Hand Axe Vs. Battle Axe: What’s the Difference?

Hand Axe Vs Battle Axe

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An axe’s morphology was very different from what we see today. The first-ever encounter with axe humankind happened in the prehistoric age.

The ancient hand axe was just a piece of stone that had a pointed tip and a rounded bottom. Day by day, that piece of stone evolved into different types of axes.

As history suggests, the debate between hand axe vs battle-ax has far too many turns and twists. Therefore, after a lot of studying, we have shared our thoughts on this matter. 

What is The History of Hand Axes and Battle Axes?

The question may come to your mind about what the first-ever human-made axe looked like. It had a strange shape that doesn’t resemble the modern axe. The oldest hand axe that we found has an age of about 2.6 million years old. 

Those pieces of stone were hand tools for ancient people that they used for hunting mammoths or tearing meat.

However, a hand axe has a completely different aspect now. We shaped the stone, sharpened the edges, made a hole in it, and attached a shaft to complete the shape. All these changes have occurred due to the demand for its functionality. 

The shape of the edge and the length of the shaft determine its impact on hard materials. By “hard,” we mostly mean wood. Now, the hand axe is popular for felling wood or cutting logs. 

As far as the battle axe is concerned, it doesn’t look that much different from the traditional axe. Here, the key components are the same, whilst their size and shape are different. 

The Roman emperors used crescent-shaped axes in their wars. The battle-ax got its popularity from the Scandinavian soldiers known as the Vikings

On the battlefield, axe throwing was not the way they used axes. However, some biomechanical rules guide how a battle axe should be used.

Making an axe costs way less than making a sword. That’s why it became popular in medieval times.

How Do Hand Axes and Battle Axes Work?


Depending on the purpose, the shapes, and sizes tend to fluctuate. Likewise, their shape and weight differ depending on whether you want to split wood, cut logs, or even throw an axe.

A large percentage of hand axes have only one edge on their head, though a few might have two. As a result, the head is usually heavy and has a fat cheek in the middle.

If you look at the edges closely, not every kind has the same sharpness. For example, some hand axes have one flat face and one bevelled face, and a few have double bevelled faces. 

Typically, the handles are small on hand axes. Some have a straight handle, while others have some curves in them. It hangs on its serviceability.

Now, let’s focus on the real battle axe. The edge of the battle axe is sharper and thinner than the regular splitting mauls. Besides, if we look at the handle, it too comes in a larger form.

Because of its shape and size, you might think it is a heavy axe, but it is certainly not. Instead, battle axes have a thin cheek and a sharper edge, which eliminates the weight.

Although battle axes are much lighter than splitting mauls or hand axes, they still need a perfect swinging motion to attack or defend.


Axe Vs. Sword: which one is the better weapon?

Answer: Axe is an underrated weapon. Although an axe is robust compared to a sword, the sword is unbeatable when it comes to war. Using both weapons in a fight, however, will necessitate skill.

What is a Dane axe?

Answer: A Dane axe is a type of battle-axe. It went by several names during the period. Danish axe, Hafted axe, and English long axe are a few of those names.
The edge of the blade is quite thin, and it thickens immediately after. Because of the thin blade, it is quite light.
The Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons started to use this axe in their wars. 

How heavy is a Viking battle axe?

Answer: Viking axe should not weigh heavy. The maximum weight for a Viking axe should be around 1.7 pounds.


The debate between hand axe vs battle axe will rage on, among axe fans.

No matter what, neither one is any less powerful and has a noteworthy impact on our history.

Battle axes have recently become a showpiece, as the enticing gesture of a hand axe grows in popularity. Despite this, the battle-axe retains its reputation as a powerful weapon that aided warriors in battle.

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