Based in North Carolina, WOOX is an outdoor brand devoted to creating high-end products. WOOX is an offshoot of the Italy-based Minelli. I received an advertising email from the company, which manufactures bolt-action rifle chassis and precision stocks, as well as axes and knives.

Four models of knives are available: one folder and three fixed blades. WOOX sent the folding knife, the Leggenda, out for me to test with one of their hand axes, the Volante. The Volante is designed for throwing and one-handed wood-cutting chores. Both items arrived in short order, distinctively packed in something I hadn’t seen used in many years: excelsior, softwood shavings used for packing fragile goods. It’s one way WOOX walks its talk of being an environmentally conscious business.

Leggenda Folding Knife from WOOX

I’ve worked with a number of Italian-made knives over the years and found their craftsmanship to be excellent. So I was looking forward to working with the Leggenda. WOOX used D2 steel for the blade due to its long edge retention. D2 is an air-hardening, high carbon, high chromium tool steel. And the blade is given a mil-spec finish. A finger-flipper is used to open the knife, and the blade locks solidly into place with a liner lock. Once locked open, the overall feel is that of a fixed blade, with the finger flipper serving as the hand guard.

Blade length: 3.5 inches
Closed length—4 ¾ inches
Open length: 8 ¼ inches
Blade width: .17 inches
Weight: 6.14 ounces
Grind: Full flat
Pivot system: IKBS thrust-bearing
Grips: Walnut with carbon fiber “X” inserts
Belt clip: Steel pocket clip included. A leather sheath is available as an option, which holds the knife in place using the clip. The sheath positions the Leggenda parallel with the belt.

The Leggenda is a beautifully rendered knife and very distinctive with its black carbon fiber inserts. It feels great in the hand and is extremely sharp. Because of the thickness of the blade’s spine, I found that opening it to its fully locked position with the finger stud alone is not easily accomplished. While the finger stud opens the blade partially, locking it fully into place requires an additional flick of the wrist. When the Leggenda blade is flicked into the locked position, a deep and satisfyingly loud click resonates off the walnut grips. The Leggenda carries comfortably in the pocket and makes short work of any chore its called upon to do.

WOOX Volante Axe

The Volante’s primary purpose is competition throwing. But it is also designed for camp and yard wood-cutting chores.

Head: Tempered carbon steel head (c45/1045), polished blue finish
Handle: American Appalachian hickory
Length: 14 inches
Blade: 4 inches
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Head width: 5 5/16 inches
Height of head: 1 1/16 inches
Head weight: 1.3 pounds

While the Volante is first and foremost a precision-throwing ax and meets the competition requirements of the International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF), it is also excellent for camp and yard chores. The shape of its head makes me think of a Viking battle-ax. That also sets the Volante apart from its stablemate, the AX1, which is designed strictly for camp chores and not throwing.

The Volante I received has a black handle with the WOOX name painted large in white. This paint scheme, while non-traditional, comes in very handy when throwing in a wooded area or one with deep grass. It shows up much better than an ax with a natural wood handle. The blade is very sharp but ships without a cover. Fortunately, WOOX has a leather cover available that fits the head design.

The Volante’s bit end is much wider than its eye end. This design gives the toe and heel of the bit more defined points with which to imbed itself in a throwing target. The few times I’ve thrown axes, it is usually the toe or heel of the bit that imbeds rather than the middle portion.

How to Throw an Ax

The trick when throwing an ax is to let the weight of the head carry it to the target. It should gently and gracefully spin end over end directly perpendicular line to the ground. Trying to muscle an ax to the target will result in it bouncing off.

On my first throw, the Volante did a perfect stick in the old tree I used as a target. I achieved a perhaps 70% stick rate through the rest of my throw. The Volante also handled wood chopping chores with aplomb.

Worth a Purchase?

The Leggende knife and Volante ax are beautiful, functional tools, worthy of passing to a member of the next generation as an heirloom. They combine the best of old-world and new-world craftsmanship and design. Such design isn’t — nor should it be — cheap. MSRP of the Leggende is $249, while the Volante is $89. Not bad for a pair of hand-crafted, hand-finished tools.

Check out the WOOX collection of fixed blade knives, axes and rifle stocks.