourself without the need of a plumber.

The only difficulty you could encounter is if your previous food waste disposer had the 3 bolts mounting system. If this is the case for you, you will find an easy way to replace it right below. And you can even take a look at my guide on removing a stuck screw here if you run into problems.

All the necessary hardware is included in the package. However, you will require some tools, including a pair of pliers, a screwdriver and a hacksaw.

Moreover, there is already an installed power cord that is 36 inches long. On the front there is also a reset button.

So, total time to install the Waste King L-8000 would probably be 2 hours maximum. And that is even if you usually don’t do this kind of work, take your time and spend a lot of time cleaning thoroughly.

How To Switch From the 3 Bolts to Plumb EZ Mounting System?

It doesn’t get any easier than this 🙂 Here’s another reason why I love the Waste King food garbage disposal so much: everything you’ll do with this, it’s EASY!

So you’ve previously owned a disposal with a 3-bolt mounting system. And the Waste King L-8000 comes with the plumb EZ mounting system. No problem!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Get the Waste King 3101 ISE Adapter Kit for around $10.
  2. Exchange two pieces in the EZ mounting system with two pieces from the kit.
  3. Connect the Waste King L-8000 to your sink; it now fits perfectly with a 3-bolt mounting system sink.
  4. Done!

As you can see, the Waste King 3101 ISE Adapter Kit is manufactured by the same company that manufactures the Waste King disposals. So no worries, everything works perfectly well together 😀

More Installation Tips…

In this how to install a garbage disposal guide, I will demonstrate practically anyone can install their disposal themselves. Installing a garbage disposal requires average plumbing and mechanical skills, and usually takes between 1 and 2 ½ hours to complete. Installation may vary depending on whether or not your drain line comes out of the wall or the floor. Ask a sales associate about the right procedure for your home.

An electrical source of power is also needed. If you don’t have one under the sink, you will need to install one. Check with local codes before installation. Some communities have codes that don’t allow disposers because of limits on sewer capacity. They may also require an air gap for a disposer and a dishwasher.

Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your new disposer. For more installation tips please visit our Installing a Garbage Disposer project guide.

Working Smarter

Sometimes the trickiest part of mounting the garbage disposer is lifting it up to lock it into the mounting rings. Using some scrap lumber which can be cut down with one of the best axes in needed, the box the disposer came in or stacking a couple of thick telephone books under the unit will assist you so you don’t have so far to lift.

Some disposers come with a special wrench that turns the impeller if the disposer gets jammed. Keep the wrench and manual together in a location you’ll remember. If you are replacing an existing garbage disposer with the same brand, you may be able to use the existing mounting bracket to make the job easier and quicker.

Operational Tips

A garbage disposal is designed to grind food waste so it can be flushed away. When you are faced with the task of disposing steak bones or other hard food items, discard them in the trash to avoid ending up with a jammed or damaged disposer.

Always disconnect the power before reaching into a disposer. Unplug the unit from the outlet and then turn off the circuit breaker. Never stick your hand into an operating disposer.

There are a number of ways to increase the effectiveness of your disposal and prolong the unit’s life. Follow these few simple suggestions to get the most out of your kitchen’s disposal:

Things to Do

  • Run cold water before, during and after operation
  • Grind small bones to scour grinding chamber
  • Remove silverware and other items from sink before use
  • Use disposal cleaner, deodorizer or citrus peels to freshen up disposal
  • Run the disposal each time you put food in it to reduce corrosion from food acid

Things to Avoid

  • Grinding tobacco products or shellfish if you have a septic tank
  • Reaching into the disposal during use
  • Putting fats or grease into disposal
  • Putting fibrous materials such as celery or corn husks in the disposal

So there it is, a solid review and everything you could want to know about installation. But if there is still something you want to know, just leave a comment below and I will try to respond ASAP, thanks!

pressure wash your home

Electric Pressure Washer Reviews

Don’t You Just Love Your Electric Pressure Washer?

An electric pressure washer, or power washer, as they are sometimes called, is one of the greatest time savers of modern times. As a cleaner, it can tackle vehicles, lawnmowers, decks, patios, garages, pavement, driveways and much more. Water from a regular garden hose is given a boost in power by an electric motor as opposed to a gas engine, and water shoots out of the nozzle at incredible speeds (power levels).

Ordinarily, the electric pressure washer puts out slightly less power as a gas run machine which is why the really get down and dirty jobs are sometimes left to the latter. The electric version does have its advantages however.

On this page we’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages, as well as review some of the best brands on the market.

So What Is The Best Electric Pressure Washer?

Powerworks 51102 1700 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

We’ll start this lens with what you probably want to know most. Which pressure washer should you get? Which one is best?

I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve tried them all. Nor am I going to say that an electric pressure washer is a one size fits all item. The best one for you may not be the best for someone else.

So we’ll talk in generics and use Amazon as a reference point. In looking through the reviews, I was looking for one with a substantial amount of comments and very little negative feedback. And the one that seems to get the most attention is the Powerworks 51102 1700 PSI Electric Pressure Washer 1.4GPM with Quiet Induction Motor.

This one has an average 4.3 rating and only one negative reviews. Most people love it.

Here’s why.

Some like the brass fittings which naturally hold up longer and better than plastic ones. The quiet motor, two built in soap tanks, 4 tips, turbo nozzle, 25 foot hose and 35 foot power cord also received mention. But the one thing most people really liked about it is that it simply works well. And after all, isn’t that what you’re looking for?

Why Electric is Better Than Gas Powered

Before we get into some more quality electric pressure washers let’s take a closer look at why you might prefer electric over gas.

You will prefer an electric to a gas power washer if you have to work in an enclosed area or indoors. Why? Ever smell one of those gas operated machines? The fumes alone could peel paint off a building without the wash! A couple of whiffs of that and you won’t need a power washer you’ll need an iron lung and a defibrillator. In addition, the electric models need almost no maintenance. Anything that is gas run always takes massive maintenance procedures and presents storage issues if stored outside for prolonged periods of time.


Finally, there’s the noise. Those gas operated big boys are loud. Crazy loud! But your handy dandy electric pressure washer is much easier on the ears.

Save money and save time

Not only are electric machines cheaper, they cut your cleaning time way, way back. But even with the reduced psi (pressure per square inch) of an electric, you should still follow the manual before actually powering up and operate in a manner that is not a threat to those around you. Incorrect usage can not only be detrimental to bystanders but to the life expectancy of the machine as well. A good rule of thumb when operating on of these is to always wear safety gloves, boots and eye protection.

How to change settings

At the end of the wand you will find a nozzle. Different nozzles give the machine different types of concentrated sprays. Heavy duty nozzles can be purchased for big jobs such as ductwork and house gutters. Big jobs turn into small jobs and small jobs become literally effortless! You may well wonder how you ever got any real cleaning jobs done without your new little electric best friend. And don’t be surprised if everyone on the block wants to borrow it. Who wouldn’t?

Always remember, safety first

Don’t let the fact that this item is electric and uses simple water lull you into thinking that its use is to be taken lightly. This is a power tool of quite some magnitude. Spraying someone with one of these could and will cause serious harm. These should never be handled by someone either too young or not responsible enough to handle them correctly and with the utmost respect. Pressure washers can be a beautiful addition to your collection of useful power tools as long as you use it properly.

AR Blue Clean AR383 Electric Pressure Washer Review

This one probably came in second when we were looking for the best pressure washer.Karcher Electric Pressure Washer

And it’s probably the most popular on the market.

Certainly it’s among the most reviewed on Amazon, which means a lot of people are buying the machine. That generally means a lot of people like it too.

It delivers 1900 PSI and blows out 1.5 gallons of water per minute, so power is certainly not an issue here.

Of the 397 reviews on Amazon at the time of this writing, more than 300 of them gave it 4 or 5 stars. That in itself says this is a great machine worth of looking into.

Karcher Electric Pressure Washer

If Karcher is not the best know name in pressure washers, it certainly ranks near the top.

Karchers are durable machines. Most come with a lengthy pressure hose, pressurized hose reel for easy rolling up of the hose when done, as well as a couple of different wands including a dirt blaster and a child safety lock on the trigger.

Powerwasher Electric Pressure Washer

This pressure washer from Powerwasher comes with 1800 PSI capable of pushing out 1.6 gallons of water every minute.

In a nutshell, you get enough power to clean tough messes and enough water flow to easily wash away the debris when you are done.

The pressurized hose is 23 feet long and has two nozzles. One is adjustable and the other is the turbo nozzle.

The 35 foot power cord gives you plenty of room to move around.

Black And Decker Electric Pressure Washer

Black & Decker 11BDE-210S 1700 PSI Electric Pressure Washer with 23-Feet Gun and Hose Assembly

While Black and Decker is certainly a well known name in the power tools industry, it’s probably not the first name you think of when you are considering an electric pressure washer.

Still, this particular model is worth looking at for a light duty model.

It delivers 1700 PSI of pressure and the PowerBoost technology delivers a solid impact at the point of delivery. This will give you better cleaning than expected and cut down on the time you have to work.

The 23 foot gun and hose assembly is easy to attach and detach as needed.

Another feature you’ll like is how easy it is to move around thanks to larger than normal wheels.

And so there you have it, our picks for the very best electric power washers for all your home needs. Let us know in the comments below which pressure washer you chose!

flooring ideas

Flooring Ideas by Room

Find Flooring Ideas for EVERY Room

The best feature of current flooring options is the wide variety of types, colors, styles and materials from which to choose. Unfortunately, all that variety can get very confusing, so it makes sense to approach your flooring decisions by first looking at the function of the specific room you’re going to floor. After you determine the function of the room, you will be able to narrow down the type of flooring that will go best with that room.

Let’s take a tour of your home to recognize some of the practical and aesthetic factors that should influence your flooring choices.

Begin at the entryways to your home. Whether the front hall, or a mudroom off the kitchen, these are the places where steady traffic brings dirt, moisture, salt and just about everything else mother nature has to offer into your home. Any stains or wear-and-tear are going to be far more evident here, so choose a sturdy material that can withstand a lot of pounding. Vinyl or laminate are good choices, as they hold up well in high moisture areas. For more formal entryways, choose ceramic tile or even wood parquet. And don’t forget that a well-placed area rug not only traps dirt and moisture, but also adds style and warmth.

best flooring ideas

Next, move into the living room, which, along with the family room, is typically the focal point for family activities, and also the areas you are most likely to entertain guests. Here you want flooring that is more formal, yet comfortable. The ideal solution for these rooms is carpeting, which has styles and fibers that range from the very formal to casual. Another good choice, hardwood floors add elegance and warmth, and an area rug helps to soften the room.

flooring ideas for living room

The dining room is often an extension of the living room, but with a difference. There is always the concern of food and liquid spills, so you need a wear-resistant and stain-resistant flooring. Fortunately, most carpet styles now offer stain and moisture resistance, so that the same carpeting used in the living room can flow through to the dining room. Another option is the durability of wood, laminate or tile in the dining room. As long as the choice complements the styles of adjacent rooms, and your furniture, then you can choose whichever flooring best suits your own fashion sense.

Now let’s move into the kitchen, where there is usually high foot traffic, more spills than you may care to admit, and generally more cleaning required due to cooking. In addition, this is an area where you want to minimize the possibility of slipping. Wood laminate, vinyl or linoleum has traditionally been the best choice in the kitchen. Recently, ceramic tile has gained in popularity, but keep in mind that tile is harder on the feet, and can be colder in the winter months. On the other hand, ceramic tile makes a dramatic statement in the kitchen, and works in both contemporary and traditional homes.

kitchen flooring ideas

The bathroom is an area where your flooring must be waterproofed, washable and non-slip. Here you can use vinyl, ceramic tile and even some of the newer laminate and wood products that are specifically designed to hold up in high moisture areas. Again, area rugs add a soft touch, and are much easier to clean than wall-to-wall bathroom carpeting. Be sure any area rugs or mats are non-slip.

Finally we come to the bedrooms, where the furniture and coordinating fabrics may take precedence over the flooring. Because foot traffic is less of a problem here, stains and wear are minimal. Carpeting is the traditional choice in bedrooms, but wood or laminate floors can also be a good choice, again enhanced with matching decorative area rugs. The key is to choose neutral flooring that doesn’t distract from the room décor. Any good hardwood flooring contractor can point you in the right direction on which to choose. You want to be able to change the colors and textures of your bedroom as often as you want without having to change the flooring as well.

bedroom floor ideas

In general, choose your flooring to follow the function of the room, but always keep in mind that your house is not a group of separate rooms, but a home. So whatever your flooring choices, be sure to blend them with the style of your home, and the overall decorating theme of your furniture and accessories.

basement sub floor

Install a Basement Subfloor System

How To Install An Insulated Floating Subfloor System

Before you can start installing an insulated floating subfloor in your basement, the first thing that you are going to have to do is clean it out if you’ve got a bunch of junk down there. There could be a ton of different reasons to put down a subfloor, but one of the best reasons for this type is to help keep your space warmer when you happen to be below-grade and to protect your finished basement floor.

If you’ve got a concrete slab or even a finished floor that tends to get really cold, this could be an excellent solution. But to take full advantage of it and make the space warmer, you really need to make sure that you have already insulated the walls and ceiling as well if needed.

Of course, if you already have a finished floor and want to do this project, you are going to need to remove that first. If it’s reusable, great. If not, you may need to keep in mind that you’ll need another type of material to go on top of this one once it’s finished before you decide to tackle this project.

Once you’ve gotten all the “stuff” out, just make sure that you have cleaned and swept the floors as well. Then you are ready to start putting down the subfloor.

The subfloor system that we are going to talk about using down in your basement today is from DRICore. Although it’s a bit on the pricey side, I’m really impressed with this product. For one, this subfloor has a patented moisture barrier built right into it and will protect floors, furniture and electronics from potential water seepage in a wet basement. Plus, they are dead simple to install making for a perfect DIY insulating and waterproofing solution as well.

The product itself is actually made like engineered wood floors with a whole lot of pressure compressing a bunch of wood chips together. Afterwards, it’s all sealed up tight with a waterproof glue. For an extra layer of protection, there is a raised polyethylene moisture barrier that allows for any condensation or moisture that’s captured underneath to dry adequately and without harm to those items on top of it.

One thing to keep in mind though, just like any other flooring material, you need to let the panels acclimate in the room for at least 24 hours before you start working with it. Oh, that’s right, forgot to tell you that they come in panels that are easy to work with and approximately 2-foot square. The panels actually lock together like regular tongue and groove floors to make for easy installation with no additional steps like glue required. So you won’t even need a hardwood flooring contractor, you can do it all yourself.

This particular system is called a floating subfloor system because it doesn’t actually get attached to the concrete with glue or nails. It just sort of “floats” on top of the concrete. This is actually really good in this type of environment because it allows for the entire floor to contract and expand with temperature/moisture changes.

Another thing to keep in mind is you will need to use spacers around the walls like you would with laminate basement flooring. A quarter inch gap is really all you need. That gap is what gives the subfloor some of it’s durability allowing it to expand as needed. Plus, if your concrete floor isn’t as level as it should be, these panels come with shims designed to fit right over a portion of the moisture barrier panel to help level it all out. You’ll be able to tell where you need them by simply sliding one panel up to the next and see if there is a gap where they are supposed to come together.

Simply start in the furthest corner with the longest wall and begin piecing together the first row. Use a wood block and a hammer on the end of the second pieces to tap the boards together to fit in the grooves. When you get to the end of the first row, you’ll likely need to make a cut to a full panel for it to fit correctly. Just measure and mark the appropriate distance.

A table saw works great when needing to cut a DRICore panel. But if you don’t have a table saw, a hand held circular saw will work just as good. I personally don’t like to use jigsaws or dremels for this cut but if that’s all you got, it’ll work too. I save the jigsaws for more intricate corner/pole notch cutting when doing our basement renovation work, not when I’m cutting the piece basically in half.

pull barOnce you have your cut piece, it should just drop right in place. However, now you got a bit of problem getting the two pieces to fit together snuggly in the tongue and groove. Now’s the time for your first flooring trick. When you do a job like this, you’ll find that a tool called a pull bar quickly becomes one of your best friend. This particular one shown is a Sinclair pull bar that has a wide tail block and welded hammering area that will let you adjust and compress the panels in the groove quite easily. Whatever you do, don’t try to use pliers or some other tool that isn’t designed for the job!

All you have to do once the piece is in place is slip the tail block into the space between the wall and the panel with the hammer block laying across the piece you want to secure. Take your hammer and give it a few taps until the joints come together cleanly and then simply remove the pull bar.

But what about that other piece that was cut? Do you throw it away? Absolutely not, that’s the piece you can start with on the second row. No need to waste it here. Plus it gives you a bit of strength and security to your subfloor as well because using this piece allows you to stagger (or overlap) the panels so the seams aren’t at the same place. Ideally, you’d like the second row of seam’s to fall in the middle of the panels from the first row.

Now that you’ve got the hang of it, just continue building and cutting row after row until you have a finished floating basement subfloor. This system is perfect for finishing any basement but even better if you have concerns due to a low ceiling. It is a raised system, but it’s about half the height of a conventional subfloor coming in at about 7/8ths of an inch in thickness.

Here’s what I like about this insulated floating subfloor:

  • You get a built in vapor barrier for protection.
  • You get a finished surface that’s ideal for basement carpet, laminate, vinyl plank flooring, engineered hardwood and even tile.
  • You get some insulating value as the floor is raised off the cold concrete slab.
  • You get a professionally quality subfloor that’s do-it-yourself friendly and goes in quickly.

Here’s what I don’t like about this subfloor: cost. Period. That’s it. It’s simply the cost of the system. You’ll end up likely paying as much, if not more depending on what you use for the finished floor as you would for the subfloor. The panels cost about $6 each. So if you have about a 1000 square foot to cover, you are going to need an estimated 303 panels and at that price you are looking at around $1818. However, if you can swing it, this floating subfloor system is definitely worth it for a basement.

types of axes

Types of Axes – What You Need to Know

The Different Types of Axes for Every Job

The axe has long been one of man’s best tools and an essential part of any outdoorsman’s survival toolkit. This spectacular tool has been with us for centuries and, just like us, it has evolved. Today, there are many different types and styles of axe. Whether you are chopping down trees or splitting firewood, there is a blade specially designed for the job. Each blade has a unique style and special characteristics.

There are many factors that make one axe better than another for a particular job. With hundreds of different blade / handle combinations now available on the market, it can all get a little confusing, especially when you’re trying to figure out which is the best axe for your uses. Let’s examine the 5 most popular axe styles listed below.

Splitting Blade

A splitting blade uses a weighted wedge shape design to cut logs along the grain. This axe is not likely to get lodged in the wood you are splitting because its heavy blade increases the striking force at impact. Splitting blades are usually complemented with a straight handle. This allows the woodcutter to lever the maul and deepen the cut.

When splitting logs, it may become necessary to hammer the blade through the log. The splitting blade incorporates the solution to this problem by having a broad butt that can be used to assist another splitter through.

Limbing Blade

A limbing axe is designed to be wielded while standing on a tree trunk and chopping downward at limbs from the tree. It is relatively lightweight (2lbs) and can be handled with one or two hands. Its medium length handle makes this axe well suited for the downward angle.

Hudson Bay

The Hudson Bay axe isn’t designed for chopping down trees in the forest. Its short handle (22in – 28in) and light weight (2lbs) makes it an ideal choice for turning medium logs into kindling. The Hudson Bay axe got its name because it was developed by French fur traders who traveled the Hudson Bay trade routes.


Broadaxes are used to cut logs into beams. Broadaxes are beveled on one side, which, coupled with a long beard (front lower blade), makes them perfect for this job. They are specifically designed for accuracy and can easily cut a log into a beam.


A felling axe blade is very thin and sharp. This makes it perfectly suited for cutting down trees. When you cut a tree down, you are cutting against the grain. A felling axe’s medium weight (around 3 pounds) allows it to cut deep across the grain. A 36in handle gives the felling axe great leverage. A felling axe blade is ideal for clearing limbs off downed trees.

Double Bit (edged)

A double bit axe has edges on both side of the blade. This can prove useful because it allows for combo blades. For example, one side could be a splitting blade, while the other side is a felling. The downside is some loss of mobility.

Shaping Blade

A Shaping blade is used to cut wood at very precise angles and locations. This axe has a flat blade that distributes your cut evenly. This helps keep your cuts even and accurate. Because of its flat blade, a shaping axe is much better at carving than chopping.


Hatchets can be great travel axes. They are usually half the size of a conventional axe, which means they are more suitable for traveling. A good hatchet can easily split logs into kindling.

There are also a number of different length handles you can get when choosing your axe. This is called the haft length and it usually comes in these sizes:

  • full length: 28in – 36in
  • medium length: 18in – 26in
  • pocket length: 12in – 16in

Transportation, and the amount of use, should be the deciding force behind your decision. If you are going to be backpacking in Yellow Stone National Park, I wouldn’t recommend a full length broadaxe. A pocket felling axe would be a much better fit and it will provide you with a lot more comfort on your journey.

The point here is – there is an axe to fit every need. Now that you understand the different types of axes, you can decide what axe is the best solution for your woodworking needs.

How To Remove a Stuck Screw

How To Remove a Stuck Screw?

Almost everyone under the sun has experienced the horror of a stuck screw or bolt, and each craftsman has assuredly fought off more than his fair share of frozen screw frustrations. Trying to remove a stuck screw can fast turn into one of the worst jobs around the house or in the shop – it can feel like a physical impossibility to remove bolts or screws if they become stuck, frozen, or their heads has been stripped or broken.

Many will go to excessive and extraordinary lengths, using back-breaking force to remove these stubborn parts, but when temperatures cool down and the dust settles, craftsmen find the screw extractor. Good things do come in small packages and though the screw extractor is a small, its a tremendous device that gets into the center of a stuck screw, and releases its gnarly grips from the inside out.

The screw extractor is a small tool with big results designed to dive into the interior of a stuck screw (through a pilot-hole), bite into the it and turn the screw out counter-clockwise. Screw extractors range to fit screw-heads from 3/32″ and 1/2″ in diameter. They are built with a square head and shaft on one end and reverse tapered (cutting screw) threads on the other. The square head is designed to be fastened to a T-handle providing leverage to turn the extractor into the frozen screw. The square head can also be turned with some type of pliers like vice grip pliers or an adjustable wrench.

Extractors are manufactured with superior grade steel so that the shaft can be gripped with vice grips or an adjustable wrench for additional force or turning power. The extractors tapered threads are the real muscle of the device biting into the insides of a screw. The treads are designed to turn counter-clockwise, or backwards, reverse drilling into the center of a screw to pull it out. As the extractor is turned, it bites down tighter and digs deeper into the frozen screw and eventually begins turning the damaged screw with it. Essentially the extractor reverses the screw out of its frozen position.



Drilling a pilot-hole into the damaged screw is the first step to getting it out: With a power drill, drill a hole into the center of the damaged screw’s head. Start by using the smallest drill bit available and work your way up to a larger sized bit for a larger pilot-hole. Because the size of the pilot-hole will vary depending upon the size of the extractor, the extractor should come with a bit size recommendation on its packaging; this should help eliminate most of the guess work on your part.

After drilling the pilot-hole, firmly grip the extraction bit with a T-Handle or pliers and insert the extractor into the pilot-hole. Tap the top of the extractor with a hammer to secure it firmly into the screw. While exerting downward pressure on the extractor, turn it counter-clockwise (to the left) to begin releasing the stuck screw. If turning the extractor is difficult or unstable, tap the extraction bit down a bit more firmly into the screw. This should give the threads a better hold, and better biting power into the screw.

You may also press down a bit more firmly on the top of the extractor, but be careful not the break the extraction bit off into the stuck screw. If a better bite, or increased pressure doesn’t make the process any easier, you may try enlarging the pilot-hole. Slightly enlarge the pilot-hole and attempt the process again. This should have that stubborn screw out in no time.

Before loosing your cool over that blasted stuck screw, look to the screw extractor to break it free with minimal time and effort. Rather than resorting to the most drastic measures, allow the screw extractor do the dirty work you and eliminate the stress and headache of tackling the seemingly impossible on your own.

The Last Resort

If all else fails, then you’re going to need to drill out the screw completely and re-tap whenever it is you’re working on. For this you’ll need a drill and a tap and die set. A standard tap and die set literally make a new screw hole for your new screw to thread into. It is always a last resort but is unavoidable when you have no choice but to drill out the entire screw. This often happens when it is too rusted, or seized in some other way. There are a few of the best tap and die set reviews here if you’re unsure which set to get. They aren’t the cheapest option, but some times you just don’t have any other choice.