Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Choosing the right axe

Choosing the right axe

An axe is a straightforward yet extremely effective instrument that comprises of a metal axe head sharpened to a cutting edge (also known as a blade or bit) and a wooden handle. In the history of human civilisation, it has been an essential tool for felling trees for fire, constructing a shelter, shaping wood into other useful items, and capturing and processing game. It's still one of the most important pieces of camping equipment for all types of campers today.

The size of the axe is dictated by the length of the handle. The weight is determined by the size and material of the head. And finally, the head pattern (or shape) is defined by how the blade and poll (or butt) are configured.

When shopping for an axe, it’s important to take into account what you will be using it for as this will help dictate what size, weight and head pattern you need. For example, a smaller hatchet with a lightweight head is going to be much easier to carry around and use for lighter tasks like chopping kindling than a large felling axe with a heavy head designed for taking down trees.

Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right axe for the job:

If you plan on doing a lot of chopping (e.g. splitting logs for firewood), then you’ll want an axe with a heavier head as this will make the job easier and quicker.

Splitting Axe

The Splitting Axe or Maul is the most frequent instrument for turning firewood into useful logs, and it is commonly used to split log rounds into medium-sized logs. A Splitting Axe is usually a full-size axe with a long handle (up to 80cm) and a hefty and blunt head (between 2-3kg) that uses weight and power to fracture wood fibres along the grain. A maul is bigger, heavier, blunter, and has a wedge-shaped head similar to a sledgehammer.

Felling Axe

Felling Axes are large axes that most people think of when they imagine someone chopping down a tree. They have a wide and hefty head (usually 0.9 - 2.2 kg head) with a long handle (up to 80cm) that is good for getting leverage while swinging the axe. Felling axes feature extremely sharp blades that cut across the grain of a tree, making them ideal for felling, sectioning, or limbing trees. There are various types of axe heads available, including the Double Bit (two-blade axe), Yankee, Swedish, Norwegian, and even the enormous Tasmanian Pattern Axe.

If you need an axe for general camping use (e.g. setting up camp, preparing food, etc.), then a lighter hatchet is a good option as it will be easy to carry around and won’t be too cumbersome to use.


A hatchet is the tiniest of axes, and it's a fantastic all-purpose camping tool since weight and bulk are important considerations - a hatchet will weigh between 0.6 and 0.8kg and have a handle length of around 35 to 40cm. A hatchet is ideal for light work like splitting kindling or driving tent stakes with the Butt (or Poll) of the head using one hand. It's also an excellent wood carving tool.

Once you’ve determined what size, weight and head pattern you need, the next step is to choose a handle material. The most common options are wood, fibreglass and metal (usually steel).

Axe Handle

Wooden handles are the traditional choice and tend to be less expensive than fibreglass or metal. They’re also generally lighter in weight, which can be a plus if you plan on carrying your axe around a lot. The downside to wooden handles is that they can break more easily than other materials and are not as durable in extreme weather conditions.

Fibreglass handles are more durable than wood and can withstand more abuse. They’re also not as susceptible to weather-related damage, making them a good choice if you plan on using your axe in all types of conditions. The downside to fibreglass handles is that they’re typically more expensive than wood and can add quite a bit of weight to the overall tool.

Metal handles (usual steel) are the strongest and most durable option, but they’re also the heaviest. If weight is not an issue and you need an axe that can really take a beating, then a metal-handled one is a good choice.

Axe Length

Once you’ve selected the material for the handle, the next step is to choose the length. The general rule of thumb is that the longer the handle, the more force you can generate with each swing. However, longer handles also make the axe more unwieldy and difficult to control, so it’s important to strike a balance between length and manoeuvrability.

As a general guideline, choose a handle length that is somewhere between your waist and chest height. If you plan on using your axe for tasks that require precision (e.g. carving), then go with a shorter handle as this will give you more control over the tool. If you need an axe primarily for chopping wood, then a longer handle will give you more power behind each swing.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should have a good idea of what size, weight, head pattern and handle material you need. With all of this information in mind, the next step is to choose a brand and model that fits your budget and needs.

Once you’ve found an axe that meets your criteria, the final step is to buy it and put it to good use! With a little bit of care and maintenance, it will serve you well for many years to come.

Read more

Top 5 Camping Skills

Top 5 Camping Skills

If you're a camper, there are certain skills that you should have in order to make your camping trip more enjoyable. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 camping skills that everyone should...

Guide to camping with your dog

Guide to camping with your dog

Camping with your dog can be a lot of fun. It's a great way to get out in nature and enjoy the fresh air. However, it's important to take some precautions before you go camping with your furry fri...