Wetterlings began as a collaboration between two brothers, Sven Axel and Otto Wetterling. In 1880, Sven Axel started making axes to supply Sweden’s booming forestry industry—at the time, the country was very rural and filled with forests. Otto, an engineer, studied new industrial technologies in America. His technical knowledge paired with centuries of Swedish steel-making and forestry tradition to make Wetterlings instantly prosperous. The company thrived for decades, making axes for the large part of the Swedish population that worked in forestry.
Beginning in the 1940s, however, chainsaws began to overtake axes as the primary tool for woodcutting. Many forges tried to make cheaper axes to compete, but this era saw a lot of axe companies go bankrupt. Wetterlings took a different approach—they returned to their roots and started making heirloom axes especially for people who are seeking high-quality tools.
Their company philosophy: You cannot really own antique axe forges – they belong to the common industrial history – but you can take on the responsibility for preserving them and for transferring the knowledge created by previous generations. Hopefully it will survive its keepers.
In a way, Wetterlings has taken a step back, and now the old knowledge and forging craftsmanship are the important assets of the company. The forged, unpainted axe has become a statement of the craftsman’s skill – a skill that increasingly more customers learn to appreciate and are willing to pay a little extra for.
The old hammers that Wetterlings use for forging originate from 1920 –1930. To maintain and improve them, they have employed Master Blacksmith Lars Enander who is a third generation craftsman and has solid technical skills in forging. For many years, he was a teacher of forging and has co-authored several books on forging.
Today, Lars Enander and a small team of seven blacksmiths makes every Wetterlings axe. Their heirloom hatchets and axes combine centuries of Swedish heritage in forestry and steel-making with a dedication to utility and quality. To slowly hand forge an axe is a true hand craft—taking about two days to make a Wetterlings axe; the tools are completed in small batches using time-honored techniques. Wetterlings value the quality of this procedure and allows the work to take it's time, to perform the absolutely best result possible. It takes decades to learn the craft to perfection. An axe from Wetterlings is made to last. With a little care, your axe could be passed on from one generation to the next. With a Wetterlings you have not only an axe, but a friend for life.