What Is a Felling Axe & 5 Reasons to Buy One


The advent of power saws has almost removed the need to fell huge trees the old school way. One of the reasons why the power saw is replacing the felling axe is its ease of use and speed of cutting. That, however, does not mean felling axes are entirely out of fashion.

One or two tree cutting tasks today still require the use of a felling axe. And, unlike the power saw, it takes a great deal of skill to hack down a huge tree using an axe. And not just any axe would do; only an appropriate kind of a felling axe would be competent for the job.

So what exactly is a felling axe? In its broadest definition, a felling axe is an implement traditionally used to cut, shape, and split various types of wood. The application of the felling axe can extend to harvesting timber, as serving as a herald or ceremonial symbol or weapon.

There are as many forms of the felling axe as its applications but a typical felling axe consists of a handle (or helve) and a steel head. The steel head can take any shape depending on the needs of the user.

Whether you are a professional tree feller or carpenter, there is a right felling axe for your job. Variation normally lies in the design of the hatchet which determines its appropriateness for a given task. A typical felling, for instance, axe is well designed to cut wood fibres perpendicularly.

The sharpness factor is seldom mentioned but it has greater say on the application of the axe as well. If you intend to use the felling axe to chop wood fibers, for instance, you will need an axe with a razor-sharp edge. On another, an axe meant for cutting soft wood don’t need to very sharp.

5 Reasons to buy a top rated felling axes

Why would you need a felling axe? You need it for a myriad of tasks than you think and most of those applications have very little to do with felling large trees. Here is why you need to buy a felling axe.

1. It is easier to build a bonfire with an axe than without it

Embarking on a weekend-long hiking, camping, or any other bush adventure creates the need for a tool to cut firewood. No tool qualifies for this task like a felling axe. With this handy tool, you can easily chop, shave dry wood and light a campfire. So if you are an adventurous person who is always out there in the bushes, buying an excellent axe in one of the best things you do to your outdoor arsenal.

2. Crafting a shelter has never been easier

So you need an impromptu shelter, say, you are out the bushes and you need a makeshift abode, or you just need to make a hatch for animals as fast as possible. The first idea to cross your mind would be to cut some wood and embark on building the structure. A felling axe is just the right kind of tool you need to cut down the building wood and chop it into the right size for construction.

3. Self-defense from animals…and some humans

Axes were some of the basic defense tools man created in the prehistoric period. Then, before they knew to smelt iron and other metals, man would tie chiseled stones on sticks and maraud with them around for protection. It hasn’t changed much; you still need an axe for self-defense while camping in the bushes, only when it is necessary this time

Even outside the bushes, it is almost certain that even the most aggressive brutes would pause a bit before confronting a guy wielding an axe.

4. Hunting and gathering game

Use your felling axe to hunt wild animals for food. You have got to be energetic to complete your tasks whether at home or in the camp. Axes are more effective than hunting knives or any other tool you may have in the bush when it comes to felling an animal in one blow. It also comes handy during skinning and can be used to crush bones and break tough shells.

5. Digging holes for any reason

In the event you find yourself outside in the biting cold, a felling axe is an excellent tool for digging, cutting, and chiseling through snow and ice. You could be trying to erect a makeshift shelter or creating a trench. A felling axe is an essential tool for digging and cutting tasks.

Factors to consider when buying top rated felling axes

1. Weight of the head

The weight of the felling axe can depend on the kind of metal used and the size. High weight can be beneficial or a setback depending on the task. Most users would prefer the heaviest axe on offer because it produces great force. Size affects the portability of the axe.

2. Length of the handle

The longer the handle the easier it is to use the axe. Long handles allow the user to swing the axe with greater force than with a short handle. Such an axe is also easier to carry around although it will occupy a larger space in your sack.

3. Handle material

The handle is either made of wood or plastic. For those handles made from wood, the pattern of the growth rings has a say on the strength of the wood – numerous tight and narrow rings means the wood is strong. The best handle is made from a hardwood such as hickory or ash.


A felling axe is a tool traditionally used to cut, chisel, and shape wood. There are plenty of other users and all depends on how the axe was designed. If you are an outdoor person who spends a lot of time in the wilderness hiking and camping, a felling axe is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. You can use it for hunting, digging, and even self defense. When selecting the perfect axe, it is prudent to consider the quality of the material used to make the handle, length of the handle, the weight of the head, and other factors.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.