23 Different Types Of Axes

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Many types of axe are available and we’re going to explore them all. From the common axe types you’re familiar with to the rare and intriguing examples that are less likely to cross your path.

It’s best to break these axe types into individual groups because not all are appropriate for all types of work. After all, you wouldn’t want to use a tomahawk to chop firewood, would you?

Tactical Axe

A more modern invention, the tactical axe is a “do-it-all” kind of tool, designed to be primarily a chopping implement but capable of functioning as a weapon, shovel, prybar, and sometimes a hammer.

Hudson Bay Axe

A general-purpose axe used by French trappers in the Americas, the Hudson Bay axe serves a variety of purposes. Its one-handed design makes it useful for light duty and minor chopping and splitting.

Forest Axe

A heavy-duty axe meant for serious use and abuse in isolated pockets of forested lands. It’s another all-purpose tool, but its robust design and construction earn it its own rank in this list.

Splitting Maul

A heavy type of axe specialized for splitting wood along the grain. These tend to have a hefty wedge-shaped head weighing about eight pounds, sharp on end and a blunt edge on the other.


Best used for general bushcraft and all-purpose projects like making kindling, chopping medium-sized logs into more manageable chunks, and splitting smaller pieces of wood.

Broad Axe

The single bevel variety is excellent for hewing flat planes on a log and other pieces of wood. The double bevel can be used to hew and is also capable of general chopping and notching work.

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