Zai CORE Axe by
Kacper Hamilton

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

ECAL graduate Kacper Hamilton has designed a luxury axe with carbon-fibre in its handle and interchangeable heads.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

The Zai CORE Axe has one head for felling trees and another for chopping wood, both made of high-carbon steel.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

The handle comprises carbon-fibre sandwiched between ash for strength and lightness.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

He created the design for Swiss ski makers Zai while studying at the Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL).

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

Hamilton's graduation project from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 2008 was a series of vessels based on the seven deadly sins - check it out here.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

See more stories about carbon-fibre »

Photos are by Michal Florence Schorro & Prune Simon-Vermot unless otherwise stated.

Here's some more information from the designer:

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

The Zai CORE Axe was designed by ECAL graduate Kacper Hamilton for Swiss ski company Zai.

The CORE Axe consists of a helve and two interchangeable heads. The straight shaft helve is made from a sandwich of carbon fibre and ash wood. The layering construction is inspired by Zai’s process and philosophy of making skis using raw and contrasting materials in Disentis, Switzerland. Carbon fibre is used to provide strength whilst the ash wood forms a protective shell around the core and pays homage to the heritage of a traditional axe.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

The form of the helve has been refined to be slim and lightweight, reducing the thickness substantially to 13mm along the spine. The weight of the axe is thereby focused at the head; generating greater striking momentum and efficiency when cutting or splitting wood.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

The two heads are made from forged high carbon steel with a blackened finish. They can be changed using the integrated quick release system; allowing for secure head attachment, easier sharpening and safer transportation. Each head has a different function, one is for felling trees and the other for splitting logs of wood.

Zai CORE Axe by Kacper Hamilton

Above image is by ECAL/Nicolas Genta

Zai CORE Axe is a quintessential companion for the mountains, around the chalet or on a trek.

Axe 28” helve - Ash wood + Carbon Fibre
Felling head - Forged high Carbon Steel 1200g
Splitting head - Forged high Carbon Steel 1500g

  • i'm ok

    Now, that's something every lumberjack needs, not…

  • The most beautiful and minimal axe I’ve ever seen. Nice

    • JJJJJ


      Anyone who uses an axe regularly knows that this will not be durable enough. Why have a strong handle attached flimsily to a head, when the handle of a traditional axe is replaceable?

  • Guy

    It looks beautiful, but I wonder about ergonomics. Most axes have a gently curved and tapered handle which helps with the grip while swinging. This seems to be all taper and no curve?

    • Owen

      There is usually a flared butt on the bottom of the handle to keep the axe from slipping out when you swing it. Seems like an important part of the design, however I have never swung an axe without it, so I really couldn't say…

  • streetcleaner

    Where i can buy one?

  • zee

    That's Y we need design :)

  • A really delightful object in both material and form.

    • I don’t think axes are supposed to be delightful.

  • James

    Why not just make it double headed? The design is that nice that having it double headed wouldn’t make any odds. Plus all you’re really saving here is carrying one handle. You still have to carry two heads.

  • rsa

    Beautiful axe. Stuff I absolutely don’t need, but must have now.

  • tooma

    Nice design, but I suspect that the axehead will not last in long term use, and might come off just when youre hitting the wood…ouch.

    So in my mind this is a very baaaaad idea. Why in the first place would you need to have interchangeable heads on an axe?!? I´d just settle with the beautiful design and high-carbon steel material.

  • Josh V.

    Beautiful looking, but like many talented designers, lacks the insight of practicality and function. An interchangeable head means it’s more likely to break.

    Granted, it’ll probably last longer than anyone who would buy a luxury axe would ever wear out of it in their lifetime, but something so beautiful and basic in function wants to be an heirloom, and interchangeable heads want to be lost or misplaced.

    Also, the designer either didn’t care enough to look into axe ergonomics, or arrogantly decided to ignore centuries of axe design, but this would be both difficult to swing and hard on the muscles after prolonged use. There’s a reason nearly all axes have a curve to them these days.

  • Mike K

    No pommel and a handle that tapers away from the blade. Don’t stand behind the schmuck who decides to use this vanity axe.

  • Michael

    "Luxury axe" is counter intuitive.

  • Adam

    "Luxury axe" LOL!

    I suppose it will look good in the trunk of a necessity Mercedes.

  • cristofa

    … so silly!

    A hugely expensive solution to a non-existent problem.

    And one that wouldn't even work – has the guy never used an axe? Apart from the curve others have mentioned, as you slide your hand up and down the shaft through the stroke, you don't want the cross section changing like that.

  • KLM

    This is terrifying on several levels. Clearly hasn't spent much time using an axe, or talking to folks who do.

  • JeffK

    I don’t know why people are wasting their efforts criticising the functionality of this. It is clearly meant to sit unused above a rich oligarch’s fireplace, and occasionally taken down to threaten a servant with.

  • Luca

    Nice but… another not necessary object.

  • lumberjack

    For the cost, you'd be better off buying a chainsaw!

  • Stank Motion

    I just see the head flying off after multiple blows degrade the joint and mount hardware system. This would be better for a hatchet, something that requires less pounds per sq in. of force during use that could potentially cause malfunction.

    Beautiful overall aesthetic though. Hands down. Design one with a solid head joint and I’m game.

  • Really?

    Press success story! Any publicity is good publicity… Go for it dude.

  • Fizz

    An axe to die for… well… maybe in the wrong hands…

  • Filly

    This is what happens when design kiddies try to tackle engineering problems. Pretty objects that are completely useless. Maybe if the designer had ever actually used an axe the result might have been different.