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Council Tool Forest Service Axe

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Council Tool Forest Service Axe axe/hatchet

USA made lightweight axe, also called a "boy's axe." Great for when you are on an extended camping trip and more than a hatchet is required for wood procurement. I'd recommend this axe for those who are less concerned with weight but don't want to carry or don't need a full sized axe.


  • Light and fast handling
  • Well made
  • Produced in USA


  • Heavier than a hatchet at 3.25 lbs
  • Perhaps longer than some want to carry at 27"

I ordered the axe from Omaha Knife with a couple of options. First, hand picked for appearance and grain alignment. Second, sharpened beyond the factory edge. Through doing these things, I saved myself some time on sharpening and made sure my axe was twice inspected before it came to me.

These two options cost an extra $10. Of note, the axe is literally shaving sharp and comes with a standard cover — the cover is very much needed when you're placing this thing in your pack!

It's a finely made piece of equipment; no long term reports yet but the construction of the head cover and axe itself appear top notch at first glance.

Thus far, it's only been used around the yard but the cutting performance is excellent.  This size in particular (27" overall with a 2.25 lbs. head) is the ideal "compromise" camping axe when one wants decent cutting power and efficiency but doesn't want to haul around a full size, full weight axe.  In comparison, a full size axe could be 36" long and up to 2 lbs. heavier.

Finally, at $69, this axe is less expensive than some of the other models that are available and represents a great deal of value per dollar spent. The vendor, Omaha Knife, did a superb job sharpening it, packing it, and was very professional to deal with overall.






Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $69

Decent axe for the price, but it came with a bad handle and worthless plastic handle wedge. I'd recommend buying the Council Standard boys axe instead due to the price difference.


  • Great size and head design
  • Downs trees very well
  • Ergonomic and efficient design
  • Easy to sharpen


  • Lousy handle and wedge straight from the factory
  • Not worth extra cost over the Standard Council boys axe.

After suffering humiliation attempting to use the Gransfors small forrest toy, I went ahead and bought this. Well, the first time out it didn't go much better lol.  After about three wacks the blade sunk very deep in the tree, but with the handle no longer attached. I found out the hard way that the plastic wedge they provide with this model doesn't work very well.

My wife and kids still laugh about my expression after it broke during the first use. Once again the good ole ESEE Junglas saved the day.

With that said, I put a new handle on it from the local farm and fleet store. It now works really well and I do thoroughly enjoy using it when I need a smaller axe. I will admit I don't use it that often compared to my Estwing camp axe, but the blade and handle size are great for almost all serious camping duties.

To put it bluntly, Council makes a solid tool. The reason I put it at 3 stars is because I think you're better off buying either the highly regarded Velvicut version which my kids own or the generic boys axe that Council sells. My experience with the handle on day one didn't go over too well at this price point and you would get the same performance from the cheaper model.

I think the steel of Council tools is pretty good overall and I've had no complaints with any of their products. If I wanted to buy an axe with a wooden handle, I'd definitely go with their products over the overhyped foreign competitors.


Good axe head, but has a lousy wedge. Handle broke the first time I used it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Around 60 bucks

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Price Current Retail: $56.58
Reviewers Paid: $60.00-$69.00
Product Details from Council Tool »