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Klaus Gimm

Location: Germany
Joined: 08 Aug 2008

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Review - Viktor berbekucz - a little Axe         Reply with quote

Hi all !

It has been a long time since i posted anything here. With moving, renovating and a lot of personal issues going on, the pleasurable things of life often fall short.

Anyway enough of me and on to the post at hand:

Beginning of the year i ordered a small axe/hatchet/hawk from Viktor in Hungary. There are a few posts here on the forum about him already, so i will keep it short.
Viktor does not answer emails directly anymore it seems. His wife Andy does the communication work now and she translates everything for him and back. It does seem to add a little to the turn over time of emails but the answers are much clearer now i believe the change has been to the better. She is a very nice lady, judging from the e mails and quite understanding of the topic and the trade.

Here Viktors re-modeled webpage:

As usual i have made up a sketch of what i want, scanned it and then described the project in an email before sending it off to Viktor, well Andy. The answer came a few days later, with a time estimate and a few questions. Mainly concerning my hand-writing on my sketches. I typed the hand written comments with reference notes into an email and got a quote a few days later. The entire project would run 150 at that time, with out shipping, as i would be able to pick it up at a large faire in Germany in April.

First off some stats of what i got:

weight: 800g
Overall Length: 33 cm
Head Length : 19 cm
Spike length (from handle) 7,5 cm
Axe length (from handle) 7 cm
Cutting edge (about): 7 cm
Steel : M1 (good steel from what i can tell but seems to patina very fast)
Heat Treatment: differential hard cutting edge, hard spike tip, soft main body
grip: leather epoxied to the handle

The axe looks extremly solid and well made. The corners are smooth and carefully rounded. The file work on the spine is a little bit uneven but nothing to fret about. The handle is very strong, unfortunately not shaped ergonomically. To be fair i didnt state that in the order but too that as a given. The metal plate in the handle is tight, just pokes out a little too much. The sharpness out of the box was not hairshaving but sharp enough as a "working" edge. In the underside of the axe is a little smithing flaw, it seems a chip of metal has fallen out. But that is cosmetic only, i do not think that there is any structural issue.

Unfortunately i lack comparison, however to me the axe feels very lively in the hand while still having a lot of authority. As a weapon for close up and personal work or as a emergency back up i would trust it fully. The axe seems to scream "use me" when i hold it. Swinging it around, recovery seems surprisingly fast for an axe. I do not doubt that the product need to fear any comparison. As mentioned above the shaft is very thick. My hands are just on the verge of medium to large and a little thinner grip area would have been better for me. My dad has large hands and he grips the handle just fine.

There are two things with the axe i would like to see changed, one beeing purely subjective. The head is secured to the shaft with a wedge as you would expect. Its very tight, doesn't move at all and does look -very- serviceable. As far as i know this is historically totally correct. Still here i would have liked to see the addition of a modern metal wedge that gets set into the wooden wedge in a 45 degree angle. Just for that added comfort of knowing it is there. As i said, this is purely subjective to me.
The work i have recieved from Viktor has always been reliable and functional first and foremost. Its just the optics, that could stand to be a littler better finished. The axe is not a display piece. And i didnt expect it to be. Its just that little tiny details that would take it from good to excellent that are missing.
do not get me wrong:
The product is a great ratio of bang for the buck so to speak. I did get my moneys worth and then some. And i will buy again from him. Actually i just send him another sketch the other day. To put it in a nutshell, if you are looking for something to use give him a try. You will not be disappointed. Andy and Viktor are pleasant to deal with.

For what ever reason i get an error when i try to attach files so here are the links to PhotoBucket.

I hope this has been an interesting read and helps people to make an educated decision.

Best regards to everyone


Memento Mori
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Tim Lison

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a nifty little axe! I like the filed detail on the top part of it. Congrats on a cool piece.
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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like a very good close quarter little axe, I really like the mass of the back spike and the file work on the top of the axe side.

It does also look that it has substantial mass but due to a short handle speed of use wouldn't be negatively affected.

Very nice overall. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Ken Speed

Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Fri 05 Oct, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


I guess the little visual flaws are more noticeable when one sees the axe in the flesh. If it's a working axe I wouldn't worry about it too much myself; the axe looks solid as a rock.

If you're concerned about the wedging, I'd expect that you could get a couple of wedges at a hardware store, it isn't a big problem.

I looked at the maker's website and I liked the Sax he has, a simple basic tool/ weapon. Makes perfect sense to me!

I think you're got a nice axe there.

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