An axe is a chopping tool with a heavy metal blade mounted on a long interchangeable handle. I think, every man would like to own a good axe or hatchet for his purposes. That’s why this article was written in order to present you best axes in the world for 2020.
Nowadays there are plenty of axe varieties out there which surely embody every woodsman’s requests. Go camping, chop, split and cut timber, firewood or logs for craftwork… All of these activities need a good-quality and suitable axe.
If you decided to get an axe, but you don’t know what it is, for what tasks it’s meant to be, then this article will be useful for you. A wrongful choice can take the whole labor process down the drain. But don’t worry I will help you to make a good decision!
Join this journey with me!
Main Types of Axes
Let’s look through the main types of axes, their differences and purposes.
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There small cleavers to hold with one hand and large ones. There are heavy axes with displaced center of gravity and special blade shape. A wedge-shaped blade easily and quickly enters the wood, and the wide part easily splits the log into pieces.
This axe has also another type – a sledgehammer axe which is intended for splitting rough knotty wood. With the help of a hammer-shaped butt end, you can easily drive wedges into the deck.
Special axe for artistic woodworking. It has a rounded wide blade with a notch at the base and chamfer on the right or left side. There also axes with one-sided sharpening of the blade and a handle curved to the side for accurate trapping for logs and planks.
It has a straight handle and wide blade with a straight thin cutting edge. The main purpose is the ability to make a flat chopped surface. It cuts, not splits wood.
Another of its feature is a notch (sinuses) at the base of the head. A carpenter can easily take an axe from the very base of the blade, for a stable and accurate clamping of wood. A straight axe allows you to hold the axe in any surface and different angles.
Therefore, the axe is good at handling dry wood. The most important thing in a carpentry is the sharpness of the blade!
It has long handle and a rounded edge blade. The impacts of such an axe are powerful, and the blade does not get stuck in the wood trunk. They are perfectly chopped even resinous wood. It easily handles branches.
The special shape of the blade with rounded edges, a special butt end for skinning, almost flat handle. It is good to chop both wood and meat with this kind of axe.
A small version of a hunting axe with a small butt end. It chops, stabs and easily fits in a backpack. What else does a scout or tourist need on exciting trips?
What Are the Optimal Dimensions for Axes?
The dimensions of an ax depend on the type of axe. For work requiring special impact force you need an axe with the shape of an elongated hatchet. For clean precision work that does not require a lot of impact force axes made with the shape of short hatchet are suitable.
The ability to use in the wood processing depends on how heavy the tool is. The minimum weight is 0.9 kg. Lighter models are used only for a limited range of household purposes when finishing small work-pieces, for instance, for sharpening wedges.
What Are the Best Axes?
I want to present you a list where I highlighted best axes in the world in 2020 and their quick characteristics. Let’s go through this list and make a proper choice.
- Best Overall: Fiskars Super Splitting Axe
“Ideal for tall users, for big-size logs, beautiful design, powerful impacts.”
- Best Value: Cold Steel Trail Hawk
“Affordable variant, high-quality steel, suitable for camping lovers.”
- Best for Throwing: Estwing Tomahawk Axe
“Super comfortable, durable and lightweight tool for sportsmen and soldiers.”
- Best for Camping: Coleman Camp Axe
“Perfect affordable multifunctional tool for camping purposes.”
- Best for Chopping: 1844 Helko Werk Germany Axe
“Environmental tool for experienced woodsmen, compact size.”
- Best for Bushcraft: Off Grid Multi-Tool
“Universal tool, easy to use, comfortable handle, compact size.”
- Best for Survival: Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
“Good hatchet for survival, razor sharp blade, zero slip grip.”
- Best for Splitting: Estwing Double Bit Axe
“High powerful impacts ensured with long handle and high-quality blade.”
- Best for Backpacking: Husqvarna Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe
“Compact size for camping enthusiasts, convenient wooden handle.”
- Best for Kindling: Snow & Nealley Penobscot Bay Kindling Axe
“Easily usable, perfect for kindling, lightweight, still heavy-duty, natural product.”
Best Axes Comparison Chart
Look through this table and compare 12 best axes in the world which are considered as greatest ones. I mentioned their properties and features for you to make your choice.
|Fiskars Super Splitting Axe - Best Overall||Steel||28 inches||5.85 lbs||Splitting|
|Cold Steel Trail Hawk - Best Value||Steel Wood||22 inches||1.34 lbs||Multifunctional|
|Estwing Tomahawk Axe - Best for Throwing||Steel||16.25 inches||1.5 lbs||Reduction Grip|
|Coleman Camp Axe - Best for Camping||Steel||17 inches||2.05 lbs||Camping|
|1844 Helko Werk Germany Axe - Best Chopping||Steel Wood||24 inches||3.5 lbs||Chopping|
|Off Grid Multi-Tool - Best for Bushcraft||Carbon Steel Fiberglass||19.23 inches||2 lbs||Multifunctional|
|Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet - Best for Survival||High Carbon Steel Polypropylene||9.46 inches||1.4 lbs||Survival hatchet|
|Estwing Double Bit Axe - Best for Splitting||Steel||17 inches||2.55 lbs||Double Bit|
|Husqvarna Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe - Best for Backpacking||Steel Hickory||26 inches||2.1 lbs||Multifunctional|
|Snow & Nealley Penobscot Bay Kindling Axe - Best for Kindling||Steel Hickory||17 inches||2.4 lbs||Kindling|
|SOG Specialty Knives Tactical Tomahawk Axe||Steel||15.75 inches||1.5 lbs||Breaching|
|CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk Axe||Steel Wood||19 inches||2.14 lbs||Hatchet|
Top 12 Best Axes Reviews 2020
Now let's move together to the main part of this article – reviews about best axes in the world! Learn about each product’s pros, cons and specifications.
1. Fiskars Super Splitting Axe
Fiskars Super Splitting Axe is very different from other similar axes from other manufactures. The key is that the working part of the tool has a unique shape that allows to overcome even large logs without much effort.
A special blade coating provides an easy axe extraction process. The axe is delivered sharpened from the factory and ready to use. The axe is equipped with a protective cover for safety and convenience. The handle is made of high strength and very light material.
- Splitting medium and large-size wood
- Zero slip grip
- For tall users
- Premium quality
- Qualitative blade
- Easy to remove blade from logs
- Original design
- Powerful impacts
- Not suitable for camping purposes
- Long handle is not for every user
|Product dimensions||1 x 1 x 1 inches|
2. Cold Steel Trail Hawk
An excellent hatchet for off-road tourism, a very multifunctional thing that allows you to remove the handle and compactly put it in a backpack. Due to the fact that it is attached because of friction.
You can take only one blade with you and make an axe in place in 5 minutes. It is lightweight and cuts better than any cleaver which is twice as heavy. It is impossible to break it. The handle was made of their durable Hickory wood.
- For camping trips
- Super affordable
- Lightweight cutting
- High quality steel
- Cheap look
|Product dimensions||0.4 x 0.4 0.4 inches|
Watch out the great review about this axe:
3. Estwing Tomahawk Axe
(Best for Throwing)
Estwing Tomahawk axe is specifically suitable for soldiers and sportsmen. It is easy to carry it around. The grip is very comfortable and durable. This ax is perfect for breaking, digging, cutting, chopping and cleaning.
The axe is made of long-lasting materials for reasonable price. Therefore, you won’t regret choosing this tool for your purposes. This axe gives perfect throws. You will be impressed by this product's durability and convenience.
- Shock reduced
- For Sportsmen and Military
- For chopping
- Long-lasting material
- Reasonable price
- Best throws
- This kind of blade is not suitable for all purposes
|Product dimensions||16.2 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches|
4. Coleman Camp Axe
(Best for Camping)
Coleman Camp axe is a tourist axe for cutting branches or small wood in adverse conditions. The tool is one piece forged from quality hardened steel which guarantees high reliability and long service.
The handle of the axe is rubberized which eliminates slipping and provides a reliable grip and comfortable working conditions. Not very big weight and size allow you to place and carry the tool in a backpack which increases usability.
- For camping
- Durable steel
- Zero slip rubber grip
- The blade needs more sharpening
|Product dimensions||14 x 5 x 2 inches|
Watch this video to know more about the product:
5. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Axe
Helko Werk Axe was made of high-quality carbon steel for professional woodsmen. Its handle was made of Hickory wood. It was definitely made for chopping. Thanks to the compact size you can easily throw it in your backpack and carry it around.
It is very easy to do cuttings with this tool. One of the advantages of the Helko Werk axe is its natural wooden material. It is absolutely environmental and eco-friendly. Although it is a lit bit pricey, you won’t be disappointed by its quality and design.
- Perfect for Chopping
- High carbon steel
- Compact size
- Hickory handle
- Environmental product
- Lightweight cutting
- High-quality carbon steel
- Only for experienced woodsman
|Manufacturer||1844 Helko Werk Germany|
|Product dimensions||31 x 8 x 1.5 inches|
Would you like to watch the review about this product?
6. Off Grid Multi-Tool
(Best for Bushcraft)
A universal tool not only for professional use by joiners and carpenters, but it also can be used for domestic purposes. The blade design allows you to split small firewood or cut down small wood which slightly expands the capabilities of the tool.
The hardened blade is enhanced with a special coating that significantly reduces friction. This facilitates the splitting of wood and reduces metal wear.
The blade of the tool will not be able to slide off, since the tool is firmly pressed into it using injection molding technology.
- Good for emergency
- Small dimensions
- Ergonomic handle
- The blade is not sharp enough
- Hard to work with big things
|Product dimensions||11.8 x 5 x 1.8 inches|
7. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
(Best for Survival)
Gerber Bear Grylls hatchet can also be used as a hammer, for instance, for driving wedges when setting up the tent.
The handle of it is made of lightweight polypropylene and has an ergonomic shape which makes it possible to comfortably and safely hold the tool during you work, even in wet weather. Additionally, special notches for the fingers were made in the upper part of the axe.
It allows you to keep balance using the tool. There is a hole for the lanyard which provides additional insurance during the work.
- Compact size
- High Carbon Steel
- Survival hatchet
- Ergonomic handle
- Non-slip Grip
- Sturdy Sheath
- Powerful blade
- Razor sharp
- Thin blade
|Product dimensions||2 x 6 x 13 inches|
8. Estwing Double Bit Axe
(Best for Splitting)
Professional-grade tool for wood felling, splitting and logging. The blade is double hardened which ensures high strength and durability of the tool. The shape of the blade was designed not only for splitting logs but also, for efficient felling of wood.
Anti-friction coating of the working surface reduces friction and increases the wear resistance of the cutting part making it easier to work with the tool.
Extra-long axe handle is for good swing and provides high impact power. The blade is securely attached to the axe. By injection molding the handle is pressed firmly into the metal for safe use.
- Good for chopping
- Good for splitting
- Fine steel
- Good balance
- Original design
- The blade is a little thick and may stick into logs
|Product dimensions||43.7 x 19 x 3.2 cm|
9. Husqvarna Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe
(Best for Backpacking)
The design of the axe is a classic type. The blade is attached to the axe with wooden and metal wedges which provide maximum reliability and durability of the connection.
The tool’s dimensions make it possible to carry the tool in a backpack or fasten it to a belt with a leather case which orientates it to the traveling conditions.
The axe can be used as a percussion tool for hammering nails or small pegs when deploying a tent camp. The convenient wooden handle combined with excellent balance allow you to work for a long time without feeling fatigue.
- Universal tool
- Hickory handle
- Traditional look
- Leather edge cover included
- Powerful cuts
- Poor quality blade
|Product dimensions||25.6 x 7.2 x 1.6 inches|
Check out this video to know:
10. Snow & Nealley SNOW11-BRK Penobscot Bay Kindling Axe
(Best for Kindling)
The Snow & Nealley Kindling Axe is very easy to look after. All you need for its good storage is mineral spirits. This axe has a very high quality. Best tool for kindling on the market right now. It comes in the compact size, so it’s easy to carry it everywhere in your backpack.
The handle is made of Hickory wood. Therefore, it is natural harmless product to use. This product is perfectly suitable for both professional and non-professional users. It’s a delight for camping lovers and experienced woodsmen.
- For kindling
- Compact size, yet heavy-duty
- For one-handed use
- Simple to work with
- Natural product
- Easy to carry around in backpack
- You have to sharpen it by yourself before using it
|Manufacturer||Snow & Nealley|
|Product dimensions||5 x 5 x 5 inches|
11. SOG Specialty Knives Tactical Tomahawk Axe
SOG Tactical axe is a perfect multifunctional tool for reasonable price. It is lightweight, yet heavy-duty. The blade is made of high-quality stainless steel. Because of the light weight you will be able to work with the axe very fast, since your hand won’t feel fatigue.
It has a unique design which attracts every man’s attention. Also, this tool is suitable for camping lovers, every woodsman and just for people who need it for domestic purposes. You won’t disappointed by its quality and display.
- Survival tool
- Stainless steel
- Fast work ensured
- Suitable for throwing
- Razor sharp
- Short tang
|Product dimensions||15.8 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches|
12. CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk Axe
CRKT Woods Chogan Axe is an impressive multitasking heavy-duty tool. It is very convenient and not difficult to use it. The axe has a comfortable handle made of natural wood which is pleasant to touch and holds warmth well.
It is suitable for using it outdoor and indoor. You don’t have to be a professional to be able to handle the tool well. Thanks to a lacquer coat the durability is ensured for the product. In addition, you can use hammerhead for pounding in nails.
- Hickory handle
- Suitable for throwing
- Comfortable to use
- Thick wood handle
- Quite dull blade
|Manufacturer||Columbia River Knife & Tool|
|Product dimensions||19.1 x 7.8 x 1.6 inches|
How to Choose an Ideal Axe? Buying Guide
Before you go shopping for an axe, it is a good idea to get acquainted with the characteristics of this tool, so it will serve you for a long time.
Choosing the axe, the first thing you have to take into account is the purpose of its use, its parameters that need to be considered.
1) The material of the handle directly affects the service life and ease of use of the axe. Nowadays hatchets are made not only from traditional wood, but also from rubber, plastic, steel and fiberglass.
- Wooden hatchets are endowed with good strength and vibration-absorbing properties. Also, price of wooden products is quite affordable.
- Steel cuttings, undoubtedly, surpass wooden in strength but they have a rather high weight, and this can greatly reduce the worker’s working capacity. In addition, they practically don’t dampen vibration from impacts.
- Plastic holders (especially rubberized ones) as a rule, are well-balanced, securely “sit” in the palm of your hand and absorb shock well. However, plastic one has a low strength and it’s difficult to repair it after breakdowns.
- Fiberglass is an impact-resistant substance which is characterized by high strength and wear resistance. This material has a better quality than others but the prices are not the lowest.
2) Correctly selected length of the axe can provide good leverage and increase the efficiency of production processes in whole. To split logs and do other similar actions, it is better to use an axe with a long handle.
For carpentry, the short ax is best suited which achieves maximum accuracy when striking.
3) The total weight of the product is another important parameter. The heavier the ax, the more powerful the strike is and the less time you can work without interruption.
An vice versa: although it’s easy to hold a tool in one hand, it takes a long time to chop a whole wood. The optimal solution would be to stock up several axes with different weights at once, so they can be used in turn, depending on needs.
Another option to purchase a tool of 1-1.2 kg, which is suitable for splitting firewood, as well as for finer work. In any case, before buying an axe, be sure first to grab it in your hands to assess the weight of the tool at a more practical level.
4) The quality of the metal the ax is made of can be checked by hanging it with a rope and drawing a solid object along the blade. The louder and longer the sound, the better the material of the instrument itself.
5) Ax balance: ideally, the center of gravity of a good tool should be as close as possible to the main working part made of steel.
6) Size and shape depend on operational purposes. It is important that the handle lays comfortably in the hand and does not have nicks and bumps.
7) The way the nozzle on the handle of the axe affects the service life and ease of use. The important part is the handle which is made in different length, depending on the use. In order to get good impact force, you need to take a tool with an extended handle.
An axe with cranked handle is suitable for cutting branches. It is more convenient to press with a tool with a short handle. The hatchet should be well crafted and carefully sanded.
8) There are different types of axes for different purposes: cleaver, carpentry axe, tourist and camping axe, axe for military and sportsmen, throwing, splitting and chopping types, firefighter axe, a kitchen domestic one, hunting and forest axes.
Having the axe, you have to maintain it in working condition, because no matter how carefully you treat your tool, it wears out and its working part – the blade is most exposed to wear out. It must be constantly corrected and sharpened.
Sometimes you have to change the angle of sharpening. You can sharpen an axe manually, or using a power tool.
For manual sharpening you can use a broach file and grinding bars. You can make a home-made device from sandpaper and wooden stand. For mechanized one use a sharpener or an angle grinder machine.
Before starting work toy must determine the required angle. Select it depending on the purpose. In the process you should not make excessive efforts, since you can spoil the abrasive and the tool in general.
During the work on an electric tool, it is better to use the clamps, so you won’t spoil your tool. Do not overheat the metal of the head.
How to Store Axe
To ensure the long life of the axe, it is necessary to properly care for and store it. After you use it, wipe the steel parts with kerosene specific tool for it. It is necessary to lubricate the blade with machine oil to prevent corrosive processes.
This applies a long-term storage of equipment. Also, there is a special oil for wooden handle. If there is a leather case, it is better to store the axe in it. It is important to protect the tool from moisture. Therefore, it must be stored in dry and warm place.
Use only tightly planted implements, don’t drop the tool on the ground. If you want to make a pause during the work, you should stick the axe in wood or put it in the protective case. Do not chop metal or stone objects if the product wasn’t meant to do it.
I also included a list of answers for most searched questions about axes, its materials, properties and tools for its sharpening.
My Top Pick
Now when you know all niceties of choosing right axes, you can easily analyze all the points mentioned before in this article. Weigh all advantages and disadvantages and make a right choice for you!
My personal choice is Fiskars Super Splitting Axe. It is a perfect mix of quality, design and speed. The advanced design combined with high-quality materials, attention to details and durability make Fiskars axe an excellent solution for the most difficult work.
The optimum balance of the center of gravity provides maximum impact force. A whole generation of specialists devoted themselves to work to improve this tool so you can be able to split even a big log with one blow.
Are you a woodsman or maybe a person who loves camping? What will you choose among these products? I would like to know, so leave your thoughts in the comments below!