Collins axes are some of the most iconic and recognizable tools used in lumbering, carpentry, and general outdoor work. These axes have been around since 1826 when Patrick Collins founded his business. Throughout the years, Collins has perfected their axe-making techniques to produce high-quality and durable tools that offer an efficient chopping experience. But with so many models out there, how do you differentiate a Collins axe from others?
In this article, we’ll be looking at the different ways to identify a Collins axe so that you can determine whether or not you have one in your toolbox. We’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these tools and provide some useful tips for making sure yours is authentic. Let’s get started!
What is a Collins Axe?
It has been around since 1826 when Patrick Collins founded the company that still produces them today. They are known for their distinctive look and feel – the head is usually made from drop-forged steel with a broad cutting edge, made to withstand rigorous use in tough conditions. The handle is usually made of hickory, so it’s lightweight and strong. 
Brands Produced By the Collins Company
The Collins Company was founded in 1826 and is renowned for producing some of the finest axes in the United States. Some popular brands produced by the company include:
- True Temper Double Bit Axes
- Kelly Perfect Axes
- The Eagle Hawk Axe
- Western Pattern axes (sometimes referred to as “The King of Tools”)
Each of these axes features a distinct design that makes them easily recognizable. The True Temper Double Bit Axes feature two sharp blades on each end, while the Kelly Perfect Axes have a single long blade with a second beveled blade at the top for removing bark from logs. The Eaglehawk Axe features a unique bird head-shaped handle with an eagle feather pattern along the blade, while the Western Pattern axes feature a wide, curved cutting edge for slicing through wood. 
Collins Axe History
Collins axes have been around since the early 1800s, when they were first made in Connecticut. The axe was popular among pioneers and soon became a staple tool for loggers and farmers. It is known for its distinctive shape and unique cutting power that makes it perfect for chopping wood or other materials. 
The popularity of the Collins axe grew in the mid-1800s, when its design was perfected and it became a trusted tool for loggers and farmers. It had two distinguishing features—an extended handle and an offset head—which made it easier to use with greater force than other axes.
The extended handle allowed users to get into tight spaces, and the offset head made it especially useful for cutting down trees. Collins axes quickly became the preferred tool of choice for loggers and farmers alike. 
In the late 1800s, the Collins axe began to decline in popularity as other more advanced axes became available. It was replaced by axes with lighter heads and longer handles that made them easier to use. Despite this, the Collins axe still remains a popular choice among loggers and farmers who appreciate its power and durability.
Today, there are several ways to identify a Collins axe. It is important to note that the shape and design of these axes have remained relatively unchanged since their inception, so it is helpful to learn how to recognize one if you are looking for a vintage model. 
Collins Legitimus Axe History
The Legitimus pattern of Collins axes was introduced in 1864 and continued production until the 1970s. It is still considered to be one of the finest lines of axe ever produced and sought after by collectors and users alike today.
These axes were made with attention to detail and craftsmanship that could rival any modern-day tool. They are well-known for their legendary strength and durability, with some users claiming that they can withstand impact from even the toughest woods.
The Legitimus line of Collins axes has a few key characteristics that make it stand out from other brands. These include its distinctive blade shape, which is often described as having a curved cutting edge and an angled handle. 
Types of Collins Axes
Collins axes come in many forms. Some of the most common varieties include:
- Single Bit Axes – These are one-piece axes with a single cutting edge and no hammer head. They are typically lighter than other types of Collins axes, making them great for small and medium jobs.
- Double Bit Axes – This type of Collins axe has two cutting edges that are set at opposite angles. This allows the user to work faster, as they can use both sides of the blade without having to flip it over.
- Hatchet Axes – Hatchet axes have short handles and wide blades that make them great for splitting logs. They also feature a hammer head on one side for driving nails or stakes into wood.
- Splitting Axes – These axes are designed for splitting logs, and feature a head with a wide blade and two wedge-shaped cutting edges. This design makes it easy to make clean splits in even the toughest of wood. 
Features of a Collins Axe
A Collins Axe is an axe that was patented in 1833 by Samuel Collins of Baltimore and manufactured from about 1835 until the late 1800s. The main distinguishing features of a Collins Axe are its unique head shape, handle shape and overall length.
The head shape on a Collins Axe is an oval-shaped wedge with semi-circular notches at the toe and heel, creating a point in the center. The handle shape is also unique, with an oval handle that is slightly flattened on one side. It also has a small lip or raised ridge at the top of the blade where it meets the handle. The overall length of a Collins Axe is usually about 24-26 inches long.
Collins Axes are typically marked with the maker’s trademark on the blade. Common marks include a single letter, such as “S” for Samuel Collins, or two letters with a small star in between them, such as “AC*” for Augustus Coates. 
Markings on a Collins Axe
Collins axes are known for the distinctive markings on them. Here are some of the most common ones:
- The “C” – this is the “C” shaped marking that appears near the head of the axe, which stands for Collins Manufacturing Company.
- The size number – located on the opposite side of where you would read the “C” marking, is typically composed of a series of numbers and letters. This size number represents the length of the handle.
- The diamond logo – this is located next to the size number on Collins axes and usually has either a single or double diamond along with other markings such as an anchor, arrow, or star inside it. This logo was used by Collins from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. 
Tips for Buying a Collins Axe
Here are a few tips that can help you:
- Get familiar with the different types of Collins axes – There are several different types of collins axes, including log-splitting axes, hatchets, and broadaxes. Knowing the differences between them will help you identify the correct type for your needs.
- Look at the label – Most Collins axes have a manufacturer’s label stamped on the head or handle of the ax, which can be used to identify it by make and model. This is often the simplest way of identifying a Collins axe.
- Check for markings – All Collins axes were originally hand-forged and have unique markings that can be used to tell a real Collins axe from a copy.
- Look for physical features – Different types of collins axes have different shapes, sizes and weight distributions, which can help you identify the correct model for your needs.
- Ask an expert – If you’re still not sure what type of Collins axe you have, it’s best to consult an expert. There are many knowledgeable professionals who can help you identify the correct model for your needs. 
Maintaining Your Collins Axe
In addition to being able to identify your Collins axe, it’s important that you know how to maintain it properly. Proper maintenance of your Collins axe will help ensure its durability and extend its lifespan.
- Always use a clean, dry cloth and appropriate lubrication when cleaning or storing your Collins axe. Do not use abrasive materials or harsh chemicals, as these may damage the surface of your axe.
- Make sure to store your Collins axe in a dry environment away from moisture and extreme temperatures.
- Avoid dropping your Collins axe or subjecting it to undue stress. If you are using it outdoors for felling trees, make sure to keep it sharp and well balanced for optimal performance.
- Periodically inspect your Collins axe for signs of wear and tear. If you suspect there is a problem, contact the manufacturer immediately to get it fixed or replaced. 
Are Collins axes any good?
Yes, Collins axes are highly regarded for their durability and performance. The company has been in business since 1826, and its tools continue to be popular today. The quality of the steel used in manufacturing means that Collins axes can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for.
Collins axes have a distinctive look due to their curved handle and chisel-shaped blade. The head is designed for maximum strength and efficiency, while the handle is curved to provide a comfortable grip. Collins axes also have a distinctive stamped logo on the handle – either an ‘X’ or a ‘C’. 
Where are Collins Axes Made Today?
Collins Axes are still made in the United States today, albeit on a much reduced scale compared to their heyday. The company now produces mostly specialty axes and hatchets, such as tomahawks and belt hatchets. Collins’ original factory was located in Lakeville, Connecticut, where they have been manufacturing tools since 1826. Many of the products they produced in the past are still available today, including axes for felling and limb trimming. 
When was Collins Axe company founded?
Collins Axe company was founded in 1826 by Samuel Collins, an early American settler. The business flourished and the company’s products became a household name in the United States.
What are the antique axe manufacturers?
The most recognizable antique axe manufacturers are Collins, Vaughan & Bushnell, True Temper, Plumb and Wetteroth.
Are plumb axes still made?
No, Plumb axes are no longer being manufactured. The company ceased production in 1982 and their tools are now considered collectible antiques.
Who makes the best wood axes?
The best wood axes are usually made by companies that specialize in the production of quality tools. For instance, Wetteroth Craftsmen and Collins Axe Company have a long history of producing high-quality axes that will last for years.
What is the oldest axe brand?
The oldest axe brand is Collins Axe Company. Founded in 1826, the company has been producing quality axes for almost two centuries.
What axe did Vikings use?
Vikings used a variety of axes for different purposes. They were known to use both single-handed and double-handed axes, as well as war axes and utility axes.
What is the mother brand of axe?
They produce a variety of body sprays, deodorants, shampoos and other personal care products.
What is the most famous battle-axe?
The most famous battle-axe is probably the Dane Axe, which was used by the Vikings during the 9th and 10th centuries. It was a heavy weapon with a long handle and a wide blade, making it an effective tool in battle.
Useful Video: Choosing the Right Axe – Things to Look For
In conclusion, identifying a genuine Collins axe is not as difficult as it may seem. With the help of this article and the above-mentioned tips, you can check out an axe and determine if it’s a real Collins or not.
It’s worth taking your time when making such assessments to prevent any kind of inconvenience that could arise due to your purchase. After all, a Collins axe is an investment and you’d want to make sure it’s worth the money you’re spending.
We hope this article has helped you determine the authenticity of a Collins Axe and given you the confidence to purchase one that will last for years to come. Good luck!