Peter Folansbee posted an interesting and comprehensive review of his excellent side axe/hewing ax here. I just want to add my twopenn’orth without messing up the comments on Peter’s blog.
At The National Forest Woodfair this year I bought this (then) new side axe.
OK, it has a hickory handle covered in ‘varnish’ (note to self ‘Sand it down before it slips out of your hand one day’) And the ground bevel is pretty basic:
However, the chap who sold it to me (Tony Murland) said it was a Swedish forging, exported to Canada where it was liquidated when the firm shafting it went bust (1960s). He had quite a few of them.
Don’t bother rushing to Garant’s site to find one, as they don’t stock it.
It has some features you might think would be lacking.
The ‘flat’ face is convex-bevelled top to bottom:
See that gap between the ruler and the axe cheek? Maybe 1/16th of an inch or about 2 mm?
It is also round along the depth of the blade:
The flat side is really ugly, must give it some tlc one day when I’ve nothing to do.