How to Buy an Axe – Choose Best Axe for the Job

Beginner’s Guide to Axes

Owning a high quality wood axe is an indispensable tool every homeowner or outdoor enthusiast should have. Whether you are chopping firewood, clearing trail brush on the path or making kindling while camping, an axe is very versatile. You should consider owning both a splitting axe and a small axe or small hatchet for your wood chopping projects.

How to Choose Best Axe Size

How to buy an axe? Do I need an axe or a hatchet? What is the best axe for chopping wood? Best axe for felling trees? Who makes the best axes in the world?  Best camp axes and hatchets?  Swedish axes and hatchets?  Many people are confused when it comes to which axes to buy.  The key thing when choosing an axe to select the right tool for the job.

The bigger the axe the more work it will do. Two axes with the same head weight and sharpness will perform about the same, but now if one axe has a longer handle this axe will have more leverage and do more work. This would also be true if two axes have the same length handle, the axe with the heavier head will do more work. For more information check out Wikipedia’s article on the Axe.

Work Smarter,  Not Harder

Each axe is built to perform a specific range of tasks such as chopping campfire kindling, splitting fireplace logs or felling trees. Just as you wouldn’t use a spoon to dig a tunnel, the same is true for axes. Choosing the right axe for the job will save you time, effort and enable you to complete the work as easily possible.

Best Axe for the Money

The best quality axes and hatchets come in a range of sizes but these are the most common:

Axe Hatchet

Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe - Survival Hatchet
High quality, hand forged axe

A hatchet is a small axe intended to be used primarily with one hand. The handle is about 12 inches in length and the head weighs anywhere from 1-1.5 lb. The small hatchet axe is ideal for carving and splitting small firewood. The best hand axe is suitable for chopping down trees up to 2 inches in diameter. Recommended best axe/hatchet: Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet, Fiskars Hatchet and Husqvarna Hatchet.

Small Axe

Bushman Axe Wetterlings
Surviorman’s Les Stroud designed axe

A small axe is considered by many to be the most versatile of axe tools and intended to be used either with one or two hands. The small axe handle is about 20 inches in length, and the head weighs anywhere from 1.5-2 lb. The axe is good for one hand carving and with two hands when splitting or chopping. This axe is perfect for trees of about 4 inches in diameter. Recommended best small axe: Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe, Wetterling Small Hunters Axe , Helko Black Forest Woodworker Axe  and Wetterlings Bushman Axe.

Boy’s Axe/Limbing Axe

Husqvarna Multipurpose Axe
Husqvarna is the best axe buy

These are the most popular axes in size and best axes for chopping wood up to 6 inches in diameter. The Boy’s Axe or Limbing Axe is a larger version of the small axe. The handle is about 25 to 28 inches in length, and the weight of the head is anywhere from 2-3 lb. Recommended best Boys/Limbing Axe: Cold Steel Trail Boss, Husqvarna Traditional Axe and Gransfors Scandinavian Forest Axe.

Felling Axe or Full-Size Axe

Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe
Bruks American is another best axe choice

Need to cut down large trees then you’re going to want a felling axe. This is the full-size wood cutting axe, go to axe for woodsman and lumberjacks.  Extremely sharp axe blade cuts across the wood grain as deeply as possible with every stroke. The felling axe handle is over 30 inches in length, usually 36 inches. The felling axes for sale head can weigh anywhere from 3-5 lb, or more. Feeling axes are the best axe for chopping trees. Recommended best felling axes for sale: Fiskars Splitting Axe, Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe, and Council Tool Jersey Axe.

For detailed video reviews on all the high-quality wood axes and hatchets check out: Axe and Hatchet Video Reviews

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Here are a few more wood axes tips on how to choose best axe:

7 Tips: How to Select Wood Axe

Tip #1: When selecting any axe for a particular purpose, as with any hand tool, price factors into the equation. Cheaper priced axes can still provide good value, but it requires careful selection with regard handle quality and axe head forging.

Tip #2: Choose a wood axe designed for its intended use, but don’t cut too many corners on cost. A good axe will hold its edge, cut well, and last for years.

Tip #3: For maximum utility and safety, an axe should be properly selected according to its intended use.

Tip #4: Always keep your axe blade sharp. A dull axe, like a dull knife, is inefficient and will burn up way too much of your energy when trying to get work done.

Tip# 5: Never use an axe or hatchet with a cracked handle or loose axe head. Serious injury could result.

Tip #6: Always use a chopping block, solidly grounded, and about knee high, to chop your wood on. It is safer, helps your power and will save your back.

Tip #7: Never chop wood in the dark or when you are tired. Help prevent injury to yourself by chopping wood in a well-lit area and when you well rested.

In conclusion, you should have more insight on how to buy best high-quality axes and hatchets for your home, camping and outdoor adventures. You might also enjoy: What experts are saying about axes