History of the Woodman's Pal... Frederick Ehrsam was not only an expert on edge tools used throughout the world, but by the time he settled in Pennsylvania in the 1930s, the Swiss National was also an experienced architect, artist, engineer, manufacturer, and woodsman.
Over the next 10 years, all these skills would be used in the creation of a tool that would eventually influence modern forest and land management. Professionals in the forest and field relied heavily on the machete for clearing brush and blazing trails. Other tools were also needed to thin, trim, chop, and prune.
Frederick Ehrsam saw the need for a single implement that could not only perform the task of each as well or better, but could eliminate drawbacks like awkward weight or bulk, lack of balance or versatility, and designs unsafe for the inexperienced user.
In 1941, Frederick Ehrsam introduced the Woodman's Pal. Professionals in forestry, agriculture, and horticulture quickly recognized it as a historic achievement.
This new tool did not go unnoticed by the US Military. The Woodman's Pal, or "LC-14-B" in military terms, was standard issue from the early part of World War II through Desert Storm. GIs and the US Army Signal Corp. relied heavily on the Woodman's Pal for land clearing operations. At the time of the Vietnam War, the Woodman's Pal was designated the "Survival Tool, Type IV" and was issued in air crew survival kits.
Today, the Woodman's Pal is still praised by each new generation of forest and land managers, surveyors, campers, soldiers, and outdoorsmen. It is made in America by skilled "old school" craftsmen, just 19 miles from where Mr. Ehrsam's original Victor Tool Company began in rural Pennsylvania.
The Crafting of the Woodman's Pal... is virtually identical to the original. Its quality and integrity cannot be achieved easily, inexpensively, or en masse. Only the best materials are used. And all are treated with respect. The blade is SAE1075 cold rolled spring steel, hardened to Rockwell C47. A lower-carbon steel would not hold the edge for long. Harder steel (like SAE1095 used in fine cutlery) can become brittle in cold weather and can crack or chip with heavy use. The handle is shaped from a single piece of American hardwood, cemented and riveted to the tang. The belt-looped sheath is heavily stitched, and rugged. The concave axe blade is flat V ground.
From the blanking of the steel on the 150-ton press to the hand-lacquering of each handle, there are 23 stages of production. Some of these operations employ machines unlike any others in the world. All stages are done by hand. Edges are precisely rolled resulting in double-convex perfection.
Woodman's Pal Quality Construction
1. The specially annealed high carbon steel blade (hardened to Rockwell C47+-2) will not crack or chip even in sub-zero temperatures.
2. The concave axe blade is ground for extreme strength and offers superior edge holding capabilities. The blade will cut wood up to 1.5" inches in diameter with a single stroke.
3. The chisel sharp sickle hook slices through stubborn vines and briars, and removes unwanted sprout growth at ground level.
4. The line of balance runs precisely from the grip through the sickle edge creating a natural momentum for efficient swinging motion.
5. Black powder coating prevents rust and corrosion.
6. The safety toe extending one inch up the axe side of the tool reduces risk of deflective injuries.