10 Different Types of Axes and How to Use Them

One of the earliest tools in human history is the axe around 3700 BC during the stone age. They have been used for hunting, sculpting, wars, and agriculture. Today, while technology has resulted in more effective tools, the axe has remained a vital part of the outdoorsman's inventory. In current times, axes are most commonly seen in more commercial settings, such as camping or outdoor hunting.

Because of their new role, there have become new and unique types of axes available on the market today. Each has its specific use with outdoor activity. This guide will go over ten different axes and their use and how to use them.

Felling Axe

One of the first types of axes people think of when they think of an axe, the Felling Axe, is meant primarily for "felling" (chopping/cutting down) trees. These axes have a long handle that gives a tremendous force with each swing. It also has a weighted head to cut at a tree with as much force as possible. Be sure to check our article on the best felling axe.

Often used during the earlier periods of European history, felling axes are used widely even to this day as an effective method of felling smaller trees and branches.

Camping Axe

Ideal for those who enjoy camping out in the wild, the Camping Axe is somewhat of a smaller Felling Axe version. Similarly meant as a viable method for felling trees, these axes have a sharpened axe head and a slightly elongated handle for more leverage when chopping or cutting.

Carpenter's Axe

The Carpenter's Axe is a tool meant specifically for delicate and precise woodworking. Unlike many other axes on this list, the carpenter's axe is not ideal for intensive cutting, felling, or chopping jobs. In today's day and age, carpenter's axes are still used for precise cutting and woodworking, many of which having a notch on the handle for even better control.

person holding an axe


A Hatchet is considered an "all-purpose" axe. Its head is both weighted and sharp. It is used for many different tasks such as felling small trees and shrubs, minor woodwork and even chopping wood while their body is fairly small.

Miner's Axe

Initially used by miners during the middle ages, Miner's Axes are still regarded, even today, as something of a status symbol among miners. They generally have shorter handles with longer axe heads, making them ideal for close-quarter striking.

Broad Axe

The Broad Axe, also known as the Hewing Axe, was a primary tool for carpenters, namely in the act of "hewing". This type of carpentry transformed lumber from a round-edge to a flatter-edged timber. While they are used somewhat in today's age, they have primarily been made obsolete due to the industrial sawmill's advent.

The broad axe's design is that one side is, as the name implies, a broad-edged axe blade, while the other is flat. The axe's overall size is a bit more medium in size, larger than a hatchet, while smaller than a fireman's axe.

an axe


The Tomahawk is one of the few types of axes that originates outside of European influence. First made by the Native Americans, the Tomahawk has an extensive history, being used as a weapon in battle and tools for diggings, chopping, prying, and splitting. Today, while campers often use them, they are generally seen in competitive throwing sports similar to throwing knives and throwing axes.

The Tomahawk is lighter than most other axes, such as the hatchet, and is fairly easy to travel with. Its entirely straight handle differs it from the hatchet while also making it considerably easier to throw.

Splitting axe

The splitting axe is meant for, as the name implies, splitting logs and lumber into pieces for kindling. While at first glance, one may confuse them with the Felling Axe, the difference between the two is that felling axes cut against the grain while splitting axes cut along it.

Splitting axes are relatively similar to Felling axes in terms of appearance. They have a long wooden handle and a head that is fairly chunky. Unlike the felling axe, however, the splitting axe does not have to be particularly sharp, instead of having a much heavier weight by comparison.

Fireman's Axe

The Fireman's Axe is recent mainly in terms of overall axe development history. These axe types are known for their incredibly sharp edge and pick-shaped backs. Like Felling Axes, Fireman's Axes are given a fairly long handle to allow for much more leverage in their swings.

While they are certainly capable of being used in the outdoors, Fireman's Axes are often used by firemen to break through wooden doors or windows quickly in times of an emergency.

Throwing axe

Finally, the throwing axe, once a weapon used by soldiers or during the Medieval Era, is used often in various hand axe throwing sports around the country. The competitive sport of throwing axes is not too dissimilar to throwing knives and is ever-growing in its popularity.

While varied in their design, throwing axes tend to have a much more sturdy and durable axe head to handle the excessive, blunt force from fast throws.

Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by Nelson