A luxury axe?? Oh, come on!

This is an axe that’s aimed at rich people who would never ever use this axe. Designed by Kacper Hamilton, who specializes in the “luxury goods industry”, the axe sports a thin handle that is a sandwich of wood and carbon fiber, and has two interchangeable heads. That’s right, you can swap out the axe heads.

Honestly, making an axe with a removable head is the worst idea ever. I don’t know about you, but when I’m swinging around a really sharp axe that I will be using to cut things into small pieces, the last thing I want is the axe head flying off…which could very well happen if I don’t tighten that bolt enough.

And let’s talk about the handle design.

I understand that the designer was inspired by the layering construction of Zai’s skis. That’s cool. But honestly, a handle that thin, on an axe? I don’t doubt the carbon fiber is strong…at least in one direction. But I’m thinking, much like a ski that’s composed of a carbon fiber & wood sandwich structure, this handle will be flexible regarding side-to-side motions. I think this is just one of those “Let’s use carbon fiber because it’s awesome and expensive!”-cases.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t know, that looks like a pretty cool axe. I’m sure it works great.” Well, let’s take a look at a nicely designed axe, courtesy of great designers at Fiskars.

As you can see, they thought of everything. They make it a point to tell you that their axe head is inseparable. But what if you want to use the axe for different cutting jobs? Well, Fiskars makes separate splitting and chopping axes. You’ll also notice they employ a non-wood handle, most likely for lower weight, but greater strength, and they incorporate a non-slip handle grip, that has a vibration-absorbing chamber.

Let’s compare that axe to the CORE axe:

I know which axe I want to use. “Hey, but this is a luxury axe. No one is going to use it. The people buying this are probably rich, and they are just going to put it on display.” You’re probably right. But that brings up another question: what’s the point of  designing for the “luxury market”? Design is about need, and creating solutions to address that need. Is there a need for the extremely wealthy to have an unusable axe that’s made of the finest materials? If so, why don’t you just make a solid gold axe? Surely, that would me more luxurious than this axe, which is made of lowly carbon fiber, ash, and high-carbon steel. “Gold can’t be used for an axe, stupid. It’s too soft, and it wouldn’t work well.” But this axe doesn’t work well, either. So, I ask again, what’s the point of this axe? If there’s no point, if there’s no purpose, if there is no problem being solved, then this isn’t design. It’s art.

Zia CORE axe via Dezeen