At first I wasn't sure why this Nata Hatchet costs so much, but then I read the item description on Hand-Eye Supply's listing and noticed it begins with "Behold." As in, "Behold, the mighty Bridgetown Forge x Hand-Eye Supply Hand-Forged Nata Hatchet!" And any tool that commences its pitch with that mouthful of medieval pomp & circumstance must be worth its Benjamins.
Blacksmiths Arnon Kartmazov and Nitzan Lilie fabricate by hand each Nata Hatchet from their workshop, Bridgetown Forge, in Portland, OR. Arnon spent over a decade honing his skills in Japan, as well as studied with master blacksmith Uri Hofi in Israel, and handle finesser Nitzan owns Nitzan Lilie Artist Blacksmith LLC. The Nata's square blade and slightly curved handle subscribe to traditional Japanese hatchet design, while this model's slightly smaller axe head and double beveled edge represent modifications made at Hand-Eye Supply's request for optimal ease of use. In other words, the company has taken into consideration that butter fingers and possessors of many thumbs who do not know how properly to wield a hatchet are going to buy this hatchet.
Nata blades are made of 5160 carbon spring steel reclaimed from truck wheel suspension systems. Arnon feels this material resists chipping better than the white or blue steel traditionally used. Also, Oregonians are hippies and like to say they've recycled or repurposed stuff otherwise slated for a landfill or that Texas-sized island of trash floating in the ocean. Hatchet handles, courtesy of Nitzan, stem from hickory, and are pinned with hammered copper.
Edited to remove the erroneous statement I originally made about Nitzan Lilie being Arnon Kartmazov's apprentice/protege/Whopper Jr. Nitzan is himself an Artist Blacksmith, and rightfully informed me that his "Whopper Jr. status expired 15 years ago."