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Cutting Equipment

Wayland's Puukku, Axe, Leuku and Barrel Knife

I have a thing about tools, I always buy the best I can afford.

I’ve certainly spent more than I need to for tools that would do the jobs I do but there is a certain pleasure and satisfaction to be gained from using a well crafted piece of equipment and if treated with care such a tool should last a lifetime.

These are the tools I most often use when outdoors.

Wayland's Trailhawk

The axe is often considered the ultimate cutting tool in bushcraft but it is probably the one I actually use the least if I’m on the move. It’s main uses are for cutting and splitting firewood as there is rarely a need to cut trees or heavy limbs in this country

If I’m in a fixed camp I often use a splitting axe and a couple of wedges.

Recently I have been trying out a small tomahawk which is considerably lighter than most axes or even many hatchets. It chops and splits very well for it’s weight and depending on the terrain I am working in, this often competes in my packing list with my Leuku.

Wayland's Leuko

This 9” bladed knife is the standard cutting tool of the Saami people and suits use in Northern European forests very well. At a pinch it can be uses for delicate cutting work too but for that I prefer a smaller blade.

One added bonus from this knife is the steel is good enough that I can strike a light from the back of the blade with a piece of flint and the back edge is square enough to use a ”firesteel” rod too

The blade I usually carry on my belt when outdoors is my Antlerknife (top left), made with a Northern Puukko style blade this can handle most jobs that occur and can even be used for heavy cutting with the use of a batton on the back of the blade.

Wayland's barrel knife closed

In my pocket I sometimes carry a barrel knife.

This must be the safest design for a folding knife I have ever seen.

The blade unit is encased in a wooden case which forms a handle.

There is absolutely no way for the blade to open accidentally in your pocket.

To use the knife a catch is depressed allowing the blade unit to be slipped out of the case.

The blade can now be unfolded and used directly if needed for a simple cutting job.

However, if the cutting job requires more safety, as many do, the open blade unit can be slipped back into the case which holds the blade open so that it cannot possibly fold up and cut your fingers while in use.

Wayland's barrel knife open
Wayland's barrel knife in safe use position

This knife design was very popular around the beginning of the Twentieth century but has largely fallen out of use now with the rise of mechanical locking knives.

I still feel the design has not really been bettered yet for safety though.

Two other tools I often carry are a folding saw and a Swiss army knife. The latter lives almost permanently in my pocket and is used for dozens of everyday cutting jobs even in urban life.

The folding saw is often a better option for heavy cutting than an axe. Mine lives in my grab bag.

An axe can be very unforgiving if it is used incorrectly. even a minor slip can result in a major and sometimes life threatening injury

Simplest Cutting Tools

A folding saw can be used for most firewood jobs but is more difficult to injure yourself with. It folds up safely and weighs very little really.

Having said that any of these tools are capable of causing an injury if used incorrectly or foolishly. See the safety notes here.      It should go without saying that you need to also be aware of the local legal requirements. Many countries have different and sometimes confusing laws regarding the carrying of such tools and travelling across borders with them can be a particular headache.

Before using any of these tools it is wise to get a good first aid kit and get yourself onto a first aid course.

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