Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Review: Fiskars X5 Hand Axe.


A few weeks ago I mentioned I had been given a couple of pieces of kit by Fiskars when I reviewed the retractable saw.

I held this back as I wanted to test it before talking about it. The Retractable saw was easy to test, but I don’t have a tree in the garden to hack down and test the axe with. Thankfully this weekend, my parents needed some judicious ‘pruning’ round the back of their house, so it was the perfect time to test.

As the axe is very small, (about 9-10 inches long and weighing a little less than 500g). It’s advantages and disadvantages are clear cut.


It’s easy to pack and good for carving with. It’s around 10-15% lighter than comparable makes.

The handle feels nice and grippy, has no flex and and is solid when used. Most of the weight is in the head, with a strike feeling positive. Mine came with a formed plastic case that can be screwed to a wall or tool rack.


BUT! A small, light axe is not an axe for a novice.

A common error when buying a first axe, is to buy as small, light one.. You aren’t likely  to hurt yourself as badly, Right?

Wrong. Any accident with an axe will most likely involve a visit to the hospital. A small, light axe is more easily twisted or deflected, increasing the chance of an accident.


This is no fault of the axe though.

If you are confident with an axe, this is very nice. It cuts very cleanly and comes sharp, but not sharpened if you know what I mean.


It didn’t stick at all when I was using it, landed where I was aiming every time and didn’t jump or twist in use. It never felt like the head was trying to overtake the bit.

I didn’t fatigue as fast as I expected either, though this might be down to balance and weight as a result of the materials used for the handle.

So. If you are confident using an axe, this is a great buy. If you are looking for a first axe, maybe look at a larger one, perhaps one that would allow 2 handed use and learn how to use it safely.



NB… Always consider if an axe is the safest tool for the job.