In a world where we’re more likely to have a cell phone in our pocket than a pocket knife or lighter, the relevance of owning an axe might feel a bit like a frivolous and impractical leap.
Certainly we’d all agree that an axe is no longer an essential item that is used on a daily basis as it once was in our long ago past.
But whether it is a tool that you’ll use daily or something that will come into play in very specific and limited situations – selecting the axe which will best fit your needs is still essential.
Those of you unfamiliar with axes might view them through the general lens that they’re essentially all the same – an axe is just an axe – right?
Actually, axes come in a variety of weights, sizes and lengths and there uses are just as varied. Deciding whether you will be using the axe to chop wood, to clear path while hiking, building a campsite or taken as an emergency measure in the event of a threat of an animal or intruder will help you narrow your search.
Let’s take a look at the features and characteristics of what are considered to be some of the top 10 best axes available in the industry in 2017.
Table of Contents
10. Tekton 3240
The Tekton 3240 is considered a deep forged felling axe made with a heat forged stainless steel head for durability and strength. This is one of the most functional axes that has multiple uses; self -protection, axing need in household choice and for general uses in hiking or camping and includes an epoxy wedge lock connecting the handle to the head to prevent the head from flying off.
It is light and durable and fits comfortably in the hands at a moderate weight of 1-1/4 pounds and handle length of 14.5 inches.
- Versatile multi-purpose uses
- Light, Small & Durable
- Safety design to prevent head flying off
- Does not include a sheath
- Has limitations of a hatchet
9. Estwing E44A
The Estwing E44A has a longer handle at 16″ and a 4 inch head suitable for chopping wood, tree trimming and notching timbers. The flat design on the back lends it to be used as a hammer to drive in stakes or other similar uses.
- Shock Reduction Grip(reduces shock by 70%)
- Includes heavy-duty nylon sheath
- All Steel design for no issues of flying handle
- Not suited for heavier axe applications(felling trees)
- Does not include a Sheath
8. Estwing E45A
This version in the Estwing product line has a longer handle(25″) and an ergonomic shock-reduction grip handle. This axe offers a combination of functions of both the campers axe for small jobs of splitting wood – but the longer handle allows for the greater strike making it idea for felling trees.
It also has the flat head to use as a make shift hammer.
- One piece forged steel construction
- No threat of axe head flying off
- Steel design is ideal in protecting it from the elements
- Less Portable than shorter handled designs
- Long handle length may not be suitable for users of a smaller stature
7. Husqvarna 576926201
Like the Estwing design before, this too is a durable multipurpose axe for chopping wood but can certainly meet a multitude of general axe needs. The 26″ curved wooden handle handle makes it both ergonomic and durable.
This Swedish design includes a steel head with a leather sheath that fits on the handle to protect and cushion the users hand from injuries during use – but serves as a protection from the elements while not in use.
- Versatile multi-purpose uses
- Ranks in top 10 best axes in 2015 reviews
- Premium leather sheath protects users hands
- No specific design precautions to prevent a fly off head
- Wood handle ultimately less sturdy and durable than its steel counterparts
6. Gerber Gator Combo Axe II
This popular axe is among the most sough-after axe models in the industry because of it’s combination of quality, durability and striking force.
The durable design includes a heat-forged stainless steel head that holds its cutting edge and the lass filled ballistic nylon handle renders it ruggedly durable while still being lightweight. The Gerber Gator II has an impressive strike force and can be used both in and outdoors.
- Comes with supplementary serated edge knife and sheath
- Comfortable for all sizes/heights of users
- Less striking force than longer handle lengths
- Additional knife blade may not be needed and adds to cost
5. Estwing E24A
This Estwing axe has the shortest handle in the Estwing line at 14-inches. It is a one-piece structure made of high quality stainless steel.
The shorter Estwing axe is light and easier to maneuver than the longer lengths. This choice is particularly suited for applications where the user might have a need for heavy duty trimming.
- One piece construction eliminates issues of flying head
- Rustproof material
- Maintains sharp blade – does not dull easily
- Not well suited for large axe applications(felling trees etc…)
- Less portable than the smaller handle length axes
4. Gerber 31-002070 Bear Grylls
This was designed specifically for the needs in outdoor survival. Technically a hatchet, this 9.45 inch smaller design gives you maximum durability while being light and highly portable.
This certainly isn’t a long handled choice for felling trees, but for the right situations, this is the knife of choice.
- Small lightweight portable design
- Durable Full Tang Construction
- Small design doesn’t lend to versatile uses
- Low Strike Force
3. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk
This aesthetically unique tomahawk style axe ranks among the best selling models in the top 10 best 2015 axe reviews. Just as was true with the Bear Grylls hatchet, this design is highly portable but has more versatile uses with the longer length of 15.75 inches.
It can be useful in a myriad of situations; removing obstacles, cutting, excavating and the spear end lends it to be used in “non-axe” type scenarios where digging or piercing action is needed.
- Moderate length lends it to multiple uses
- Non-slip Glass-reinforced nylon polymer handle
- Includes 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Does not include a sheath
- Does not have flat back design for hammering applications
2. Fiskars X7 Hatchet
This cutting tool is actually considered a hatchet. The 14″ design is a great tool for hikers and camper where you plan to use it for less rigorous applications, things like; cutting kindling, chopping small or possibly mid-sized logs and for protection against wild animals or intruders.
While this isn’t the long blade choice for felling trees, you get an ultra-sharp low friction blade that cuts three times deeper than many traditional axes and the balanced weight-to-height ratio in the design provides greater swing speed and power.
- Highly portable hatchet
- Small size with great swing force
- The PermaHead design that will never loosen – no flying head issues
- Relatively limited use hatchet
- Sheath is not included
1. Fiskars X27
If you’re looking for an axe with ominous power consider the Fiskars X27. This Axe is considered a splitting axe and has a long handle(36″) which multiplies the striking force. Ideal uses for this choice might include applications where a powerful swing is key.
It has a special molding around the head that prevents the scary occurrence of the head flying off and there is less flying debris with each strike. And while the axe is larger where you might expect a larger price tag to fit, Fiskars has contained the cost so it doesn’t break the bank at a mere $55.00.
- Balanced to Increase the Strike Force
- More Power behind Every swing
- Long handle can be awkward for user of a smaller stature
- Not suited for smaller axe/hatchet applications
Which Axe Should You Buy?
From our overview of different axes and hatchets, you should now see that your ideal axe choice is dependent on several factors; length of handle, strike force, portability, durability, safety and most importantly – what and where you’ll be using the axe.
Hopefully, this overview of some top axes in the industry has given you a general idea of the type of axes and the one likely to best meet your needs.
A great next step is to go to your neighborhood hardware of sporting goods store to gain that all important experience of feeling the axe in your hand. Click here to see which one we bought!