September 24, 2012

Hardcore Hammers Hatchet - Review


Since we first heard about them a year and a half ago, we've been very impressed with Hardcore Hammers, so when they dropped us a line letting us know they were getting into the hatchet business, we were pretty excited. Then, when they asked if they could send us one to review, we went out and told the woodpile that the day of reckoning was near.


Through their hammers, HH has proven to us that they're a company interested in doing things right; well designed quality tools, all made in the US. Durable, innovative, cool looking, what else could someone want? We had high hopes for this hatchet.

So the hatchet showed up and once it was out of the box (2.6 seconds), we took a look at it and were immediately compelled to take it out to the shed to start hacking away at the kindling pile. We had too. There was no way we would have been able to look at a tool like this and not start using it right on the spot. The hatchet made by Hardcore Hammers grabbed us deep down in our ancient Irish ancestry.


We have an Estwing hatchet that we use (rather, we DID use, not any more) and it looks exactly like what it is; a pretty decent tool made in a production line. It works fine, no problems there, but it's just a stamped out piece of metal. it's got no flava, no mojo, no pulse. The Hardcore Hammers version of the same tool is brimming with craftsmanship and style.


We're really into the 'look and feel' of hand tools and that's where this one scores marks that are so far off the charts it's not even funny. The hatchet was obviously hand-made and we love that about it. It's covered with small imperfections, the kind that indicate attention and care, not negligence. A slight wobble in the shape of the head, an uneven surface along the face of the blade, that kind of thing. All of this combined with a very simple, effective and almost rudimentary design add up to a tool with a primitive feel, like it was made by Hawkeye from Last of the Mohicans. This looks like the kind of tool that some pioneer would not only own but he'd pass it on to his children when he gets too old to use it. To us, the fact that it's imperfect is what makes it perfect. Strange, but we're like that. We take handmade over machine made any day.


So we like this thing a lot and at $45 some could argue that it's too expensive. But the Estwing was almost $30, so we think that it's priced just right. If you take care of it (and you'd better take care of it), it should last you your entire life and maybe you'll be like that pioneer and pass it on to your kids. We're already planning on it.

The model we tried out is the Naturalist Curved Handle, but there are other versions available, including one commemorating the impending Zombie Apocalypse (true story).

At Hardcore Hammers

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at September 24, 2012 7:09 AM
Recent Comments

this review is an instant classic right up there with the poulan wildthing.

This looks like a great hatchet/axe , especially for the money. I have an Estwing sportsman axe, got the leather handled version which has a little personality to it over the rubberized blue handled models.

The funny thing is there's a whole tool sub culture of dudes modding and adding some flava to their estwing hatchets, all kinds too drywall, roofing, sportsman,etc, pretty crazy.

Posted by: Kevin at October 1, 2012 12:46 AM

$45? I'd call that a bargain. Thought for sure the price would be closer to the $100 mark.

Posted by: jeff_williams at September 27, 2012 4:30 PM
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