The Hessen Woodworker is a lightweight traditional German cutting axe. It’s size, which nearly any user can comfortably handle, makes it a convenient go-to for felling small trees, splitting firewood, clearing brush, and limbing branches. Slightly too big to carry along on weight-conscious backpacking trips, the Hessen is better suited as a base camp axe, or for longer excursions where it can be stowed in a canoe, raft, or vehicle. The 2.75 lb Rheinland pattern axe head is a sharp, slim, wide-bit blade that will outperform most American pattern felling axes at cutting work. Handmade in Wuppertal, Germany, the pattern is named after the region's famous Rhein River Valley. The Rhein, one of Germany's most prominent geographical features, was a historically significant source of trade and growth for settlements in the region throughout the medieval period. Cutting axes like these were a daily necessity for peoples carving out towns and villages in heavily forested regions along the Rhein River.
Each piece is hand crafted by Helko’s Master Smiths, lifelong artisans of metalcraft. The Smith uses tongs on an open face drop forge to shape the head, a skill requiring impressive control and hand eye coordination that can only be achieved through years of practice. Once satisfied with his work, the Smith hammers the Helko Werk crown logo into the cheek. Only minimal supplementary work is performed, allowing each blade to proudly display its forging marks. No two pieces are exactly alike.
- Handmade in Wuppertal, Germany
- Germany German C50 high grade carbon steel
- Open face drop forged, heat treated, and oil-hardened
- Helko crown hammered into cheek 53-56 HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
- Crafted in Switzerland
- Sustainably sourced Grade A American hickory
- Individually selected for strength, grain orientation, and density
- Boiled linseed oil finish, 150 grit smooth sanded
- Hung with hardwood wedge and notched steel ring wedge