When you find a Collins axe at an auction, it makes you wonder how to identify a Collins axe? I have heard people arguing over the internet about the signs you can use to ensure the authenticity of a Collins axe. So that’s what I’ll be talking about today.
Additionally, you will get to know a bit about the history of the Collins axe. So, keep reading to learn everything about Collins axe.
How to Identify a Collins Axe – In-Depth Guide
Let’s talk about what you came to know here first. There are a lot of labels that look similar to the Collins labels. However, not all of them are from that company.
All Collins labels include the name ‘Collins.’ You may find other labels that look a lot like the stamps or marking Collins used to have. But as long as they don’t have the name on them, it’s not from Collins.
Some Collins axe patterns have ‘M’ curved on the head. This can indicate either Mann or Mexico. Either way, you can be sure that the axe was made by a company that originated as Collins. The Collins only made axes till 1966, after which it was sold to another owner.
Till today, there are many brands running that originated from Collins. However, it’s rare to find an axe that dates back to the time when the original company existed.
Check for dates on the label. That’s the best way to determine whether the axe was made by the original Collins brand or not.
Collins has evolved through the years a lot. There are many brands under that name. Let me mention the names so that you know which products are from Collins.
Brands Produced By the Collins Company
- Old Timer
- Red Seal
- Collins Bonded Axe
- Red Knight
- El Martillo
- Collins Kromite or Choprite
Collins Axe History
Collins has come a long way since its first day. The brand was first created by a young man named Samuel Watkinson Collins. He was only 24 years old when he started the company. The idea was to mass-produce axe for the people.
Axes weren’t conveniently available at that time. Smiths used to make axe heads for the people, and they would then sharpen them and make handles for them. It was a bothersome task to do for a tool that was so widely used.
The ready-made axes Collins made were soon popular among users. The company became so successful that Collins employed forty employees in the first five years of the company.
The tools were good too. When Collins hired Elisha K Root, the company saw more success than ever. Root implemented some innovative systems to save time. Besides, he ensured consistent heat treatment to all the axes which allowed the company to improve quality as a whole.
It was reported in 1859 that the company was producing around 2000 tools on a daily basis. In addition, 350 employers were working for Collins by that time. The brand also expanded its business by introducing new tools like sledgehammers, adzes, hoes, picks, cane knives, Spanish machetes, etc.
The company started to drown in the fifties and the sixties. It started because of a flood that caused huge damage to the operations. But eventually, the competitors made it impossible for the company to survive in the market. After operating successfully for 140 years, the company shut its door in 1966.
Mann Edge Tool Co. of Lewiston, Pennsylvania, bought the name Collins. Then, in 2004, the name was bought by Truper Herramientas, who shifted the manufacturing to Mexico.
Collins Legitimus Axe History
Many people wonder where the Legitimus word came from in Collins history. Collins faced a lot of fraud operating under the Collins name. The labels these fraud companies were making were very close to the original ones.
After a lot of legal procedures, Collins was able to turn the number of frauds down. The brand introduced the Legitimus label after that. It had a logo that combined a crown, an arm, and a hammer. The label had Legitimus written under the logo.
Collins Legitimus double bit axe and other Legitimus tools became popular at that time, even though many people weren’t aware of what the name meant. It was a Latin word that meant legitimate.
The answer to this question depends on when the axe was made. If we are talking about an axe that was made before 1966, there is no question about the quality. The original Collins company made excellent axes with years of experience.
However, these axes have become vintage and are hard to find. The company that bought Collins after 1966 also made great axes. However, they weren’t as good as the original ones.
Finally, if you are considering the axes that were made after 2004, they are only good enough compared to the ones before. Collins axes are now cheap. But if you use your axe regularly, I recommend investing in something a bit better. And if you can find an original Collins axe, then great.
You can find axe handles online that are specifically made for Collins axe. Alternatively, you can visit a local shop to get a perfectly matched handle for your Collins Axe.
If you are having difficulties figuring out how to identify a Collins axe, then you’re not the only one. The most frustrating thing about this process is when you get an axe at an auction, and there’s no date on the label.
Besides, there are also duplicates floating around the market, so you need to be extra careful before spending a handsome amount of money. Consult an axe expert if you are not sure about the authenticity of the axe.
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