Review: The Winkler Knives Medic Axe is as beautiful as it is expensive


Originally published at:


Anybody who has portaged will tell you a good-quality hatchet is one of the most valuable tools you can bring along. I wish I had the spare bucks lying around to justify the cost of one of these.


neat stuff!

i want tactical cleaver.

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When the shit hits the fan, your gear better smell different.

Wait, that came out wrong.

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As a kid, I found infinite uses for my dad’s hatchet - a far more ‘traditional’ hatchet than this more tomahawk item, but serving many of the same functions.

It’s been [more] years [than I care to mention] since I lived there and had access to it, so I’ve learned other ways to accomplish the same tasks. But in that time I’ve hardly thought about the thing, and this brings back the memory of how useful they are. Definitely going to look at correcting that non-ownership problem now.

Though, I sure as shit am not spending $650 on one, no matter how awesome it is.

But hat tip to the author for that unexpected reminder.

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Oddly, I get the sense that came out very right.

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One of the things thay always annoys me about Hollywood takes on the zombie apocalypse is that everyone still seems to have plenty of ammunition for their firearms even months or years after the total collapse of civilization. A good hatchet is a sign of someone I’d welcome into my scrappy band of survivors.


Winkler is well known for being an excellent custom knifemaker.

If you want a similarly rough and tumble hatchet at a much lower price point, consider one of the ones that James Helm makes. I’ve got a socket handled wakizashi that he made (got it as my trade in a “knife in the hat” exchange among custom knife makers), and it’s been a gardening and recycling brute. Lots of abuse, absolutely tough and no chips (with only the expected edge wear for the 5160 steel it’s made of).


This USMC Hospital Corpsman knife from WWII is almost that:


both are great.


Oh… Nice!

One of these links got me to a blog where a bladesmith was posting his latest creations, and they included a set of meat axes. They were long-handled, long-bladed versions of meat cleavers that looked like something an orc would carry. One was featured in the movie Hannibal and it made quite an impression on me. But I’m not a butcher, orc, or serial killer so I’d probably just stick it on the wall over our fireplace if I ever got one.


I’m sorry, Seamus, but craft does not to art aspire.
Would you want an artist (who must have their own intention (by definition)) to make your ax.
(Wait, I’ll answer that) no, no you wouldn’t (unless you want to get dead, or perhaps not)(which, if you want it, is OK too).


Every home should have one.

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Thanks for that. I’m a sucker for good knives.


My frugal self is not buying - maybe for a birthday in 2019 however either of these two would be great alternatives that you would actually use - the Granfors axe or the cute Fiskar one


That’s also called a “sugar cane knife”. Very handy thing


Aka lamb splitter. Definitely tactical if you’re a lamb.

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Make sure you try out the “cute” one before you buy it. I’ve got the Gerber version and the handle is so short it feels like I’m holding the ax head in my hand. While cute and compact, it is nowhere near as useful as my longer handled Fiskars hatchet.

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Is it called a medic axe so you can take off gangrene arm?

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I like the look of the axe, and it sounds excellent, however…

I was thrown at first by your use of the words, “churned out”.

to produce something automatically, without much thought, and in large amounts: Hollywood studios have been churning out some very bad movies over the past several years. (Definition of “churn out something” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

ETA Unless it’s the designs he’s churning out, and not the actual knives/axes.