Why Are Black Raven Axes So Expensive [5 Reasons]

Why are Black Raven Axes so Expensive

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The price of a Black Raven axe can come as a surprise for many people. I’ll be putting some suspense about this axe to an end today. For starters, why are black raven axes so expensive?

The straightforward answer to this question is its collectible value. It may be just a tool with two parts for some people, but it’s one of the most valuable vintage axes for collectors. However, that’s not the only reason that determines how expensive a black raven axe be.

Keep reading the article to know all the reasons why black Raven axes are so expensive.

Why are Black Raven Axes So Expensive – Here are the Details

There are a few obvious reasons that make this axe more expensive than others. But some are not guessable right away. Let’s take a deeper look at the reasons. 

1. History

Black Raven axes were made in 1904. There are a few variants you can find. These axes were premium in quality which led them to be a vintage collectible recently. 

2. The Embossing

Unlike many other axes that feature etching on the side of the eye, you will find distinct embossing on a Black Raven axe head. The seals were raised and they indicated the authenticity of the product. So, if you ever want to own an original Black Raven ax, look out for an embossed one. Black Raven axe patterns are what make them the most collectible axes. 

3. Condition

How much a Black Raven axe cost also depends on its condition. If you find one that hasn’t experienced much damage and won’t require much fixing, it’ll cost more. On the contrary, you can find cheaper options for the axe that isn’t in good condition. That’s why it’s crucial to check the condition when you find Black Raven axes for sale. 

4. Brand Value

Another obvious reason why Black Raven is so expensive is its brand value. They created premium-grade axes in the first place, which made them more attractive to collectors. The brand also gave the etching some gold paint to make them more attractive. The paint was a mixture of varnish and bronzing powder. 

5. Market Condition

Black Raven axes are mostly bought on auctions. Naturally, the price is determined by the audience. Sometimes people assume that if someone is paying that much money for an axe it must be worth it. So, buyer behavior is also responsible for increasing the price of these axes. 

However, sometimes you can find a Black Raven axe at a very reasonable price. If you’re a newbie in collecting vintage axes, you can also try locating Kelly Tasmanian axes or a Spiller axe, which will cost you comparatively less. 

The History of the Black Raven Axe

The Black Raven axe was originally introduced by the renowned Kelly Axe Manufacturing Company in the year 1904. The company had its foundry in Charleston, where the axe was made. It was considered a premium axe.

Some of the etchings on the axes were gilded in gold paint. The paint was created using varnish and bronzing powder. The Black Raven was found on various axes, including double-bit axes, single-bit felling axes, hatchets, and scythes.

In the beginning, Black Raven axes also had “Kelly Axe Mfg. Co.” etching directly under the black raven embossing. Later, they had “The American Fork and Hoe Co.” etched. The reason was that American Fork and How Co bought the company and advertised the brand under this name.

In addition, there were also etchings that said “True Temper Kelly Works” on the axes. There was circular raven etching on the smaller axes and hatchets. 

These etchings are helpful for determining the dates of the axes. If you find a Kelly Manufacturing Company mark on the market, it must be older than the ones that say The American Fork and Hoe Co. 


When was the Black Raven axe first introduced?

Kelly Axe Manufacturing Company introduced the Black Raven axe in 1904.

How much does a Black Raven axe cost? 

The price of a Black Raven axe isn’t determined by a single factor. It depends on the ax’s condition and the platform you’re buying it from. Even though an axe of good condition may reach up to a thousand dollars, collectors have reported buying Black Raven axes only for a few dollars.

All in all, it depends on what condition the axe is in and where you’re buying it from. 

When did kelly axe manufacturing company stop making axes?

After 80 years of business, Kelly Axe Manufacturing Company closed its factory in 1982. Tool manufacturing became tough during that time due to a decline in domestic manufacturing.

Are there fake black raven axes?

Nowadays, there are plenty of sellers who make fake Black Raven axes and sell them at a higher price. These replicas are getting closer to the originals day by day, making it harder for newbie collectors to differentiate the fake ones from the original ones.

So, if you decide to get an original Black Raven ax, it’s better to consult with a few experts first. This way, you can be certain of the money you’re spending on the axe.

How to identify an original Black Raven axe?

There are a few basic things you can check out. For instance, see if the writings and the dates check out. The embossing is also an indicator of authenticity. However, if you’re confused, you can always consult an expert before buying. 

Final Verdict

It’s not a very difficult debate to settle the question of why are Black Raven Axes so expensive. Their distinctive nature and authenticity create great value for passionate axe collectors. Even though most people would see these axes as an overpriced tool for cutting trees, many people are willing to pay a very high price for them.

If you’re determined about adding a Black Raven axe to your collection, don’t forget to verify its authenticity before spending a fortune.

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