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I Forge Iron

Is this hatchet hand forged?

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I don't blacksmith, I  am a metal detector who has an account here just to make use of the members expertise.  I found this hatchet metal detecting and I want to know

1) is it  possible to place a date on it?

2) what type of work was it used for?

3) was it made by a blacksmith?

4) is there a specific name of its shape and style?

5) any other information that you can pass on


thanks for the help







Now that we"re at it, how about these things? does anyone know what these things are?





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It looks like it could be Colonial but I’m far from an expert.  Plus, that style has been made continuously since then...I believe.  I would fully assume it was hand forged because I don’t believe that style was made in production but I’m willing to be wrong.

Im also a metal detector and would love to pull that out of the ground.  I’m guessing it was one of those ugly sounding “rusty iron” hits that screams NAIL....but you just have to dig everything when you start out on a site.  Better than yanking pull tabs out of the ground all day though!

It would help to more knowledgeable folk who are bound to come along if you tell us about where in the world you found it.  Location may help.  How deep was it also?  Foundations nearby?  Known settlement?  I always use the history of a site to get a preliminary date one what I find.


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It has the shape of a broad axe. 

They are used to convert logs into timber,.

They are still made and sold today. But your find looks much older.

The place, and location of the find, and the depth will help the folks here to reach better identifications.

Is the axe beveled on one side on and other side is flatl? (like a broad axe)?


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I have one that is similar but in much better condition do not know if it is a correct term but i prefer to it as my broad hatchet or hewing hatchet 

the blade is chisle ground and right handed and perfect for removing large sections of waste stock when carving middle sized (firewood) into useful implements like glutts and mauls

pair one with a club and froe and you have a nice start on a basic colonial carpendry kit 


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I have one like that but it is in very nice condition.

It's a Simmons Broad Axe Cohoes NY number 6. The writing is clearly visible.

Definitely hand made by a blacksmith if with the help of a mechanical hammer or not I can not say. Some were sharpened flat on one side to aid the manufacture of planks or square beams. Eventually someone would sharpen them both side and turn them into an ordinary axe.  There are some broad axe tragic who collect them and know everything about them. The photo below is not mine. Mine has no handle and sleeps on my desk. Bought for a song at the markets. (And my singing stinks) 





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3 hours ago, Daswulf said:

If you clean it up with electrolysis you might even find a forge weld line and maybe see a difference in the metal where the higher carbon bit is welded in as well.

If you don't have the set-up for that, you could also use vinegar, it would probable be a three day soak.  As for it's age, who knows?  The style has been made for a long time and is still being made.  

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Thanks for the help everyone , I found this in north west Illinois. I metal detected a historic farm where the first pioneers of this county first build wooden shacks.  The "Simmons Broad Axe Cohoes NY number 6" picture that Marc1 posted looks like an exact match. This is very exciting because the first pioneers came to this county from New York and settled here in 1830's.There is no way to prove that it was lost by the early pioneers but it matches up with the history of the place I detected. Thanks for the help guys

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