What is a Pulaski Axe used for?

“An axe cuts through a forest not because of its size, but its endurance.”
- Matshona Dhliwayo

We appreciate everything that nature has to offer in part because it is offered equally to anyone who ventures outside, and it’s no surprise to us that we have found the same appreciation for the Pulaski Axe. It offers itself to any man or woman who is willing to accept the challenge of chopping wood, clearing branches from logs, digging ditches, or even cutting through stubborn vegetation.


The Pulaski Axe is so-named for Ed Pulaski, an assistant park ranger for the United States Forest Service that also served as a volunteer firefighter. Ed Pulaski’s experience on the frontline of a forest fire helped him to realize the need for a hand axe that could chop wood as well as dig up root-bound soil. Enter the Pulaski Axe, also known as a cutter mattock, a tool with a single head combining an axe blade on one side for chopping and an adze on the other side for digging or scraping bark from trees.


The Pulaski fire axe that earned its name through Ed Pulaski’s efforts to make firefighting safer is also our ideal camping axe. Based on the original Pulaski Axe, the Barebones Axe provides you with a compact and easy-to-carry tool that works for chores in your backyard all the way to your adventures in the great outdoors.


Working in your yard with the Barebones Axe means you can chop through roots and clear ground for flower beds or vegetable gardens with ease. The adze side of the tool has a sharp, curved mattock blade that simultaneously slices roots as it scoops through dirt. Quickly and efficiently dig spaces for your seedlings, then head to your wood pile and split logs with the same multipurpose axe in hand.


The Pulaski Axe by Barebones has a weighted head that breaks through logs and roots with short, quick chops and the compact design makes it a great axe for women and men who want to head outside and clear brush or split logs for campfires. The wood handle is strengthened with a full steel core, so the weight of the axe head is balanced for a smooth chop with every swing. Weighing just over 5 pounds, the Barebones Axe is portable enough to be carried into the backcountry without weighing down your pack, so you can keep a wood-splitting axe on hand however far you plan to go.

Barebones Pulaski Axe with Wood Pile 

Understanding the history that led to the Barebones Axe elicits a certain air of reverence when we carry it into the woods and put the carbon steel blade to the test. With every use, the hand axe becomes more familiar and our aim becomes more true. The head is attached to the steel core with a hex nut making it simple to re-handle the axe or tighten the axe head should it ever become loose. The steel pommel at the end of the handle provides extra grip for digging with the mattock blade and it can also be used for hammering if the need arises.


The Barebones Axe is the all-encompassing outdoor tool that welcomes any task from splitting logs to creating a place to grow and cultivate. Just as all are welcomed to step outside, all are welcomed to wield the Barebones Axe.

How-To Woodsman

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