For both lumbermen and enthusiastic outdoorsmen alike, a felling axe can be a useful and convenient tool, designed to hack down moderately sized trees and large tree limbs.
Different than that of a Hudson Bay axe – its smaller counterpart – a felling axe is designed with a thin but powerful blade to cut deep into the grain of tree wood.
While a felling axe itself is easy to find, distinguishing a great felling axe from the others can be quite tough, which is why we’ve created an easy-to-read guide to help you find the best felling axe.
If this is what you’re looking for, you’ve arrived at the right article, so keep reading to find out more about what makes a felling axe a great one!
A felling axe, while simple in both design and operation, can possess certain features related to both the design and function of the axe that help it stand out beyond others in its category.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to know to find the best felling axe for your needs.
Axe Length. The length of the entire felling axe is a measure from the top of the axe head to the bottom of the axe shaft, with a greater length corresponding to both better control and more power.
The Weight of Axe Head. Another powerful indicator of force, the weight of an axe head should be no lighter than 3.5 pounds on a decent felling axe.
As we discussed mentioned in the length section, greater weight on the head means a more powerful and devastating blow from the axe.
Wood Grain Versus Synthetic Grip/Axe Haft. Both types of grips for felling axes have their pros and cons, but we find that in general, synthetic grips hold up much better to wear over time, and are considerably less vulnerable to breakage and obviously, splintering.
Axes with a wooden shaft are also considerably more expensive to make, subsequently raising the price of the axe.
Sheath. While it may seem silly for a felling axe not to have a sheath, it’s important to make sure the one you want has one.
The type of sheath matters as well, since some felling axes come with a mere strip of rubber or plastic on the blade, whereas others come with a full-blown leather or cloth sheath.
This felling axe, designed by Helko, is handmade in Germany. It is so beautiful that you’ll be ashamed to get it sappy and dirty. Beyond its looks, it’s compact, comes with a high-quality leather sheath, and its blade is large, to say the least.
Make sure everyone stands clear when you swing this felling axe – it’s blade is substantially larger than the width of its head, which is quite handy as far as chopping wood is concerned.
It comes with a beautiful sheath to keep whoever is carrying it safely, which is made out of leather for long-lasting blade protection.
The Helko Woodworker is made out of high-quality hickory, a very powerful wood that’s destined to last for years.
It stands in a class of its own, that’s for sure! It looks great, has a fierce blade, comes with a high-quality sheath, and is made out of even better-quality wood.
The Hults Bruk is a compact felling axe, making it a portable choice. It weighs approximately 2.86 pounds and measures 26 inches. Its solid Swedish steel axehead is slim enough to provide not only easier penetration but also durability.
This felling axe comes with a 26-inch long solid American Hickory handle. It is polished with linseed oil, making it easy to sand it off. Besides, it is relatively light, allowing you to maintain your control whenever you take a swing.
You will readily appreciate the robustness highlighted by this axe. This sturdiness assures you of your safety and its reliability. Ideally, it is all you need to make your work easier and faster.
Felling trees has never been easier – the Fiskars X27 will drive down any in its way with its sturdy shaft, precise blade, and excellent grip.
It’s at the largest end of the spectrum as far as felling axe height is concerned, with a total length of 36 inches. It’s the ideal blade for hacking tough limbs and clearing both brush and trees out of your way.
Its synthetic grip allows you to smoothly operate the axe, from swing to hit, delivering a precise and powerful stroke to your target.
In addition to a lifetime warranty, the blade itself is designed in such a way that makes it incredibly easy to remove from wood – say goodbye to almost chopping your foot off trying to remove the axe from a stump!
Overall, the Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe is the best felling axe you can find. It is sturdy, well designed, and large enough to deliver the power you’ll need from a felling axe.
Not designed for smaller-sized logs
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Look for in a Felling Axe?
Various aspects go into selecting the right felling axe. Ensure that you observe the following elements in this pursuit.
Check the materials. Always ensure that you choose premium materials, whether it is the handle or the axehead. These materials need to be durable. If the axehead is polished, you will be confident of enhanced longevity.
The handle’s length. It is crucial to select a handle that assures you of better swings and more control. The best lengths will often be between 32 and 36 inches. Whichever you choose, ensure that it provides you with more control.
Sharpness is vital. Ensure that the axehead is sharp at all times. The weight around this blade should be balanced too.
Consider the price. Choose a product that you can readily afford. In that light, take the time to compare how different brands and sellers charge. Regardless, quality is supreme.
Weight. Focus on an axe that you can comfortably handle. Without the proper weight and weight distribution, cutting faster will be a mirage.
What Makes a Good Felling Axe?
There is barely a one-dimensional answer to this, thanks to varying preferences. However, a good axe is one that provides you with optimal performance. It needs to assure you of excellent weight distribution, sharpness, and durability.
This felling axe can be either single or double bit, depending on the tasks you want to use it for in the long run. Its handle needs to be of the right length, and its handle material comfortable. Above all, let it be compact in design.
How to Use a Felling Axe?
You cannot overlook safety whenever you use a felling axe. Unless you understand how to use this axe properly, you will find it hard to get the results you envision. Whether you want to use it for chopping, cutting, or splitting, the following steps will suffice.
Ensure that you clean and prepare your chopping area.
Check whether the length of the handle is suitable for you. Usually, you can start by taking a slow swing and gauge whether you will be comfortable.
Ensure that any onlooker is around 2 meters away.
Have something where you can place your axe when not in use.
How to Sharpen a Felling Axe?
Sharpening your felling axe ensures that you have a seamless experience. This axe needs to be sharp enough to handle whatever task you have at hand.
Take the time to assemble all the necessary tools, including a sharpening stone or a DC4 whetstone. You could also consider a file that is between 200 and 300 mm fine.
Hold the axehead relatively firmly and place the file against its edge. Apply a little pressure as you push this file against the edge. Make sure that the edge curves away from the file.
Keep moving the file back and forth until you create a burr. Once you attain this level, turn to the other side and repeat the procedure.
Next, pick your whetstone and place the axe on its coarse side. Move the edge in a circular motion until you attain an overhang. Once you do, turn to the other side and repeat the process. Be careful not to compromise the balance. Once you are sure it is sharp enough, you are good to go.
How Sharp Should a Felling Axe Be?
It depends on the task at hand. Usually, your axe needs to be sharp enough to fell, cut, or split wood comfortably. That means the sharpness must allow you to shave without a struggle and enjoy your work. Remember, a dull axe could readily expose you to disappointments and even be too tiring to use.
What is the Difference Between a Felling Axe and a Splitting Axe?
There is a significant difference between felling axes and splitting axes, including their design and purpose. Usually, the design of splitting axes allows them to split wood fibers apart and create smaller chunks of wood. On the other hand, a felling axe is designed to cut through wood fibers only.
A felling axe comes with a relatively thin and sharp blade. That means it can cut cross-way through wood fibers, and effortlessly so. On the other hand, a splitting axe highlights a relatively wider profile, meaning it is less sharp. For that reason, splitting axes can barely cut through wood fibers. Besides, they can hardly cut across the wood grain.
There is no denying that felling axes are relatively long. However, splitting axes tend to be much longer and even heavier. Splitting axes are seven pounds heavier and over 10 inches longer than felling axes.
What Kind of Axe Do I Need to Cut Down a Tree?
As long as you want to cut down a tree, a felling axe comes in handy. This axe can cut through wood fibers without too much strain. Its ability to penetrate through wood remains impeccable.
Besides, you will find it much easier to swing and even control, thanks to its lightweight and compact design. This axe is much more straightforward to use and cut across the grain.
What is the Largest Felling Axe?
Felling axes are often between 32 and 36 inches long. They can weight about three pounds or more. With this, an enormous felling axe is approximately 36 inches long and 7 pounds heavy.
However, some felling axes could be as long as 40 inches. Longer axes are likely to compromise the quality of swing you take, thanks to the excess kinetic energy you have to invest. Remember, the goal is to fell trees, and a reliable swing will always come in handy.
Having the best felling axe saves you from wasting energy and time. A good option provides you with the sharpness, length, and the premium material you envision. As long as you invest time choosing one that appeals to your preferences, disappointments will be a mirage. Thankfully, the insights above will guide you accordingly.