Quite possibly the oldest tool in known history that has taken on many forms is the hand axe. You’ve got your various one-sided axes and your double-sided axes (used in Medieval ages and cosplays), but rarely you have seen a hand axe live up to its namesake.

The Metalist is a metalworker whose latest work is a literal hand axe – and by this, I mean it’s an axe with a blade exactly shaped like a human hand. Using his own hand as a basis for the blade, this man cuts and welds a piece of metal until it can deliver karate chops the likes of which anyone without any martial arts expertise has ever known.

Most of the item’s creation is centered on cutting and welding the interesting axe blade. Using a stencil of his hand to cut out the initial shape, the Metalist cuts out a slot in the “palm” of the axe. This will hold another important piece: a metal tube that will allow the blade to slot into the wooden handle.

literal hand axe

After welding the two pieces together, the real work begins. The Metalist uses a wide number of cutting apparatus, including various saws and rotary tools, to carve the flat chunk of metal into a hand-shaped axe blade. He leaves the pinky end of the hand axe flat for a while, as this will be turned into an actual blade later.

literal hand axe

As the fingers start to take their initial form, he begins adding more details. Sections where the joints can be found are given shallow cuts, while more pronounced areas like the knuckles are heated and curved to make them stand out.

literal hand axe

Tiny details such as wrinkles and fingernails are next on the agenda. These features don’t do much for the axe’s chopping capabilities, but they definitely add a lot of life to the hand aspect of it.

literal hand axe

To make the axe sharper, the Metalist welds a special metal (I really wish he put some indication as to what it is) onto the pinky end of the axe. He makes a few passes with his saw before giving the whole thing a good polish.

literal hand axe

All that’s left to do now is make a handle for this baby. The metalist drills a small hole on the side of the palm for a screw before jamming his custom-made handle into the axe. Finally, he drills enough space into the handle before screwing the two pieces tightly together.

literal hand axe

The Metalist sprays his axe black and polishes it before taking it out for a test run. As you would expect, this axe works exactly as intended. Most of all, it looks way cooler karate chopping a piece of wood than simply cutting it with a conventional axe.

The Metalist posts new metalworking videos on his YouTube channel monthly, so check him out every now and then if you want to see more of his quirky but totally viable projects!

Author

Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.