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Home Get smarter Information Axes to split, fell and chop wood: what do you need to know?

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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

The small hand axe, sometimes also called hatchet

  • Derived its name from the French word ‘Hachette’ (small axe).
  • A practical and multi-functional model.
  • Perfect for various purposes (pruning, felling, grubbing). 
  • Axes of this size are often always used with one hand, you could, however, of course also use two hands.
  • The weight is usually between 0.5 and 1.5 kg.
  • The length of a small axe is usually between 25 and 40 cm.

The ‘normal’ axe

  • The standard model axe, as we often come across in hardware stores and garden centres.
  • This axe is perfect when chopping wood but can also be used to fell trees.
  • You always use a normal axe with two hands.
  • The weight is usually between 0.5 and 1.5 grams.
  • The length of a small axe is usually between 25 and 40 cm.

The splitting axe

  • 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.
  • 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.

The felling axe

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

The throwing axe, also called tomahawk

  • Originally the throwing axe was used to work with one side being a little sharper than the other side. The blunter edge was used on parts of the tree that could damage the sharpness of the axe, such as knots.
  • Today throwing axes are only used at competitions.
  • The weight is usually around 2 kg.
  • The length of a throwing axe is usually between 30 and 40 cm.

The broad axe

  • The design of the broad axe is based on traditional Swedish axes.
  • The axe is used to chop straight pieces, for instance, beams from a large tree trunk.
  • The broad axe can have a straight and curved handle.
  • The weight is usually between 1.5 and 2 kg.
  • In terms of size the length of the broad axe is usually between 50 and 65 cm.

Because an axe is a dangerous and sharp tool there are a number of things you need to pay attention to before you start using it. 

What should you always check?

  • Is the head tear and crack free?
  • Is the handle still firmly attached?
  • Is the wedge (the piece of wood to secure the head to the handle) still in place?
  • Is the handle tear and crack free?
  • Is the handle curved?
  • Is the axe still sharp, straight and in one piece?
  • Can you find any rust on the axe?

If your axe ticks all the boxes mentioned above you can get to work! Do make sure you keep paying attention to your axe to ensure it stays in great shape. Not the case? Stop using it until it is once again in great shape! An axe (or parts of it) can, after all, cause major damage to you or your surroundings.