BW Picks » Find

Best Made Axes

Make your man feel like Paul Bunyan.


If you live in Idaho, you likely either own or have had occasion to use an axe. You can buy a plain old splitting axe at Home Depot for $35, or you can go in for the kind of heirloom piece of equipment that's a testament to quality, longevity and design.

For that, you need an axe with a pedigree. Enter Best Made Co.'s American Felling Axe, which lays low trees and can also moonlight as wall art. These axes are crafted in North Carolina, where fourth generation axe-makers drop forge high-carbon American steel into a Dayton pattern head. The handle ("helve," in wood-chopping lingo) is lathed out of Appalachian hickory with a slender form to maximize safety and efficiency.

In short, it's the kind of axe woodsmen pass down to their kids. But it's clear New York graphic designer and Best Made Co. founder Peter Buchanan-Smith had something more than pure utility in mind when he began selling axes in 2009. Every felling axe is stained and the helve is hand-painted. Two models are named after Idaho towns: The "Challis" has a white and yellow handle capped by a black band, while "Emmett" has a pea green handle with a red and white stripe.

Every axe also comes numbered with Best Made documentation and a fitted leather blade guard—perfect for inspiring axe jealousy among your friends.