Cheap Knock-Offs Versus the Undead

Yeah, you read that title right. Let me explain. As many of you may know, I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead and have a healthy fear of, well, zombies. For example, I like to head out to Western Maryland (holla DCL!) because I love the outdoors… but also because I require a bunker for the coming apocalypse (possibly zombie induced). I’m also a proud gun owner (beautiful Beretta Tika) not for any 2nd amendment rights reasons, but purely for post-apocalyptic hunting and, admittedly, to defend my family from the walking dead.

So you can imagine my excitement when we signed on a new client this past spring (Pro Tool Industries), and these bad boys landed on my desk as sample products.

Pro Tool axes and woodman's pal

Holy crap! The Woodman’s Pal is awesome! It’s heavy, sturdy, and incredibly useful both for outdoors work and for zombie defense. This past week, Rita and I had the pleasure of touring the manufacturing facility where Pro Tool cranks out thousands of these each month. And they are all handmade, right here in the good ol’ USA!

As Mark and his crew walked me through the process, I couldn’t help but be impressed how they did everything…well, the right way! No cheap knockoffs here that will break during the first wave of infection. No sir, these babies are built to last.


First, they start with a thick metal plate from a steel manufacturer in Pennsylvania. Just the steel plate alone would make a formidable tool, but needless to say, Pro Tool improves upon it immensely.

Using custom machinery that Pro Tool designed and built, each blade is sharpened to the point of splitting hairs both on the side and the top curve.

Next, the steel handle guard is fitted to the metal, and thick leather washers build out the grip. The handle and leather is, literally, pounded into place and then sanded down for the perfect grip.



At this point, you’ve got one bad-ass outdoor tool good for hacking lumber, clearing brush, or stopping brain eaters in their tracks.

Of course, before it ends up in the hands of the likes of Rick Grimes or Tallahassee, Pro Tool polishes, and finishes each of the tools with leather oils and metal finishes.


Oh, and don’t forget this important detail that goes into every shipment.


Some people ask for specialized engraving as well, which Linda usually handles. I wonder if she will mind if I request my next Woodman’s Pal say “Rule #2 – Make Tallahassee Proud.”


P.S. – Happy Halloween!

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