Why an axe? As an outdoor icon, the axe seems ingrained in many people’s mind as the go to tool. It chops, splits and pounds. An axe is simple, rugged and easy to maintain. It’s also slow, heavy, and inefficient — at least when it comes to collecting wood for a campfire. And it is with this purpose in mind that we’ll look at why modern saw design far surpasses the cutting ability of a small axe, or for those who prefer, “hatchet”, when cutting firewood in the back-country.