If you intend to spend time in the woods, you need to be well prepared and the preparation includes finding the right equipment. One of the most important pieces of equipment is the axe. So, what is the best woodsman axe?
Here are my top woodsman picks:
As you will see, finding the right woodsman axe requires time and patience. That is not easy, which is why I created this guide for you. Let’s get started!
What is a woodsman?
Before I start, let’s define the meaning of woodsman.
It is a person, that lives or works in the woodland. Here are included:
Types of axes
Axe is one of the first things you should think of when packing. However, there are lots of types and each one has its specific function or range of functions. In order to boost efficiency, you will need to determine the tasks you are going to do, and choose the particular type accordingly.
A one-handed axe, for a huge range of activities. It has a handle of 12 inches and only the head of the axe weighs about 1-1.5 pounds. It is best for carving and splitting wood, although you can fell trees up to 2 inches in diameter. Attempts to cut bigger trees than that may be successful, but that will require much time and energy.
Related – What is a hatchet used for?
You can use it with one or both hands. It has a 20 inches handle, with a head weight of 1.5-2 pounds. It is very versatile since it can be used for carving, splitting and chopping wood. It is great for bushcraft, and although you can use it for cutting trees, it is not recommended to cut a tree with more than 4 inches in diameter.
Some tasks will require having something like the small axe, but a bit bigger, and this type is exactly that. It has an amazing handle of 25-28 inches and the head weighs about 2-3 pounds. Cutting trees is an easy task for this type and it can handle trees of up to 6 inches in diameter.
This is a very big axe, used for felling trees. It has a handle of 30-36 inches, which makes it clear why people carry them over the shoulder. The head is about 3-5 pounds and this type is a perfect choice if your intention is cutting large trees.
To make things easier to understand, I would suggest taking a look at the table below.
|Axe type||Handle length||Weight||Felling tree diameter|
|Small axe||20”||1.5-2 lbs.||4”|
|Limbing axe||25”-28”||2-3 lbs.||6”|
|Felling axe||30”-36”||3-5 lbs.||no limitation|
Does a woodsman really need an axe?
The activities of a woodsman include felling trees, splitting and carving wood. Plus, your axe should be your weapon as well, which means you should be able to throw it easily. The size and the weight of the axe strongly affect the choice as you will need to carry it for hours.
Axe or a hatchet, this is one of the biggest dilemmas a woodsman will face. A hatchet is also a type of an axe, however, the handle is much shorter which is why I decided to differentiate them.
The simplest definition – the axe will give you more power, while the hatchet weighs less. Based on what activities you will perform, you should make your pick.
Related – Axe vs hatchet for camping
Axes are needed for larger tasks, like shelter building. On the other hand, since the hatchet is smaller, it is less powerful and it is mainly used for chopping branches and splitting wood.
Related – Hatchet vs axe for bushcraft
Your stay in the woods will require several basic activities that you will need to perform almost daily. Both types of axes are better for a specific function, but overall, there has to be a winner.
Considering the tests from the video below, you will see for yourself what activities are best suited for each type of axe.
Typically, a woodsman does 4 activities:
- felling trees
- carving wood
- splitting wood
Related – Why would someone need a hatchet?
In this section, you will find the best woodsman axes.
Schrade SCAXE5 - Rating
In case you want small and compact model, that is easy to carry, but still powerful enough for a variety of activities, then this is something you really need to consider.
It has a carbon steel head and extra resistant nylon fiber handle. The belt sheath is made of polyester, and overall, this is a great option for both professionals and amateurs.
Estwing E45A - Rating
It is made of forged steel so this axe is the perfect combination of power and durability. Chopping logs, cutting small trees, splitting wood and kindling – you can use it for a variety of different tasks.
It has a nice leather grip for comfortable use for hours. Plus, you will get it with a nice sheath to cover the extra-sharp blade.
Estwing pays attention to the smallest details and this model comes in two sizes.
Husquvarna A1400 - Rating
Husquvarna is not only famous about creating chainsaws, they designed an axe that is just good enough to stand amongst the best in its category.
It is a lightweight, made for dealing with a different kind of woodwork, such as construction or forest work. It is made of nice fiberglass handle and a head that has a hammer function as well.
It comes in several sizes and you will get a nice sheath for its steelhead.
SOG F16N-CP - Rating
SOG is one of the leading companies that constantly produce tools for camping and bushcraft, so this one is not an exception.
It has a fully forged head and a rubberized handle – a simple design, yet very powerful model, with a lifetime warranty as a proof for its durability.
Once you take it in your hand, you will notice why many woodsmen prefer it.
CRKT Kangee T-Hawk
CRKT Kangee T-Hawk - Rating
Believe it or not, you can have comfort and power at the same time, and CRKT Kangee T-Hawk confirms that.
Since the handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon, the axe is lightweight and thanks to the specially designed handle, it fits in your hands ideally.
It has an extra sharp steel blade able to handle a variety of tasks.
Fiskars X11 - Rating
If you were looking for a very efficient model that can make one-strike splits, then your journey has finally come to an end.
The Fiskars X11 is a one-handed tool and has a great power-to-weight ratio. It comes in several sizes, and with its ultra-sharp steelhead, it is great for bushcraft and survival.
It has a lifetime warranty, so you won’t need to worry about its durability.
In conclusion, finding the best woodsman axe is not an easy job. Hopefully, by following this guide you will be able to learn what activities does the woodsman do and which model is the best performance.
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