There are many brands producing quality handles for the axe like Gransfors Bruks, Estwing, Fiskars, Husqvarna, and many more. Ax handles can be made of different material as discussed below.
- Wooden handles
- Steel handles
There are various types of wood used for handles like Hickory, Ash, Birch, Walnut, Carpinus Betulus.
Ash, Birch, Walnut and Carpinus Betulus are commonly used wood for ax handles especially in europian countries. They are not that strong, especially when working outside as compared to Hickory handles.
Hickory is the most famous wood used for making quality axe handles. Hickory wood is much stronger as compared to white Oak and hard maple and importantly more flexible. Hickory handles are known for their quality and durability among axe lovers all around the world. Husqvarna axes made of American hickory are very famous among farmers to use it as a woodcutter ax.
Hickory trees are available UnitedStates, Canada, Mexico, China and India(Assam).
- Hickory Is A Sustainable And Renewable Resource
- Hickory Is Better For Comfort And Stress Reduction
- Hickory Is More Economical Than Other Handle Alternatives
- Hickory Handles Are Easily Replaced and Are Environmentally Friendly
How to judge the strength of the Hickory handle?
This is a crucial question that needs to be answered. One vital sign to judge the quality of a handle is to look into the grain orientation of the wood.
Important points to consider in the wooden handles:
- Grains of ax handles should run parallel to the length of the handle and to the wedge slot. There shouldn’t be any knot /defect on the wood
- Ideally wood should be in one color
- Wood handles shouldn’t be varnished
The term “fiberglass” may also refer to the fiber strands embedded into the plastic. It’s basically sand that is melted and made into fiber. It’s very strong for its weight and used to make parts that are used in a lot of sports goods, boats, automobiles, aircraft, and windmills, etc. fiberglass is the basic building block for most of the composite parts. Fiberglass offers more flexibility and is cheap as compared to black carbon fiber.
Fiberglass handles are very common these days companies like Fiskars are producing the best quality fiberglass handles with eye-catching axe design. Fiberglass is used in many products because of its strength. Although it is a bit expensive as compared to wood but people love to buy an ax with fiberglass handle.
Fiskars x27 one of the famous wood splitting axe, you can check in our top 15 Best Axe List.
Steel is nothing but an alloy of iron and carbon, and in some cases, other elements combined to form steel. Iron ore is extracted from the ground and then heated at high temperatures to remove impurities and then carbon added to it to make steel.
They are not used very often, and they usually come in one piece. Head is welded and fixed to the handle. Although steel handles are considered very durable, they come with noticeable disadvantages which makes them less valuable.
Companies like Estwing provides one of the best steel for axes. Estwing 14 inch camp axe is an excellent example of a steel axe with leather cushion on the handle to absorb jerks as well.
There are few points you need to consider before selecting an axe either with wooden, fiberglass, or steel handle.
Take your budget into consideration
If you are limited with your budget, then go for a typical hickory handle, with a bit of care, it will do the job for years.
The purpose for which you want to buy an ax
Are you looking to split small to medium size logs, felling trees, clearing trails and bushes than you can buy wooden axes.
But If you are looking for some tough work like cutting tree roots or working in any polluted or extreme environmental conditions, then you should buy fiberglass handle. They require less maintenance and Lightweight. Fiberglass handles are a vital part of the best backpacking axe or travel axe.
Buy steel handle axes only in the case where handles are provided with shock absorption material.
Consider this point before buying an axe. Always look for lightweight and comfortable handles which allows you to work for hours every day.
Why is an AXE handle curved?
Curve handles give stylish look but some may like to have a curved handle to improve grip on the handle.
How do you measure an AXE handle?
length of the handle is measured normally from the top edge of the ax down to the knob at the bottom. Standard length is considered 36 inches.
Why is hickory used for AXE handles?
Most commonly used wood for handles just because of its durability and important ability to absorb unwanted jerks because it provides flexibility.
Can you use oak for an AXE handle?
Yes, oaks can be used for axe handles if wood grains orientation is perfect and there is no defect in the wood.
What wood is used for hammer handles?
Hickory considered the best of all and ash wood are commonly used for hammer handles.
Are fiberglass handles better than wood?
Yes in many terms fiberglass handles are preferred to wooden handles because of their strength and are less vulnerable to the extreme weather conditions. They require less maintenance as compared to wooden handles.