8 Different Types of Axes: An Option for Every Situation

Jul 27, 2018 | Blog

Ever thought that an “axe is just an axe”? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong, because as with most tools, there are different types available to suit different roles.

8 Different Styles of Axes

1. Hatchet

When most people think of an axe, this is what they picture. These are the types of axe you can pick up at Home Depot for a few dollars, and for most people, they do fine for chopping up kindling or tackling the occasional small tree.

A good hatchet should ideally include a hickory handle, have a well-weighted head, and a balanced feel. It’s the balanced feel that helps you strike accurately each time, felling a tree much quicker than a cheaper hatchet.

2. Felling Hatchet

These axes are catered to the felling of trees and chopping larger logs. This time around, the handle is longer, the head is angled more aggressively and usually, the handle is designed to produce a powerful swing.

As with the hatchet, it’s all about hickory with the felling axe, and it’s even more important that the grain follows the curve of the handle upwards for strength. Other materials can be used for felling Axes too; metal and plastic polymer handles have become a favorite among budget options.

3. Splitting Maul

Similar in size to a felling axe, yet this time its job is to split logs into kindling for a fire. The axe head will have a less aggressive, more concave blade to it, allowing you to split the wood across the grain, rather than cut into it. You might have read our splitting maul reviews, we went over the top products in the market and love these axes.

A good splitting axe will share much in coming with a decent felling axe. A long wooden handle, forged head and a grain that follows the curve of the handle. The only material difference is the head blade design.

4. Tomahawk

These are the axes you see frequently on camping trips. They tend to be used incorrectly for firewood collecting and clearing brush, something a quality machete would be a better fit for!

Another use for the Tomahawk is as a weapon, people train to throw these axes with incredible accuracy!

5. The Double Bit Axe

This axe is a cumbersome beast, yet it’s dual head is more useful than you’d think! One side of the double bit axe is always much sharper than the other. It’s this side that you use to fell a tree or cut wood.

On the opposite side, you’ll find a head that’s much more concave and blunt. This side is your splitting head and will allow you to finish off the job of firewood collecting with ease.

There are pros and cons to this design. For one, it makes the top of the axe incredibly heavy in use, and often tires people out half way through a job; however, carry just the one axe with you can be helpful if you travel far to collect wood.

Double bit axes aren’t that popular anymore, and you’d probably have to go to a specialist axe merchant or manufacturer to find one.

6. Viking/Danish Axe

We had to include this one! Okay, there’s no real use for these axes anymore; however, frequent battle re-enactment enthusiasts buy them in their thousands, so it’s easier than you’d think to get hold of one.

A standard issue Viking axe is huge. They can easily be 6ft in height, with different sizes depending on the user (you can also be fitted for a Viking Axe, just like a suit).

Viking Hats and Boasts sold separately!

7. Tactical Axe

I’ve never been much of a tactical axe enthusiast, I’ve always found them a jack of all trade, and yet a master of none! Even so, many camping and survival people rate them highly, and in some respects, you can see why.

A good tactical axe, is not usually made of hickory, or any type of wood. They’re generally made of forged steel, with helpful notches and serrated edges to help with specific tasks. A great example of this are climbing axes, which feature special cut-outs and parts to cut rock or help attach bolts to rock faces.

In a survival situation, a quality tactical axe can sometimes make the difference due to its sheer strength and multi-functional use.

8. Battle Axe

Unlike the Viking Axe, the battle axe is much smaller and designed to be held in one hand. They’re extremely powerful weapons, with a heavy cut head that’s designed to carry as much power through the swing, and ultimately onto your target.

Just like the Viking Axe, there’s a whole industry of manufacturers designed to serve the battle re-enactment scene, so if you really want to lay your hands on one of these, it’s easier than you think.

Clarence McCall

Editor for Survivalgearexperts.net

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