Axes date back to many years ago, when the ancient men used this tool for many everyday purposes, including felling trees, dividing tough materials, etc.

We still use axes nowadays to handle many activities, including taking care of our gardens.

There are different axes, and the type of axe you need depends on what you intend to do with it. However, the most common type of all the different axes is the felling axe, which has a versatile design for cutting wood, felling trees, etc. The felling axe is also known as the American axe.

Axes are classified based on their different designs and are named after their origins.

This article discusses axes’ basic features, their common designs, and the different types of axes and their uses.


Common Designs Of Axes

  1. New England axe. The New England axe has a straight edge and a curved blade. Its bottom edge is also protruded.
  2. Dayton axe. The Dayton axe is named after Dayton, Ohio, with a curved blade and a gentle flare. This pattern is versatile for general outdoor activities.
  3. Connecticut axe. The Connecticut axe has a popular pattern with a flared wedge. It also works for many general uses.
  4. Michigan axe. Felling axes usually take the shape of Michigan axes. This pattern initially became well-known in the 1860s with a curved head and pointed wedge for chopping down dense woods.

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Good Axe

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Good Axe
  • Weight. The weight of your axe affects how functional it is. If your axe head is too heavy, you will use a lot of energy to lift it and lose accuracy on the material. And with lightweight axe heads, you won’t get a deep cut. If you are getting your first axe, make sure its weight is comfortable in your hands. Once you get comfortable with the axe, you can get a heavier one. 
  • Size. Your axe’s width and length depends on your grip and what you intend to use the axe to do. Your axe’s handle should be wide or small enough to allow your hands to wrap it completely. Concerning the length of an axe, it depends on the kind of results you are after. If you want more swing and leverage, longer axes work well. But, shorter axes allow you to cut materials more precisely but with less swing.
  • Handle Material. More axes have wooden axes, although many rubber handles are coming into the market. However, wood lasts longer and is more ergonomic than rubber, particularly ash or hickory.

Common Types Of Axes

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Good Axe
  • Tactical axes. A tactical axe comes in a modern design that makes it very versatile. It has become increasingly popular amongst military men, security officers, and survivalists. It is used for chopping but is useful as a hammer, pry bar, and shovel. Tactical axes are usually steel-based, so they last long enough and withstand heavy duties.
  • Throwing axes. Throwing axes used to be used as a weapon by foot soldiers. But in recent times, these tools have advanced into the sporting industry. Although throwing axes differ by the sport, the typical throwing axe has a compact, sturdy design with varying handle lengths as required by the federation.
  • Roofing axes. The roofing hatchet is specially designed for roofing, although it serves many other purposes. It has two heads on both sides of the handle, with one sharp blade for cutting roof shingles and the other, a hammer. Even as versatile as these tools are, they are beginning to fall out of significance, owning to modern inventions. But, many roofers still prefer the traditional feel of using a roofing axe.
  • Pickaxes. A pickaxe is a ‘T’ shaped tool, usually with fiberglass or wooden handle. Older versions of pickaxes have pointed ends (pick) on both sides, while newer models have one pointed end and a chisel on the other side. Some picks are curved, while others are entirely straight. This tool is useful in gardening, breaking up soils, concrete, rocks, etc.
  • Viking axes. The Viking axes were used in the Viking age as weapons. Although most of us know these axes to be huge, they aren’t precisely cumbersome to handle. A good Viking axe weighs less than two pounds and balances well to swing it in battles. Viking axes have incredibly flared blades and long handles to attack opponents at vital points and render them helpless. Viking axes are no longer used today; they are only kept in museums and other learning facilities for research purposes.
  • Miner’s axe. A miner’s axe is like a pickaxe, just that both ends are always pointed and curved like a ‘c.’ It originated from the Middle ages when miners mined for silver and copper ores in Europe. This tool has become a historical symbol of mining to date and sometimes comes with detailed engraving on the head.
  • Felling axes. Felling axes are designed to fell trees and chop wood. A typical felling axe weighs as much as 2 to 4 pounds and is attached to a long handle to provide more swing and leverage during use. The blade of a felling axe is flared with a sharp, thin end to cut through the wood’s grain. However, these axes do not work well to split wood logs since their blades can easily stick in the wood.

Read Also: How To Grow A Banana Tree From Seed – Beginners


Axes have been here for a while and will continue to be a part of our lives as humans. 

The different kinds of axes entail different purposes, origins, and historical figures.

Understand your axe, and you are good to go. Just make sure to tell stories about your Viking axe if you ever get one!



  1. Max. Trees. 19 Types of Axes and Their Uses (Photos Plus Buying Guide). 2020. [] Accessed: 15th of November, 2020.