When one sets out to build the World’s Finest Axe, one does not simply choose just any steel, one chooses the best. In this case it meant looking for the best available American-made steel that had just the right balance of: toughness, edge retention, and durability that goes into a striking tool with a bite. Axe head steel needs to be tough enough to handle the occasional accident like striking a rock or a nail. The axe needs to be hard enough to maintain its edge, and soft enough not to crack or shatter. An axe head made of the finest steel must also be hard enough to take and hold a sharp edge without rolling, but just soft enough to not chip or crack. It must be capable of being maintained in the field and not so exotic that you need a Diamond edge sharpener to get the job done.
Very few steels are perfect. So it is a matter of picking the right steel for the job. In our case we knew that we had a secret weapon up our sleeve and that was our heat treating expertise developed over years of hand forging: swords, knives, hammers, axes, and all other manner of blade or tool. When we added our heat treating into the equation we quickly realized that US-made 4140 steel was the steel that yielded the best results in our testing. So we set out to purchase a few pieces. Along the way we found a steel mill in Texas that had exactly what we needed. So we bought a little bit of good ol’ Texas made 4140 steel. Not just few blanks, not even a few bars. But a few dozen tons of the stuff to secure our needs into the foreseeable future. So don’t worry, feel free to buy as many axes as you want, we will make more.