I was reading a story in New York Magazine, “The Urban Woodsman,” and found myself drawn to this gorgeous tool from the Tribeca, NYC-based Best Made Company. I immediately wanted one because of its sleek curves, bright color, and elegant “courage” stamp, but the price ($250) set me back. I’d love to hang it above our fireplace, but that seems silly — especially when there’s a tree in our backyard that my wife is convinced I cannot cut down by myself.
The Best Made Co. shapes and masks off the handle, “then we prime it and spray on multiple layers of high-quality graffiti paint.” High-quality graffiti paint?! Sorry, Best Made Co., you had me at “courage” but lost me at “graffiti paint.” (I do give them credit for out-sourcing the important part — the ax head — to a 100-year-old company in Maine, where they make the fine-grained steel heads by hand.)
I now find myself Googling “wood axe,” which strikes me as one of the most un-manly things I could be doing. I could pick up a simple, cheap axe from Lowe’s (Kobalt 3-1/2 Lb. Michigan Axe with Hickory Handle, $30). But I think the best compromise would be the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe, $120.
It’s made by a small, Swedish family-operated company formed in 1902, and is as beautiful as the trendy one from Tribeca. And besides, I could always paint my own orange handle. Timber! — Chad H.