A quick rundown of what I like about this Lil' guy-
-gorgeous to behold
-ergonomic, silken handle
-my example's handle having as perfect a grain as can be wished for
-comfortable, even after extended sessions of use
-head geometry is great for limbing, carving
-'choking up' on head is easy peasy for fine carving detail
-durable steel...takes a wicked edge rapidly and (so far)refuses to chip!
-leather mask is quality, if utilitarian
-price balking aside, it's still cheaper or comparable to many quality fixed blades
-for me, easily replaces larger knives en masse(barring machetes and their ilk)
- made by artisans in a 'green' manner
-proudly 'signed' by said artisans
-heirloom quality, as evidenced by my son bequeathing it to himself(way, waaay prematurely, I hope...)
- did I mention gorgeous?
Now, there is a few things I don't love about this hatchet, namely-
-the cost. I've made my peace with it, but I can see why others would, and will, grumble.
-the edge wasn't 'shaving' sharp on receipt. A minor nit, but still...
-the head's eye was punched a tad off. When sighting the edge from toe, to heel, down to the end of the haft, you can see that the heel(lower blade edge only, the top 'toe' is centered)is biased to the left. It's close though, as the heel still aligns within the haft(approximately 33% in, as opposed to bisecting it perfectly at 50%...for those who care) , but it's annoying. Disappointing for the price, but luckily this subtle cant does not effect a swing. I can hit where I aim, and glancing is rare. So after two+ years, I can say it's a mental issue only. As an aside, this issue could possibly just be from an imperfect head hanging. I won't know until I have to replace the handle. So watch this space circa 2035 for an update!
Overall, though, it's a great tool.
Five stars for me, but perhaps four as a recommendation in light of aforementioned concerns.