Vintage Canadian Tire Mastercraft Axes

1970s – 2003*
Made for Canadian Tire Corp.
by Mann Edge (Lewistown, Pennsylvania)

If you live in Canada you know the MasterCraft brand from Canadian Tire. But they were actually made in the US.

Restored Mastercraft 2.5lb Axe
Restored Vintage Mastercraft Axe

MasterCraft is the house brand for Canadian Tire’s Tool line. The stamped MasterCraft axes were produced for Canadian Tire by the Mann Edge Tool Company in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. The age of the axes is approximate but they were likely made from the 70s or 80s until the early 2000s.

Note: There is another unrelated MasterCraft axe brand from the Western US that often causes confusion.

During the timeframe these axes were made, there was no Canadian producer still operating that would have had the ability to fulfill this size of order. Mann would have been one of the few options of reputable axe makers left in North America with the scale to supply all Canadian Tire stores.

Given how recently some of these axes were made, and the size of Canadian Tire these axes are very common still in Canada. 

MasterCraft Axes & Markings

Close-up of Mastercraft stamp
Close-up of Mastercraft Stamp (pre-restoration)

These axes were made at a low point for the axe industry, so there was only a limited number of models produced. Hatchets, boy’s axes, full-size chopping axes, and rafting pattern axes (sold as a splitting/construction axe).

The Canadian Tire MasterCraft stamp has a serif font with 2 short lines on either side and the weight underneath. This marking is very similar to the Sears Craftsman axes that were also produced by Mann. Some of the older heads may include a small stamped “M” on the reverse side.

If you see a MASTERCRAFT axe with a different more stylized wordmark, it is likely a Coast-to-Coast Hardware store axe and not a Canadian Tire axe.

Mastercraft 2.5lb & 3.5lb heads sitting on a log

The Mann company was purchased by Truper from Mexico in 2003. This is who I believe produces the current Canadian Tire Yardworks axes (that are terrible). 

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  1. “Axe Makers of North America” by Allan Klenman (second edition – editor: Larry McPhail), 1990
  2. – Mann Edge Tool Co.