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S&W CH629?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by afishhunter, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    S&W "Bullseye" Knife and hatchet set.
    Yes, I know the hatchet is not intended to chop or split wood. (or at least not split firewood without batoning)
    Yes, I know the retaining strap for the knife is not worth a daRn.
    Yes, I know they are made of a low-end steel; 3CR13 or something like that.
    Yes, I know they were made offshore. That does not bother me in the least.
    I cannot afford an Eastwing single or double bit axe, nor a Condor 'Nessmuk' knife. If I could, I would own them.

    Other than "Don't waste your money on the S&W Bullseye Set ..." or words to that effect ...

    I would like to get your objective opinion (or better yet, experience) on this knife and hatchet.

    Are they "good enough" to process a deer or larger big game animal?
    How are they for edge retention, using them for their intended purpose?

    I did sharpen the set I bought at the pawnshop.
    Using a guided rod system, I sharpened the knife (excluding the gut hook) to 25° per side, or 50° inclusive.
    The hatchet is at 35° per side, or 70° inclusive.
    I will admit, I prefer my skinning knives at 30° inclusive, but to be honest, I don't feel like taking the time to reprofile the edge.
    60 to 70° inclusive is where I like my axes and hatchets.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Mannlicher


    Nov 19, 2008
    I'd say buying junk, knowing it's junk, because it's cheap, makes little sense. Estwing 26" ax costs the same as the junky S&W set. I'm not seeing your point.
  3. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Pawnshop $15 (spur of the moment purchase)

    Estwing more than double to triple at the least expensive I can find online.

    The reviews I found online were mixed, so I thought I would ask here.

    Eventually I will get my Nessmuk Trio (with double bit axe) properly assembled.
  4. Brommeland


    Jul 28, 2003
    My suggestion: Buy a Mora and cruise flea markets for a decent old axe. You'll get simple, but useful equipment that will last a lifetime. IMHO, the S&W cutlery lines are all a total waste of the money spent to ship them, much less their purchase price.
  5. Phoynix

    Phoynix Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    3Cr13 is crap, the carbon content is so low that I would suspect the axe edge will roll against anything but soft pine.(maybe even then)
    Know its not what you want to hear, but an axe that can't hold an edge is far more likely to bounce off/defect and that could end up being fatal, knives that are blunt have you using more force to try to compensate and you can slip and stab yourself.

    I am actually against the hardness of many survival knives and hatchets/axes as I think they are too hard but 3Cr13 is too far the other way, its very tough but very soft with little carbides to do the cutting.

    Hatchet I think you need to try it against some seasoned wood, if the edge doesn't hold after 20 strikes get rid of it.
  6. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    3Cr13 is allegedly in the same class as 420J.
    I agree it is not the best choice for an axe/hatchet. Then again, neither is 1095.
    Axes and hatchets are usually made with a low carbon steel, (not high carbon steel) with a RC in the low to mid 40's, for toughness and impact resistance.

    As for using this particular hatchet on wood ... Nope. Not gonna happen. It is not designed for that. It is designed for splitting the pelvis, etc. and possibly getting the hocks on big game. It might even be good for skinning medium and big game, if you can use it like an ULU.

    I will probably sell the set back to the pawnshop eventually, or take them over to the metal recycling yard down the street.

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