Guns and Gear

James Brand Taps German Shop for First Hatchet Release

James Brand dropped a new model at the end of last week, and it’s a first for the company. The TJB Hatchet sees the Portland mainstay trying its hand at a different kind of outdoors tool altogether.

Hatchets fall into the small but distinguished category that we call “knife-adjacent tools.” They’re not knives, of course, but, being edged steel objects purpose-built for specific utility roles, they share a lot of philosophical elements with knives, and so many knife nerds take an interest in axes as well. And because of this, a fair few knife manufacturers venture into the world of axe production, with James Brand being the latest to do so, thanks to a little help from an overseas friend.

James has always emphasized collaborative efforts, and they’ve partnered with German axe manufacturer Adler for the TJB Hatchet. Adler has been around for over 100 years, producing axes near the Rhine river in Waghäusel, Germany. As a sub-genus of axes, hatchets are smaller, able to be used with a single hand for light to medium chopping chores.

All the things you would expect on such a tool are present and accounted for here on the TJB Hatchet. The forged head is made from C60 steel, which is notable here at KnifeNews for being the first steel in 2023 we had not heard of before – at least under that name. C60 is a relatively simply carbon steel and directly comparable to 1060; this means it’s a formulation that can stand up to the impact and shocks that axes need to account for more than pure edge retention.

The edge has been given extra attention on the TJB Hatchet

The head is affixed to an American hickory handle, which has been given a water proof sealant to preserve its structural integrity even during extended outdoors sojourns. The sheath is made from leather and slides over the edge before snapping into place. Speaking of edges, James says that they have seen to it that an extra keen one has been applied to the TJB Hatchet. Each one comes with a wooden gift box, a striking method of presentation well-suited to the upcoming holidays.

Featured Image: James Brand TJB Hatchet


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