If you use a badly damaged axe on a tree its ruined in 1 hit. A pristine axe can chop down a few trees, but still gets ruined quickly. The same goes for pickaxes used on stones. I have some tools that I've kept for years through 100s of uses, just saying ;)
- Legacy ID
- Find a tool (mentioned above)
- Use the tool to gather a resource
- Tool gets ruined in 1-10ish uses.
I just wanted to file this report.
I suspect it's an intended feature, like sharp tools wearing down with the use on cans.
But like you suggest: the degradation rate is way off.
An axe - a tool INTENDED for cutting down trees - that is used with some basic knowledge of the matter can last years without re-sharpening or anything.
Same goes for pickaxes and groundwork - only they're even sturdier! ;)