Axe throwing is fun. Forged in Fire is fun. So when the two were combined in Season 7, Episode 13 “Frankish Throwing Axes” you know it’s going to be fun.
Season 7, Episode 13: “Frankish Throwing Axes” (S07 EP13)
No axes appear in the first two rounds of this barbeque themed competition. The smith’s make camp knives from salvaged steel from a barbeque. The parameters also called for a bottle opener on the knives. Though not required to do so each smith initially tried to make canister damascus but not all of them were successful.
Finale Weapon: A Matched Pair of Frankish Throwing Axes
Smiths will often say that it is challenging to forge a matching set of anything. A pair of matching Frankish Throwing Axes were no different. These axes have a long bit, an s-curved top and handles that curve away from the hammer poll.
One of the smiths made beautiful axe heads, the curve of the handles is also excellent from an aesthetic perspective. The hickory handles were charred which I don’t like but they still look excellent and the dark handles provide a stark contrast to the bright heads. The leather overstrike guard is a nice touch. The fully polished heads and the decorative grinds are also outstanding.
The other smith, while I appreciate he did not burn the handles, did not nail the aesthetics of the axe heads nor in my opinion the design. The width of the axe heads from the top to bottom seems too narrow. The edge seems angled too low relative to the handle as well. I do think the handles look good and without actually holding them I can only say they look comfortable but as Ben Abbot pointed out, the palmswell is not ideal for a throwing axe.
A Frankish Throwing Axe with characteristic s-curved head
However, both axes performed well in all the tests.
This was a great episode because the weapons of both smiths performed well and it came down to some of the finer details and design considerations.
Axes in the episode: finale weapon Frankish Throwing Axes