The Tool Geeks

Best Carpenter’s Axe: Reviews & Buyers Guide

Disclosure: TheToolGeeks.com site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs. We earn a commission when you purchase items through our links at no extra cost to you. (Learn More)

Carpenter’s axes are versatile, multi-purpose woodworking and construction tools.  They are most often found in woodworking shops, campgrounds, construction sites, and industrial settings but also make a good all-in-one axe for average homeowners.  Carpenter’s axes are sometimes also called rigger’s axes and camper’s axes and are designed to be used with one hand, although two hands can be used on the longer ones.  They are the sweet spot in length, longer and more powerful than smaller one-handed hatchets, yet shorter and lighter than the typical two-handed tree cutting and wood-splitting axes.  Carpenter’s axes are used primarily for larger wood carving, roughing-out framing lumber, smoothing already-hewn wood boards, and demolition purposes, but can also be used for felling very light trees or bushes, cutting for kindling, and even chipping asphalt and stone.

Carpenter’s axes are typically between 15 inches and 20 inches long with a straight blade edge (instead of curved), a thinner blade head, and many have handle-width variations for easier one-handed swinging.  Some have a notch in the blade top or handle bottom for removing nails and some have either a hammer-head or hewing-head on the other side of the blade to make it a multi-purpose tool.  The blade is usually made of steel and the handle is usually wood, typically hickory, or fiberglass.  Part of the steel blade may extend into the handle, called the tang, or even comprise part of the handle length for a stronger handle. 

The market is full of many different axe types and build qualities, including carpenter’s axes, which is why knowing how to select a quality-made and safe axe is important. To help you choose a carpenter’s axe and understand what to consider when choosing one, the ToolGeeks have put together a list of the top carpenter’s axes for any use based upon our experience and usage.  The axes we have outlined below capture the top-quality options on the market, with a variety of different features, materials, and price points.  

Best Carpenter’s Axe List

Products
Product NameDetailsPrice
Husqvarna Carpenter's Axe
  • Head: Swedish Steel
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Handle Length: 19-Inch
Buy On Amazon


Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenter Axe
  • Head: Swedish Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 2.75lbs
  • Handle Length: 20-Inch

Buy On Amazon
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe
  • Head: Steel
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Weight: 2.0lbs
  • Handle Length: 19-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Helko Werk Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet
  • Head: Hand-Forged Steel
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Weight: 2,75lbs
  • Handle Length: 18-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Condor Tool & Knife Woodworker Axe
  • Head: High-Carbon Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 2.1lbs
  • Handle Length: 18-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Vaughan & Bushnell RB 28oz Rig Builders Hatchet
  • Head: Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 2.5lbs
  • Handle Length: 17-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Fiskars X11 17-Inch
  • Head: Steel
  • Handle: Composite Fiberglass
  • Weight: 2.18lbs
  • Handle Length: 17-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Estwing ES44A 16-Inch - 11549
  • Head: Forged Steel
  • Handle: Forged Steel
  • Weight: 3.0lbs
  • Handle Length: 16-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
  • Head: Forged Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 1.4lbs
  • Handle Length: 14-Inch
Buy On Amazon

Best Carpenter’s Axe Reviews


Husqvarna 576926501 19-Inch Wooden Carpenter’s Axe

Best Features  Husqvarna 20 in. Wooden Curved Carpenter Axe,...

  • Precisely crafted to do accurate work
  • Simple and easy-to-use design
  • Hand-forged, durable steel head
  • 19-inch handle and 2.2lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Check Amazon Price      Check Husqvarna Price    Check Jacks Price

The Husqvarna carpenters axe review ↴

If we are talking about the best carpenter’s axes, then the Husqvarna 19-Inch Carpenter’s Axe is one of the top ones in terms of quality and price.  Husqvarna is a Swedish manufacturer of outdoor power products, construction equipment, and consumer cutting tools, among other items.  Their axes are manufactured by the same company that makes some of the premium Hultafors Group brand axes (see the next review).  Husqvarna axes are more modern-looking axes with similar build quality to those premium ones but at a more affordable price range.    

What I like most about this axe is that it offers both stability and control while cutting. This is largely due to the product’s thin blade, long straight cutting edge, and 19-inch curved, hickory handle.  The handle design is focused to help you place your hand as close to the cutting head as possible, a bonus when it comes to the safe handling and precision cutting. 

I have used this axe for different woodworking projects, but mostly for basic carpentry tasks. The axe head is made of hand-forged steel and connected to the handle with a strong, steel wedge.  Husqvarna ships this axe with a medium-thickness leather blade cover.  Husqvarna also makes a 20-inch version of their carpenter’s axe but the 19-inch version is more portable, especially for roofers and tradesmen that are up and down ladders frequently.

Due to the great weight balance and swing efficiency of the axe, some users have managed to break the handle when accidentally hitting wood knots with the handle but that can occur with any wooden-handle axe.  I haven’t had that issue with this axe and overall, I believe this Husqvarna model is a great axe.

The only problem I’ve had with this axe is that is frequently sold out on Amazon, therefore, I’ve listed 1-2 other merchants that should have it. 

User tip: Make sure to clean it every time you use it, and don’t store the axe in warm places, since this can cause the handle to shrink.  

Pros:

  • Precise – The axe’s quality design makes it easy to use. Your hand can be placed as close as possible to the head, which helps give you greater control for more accurate work.
  • Handle – At19-inches in length, the axe is designed to be easily grasped and more tightly gripped. Made of Hickory, it’s also extra strong and durable. 
  • Head – Made of hand-forged steel, The axe’s head is made of high-quality, strong materials. 

Cons:

  • Proper care of the axe requires cleaning after each use to prevent handle shrinkage.

Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenter Axe

Best Features  Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenter Axe

  • Made tough
  • Old school quality
  • Solid Swedish steel axe head
  • 20-inch handle and 2.75lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

If you are looking for an old-school quality axe, then the Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenter’s Axe is a good choice.  The Hults Bruk brand is the premium brand of the Sweden-based Hultafors Group, and their build quality and price range reflect that fact.  Although this axe may cost more money than its competitors, in my opinion, it’s well worth the investment–and will last longer, too.

Very lightweight, the Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenter’s Axe clocks in at just 2.75 pounds (the head weighs1.75 pounds, and the handle weighs 1 pound).  Their carpenter’s axe is also the longest axe that I’ve reviewed in this article, with a 20-inch long American hickory handle.  The handle width is fairly consistent for the entire length of the handle but the width seemed to be just right for medium to large hands and enabled good swinging.  The handle also has a notch in the bottom.

Combine the handle with its sharp, thin Swedish-steel head and this is one durable axe.  It has a 4-inch cutting blade and it comes was a rustic leather snap case to cover the blade.  The axe head is flat on the backside for hammer-type usage.   

It’s important to note that the head is hand-ground–making it more durable than most other axes. Hand grinding means the steelhead is struck multiple times to increase the density.

Pros:

  • Durable – This old-school option is a  high-quality axe.
  • Handle –  Made American Hickory and 20 inches long, this axe sports an easy-to-grasp handle.
  • Head –  Hand-ground, Solid Swedish steel makes this an exceptionally sturdy option. 

Cons:

  • Price – This is a pricier axe option.

Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 

Best Features  Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420

  • Durable design
  • Top-quality materials
  • Highly recommended and ranked by consumers
  • 19-inch handle and 2.2lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

Gransfors Bruks is considered the gold standard of Swedish-made axes and they still have expert craftsmen who hand-make them to this day.  Their price and availability reflect the hand-made manufacturing process, and they are considered one of the best axe brands in the world.  I have used this axe multiple times, mostly for projects such as felling trees, etc., and the good part is I haven’t been disappointed.  This is more of smaller forestry, bush, and camping type axe, as the name implies.

This axe is small and portable, therefore easy to carry anywhere. It is lightweight and just weighs just over 2 pounds. It has a perfect balance and comes with a high-quality handle. The handle is 19 inches long, and it gives the tool a longer life.  Combine the axe head and the handle, the total axe is 22 inches in length.

It’s the blade is very sharp, so you will have to be careful.  Luckily, Gransfors Bruks also ship a leather blade sheath with the axe.  Plus, the axe head curves inward at the handle to provide you an easy holding position for precision cutting and the backside of the head is flat.  In addition, you can also use it as a hammer as the axe pole can come out.

Overall, this a well-made axe from a premium brand with the corresponding premium price compared to other axes on my review list.

Pros:

  • Recommended by the pros –  Great reviews from Cliff Jacobson and many other YouTubers.
  • Handle – The axe’s high-quality, 19-inch long handle makes it easy to hold on to and use. 
  • Sharp – The axe head and blade are designed for precise cuts.

Cons:

  • It is a bit costly.

Helko Werk Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet

Best Features  1844 Helko Werk Germany Vario 2000 Universal...

  • Interchangeable steel heads
  • Top-quality materials
  • Hand-forged
  • 18-inch handle and 2.75lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

The Swedes aren’t the only ones with an illustrious axe-making history, as the Germans have been making axes for a few hundred years as well.  Helko Werk is one of the premier German axe makers and their Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet is their latest axe series offering premium quality and a modern design for a carpenter’s axe at a more affordable price compared to the Swedish ones.  Helko Werk combines hand-made and manufacturing in their ‘hand-forged’ axe-making process.

While the Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet is called a hatchet, it is actually a good size carpenter’s axe with an 18-inch hickory handle, a total weight of 2.75 pounds to still enable one-handed swinging, and a 3.5-inch cutting blade.  This is a ‘head-heavy’ type of axe that works best with momentum swinging.  Due to its size configuration and weight balance, it can handle both splitting and cutting work.  Therefore, it is a carpenter’s axe that you can take to both the job site and the campsite.

I really like the fact that you change the axe head and blade type without compromising performance with this axe.  Helko Werk uses its patented interchangeable head design, which is a German-engineered bolt-on fastening system that provides versatility and efficiency.  All Vario 2000 series heads, handles, and fastening components are fully-interchangeable and inter-compatible.   The axe heads are assembled with bolts that are driven through the handle and secured by a metal-plate retainer cap.  Helko Werk also includes a heavy-duty leather blade sheath held together by metal rivets with the axe.  

During my short usage of the Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet, I felt it was overall, a well-made axe from a premium brand at a still affordable price.  Its interchangeable head and handle system doesn’t seem to impact performance.  And it looks good as well.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable Head System– The axe’s blade head is interchangeable with other Vario 2000 models
  • Handle – The axe’s high-quality, 18-inch long handle makes it easy to hold on to and use. 
  • Sharp – The axe head and blade are designed for precise cuts.

Cons:

  • Harder to use the head backside for hammering tasks due to the bolt system

Condor Tool & Knife, Woodworker Axe, American Hickory Handle with Sheath

Best Features  Condor Tool & Knife, Woodworker Axe, American...

  • Lighter weight
  • Crafted from carbon steel
  • Easy-to-grasp handle
  • 18-inch handle and 2.1lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

Condor Tool & Knife traces its origins back to the late 1700s as a maker of swords, military knives, agricultural tools, and household cutlery.  They are based out of Solingen, Germany, the cutlery capital of the world.  Since then, they also acquired Imacasa in the 1960s, a premier Central-American manufacturer of hardware tools for the agriculture, construction, lawn and garden, and industrial markets.  As a result, Condor Tool & Knife’s axes and other tools are made and distributed out of their El Salvador manufacturing facilities and are able to offer functional tools at affordable prices.

The Condor Tool & Knife Woodworker’s Axe functions as a lighter-weight carpenter axe with an 18-inch hickory handle, a total weight of just over 2 pounds, and a 3 ½-inch cutting edge made of 1045 carbon steel.   It is straight-handled, without any curves or notches, but the handle width seems appropriate for medium to large hands.  The handle has a nail remover notch in the bottom and the blade head curves inward at the handle for easier holding during precision cuts.

Blade sharpness has been an issue with Condor Tool & Knife axes, which is surprising, considering the main company was founded as a sword and cutlery maker, and I’ve noticed that it is best to sharpen the blade before the first use.

 That said, the axe felt pretty balanced during the swing.  Overall, the Woodworker Axe is a good carpenter axe with better portability due to its lighter weight and affordable price.  Therefore, this is also a great option if you’re into throwing axes!

Pros:

  • Durable – Crafted from American hickory, this axe is tough and durable.
  • Easy to Use – With an 18-inch long, straight handle, the axe is easy to hold and wield, making it a great choice for any task.
  • Head  – Long-lasting carbon steel means the head’s blade will last longer and cut nearly any surface.
  • Affordable Price – Functional carpenter’s axe under one hundred dollars.

Cons:

  • Blade sharpening most likely required before heavy use. 

Vaughan RB 28oz Rig Builders Hatchet 

Best Features  Vaughan RB 28-Ounce Rig Builders Hatchet,...

  • Axe head has forged hammer on the backside
  • Good balance and power-to-weight ratio
  • 17-inch handle and 2.5lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

Vaughan & Bushnell was born in the late 1800s in Illinois by Alexander Vaughan.  Five generations later, the company remains in Illinois and has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of striking tools.

The Vaughan RB Rig Builders Hatchet is a construction-oriented carpenter’s axe at a very affordable price with a 17-inch Hickory handle, a total 2.5-pound weight, and a 3-1/2-inch  straight cutting blade.  It features an extra-large milled face and a beveled nail slot in the blade.  Its Hickory handle is flame treated and slightly wider width in the middle for secured holding.  The axe head weighs 28oz (over 2 of the total 2.5lb weight) and the head backside is forged into a ball-point hammer face for multi-tool versatility.

The blade on this carpenter’s axe comes duller compared to the other carpenter’s axes that I’ve reviewed. The reason is this carpenter’s axe was designed for striking and demolition purposes while providing basic cutting performance, especially with its heavier axe head.  That said, you can sharpen the axe to have it compete with the other axes on my list for wood cutting and light splitting to fulfill the role of a good camper’s axe.

Overall, I felt that the Vaugh Rig Builders Hatchet performed well as a multi-tool carpenter’s axe with an advantage towards striking but also with basic cutting.  And it makes for a versatile competitor on my list.

Pros:

  • Professional grade – Made for heavy framing and roofing tasks
  • Heady-heavy balance – The axe is balanced towards the head for powerful swinging
  • Versatile – Designed for striking, demolition, and hammering purposes for heavy framing and roofing tasks

Cons:

  • The blade requires sharpening for precision cutting and splitting

 


Fiskars X11 17-Inch Composite Splitting Axe

Best Features  Fiskars 378561-1004 X11 Splitting Axe,...

  • Shock-absorbing composite fiberglass handle
  • Perfected balance and power-to-weight ratio
  • Advanced bevel convex steel blade design
  • 17-inch handle and 2.18lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

Not to be outdone in the Scandinavian world, the country of Finland also has a long and proud history of making axes and other forestry, gardening, and cutting tools.  Fiskars is the oldest company in Finland and has been making axes since the late 1600s.  They are so into axes that they will offer a 25-year warranty upon registering your axe.  While they have plenty of traditional-style axes, their newer X-series axes take it to another level by combining excellent weight distribution, advanced blade design, a very sharp edge, and a practically unbreakable design to maximize your cutting performance.  I like their 17-inch X11 Splitting Axe as a candidate for a versatile carpenter’s axe.

The Fiskars X11 Splitting Axe marries their computer-designed forged-steel blade with a virtually unbreakable composite fiberglass handle using a patented insert-molded head design to offer optimal weight balance and swinging efficiency.  It features a 17-inch handle and a total axe weight of 2.1 pounds with a 3.25-inch straight cutting blade for easy one-handed swinging.  The computer-designed forged steel blade has a convex bevel shape for easier removal from wood, and a proprietary blade grinding technique provides a sharper edge for cleaner cuts.  The blade connects to the composite fiberglass handle using a patented molding process that the company claims to make it virtually inseparable.  And the axe head is designed to disperse wood from the blade for a clean splitting motion.  The patented composite handle is supposedly overstrike-proof, being stronger than hickory handles but with a much lower weight, is weatherproof, and has a textured, non-slip grip for better control.  Fiskars also provides a recycled-leather blade sheath with the axe.  Despite all these technical-sounding descriptions, Fiskars offers this axe at an affordable price.

As the name implies, this axe is designed for smaller wood splitting tasks but based upon my experience, it performed well enough in general wood carving and some wood framing tasks.  The handle is straight with a medium width throughout the entire length that makes it easy to choke up on it, if needed, for more precise cutting.  The backside of the head is flattened steel that enables hammering motions as well and avoids having to also carry a regular hammer.  I think it would also make an excellent camping hatchet outside of the job site or woodshop.  While the fiberglass handle has a different feel than a typical wood-handle axe, the balance weight ratio and easy swinging motion helped make this axe one of my new favorites very quickly.

Pros:

  • Handle – Practically unbreakable handle made from their patented composite fiberglass material
  • Design – Patented insert-molded head design permanently connects the steel blade to the handle
  • Balance – Computer-balanced and power-to-weight ratio similar to an aluminum baseball ba

Cons:

  • You may miss the ‘wood feel’ with the fiberglass handle.

 


Estwing ES44A 16-Inch Camper’s Axe

Best Features  Estwing E44A Camper's Axe Hatchet, 16'...

  • One-piece forged steel
  • Shock reduction grip
  • Polished head and handle
  • 16-inch handle and 3.0lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

Our Review

Estwing is an American company that has been making axes, cutting tools, and specialty hand tools for several decades.  They were founded in 1923 by Swedish immigrant, Ernest Estwing, so you know their axes must be good.  And Estwing’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are based in Rockford, Illinois, similar to another axe manufacturer on my list.  Their axes are predominately designed for the outdoorsmen and sportsman but I like their 16-inch Camper’s Axe as a functional carpenter’s axe.

While the name implies camping, the Estwing Camper’s Axe is a one-piece, forged-steel axe that is virtually unbreakable.  It has a 16-inch handle, a total weight of 3 pounds, and a 4-inch slightly-curved cutting blade that provides the good cutting ability for light splitting, wood carving, some demolition, and roofing, along with framing.   Plus it has a shock-reducing grip that is bonded to the steel handle to prevent any slippage.  The handle also tapers towards the head for precision-cut gripping.   And its head has a thin but flat backside for hammering motions.  The blade is hand-sharpened and has a notch at the top for tent stake or nail removal.  Estwing ships it with a blue nylon blade sheath that has a tool belt loop for close and easy carrying.  And they polish it to a nice-looking metal finish.

While one of the heavier axes I have reviewed in this article, its mid-range size still allows for some one-handed swinging from my experience.  And its size-to-weight ratio makes it good for throwing if you are into axe throwing.  My one downside is that the head seems thinner Estwing offers the Camper’s Axe in silver or black finish, and also with a longer, 26-inch handle.  I would stick with the 16-inch version for a carpenter’s axe, otherwise, the longer handle version turns it into a full-time splitting axe.  While a solid, full-metal axe is a different feel compared to the wood-handle ones that make up most of my recommended axes, I have come to like this one-piece metal axe as an extremely durable tool for the woodshop, job site, and campsite at a very affordable price.

Pros:

  • Durable – One-piece, forged steel design is virtually indestructible
  • Grip – Patented shock-reducing grip is bonded to the steel handle
  • Versatile – Notch at blade top for nail removal and flattened head backside

Cons:

  • Thinner than normal head 
  • Heavier at 3 pounds

Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe 

Best Features  Council Tool 1.25lb Hudson Bay Camp Axe;...

  • Easy-to-use one-handed design for lighter cutting
  • Forged, durable steel head
  • 14-inch curved handle and 1.4lb weight

Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

The Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp axe review ↴

For a smaller and lighter woodworking axe, the Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe fits the bill in terms of quality and price.  Council Tool was founded by farmer and tool inventor John Pickett Council in 1886 in North Carolina, where they are still located today and manufacture all their axes.  Council Tool makes some of the best hatchets and this one functions as a very light carpenter’s axe. 

The Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp axe, with its 1.25lb Hudson Bay hard-steel head paired to a 14-inch Hickory handle, is getting into hatchet size territory.  But I like it due to its solid wood cutting performance in a much more portable size.  It makes a great camper’s and backpacker’s axe along with a tool belt-capable woodshop axe.

The Camp axe head is drop-forged 1060 grade steel with hardness better than national ANSI standards.  And it is hydraulically seated onto the handle and secured with a quality double wedge.   The blade is hand-sharpened while the American Hickory handle is dried to below 10% moisture content to minimize shrinkage.  The handle’s slight curves are focused to help you place your hand as close to the cutting head as possible, a bonus when it comes to safe handling and precision cutting.  Plus, its head backside is flattened for hammering.  The Sport Utility designation means the robust and resilient finish from the drop-forging process is preserved.

I have used this axe as well for some woodworking projects and find its smaller size provides an advantage for precision cutting needs. The one downside is that blade sheaths are sold separately.  And due to its lighter weight and shorter size, it is best for smaller jobs.  Overall, it is my hatchet pick and great value at its affordable price. 

Pros:

  • Precise – The axe’s quality design and smaller size makes it easy to use for precision cutting.
  • Handle – At14-inches in length, the axe is designed to be easily grasped one-handed. Made of Hickory, it’s also extra strong and durable. 
  • Head – Made of forged steel, The axe’s head is made of high-quality, strong materials. 

Cons:

  • For smaller jobs and may be too light for certain tasks.

 


What to Know Before You Buy a Carpenter’s Axe

As you can see from our review list, there are several different types of carpenter’s axes models, with various features, axe heads, materials, and prices to consider. Deciding which of those features may best align with your particular job may be tricky. But, don’t worry! We’ll help you better understand your options. 

Feature Checklist:

The main features to consider when choosing a carpenter’s axe are:  

  • Head/Blade Material
  • Handle Material 
  • Handle Length
  • Axe Weight
  • Handle Grip
  • Handle Shape
  • Blade Shape 

A carpenter's axe is the best axe you may get, at least for my opinion. That's why it is important to know what features to look before buying one. We have made a buyers guide that will tell you exactly what you need and why.

Feature Explanations:

Now, let’s explore the details about each feature to help you make a decision:

  • Head/Blade Material: The first thing you need to consider is the axe head and blade material.  The head should be made of steel, durable, and sharp. If it’s not, then you’re probably buying a cheap or low-quality axe.  
  • Handle Material: The next thing you need to consider is axe handle material.  After all, you are going to control the axe using the handle. In most cases, the handle is made of hickory wood and should be durable and easy to hold.  Some axe handles are made of fiberglass.  also, check the handle width vs. your hand size before buying the axe to ensure that you will be able to comfortably hold the axe.
  • Handle Length: The handle length plays a big role in determining whether you can swing the axe with one hand or two hands, and it’s the primary purpose.  A shorter handle axe will be easier to swing repeatedly with one hand and provide more precision but less force into the wood.   A longer handle will require more strength to swing one-handed or even two-handed, but provide more force into the wood and less precision with each swing.
  • Overall Weight: The overall weight is another key factor that will determine whether you can swing it with one hand, or need to use two hands, and how much force you can impart to the wood.  The heavier the axe, the greater force you can impart if you can swing it efficiently.  However, a lighter axe lends itself to swinging more frequently.  
  • Handle Grip: Wood axes typically use the plain wood handle as a grip and are fine if your hands are dry.  If your hands become sweaty, then you can lose your gripping ability fast.  Therefore we recommend using some type of workman’s gloves, or thin gloves with gripping material when using an axe.  Many fiberglass handle-axes also come with a rubber grip over the handle for added gripping ability.
  • Handle Shape:  Some carpenter’s axes have a straight handle that is the same width for the length of the handle, while others have a straight handle with narrower widths in the middle part, and even some types have a slightly curved handle.  For wood handles, we recommend a blade with a narrower width in the middle for efficient swinging with one hand and right below the blade for easier precision cutting.  For fiberglass handles, we recommend a straight blade with mostly the same width except right below the blade for the same reason.
  • Blade Shape:  A carpenter’s axe usually performs best with a straight cutting-edge blade, although a slightly-curved blade can work, to provide the smoother cut into the wood and avoid splitting the wood.  The addition of a notch in the top of the blade, on in the lower part of the handle, is great for removing old nails.  The backside of the head/blade is either usually flattened or has a hammer-head or another tool head to increase its versatility.
Read our other posts about axes:


Final Words And My List 

The best carpenter’s axes listed above are also recommended by different axe enthusiasts, woodworkers, contractors and construction workers, and YouTubers, in addition to my experience with them. When it comes to durability and quality, they are the best all-in-one axe you can find online or locally.  I hope this article helps you to choose a great carpenter’s axe that meets your needs and helps you with your woodworking, construction, camping, industrial, or homeowner projects in the best way possible.  And if you are ready to buy one, here’s my list again of the top carpenter’s axes to make it easy.

Products
Product NameDetailsPrice
Husqvarna Carpenter's Axe
  • Head: Swedish Steel
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Handle Length: 19-Inch
Buy On Amazon


Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenter Axe
  • Head: Swedish Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 2.75lbs
  • Handle Length: 20-Inch

Buy On Amazon
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe
  • Head: Steel
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Weight: 2.0lbs
  • Handle Length: 19-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Helko Werk Vario 2000 Universal Hatchet
  • Head: Hand-Forged Steel
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Weight: 2,75lbs
  • Handle Length: 18-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Condor Tool & Knife Woodworker Axe
  • Head: High-Carbon Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 2.1lbs
  • Handle Length: 18-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Vaughan & Bushnell RB 28oz Rig Builders Hatchet
  • Head: Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 2.5lbs
  • Handle Length: 17-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Fiskars X11 17-Inch
  • Head: Steel
  • Handle: Composite Fiberglass
  • Weight: 2.18lbs
  • Handle Length: 17-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Estwing ES44A 16-Inch - 11549
  • Head: Forged Steel
  • Handle: Forged Steel
  • Weight: 3.0lbs
  • Handle Length: 16-Inch
Buy On Amazon
Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
  • Head: Forged Steel
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Weight: 1.4lbs
  • Handle Length: 14-Inch
Buy On Amazon

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.