Estwing E3-FF4 “Fireside Friend” Review

Estwing E3-FF4 “Fireside Friend” Review

Camping season is upon us and there is nothing quite like sitting around a glowing camp fire with some great friends. A cozy campfire can be the difference between a great night camping and one spent stuck in a tent, huddled in your sleeping bag.

The only hard part about this scenario is the fact that someone is going to have to chop down some firewood. I can remember many chilly Midwest winters spent haphazardly whacking at half frozen trees. I always took comfort in knowing all my efforts would be fully repaid.

Sitting around that cozy fire, sipping a hot chocolate made everything worthwhile. Splitting firewood can be a real pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Now, this age old experience can be much more enjoyable thanks to Estwing’s Fireside Friend chopping axe.

If you don’t have the right axe for the job, you are going to be working extra hard for half the results.  When Estwing decided to create the E3-FF4 they set out with this concept: to create a small axe with the performance characteristics and cutting power of larger axes. This meant the axe would need to extremely strong and remarkably portable.

The Fireside Friend is a great camping tool, especially because there are a lot of scenarios when a full size axe is not reasonable. You can use it to easily split logs, and the hammer side of the axe head can be helpful when it’s time to nail tent stakes in.

The Estwing Fireside Friend truly is the perfect tool for camping. The Fireside Friend fits easily in your hiking backpack, because of its ultra-portable design.

Features

Axe Head

The 4 pound head is perfectly suited for splitting logs with the grain. The patent pending double-tempered axe head design utilizes three tools in one. The E3-FF4 has a maul/splitting axe head that combines many characteristics of a felling axe. There is even a flat sledge back to assist in hammering threw larger logs. The Fireside Friend can easily split medium size logs with little effort.

Balanced Weight

Because of the E3-FF4’s lightweight design you don’t have to lift the axe above your head to split your logs. This increases safety and accuracy by creating the ideal leverage and power for easy wood splitting.  The balanced hammer design is comfortable and easy to handle.

Portability

The Estwing E3-FF4 is a small size splitting axe, weighing in at 4lb of true cutting power. The Fireside Friend is the perfect size for portability making it the ultimate camping tool. This is especially true when you are backpacking far away from your home.  This 14in long axe creates an incredible amount of striking force per swing. The short handle allows you to get maximum velocity using only one hand.

1-Piece Forged Steel

The one piece forged steel design makes the Fireside Friend an incredibly strong axe. It also increases its durability and lifespan by decreasing any weak points. Estwing promotes this axe as almost unbreakable. They are so sure of its quality that they include a lifetime warranty at no extra cost.

Advanced Materials

The blue UV coating and shock-reducing vinyl grip handle reduce impact shock by 65%. This added comfort means you can cut longer and stronger without fatigue setting in. The handle is optimized for comfort and extended one handed use, making this axe a perfect solution for portable application.

Pros

  • 1-piece design
  • double tempered head
  • balanced
  • made in the USA

Cons

  • no sheath
  • small size

Comparison

Estwing hit a homerun with the E3-FF4. Taking the place of your axe and your sledge hammer, the E3-FF4 is the culmination of years of experience in the axe making market. The Fireside Friend balances portability with splitting power. Its one-piece design raises the bar for ultra-portable axes. The UV coating is much more resistant than the competition’s alternatives and it provides excellent shock absorbing abilities. If you need a reliable splitting axe, that can easily fit into your camping gear, you won’t find a better option.

Verdict

The Estwing E3-FF4 Fireside Friend makes keeping the camp fire healthy easier and quicker. The solid steel one-piece design makes it a sturdy alternative to traditional axes. Whether camping in the middle of a forest or splitting logs for your fireplace, the Fireside Friend is an easy to use solution. It can be handled by any size individual with ease and comfort. If you plan on doing a lot of camping the Estwing E3-FF4 is the axe for you. Don’t be caught unprepared in the wild ever again. Let the Fireside Friend keep you cozy all camping season long.

 

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