Gamekeeper and deer manager Paul Childerley finds a small axe or hatchet invaluable for everyday tasks like chopping kindling, felling small trees and even knocking in pegs and staples.

Today, he’s demonstrating three from Gerber: the Back Paxe II, the Freescape Hatchet, and the Gator Combo II Axe & Saw. “There’s different lengths for different jobs,” he explains. He likes the strong plastic handles with a non-slip textured grip and a flared end so it doesn’t slip out of your hand when you use a bit of power.

The smaller Back Paxe II is a 9 inch hatchet that’s light and handy for making kindling or close, short work. The Freescape Hatchet has the same head, but with a longer handle making it suitable for larger jobs.

The Gator Combo II is larger again. “It gives maximum effect for minimum effort,” he says. “For me it’s a cracking bit of kit.” It also has a small hand saw stored inside the handle. “That is really handy,” Paul continues. “good for making pegs or trimming branches.” A magnet ensures the saw stays safely in position inside the axe handle until you need it.

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