Last updated on June 24th, 2020 at 12:01 pm
Axes have improved a lot in terms of their performance and durability, just because of the technology that has evolved a lot over the years. These days we have best axes ever made by Top Brands
As we all know an ax has two basic components head and handle. Handles are often made of wood, fibreglass or steel and the Head with a strong steel material to make it last long and efficient.
25 Types of Axe heads
The head of an axe has bit or blade at one end and a poll or butt on the other. Some of the heads are a double bit, which means cutting blade on each end of the head. The top corner where the cutting edge starts is called the toe and the bottom part is termed as the heel.
The head has an eye-shaped hole where the handle is mounted to give it a complete shape. Some of the heads are like a hammer at the back end for pounding wooden wedges or tent stakes into the ground.
Head comes with different shapes and sizes depending upon the purpose for which it is made. Ax head are generally made for following functions
- Harvesting the timber
- Splitting wood for firewood
- As a weapon
- For throwing competition
- As a ceremonial symbol
These functions determine the shape of the head and the handle along with the weight and the overall balance of an axe. Axes come in following different styles that define their purpose.
- Felling axe
- Splitting maul
- Double bit axe
- Viking/Danish axe
- Tactical axe/Battleaxes
Hudson Bay Axe
Axe Head Mattock
Felling axe is made for cutting down trees and for chopping big logs. The head of the felling axe is aggressively designed with the sharp blade to bite deep into the wood. Handles are normally long enough to give a comfortable grip with both hands. Balance of the handle has to be great to give easy swing of the arms without getting tired.
These days felling axes are efficient enough and you normally don’t need a chainsaw.
The head blade is sharp and thin and handles is at least 2 ft long.
Hatchet is termed as small axes and they are not meant for cutting down big trees. Hatchet can easily be used with a single hand because of its excellent balance and the handle length. Hatchets are considered one of the best camping axe to perform tasks like kindling and chopping branches for firewood.
These days hatchet is good enough to tackle even small trees along with performing other small tasks like clearing trail, bushcraft or getting the wood ready for a campfire. Because of their small size they can easily be carried anywhere and get fit in the bag comfortably.
Head is around 1 pound and the handle is around 1 foot long.
Very much similar in terms of size as compared with the felling axe but it’s used to split wood across the grain rather than cut into it. Splitting mauls do have hammer shape at the back end of the blade for pounding wooden wedges or tent stakes. They are normally bit heavier than felling axes.
The blade is less aggressive as compared to the felling axe and its concave shape. Handle size is around 2ft or more than that. The handle can be made of fibreglass or American hickory wood.
People have been found using tomahawk for camping like clearing trials and kindling but the fact is that they are more of a throwing axe. The size of the handle is small and with a sharp thin blade, it’s ideal for throwing with
Tomahawks have spike at the back of the head that can be very handy. The blade is very thin and sharp to get stuck in the wood while throwing.
The most striking part is the excellent balance of the axe, from head to bottom which makes it ideal to use with one hand without anybody strains.
Double bit axe
As the name suggests it has a sharp cutting blade at both ends of the head. The design not only looks great but it’s very efficient. We have reviewed some best double bit axe in one of our articles.
One end of the head is sharper and is used for felling trees and the other end of the head is bit concave and is made for splitting wood into small chunks and finish the job.
These axes are not very common these days but you can get one double bit axe instead of carrying two axes one for felling and other for kindling. They are a bit heavier than the normal axe because of its design.
These are not normally used for splitting logs or branches but battle re-enactment enthusiasts still buy them. They are called the Dane axe which reflects its popularity amongst the Danish Vikings.
Including the blade Viking axes are huge they can easily be 6 ft in height. Viking Hats and Boasts sold separately.
They are referred to as tactical tomahawks mainly used by soldiers, mercenaries, law enforcement operators and security personals.
These are multipurpose tools that can be also be used for chopping wood, bushcraft and can shatter tough car windows or breaking down doors in an emergency.
Battleaxe comes in various sizes some can be used with one hand other are large enough to get a good grip with both hands.
Their head is quite big as compared to the normal axe head to damage opponents in a battlefield.
Their weight may vary from .5 to 3kg and length from 1 to 5 ft. Cleaving weapons that are longer than 5 feet would no longer be called axes but would fall into the category of polearms. A polearm is defined as a weapon used in close combat where the main part of the weapon is attached to a long shaft.
Throwing competitions are very famous in many parts of the world. Those who are involved in throwing always look for the best throwing axes.
Throwing axes have a very good balance they should be lightweight and medium-sized that can be used with one hand. Height and length should be according to the standards set by different federations and leagues.
Fireman axe is also known as firefighter’s axe or fire axe. As we have mentioned in our previous articles, axes can be a great survival tool and this particular axe is specially designed for the same reason.
The design of the axe is such that, it would help you break down doors and windows in an emergency or rescuing someone, caught in a fire.
Head apart from the sharp blade is designed to perform splitting tasks and the back end of the axe head is pointed, almost pick shaped. This shape allows firefighters to break down doors and windows in an emergency.
These axes are available in wooden American Hickory, and Fiberglass handles. Fibreglass handles are provided with non-slippery grip, are water-resistant and with ability to sustain in extreme weather conditions.“These axes are decorated with a bright colour which is important to get it spotted in an emergency like when there is a lot of fire smoke around.”
Great survival tool
Colour of the axe is a bit dull
One of the oldest tools that have been used since the Stone Age. The adze is very similar to axes and is used for cutting, carving, smoothing and shaping large pieces of wood.
The cutting edge of the adze is perpendicular to the handle rather than parallel. Head is made of solid steel that can also be used to shape flat surface beams from round logs.
There are two types of the adze, one called Hand adze that comes with short handles similar to hammer handle. The other comes with long handles called Foot adze similar to splitting axes.
Made of solid steel
Comes with short and long handles
Not for inexperienced users
Just like firemen’s axe, this is also a great survival tool that has been carried by aircraft. This tool is a must with aircraft carrying more than 20 people. The axe name also suggests that this is mainly associated with aircraft during an emergency. The crash axe is used to chop and pry walls and cabinets to rescue people in a fire emergency when exits are not available.
It has a sharp blade some crash axes may have short pick opposite to the blade, and others may have a notch in the edge that is used to catch on sheet metal.
It’s very lightweight and balanced made of Glass Filled Nylon.
The blade is corrosion/adhesive resistance
Used by crash rescue firefighters
Strong and rigid handles
Not for splitting massive logs etc.
This historical axe is specially designed for some intended use. This axe is used to convert natural round shape tree into a squared-off piece of timber that to be used for framing. The timber then is used for a different type of structure, houses and boats etc.
This tool is highly appreciated by craftsman and homesteaders to make timber and shape wood into a variety of different items like chairs, tables, cutting boards and other furniture items and wooden instruments.
Comes with a variety of patterns, but the basics are the same. One side of the blade is bevelled for some fine work like cutting and shaving wood, and the other side is flat. The blade is in offset pattern from the handle that allows the user to strike the wood in a flat fashion.
Hewing axes comes with a single bevelled and double-bevelled head, and the single bevelled head axe is easy to use. Remember, axes with bigger heads can handle heavy work easily.
The hewing axes typically come with a curved handle which allows users for accurate and precise shaving and slicing during the hewing process.
Extended blade for fine work
Excellent for building a log cabin and making beams
Used by experienced woodsmen
The carpenter’s axe is slightly bigger than a standard hatchet but smaller than traditional axes. Carpenters axe is a small axe to perform some traditional woodworking and log building tasks. Whether you are farmer, log builder, roofer, carpenter or a general contractor, you would need to have this axe for carpentry tasks, splitting, shaving, driving nails in and pulling them out or break something apart.
With most of the carpenter’s axe, the axe head is provided with a sharp blade. The back end of the head is like hammer shape for pounding tent stakes, nails or wooden logs. Head is made of solid carbon steel to provide extra durability and power.
The axe comes with both hickory and with steel handles. The steel handles are provided with a leather grip that allows the axe handles to absorb mishits as well. The size of the handle is just perfect for allowing the user to hold the shaft close to the head to perform delicate carpentry tasks.
Performs carpentry tasks
Some axes are a bit expensive
Throwing is one of the famous sports that people love to play especially in USA and Canada. Every year different competitions are organized by WATL and NATF and other federations.
Throwing axes come with a sharp blade that makes sure that the axe gets stuck on the target board easily. Head must be perfectly balanced for perfect axe rotations.
Handles are generally compact, and the length of the handles varies from competition to competitions and should comply with the axe throwing rules. Whatever the length of the axe handle, it should be balanced enough to penetrate throw air and hit the target accurately.
Not for heavy splitting tasks
Forest axes are used for felling trees and take some heavy splitting tasks. These axes are quite heavy and used by experienced professionals to tackle some big dead trees and logs.
Head is made of solid carbon steel material to make sure it lasts for the years to come
These axes have large handles that help generate more power to cut down big massive trees with ease.
Generates more power
Solid and sturdy
Not ideal for camping
As the name suggests, the axe is mainly used by miners for mining silver and copper ore in Europe. This axe has short handles and long head ideal for use in close quarters.
These type of axes are perfect for chopping and felling. The ideal example of Dayton axe is the “Dyton axe 36 inch with the curved wooden handle”.
Head is made of forged steel, sturdy and is the USA made. Head is painted with red enamel and clear lacquer to
The handle is made of American hickory, and the eye section is reduced to 10% moisture content to prevent shrinking and head getting lose. Also, keep in mind that the Axe head is hydraulically seated onto the handle.
Hickory curved handles
Head is strongly fixed with handles
Paint need improvement
Talking about the types of axe heads here is another very unique axe you would love. This is actually great German invention and is more of a pistol than an axe.
These handsome collector model guns are made of antique finished zinc cast metal and polished European hardwoods.
The head is moulded into the metal and can’t be removed.
Can be used for close-quarter combat.
They are also used for decoration purposes.
They come assembled and ready for display.
The cant withstand misuse or excessive dry-firing
This is a Chinese weapon which they have been using in their early days.
Head consists of the dagger-shaped blade which is mounted perpendicular to its handle or shaft.
Handle, or shaft comes in wood.
It is also used as a weapon during the 15th and 16th century. They come in different shapes and size some are more practical and used by common soldiers in battles, and some are having shapes like more exotic and with really bizarre heads. Some of the halberd are meant to be used in parades only.
With halberds head normally have big spikes as well and is made of strong steel.
Halberds have very long shaft can be more than 6 ft and with a long spike on the head makes it ideal to be used in battles.
Excellent as a weapon
Not ideal for splitting and cutting
This is the axe with a broad head and was very prominently used during 1400 all around in Europe. The butcher used it in the early days to clave the head of an ox.
Head has a curved blade and is extended in such a way that its lower ends touch the handle or shaft.
Traditional bardiche is provided with both wooden and steel long handles.
Used as weapon
Not for felling trees
Hudson Bay Axe
Hudson Bay axe is originated from northern Spain near France. During early days French use to trade this axe in Hudson Bay area with Native American for fur and other items. The axe can be used for light splitting, chopping and driving tent pegs as well.
Hudson bay axes come with a forged steel head that ensures its durability and strength. The axe head is hydraulically seated onto handle and secured with a wooden and steel wedge.
These axes have quality American hickory handle with excellent grain orientation.
Head is sharp and nicely mounted
Nice comfortable grip
Comes with sheath
Handle needs to be coated with oil.
Axe Head Mattock
Talking about the different axe head types a mattock is a hand tool used for digging, prying and chopping. Mattock is very handy and used for planting purposes by digging a hole into the ground.
Is made of solid carbon steel and is tightly fixed with the handle.
Mattocks are normally provided with wooden hickory handles
Chops tough tree roots easily
Great survival tool as well
Working with mattock is tough
An ice axe is a very famous tool used by mountaineers for hiking and climbing, especially where mountains are covered with snow or ice. This tool can be used in various ways like, it can be used as a walking stick by just holding the head from the centre.
Ices axes come with a stainless steelhead.
The handle is provided with the rope as well to form a secure anchor to bring up the second climber. The handle and the head normally come in one piece of stainless steel. Handles are provided with excellent comfortable and non-slippery grip.
They are lightweight and easy to use
These days the shepherd’s axe is more of a decorating piece with a head made of the golden and silver piece, and many are considered works of art. The older people living in rural areas are happy to use it as a walking stick, and it’s used in different traditional dances as well.
Head is made of strong metal which is sharp from one side, and the other side is left flat and used as a hammer.
Shepherds axe have a long shaft and provided with a metal butt. The handles are beautifully engraved and have a length of more than 1 meter.
Used as souvenirs
Not for regular splitting tasks
As the name suggests, it’s one of the best roofing tools used and preferred by roofers.
Head design make it a perfect multipurpose tools for roofing.one end of the head is provided with the blade for cutting roof shingles, and the other side is a hammer for pounding nails etc. The head is also magnetized to hold the nails, which makes the job even easier.
Roofing axe has small handles that can easily be carried to the rooftop for work. The handles come with both wooden and steel materials and are easily available in the market.
Portable and lightweight
Not for heavy splitting tasks
What is an AXE head called?
The part of the bit that descends from the rest of the axe head is called the beared. The top-end of the blade called toe and the bottom end is referred to as the heel. The back end of the head is called butt.
Is a hatchet a type of AXE?
Small axes are termed as hatchets, the length is just enough to be used with a single hand. Ideal for camping or throwing
What is a Viking AXE called?
Beard axes and can also be used as a weapon, they are called Dane axe which reflects its popularity amongst the Danish Vikings.
Why are AXE blades curved?
Blades are curved for more penetration flat blades don’t bite deep in the wood. The curved blade also allows the head not to get stuck in the wood which saves your energy and time.
How are AXE heads made?
They are made of solid steel, that is melted and then shaped into the desired design and then the blade is sharpened for cutting advantages.
Is an AXE considered a weapon?
Axes that are made with special specifications and can be used in the battlefield are called battle axes. Normally every axe can be treated as a survival axe or a weapon in an emergency situation.
Where did AXE throwing originate?
Europeans are the one who originated this first throwing axe competition was held in North America.
Is AXE throwing an Olympic sport?
National axe throwing Federation (NATF) is responsible to standardize the competitions held in different countries.