How To Use A Brush Axe (The Beginner’s Guide)

How To Use A Brush Axe

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Brush axe is one of the forgotten tools nowadays. So, it’s not surprising when I see people asking how to use a brush axe. There are confusing instructions out there that need clarification.

I’ve always found brush axes to be extremely useful tools, especially because of their versatility. So, with the purpose of enlightening axe enthusiasts about the functionality, I’m describing how you can utilize a brush axe to the fullest. Stay tuned.

How to Use a Brush Axe – In Details Guide

You may have heard someone instructing to use a brush axe like a regular axe. On the contrary, some people will instruct you to use it to the dirt like a chainsaw. But which one is the more appropriate approach?

The answer is both. Depending on what you’re performing, you can use a brush axe either way. For instance, if you’re clearing bushes, you will have to use the axe in a parallel motion to the ground.

In comparison, when you’re doing chores like chopping a fallen banana tree, you will have to use the brush axe like a regular axe.

So, it’s functional both ways, as long as the blade is sharp.

What Determines the Proper Approach

When swinging a brush axe, you have to keep two things in mind. The job at hand and the axe’s handle. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

The Nature of the Job

As I have mentioned before, how you will use your brush axe depends on what you are doing. For instance, let’s say you’re clearing an area. It won’t be much helpful if you vertically hit the axe on the ground. This way, you will damage the soil instead of clearing out bushes.

So, if you’re replacing this brush axe with a lighter version of a chainsaw, you will have to use it in a horizontal motion. Swing it sideways to clear unwanted growth. People who want to avoid loud chainsaws often find a brush axe to be the perfect solution.

You can use the brush axe in the same way mentioned above to strip bark from logs and clear saplings and trails.  

If we consider a different scenario, you can use a brush axe with vertical swinging. Chopping down branches that are already laid on the ground will require you to use the brush axe like a regular axe.

The Handle

This might come as a surprise, but the handle does play a crucial role in determining the usage of a brush axe. For example, if you are tall and the brush axe you own comes with a short handle, it won’t be easy to swing the axe for clearing trails.

Short-handled brush axes will be more suitable to use as a regular axe. However, if you need to use the axe in a certain way, you can always replace the handle with a more suitable one for your heavy-duty brush hook.

Safety Measures for Using a Brush Axe

  • Avoid using a blunt brush axe.
  • Make sure that the blade isn’t loose from its handle.
  • Wear a proper outfit when using a brush axe.
  • Replace the handle with a suitable one if it’s not comfortable to use.
  • Avoid cutting heavier shrubs with the brush axe that can damage the blade.
  • If you haven’t used a brush axe before, first familiarize yourself with the method.
  • Ask for assistance in any case of emergency.


What are some high-quality brush axe brands?

Even though there are numerous high-quality brands you can get a brush axe from, some of them are worth mentioning. If you are into antique brush axe, I recommend looking at the Collins brush axe.

In comparison, if you’re into surveyors’ brush axe, I recommend the True Temper brush axe.

What is a billhook used for?

The billhook is similar to a brush axe in function and shape. However, the term dates earlier than a brush axe.

What is a ditch blank?

A larger version of a billhook or a brush axe can be identified as a ditch blank. They’re more suitable for cleaning shrubs and bushes because of their long handles.

Final Verdict

It’s easy to get confused on the internet when thousands of opinions are floating around. The issue of how to use a brush axe is no exception. However, it’s essential to remember that multiple opinions can be correct too.

A brush axe is a versatile tool even though there are alternatives like machetes, billhooks, etc. If you are thinking about getting a tool that can clear out trails and saplings without making a loud noise, get the best brush axe that can upgrade your inventory in no time.

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