There are a number of reasons as to why one would purchase an axe. One may prefer to gather and split their own firewood. Others enjoy carpentry, and sometimes, some people are axe connoisseurs and enjoy the hobby of collecting varying types of axes and enjoy displaying a wide array from different time frames and cultures in their homes.
The Different Types of Axes
Let’s explore some of the different types of axes that fit each of those categories.
Features of these Varying Axes by Type
Splitting Axes – For splitting wood, you’re going to want an axe that is specifically titled as such. They weigh in generally between 3 and 6 lbs and are designed to split wood along it’s grains rather than cut them apart. They’re lightweight and enable the user to get more work done as a result.
Carpentry Axes – The main characteristic of a carpentry axe is it’s long, straight edge with an inwardly curving handle which helps sustain precision and solidity of your grip. This works best on dry wood.
Collectible Axes – Whether an actual artifact or a re-created one, these are not for usage with wood as they are usually incredibly fragile or embellished with paintings, jewels, and/or leather roping just as they were back in ancient Scandinavia where they are rooted.
Aesthetics – Are they Important?
Aside from ensuring that your Scandinavian axe is made from steel, has a sturdy handle on it, and possesses the kind of blade needed to accommodate the specific job that you need it to, the matter of aesthetics typically plays no part in how well it performs. Only you know precisely what you need it for, so size up your project before making a decision. There are many axes on the market today that have brightly colored handles or differently finished woods for the handles. However, these things don’t play a part so much in performance. If there is a certain color or look that suits your fancy and also fits your project-then by all means, there is no harm in owning a more fun and exciting looking axe. It has also been noted that some particular blades may come engraved or have scenes painted on them. As I spoke about when I touched on the different types of axes, those would be collectible pieces and should not be used for woodworking of any kind.
Wetterlings Bushman Axe by Les Stroud
- Sturdy blond oak handle
- Small enough to be multi-functional
- Smooth, straight edge
- Includes leather sheath
Weighing in at only 1.6 lbs, the Bushman Axe by Wetterling is multi functional by way of its’ unique size. This axe not only has the capability to help one create precise carvings, but it also is able to split thinner pieces of wood and perform most sort of wood felling jobs. The sturdy and finished blond oak handle ensures that you’ve received a quality product by projecting a simple and rustic appeal. The razor straight edge ensures the perfect cut every time. Additionally, this axe comes with an ultra tough leather sheath to ensure your safety in transport and storage.
Hults Bruk Atran Felling Swedish Axe with American Hickory Handle
- Linseed oil treated handle made entirely of U.S. Hickory
- Felling axe created for cutting down any size of tree
- Leather sheath included embellished with Swedish decorations
- Slightly curved, blasted iron head
With this specially treated handle being made out of American Hickory which is known for being the strongest and sturdiest wood in the eastern United States, you can be certain that this is an axe that is going to last as long as possible. The entire axe weighs roughly 3.6 lbs and a bulk of that comes from the strong, hand blasted iron that is the blade. It performs best in cutting down virtually any size of tree as it is slightly curved. As a nice perk, this also includes a leather sheath that comes decorated in traditional Swedish decor to let you know that this axe is as authentic as your work.
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe
- Small and transportable as well as practical
- Grain Leather sheath included
- 19” Hickory wood shaft
- Pin-straight hand-forged iron head
This axe comes with a hardy Hickory in 19-inch shaft that measures up to any sort of limb-wood. Also because this entails a more minimally sized, straight bladed head for splitting even the smallest of sticks, one is enabled to get down to the finest of details. It is lightweight so it is easy to travel with no matter where your next project takes you. This forest axe also comes with a gorgeous Grain Leather sheath that will keep your blade in perfect shape as well as provide definite safety.
Each distinct project requires your own judgement on the proper axe for you. However, on a personal level, I would highly recommend the first axe that I reviewed for you: The Wetterlings Bushman Axe by Les Stroud. It’s large, has a country charm, is easy to wield, and creates crisp clear breaks in all of the places that I need them.
Scandinavian Axes: A Brief History
Emerging in the beginning of the Viking Age as a lightweight piece of weaponry was none other than the axe. At the time, it was referred to as the Dane Axe, but the English language refers to it more plainly now as a battle axe. Yes, it was simple in design- consisting only of a thin, yet sharp piece of iron which was attached to a long, rounded piece of either oak or ash wood. However, the the stigma around it was actually quite the contrary to the ease of it’s design.
Aside from times when the urgency called for it, these axes were rarely used to provide fatal blows. In fact, many times during battle, axes were used to deliver non-fatal blows to opponents who were of such an inferior social or war status that they were seen to not even deserve a proper wound. In other instances, they were actually used to humiliate the opposing warrior, leaving him with a wound that would interfere with his ability to fight cohesively.
As this was a battle tactic that was only specific to Vikings at the time, their success in war did not take long to be heard around the world. Soon enough, the surrounding European countries (the most notable one being England) had caught ear of this fine tool and enjoyed the whole idea of the Dane axe being used as a tangible threat. Eventually, these European countries began to metamorphose the battle axe from a fine piece of weaponry to more of a status symbol. We have proof of this as that idea was clearly portrayed on The Bayeaux Tapestry which historians believe was created in 1020 A.D. The Bayeaux Tapestry depicts the story of King Harold and The Battle of Hastings. One of the most notable features of this particular historic tapestry is that the Dane Axe is being wielded by each of King Harold’s guards. They are incredibly well armoured and decorated in gold and other emblemed battle gear. In those days, this was something that indicatedicated wealth, power, and status.
Axes have certainly stuck around, but we’ve come a long way from 1020 A.D. Nowadays, axes are used for either decorative or environmental purposes such as gathering fuel for your own energy source or perhaps to have for an emergent situation such as escaping a trapped- in area when a fire has emerged.