Wetterling Axes: Swedish Heritage Lives On

Since 1880, Wetterling Axes has been a company that prioritizes high quality. Most importantly, Wetterling is more than a Swedish business that makes axes for camping or home – Wetterling makes pieces of Swedish heritage. The company’s maxim is “You can not really own an antique axe forge – it belongs to our joint industrial history – but one can assume a responsibility. A responsibility to nurture and pass the knowledge previous generations have created, and that hopefully will outlive its keeper, on to the future.” Today, people use axes from Wetterling as essential equipment for camping or working with their home fireplaces.

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Photo Credit: www.lie-nielsen.com

Industrious

Wetterling keeps inherited knowledge alive while integrating modern ideas. Even in 1882, Sven Axel Wetterling’s brother, an engineer named Otto Wetterling, returned from his industrial axe manufacturing studies in the US with new techniques. Sven immediately made Otto the foreman responsible for Wetterling’s company production and development. Soon the company moved to a town closer to railways and raw steel and iron materials. In 1915, to modernize the company’s machinery, an Arboga forging press hammer joined Wetterling’s. The Arboga is still used today.

Resilient

Wetterling maintained its operations through the booming forestry industry of the 1950s and the difficult transitions of the 1970s, when China overwhelmed the Swedish business and chainsaws and forest machines almost wiped out the axe industry. In the beginning of the 1900s, there had been 20 axe producers in Sweden, and by the 1970s, there were only three that remained. Today, there is only one Swedish axe handle manufacturer beside Wetterling’s. Quality axe handles are difficult to produce and challenging to find, and many axe manufacturers lowered the prices (and quality) of their axes to survive the challenging market.

While Wetterling passed through various hands, the company’s employees ranged from three to forty. Today, only 9 people work at Wetterling’s, and the original axe production process continues with the Arboga forging presses.

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Photo Credit: www.lie-nielsen.com

Quality

While some may see the company’s history as a sign of its regression, Wetterling remains a valuable resource of old knowledge as well as forging craftsmanship. The company’s heritage is now one of the most important attributes of the company.

Today, the unpainted, forged axe is considered a testimony to the skill of a craftsman. Wetterling has banned unnecessary chemicals, and its craftsmen rarely paint their axe handles. Instead, the unpainted axe has become a legacy with high quality that many people appreciate and invest in. Through Wetterling’s axe manufacturing, Sweden’s industrial history lives on for future generations.

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Photo Credit: www.lie-nielsen.com

Wetterling Axes At Appalachian Outfitters

Appalachian Outfitters carries many products from the Wetterling Axes line. Stop by our store to see these amazing pieces of Swedish heritage in person.