As I discussed a few weeks ago, it’s hard to find a decent, well made, affordable American made axe. The one of the few games in town (or in the nation, as the case may be) is Council Tool. They’ve recently tapped into the bushcraft/hipster community (I think they are somewhat related) and their prices have risen with the increased interest in their tools. I think you can partially thank the Best Made Company for the increased popularity. Good for them. I encourage capitalism.
However, I’m cheap and I’m not into shiny. Broke is really a better descriptor. In my search for the great American made axe, I stumbled onto the neighbor next door.
Yup. Lots of trees in Canada and I imagine there are less tree huggers, though I have no proof of that. I started looking into Canadian axe companies and happened upon the Garant company. They’ve been around for a long time and in America, you’ll find our hardware stores carry their snow shovels and rakes, but you won’t find their axes. Why?
In the last incarnation of the Sharpened Axe, we actually looked into starting a retail business and looked into selling axes. I knew plenty of companies that sold Gransfors and Wetterlings and even a few Snow & Nealleys, but I knew of no store that sold Garant axes. Come to find out, there’s a hefty price tag associated with importing “bladed weapons” from Canada to the U.S.A.
You read that right. “Weapons”. I’m holding up my thumb while I say it. Like a politician. I also hold my thumb up when I talk to people I don’t like.
Mother.of.PEARL. How many Lizzie Bordens were there? Really? An axe is a weapon? I’m betting in all of the stores in Times Square, you couldn’t find an axe if your life depended on it. Because nobody does drive by axings. It isn’t an efficient murdering tool.
But I digress about stupidity.
In all of my email correspondence with Uncle Bern, I mentioned that I was looking for a Garant. He mentioned that before the stupid law was passed, you could buy a Garant in the hardware store in our hometown. He said he bought one of the last ones before the .gov saved us from all of the mass axings that never happened in our globally warm environment.
He knew a couple guys who crossed the border into Canada now and again and we talked about placing an order, but it never materialized. Later, Uncle Bern sent me the axe pictured, along with scripture, which he usually adds to all of his axes.
It’s a great axe, especially for hiking and utility work. Sharp as you want, which I expect has a good deal to do with Uncle Bern. I keep the sheath on it when not in use, which I can’t say for every axe I own. I’ve had this one at the bus for awhile now, but now that plans are changing, I thought it would be best if it was a little closer to home.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel…..out.