Types of Axes

13 Types of Axes with Different Uses

You must be here because you are trying to look for the best axe to improve your cutting experience. There are many axe models and choosing one can depend on how you intend to use them. Types of Axe heads can also determine the kind of work they can do effectively. Let’s examine different categories of axe models available in the market.

Axe models according to their head shape

The shape of the head is an important characteristic that we can use to classify axes. Below are axe models according to the shape of the head.

1. The Splitting axe

splitting axe - 13 Types of Axes with Different Uses

The splitting axe works well in spitting into the wood. The head of this axe is wedge-shaped. It cannot work well as a cutting instrument because it has an extensive profile. It, therefore, cannot cut deep in a log. As the name suggests, its blade is perfect for splitting in woods. This axe can be handled well by a proficient user. Beginners might have problems handling it.


  • It has a heavy head
  • Its butt is broad
  • Has a straight handle
  • Handling it is quite challenging because it is heavy, weighing about 7 pounds.
  • Has a wide butt

With these features, this axe allows a sharp strike. The axe cannot get stuck on the log because of its heavy weight. It can vertically slice the logs along their fibres and also get ‘its way deeper the log on the second and subsequent strikes. In case another maul gets stuck on the on, this axe can play the role of a hammer because it has a large butt. It is durable and has a hooked end and an anti-shock 3D surface which ensures that you have a comfortable grip while holding it.

2. The shaping axe

A flat curve characterizes the shaping axe. Unlike other mauls, it doesn’t make deep cuts but instead makes everything even. It is responsible for shaping. It is perfect in doing finishing touches on a log. Characteristics of a shaping axe A shaping axe has large bits and long beards. You can bevel the bits on one side or both sides. With the above features, the shaping axe can do the following things.

  • Can create fine and accurate cuts
  • Make beams and hew logs
  • In case they have a single angle, they can make chisel cuts.
  • You can use them with a single hand.

3. The cutting axe

The cutting axe is perfect for cutting. It can project into wood without causing much friction. It has been made with a thin profile which makes it deliver excellent results while cutting. With its thin blade, it can skilfully cut through wood with the most significant force. You can use this axe for different purposes.  You can even use it to fell trees. Below are the well-known features of this axe.

  • Has a sharp blade
  • It is flexible
  • It easily swings
  • Has a thin bit
  • Pointed head
  • Head weighs about 3 pounds
  • Has a medium handle, about 32 inches

This axe is perfect for deep cutting, down stump cutting, cutting tough barks, and cutting tree branches.

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Axe model according to their head type

How many blades does the axe have? Axes can have one or more edges. Double, bladed axes have different head shapes than single bladed ones. Below are ax models with varying types of head.

4. The Single bladed axe


Single bladed axe - 13 Types of Axes with Different Uses

The single bladed axe is the easiest to use because of the shape of its head. Below are its common features.

  • It may sometimes have wedges made from hardwood
  • Has a hardened poll
  • Has a single bit

With the above features, this axe can correctly split wood, especially if its wedges have been made from hardwood. It can successfully imprint force in a cut. In case its poll is hardened, it can be perfect for hammering.

5. The double bladed axe

double bladed axe - 13 Types of Axes with Different Uses

The double-bladed axe has two blades just as the name suggests. Sometimes they are also called double-headed axes. The modern world adopted these types of axes as heroic weapons that warriors carry with them. However, they were not used in battles. They were just ceremonial axes and were also used for cutting wood. It is easy to balance this axe because it has two bits. The bits make it symmetric hence better than the single-handed axe. With the presence of two blades in this axe, you can use this axe for different purposes like splitting and cutting.

Axe models according to their haft length

We can use the haft length to classify axes. Let’s examine different axe categories depending on how long or how short their hafts measure.

6. The limbing axe

This is a medium sized axe model that has a length of 24 inches and weighs 2 pounds. This axe is designed to cut down limbs from trees just as its name suggests. It can cut a tree limb that is either already cut down or a tree that is still standing. With a weight of only 2 pounds, you can see that it is not too heavy to carry around. You can even use the one handle in case you are using it in a place with little space. If you use it in a spacious area, you can handle it with both hands because it has a long haft. 7. The felling axe People refer a felling axe as a camp axe. The felling axe also measures 32 inches in length and weighs 3 pounds.

This medium-sized axe can be double-bladed and highly versatile. You can utilize it to cut a tree limb, tree branches and even cutting through logs. Although most people are familiar with chainsaws as the best tools for cutting down trees, the felling axe delivers excellent results too. This axe can cut through a trees’ grain because of the design of its blade. You need to swing it sideways of a tree to cut a tree down. It is easy to chop wood using this axe compared to when you use a hatchet because it has a long handle that gives it a lot of power when doing that. This is not the best axe to use when hiking because it is slightly heavy. But if you have a permanent camping area, you can use it. Below are the most distinguishing features of this axe.

  • At has a head that weighs approximately 2 pounds and its handles have a length of about two feet.
  • Its blade is sharp, thin and flat
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8. The Hatchet

People use a hatchet to either cut or split things like small pieces of firewood depending on the model they choose.  You can also use a hatchet to chop branches from trees and firewood as well. A hatchet is quite light and weighs 1.5 pounds. It’s also a bit large since it measures 18 inches in length. The most amazing thing about a hatchet is that you can use it with one hand because it is not that heavy. With their small sizes, they are capable of squeezing through tight spaces. It needs a little backswing to do this as opposed to two-handed axe. There are different types of hatchets out there. If you want the best hatchet for splitting things, you might want to try the Roselli model. Most people find it easy o carry a hatchet while going hiking and camping because it is portable. Since hatchets are smaller than other axes, they are easy to use. They are also readily available and affordable. For this reason, many people love using them.

9. The Maul

If you are looking for a big axe, this is what you might want to try. The maul is the biggest axe and measures 40 inches long. With a weight of 7 pounds, it is indeed the heaviest axe. This axe has a sledgehammer; hence it is used for splitting. With such a length and weight, you should be extra careful when handling it, to avoid accidents. In case you want to improve its performance in splitting, consider adding wood grenades and wedges. If you are a beginner, don’t try using it. You also have to use two hands to handle it because of its heavy weight. This axe can’t be used for camping trips because it is too heavy.

10. The pocket size

If you are looking for a small hatchet, this could be the best option to try. It has a length of 12 inches and only weighs 1 pound. This is something that you can be confident enough to carry in your camping trips. And just because it is too small and light in weight doesn’t mean that it can’t last long. This axe is durable and strong enough to be used in splitting logs. It can even cut logs that have a width of 6 inches. If you need an axe for splitting firewood in your trips, this might be the best option.

Axe models according to their haft materials

We can classify types of axes according to the materials that were used to make their hafts.

11. Metal

There are axe hafts made of metal. They are sturdy and don’t quickly get damaged. However, they are always heavy, and it’s hard to replace their hafts.

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12. Axe hafts made from wood

Some axes have hafts made from wood. The good thing about them is that they are portable, durable and can absorb shock. If the hafts get won out, you can easily replace them. The only downside of these types of axes is that they can easily break.

13. Glass reinforced plastic

Axe with such materials are stronger than those made of wood. They are also easy to carry around because of their lightweight. However, the problem with them is that it’s hard to replace their shafts and can also be easily destroyed by chemicals. You, therefore, need to protect them well if you opt to use them. When choosing the axe you need, consider how you need to use them. You can select them depending on their size, balance, head alignment, and their purpose.

Difference between a haft and a Hatchet

A haft is also called a handle. Most hafts are referred to as hand axes. But sometimes people mistake them with hatchets. There are numerous differences between these two. Let’s check their difference in terms of the following factors.

1. The head weight

A hatchet has a lightweight compared to a haft. For this reason, both of them have different uses. You can use hatchet to perform light chopping activities like chopping bushes and small limbs. The haft, on the other hand, is more substantial in weight and can be used in intermediate chopping.

2. Shaft design

Most hatchets have metal handles, but hafts don’t have. The hatchets have shafts that have curved forward. The hafts, on the other hand, have bent slightly at about 90 degrees to the head.

3. The shaft size

Most hatchets are half the size of hafts. That is the reason why both of them have different cutting ability. Hafts can handle more difficult chopping tasks that hatchets.

4. Portability

Since hatchets are light in weight, they are more portable compared to hand axes. You can carry them in your camping trips using a belt holster. If you want to carry hafts, you might have to take them to a camping site but can’t walk around with them.

5. Head shape

Hatchets have a different head shape than hafts. You may realize that they are almost similar, but the shape of their heads is entirely different. A hatchet’s head is narrow and has a large cutting blade. The head of a haft is quite big. In a nutshell, if you are looking for an axe, you need to know what purpose you would like them to fulfils. If you need something for camping, you might consider having a lightweight shaft. If you intend to cut down a huge tree, you might consider looking for a heavy duty axe with a big head. Consider the above classification, and you will be able to choose the right axe.

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