How to Date a Craftsman Axe: 2 Practical Steps

You can use an axe for an extended period if you can store or maintain it properly. An axe is used primarily for woodcutting and hunting, but there are many other usages too. A vintage craftsman axe could be a great choice among other axes. The craftsman axe is a highly effective tool or garden equipment. Unlike many other axe types, craftsman axes serve better when they age. A few steps will be described here about how to date a craftsman axe. 

Types of Craftsman Axes

People have created and used different axes long ago for hunting and woodcutting works. You know that many kinds of axes are used for numerous purposes. Some very common and most-used axes include felling, forest, hatches, splitting, carpenters, broad, tactical, hub, and many more. However, we can divide two categories of axes based on the blade type of the axes.

  1. Single Bit Axe: These axes only have one blade on the axe head. 
  1.  Double Bit Axe: These axes have two symmetric blades on the axe head; one blade is blunt, and another is sharp. 

Steps to Date a Craftsman Axe 

Step 1: Understanding the Craftsman Axe Head

Don’t forget to focus on two different things to understand about an axe head– forging and casting. Now, you may ask, why should you highlight these two things? The reason is that the technique or process used to make an axe head determines whether the axe is a new one or a vintage one. For understanding and making an axe head, forging and casting are excellent methods. 

Forging is the method used for an axe by which a metal must be melted and stricken until it achieves the correct shape, sharpness, and angle. As a user, you should try to find a hammer mark on the surface of a forged axe. 

When the user or a craftsman axe maker pours some liquid metal into both sides of a mold that allows the metal to create a bond, this is called the casting method to create an axe. When the metal pieces become mixed, you can observe a visible seam. 

Step 2: Finding out the Craftsman Head Markings

As you move forward to the next step, you should look for the logo of your craftsman axe brand on the axe’s blade. Sometimes the logo can be found on the flat surface of the axe’s head. There is nothing to worry about identifying the company’s etching on the craftsman’s axes. The craftsman axe user can look over the virtual catalogs that show the company’s labels, the years in which the axes were featured, and logos after they identify the manufacturer. After that, you need to compare the craftsman’s head markings to those in the catalogs, and you can identify the time when the axe was made first. 

Recommended: How to Store an Axe: 13 Ways to Deal with the Task

Know about Craftsman Date Coding Technique

The axes contain different codes. The old axe’s code will never be the same as the newer or recent one. You will see different date code charts for different craftsman series. However, you might be confused since about 450 craftsman tools were bought between 1960 and 2008, for which it isn’t very easy to date all the code. It was even more complicated to date the axes correctly, which were manufactured before 1960. 

Dating a craftsman’s modern axe is different from an old craftsman’s axe. Whereas it is easy to date a modern craftsman axe from the serial number in the axe head or handles provided by the manufacturer, the old one doesn’t have any serial number. To date an old craftsman axe, you can identify the axe brand’s logo. 

Dating a Craftsman Axe Using Serial Number 

You should find out the serial number first, where you can see some digits are written there without any gap. The first six digits in the serial number are the manufacturer’s date- the first two digits stand for the month, the second two for the day, and the third two for the year when the axe was manufactured. 

Dating a Craftsman Axe Using a Logo

When you can’t see any serial number in the axe, choose the method of dating a craftsman axe from the company’s logo. Craftsman has changed its logo multiple times since 1927, but the logo it used in 2015 is still in use to show its brand identity. The company gives the sticker of their logo on the axes. You may find a pitted stamped logo on the axe head if the sticker is not there. This is how you can quickly date your craftsman axe from the stamp. 

Related: What Is a Michigan Axe? The Best Informative Guide


How to date a modern craftsman axe?

The modern craftsman axe manufacturers give a serial number on the axe head or handle. By locating the serial number, you can quickly date a craftsman axe.  

How can I remove rust from an old craftsman’s axe head?

The research says white vinegar or linseed oil work too well to remove rust from a craftsman’s axe head. Soak it in the vinegar and scrub the point with a wire brush until the rust is gone. 

Is it suitable to oil the axe handle?

Yes, it is. Oiling the axe head can protect the handle from being affected by rust or other elements. Besides, it would be best if you oiled the axe handle to keep it strong, smooth looking, and flexible. 

What should I do before sharpening my rusty axe?

Before sharpening a rusty axe, you must remove the rust first using steel wool, coarse-grit sandpaper, or a rust remover. Rub any elements, from the handle part of your axe to the blade. 

What’s the job of a double-bit axe?

A double-bit axe has many usages like cutting, splitting wood, chopping, etc. It can be used for large-scale Projects such as felling trees or small-scale woodworking projects like backyard landscaping. 


It is easy for anyone to date a craftsman axe. The above steps may have fulfilled your possible requirement on how to date a craftsman head ideally. The user should be concerned about the techniques related to the axe head processing and dating craftsman logos to date a craftsman axe. If the user feels stressed with this process, he can also try to identify the catalog of the craftsman axe.

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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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