Ah, the simple axe! Most people don’t know how to use it properly and those that do, hate having to sharpen them after every few logs.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to split firewood with a blunt axe. Worse, many common axes will get stuck repeatedly, causing you to give up altogether!
Fortunately, there are some axes that don’t disappoint!
The axe’s grip, sharpness, weight and other factors can affect how easily it splits wood. Of course, technique and power matter too, but anyone can split wood easily if they have the right axe!
In this article, we’ll review the 10 best axes for splitting wood. Whether you’re a professional carpenter or an amateur looking for a reliable axe for splitting firewood, you’ll find the perfect axe in this guide!
Our Top Pick: Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe
If you’re looking for the best axe for splitting wood, this won’t disappoint. It doesn’t have the most flashy design and may be “too modern” for some people, but it gets the job better than many other splitting axes.
Why we recommend it:
- It’s one of the longest splitting axes and gives proper leverage.
- It has good accuracy and can split all types of wood.
- The lightweight handle is stronger than steel and allows you to chop with ease.
While it takes time to get used to the length, you’ll never be disappointed when you use this splitting axe.
3 Factors to Consider Before Buying an Axe
Splitting wood is a tough job in itself, but it can be really tiresome if you don’t have the right axe. Before we dive into our list of best axes, let’s explore what makes an axe perfect for splitting wood.
Here are some things to consider when buying a new axe:
The Axe’s Weight
What size axe can be used for splitting wood? Most people prefer heavier axes for splitting wood as they have more momentum and impact force. However, this depends on the type of wood you’re splitting. For example, if you’re splitting firewood, a heavier axe is usually better.
However, if you’re a carpenter looking to use an axe for luxurious product made up of softwoods like cocobolo desk, maple cabinetry etc having a lighter axe can ensure precision. Lighter axes are also better for felling trees as they are designed to gradually chip away at the wood.
The Handle Quality
I’ve handled more than a dozen different types of axes and I’ll tell you that the handle’s quality matters a lot. Some axes have small handles that aren’t very good at giving leverage. Other axes have more weight on the handle, which makes them very impractical.
The handle grip also matters. Do a quick search on YouTube for “axe fails” and you’ll know why you shouldn’t ever buy an axe with a poor grip.
Material and Type
Typically, steel is the best material for an axe head, although wrought iron and even bronze alloys were used in the past. Also consider the axe type and what you plan to use it for:
Felling Axes: Use these for chopping trees and logs.
Splitting Axes: These are designed to split wood along the grain.
Throwing Axes: These are designed for fine detailing and carpentry.
Ultimately, these are the main factors to consider before buying an axe. Yes, you should also consider price, and you need to know the correct way to swing an axe, but never compromise on quality.
Especially with a tool as dangerous as an axe!
The Top 10 Splitting Axes
While there are hundreds of axe brands in the market, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 based on the factors discussed above. We’ve also considered other factors like safety features and price.
Remember, these axes are primarily for splitting wood, so we won’t include hatchets, felling axes or other specialized axes.
1. Husqvarna Axe A2400
The Husqvarna Axe A2400 is one of the best multi-purpose, beginner-friendly axes. Its 4 pound head and 28 inch handle makes it perfect for most people to split wood with ease.
While it doesn’t have the capacity to chop down trees or large logs, it’s best axe for splitting firewood. The fiberglass composite handle is easy-to-grip and strengthened with a metal plate for maximum safety.
- Length: 28 inches
- Head: Composite steel
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
- Price: $149 inc. GST
|Perfect head-handle weight distribution for splitting wood.||It can’t chop trees or split large logs.|
|Sharp and accurate composite steel head.||Slightly small for tall individuals.|
|Easy-to-grip fiberglass composite handle for maximum safety.||Can’t be used as a hatchet.|
2. Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
This Swedish outdoor axe is the perfect combination of durability and efficiency. It comes with a long handle, which makes it easier to get leverage for chopping wood. The 35-inch axe has a head that’s much heavier than most felling axes, making it ideal for multipurpose use.
What’s really niche about the design is that it has a slightly bent handle, which makes it easy to grip. This axe also comes with a leather sheath for safe storage.
- Length: 35 inches
- Head: Steel
- Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Price: $184
|Long handle gives more leverage||It’s size and weight mean less accuracy|
|It can chop large trees and logs.||May be awkwardly long for some users.|
|Perfect for splitting fresh wood.|
|Safety sheath is included|
3. Hultafors Splitting Axe KLY RA
Sweden tops the list as the best axe making country and Hultafors splitting axe is a testament to their skill. It’s almost the perfect splitting axe for firewood and can handle logs as well. The hickory handle is straight and durable, which gives a good grip and provides maximum accuracy.
You’re probably wondering, “what’s so special about this axe”?
Simply put- Its simplicity.
The company has taken the perfect wood splitting axe design and used the finest quality materials to craft an axe that gets the job done.
- Length: 30 inches
- Head: Hand-forged Steel
- Weight: 2.64 pounds
- Price: $74.90
|Durable 30-inch hickory handle is as tough as nails.||Not suitable for felling trees.|
|Head made from hand-forged steel.||It’s a single-style axe.|
|Comes with a lifetime warranty.|
4. Gransfors Bruks Double Bit Working Axe
The Gransfors Bruks Double Bit Working Axe is a double-bladed axe which is perfect for both splitting and felling. If you regularly split wood and occasionally need to work with trees or large logs, this axe is ideal. The double-bladed design doesn’t interfere with efficiency, although this axe is more suited for professionals.
The total length of this axe is 35 inches and it features a design where both blades have the same center of gravity. So, if you’re looking for the perfect 2-in-1 axe, it’s definitely worth trying this out.
- Length: 35 inches
- Head: Steel
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Price: $450
|Double-bladed design makes it perfect for felling and splitting wood.||The double-bladed design isn’t suitable for beginners and can be a safety risk.|
|The long handle and perfect center of gravity allows for more accurate cuts.||It’s slightly awkward for a splitting axe.|
|Comes with a leather sheath included.|
5. New West Knifework’s S7 Throwing Tomahawk
Ok, this isn’t technically a splitting axe and it resembles a hatchet, but it can still be used for splitting and carpentry. As the name suggests, the Tomahawk is a throwing axe and apparently one of the best out there.
The short size and lightweight design makes it perfect for throwing, so you’ll probably wonder why I’ve included it on this list. To be honest, this is one of the more versatile throwing axes thanks to it’s high-quality steel head.
So, if you need to split finer blocks of wood, this axe can be really handy.
- Length: 19 inches
- Head: S7 Steel
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Price: $200
|Lightweight design makes it perfect for fine splitting and carpentry.||It’s too small for most splitting jobs.|
|It’s perfect for axe throwing as well.||It’s secured with a pressure fit and may get loose often.|
|The head is made from high quality S7 steel.|
6. Husqvarna Splitting Axe S2800
When it comes to choosing the best splitting axes, there are two groups. You’ve got the old school guys who prefer wood handles and those who like the modern composite handle designs.
Personally, I would go with either, as long as the handle is reliable and offers a good grip. This is why the Husqvarna Splitting Axe S2800 is so popular. The hollow composite handle is not only durable, but it also allows you to split more wood without getting tired since the handle absorbs most of the vibrations.
This axe is also 27 inches long, which is about perfect for a splitting axe and has a special coated head for minimal friction.
- Length: 27.6 inches
- Head: Forged Steel
- Weight: 6.17 pounds
- Price: $149
|Hollow composite handle absorbs show waves, making splitting wood much easier.||The handle isn’t ideal for felling trees and logs.|
|The blade has a non-stick coating for smoother cuts.||It takes perfect technique to chop hardwoods with this axe.|
|It’s strengthened with an overstrike guard.||Some people complain about the grip quality.|
7. Fiskars Norden Splitting Axe N12
If you’re looking for a short splitting axe that gets the job done, this Finnish axe is ideal. At 19 inches long, it doesn’t give as much leverage as other splitting axes, but it’s decent enough for splitting firewood.
The precision edge stays sharp for much longer than your average axe and it has an almost unbreakable overstrike protection.
- Length: 19 inches
- Head: Carbon + Steel
- Weight: 3.9 pounds
- Price: $120
|One of safest axes with a solid overstrike protection||It’s slightly small and not suitable for heavy-duty splitting.|
|Blade stays sharp for longer.||The simple design doesn’t give much leverage.|
|The PTFE-coated blade ensures precise cuts.|
8. Lexivon V28 Chopping Axe
Lexivon isn’t the most famous axe manufacturer, but I’ve noticed that many of their axes are designed to last a lifetime. The Lexivon V28 Chopping Axe is no different. Its carbon-steel blade and lightweight design makes it one of the most accurate axes on this list.
And, despite the fact that it’s primarily a chopping axe, many users claim that it works just as well for wood splitting. What’s really nice about this axe is its fiberglass composite handle with a non-slip coating for better grip.
- Length: 28 inches
- Head: Carbon-Steel
- Weight: 4.5 pounds
- Price: $68
|Lightweight design makes it easier to use for longer.||It’s more of a chopping axe, and doesn’t have the same precision as splitting axes.|
|High quality carbon-steel head for precision chopping.|
|The non-slip coating on the handle gives it a good grip.|
|Perfect for chopping large logs.|
9. Estwing Camp Axe
The Estwing Camp axe is probably the most versatile one on this list. At 26 inches long, it’s shorter than the traditional splitting axes, but it splits wood much more smoothly. What makes it stand out is it’s forged steel single-piece design and durability.
Whether you’re looking to fell small trees, split firewood or chop logs, this axe can get the job done.
- Length: 26 inches
- Head: Forged Steel
- Weight: 5.53 pounds
- Price: $66
|Highly durable forged steel design makes it almost impossible to break.||It’s not suitable for large logs and trees.|
|Blade doesn’t chip easily.||The forged-steel blade can get stuck in wood.|
|Can be used for both chopping and splitting.|
10. Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe
While I’ve personally tested many splitting axes, in both traditional and modern designs, the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe is my top pick. The 36 inch length gives it massive leverage, making it one of the best axes for splitting wood.
The aggressive blade design allows it to split large logs and hardwood in a single strike. And if you’re someone who prefers an axe with the perfect grip, you’ll love the hollow, comfortable handle.
- Length: 36 inches
- Head: Forged Steel
- Weight: 5.85 pounds
- Price: $59
|36 inch length gives unmatched leverage.||It may be a bit too long for some users.|
|It’s suitable for hardwoods and heavy splitting jobs.||It doesn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing design.|
|The hollow, long handle makes it comfortable to use.|
|Axe||Head Material||Weight (Pound)||Length (inches)||Best For|
|Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe||Forged Steel||5.85||36||Multi-purpose splitting use. Felling small trees.|
|Gränsfors Bruk Double Bit Working Axe||Steel||5||35||Multi-purpose splitting and felling.|
|Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe||Steel||4.8||35||Felling large logs and trees.|
|Hultafors Splitting Axe KLY RA||Hand-forged steel||2.64||30||Precise Splitting|
|Husqvarna Multi-Purpose Axe 2400||Composite Steel||5.5||28||Beginners, Small Felling Jobs|
|Lexivon V28||Carbon Steel||4.5||28||Hardwood|
|Husqvarna Splitting Axe S2800||Forged Steel||6.17||27.6||Smooth firewood splitting.|
|Estwing Camper’s Axe||Forged Steel||5.53||26||Chopping and splitting wood|
|Fiskars Norden Splitting Axe N12||Carbon + Steel||3.9||19||Safe and precise splitting.|
|New West KnifeWorks S7 Throwing Tomahawk||S7 Steel||1.5||19||Axe throwing and small splitting jobs.|
Frequently Asked Questions
The best size for a splitting axe is between 25-35 inches
There’s no hard and fast rule when choosing between axes with wooden vs composite handles. Wooden handles are usually heavier and can be used for heavy splitting, while composite handles allow you to chop for longer without getting tired.
While splitting axes are usually designed only for splitting, you can use some to fell trees and logs. However, only use larger axes for felling or you could end up damaging the blade and spending more energy than necessary.