The Barebones Pulaski Axe is a modern version of the legendary Pulaski axe which was invented by Ed Pulaski in 1911 to fight forest wildfires in the United States.
Pulaski created a new kind of axe with a traditional vertical blade on one side and a smaller horizontal blade on the back. This allowed the Pulaski axe to effectively cut down trees and undergrowth whilst also allowing it to be used for digging holes in root-bound or hard soil to create trenches and make fire breaks.
Ed Pulaski later became a nationally celebrated hero after he saved all but 5 of his 45 man crew during the “Great Fire of 1910”, also known as the “Great Idaho Fire” and the “Big Blowup”.
Above Image: This cutaway shows the solid steel core of the axe that connects the axe head with the pommel base.
Pulaski was overseeing his crew 5 miles south of Wallace, Idaho when the fire trapped them in – Pulaski was able to stay calm and led the men to abandoned prospector’s mine that he remembered being in the area. Once they were all inside he told the men in no uncertain terms he would shoot anyone who tried to run for it – knowing that panic may set in and cause men to run out into a certain fiery death.
Many of the 40 survivors, including Pulaski, suffered lung damage, burns, and eye damage as a result of the fire passing the mine. He spent years fighting for the rights of injured firefighters and became a bit of a national celebrity in his own right. The mine entrance is now known as the “Pulaski Tunnel” and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nearby Mount Pulaski, a 5480 ft mountain near Wallace, was also named after him.
The Barebones Pulaski Axe is a modern version of the famous firefighting tool, it has a head made from 3 lbs of hand-sharpened 1055 carbon steel with a rounded blade for chopping and splitting, and a horizontal mattock blade for cutting and grubbing.
The axe has a durable 21 inch Beechwood handle and unusually it has a 1/3” solid steel core that runs through the centre of the wood handle to secure the head with a tightening hex bolt, and it connects the head to the steel pommel in the base which can be used for hammering.
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