Welcome to the Golden Age of Axe Making
Somehow, for some reason, we're in a golden age of axe making.
Maybe it’s the hipster lumberjack trend. Maybe it’s the influence of Best Made Company, which gained tons of attention a few years ago when they started putting racing stripes on axes. I don’t know.
I’ve been chopping wood since I was a kid and we just always had whatever basic axe we could get at Ace hardware. It was fine. It worked. I split cords without a problem. I missed the wood and hit the driveway. Sparks flew. The axe spent nights outside but it's still chopping fine. It was just an axe. But things have changed.
Axes, for whatever reason, have become highly desirable tools, even for city people. Perhaps it's because no hand tool embodies full-throated aggression and power quite like an axe. It stands for something bigger: brute force and hard work.
And I get that appeal. I just spent a ton of time replacing an axe handle and blogging about it. I love axes too. I love holding them. I love using them. And I love what they’re capable of.
And the axe has for years been an incredibly basic tool. It’s essentially two parts. Wood and metal. And there lies the beauty.
But the axe has evolved.
On the market now are a few very impressive pieces that contain little metal and in some cases no wood. The axe has been rethought and re-engineered.
With that in mind, here is just a brief look at what’s on the market. Places like Garret Wade have tons more to check out.
Fiskars 7884 X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch
Turns out Fiskars makes a lot more than scissors. This Fiskars axe feels tough as nails. While I haven’t used this one personally, I have a few friends who swear by it.
Probably the most engineered cutting edge axe on the market. The clever people at Vipukirves figured out that by off-setting the axe head, one can be about a million times more efficient splitting wood. Watch the video and be prepared to be amazed.
Northwest Axe Company
Looking for an axe with some character. Look no further. Andy Gregory at Northwest Axe Company refurbishes axe heads and gives them new handles, sometimes refurbishing old handles as well. The results are beautiful. Personally, this is more my style. I love an old axe and that’s done a lot of work and ready for more.
Another in the refurbished category, I came across Cooperhill on Instagram and have really been admiring the axes. All the work is done by Chris Garby a U.S. Forest Service volunteer who works with some old stock handles and also makes some cool artwork if you’re into that.
It sort of doesn’t get any more legit than a Gransfors Bruk axe. To say I lust after these bad boys would be a total understatement. I'm waiting until I have some land before I throw down for one but go ahead, have a peek at the goodness here.