The best axes in the world cost around $200. That’s right, for $200 you can acquire something that Gransfors Bruks, a small Swedish company, has been producing with the utmost care since 1902. A blacksmith has hand-forged each axe, after which he or she stamps their initials into the axe head, the same way an AMG Mercedes engine maker scribes his signature onto the engine block. The result is an absolute treasure, which for someone heating his house primarily with wood can absolutely appreciate every time kindling is required.
I can drive down to my local hardware store and pick up an axe for $40. Why would I ever spend $200 and get something that will inevitably chop the same piece of wood the same way?
The answer is simple, and is something that our grandparents celebrated - Heirloom.
An heirloom is defined as a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations. How cool is that? Something that your parents cherished, and their parents cherished before them. Imagine your grandfather swinging his Gransfors Bruks axe. Using it to heat his home, using it to fell trees, and even using it to protect his house from burglars. One day, your grandfather takes your father aside and gifts him his axe. With it, probably some sort of sentimental message about always keeping it sharp.
Eventually, as with all good things, your grandfather passes. One day your father will pick up that axe and a rush of emotions will fill his soul. He is now heating his house, defending his property, and being a diligent man, using his father's pride and joy.
Without sounding repetitive, one day your father passes your axe onto you. This is now your story for your loved ones. The axe is no longer an axe, it’s a piece of you. A piece of the family. That $200 axe has done more than any cheap throwaway axe could ever do… It evokes a passion, it portrays memories, and it brings a smile to your face every time you swing it.
We need to embrace these things, these heirlooms. We need to bring back the romance of buy-it-for-life. We can find it in so many places. That watch you’re considering at La Mine D’or? Buy it. Those shoes that can be re-soled 10 times and last 50 years? Buy them. That handmade suit with the italian canvassing? Buy it. Let’s bring back the beauty of the heirloom - You’re saving the planet by not filling the landfills, you’re buying something you will enjoy every time it’s used, and more importantly, you’re creating a story - And that’s a beautiful thing.