Likpok wrote:The problem is that mauls are not designed for people. They are designed for splitting logs. Same with two-headed axes. They came about so you only had to carry one tool while lumberjacking. One head was for chopping, one for splitting.
IIRC the double bladed axe was so that when one blade started to dull you could flip it over and use the other one so you wouldn't have to stop and sharpen it untill you were done working. Also it gives you a perfectly balanced head so it won't twist and strike at a bad angle.
Cutting and splitting have requirements that are too different to effectively combine in one axe.
The combo is probably fine for an afternoon getting fuel for your wood stove, but if you do it every day you want different ones.
For cutting you want the head to be light so it won't drive in deep enough to get stuck and because you're gonna be getting in a lot of swings in a short period of time. If the head is as heavy as a splitter you're gonna tire yourself out far more than you would lugging a second axe to the job.
For splitting you need that extra mass to drive all it the way through that sucker in one hit. Then you stop and put a new log on the cutting block/stump or pause while your helper does it. This gives your arms a chance to rest for a few moments so your net energy usage is roughly the same as when you're cutting even though you're using a heavier axe.
There are some newer fancy versions that claim to do both but I'm going to remain skeptical Untill I've used one myself.
If the log has a big knot in it forget axes and use a chainsaw or dynamite or something. Even when the halves are seperated a big @#$%&! knot will still bind em' together untill you hack through that last strip of it. Leave the @#$%&! knotty ones for last or forget em' alltogether. Don't chop angry.
Maile has several advantages not directly relater to defense.
First, it's easy to fit. As long as it's big enough, you can "buy off the rack" so to speak like it's a t-shirt and doesn't need customizing.
Second, it doesn't impair your flexibility or ease of movement one bit. If it flops a bit here and there you can run a drawstring through it.
Third, it doesn't take a lot of skill to make. Once your blacksmith draws out the wire, you wind it, cut it, flatten the tips, punch the hole, pop in a rivet, flatten it, repeat 10,000 times. You can get the hang of it in an afternoon and so you can have everyone who isn't busy farming churn out buttloads of the stuff.
Fourth, it breathes. Even with the padding you still get some air circulation. Plate is like an oven in the summer.
Fifth, it's easy to maintain and repair. Stick it in a bag of sand, shake well and it's clean. Replace any broken links and it's good as new.
Sixth, you can throw on a couple pieces of plate for extra protection without a problem as they become available.
Seventh, it's comfortable enough to sleep in as long as you don't get it bunched up if you're worried about being attacked at night.