Vintage Axes in Axe Throwing
Chances are you have seen an old axe or hatchet laying around at an antique mall, flea market or your grandfathers old barn and thought, "I wonder how that throws?". The old saying of "They don't make them like they used too" is especially true of old tools and axes. The steel used in these vintage axes just seem to hold an edge longer and have an appearance that only time can create. These axes were certainly not designed or ever intended to be used as a piece of recreational throwing equipment. It’s important to understand that because an axe or hatchet can be thrown, not all should be. Many of these relics belong on a wall, as a remembrance to a bygone time. So, it is important to do a little research before you start modifying and chucking the old steel.
Within the axe throwing community, the Plumb National Hatchet stands out as a piece of history that is often times re hung on a new handle and routinely flung at a target. The National design with its thin profile, long bit and near perfect weight and balance make it a great thrower. Although, throwing was certainly not its goal when it was designed many, many years ago, there are even modern axes being produced today that have taken its design inspiration directly from the National pattern. If you happen to find a National “in the wild” at a decent price, buy it. The increased demand for these hatchets has caused the price for this design to go sky high.
So how to tell if an axe is collectible or not? First, look to see if there are any unique markings from the manufacturer. If you happen to come across an antique embossed or etched axe or hatchet head, you should certainly take a moment to research it before modifying and throwing it. The heads with a unique design that are “carved out” are typically harder to find and not often mass-produced pieces. There is a good chance that it is more valuable as a collector's item. Among the more popular and expensive of these types of axes are the Black Raven and The Lincoln Axe.
If you happen to come across a vintage head that has a shape and has a design that lends itself to throwing but has no distinguishable markings the chances are pretty good it is no collectible item. With axes being a commonly used implement for hundreds of years, many designs and brands have been mass produced with little or no special markings. The valuable and collectible items tend to be the ones that are embossed, etched or still have the original old sticker label attached. If it has no distinguishable markings there really is no collectible value to it, so modify and chuck until your hearts content.
Resources for identifying Vintage Axes
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