Axes are among the oldest tools in continuous use by humans. From a simple rock strapped to a wooden handle by early humans to the numerous specialized axes being used today, the axe has always been with us.

Explore how Brant & Cochran has brought the craft of axe making back to Maine, restoring vintage axes, the anatomy of the axe, their various types and patterns, how to use and care for your axe and then tour the rich history of axe making in Maine from the 1800’s to today. For a simple tool, there is a lot to learn!

Axe Making at B&C

Making an axe at Brant & Cochran

Do you ever stop and wonder about how Brant & Cochran takes a billet of steel and through the application of heat, pressure and skill hand craft axes that Field & Stream Magazine call among the four best in the world? We’ll explain our process with videos pictures and stories: See the forges, hydraulic presses, power hammers, anvils, kilns, hammer and tongs and just plain skill of our axe makers. 

The final result is a stunningly beautiful and functional tool that’s made to last for generations. 

Learn more about How B&C Makes Axes

Restoring Vintage Axes

Cutting handle off axe to restore

Should you restore your axe or let us do it? At Brant & Cochran, we’re renowned for bringing vintage axes back to life, showing that with skill and proper care, an old axe can be put into service for another generation. 

Learn whether that axe you found at the swap meet or in your barn or garage is worth bringing back to life (or worth sending it to us to restore for you!) 

Learn more about Restoring Vintage Axes

Know Your Axe

Regular factory brands of axes

For a simple tool there is a lot to learn about an axe. From what the different parts of the axe and handle are called, to the many different types of axes (racing axe anyone?), to the many different patterns such as our beloved Maine wedge to the monster Puget Sound double bit patterns there is a lot to explore!

Learn more about Your Axe

Axe Use

Chopping log with Brant & Cochran axe

We don’t just make axes. We want them to be used - safely. Safety should always be the top priority when working with axes. After all, proper grip, stance, and swing techniques are vital to prevent accidents and ensure accurate and controlled strikes. Wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, also helps minimize the risk of injuries.

Mastering axe techniques and skills not only keep axe users safe, but also opens up a world of possibilities. Whether it's chopping firewood, splitting logs, carving intricate designs, or even axe throwing, honing these skills allows for greater enjoyment of your axe.

Learn more about Using Your Axe

Axe Care

Using honing puck on axe head

To prolong the lifespan and maintain the performance of an axe, regular maintenance and care are essential. This includes sharpening the bit to ensure a keen cutting edge, oiling the handle to prevent drying and cracking, and storing the axe properly to prevent damage.

By dedicating time to axe maintenance, users can extend the life of their axe and ensure its safe use.

Learn more about Caring for Your Axe

History of Axe Making

Group of guys who make axes

Axes have been a fundamental tool for thousands of years. Originating in prehistoric times, early axes were crafted from stone, eventually evolving to copper and iron heads. The Industrial Revolution marked a significant turning point in axe production accelerating axe production and innovation. These techniques traveled from Europe to Maine where a number of makers made their own pattern – like the the Maine wedge – and put their own unique mark on the industry.

Brant & Cochran’s Allagash Cruiser is modeled on a Maine wedge pattern axe borrowed from the Patten (Maine) Lumbermen’s Museum and is made using some of the same traditional processes pioneered by Maine axe makers of the past. Their stories are compelling and Brant & Cochran is proud to stand on their shoulders.

Learn more about the History of Axe Making