Friday, October 21, 2011

Barco Boy’s Axe Review

After reviewing the Barco double bit cruiser axe, I was very excited about their product line, and was eager to test their boy’s axe. My expectation was that it would be a single bit version of the cruiser axe. I had very high hopes for it. Unfortunately, the boy’s axe did not live up to the expectations.


Barco Industries
Axe Head Weight: 2.25 lb (feels like it is closer to 2 lb)
Axe Length: 27 inches
Axe Head Material: Unknown carbon steel
Handle Material: Hickory
Cost: $40.00


The Barco Boy’s axe is very reasonably priced. It is in the same price range as the Council Tool Boy’s axe.

For purposes of this review, I have compared it to the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe. You can see them here side by side.



The Barco Boy’s axe is heavier and longer than the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe. The handle has fairly good grain orientation and fells comfortable. Unfortunately, the handle seems to be a little too large for the eye of the axe. If order to make it fit, the handle narrows significantly when it nears the eye. In my opinion the handle is just the right size for a boy’s axe, but he eye needs to be larger.


The head of the Barco Boy’s axe has a fairly good design. It does not have the convexed cheeks that we saw on the Barco cruiser axe, but there is nothing wrong with the design. The head is attached to the handle with a wooden wedge.


As with the other Barco axes, the bit of the boy’s axe comes unfinished. Again, I do not just mean that it is dull, I mean that it has not been ground down at all. As the shape of the head is good overall, and the cheeks are not overly thick, the edge can be finished with some file work, but it will require time.


The Barco Boy’s axe is well balanced. As with most axes, it is slightly bit heavy, but nothing that you will be able to detect during use.

kj (9)

The axe does not come with a sheath.

Overall, the axe is not bad value for the money. If this was the only $40 boy’s axe on the market, I would not hesitate to buy it and start working on grinding down the bit. However, we do have to consider that there is another $40 competitor-the Council Tool Boy’s axe. In my opinion, it is a much better value for the money. The head is slightly better designed. The handle is a little more comfortable and it certainly fits the head a lot better. Most importantly, while it is likely to come dull, it requires only minimal work to bring it to shaving sharp and properly ground condition. A task that will take hours with the Barco Boy’s axe can be completed within minutes with the Council Tool Boy’s axe.

Perhaps my disappointment with the Barco Boy’s axe comes from the fact that I had such high expectations. The axe certainly fell short of those. You can buy the Barco Boy’s axe here

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