Cold Steel 90AXG Axe Gang Hatchet. For years, Cold Steel has tried to bring to market one of the devastating Chinese styled hatchets used with such awesome effect in countless Kung Fu movies. The Cold Steel version, the Axe Gang Hatchet, is an authentically formidable weapon, not just a prop for the cameras.
It features a drop-forged head, with a differential heat treatment (hard edge-soft body), and a straight, four inch cutting edge (with sharp corners). In addition to that it has a straight grain American Hickory handle with the Kanji characters that mean "Axe Gang".
The sharp corners of the edge will easily pierce the thickest skull and the razor sharp edge will shear through flesh and bone like it was white bread. Plus due to its substantial weight and straight handle, it's easy to throw with great accuracy and is sure to explode any target with the most violent effect.
Specifications: Hawk Length: 5.0", Primary Edge: 4.0", Overall Length: 20.25", Steel: Drop Forged 1055 Carbon Steel, Handle Material: American Hickory, Weight: 35.5 oz., Made in Taiwan.
Very sharp out of the box, I touched up the edge with a ceramic rod & made it even sharper. it is well made and well balanced. great hatchet for the price. I was slicing overgrown shrubs with it,went right through the branches with ease.
For this review, I'll be covering my opinion and observation on the handle, the axe head itself, the edge and edge retention, and the overall handling of the axe as a tool.
First the handle. While most first impressions are made by the head of an axe, the handle is just as important. Like its siblings, the axe gang hatchet came with a straight, smooth, reliably sturdy handle that felt nice in the hand.
Though the grain was straight and the finish was aesthetically pleasing, the handle was too sleek and was slippery if it was faced with any moisture.
The Axe Gang Hatchet's head is obviously a tool that would make a very effective weapon. Aside from the straight-edged cutting surface, which ends on either point with a sharp, sudden angle, the rest of the head consists of crisp 90% angles, creating a boxy, 4 cornered hammer face which could clearly perform on par with most hammer-like and bludgeoning weapons.
That said, the axe is also just as at home in the work shop or in the woods, cleaving large pieces of wood with clean, deep-biting strokes. While the weight of the head may call for a little muscle to handle for long periods, the power it generates makes the extra effort well worth it each time.
As mentioned above, the hatchet comes with a straight edge that ends in two points on either side. The weight of the head and shape of the edge grants very smooth shearing power, which lends itself well to notch cutting as well as detail work here and there. While the edge isn't going to last for years on end before it needs resharpening, it sharpens easily with a little skill and takes an edge well. I didn't notice any rolling or chipping after several hours of chopping and testing on dead and green wood, through which the edge held up well.
Overall, the Axe Gang Hatchet is a reliable tool for anyone on a budget.
The handle didn't loosen or crack, the edge sharpened nicely and worked well with the weight. The slippery handle was immediately remedied with some light cord and athletic tape, and though my focus was on its performance as a tool and not a weapon, I have no doubt that it would cleave, slice, and crush without effort, and would throw and connect with fantastic stopping power.
Also, though the tape covered up the "Axe Gang" symbols, the crossed axes etched into the head on either side are a discreet but very pretty detail.
4 stars only because of the extra materials needed to ensure a firm grip on the handle. everything else receives an A for performance.