The True Story of the Pulaski Axe

There’s something so alluring about old tools, maybe linked to our inner desire to get outside and forge a path. Barebones Living has captured that desire and used it as their inspiration for crafting the perfect collection of outdoor essential tools. 

Courtesy of Barebones Living

The crown jewel of this collection is the Pulaski Axe. Ed Pulaski, a local Forest Service ranger from early 1900s Idaho, designed the axe after a famous incident in which he saved 45 men while fighting a fire that was on course to destroy the town of Wallace, ID. In August 1910, “The Big Burn” fire swept the Idaho-Montana border and volunteer firefighters ran into the burning forest. 

Courtesy of Barebones Living 

Barebones Living tells the rest of the tragic story, 

"As the fire grew, Pulaski led his men to take cover in an old mine shaft. Emerging the next day, they’d lost five of their men to suffocation and most others were badly wounded. Pulaski himself suffered blinding burns to one eye and permanent lung damage. He sought care for his men from the Forest Service, but it had been largely disbanded under President William Taft and help was not available. Newspapers eventually caught wind of the wounded volunteer firefighters and public outrage erupted. There was a new wave of support for Forest Service reinstatement, which would eventually happen under President Theodore Roosevelt".

Courtesy of Barebones Living 

Pulaski was heralded as a hero for saving all but those five men with his knowledge of the forest and firefighting. He took that tragic experience and crafted a tool that would be carried by forest firefighters to this day for its strength and versatility: The Pulaksi Axe. 

The Pulaski Axe

The axe itself is designed not only for chopping wood but also cutting through roots and digging trenches. Barebones Living takes this iconic design and improves it with a 1055 high carbon steel split blade, removable hex nut for easy re-handling, durable 21 inch beechwood handle, and steel pommel at the base of the handle for hammering. While you may not use your Pulaski Axe for fighting fires in the wilderness (though let us know if you do!) it is the ideal tool for digging out planters boxes, chopping wood for those backyard bonfires, and hacking out roots for stump removal. 

The Hori Hori Classic

If you’re looking to fully outfit yourself for gardening and other yard projects this summer, Barebones Living’s Woodsman collection has everything you need. The Hori Hori Classic digging tool was originally used for careful and methodical excavating of plants in Japan, such as Sansai, in the mountains.  Its rounded top and serrated sides make it ideal for scooping, digging, and pulling weeds. Our favorite feature: the added twine cutter doubles as a bottle opener, so you can enjoy your choice of refreshing beverage after a hard day's work. 

 The Japanese Nata Tool

Another implement inspired by Japanese heritage tools, the Japanese Nata Tool unites versatile function and refined durability. The stainless steel machete-like blade makes clearing brush, stripping bark, planking wood, and making kindling easy and enjoyable. 

The Woodsman Collection

The Pulaski Axe and other tools from the Woodsman collection will look just as great hanging on your wall as they do working in your yard. Consider adding these iconic pieces to your gardening arsenal as you tackle fun weekend projects this summer and shop the rest of the collection here. 

Square Hand Hoe

Spade Hand Trowel 

No. 6 Field Knife

Explore The Woodsman Collection Here 

Pulaski Axe by Barebones from Barebones on Vimeo.

 Written by Connor Roe

Source: Barebones Living