Noname Antiques » 19 Most Valuable Vintage Axes Worth Money

19 Most Valuable Vintage Axes Worth Money

There’s an interesting shift in America at the moment. Urbanites are escaping their apartments to start a nomadic lifestyle in vans and tiny houses. Others are buying up swathes of land for homesteading. And all these adventurers end up needing survival skills.

They might find themselves chopping wood, which is oddly satisfying and primal. But ask anyone that grew up doing chores on a farm – you’d much rather sell an axe than wield one! Let’s look at the most valuable vintage axes and whether you can make any money off them.

Most Valuable Vintage Axes Worth Money

1. Vintage Axe Double Bit True Temper Kelly Black Raven With Handle

Vintage Axe Double Bit True Temper Kelly Black Raven With Handle
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

If you listened to Google, you wouldn’t buy a vintage axe. But that’s from the perspective of practicality because they don’t work as well as newer ones. That said, the most valuable vintage axes are sold to collectors for display, so it’s a smart category for resellers to invest in.

  • Type: Double-Bit
  • Brand: Kelly Black Raven
  • Value: $445

It helps to be familiar with the types of axes that were used back then. The most common was the felling ax. It had a long handle that curved at the tip to enhance your leverage. This was what you used to initially cut the tree down, which is how the axe got its colloquial name.

 

2. Ancient Viking Battle Axe 9th-11th Century AD Rare Authentic Artifact

Ancient Viking Battle Axe 9th-11th Century AD Rare Authentic Artifact
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

At first, felling axes (used for felling trees) had a single side. A piece of iron was folded around a wooden handle and then sharpened to a point. Later, blacksmiths added steel wedges to reinforce the axe head. Steel lasted longer and could be worked into a finer, sharper edge.

  • Type: Viking Iron
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $395

These first axes were called single-bit axes, meaning you could only cut with one side. The other side was hard, like a hammer. This solid side was called the butt or the poll.  On the other hand, double-bit axes had two honed sides, though one was sharper than the other.

 

3. Fine G10 Missouri Grooved Hardstone Axe with COA Artifacts

Fine G10 Missouri Grooved Hardstone Axe with COA Artifacts
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

These two-bit axes were designed with functionality in mind. You used the sharper side to fell the tree and the duller one to split logs and chop firewood. The axes had straight angles for better balance on your swing. You might also find a broad axe on the reselling market.

  • Type: Grooved Stone
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $252

Broad axes were good for working on the trunk. They had a chisel edge, meaning the blade was flat on one side and tapered on the other. This differs from felling axes, which have a beveled knife edge on both sides of the blade so they’re more streamlined and lie flatter.

 

4. Rare Ancient Scythian Flat Iron Axe Head – Circa 500BC

Rare Ancient Scythian Flat Iron Axe Head - Circa 500BC
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

You can spot a broad axe by its handle as well. These handles were angled away from your palms to prevent you from hacking your own limbs off. The blades were narrower and had an indent or two between the blade and the handle for further safety while working with the ax.

  • Type: Scythian Iron
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $326.10

Some of the other trends in axe reselling include etched and/or polished blades, perfect grain alignment, and pine baths. Some enthusiasts also make a big fuss about bathing the blade in vinegar or oiling the handle for hours. Zoom in to what your buyers want so you can deliver.

 

5. Vtg Embossed Rogers Baldwin Hardware Co Springfield MO Double Bit

Vtg Embossed Rogers Baldwin Hardware Co Springfield MO Double Bit
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

The first thing to do when you find something worth reselling is to look it up online. You could scan the item or take a smartphone photo then do an image search for general information. Follow up by searching platforms like eBay, Etsy, Spruce, or Collector’s Weekly.

  • Type: Double-Bit
  • Brand: Rogers Baldwin
  • Value: $380
Also Read  21 Most Valuable Occupied Japan Figurines Worth Money

From a business perspective, it doesn’t matter what you (or your appraiser) think the axe is worth. Not unless you can find someone willing to pay. So check for ‘sold items’ and ‘shipped listings’ for proof that a buyer has handed over actual cash. That gives you better accuracy.

 

6. Ancient Roman Julius Caesar Elephant Bronze Axe Silver Engraving

Ancient Roman Julius Caesar Elephant Bronze Axe Silver Engraving
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

When you’re looking for comps (comparable items), glance at the number of watchers or bids. That helps you assess the demand for your category. Check when the item was listed to see how long it’s been on that online shelf and see if the price has been discounted over time.

  • Type: Bronze
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $380

If a listing says ‘best offer’ or ‘limited sale’ it probably means it was overpriced or had no market interest, so that’s important. For sold items, check the confirmed sale date. These things go in cycles, so it may have been worth $1,000 last month but is only worth $100 now.

 

7. Vintage Stanley Hewing Broad Hatchet, Axe, Curved Hickory Handle

Vintage Stanley Hewing Broad Hatchet, Axe, Curved Hickory Handle
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

Typically, axe collectors are looking for the tool (e.g. a hewing ax) or weapon (e.g. battle ax) even though they don’t intend to use it. So unless you have a specific buyer in mind, be wary of buying ax-shaped trinkets or jewelry. They can be displayed, but they may not sell.

  • Type: Hatchet
  • Brand: Stanley
  • Value: $101

Leaving the trinkets and decorative pieces aside, you could zero in on specialty axes such as the fireman’s ax. They have hooks, pikes, or adzes that allow firefighters to safely pick up a hot or burning bit of debris and toss it out of the way. Some collectors like this memorabilia.

 

8. Old Norwegian Big Carpenter Axe, Lumber Mill Axe, Lafte Ax

Old Norwegian Big Carpenter Axe, Lumber Mill Axe, Lafte Ax
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

Why do people buy old axes? We mentioned the return to retro lifestyles and activities. Cottage core and homesteading speak to that, and practitioners sometimes prefer period tools for authenticity. Others consider the contemporary pattern of planned obsolescence.

  • Type: Old Norwegian
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $1,147.50

This is when items have built-in death dates, forcing you to buy the newest model. It’s common with electronics and appliances. And it’s why your smartphone gets wonkier with every software upgrade – it’s no longer compatible with the latest OS, so you get a new one.

 

9. Rare Super Fine G10 Drilled Danish Hardstone Battle Axe wt DUAL COA

Rare Super Fine G10 Drilled Danish Hardstone Battle Axe wt DUAL COA
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

This capitalist marketing strategy (i.e. planned obsolescence) means older appliances are better quality. That stuff was built to last forever while modern ones are meant to last a year or two. But intentional outdatedness isn’t an issue with manual tools like axes or hatchets.

  • Type: Stone
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $609

Because these tools were forged with analog technology, newer axes are finer and stronger. So don’t buy that axe for yard work. The most valuable vintage axes – even if they’re still in usable condition – are largely bought for display. Handle them like porcelain to retain value!

 

10. Antique Bronze Carved With Silver Egyptian Inscription Calligraphy Axe

Antique Bronze Carved With Silver Egyptian Inscription Calligraphy Axe
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

Is a poll axe the same as a broad ax? Not necessarily. A poll axe is a single-bit axe that has a small non-cutting extension opposite the blade. Before polls (or butts) were invented, your axe would wobble, which would reduce chopping force and potentially cause nasty injuries.

  • Type: Bronze
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $520
Also Read  16 Most Valuable Beyblades Worth Money

The poll provides a counterbalance to the blade, so your axe moves in a fluid manner that’s more effective and less harmful. You don’t have this balance challenge with a double-bit axe since the two blades counterweight each another. But you’ll need to practice a two-bit stance.

 

11. Ancient Native American Indian Celt Stone Tomahawk Axe Head

Ancient Native American Indian Celt Stone Tomahawk Axe Head
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

You might get confused about all the different axe names. And while it’s not possible to look into each type, we can cover the basics. It helps to focus on their use rather than their market brands. For instance, a felling axe – which we mentioned earlier – brings down tree trunks.

  • Type: Stone
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $122.50

A broad axe is a hewing ax, used for refining and streamlining wood after downing the trunk. You can also use it to hack at the stump and uproot it. Broad axes are usually single-bit axes with a hefty poll. German broad axes have a scythe-like design called a goose-wing.

 

12. Old Antique 1850s Vtg Iron Hand Carved Engraved Barcha Battle Axe

Old Antique 1850s Vtg Iron Hand Carved Engraved Barcha Battle Axe
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

These goose-wings and other broad axes are sometimes called finishing axes because they’re used for the latter stages of logging. On the other extreme, hatchets are smaller tools that are portable enough to hang on your belt. They’re often categorized in the same group as axes.

  • Type: Vintage Iron
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $175

Apart from the size, the balance on a hatchet is different. You’re meant to use one hand while swinging it, so the construction and size of the handle – including its pivot points, leverage, and weight distribution are distinct from an ax. Ironically, hatchets can cause more injuries!

 

13. Vintage Antique Embossed Axe Hatchet Red Warrior Collector Rare

Vintage Antique Embossed Axe Hatchet Red Warrior Collector Rare
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

When you’re describing an ax, size does come into it. As an example, a medium axe with a 24” to 28” handle is defined as a boy’s ax. Some count this as the third category of axes, with the other two classes being single-bit a double-bit. Boy’s axe handles curve towards the tip.

  • Type: Hatchet
  • Brand: Red Warrior
  • Value: $399

The blade on a boy’s axe is lightweight, typically 2 to 2 ½ pounds. You might see it listed as a camper’s axe or a cruiser. If all this blade talk is confusing you, here’s a quick clue. Single-bit axes are for broad work e.g. felling and chopping. Boy’s axes do finer work like skinning deer.

 

14. Gransfors Bruk Tassie Axe

Gransfors Bruk Tassie Axe
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

Boy’s axes are great for camping situations where they help with tasks like fetching firewood. This is a smaller task than splitting logs because the wood used for campfires is mostly dried twigs and branches, so you may not need a full-size broad axe to cook or keep yourself warm.

  • Type: Felling Axe
  • Brand: Gransfors Bruk
  • Value: $527.93

Another way to classify axes is by the blade shape. These blades are sometimes regional and are forged to suit the type of wood in that area. So you’ll find blade shapes named for states. These include examples like Michigan, Connecticut, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Jersey.

 

15. Fine G10 Ohio Quartz Ceremonial Grooved Axe with COA

Fine G10 Ohio Quartz Ceremonial Grooved Axe with COA
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

We mentioned a fireman’s axe earlier, which tells you blades can also be defined by their industry or sector. These axes have specific features to suit their function. We already said firefighters need a pike, hook, or adz opposite the blade for handling hot debris during fires.

  • Type: Quartz
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $230.50

Similarly, a carpenter’s axe (aka woodworker’s adz) has a blade like a grub-hoe and a hammer-shaped poll. You may also spot a rafting axe for boat making. Then you have axes that are named for the style of their manufacturer. Samples include Rockaway or Young.

Also Read  21 Most Valuable Vintage Noritake China Patterns Worth Money

 

16. Wonderful Vintage 300-400BC Ancient Roman Bronze Axe Animal Head

Wonderful Vintage 300-400BC Ancient Roman Bronze Axe Animal Head
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

We’ve used three words here that may get you all mixed up, so let’s define them clearly. Felling is when you cut down a live, standing tree. That’s the part where cartoons and comedies yell ‘Timber!’ Or that riddle about trees falling silent and unheard in the forest.

  • Type: Bronze
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $135

Chopping is separating branches or subsections from a tree. This could mean cutting off sticks and twigs for a fire. Or it could mean dividing a large trunk into workable logs for transport. Splitting wood is the finishing stage, cutting those logs into grate-sized chunks.

 

17. Rare Vintage Evansville Us Forest Service Log Brand USFS Axe

Rare Vintage Evansville Us Forest Service Log Brand USFS Axe
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

What about hewing? When you fell a tree, it typically comes out in round logs where you can count the rings. These logs have to be slit and flattened into horizontal planks (e.g. 2 x 4s and 4 x 4s). This process is called hewing. In the modern world, it’s mostly an automated process.

  • Type: Log Brand
  • Brand: US Forest Service
  • Value: $362

You’ll see those oddly satisfying videos where a log is fed into one end of a mill and comes out the other side in long, streamlined pieces. But if you’re doing this manually, you need a long hewing ax, broad ax, or the duller side of a double-bit ax. Smoothen the wood later.

 

18. Rare Antique War Axe Ottoman

Rare Antique War Axe Ottoman
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

Visually, you can distinguish a fine-work axe from a rough-work one by the blade. Finishing axes have flatter, knife-like edges that give you a cleaner, deeper cut. They’re built to slice through the wood. But splitting axes are heavier, with a wedge-like shape and heavy impact.

  • Type: War Axe
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $441.79

The weight and heft of the wedge distribute force in an explosive manner. This is perfect for breaking up logs into fireplace-sized chunks. Just as an aside, axes are sharpened on both sides of the blade, but most broad axes aka hewing axes have a flat side and a beveled side.

 

19. Authentic Ohio quartz high ridged 3/4 grooved axe Indian artifact

Authentic Ohio quartz high ridged 34 grooved axe Indian artifact
Image Credit: Valuable Vintage Axes

If you’re buying vintage axes to resell, you may restore them to get a better price. It’s not difficult if you’re good with your hands, but you want to be sure your fixer-upper doesn’t ruin the value of your piece. You’ll start by cleaning the axe to take off any rust or surface gunk.

  • Type: Quartz
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Value: $336

Rust is fairly easy to get rid of, though it’s a labor-intensive task so you’ll work up quite a sweat. Expect to spend a few days (or even weeks!). Cracks are tougher to repair, and the trouble is you may not spot them until you clean the ax. Replacing the handle is standard.

 

Tips on Finding the Most Valuable Vintage Axes

YouTube videos yell, ‘Don’t buy one!’ But if you still want to, here are some tips:

  • Browse auction sites to see the kinds of axes people want.
  • Popular features include collars, Swedish steel, and scorched or blackened handles.
  • You’re probably buying to resell, so focus on the ‘sold items’ tab.
  • Think carefully about delivery – the metal could set off security alarms!
  • Metal is heavy too, so factor that into your shipping costs.

Do you have advice about the most valuable vintage axes? Tell us in the comments section!

1 thought on “19 Most Valuable Vintage Axes Worth Money”

Leave a Comment