American Axe

The Tool That Shaped a Continent


By Brett McLeod

Formats and Prices




$30.95 CAD



  1. Hardcover $24.95 $30.95 CAD
  2. ebook $12.99 $16.99 CAD

From hand-forged axes of the Viking conquests to the American homesteader’s felling axe, this is a tool that has shaped human history like few others. American Axe pays tribute to this iconic instrument of settlement and industry, with rich history, stunning photography, and profiles of the most collectible vintage axes such as The Woodslasher, Keen Cutter, and True Temper Perfect. Combining his experiences as a forester, axe collector, and former competitive lumberjack, author Brett McLeod conveys the allure of this deceptively simple woodcutting implement and celebrates the resurging interest in its story and use.

  • "Part ode, part how-to guide, American Axe is a fascinating look at the essential tool." - Popular Mechanics 

    “Entertaining, endlessly fascinating, and a work of genuine scholarship. I’ve read a lumberyard-full of books related to the outdoors, but can think of only a scant handful that measure up to this one.” — David E. Petzal, field editor, Field Stream

    “Even if you already live with an axe in your hands, Brett’s deep appreciation of our essential companion will bring you closer to it.” — Roy Underhill, host of PBS’s The Woodwright’s Shop

    “An instant classic destined to be passed on to future generations, just like Grandpa’s axe.” – Craig Roost, Council Tool Co. manager and designer and Axe Junkies group administrator

On Sale
Oct 13, 2020
Page Count
192 pages

Brett McLeod

About the Author

Brett McLeod is the author of American Axe and The Woodland Homestead and an avid axe collector and restorer. Before becoming a forestry professor and coach of the woodsmen’s team at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack Park, he was a professional competitive lumberjack in the Stihl Ironjack Series and competed in the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series. He lives in northern New York with his wife and his collection of 200 vintage axes.

Learn more about this author