American Survival Guide - - GEAR GUIDE -

There are no mi­nor in­juries when it comes to an ax or any chop­ping tools. The im­pact of such tools can be dev­as­tat­ing to a limb or body part. Be aware of the fol­low-through of your swings and the di­rec­tion of the cut­ting edge at all times.

Hatch­ets are dan­ger­ous be­cause of their short han­dles, which can of­ten in­jure a knee or shin on the fol­low-through or af­ter a glanc­ing blow. The same hap­pens with a ma­chete.

The longer han­dles of a half or full ax, as well as some tom­a­hawks, will be safer in that the cut­ting bit will be more likely to dig into the ground rather than come back to­ward you.

Never chop above your head; keep work as close to the ground as pos­si­ble. It is al­ways safer with a hatchet or short-han­dled tom­a­hawk to kneel down, with the task in front of you. Im­pact-re­sis­tant sun­glasses or safety glasses will keep your eyes safe from sharp chips that will un­doubt­edly be air­borne when chop­ping. Al­ways keep the wood you’re cut­ting at a safe, par­al­lel plane to the ground or other solid sup­port when split­ting or chop­ping.

If pos­si­ble, don’t use heavy cut­ting tools af­ter dark. In ad­di­tion, safety with any type of ax or knife starts by hav­ing a re­li­able sheath for carry and stor­age. Com­bin­ing know-how with ex­pe­ri­ence will put you on the fast track to safety and en­hance your chances of sur­viv­abil­ity.

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