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    How to Choose an Axe

    An axe is a versatile tool that can be used for various purposes. Choosing the right axe can make your work easier and more efficient. However, with so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to select the right one. In this guide, we will take you through the various factors that you should consider when choosing an axe.

    Understanding the Different Types of Axes

    There are three main types of axes that you need to know about: felling axes, splitting axes, and hatchets. Each of these types of axes is designed for specific purposes.

    Felling Axes

    Felling axes are designed for cutting trees. They have a longer handle and a heavier head to help you cut through the tree's trunk. They are not ideal for splitting wood.

    Splitting Axes

    Splitting axes are designed for splitting wood. They have a shorter handle and a heavier head that helps to generate more force when splitting wood. They are not ideal for cutting trees.


    Hatchets are small axes that are ideal for camping, woodworking, and chopping small branches. They have a shorter handle and a lighter head, making them easy to handle.

    Consider the Axe Head

    The axe head is the most important part of the axe. It is the part that does the cutting, so you need to consider the following factors when choosing an axe head:

    Head Material

    The most common materials used for axe heads are steel and carbon. Steel heads are more durable and can hold a sharp edge for longer. Carbon heads are softer and easier to sharpen but need more maintenance.

    Head Shape

    The head shape determines the purpose of the axe. For instance, a felling axe has a concave shape that helps to cut through the tree trunk. A splitting axe has a flat shape that helps to split the wood.

    Head Weight

    The weight of the head determines how much force you can generate when swinging the axe. A heavier head generates more force, but it can also tire you out quickly.

    Handle Selection

    The handle of the axe is just as important as the head. It determines how comfortable the axe is to handle and how much control you have over it.

    Handle Material

    The most common materials used for axe handles are wood, fiberglass, and steel. Wood handles are traditional and offer a good grip, but they need more maintenance. Fiberglass handles are durable and low maintenance. Steel handles are the most durable but are also the heaviest.

    Handle Length

    The length of the handle determines how much leverage you can get when swinging the axe. Longer handles generate more force, but they can also be harder to control.

    Handle Shape

    The shape of the handle determines how comfortable it is to hold the axe. Some handles have a curved shape that fits better in your hand, while others have a straight shape that offers more control.

    Additional Features

    Aside from the head and handle, there are other features you should consider when choosing an axe:

    Blade Coating

    Some axes come with a blade coating that helps to prevent rust and corrosion. This is especially important if you plan to use the axe outdoors.


    A sheath is a protective cover for the axe head. It not only protects the blade but also prevents accidents when carrying the axe.

    Balance Point

    The balance point of the axe is the point where the handle and head meet. A well-balanced axe is easier to control and requires less effort to swing.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the best material for an axe head?

    The best material for an axe head depends on your needs. For example, if you need an axe for chopping wood, a steel head may be best. If you need an axe for splitting wood, a heavier iron head may be better. It's important to consider the material's durability, sharpness, and weight.

    How long should an axe handle be?

    The length of an axe handle depends on the user's height and the intended use of the axe. As a general rule, the handle should be long enough to provide leverage and control, but not so long that it becomes difficult to swing. A good starting point is a handle that is 24 to 28 inches long.

    Can I use a felling axe to split wood?

    Felling axes are designed for cutting down trees and are not ideal for splitting wood. For splitting wood, you should use a splitting axe or maul, which has a heavier head and a wedge-shaped blade that is better suited for splitting wood.

    Do I need a sheath for my axe?

    While a sheath is not necessary, it is highly recommended. A sheath not only protects the axe head from damage but also prevents accidents when carrying the axe. It is a small investment that can help extend the life of your axe and keep you safe.

    How often should I sharpen my axe blade?

    The frequency of sharpening depends on how often you use the axe and the type of work you're doing. As a general rule, you should sharpen the blade after every use to maintain its sharpness. If you notice that the blade is dull or not cutting as well as it used to, it's time to sharpen it.