I know many of you have been following Jim Austin's Viking Axe making tutorials under the History forum. I had the opportunity to purchase one of his Viking war axes, and this is a review of the Axe and the transaction. [To the moderator, if this review should be somewhere else, I apologize, and please move.]
First go to my Flickr site for pictures of the axe:
See Dane axe set.
Next a description of the axe -
The Dane Axe has an edge length of 7.75" and is 8.375" from the BACK of the poll to the edge. From the middle line of the handle to the edge it is 7.25". The haft hole is 1.6" wide at that point - the haft that fits this hole fills the hand and gives good control of the weapon. The axe head by itself weighs 635 grams.
The body of the axe was forged from a single block of 1018 and the edge inlay is 1070. The edge was oil quenched and tempered to 440 deg. F. All joinery was performed by forge welding as shown in the tutorials.
Now my impressions:
I must say that Jim is very professional and timely/ prompt in his communications, his descriptions, the packaging of axe head and handle were top notch, the axe came more than sharp enough. It was not stoned to a razors edge, but I would not want that anyway. The axe is Super sweet, light like the originals for fast cutting action. I would personally designate this axe in between the Petersen Type M and L. I have done some cutting tests with the axe, and was very pleased and impressed with the axes ability to effortlessly cut through the leather coupons [see pics] and into the pole. The cutting tests of approx. 30 cuts did no damage to axe or edge.! The cuts were made both using inside [close range] cutting body turns, and outside [far range] pole axe chops to the target. All using 2 hands on haft of course.
Mr. Austin also followed up with a call to ensure I not only received the axe, but that I was pleased and happy with it. As you can tell, I am 100% satisfied. I would buy another axe from Jim in a heart beat.
Edited by Ted Bouck, 21 April 2011 - 05:02 PM.