Whether you are deep inside the jungle or on a weekend camping trip, you need to be sure you can trust your gear. Being in numerous environments ranging from Middle Eastern deserts to South Pacific jungles, I have gone through enough packs, boots, knives, and equipment to know what works and what doesn’t. One item that I always keep in my “go bag” or on my tactical vest is the “Daniel Winkler II Hunter Axe.” This Winkler combat axe is 9 inches in length and constructed from carbon steel. The blade has a Caswell treatment that helps withstand the rigors of a “wet” environment and has a dark, no-glare finish. My axe handle is a rubber finish, guaranteeing a secure grip with or without gloves, wet or dry.
American Master Bladesmith
For those of you unfamiliar with Daniel Winkler, he is an American master bladesmith who has been custom-making blades since 1975. (His workmanship can be seen in the movie Last of the Mohicans.) He also constructs blades for many military Special Operators. These customized blades will puncture through car doors, thick webbing, and other surfaces that would dull out any normal blade. Each of Winkler’s knives are custom made in his shop — so as Quinn and I discussed — you are supporting America. Each of the blades and Winkler combat axes are hand inspected prior to shipping to ensure no flaws occurred during the refining phase.
The Axe Carrier
The Winkler combat axe carrier is custom made to accommodate the need and placement of the axe. I had my carrier equipped with a belt loop system, as well as being MOLLE compatible for most tactical vests and rucks. It comes with a loop that wraps around the carrier allowing freedom of movement when disembarking a HMMWV, MRAP, or helicopter. You never have to worry about it getting caught or hung up on something. The inside of the carrier has a felt lining so you can remove the axe without noise dispersion. The straps are “Pull the Dot” (meaning the straps will not accidentally come undone unless deliberately pulled), giving you a sense of security that you will not lose this item.
Features and Quality
The backside of the axe is flat and can be used for breaching car windows — which works extremely well by the way — as well as hammering stakes for camouflage netting/shelters, and chipping away brick walls or hardened mud. This axe has served me well in slicing through bamboo, hard wood, freeing a car door to open, breaking windows, and making fires. It is light weight and I don’t worry about it dinging, chipping, or otherwise breaking. Winkler has been constructing these blades for over 25 years so you can have a peace of mind when you pull this bad boy out.
Customer Service and Cost
Another thing I really like about Daniel Winkler is the customer service. When I called to place the order, he asked what I was going to use it for and what features I wanted. There was no automated system, no crabby customer service person – you speak with either the bladesmith or his wife. It meant a lot to speak with the very artisan behind the construction. Want to know what the cost is of one of these bad boys? My Daniel Winkler II Hunter Axe, with accessories, ran close to $500. Other products range from the high $200 to $700+. No matter your profession, I guarantee you can find a use for this axe. With its durability and quality craftsmanship, the Winkler combat axe will last you a lifetime.
Check out his website at www.winklerknives.com