Chop Shop 101


Have you ever wanted something but could not find it?  You use The Google; searching web sites, images, blogs, YouTube.  No Google, this is not what I want. Mostly it is my fault. I once spent an entire day trying to find a trailer coupler. That is the part that connects to the trailer.  I realized I was searching for a trailer hitch. That was my fault, not The Google.

Anyway, I tend to ramble and get side tracked. This is about finding the perfect hatchet. I looked at all the big chain stores. Disappointed in the selection. Fiberglass and substandard steel. I wanted something that felt like it was an extension of my hand. I also wanted it to feel like a weapon.

For the first time ever I found what I wanted fairly quickly. The Rheinland Hatchet made by Helko formally known as Helko Werks. Made in Wuppertal, Germany since 1844. Helko makes a plethora of axes, hatchets, and other forestry tools. I fell in love with their Traditional line for the reasons I have listed in the following:

Each head is crafted by a Master Smith. Forged by hand then soaked in a warm oil bath. Once the axe meets his high standard of approval, it is stamped with the Helko crown. This particular line is left with the hammer and forging marks intact. Each one a unique work of art. The handle is crafted in Switzerland with American Hickory and finished with linseed oil. It comes with a 1oz bottle of axe oil and a leather sheath.


Head Weight 1.25 lbs.

Total Weight 2.0 lbs.

Length 14 in.

Now you get the real me.

When I received my hatchet, I instantly fell in love. I imagined myself on a Viking ship charging a beach, splitting the enemies’ heads with my hand axe. Their blood splattering over my really cool helmet. Then fast forward, I am hitting a beach with Marines charging a machine gun pill box with only my German made hatchet. But its not made by Nazis. It is the cool Germans that hated Hitler.

I removed it from the box quickly examining the axe, feeling the weight and craftsmanship of the hatchet head. I walk outside with my weapon in hand. My enemy is three oak trees that grew way too big too fast. It feels natural in my hand. The curve of the handle and weight of the head are perfect. Two of the trees fell quickly. The third,due to my level of fitness and consumption of craft beer, took a little longer. For a brief moment or maybe much longer, I felt I should have purchased a chain saw. I thought about the level of damage it would inflict on an enemies’ rib cage.

I slowly regained my composure. Chopping away at the last tree. Feeling a lot of burn in my forearm, accomplishment, and the need to use The Google to search chainsaws .I was glad I made my purchase. I chose the perfect hatchet for me. It will last a lifetime and it looks bad ass.


13 thoughts on “Chop Shop 101

  1. I have an Estwing 24 sitting in box on my stoop as we speak. I needed something split some hipster firewood in my back yard (sort of using a blade and batoning it….)
    While I didn’t want a “cheap looking” Gerber or Fiskars I also like the idea of a single piece of steel with wrapped handle than just a head on a stick.

    I know little of all things axe, so curious pros/cons.

    The helko was on the short list, but it really came down to cost.

    Maybe you can send me one for T&E against the Estwing. ;P


    1. My framing hammer is a Estwing. I love their products. I like how that hatchet looks. I have seen it at my local Lowe’s.

      I wanted a very traditional styled hatchet. One with a hickory handle and I was drawn to the traditional forging on the head.

      I have been looking for axes to mount on my Jeep trailer. I will most probably purchase one from a chain store. Fiberglass handle due to being exposed in the weather. With the head painted black with Krylon.


  2. Thanks for the good review. I enjoyed it as much as your writing style and trust it was written with your shirt off. Perhaps I should stop using my knife to baton wood and look into a tool made for that purpose. Bookmarking all the links for future reference. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rita! I know you are not supposed to write like you talk. So I try my best to get a good mix of me in the writing.
      I am going to post one soon where I read the story so people can listen to the audio of my Louisiananimal accent.
      Miss you!


      1. See you in NOLA soon, unless of course you’do like to come to Houston in Feb and celebrate with us the upcoming arrival of a little girl who is sure going to grow up to be a no BS, true Warrior Princess with our friend and Amazon woman Jennifer for a mother. Feb 27th is the day.


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