10 Best Types of Axes and Their Uses

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Best Types of Axes – With any tool, it’s important to understand that they have been designed to work. What tasks and activities has this specific axe was designed to do. When it comes to axes, most people can only tell you one type: the one used for chopping wood.

Many other versatile types of axes are available that are designed and suitable for rural living. While one ax may work for one situation, it may fall short in another.

An excellent method to ensure that you’re choosing the right type is to explore the different types of axes. To help you out, we’ve taken the time to research different uses for axes. We’ll introduce you to different axes available on the market today.

Whether you want to fell trees or split logs, or do something else, there are many axe types to consider. You need to consider axe handles and what size is most comfortable for you. Depending on your size and strength, that may be an axe with a shorter handle, a chunky handle, a grooved handle or a straight handle. You’ll want to find one you can comfortably hold and maneuver and feel safe using.

It will also be important to consider the blade. Do you need a sharp-tipped blade or one with a serrated blade or a flared shape?

Do you want a full-size felling axe or a medium size axe that you may find multiple uses for? 

Types of Axes and Their Uses

Axes may seem like they have one function, but the varieties are good at accomplishing different tasks. Some of these tasks that influence axes use range from size to shape and types of heads.

10 of the most common varieties of axes:

Throwing Axe

Throwing axes are used in either sports or competitions. They feature a durable handle that has an ergonomic design to help enhance your grip on the ax and make aiming a bit easier.

These axes are also shorter than your standard wood chopping axes.

When used in a competition, it’s important to follow weight and height regulations. This limits the production of throwing axes but keeps them up to standard for different leagues and federations.

If you’re looking for an interesting hobby, ax throwing can be an interesting one. Some ax throwing bars and venues are popping up. They make for a fun night out or a party for a bachelorette or bachelor party.

Many rural areas have ax-throwing competitions. Additionally, you’ll get extra experience handling axes and a fun workout.

Crash Axe

Crash axes are designed to be used on aircraft to help chop and pry walls open. They are generally small in size and very lightweight.

The materials used are pure metal or steel and can end up prying open most of the aircraft’s drawers and doors.

These are only used in emergencies and don’t have much use other than that. Many firefighters, though, may use crash axes to help them when removing metal sheets.

They would be ideal in survival settings, but they do a mediocre job at chopping. Hence, crash axes would be excellent to keep in survival kits since they can come in handy if one of your exits gets blocked.

Additionally, they can help pry open rusted doors and can be used for crafting and scrapping. Keep in mind though that their blade isn’t as weighted as others, so your aim may be less precise.

Fire Axe

As a firefighter, it’s essential to have a tool that can help you pry open any closures. Due to the wide and broad ax head, firefighters can easily break down any wooden doors, windows, or walls.

The opposite side of the ax head is sharply pointed and can work to pry open closures.

With their variable use, they would be ideal for rural living. The sharp blade can be useful for chopping wood while the other end could be used for prying materials off from each other.

However, they may be a bit heavy and aren’t the most accurate when it comes to chopping woods.

Carpenter’s Axe

A carpenter’s axe is smaller than regular axes. It’s designed to chop wood and be used to create sharp edges through log-building techniques.

There is a slight finger notch that allows carpenters to be more precise when making any chops. The opposite end of the ax features a hardened material, which can be used as a hammer.

Some newer models also come with a built-in nail pull. This helps carpenters multitask without having to switch tools.

These are worth the investment and can be used for several different projects.

If you’re looking for a versatile tool, this can be good to have in a workshop. If you’re building projects or just scrapping, this tool can come in handy too.

Hewing Axe

Hewing axes work similarly to industrial-sized sawmills. They are for framing timber and helping square up the edges to perfectly match.

Hewing is an integral part of the woodwork and helps in carving the shape of timber to help them fit together.

The ax features a comparatively flat head, so they also can help create even edges. Many hewing axes are still used for such, but they are a slower method of getting wood shaped. Instead, many people tend to use these for smaller projects rather than for industrial use.

Splitting Maul

One of the most important axes for a rural living is a splitting maul. These axes are foraged to be durable, heavy, and effective at cutting down trees.

If you have a large amount of timber that needs to be split down the middle, a splitting maul will get the job done.

The ax head is thick and dense, which allows you to chop effectively. They are also generally heavy, so there is enough pressure when the ax head comes into contact with the wood.

Additionally, the thickness of the ax head can help prevent it from getting stuck. Both the weight and thickness allow you to pull it out without much effort.


Tomahawks are a popular type of ax that has existed for many years. North Americans first used them as an all-purpose tool, but they are now more commonly used for competitions, sports, and camping.

The build of a tomahawk is very slim and lightweight, which makes them ideal for holding.

The sharp ax head allows you to slice through different materials easily, but they aren’t as effective as other thicker ax heads.

They can help you get smaller jobs done and definitely can be useful in a survival setting. That said, there are different models of tomahawks. Some include enhancements that have various ax heads, spikes, and hammers.

Felling Ax

A felling ax is the traditional wood chopping ax. Felling axes are used to chop down branches, trees, and split wood.

Their blade has two main features that make them different from other models. The blade has a slim yet flat design, and it’s sharper than most other kinds of axes and needs to be sharpened consistently to cut down wood effectively.

The head of the ax weighs approximately two pounds, but this varies from brand to brand. Additionally, the handle is around two feet in length and gives you plenty of weighing when you swing it.

Best Hatch and axe
Best Hatch and axe


Another common ax that people associate with the word “ax” is a hatchet, and it can come in handy around the house.

It’s designed for chopping and kindling wood, as well as hacking down a small tree. It is often affordable and readily available at most warehouse stores.

Hatchets have a very thin handle with a weighted head. It is crafted to be balanced and easy to use. Due to the well-balanced design, they are often more precise when you swing. This helps you cut a tree down quickly, as your aim will be accurate.

Limbing Ax

Another useful ax to have around the home is a climbing ax. Exactly like it sounds, the ax features a long, 24-inch handle with a two-pound head.

It’s designed to be able to cut down limbs of trees. Due to the long length, it makes it easier to reach branches and swing at them when the tree is standing up.

The ax head is easy to maneuver and won’t pose any risk while swinging it. Additionally, the head is proportional in weight to improve accuracy. Do note though that it may take some practice to be able to swing it with precision.

Are There Any Other Kinds of Axes?

There are a few different varieties of axes we didn’t mention due to their limited use. Many axes are used for survival or camping settings.

Here’s a quick list of a few other ax types:

  • Viking axes
  • Dane axe
  • Pick axe
  • War axe
  • Axe bat
  • Great axe
  • Ice axe
  • Hand axe
  • Combat axes
  • Double bit axes
  • Battle axes
  • Adze axes

What Types of Axe is Best For Me?

It’s important to choose an axe that can be used for chopping, prying, and have additional tools attached. Many of these axes need to be lightweight or well balanced, or else they may cause you to be less accurate with your swings.

Some axes are even dual-purpose and include enhancements that double as other tools. These are the ones you should be aiming to invest in.

If we had to choose one type, we’d recommend a hatchet. They can easily get most jobs done and are easy to manage.

Unless you’re planning on picking up ax throwing as a sport, we’d recommend avoiding the other types.

Some may be good for searching or survival situations, but there’s a slim chance that you’ll have to use your ax over other types of weapons.

Different Types of Axes

As you can see, there are plenty of different types of axes. While you may think of the traditional lumber chopping axes or hatchets, there are many other designs for multiple situations.

Hopefully, we’ve helped  you on a few kinds of axes that will help you accomplish the work and tasks you need.

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