There are countless scenarios you wouldn't want to submit your good axe to. That's where a cheap axe comes in handy.
Dan Wowak of Coalcracker Bushcraft maintains that an old, cheap axe is a great tool to have around camp. Why? Because it can take the place of multiple other tools.
A cheap axe can withstand a lot of abuse. In fact, that's what you'd use it for: to do jobs that you wouldn't dare use your good axe for. When it gets dinged up from digging, pounding and otherwise generally abusing, no harm, no foul. That's what it's for.
Wowak pounds nails and tent pegs with the back of his cheap axe, chops roots and even digs into the ground with it and uses it as a shovel. All of these tasks would be verboten with an expensive, high-quality axe.
He prefers carrying an old axe as opposed to a shovel, a hammer, a pike or any other camp tool. He saves his good axe for chopping trees.
In my opinion, this makes perfect sense. How many times have any of us used our good axe to pound tent stakes or chop wood that's lying on the forest floor when we know the axe blade is likely to go into the dirt? I'd venture to guess it happens more often than we care to admit.
Can you think of any other uses an old axe might be good for?
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