Some designs are so good that they can stay unchanged for a hundred years. Estwing’s Sportsman’s Axe has been going for almost that long. Whether you’re camping in the woods, or just splitting kindling in the yard, you can always rely on it.
The axe pictured – now ten years old and still going strong – was forged from a single piece of 1055 carbon steel in Rockford, IL. The one-piece construction makes it not only incredibly durable, but also lightweight and well-balanced, as there’s no need for the handle to encapsulate the whole head. You can hold it at the top for a surprising amount of control when splitting kindling, or grip it right at the bottom for a powerful swing when chopping.
The grip is high-quality stacked leather which comes with a lacquered finish. The pro tip, however, is to sand the lacquer off, then oil the leather for a better grip.
The (14-inch model) typically retails for under $50, yet looks and feels three times more expensive, and should last a lifetime with proper care.