How to Date a Collins Axe: Two Important Aspects

Collins axes are so famous worldwide due to their efficiency and durability. Since Collins’s axe is so popular worldwide, a common question we hear is how to date a Collins axe. Getting a vintage Collins axe is great but dating the original history of the Collins axe is sometimes a tricky task for many people. You should all know the tricks and tips for correctly dating a Collins axe. So, let’s get into how to date a Collins axe properly without further delay. 

History of Collins Axe 

Collins’s axe was named after the inventor of this axe, Samuel Watkinson Collins, who founded Collins’s company in 1826. This guy was so young, only 24 when he introduced this axe. At that time, it was hard to find a polished, forged, and handled axe like the Collins axe. Though this kind of axe is so common in this world, Collins’s axe was so widespread among the collectors, builders, and loggers in that era. 

Collins wanted to introduce a type of axe that would be considered standardized, well-made and produced on a larger scale. In 1831, he recruited more than 40 employees who successfully started producing double-bit and single-bit axes from this factory. Afterward, this factory improved its manufacturing procedures and quality to provide better axe heads. The company suffered a lot in the 1955s and 60s due to a severe flood. The flood damaged a significant part of this factory. 

In 1966, the company shut down its business, and the South American operation of this company was sold to Stanley Tool and the Domestic US Operation. Mann Edge Tool Co. of Lewiston in Pennsylvania bought Collins company. In 2004, this company was sold to Truper Herramientas and shifted to Mexico. The company and its axes are still famous for the best-made axe manufacturing process. 

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What are the currently produced Collins Axes?

  • Hatchet
  • Half Hatchet
  • Splitting Maul
  • Hunters Axe
  • Pulaski Axe
  • Single-bit Axe
  • Double-bit Axe
  • Mattock
  • Splitting Wedge 

The Brands Produced by Collins Company 

  • Legitimus 
  • El Martillo
  • Luchador
  • Collins Shoprite or Chromite
  • Rayo
  • Red Knight 
  • Fleetwood
  • Hercules 
  • Collins Bonded Axe
  • Red Seal
  • Homestead 
  • Dynamics
  • Old Timer
  • Commander 

Why is It Difficult for Many to Date a Collins Axe? 

It would be best if you went through some stages when you want to identify and date an axe. Dating an axe is not always easy because sometimes the old histories of historic manufacturers are no longer retained with the brand. The company’s print material is thrown out once it is purchased by another or changed its hands. Dating a Collins axe is sometimes difficult for many because this brand also changed its hand several times. However, there are some straightforward ways to date a Collins axe.

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How to Date a Collins Axe: 2 Steps to Remember 

Many people search over the internet about how to date a Collins axe after they find one at an auction. There are some signs to identify the authenticity of the Collins axe brand. You need to consider two factors to date a Collins axe properly. 

Check out the Logo on the Axe Blade

The logo on the Collins axe blade can help you date the axe. Before 1966, the Legitimus brand of Collins company used a square logo, but it changed its logo after 1966. The square logo determined that it could be a vintage axe. The company changed the logo from square to rectangular between 1966-2003, but that logo doesn’t determine the real Collins axe. As a user, you must know how to find the authentic Collins brand, and to do that, you must know how to identify the brand logo and catalog. 

Use your Strong Guess

Sometimes, you might not get accurate information only by identifying the logo on the axe blade. What to do, then? You can use your brain to guess other options. Supposedly, you found a vintage old Collins axe and searched for the logo on the blade. The axe can be so rusty that you fail to find the logo’s origin. In that case, you can analyze the axe brand’s catalog to guess what the origin could be. A catalog contains the axe’s picture, which helps the user to compare the looks. 

If you check out the logo closely and correctly, you will be able to determine whether the axe is pre-Mann or post-Mann manufactured. You already know different Collins brands, all of which had different logo identification in different shapes, like Sam. W. Collins, R. King, B.X Swift, W.Collins, and Bv Wise. You can see the logo sealed on the axe blade. 

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Are Collins axes better than most other axe types?

Yes, Collins axes are reputed for their high quality. The authentic Collins axes are rare to find today, but those axes are still considered a high-standard tool in the USA.

Why did the Collins axe brand establish a reputed position worldwide? 

The Collins brand quickly spread its business from a tiny one to a large factory. The Collins company produced high-quality, polished, and pre-sharpened axes that made the brand famous worldwide. 

When did the Collins company close its business? 

Though the brand ran strongly until 1930, it changed hands multiple times. After running its business for 140 years, the company shut down entirely in 1966. 

Who bought the Collins brand after closing down its business? 

Stanley Tool bought the South American operations of the Collins company. Later, the company’s domestic US operations were sold to Mann Edge Tool Co., including the Collins name. 

Why did the Collins company close the business despite rising too fast successfully? 

The company faced massive damage due to a flood in the ’50s or ’60s. The competitors of this company made it difficult for them to rise again and survive. So, it had no other way but to shut down its business after running for 140 years. 

Final Verdict 

Many woodcutters and loggers like Collins axe as this axe brand was the master of craftsmanship. Though this axe has become a second-hand brand for the last few decades, the brand’s popularity is still high among people.

Besides, getting ideas about the history and the types of the Collins axe will help you to know how and why the brand is still famous to the axe collectors. 

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Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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