As a woodworker, you have to think about getting an axe that suits all of your needs. It’s not just about cutting down a tree or some lumbers; you need to shape the wood for your projects. That’s why we went ahead and tried some of the best carpenters’ axes out there.
After using plenty of axes for carpentry, we shortlisted 7 of them as the best-performing axes. Here, we will share our experiences of using these axes to give you an idea of how good they are for carpentry.
We assure you that your search for a quality carpenter axe ends right here. Without wasting any more time, let’s get going with the discussion.
Our top 3 picks:
What Is A Carpenter’s Axe Used For?
Before taking you through the choices, here is something insightful for you if you are new in this field. It’s important to know the use of carpenters’ axe to understand how it differs from a regular wood-cutting axe.
We usually use the carpenter’s axe to shape and split our wood. It lets us carve the wood more precisely because of its smaller size. It’s not the most powerful axe you see out there that can easily bring down large trees. The tool is more about precision and delicate cuts.
Simply put, if you are into carpentry and want to cut wooden pieces into smaller, precise portions, you need a carpenter’s axe. We don’t think you can get the perfect size and precision without using this tool for carpentry work.
Top 7 Best Carpenters Axe You Have to Check Out
Well, even if you had no idea about the carpenter’s axe before, now you do. It will make things easier for you because you will know why you are getting a carpenter’s axe instead of other regular ones. So, let’s check them out one by one.
1. Estwing Special Edition Camper’s Axe
What better way to start the list of best carpenters’ hatchets than an axe from Estwing? We went ahead with the special edition one because of its looks. But the real value of the axe lies within features like versatility, durability, and grip. Here’s our experience with it.
A leather grip for a sturdy hold
A lot of the time, we struggled to find axes that we could hold onto without slipping them from our hands. But this one didn’t give us any room to complain about the grip or traction. With the genuine leather on the handle, it provided us excellent grip.
Very stylish in appearance
While choosing the axe, we came across two options. At first glance, we knew we had to go with the amazing black finish. This special edition black finish just adds another dimension to this axe. There is also a silver variant which is a bit cheaper.
Since getting the axe, we have used it for quite a while, and we love its strength. The durability of the axe has never been a question to us, even after using it almost daily. All credit goes to their perfect forging of the axe.
Smoothly cuts through wood
What we loved the most was the performance we got from the hatchet blade. It was just too good when it came to cutting the wood. All the cuts we made using the axe were accurate. With a bit of sharpening, the axe becomes a beast on woodwork.
What we liked about the axe
- Non-slippery rubber grip
- Perfect cutting strength and accuracy
- Built for outdoors with good durability
- Stylish with two finishes
- It’s a little bit heavy
- Feels a bit awkward in the beginning
While the attractive appeal of this axe is the look, its functionality doesn’t fall behind either. It performs the way you would require for carpentry work. The axe has excellent craftsmanship, great durability, and precise cuts for carpentry needs.
2. Estwing – E32H Carpenter’s Hatchet
Don’t be surprised to see another hatchet from Estwing. We couldn’t exclude this one from the list because most professionals will pick it from the Estwing collection. What makes it so great? Well, the features will answer that question.
Comes in one piece
One concern we always had with axes is that they come loose after a while. But we didn’t even bother about that on this axe because it’s a solid one-piece construction. We could use the axe as roughly as we wanted without worrying.
Shock resistant handle
A very handy feature we found with this axe was its shock-free handle. We could strike the wood using this axe as often as we want, but it won’t cause any kind of harsh impact on our hands. This feature makes it a very comfortable axe to use.
Hammerhead on the back
Like many other carpenters’ axes, this one also has a hammer end on the back part. We love the feature because it lets us nail on the wood and sometimes removes any nails stuck on the wood. It’s a great advantage for carpentry projects.
Great value for money
We have to admit this axe has great value for money. Considering the benefits and features you see on the axe, and the price isn’t too much. It’s a professional quality hatchet for carpenters with reasonable pricing.
What we liked about the axe
- Features a shock-resistant, non-slippery handle
- Comes at a reasonable price
- Provides professional quality performance
- Versatile to use with hammerhead
- Need to get a sheath separately
- The edge can feel a bit bad without a setup
This one has to be on top of the list of Estwing carpenter’s hatchets. Most professionals, including us, recommend this one for proper carpentry purposes. It’s one of the best choices when you want professional quality results.
3. TABOR TOOLS Carpenters Axe
Next up, we have a carpenter’s axe from Taboor tools. This one is a special pick based on the features it has to offer. The features we experienced while using this one almost forced us to include them in this list. Let’s have a glance at those convincing features.
Versatile in use
What impressed us the most about this axe is its versatility. We could use the axe for multiple purposes like woodworking, framing, roofing, gardening, and carpentry. The durability and craftsmanship are the secrets behind the versatility of the axe.
Along with the versatility, we also got to experience incredible functionality from the axe. We used the axe for trimming purposes mostly. But that’s not the only thing we did. It worked flawlessly in carving and shaping functionalities as well.
Sharpen the blade frequently
We struggled a lot with the axe blade going blunt, and the worst part was we couldn’t resharpen it. But that’s not the case with this one. We could easily sharpen the blades as often as we wanted to get that perfect cut in each stroke.
Lightweight handle with good grip
A lightweight axe will always be a preferable choice for carpentry. We never had trouble controlling or maneuvering the axe the way we wanted because of the lightweight handle. And, of course, the grip is just too good to hold onto.
What we liked about the axe
- Universal to use for various purposes
- Lightweight and comfortable to use
- Can resharpen the durable blades
- Good value for the price
- The build quality could be better
- Might face rusting issues
This is the pick if you are looking for a lightweight carpenter’s axe handle that you can maneuver easily. It’s good for DIYers or hobbyists but not the best choice for professionals because there are better options here.
4. Gransfors Bruks Carpenter’s Axe
Until now, we shared some axes that have versatility in performance. But the Gransfors’ broken carpenter’s axe is a special beast regarding detailed works. It has features that make it a perfect axe for fine woodworking. Here are the features –
Ergonomic handle for control
The first thing to talk about the axe is how the handle is so comfortable to grab. It’s a straight handle, so we could easily hold on to it and move it however we wanted. We could control the axe according to our needs and move it around fluidly due to the ergonomics of the handle.
Recess on the blade edge
While using the axe, we found a new level of cut precision. All thanks go to those slight recesses they have added on the edge of the blades. We could place our fingers there and move the blade with even more precision for cutting and shaving.
We have nothing to complain about, whether it’s the blade or the handle. The material they use for the blade is top quality, and the handle is pretty sturdy. We never had to doubt the durability and longevity of this axe. Until now, it’s going strong.
Worth the money
It might not be the cheapest axe for carpenters, but it’s worth every penny. The axe is perfect for precision cuts and serves the purpose flawlessly. The durability and material quality also come together to justify the price.
What we liked about the axe
- High-quality and reliable built
- Works wonders for precision and detail work
- Easy to control and maneuver
- Comes with a sheath for blade protection
- Not the best for heavy woodworking
- It can be a bit pricey for DIYers
Straight up, this is one of the best carpenters’ hatchets for anyone doing fine woodworking. You can’t expect to get a better axe for detail jobs than this one. If you have the budget and want to do detailed work, then pick this one without any doubts.
5. Bon Vaughan 205-20 Sh2 Carpenter’s Half Hatchet
After checking out several different hatchets, it was time for us to find something that was affordable. Our search led us to this hatchet from Bon Vaughan that is affordable but doesn’t compromise on quality. Let’s see what it has to offer –
Very lightweight to use
One feature that enticed us to get the axe was the weight. When we saw the hatchet weighed just about 22 ounces, we knew we had to try it out. We enjoyed using this axe more than any other for its lightweight nature. We didn’t have to touch our hands.
Affordable for anyone
The prime reason for including this axe in the list is its affordable price tag. In our research, we checked out its features and the quality of the product, then looked at the price, and it was surprising. It’s so affordable while providing quality.
Good quality handle
The handle makes using the axe feel much more comforting and enjoyable. The handle doesn’t feel awkward at hand, and at the same time, the material is just too good. It ensures durability and strength that will last for a long time.
Pretty handy with the hammer end
We didn’t expect a hammer end on one side of the axe, but we did get it. It’s always handy in an axe, especially the one we use for carpentry. So, we were delighted to see that little hammer end, as it made our lives much easier.
What we liked about the axe
- Comfortable and lightweight to use
- High-quality handle material
- The Hammer end is very useful
- Very low price for the quality
- The blades aren’t the best in quality
- Handle tends to come loose
We recommend this axe to anyone who is looking to save some money. It’s a great pick within a budget that also provides good quality. Also, probably the best carpenters’ axe for bushcraft due to its lightweight nature.
6. Senkichi Carpenter Axe
We have added this axe to the list for plenty of reasons. The first thing you should know is it’s quite different from the other choices on this list. The build, design, and purpose are some unique features we found on the axe. Here’s what you can expect –
A chisel head axe
What we found unique about the axe was its head. It’s a chisel head that provides a different kind of performance than a regular carpenter axe. While we could use the blade end to cut wood, we used the chisel to shape our woodwork.
The blades are quite thick.
Another unique factor about this axe is its thick blades. These blades give the axe its heavier weight, making it a proper choice for easily splitting wood. We didn’t need to put too much pressure on splitting our wood using the axe.
We can’t help but bring up the craftsmanship of the axe. As soon as we looked at it, we could see the perfection in the build quality. The finesse in making the axe is simply unparalleled. We loved the finish on the axe a lot.
Has a sheath for covering the blade
Topping everything off comes the heavy sheath that covers the blade. The sheath just fits onto the blade perfectly and protects it from adversity. Once we put the sheath on, we didn’t have to worry about rusting or anything else.
What we liked about the axe
- It has a unique design and built
- Comes with a sheath
- It’s worth the money
- Chopping wood is easy due to the thick blade
- The handle feels a bit clumsy
- It can be a little heavy
This is the best Japanese carpenter’s axe that we ever came across. Since it’s from Japan, you get high-quality craftsmanship and other features. If you feel like chopping wood is your need, then this is the perfect pick for your job.
7. Hultafors Stalberg Carpenter Axe
We must admit that this is one of the most authentic pieces of carpentry we have ever seen. Everything felt natural to us, starting from the looks to its use and functionality. The features we experienced with it are something like this –
High strength hand forged axe head.
Right off the bat, we were stunned to see the quality and strength of the axe head. It looked like the axe came out of the 1600s, and someone made the whole thing by hand. Just by holding the axe, we could feel that it’s very durable and the axe head is strong.
Excellent sharpness with a good polish
While the axe doesn’t look like a factory-made axe, it surely has a perfect polish and sharpness on the blade. We didn’t have any trouble cutting through the wood using the axe. Even shaving wood went down smoothly because of the sharpness.
Perfect finish on the whole axe
We loved the finish on the axe. It had that flavor of “handmade” that gave it the appeal. And the finish isn’t rough by any means. We could feel it was not a machine-made axe, but at the same time, every bit of it looked and felt smooth to us.
At first, we were concerned about whether the axe would hold up well. But after using the axe for a while, all our worries went out the window. The hickory handle, with a touch of linseed oil, is perfectly attached to the axe head.
What we liked about the axe
- Hand-forged axe head with extreme strength
- Very sharp and has a polished finish
- Great for chopping wood and shaving
- Excellent handle all around
- The axe is a bit heavy
- The handle can get slippery at times
If you want to go all traditional with your choice of an axe, we recommend choosing this one. With this hultafors carpenters’ axe, you can easily cut, carve, shave and chop wood. Is it the best for professionals? Maybe not so much.
Things You Should Consider When Buying Carpenters Axe
You are still struggling to decide on one choice, aren’t you? We understand the dilemma after getting so many quality choices, and choosing one is difficult. To help you with that, here we will share some factors you should consider.
Go through the factors one by one before buying a carpenter’s axe, and you will wind up with the perfect pick for your needs. Let’s get rolling, then.
The Type of Axe
You first have to choose the type of axe you need for your work. Choose between a carpenter’s axe vs hatchets. Hatchets are for people who need light woodworking and nothing detailed. In contrast, the carpenter’s axe is about bringing the details of the wood.
For anyone looking to do some fine woodworking or professional quality woodwork, the carpenters’ axe is the perfect pick. They are great for shaving, cutting, splitting, and chopping. It’s about making something out of wood rather than just cutting wood.
Next up, you have to look at the different functionalities any axe can provide. When it comes to carpenters’ axes, they are suitable for chopping, splitting, and carving. Some axes are better for splitting, and some work well for carving.
You need to choose an axe that suits your needs the best. If you want to do carving, then choose an axe that does carving well. And if you need something to split wood, get an axe specializing in splitting wood.
Handle and Grip
Another crucial factor to consider while getting an axe is the handle. Getting an axe with a comfortable handle is important, so you don’t get blisters. Also, you have to think about the grip on the handle. It has to be easy to hold on to.
Along with that, you also need to check whether the head of the axe is properly attached to the handle. If the handle comes loose easily, you wouldn’t want that to happen.
Weight of the Axe
While not many people think about it, the axe weight matters greatly. Especially if you are planning to work on a project for long hours, you need to get a lightweight axe. Aside from the comfort, there is another reason to consider the weight and that’s usability.
A lightweight axe is easier to control and maneuver. It gives you the freedom to move the axe accordingly which helps a lot when you are carving or shaping wood.
Last but not least, you must also think about the axe head. Of course, you will want a sharp axe head, and there is no doubt about that. Other than the sharpness, there is something else you have to think about, and it’s the thinness.
For carving and shaping, we would consider going with a thinner blade. A thinner blade makes it easy to maneuver and get the desired shapes. On the other hand, a thick blade always helps with splitting or chopping because the weight helps in cutting the wood.
Regarding important queries, we think we have answered everything you need to buy a carpenter’s axe. However, if you still have some questions in mind, then here are some common answers.
There are some classic features that make a carpenter’s axe what it is. First, it has to have a straight and sharp edge. The butt of the axe has to be flat. In fact, some can even work as a hammer.
Yes, hatchet and carpenter axes are different types of axes. Even though many people use these terms interchangeably, the hatchet is used for general purposes, whereas the carpenter axe is more suitable for carving and shaping.
It mostly depends on your purpose. If you want to do chopping or splitting then a heavy axe is a much better option than a lightweight one. A heavier axe makes the process easier for you to split wood.
Among many things, the first thing you should look for is the blade head. The blade head has to be thin, but at the same time, it has to be strong. Along with that, a curve on the blade’s edge makes it accurate.
Finishing off the list of the best carpenter’s axe, we can say there are plenty of options out there to choose from. You can go with any of them and end up satisfied without too many worries.
However, if we were to pick one of the seven choices, we would go with the Estwing – E32H Carpenter’s Hatchet. It’s the overall best pick and a choice that many professionals would pick over the others. You won’t have any complaints about it whatsoever.
Other than that, you can still pick anyone from the list based on the features. Just see which one suits your needs the best.
That’s it from us.
Here’s all about our editorial staff. We have a team of 5 expert editors specializing in all kinds of tools. From their years of experience, they provide all kinds of solutions related to your tools. Our experts always try to find the most unsolvable tool-related issues and provide the most effective solutions. Also, we research the market and provide reviews on the best available tools after vigorous testing.