#5: Shopro Professional Scout Hatchet
The Shopro Professional is one of the most common axes you will see at most NATF locations. (Although this may be changing). Created in China by a company that is extremely hard to find any info on, the Shopro Professional has become the first axe most people learn to throw with. A fantastic beginner’s axe, the Shopro Professional features a 1.5lb forged steel head with a perfectly shaped American hickory handle. The way the axe is weighted makes it a perfect throwing axe, allowing even the most inexperienced of throwers to get into a rhythm pretty quickly. The biggest problem with the Shopro is the inconsistency of the axes you will get.
I purchased 3 of these and each one of them had different blade length and thickness. This isn’t always a terrible thing as it allows you to pick an axe that suits your needs. Having trouble with clutch? Get yourself a slightly larger blade. Looking to hone in on those bullseyes? Get yourself a shorter blade. Either way you are going to have to put in some work to grind these down and get them ready to really stick. New boards with these axes can be rough. You will likely need to adjust your throw by either stepping back or choking up on the axe because if these axes land flat their chances of sticking are slim. Overall the Shopro Professional is a great starter axe and with some work done to it, can become an incredible throwing axe.
#4 Snow and Nealley Campers Belt Axe
- 1.25 lb head weight allows you to throw this axe without much effort!
- 3" blade comes sharp and ready to sink deep into fresh boards.
- 13" hickory handle comes with a large nob but is easy to shape to fit your throwing style.
Available for purchase online: Here!
#3 Plumb Victory Rafting Hatchet
Most of these awesome hatchets were forged in Lewistown PA back in the 70s and 80s. This particular style has a very large 4" blade that just meets NATF regulations. This makes it a deadly axe for clutch. The blade does not curve upwards at all, leaving a ton of room for the hatchet to grab onto the board if you happen to be throwing too close.
This type of blade can sometimes cause what would be a 5 to be called a 3 but once you learn the proper lob throw required sinking bull regularly will not be a problem. The long thin blade and the max regulation weight of 1.75lb make it a great axe for new boards once you learn that it doesn’t take a ton of power to sink it, the weight does most of the work.
#2 Cold Steel Axe Gang
Cold Steel is a relatively new company, founded in 1980 and originally specializing in knives. They have always gotten inspiration from Chinese culture and you can see that with this axe which is actually meant to mimic the hatchets seen in Countless kung fu movies.
The Axe Gang comes with a great blade profile and won’t need much sharpening before its ready to destroy some new boards. While the blade profile is fantastic and comes very thin, this can also be a bad thing as the metal quality on the blade is very common and nothing special so the blade takes a lot of damage from hit screws and will take plenty of sharpening to maintain that edge.
The handle comes at a very long 16" so most throwers end up having to cut it down to get the accuracy they are used to. This is an easy modification and it turns the axe into a deadly accurate throwing machine. The 4 inch blade on the axe gang makes it a clutch destroyer, it just might take a little work and modification to get it there. One of the best parts about the Axe Gang is the price. You can get these bad boys on amazon for a little over 20 bucks so you can buy 2-3 of them for the price of a different hatchet without breaking the bank. Tons of throwers have switched to these axes recently and if you have ever thrown one you will know why.
#1 Plumb Victory Half Hatchet
This beautiful half hatchet was released during the golden age of axes and designed to be the perfect belt tool for a carpenter or roofer. While they were not originally intended for throwing the way the head is weighted make it the perfect throwing axe. Having all the weight focused in the hammer part of the axe head causes the hatchet to drive the thin blade deep into the board. With a little grinding the profile of this blade will be razor thin and with the hammer pushing it through it will stick to new boards with ease, even when hitting flat with the blade.
The squared edges of the blade allow it to stick well even when over or under rotating. These blades are one of the most common style of axe heads you will see when searching sites like ebay or etsy but it is important to keep an eye on how much of the original blade has been grinded off already. Since some of these blades can be up to 100 years old you will often run into heavily used blades that are missing a couple inches of axe blade. It is important to keep an eye out for this! The more blade you have, the better chance you have to crush that clutch.