If you’re in need of a versatile tool that makes both camping and gardening a breeze, look no further: the Pulaski Axe chops, cuts, and digs, making it invaluable in nearly every outdoor scenario. Whether at home prepping your garden or chopping wood for a campfire, the Pulaski Axe make tasks safer and easier – plus, its history is pure American legend, causing even greater appreciation for its ingenuity.
History of the Pulaski Axe
In August 1910, “The Big Burn” fire swept the Idaho-Montana border. Volunteer firefighters signed up to fight the overwhelming blaze, including Ed Pulaski, a local Forest Service ranger who bravely led 45 men through the burning forest to aid the town of Wallace, Idaho.
As the fire grew, Pulaski led his men to take cover in an old mine shaft. Emerging the next day, they’d lost five of their men to suffocation, and most others were badly wounded. Pulaski himself suffered blinding burns to one eye and permanent lung damage. He sought care for his men from the Forest Service, but it had been largely disbanded under President William Taft, and help was not available. Newspapers eventually caught wind of the wounded volunteer firefighters, and public outrage erupted. There was a new wave of support for Forest Service reinstatement, which would eventually happen under President Theodore Roosevelt. Pulaski dedicated the latter part of his life to caring for the graves of the men who died serving with him and petitioning the government for a memorial to be placed near the town of Wallace. In the meantime, he invented what is now known as the Pulaski Axe to help the firefighters of the Forest Service do their duty safely.
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, dig trenches, and break up root-bound soil. He developed 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 for digging or scraping bark from trees.
The Pulaski Axe has a weighted head that breaks through logs and roots with short, quick chops. The compact design makes it a great axe for anyone tasked with clearing brush or splitting 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.
Despite the steel core and weighted head, our version of the Pulaski Axe weighs in at just over 5 pounds, meaning it’s portable enough to be carried into the backcountry without weighing down your pack – so you can keep a wood-splitting axe on hand, no matter how far you plan to go.
When & How To Use The Pulaski Axe
As designed, the Pulaski Axe is a fantastic tool to aid in fighting fires. It’s also the ideal compact, easy-to-carry, implement that helps you accomplish any outdoor tasks that come your way.
Clear space in your garden
Whether removing a pesky shrub from your flower beds or prepping your vegetable garden for spring, the adze side of the Pulaski axe has a sharp, curved mattock blade that cuts through roots and scoops through dirt, making it a one-stop-shop for garden preparations.
A hardy tool for digging trenches at home and on the move, the adze side of the Pulaski axe comes in handy once again: it’s perfect for garden irrigation, flood prevention management, or creating a waste receptacle on the go.
This function goes without saying: the weighted head of the Pulaski Axe makes chopping firewood a breeze and provides more force while swinging, allowing you to save wear and tear on your shoulders.
Use As A Lever
The mattock blade of the Pulaski Axe is the perfect size to use as a lever: pry up bricks or structures in the garden or leverage when preparing a campsite by clearing away large branches and stones. It’s ideal for breaking up sod and firm, compact ground that doesn’t respond to a simple shovel.
Cut Back Foliage And Clear Brush
At home or at the campsite, pesky shrubs and brush can interfere with comfort, safety, and aesthetics. Use either end of the Pulaski Axe to remove any dead brush or pesky weeds.