The Nemesis Battle Axe, sold as a fully functional battle weapon, does outclass most other modern martial arts axes. Many of the modern versions of this intimidating double-bladed axe are intentionally lightweight, built more for kata than for fighting. Though this is a very nice axe, and a type of weapon that wouldn’t be easy to find outside of a museum in the days before the Internet, I did notice something that concerned me as a practical axeman. Even though my chopping involves trees, the same standards should apply.
Straight grained wood really is hard to find today, and any commercial handle maker sneaks a few questionable pieces through often enough. For a battle axe to be perfect, the grain of the wood has to be as good as the steel, so the Nemesis may not be quite battle ready. It’s the handle quality I question, and since that varies with each, you may get one that is perfect. The construction is complex for an axe — hidden partial tangs held by multiple steel rivets weaken the wooden shaft. Replacing a broken handle would be a major problem for someone who isn’t a craftsman. Other than that, you’re pretty well set to create havoc and mayhem. The axe isn’t light — at 5.5 pounds, it’s about double the weight of a hardware store version. The blades of the Nemesis have been engineered in the same way old battle axes actually were forged. Crescent-shaped blades with 9.5 inches of cutting edge each, backed up by a sleek eye design and streamlined head, give lots of chopping potential plus the opportunity for a quick rebound. Authentic steel spikes add two more good reasons to stand clear. A little careful practice with the Nemesis and you’ll have respect for the people who wielded these in other times.
Hand forged in the Philippines, the 35-inch long Nemesis developed from the work of American designers Christian Fletcher and Angus Trim in conjunction with Valiant Armoury. Many of Valiant’s pieces are based on real weapons displayed in museums. Philippine craftsmen working with hand forged carbon steel and rare hardwoods bring these old ideas back to life.
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