The Best Axes for Cutting Trees or Chopping Wood


Axes have been one of the most prevalent tools for survival since the Stone Age, but there are many variants available today. And with so many amazing brands and distinct types, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of choices when starting your search for an axe. That’s why we’ve created this guide with all the nitty-gritty details that are sure to help you buy an axe with ease!

Types of Axes

There are several types of axes, all of which have different functions and purposes. Some of the most popular types include:

Double-bitted axe

As the name implies, a double-bitted axe features two blades: one relatively sharper than the other. This type of axe is often used for chopping firewood, splitting logs, and lumber cutting. It is relatively heavier than the traditional axe and is usually preferred by lumberjacks.

Felling axe

The most common type of axe is the felling axe, which is used for all sorts of small and heavy-duty tasks such as cutting small tree branches, splitting wood, and clearing bushes. It has an almost 2′ long handle with a super sharp blade to penetrate through the wood without exerting much force.

Splitting axe

Splitting axes are also known as splitting mauls and typically have 24-36″ long handles either made of hickory or ash wood. They also have a heavy metal head with either a straight or curved bit. The wedge on the backside of the blade delivers a powerful strike to split a piece of wood along the grain with minimal chipping or cracking. Splitting axes are ideal for both splitting and felling trees.

Carpentry axe

The carpentry axe is one of the most important tools in a carpenter’s bag of tricks. A carpenter’s axe resembles a hatchet but has a sharp blade and a longer handle to provide more control over the blade. Some carpenter’s axes consist of additional grooves to remove the nails while working. This axe is often used to cut and trim dry wood into desired shapes. A good carpentry axe can do everything an average woodcutter saw can do but more expediently and with better results.

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The hatchet is probably the most popular axe style available today. It is a one-handed, single-bladed sharp axe with a bushcraft handle. It usually ranges in length from 6 to 14 inches and weighs around two pounds. This type of axe is used for light chopping tasks around the yard or clearing the trail in the wilderness.

How To Find the Right Axe

Blade material

The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while buying an axe is the material it is made from. An axe made from high-quality material provides maximum durability and resists chips and nicks. Always opt for an axe with a drop-forged heat-treated carbon steel blade as it offers unmatched durability and optimal strength to take down large trees without exerting much force.


Just like the blade of an axe, the handle plays a vital role in its performance. Traditional axes were made of wood, but nowadays, they are available in a range of materials, including fiberglass, steel, hickory, and ash. All these materials have their own pros and cons, so you have to pay close attention while buying the axe.

For instance, wood is usually favored by most people for its strength, affordability, and impact resistance, but it can easily wear down with constant use. Steel handles, on the other hand, surpass wood in strength and durability, but it is usually heavy, which restricts the user’s ability to work. Fiberglass is the best bet as it is lightweight and offers better swing power and wear resistance. Also, before settling down on a particular model, make sure it comes with shock resistant rubber grip for added comfort.

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The weight of the axe is the major deciding factor when buying an axe. It’s totally natural for a person to assume that the heavier the axe, the more efficiently you will be able to complete the work. But that’s not always the case. Although heavier axes are endowed with powerful striking ability, they also require much more energy to swing.

Some axes weigh only 3 to 4 pounds and provide more accuracy to complete smaller tasks like chopping wood or clearing the bushes, while others weigh as much as 8 pounds and are better suited for hardcore tasks. The optimal solution is to pick a model according to your physical ability and the task at hand, so you can get the job done without getting fatigued.

The Cost of an Axe

Axes are available in a variety of materials, and prices vary based on the size, intricacy of their head, and the brand you purchase it from. Some axes cost as little as $15, but others can cost up to $200. On average, a good quality axe made from top-notch carbon steel material will cost anywhere between $50 – $150.

The cheapest axes are made of plastic, wood, or aluminum. If you need an axe for a one-time job or a weekend project, you can get by with something inexpensive. But if you need an axe for long-term, heavy-duty use, consider spending extra to buy a quality product that will last longer and doesn’t need to be sharpened very often!

While buying the axe, you also have to incorporate the price of sharpening equipment, i.e., whetstone or grindstone, which usually costs around $20.

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Maintaining and Storing Your Axe

Whether you’re hacking through a thick bush or gathering wood for the bonfire, an axe is one of the most important tools in your kit. However, like any tool, an axe requires proper storage and maintenance for peak performance. Here are a few important tips that will help you maintain your axe.

  • Sharpen the blade with a file or stone before storing it. If you don’t sharpen your blade, the metal dulls over time and might break when you’re using it.
  • Clean off any rust, sawdust, or dirt that has accumulated on the blade or handle after every use and lubricate it with oil to prevent corrosion.
  • Make sure the head of your axe isn’t loose from the handle, which can lead to poor performance and even injury while chopping wood.
  • Inspect the handle for cracks and splinters, which can further loosen the head of your axe or cause other problems when you’re swinging it.
  • Keep it in a protective leather sheath for maximum safety.
  • Store your axe in a dry place, away from intense heat and freezing temperatures when not in use.