National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Axe – 3-5lb., 26" Straight Handle w/Sheath

NFES Number: 
Storage and Shelf Life Checks: 

Initial Inspection/Disposal Criteria

  1. Inspect for obvious damage to head, cutting edges.
  2. Inspect for large chips in blade or cracked head eye.
  3. Inspect for any modifications to head, such as rivets through side of head to hold handle.
  4. Inspect handle for twisted, bent or open grain, if handle has been shortened or is non-standard.
  5. Return to stock if item shows no signs of use and passes visual inspection.
  6.  Refurbish if damage detected in the inspection process is repairable or handle is replaceable.
  7. Dispose of item if unable to repair.

Refurbishing Procedure

A. Cleaning

  1. Wash head and handle.
  2. Wipe dry

B. Repair

  1. Head
    •  Sharpen tool to specifications according to tool sharpening gauge NFES# 000510.
    • Tools should never be ground to the degree that the metal temperature raises high enough to remove temper, i.e. blue or burned edges.
    • Ensure that blade corners are square.
    • Paint tool head with rust inhibitor (cache option.)
  2. Handle
    • Sand handle if it is rough, chipped, dinged, or has any type of residue that did not come off during sanding.
    • When replacing handle, shape eye for a snug fit. Use high impact plastic or wood-type wedges with appropriate type of epoxy. Metal wedges can be added only in the field as an emergency measure and should not be used during refurbishment.
    • The bottom of the tool head should be within ⅜”--⅝” of the shoulder of the handle.
    • Cut excess off handle make flush with tool head after inserting wedge into handle.
    • Wipe handle with rag and linseed oil.

C. Tests for Performance

  1. On the head check that blades have not been tapered or rounded to the point that tools cannot be sharpened.
  2. On the handle check that it is not twisted, bent or is open-grain.
  3. Grasp the handle of the tool 2- 4” from the end with the head hanging down, but not touching the ground. Using a ball peen or similar hammer give the end of the handle a firm smack. Listen to the sound it makes. If the head is tight and the handle is free of defects, it will make a clear ringing sound. If it is loose or defective you will hear a dull thud, like hitting the end of a 2 x 4.

D. Repackaging

  1. For NFES #000707 install sheath (no NFES)
    • Package 12 each in NFES #000338 carton (37” x 18” x 7”).
  2. For NFES #000352 install leather sheath NFES #000359, package per local cache requirements
  3. For NFES #000383 install sheath NFES #000815
    • Suggested packaging is 6 each in NFES #000385 carton (7.25” x 9.25” x 26”).
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