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Review of United Cutlery's Kit Rae, Black Legion Battle Axe

I'm an avid weapons collector. Whether it be blades, blunt weapons, or ranged weaponry, I have a little bit of everything in my collection.

It's a cute design, and the artistry of it is apparent. However, it is too frail for its own weight.

It's a cute design, and the artistry of it is apparent. However, it is too frail for its own weight.

Before I delve into this review of the Black Legion Battle Axe, I would like to apologize for the lack of photos with the weapon. Normally I do a silly little photoshoot with every piece from my collection before I write reviews on them, but this piece is so frail that it scared me. This alone should be enough to scare you away from the product, but I'm going to give it the fair, impartial, and professional review any collector's piece deserves.

This is strictly a decorative piece, and despite its "collector's item" claims, it will depreciate in value quite swiftly!

Weapon Specs

According to the manufacturer:

  • Safety and durability tested for the toughest conditions
  • Quality materials used to make all United products
  • For enthusiasts, collectors and tough users all over the world
  • 15-inch axe head
  • 35-inch overall length
  • Tempered 420J2 blades
  • False edged
  • Antique finish metal handle
  • Overall weight of 10.2 pounds

This item is not durable, nor is it meant for extended heavy use! Do not believe the seller's claims!

Beware: A Purely Decorative Piece

Alright, so let's break this sucker down detail by detail, and I'd like to start by saying that if you are looking to swing this thing around or even hit stuff with it, then you need to look for a different piece. Not even five minutes fresh out of the box, and I could hear the pommel separating from the haft. All I did was slide the thing out of the plastic, lay it down on the bed to analyze it for any damage, then I went to pick it up, and it started to crack!

Normally a little crackling is completely acceptable to me, but the cracking became consistent the more I maneuvered the axe around, gently, and this drew me to analyze if it was the adhesive or the haft itself that was snapping like wet logs in a fire. Upon further examination, I discovered something not listed in the manufacturer specs; the haft is made of wood or soft plastic!

Basically, for those of you who are not expert collectors and weapon enthusiasts, the part of the axe that supports the most weight is made of a very thin wood. It is common for axes to be made of wood, but the problem is that a good axe haft should be made of mahogany or something even harder than that. This axe's haft isn't made of something as soft as pine, I don't think, but the scary part is that it will bend under its own weight.

Any weapon that bends under its own weight is bound to snap the first time you accidentally drop it, swing it too hard, or even pick it up after a bit of weathering. Granted, I am unable to confirm the material they used for the haft, but that is because they hid it under the lovely leather gripping so as to dissuade you from checking what is beneath it. For the price point you could get a very similar style set of weapons with functionality, sturdiness, and actual collectible quality. Take, for example, this tactical blade set that I purchased for myself on a whim; it'd be a much better, cheaper, and safer bet as a gift for any weapons collector.

This thing costs $140.00, so I thought I would be getting something sturdy that could at least be wielded as a prop; it would be dangerous to even use it as a solo performance piece. Here is my advice to the less experienced collectors; if you ever have doubts about a weapon you'd like to purchase, then you need to seek out an expert weapons collector for advice. Someone such as myself will always appreciate you seeking advice on a weapon purchase you are mulling over because just like you, we want everyone to get that quality piece they so desire.

In closing, I would like to say that this is a great piece if you never plan to use it for anything more than mounting and displaying it. However, if you live near the beach or in a humid environment where the air is salty and moist then you'd do best to avoid this at all costs; this is because the blade will corrode in salty air, and both the leather gripping and haft will begin to crack and weather quite swiftly in more humid conditions. This piece is not safe to carry, swing, nor make contact with other objects!

Personally, I'm returning it back to the manufacturer because, for the price, I should be getting, at the very least, a hollow steel haft with a false full tang.