This is the Ono Kezuru Hatchet, each is made by hand by the team at Neru Design Works in Japan, and the steel axehead is forged at the world-famous Tsubame-Sanjo Cutlery in Niigata.
Neru Design Works was founded with the primary goal of developing a series of adventure/outdoor related equipment that would actually get better with the passing of time. They explain that in Japan (and many other regions), older products are often seen as less valuable, and they want to turn this on its head.
In the years since it was founded Neru Design Works has developed a wide range of equipment including everything from tents and camp tables to sleeping bags, hatchets, hammers, and more. The company’s gear has long been popular in Japan, and in recent years they’ve begun working with overseas outfitters to increase their reach.
The Ono Kezuru Hatchet
The Ono Kezuru Hatchet features a distinctive handle made from hand-shaved White Oak. The scallops taken out of the wood form a beautiful pattern, but they also significantly improve grip, and they’re designed to wear over time to mold into the shape of the user’s hand.
The hatchet has a leather tether attached through a hole in the base of the handle, this goes around the user’s wrist when the axe is being used to ensure it doesn’t fly off accidentally and cause injuries or damage.
Each axehead is hand-forged at Japan’s famous Tsubame-Sanjo Cutlery, it’s able to carry a very sharp edge, and it responds well to sharpening – Neru Design Works explains that the blade will get better each time you sharpen it.
The Ono Kezuru Hatchet comes with a leather sheath to ensure the blade is safely tucked away when it’s not in use, this also helps protect the axehead from the elements. Due to the unusual design of the hatchet it makes an excellent display piece in-between camping trips.
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