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Snow & Nealley - New Owners!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by Quirt, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Quirt

    Quirt

    Oct 10, 2005
    Just got a letter from the new Owners at Snow & Neally. The letter explains that S/N is under new ownership and they're moving their production facilities from the Brewer, ME to the new owners facility in Smyrna, Maine.

    Because of the move they're shut down but should be operational in 4 to 6 weeks for most axes after the post mark of the letter which was dated 15-03-12.

    At least they're still USA made and relegating to some imported cheap, mass produced product.

    I really enjoy my Penobscot Bay Kindling Ax for my canvas tent camping and for my stove at home. Their Hudson Bay is a dandy for the back of the truck.
     
  2. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Hate to break it to you, but the heads were being made in China for years now. Handles from Texas. Assembly done in Maine, but I don't personally think that qualifies as a Maine-made product. I hope the new owners change that.

    You wouldn't be able to email me their mailing address would you? I'd actually like to write them.
     
  3. Quirt

    Quirt

    Oct 10, 2005
    Now that I DID NOT know. Wow! The exact words on their letter says

    "Even in this era of mass production and "cheap" imported tools, we believe there is still a place for hand-craftred quality. Consider the features that make a S/N axe a cut above the rest:

    - Specially temperated forged steel head
    - Hand Ground and finished
    - Finest select American hickory handle
    -Genunie leather blade gaurd included"
     
  4. Grubbster

    Grubbster Gold Member Gold Member

    313
    Jan 8, 2006
    Exactly, no where do they say the head is made in the USA. They are correct in that they are not "cheap" if they are speaking of $.
     
  5. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Heck--it's even in quotation marks!

    Quirt was kind enough to send me their mailing address and I'll write a letter to them when I get a spare moment to ask about their intended direction with the company. Maybe point them in the direction of the forum here, even. :)
     
  6. Crazyotter

    Crazyotter

    334
    Jun 26, 2010
    Now this is what I like about the forum. I'm glad to hear there still in business, but I'm twice as glad that someone with experience is willing to take the time to write a letter, and see whats up. I really hope they get their stuff straight, and bring back the old quality. It will be interesting too, to see what pattern of axe head they'll start manufacturing. I can't help but wonder if the Maine pattern will make a brief come back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  7. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Hey--just 'cause I have a set of credentials doesn't mean I'm an expert!:D But I'd like to chat it up with them and see where they plan on going and what paths they might be willing to consider. :)
     
  8. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    Just to clarify a bit, S&N axes USED to be made all in the USA, it was only after the last company sale some years ago that the imported heads showed up.

    Wouldn't it be great if all production was moved back home? (A guy can dream can't he?). It doesn't seem likely though, judging from the deceptive wording of their letter. I expect it will be business as usual.
     
  9. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I'll do my best to urge them to consider switching back some if not all of their production stateside on account of the burgeoning premium axe market. I figure they could do the same thing Tuatahi does and have some inexpensive but quality off-shore pieces but also have their premium domestically produced line. Rebuilding facilities for US production would be extremely costly, though, so it might take a few years to realize that goal. Look at how the new Camillus is doing it! Started off with Chinese production and is now introducing USA-made models.
     
  10. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    I wish you much luck! I've got to believe there is a big enough niche market for that sort of thing.
     
  11. Quirt

    Quirt

    Oct 10, 2005
    So is there any premium axes made exclusively in the good ol USA?
     
  12. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    Council Tool still makes axes in USA. They recently came out with a "Velvicut" Hudson Bay model that is supposed to be premium grade. There is a review of one here somewhere I think, if you search this forum for "velvicut" you should be able to find it.
     
  13. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Yup! Council's really the only name in the USA premium axe game at the moment. Nice as they are, competition breeds industry advances! :D
     
  14. Quirt

    Quirt

    Oct 10, 2005
    Well, I'm not sure if I have one of the USA made or imported made Penobscot Bay Kindling Axes (my is older so unsure) but it is the snazz for making kindling in my cabin tent. Momma wants one for her wood stove in the house but I refuse (politely) to let her have my good axe. So I'm in the market for 'nuther one but I don't want China made...either wait to find out from FourtyTwoBlades what is happening or go with a GF Small Forest Axe. Anxiously awaiting their reply!
     
  15. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I think I'll be able to write the letter tonight. :)
     
  16. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Will you ask what is being produced in the US?
     
  17. Wyszrd

    Wyszrd

    252
    Feb 12, 2011
    I'm interested in seeing how this goes. I recently purchased a number of Snow and Neally axes (3.5 lb single bits and Hudson Bays) for our school. The grinds were uneven and looked like they'd been applied by someone who was in too much of a hurry to bother. The handle on the one single bit we took out on its maiden voyage snapped just below the axe head and flew across the camp while chopping firewood for the first time. The remaining axes are sitting as I decide what to do with them. I should have gone with Council. That being said, the Swedes have figured out how to market their boutique axes to the US market at a substantial price point. You'd think someone (other than just Council) would be able to do the same at competitive prices. There are so many axe patterns from the Golden Age of US axe design that are disappearing into the darkness of obscurity, yet so many of us who are actually interested in keeping the memory alive.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I've got the letter mostly typed up, and I raise both of those points in it. I wouldn't be surprised if due to monetary reasons they at least need to start off with outsourced manufacture, but would like to see them move things back here eventually much like Camillus is doing, for instance. Property, plant, and equipment represents a bit of an obstacle that can take time to overcome. The key to me is that it IS overcome eventually. Maine used to be the capitol of edged tool manufacture in the US and was especially well known for its aces and scythes.
     
  19. Wyszrd

    Wyszrd

    252
    Feb 12, 2011
    I neglected to reference the graphic I included with my post. It's from "An Ax to Grind: A Practical Ax Manual" by Bernie Weisgerber. It can be found in the Federal Highway Administration's web site and is a Forest Service publication. Just under the picture of the ax heads should have been a caption stating, "Figure 9--Some standard patterns manufactured by True Temper Kelly in 1925"
     
  20. Quirt

    Quirt

    Oct 10, 2005
    Did you ever hear back from your letter???
     

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