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Understand The Types Of Axes And Where They Are Used!

In the modern world, the axe is mostly used for chopping the woods. Most of the time people think, an axe is an axe. All of them are used for chopping things. But this isn’t the correct statement.

Although the usage of the axe has been reduced if compared to the modern era still they can be used as a weapon, harvesting timber, and as a symbol of heraldic and ceremonial times.

In the earlier days, axes were hand-forged by the local blacksmith and the uniqueness of the product can be seen in the work performed by them. For example, hardwood uses robust and heavier axes while hatchet axe is mainly used for making a tree fall or splitting the wood. The efficiency of the axe is greatly influenced by its shape and weight. This is the reason for various types of axes and head patterns.

This article will enfold the types of axes on the basis of the work they perform. Read further to understand them in detail:

The Three Main Types of axes

Before understanding the types, let’s focus on the main tasks performed by them:

  • To fall a tree
  • Splitting firewood
  • Shaping lumber for a building

Based on the tasks, the axe can be categorized. Considering the first objective, the forest axes should be used as they are not only good for chopping a tree down but they can also be used for removing limbs as well.

For splitting wood, splitting axe or maul would work the best. And for the final objective of shaping lumber for building, carpenter’s axes would be the best option.

Note: all the types of axes have been covered inside the broad-category. Keep reading further for better clarity.

1. Forest axe:


These are designed with the aim of chopping the tree down. For use in the wooden area, the handle of the axes usually varies from 10 to 36 inches and the weights of the head usually fluctuate.

If these axes are used at a proper angle, they cut across the grain of the wood. These carving axes sever various functions for many users like removing tree limbs, splitting kindling, felling small trees, and more. Despite having a short length of the handle, they are handy and are easy to store in a rucksack.

They are a great purchase even if you are looking forward to carrying them along with you on camping or hiking. They are ideal for situations where you need an axebut you are not having enough space or don’t have full-sized axes.

2. Splitting axe:


As the name itself suggests that they are used to split wood. These axes include hatches and mauls as they have a “V” shape. The heavy and sharper head with a weightup to 7 to 9LBS could a bit difficult to handle.

These axes could be best suited for the heavier tasks and will make it quick. But if your work requires splitting of the lightwood, then choose an axe with the weight ofaround 5 LBS as they are easier to swing and will speed up your work.

The incredibly sharp blade cut the rock into pieces as soon as they strike the wood.

The design may look a bit bulkier but had made intentionally. The design ensures that you have more aggressive angle splits and will have an easy cutting of woodwithout applying extra force.

3. Carpenter’s axe:


They are often called “log-building” axes. This axe is smaller in size, if compared to other axes and is used for carpentry purposes like hewing, carving wood, roofing,and more. This axe could be similar to a hatchet but it is handier and can be used for long hours.

A firm grip over the handles ensures precision strikes to carve each and every design with exceptional beauty. The thin, long, and fine blade ensures a clean finish todesign and lets you have more accurate cuts.

The beautiful hickory shaft is nineteen-inch long and the head is secured via steel wedge making it a durable and reliable tool to use.

This axe could be a carpenter’s best friend irrespective of the fact in what type of carpentry you in.

Other types of axes Available:



The handy tool is perfect for cutting a tree down. This small axe can come with a harder time swinging but are easier to wield than ancient axes. They are useful totake them on little camping trips. They are preferred to have anything cut down and had used for light jobs in the yard.

The hickory wood handle with a weighted sharp-tipped blade works as a great combination. Overall balanced axe performs the tasks in no time and can be used as afelling axe.

Although felling axe is also used for similar tasks, people usually prefer hatchet because of their better performance.

Tactical axe


A modern axe is a multifunctional tool and is also referred to as “Tactical Tomahawk.

This axe is highly popular among the security staff, soldiers, and jurists.

They are primarily used for chopping but can also be used as a ranged weapon, a shovel, a pry bar, or a hammer. As these axes have built with steel, they have thestrength to do odd and multiple tasks too.

They are best suitable and will act as a reliable partner if you are going on any camping trip. They will help you chop the wood for cooking and for campfires too. Infact, they can also be used for digging holes.

Felling axe

Felling axe

The axe has chiefly used for chopping the trees down and cutting the logs of woods. Two to the four-pound head of the axe with a long handle lets the user have asturdy swing with substantial leverage for having more accurate cuts. The hickory wood handles not only ensures the durability and reliability of the tool but alsosuperior strength.

The sharp, fine, and thin tip blade of the flared shape axe is built to cut against the grain of the wood. The design is so profound that the tree truck swung sidewayswhenever the tree is about to fall.

They are recommended for excellent chopping the small tree and their branches. Do not buy them for splitting as the blade will get stuck in the wood.

Hudson Bay axe

Hudson Bay axe

The medium-sized axe has designed by Canadian fur trappers to chop firewood. They can be used as a multi-functional tool.

The size of the axe is appropriate to use either with a single hand or both hands, depending upon your convenience. The size of the axe can be estimated, as its size fallssomewhere between a hatchet and a full-sized felling axe.

The axe is recommended for small chopping and splitting the wood. The axe may require some extra force while working on the larger trees. You can also carry it withyou while going on camping trips.

Splitting Maul:

Splitting Maul axe

Although similar to a felling axe in design, the axe is recommended for the people who wish to separate the logs into kindling. The axe with a long wooden handle, theweighted head is made to deliver a good swing.

The axe is made for splitting the wood, not for chopping.

While splitting, use the downward swing rather than sideways to cut with the grain.

The head of the axe has a chunky wedge, being sharp on one side and blunt on the other. Although the functioning of the sharp side is limited as most of the work isbeing performed by the shape and weight of the blade.

Besides, they do not require regular sharpening of the blades; they work well even if they are blunt.

Broad axe

Broad axe

The broad axe is often called as hewing axe, as named after its hewing function. The axe has customarily used for turning round-edged lumber into a flat-edged shape.

The axe has been used for a unique type of carpentry, which was initially started before industrialization. Although, a similar style of carpentry work can be seen eventoday. For the hewing process, the axe is specially designed with one side flat and the other has a wide beveled edged blade, mostly used for chopping.

The medium-sized axe is handy and mostly seen with carpenters and does not many real-life applications.

Miner’s axe

Miner’s axe

The axe of middle age was used by miners while doing mining for silver and copper ore. The tradition of Europe had carried forward with a short handle and long head.The axe was considered a status symbol and ideally used in close quarters. Unique and Intricate detailing had been engraved over the head of the axe.

Double Bit axe

Double Bit axe

As the name suggests, the double-bit axe comes with two blades on both sides of the head. Although both the blades look similar, both of them have a differentpurpose. The side edged blade would be used for chopping the woods. While the blunt-edged blade would be used to split the wood.

Although the application of the axe is quite limited and with the evolution in the technology, they are only used by lumberjacks.

Many people do not prefer this as they are weighted, difficult to carry, and need more attention while working. People usually opt to go with two separate axes insteadof one.

Viking axe:

Viking axe

Viking axes are in trend since the Viking age as they are large and can be used as a weapon. They are a manageable and mild weapon. The well-balanced tool with theweight of nearly two ponds is lightweight and swift to use. The long 55-inch handle is mostly used with both hands.

The head of the axe may differ in shape but was quite useful at war times. The sharp tip of the blade could slash the throats and the blunt butt will band anyone on thehead. The iron heads with wooden handles are no longer in use today.

Pick axe

Pick axe

“T” shape hand tool with both sides of the head is great for gardens. They are most preferred to break the hard soil, rock, or concrete. The traditional pick axe usuallycomes in a wooden or fiberglass handle with a double metal head positioned over it. Although the modern axe has one pointed pick, mostly curved and chisel,completely straight on the other.

The chisel is used to catch the prey and open gaps between rocks. They further help to maintain the balance of the axe.


Adze axe

A sharp cutting blade from the Stone Age is a handy tool. They were commonly used for woodwork or to carve or smoothen the wood surface. The sharp, thin bladeswere set at on right angle to get a detailed and refined piece of art.

Different types of Adze could be categorized into two types:

  • Hand Adze
  • Foot Adze

Hand adze was short and could be easily operated with a single hand. Whereas, if compared to food adze, they were long and requires the use of both hands to operate.The “foot adze” usually refers hand which points towards the foot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Uses An Axe?

Ans: The axe, even in the modern era can be used as a weapon, harvesting timber, and as a symbol of heraldic and ceremonial times.

Which Is The Smallest Axe?

Ans: Hatchet is the smallest axe. They are useful on little camping trips. They are preferred to have anything cut down and had used for light jobs in the yard.

What Is The Sharpest Axe In The World?

Ans: Hammacher Schlemmer is the sharpest axe. This comes under the category of felling axee, made in the United States that holds the sharpest, strongest edge in the world.