For generations, the Japanese practice of “shou sugi ban” (the fortifying and preserving of wood by scorching it) has been practiced and proven. Now, this technique has made it across the pond and is maneuvering its way into western manufacturing. Our favorite application we’ve seen so far might just be this one: Best Made’s S.S.B. Axe.
With a head crafted from 5160 steel and a handle cut from Appalachian hickory – both sourced in the USA – this wood splitter was already an impressive instrument. But, the addition of scorching and oiling the wood for a unique charred appearance and long-lasting strength only adds to its appeal. The S.S.B. comes in two styles – 4-pound American Felling and 2-pound Hudson Bay – so you can select the size of your choice. But you should probably hurry, as only 50 of each will ever be made. They retail starting at $275.