10 Best Wood Axe for Cutting Down Trees in 2019 – Buyer’s Guide And Reviews

wood axe

In a world that becomes more and more absorbed by virtual reality, easy life, computers, and social networks, it is not hard to completely neglect some activities that were once very common and, most importantly, useful and a sign of strength and masculinity. This is the case with wood chopping. This activity necessitates significant strength and endurance, but in the first place, you need a good ax. Without a reliable and stable ax, you risk various injuries, whether those that happen as a direct collision of your limbs and ax, whether as a consequence of a design that doesn’t consider ergonomics as a basic characteristic of any product that is meant for manual use.

This list will help you in finding the best one for you, by enumerating the most prominent characteristics of the most popular axes that you can find on Amazon. Every ax will be critically evaluated, and we will make sure that every trait is exposed. Also, axes of various sizes and prices will be described here.

Best Wood Axe to Buy in 2019 List

NameDimensionsWeightHandleCheck Price
Hayward SP2610X15
23 x 8 x 2 in 8 ounces
American Hickory
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools19.13 x 7.81 x 1.64 in 1 lb. 15.9 oz.Tennessee Hickory
Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix10.4 x 14.6 x 8.7 inches
4.55 pounds
Hickory
Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo35.4 x 7 x 2.25 in 6.7 pounds
American Hickory
Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS 30 in4.5 poundsAmerican Hickory
Hayward SP2302VSP Max-Flo VS 13.5 x 6.9 x 1 in
2.2 poundsAmerican Hickory
Hayward SP3202VSP28 x 8 x 3 in2 poundsAmerican Hickory
Blue Torrent Variable Speed Pool Pump25.6 x 7.2 x 1.6 in
2.1 pounds
Hickory
Pentair Sta-Rite 343001 SuperMax VS32 x 11 x 3 in 7 lbHickory
Jandy JEP 2.0 ePump, Variable Speed 2-Horsepower Pump
5 x 5 x 5 in 2.6 pounds American Hickory


Types of axes

  1. Hatchets- very similar to the legendary Tomahawks, this is a small ax, good for everyday tasks around the garden. You can also tackle some small trees and chop branches and pieces of wood for fire.
  2. Splitting Mauls– you will recognize this type with the help of two characteristics- they tend to be quite large, and have extremely concave blades. Concave blades are best for splitting the wood across the grain- this way you will retain the sharpness of the blade for a longer period of time.
  3. Felling Axes (or Tree Felling Axes)- unlike the aforementioned splitting maul, these axes are used for cutting into the wood. As a result, their blades aren’t concave- they are beveled to an acute angle so they can cut in more easily. So hold this in mind while sharpening them!
  4. Double Axe– this type is characterized by dual blade head. One blade is very sharp and used for felling trees. The other side is less sharp, concave, and is used for splitting logs. It is a very practical tool when you want to do both activities (felling trees and splitting logs) at once.

1.  Cold Steel CS90TA-BRK Trail Boss

This ax features a 4” blade and 4 ½ “ edge, all done in a European style. Each and every swing will most surely attain its goal- a perfect cut. The handle is American Hickory, that is extremely stable and well-built. Tested in the countryside of Australia, this wood axe proved an unsurpassable tool for chopping, making way for trails and pathways, and, most importantly, bringing down quite big trees.

It is manufactured in such a way that is a real pleasure to carry it around, especially if you carry it attached to your backpack. However, its good design means that even carrying it in your hands won’t excessively strain you. And, what’s best, it works like a charm where most hatchets and other small axes struggle so much.

To conclude, the most frequent experience is that the Trail Boss ax is an inexpensive, most reliable, lightweight and useful tool. It is not nor big nor small so you can be quite mobile with it, while still being able to cut down trees and making kindling, which almost makes it an all-around ax.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  •  Comfortable handle
  • Reasonably sharp blade
  • Good size
Cons
  •  Sometimes a new product contains a fallacy

2.  CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk Axe

This is the first hatchet on our list. However, it combines the characteristics of axes and hatchets- it is lightweight and has the usual hatchet design, but on the other hand, it has the power of an ax. It is made from premium 1055 carbon steel. Tennessee hickory was the wood of choice for the handle, and its durability is meant to be improved by a lacquer coat.

Its head is somewhat unique, as it has a hammerhead. This is very useful if you need some nails pounded or need to set up a tent, especially if you don’t have any hammer lying around. Consequently, the Chogan Tomahawk can significantly lower the number of tools you carry around in your everyday garden and workshop chores.

This design actually comes from the old tactical tomahawks, which is why it is very good for all outdoor activities.

This product also has a lot of customers, hence a lot of reviews. Most of them praise the Chogan Tomahawk, saying that it is a perfect point of intersection between the real ax and a hatchet. Its weight adds up to the power, even though some customers regard this as a minus. Like with the first ax on this list, with this one there can also be some difficulties involving a bad production, bad package, and looseness. However, this is not too common and most customers are very happy- most agree that this is a must-have tool for campers and generally everyone that loves woods and nature.
Pros
  • Good blend of a hatchet and an ax
  • The weight that gives you more power
  • Size - it is quite small so you can carry it virtually everywhere.
Cons
  •  It can be too heavy for some
  • Sometimes it can be badly manufactured
  • There is no additional equipment
  • Price is a bit high

3.  Barebones Walnut Hatchet

The Barebones Hatchet unlike most of the other hatchets, will provide you with sufficient weight and stability. This way, the power of your swing will be augmented. The blade is nicely protected by a waxed canvas leather sheath. Hammering, clearing pathways or simply chopping wood, it is all the same for this little ax.

Hatchet is a must-have tool for anyone who keeps to themselves and their outdoor activities, as this type of axes is small, usually not excessively heavy, and easily transportable. So whatever you do, be it some everyday gardening activities, camping, mountaineering, or even hiking, it’s always nice to have this little companion with you.

The waxed canvas
sheath is particularly interesting. It protects the blade from rain and other
elements. What’s more, this sheath will serve you for quite a long period and
will help your product to develop a specific patina.

Its looks just astonish customers, like its weight. Namely, most of the reviewers say that it is perhaps a bit heavier than they first thought, but, according to them, this is a good characteristic. This is an important aspect to consider before buying it, because, if you are to use it for chopping wood, you might want to think about the endurance of your stronger hand. Some customers say that they get tired very easy. But, if you exercise conscientiously, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Pros
  • Its weight adds up to the power
  • Very good looking
Cons
  • It is quite expensive considering other products in the category
  • It can weight too much for some people

4.  Helko Werk Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter (Splitting Axe)

Germans sure know how to make a good wood axe! Another product on this list that comes from Germany. There is a myth- that ancient Germany was full of forests, but Germans gradually, with their impeccable tools, cut them all down! Joke aside, let’s see what this product has to offer.

Made in Wuppertal, from high-grade carbon steel. As a bonus, you’ll receive vegetable tanned leather sheath, and a bottle of protective oil (Axe Guard)

Needless to say, there are no customers who found some flaws in this product.There are few “quirks”, for example, one customer said that the balance is a bit different from the other splitting axes, and you’ll need a few swings to get used to it. Their customer service is also praised. One buyer received a damaged leather sheath. Only a few days after sending in a complaint, a new sheath was sent.

As previously mentioned, Halko will get the work done. With its sharp and sturdy blade, it will cut almost through anything. One customer, however, had a little problem with getting stuck. His Halko usually got stuck in the wood. This was due to the length of cedar billets. When the length is greater than 18” it gets more and more hard to cut through.
Pros
  • High-quality, German-made product
  •  Extremely efficient in cutting wood
  • Reasonably sharp blade
Cons
  •  Price is perhaps too high

5.  Hults Bruk Sarek Wood Splitting Axe

We continue with another product that has a somewhat higher price than what you would expect people to pay for axes.

Chopping logs and generally speaking, any activities involving woods, this ax will most surely do it. It is mostly designed for heavier tasks, such as the ones mentioned. Once again, American hickory was the wood of choice for the handle. And once again, the Swedish are involved, this time, the steel used for forging the head comes from Sweden. Actually, this product is completely hand forged, in a way that maximizes the density of the steel. It bears the name of the Sarek National Park, situated in northern Sweden.

Compared to the last element of this list, this ax has a bit more “classical” looking head. There are no metal protections, the woodwork is simply inserted into the metal. Some may see this as a possible hindrance, but, unfortunately, there can be  no basis for any kind of judgment, as there are no reviewers for this product.

And now comes the price, a pretty high one indeed. Taking this into consideration, you should think twice before deciding to buy this product, or at least wait until there are some comments and reviews. At the moment, you really cannot be sure what you are going to get.
Pros
  • Even bigger logs shouldn’t be a problem
  • It is quite lightweight for a product that brings down entire trees (4.5 pounds)
  • Swedish quality
Cons
  • The price is too high for you to venture and buy this product before reading some experiences people had with it

6.  Truper 30516 1-1/2-Pound Half Hatched Wood Axe

This is a moderately good hatchet for light use, and other little chores around the garden, home or simple recreation. It uses the standard hickory handle.

The Truper company that makes this ax is based in Mexico, which is a little peculiar. After all, there are not a lot of trees to cut in Mexico. But we will see if this fact has any repercussions for the quality of the Truper Half Hatched Ax.

First and foremost, this product is exceptionally cheap. Of course, it is a small ax, so not a lot of materials are used, but still. We will put this bluntly and maybe a bit impertinently- but this ax probably isn’t for hardcore workers that chop wood on an everyday basis.

By now, you’ve probably made an impression that goes a bit like this: “Mexico—cheap—bad quality”, and you were most probably right. Most reviewers are really critical about almost every aspect of this ax- according to them it is rather blunt upon arriving, the metal is soft so you have to sharpen it every now and then, handle is horrible and is susceptible to cracks and can even be broken, and the list goes on and on.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. People that use it exclusively for light works, chopping branches, for example, find it completely acceptable. And when you consider the price, you could make a nice bargain. Just be nice and gentle, this ax is like a timid girl from Mexico.
Pros
  • Very cheap
  • Able to do most of the everyday light chores
Cons
  • If you push this ax too far, it will break
  • Some customers say that their blade flew away, and this can be dangerous, even life-threatening
  • Its blade is blunt, and you will have to sharpen it even if you use it for softer works

7.  Council Tool 2.0 Hudson Bay Camp Wood Axe

This Council Tool has a nice, curved handle made from, guess what, hickory! It has a tapered bit for chopping and splitting.

First and foremost, this product is exceptionally cheap. Of course, it is a small ax, so not a lot of materials are used, but still. We will put this bluntly and maybe a bit impertinently- but this ax probably isn’t for hardcore workers that chop wood on an everyday basis.Black enamel is used for coating the head, to give it the longest durability, while the cutting edge is done in clear lacquer to hinder the appearance rust. To prevent any mishaps from happening, the ax head is attached hydraulically to the handle, and it also has additional security with wooden and steel wedges.

This Hudson Bay Axe most possibly originates from a region in Northern Spain, called “Biscayan”.  During the period of colonization, this ax was invaluable as a tool, as well as a trading commodity.

Interestingly, this is the first item of this list that is made in the USA, and a lot of customers state that this is one of the main reasons they bought the Council Tool- Hudson Bay Camp Ax. This isn’t, however, the only reason. This tool exhibits good quality, value, and power.

Most reviewers state that this is a really well-made American ax. Even if some problems arise in the sometimes harsh work environment, customers are generally happy with the service customer support provides them with

With this one, like with the first item, it is possible to buy additional gear practically in the same tame as you are buying the ax itself. No need to search further and spend excessive time, everything is there.
Pros
  • Well-made American product
  • Price is acceptable
  • Good customer support
  • The ax is offered along with additional gear which is a plus
Cons
  • It is possible that your product arrives in a bad state. In this case, be sure to contact customer support

8.  Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe

This is a traditional, multi-purpose ax with a single bit, done in the classical, traditional style. You can use this ax for occasional wood splitting, for felling trees, or any other jobs where you need unstoppable power and force. Like some other elements of this list, this is a Swedish manufacture, which is (almost) enough of a testament to its quality.

This one has a longer handle, giving each and every swing more power. What’s more, it comes with a bonus leather sheath, for covering your blade, and protecting it (and you)from any unnecessary damages.

Now for the actual value you’ll receive if you are to buy this product. Well... customers aren’t usually this unanimous, but in the case of the Husqvarna Multi-Purpose, the message is pretty clear- the steel is in the best case of questionable quality. There are some chances that the head is going to break in half, which is unusual, as, with axes, handles are generally the biggest problem.

However, this is still one of the most popular axes, and due to its price, supposed quality (most of the axes must be of acceptable quality because there are a lot of good reviews). Probably the ones that use it for lighter tasks find it quite robust and serviceable.
Pros
  • Moderate price
  • Multi-purpose
  • Currently on discount
  • Bonus leather sheath
Cons
  • Questionable quality of the metalwork

9.  Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul

This one is manufactured in Sweden. And oh boy, Swedish people do know how to deal with wood, and they have to because of all those long winters. The Granfors Maul will be your best friend when it comes to chopping thick wood. Even the pieces with a lot of knots won’t pose you any challenge. This product is quite similar to another one from the Gransfors’ long list of high-quality tools- the only difference between it and the Larger Splitting Axe is the length- Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul is a bit longer.

The handle has a particularly interesting design. At the other end of the handle, a circular pattern is engraved deep in the wood to provide you with more grip.

Right below the ax head, there is a steel collar meant to secure even more protection, if the firmer grip didn’t help of course.

This is actually one of the heaviest axes that Gransfors has put into manufacture. Also, if you want to know more about the company itself, and especially about cutting wood, do not despair because with this ax comes Axebook, in English!

Pros
  • Razor sharp upon arriving- no need for additional sharpening
  • High-quality Swedish production
  • Interesting handle with a circular pattern that ensures the firmness and stability of your grip
Cons
  •  Interesting handle with a circular pattern that ensures the firmness and stability of your grip

10  Nealley SNOW11-BRK Penobscot Bay Kindling Axe

Another one of the rare American products. Every single bit from this one is made in the USA.

Small, light, it is perfect for backpackers, campers, and generally, anyone who likes woods and the great outdoors.

People praise its weight, the fact that they don’t get exhausted even after multiple hours of work and making kindling. The handle is especially praised as a work of art.

There may be some problems for customers that don’t possess a mechanic sharpening wheel, because it takes a lot of time to sharp anything manually, let alone a big ax blade. What’s more, some customers mentioned that their Snow Nealley ax came in a blunt state, so you’ll probably need to sharpen it yourself. If you do choose to sharpen it manually, be sure to read our text about ax sharpening, included in this text. With a little practice, you might as well become an expert!

On the other hand, this can be seen as a little setback by some people who would like to take their tool and get to cutting straight away. Otherwise, this is a well made, all- American product that will serve you well in all your adventures in nature.
Pros
  • 1. Lightweight- you won’t get exhausted
  •  2. Good American quality
Cons
  •  May pose some problems for individuals that don’t possess a mechanic sharpening wheel

CONCLUSION

By far, the best product on this list is, no surprise - Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul. It is just impeccable. It is a perfect blend of a hatchet and the bigger ax, which means that it is quite versatile in use and will pose a problem for each and every type of wood. Of course, there is a price to pay and not a neglectable one. However, if you really want a reliable ax that will follow you for the rest of your life, search no more, as this is the one for you.

When it comes to the cheapest ax, the situation is a bit more sticky because the first instrument described here- Cold Steel Trail Boss - is the cheapest one, alongside with Truper Half Hatched Wood Axe.

How to sharpen your ax

There are several reasons to sharpen your ax every now and then. Not only will your ax be more effective, but you are much safer when you use a sharp ax. This is because a blunt blade can simply glance off the wood, instead of cutting in. And this can lead to serious injuries, the legs are especially vulnerable. So it will be smart of you to take some time and get your ax back into shape again- the time you spend sharpening won’t be thrown away!

There are a few main steps to follow. First and foremost, you would want to clean and polish your ax, before you proceed with sharpening. Then, fix your ax so it can’t move anywhere- this is for your safety primarily. You can do this by clamping it in a vice, horizontally or vertically. The horizontal position will allow for easier filing, vertical allows you to file both sides of the blade without removing the ax from the vice. Then you will need a bastard mill file. Inspect the shape of the blade or the so-called bevel. Usually, you would want to retain the original bevel, which is concave in most cases. You will do this by removing the same width of metal along the whole blade. Then, you file the blade with a steady, repetitive motion.

You can also use coarse whetstone instead of the bastard mill file. The procedure stays the same.



Top Rated Wood Axe in 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

How well do axes handle moisture and getting wet?
Most axes are made for outdoor use, so there shouldn’t be any problems with these kinds of circumstances. Note that, if the blade isn’t rust resistant, or even worse if the handle is badly made- for example, the wood is extremely weak and susceptible to breaking, moisture will probably be your ax’s end. So be careful about these things, as you don’t want your ax breaking in the middle of usage.
Will my ax arrive sharp and ready for use?
The answer is yes, most axes do arrive in a tip-top condition. There are some exceptions although. But, after all, If you’ve read our text about sharpening, you won’t have any problems even if your ax arrived in a blunt state.
How durable are the sheets for the blades?
Most of them are made of leather, so they should be fairly durable. However, if you keep your ax sharp, you might gradually wear down the sheath after some time.
Will I be able to attach my hatchet to the belt?
This feature especially comes in handy when you’re backpacking or hiking. Some axes come with a previously punctured hole. In other cases, you will have to do it yourself, but this really is a 2-minute job.
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