Gizmodo Loves Axes

Illustration for article titled Gizmodo Loves Axes

This morning, we decided we think axes are awesome. Beautiful, functionally perfected, and, yes, great for elegantly chopping the crap out of things. Below, a roundup of our favorite old school cutting contraptions.


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Best Made Axemaker's Kit

Best Made are the original badasses of the mega quality, immaculately designed American axe. But, at the moment, they're waiting until next month to release the next batch of domestic blades. In the meantime, however, they've paired up with Swedish axe legend Wetterlings for a DIY kit. For 140 bucks, you'll get two pieces of raw American hickory, a gnarly Swedish axehead, and sandpaper to finish it the way you'd like. [Best Made]

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Base Camp X Titanis

Base Camp was born from the original founder of Best Made, and the former's DNA is imbued into the new bladed babies. Base Camp's Titanis is a hefty $445, but it's a monster. A weighty 5 lb head with a 7-inch blade and 30-inch handle is designed to really wallop wood, leaving behind broad, deep cuts. [Base Camp X]

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Hultafors Handmade Hand Axe

If you need some chopping power for a smaller job, this $120 Hultafors piece is a killer choice. The blade is hammered out with sharpness and edge durability in mind, and sports a curved handle for one-handed leverage. [Orvis]

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Gränsfors Bruks Mini Belt Hatchet

Not every axe need be an unstoppable metal force of chopping power. Sometimes you just want something light and handy, whether for gardening, or slashing away a pesky vine on a hike. Gränsfors Bruks' $160 blade packs a 20 year warranty, along with a small, 2-inch blade for precision cuts and carving. This one's a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. [Boundary Waters]

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Gränsfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe

Or, you might just really feel like chopping a tree the hell down. This classic Swedish $130 chopmaster is handcrafted, with a thin, 3.5-inch curved blade aimed at slicing through fresh, sappy branches—not thick trunks. [Boundary Waters]

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Marbles Safety Axe

This $45 piece of gear isn't quite as refined as the rest—its blade is stamped out in China these days, rather than being hand-forged like the rest. But we really dig the now rarely-seen foldout safety cover. So, you know, you don't accidentally axe your pal's arm off while in the field. Or your own. [Boundary Waters]

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Best Made photo courtesy of Josh Abe

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DISCUSSION

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So tell me something.

What does one DO with a $500 Axe?

Seriously, I'm curious.

Is it just a fetish object that artfully hangs above their Brooklyn apartment's cement-filled fireplace?

Is it a symbol of how they will one day move out to the country and lead a more rugged life?

Do they take this $500 Axe on their annual camping trip and chop off a toe with the first wild swing?

I'm intrigued.

The last Axe I bought was on sale for $28 at the local hardware store. I spent another $300 on firewood and heated my house for the winter.

The $28 Axe is a BEAST. I keep it razor sharp. I rub some oil on it every once in a while to keep it from rusting.

It has no name.

It has no colors.

It has no other purpose than blowing apart firewood like a lightning bolt.

Are those designer axes cool?

Sure. I wouldn't turn one down as a gift.

But what the Axe represents...resourcefulness, knowledge of the outdoors, living a simple life... those ideals are instantly negated the minute you squander hundreds of dollars on a glorified symbol.

You know what's cool in my book? Knowing how to actually use an Axe well. Knowing how to sharpen it. Knowing how to keep a woodstove burning all night so there are still hot coals in the morning. Knowing how to take a few hundred dollars and do something useful with it.

So, if anyone cares to answer...what does a $500 axe do that my $28 Axe + $473 in leftover cash doesn't do?