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Axes to split, fell and chop wood: what do you need to know?

Tough men, sharp axes, hard workers. A familiar image. As a tool we first came across the axe in the antiquity. There are, however, different types of axes, perfect for different purposes. Because we would like you to use the right axe for the right purpose we will tell you more about the differences.

Traditionally the shape and structure of an axe was determined by the function, the blacksmith and the demands of the user. However, because of the start of the industrialization and the associated mass production of products axes became increasingly standardized. Today we still see a number of common types of axes, the ones we will discuss here.

Different axes, different purposes

Felling axe

  • These axes are specifically designed to fell trees.
  • The felling axe is always used with two hands.
  • A felling axe needs to be sharp to remove a lot of material
  • The weight of a felling axe is usually around 1.5 and 2.5 kg.
  • The length is usually between 50 and 65 cm.

Hand axe, trekking axe, hunters axe or forestry axe

  • Perfect for small tasks, like producing kindling
  • Indispensable during any camping trip. Use the head of the axe to cut feathersticks to make sure a couple of sparks from a firesteel are enough to get a fire going.
  • You mostly use this axe with one hand. The axe is no too big and not too heavy.
  • It will often easily fit in your backpack.
  • A trekking/forestry axe needs to be razor-sharp to remove a lot of material.
  • The weight is usually between 1 and 1.5 kg.
  • The length of the axe is usually between 55 and 65 cm.

Splitting axes

  • These axes have a characterizing heavy head. Because of its weight you can’t use it to chop.
  • The splitting axe has a thin head in the front, to make sure the axe can easily enter the wood, but is thicker in the middle to make sure it can easily split the wood.
  • The edge of the splitting axe is straight and undamaged, but doesn't have to be sharp.
  • A splitting axe is available as a small and large axe. As a result the length can vary from 40 to 90 cm.
  • You use a splitting axe with both hands, also because of the weight.
  • The weight depends on the length, but is usually between 1.5 and 3.5 kg.

Splitting hammers

  • To split larger pieces of wood
  • You use a splitting hammer if you also use a metal wedge
  • Can be recognized by the thicker head and massive hammer-looking back. As such the axe can handle quite a lot. Every other axe is not meant to hit metal. A splitting hammer can be both small and large, as such the length varies from 40 to 90 cm.
  • You use a splitting hammer with both hands, also because of the weight.
  • The weight depends on the length, but is usually between 1.5 and 3.5 kg.

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