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19 Different Types of Axes & Their Uses (With Pictures)



An ax is an ancient tool that we’re all familiar with, but it may surprise you to find out how many different types of axes there are. We’ve checked every source to compile an exhaustive list of the different types of axes and what you use them for, and we are going to share that list with you here.

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The 19 Different Types of Axes & Their Uses

Here are the 19 different types of axes we have assembled for you.

1. Adze Axe

The adze is an ancient cutting tool shaped like an ax with the blade perpendicular to the handle. It’s been used since the Stone Age and comes in two styles. A shorter style is for smoothing and carving wood, while the other is longer and used for agriculture and horticulture.

2. Broad Axe

biber broad axe

The broad ax gets his name from its large head, and you use these axes for shaping logs and flattening a surface. It has one beveled side and one flat side to facilitate the hewing of the wood. Because there are two sides to the ax, you can only use it in one direction, and there are right hand and left-hand models of the broadax.

3. Carpenters Axe

Husqvarna 20 in. Wooden Curved Carpenter Axe

The carpenter’s ax is a small tool that’s not much bigger than a traditional hatchet. It’s for woodworking and log building, and it usually has a finger notch to allow precise control. The poll or butt of the ax is to be used as a hammer, and some may have a notch to pull out nails.

4. Crash Axe

The crash ax is a small and lightweight tool designed to be wearable. The police and rescue teams use them for forcible entry and rescue, and the most commonplace to see one is on aircraft. One unique feature of these axes is that they are made entirely of metal.

5. Double Bit Axe

1844 Helko Werk Germany Double Bit Axe

A double bit ax is a versatile tool that gets its name from its two blades, one on each side of the head. Each blade looks the same, but only one is sharp. The sharp side is for chopping trees, and the dull side is for splitting wood, allowing this single ax to complete two jobs.

6. Felling Axe

1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Expedition Felling Axe

The felling ax is the most popular type of ax in use today. This versatile tool is for cutting trees and splitting wood. It has a long handle that allows for more leverage and a more powerful swing. The blade is thin with a flared shape and is designed to cut against the grain of the wood.

7. Forest Axe

The forest ax is a large tool for cutting large trees into smaller pieces. Their extra-long handle and massive head make them perfect for big jobs but too cumbersome for light-duty work. Similar to the felling ax, the forest ax has a flared blade and curved tip.

8. Grub Axe

Fitool mattock grub axe

The grub ax is also known as a mattock, and it’s a hand tool used for digging and chopping. It’s very similar in appearance to the pickaxe, and you would use it for grubbing in hard soil. Many consider it the most versatile hand tool for gardening. It can break up the ground, pull the soil toward the user, and create holes to place seeds.

9. Hatchet

Estwing Sportsman's Axe Camping Hatchet on wood

The hatchet is a small hand ax for cutting and splitting wood. One side has a blade, and the other has a hammerhead for hewing when making flattened surfaces. They are lightweight and can be used with one hand or even thrown.

10. Hudson Bay Axe

Council Velvicut Hudson Bay Belt Hatchet

The Hudson Bay ax is a medium-sized ax developed in Canada. It’s for chopping firewood in cold weather, and you can use it with one or both hands, depending on the task at hand. It’s the perfect size for camping trips and small sporting events, but it is not good for large jobs.

11. Hunter’s Ax

Estwing Hunter's Axe

As the name suggests, the hunter’s ax is a hunting tool. It features a grooved handle for an improved grip in any weather, and it allows you to skin an animal without damaging the hide. The biggest downside to the hunter’s ax is that they’re rare, and it’s challenging to locate one for sale.

12. Miner’s Axe

Council Tool 3.5 lb Dayton Pattern Miners Axe

The miner’s ax is a small handheld ax with a short handle to work in a confined space. The cutting blade is about 5 inches long, and the butt is square. It’s good for cutting and splitting, but it is only suitable for smaller jobs.

13. Pickax


A pickax is a T-shaped tool with a perpendicular blade used for prying. Many pickaxes have one pointy side and one flat side, while others have two pointy sides, but one side is longer than the other. These tools date back to ancient times and could be among the first axes invented.

14. Roofing Axe

Estwing roofer axe

A roofing ax might also be called a roofing hatchet. This tool typically has a blade on one side used for cutting shingles and a magnetized hammerhead on the other used for pounding in nails. The blade also has a notch that you can use to place shingles evenly over the roof.

15. Splitting Maul Ax

A splitting maul ax is a large tool similar to a sled hammer with a pointed ax head. It typically weighs between 6 and 8 pounds and features a longer handle to get better leverage when swung. The blade is dull, and it splits the wood through sheer force. This type of ax requires a high level of physical fitness to manage.

16. Tactical Ax

Smith & Wesson M&P Extraction & Evasion Tactical Axe

The tactical ax is a modern ax designed to be more useful and versatile. It’s incredibly popular among law enforcement and soldiers because it’s lightweight and well balanced. You can use it to chop or split wood, shovel, pry, hammer, and act as a close-range weapon. Its all-metal design is extremely durable and provides the power required for any job.

17. Throwing Axe

Ridge Runner 17 Survival Camping Tomahawk Throwing Axe Battle Hatchet

Ax throwing is an increasingly popular sport, and the ax used can vary from region to region.  Most throwing axes are small but with a longer handle and a sharp blade. These tools need to be extremely durable to withstand the being thrown many times. Since these tools are for a sport, they are often much more expensive than ordinary axes.

18. Tomahawk

tomahawk on wood
Image Credit: Pixabay

The tomahawk is a single-handed ax that’s similar to the hatchet. The Native American Indians created it as a general-purpose tool that was often used in hand to hand combat. Many Indians would hollow out the pole and handle of the ax to create a smoking pipe. Indians used these pipes for trade and as gifts to other tribes.

19. Viking Axe

viking axe close up
Image Credit: Pixabay

The Viking ax is often called the bearded ax. The beard is a bit of metal protruding from the blade’s side that creates a large cutting surface that keeps the weight low. This type of ax is usually gripped right behind the blade so you can use it to shave or plane wood. There are several variations to the Viking ax, and the only thing in common is the beard.

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We hope you have enjoyed our look into the many different axes and have found a few that you have not heard of before. If you are looking for a type of ax to buy for your home, we recommend the tactical ax or the felling ax as they are the most useful for the most applications. However, if you have a specific task that needs completing, you should get the best tool for the job.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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