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The primary use of felling axes is to cut down trees, which is no easy task. The USDA Forest Service even requires employees to go through extensive training before they chop down any tree. This means that to get the job done, you'll need a high-quality felling axe.
Unlike those designed for splitting wood, felling axes cut across the wood grain instead of with it. For this reason, it needs to have a very sharp, thin blade, allowing it to sink deep into the tree trunk with every stroke. On the other hand, If the head is too thin it won’t be strong enough. Therefore, a good felling axe should provide you with the perfect balance of cutting force and ergonomics.
Now that you know what a felling axe is for and what it should offer you, let's take a look at the options available to you. Here we have reviewed some of the very best felling axes on the market, taking into account features such as materials, weight, and price.
Felling Axe Reviews Chart
Here are 9 of the best axes for felling trees.
|Image||Model||Weight (lbs)||Length (in)||A&A Rating||Shop Now|
|Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe||4.8||35.5||Shop Now|
|Hults Bruk Atran Felling Axe||4.8||32||Shop Now|
|Amer Felling Axe||7||35||Shop Now|
|Snow and Nealley Single Bit Axe||5.2||30||Shop Now|
|Council Tool Single Bit Axe||5||36||Shop Now|
|Hultafors Hand-forged Swedish Felling Axe||4.4||32||Shop Now|
|Helko Werk Hinterland Double Bit Axe||5||30||Shop Now|
|Husqvarna Multi-Purpose Axe||2.1||26||Shop Now|
#1: Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe
This is a truly impressive product, offering high-quality components and a high standard of finish. The extra-strong head made from Swedish axe steel alone is a real selling point, while the American hickory handle offers force and durability. It comes in at the higher end of the price spectrum, but we think it's worth it for the quality and strength on offer.
Pros & Cons
#2: 1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Forester
This axe offers an excellent balance of capability, quality, and value for money. The top-grade materials and fine craftsmanship that you get with the Germany Classic Forester are hard to find elsewhere at such a competitive price. This would be well-suited to the average person, with a handle length of 31 inches.
Pros & Cons
#3: Hults Bruk Atran Felling Axe
We love how well this axe performs, as well as the way it looks. The exposed grain a of the handle gives its more unrefined, rustic finish, while the hand grinding production process creates a denser, more durable product overall.
For a strong and sturdy felling companion, made with durable Swedish axe steel, we definitely recommend this quality product from Hults Bruk.
Pros & Cons
#4: Amer Felling Axe
We think that this is a high-quality product, with lots of great features. It may be on the heavy side for some people, but that's really down to personal preference and strength. The handle is well-shaped, and we love the quality of the sheath that this comes with. This is certainly not a budget option, but you do get durability and power when you purchase the Amer Felling Axe.
Pros & Cons
#5: Snow and Nealley Single Bit Axe
This is a solid, sturdy axe for cutting trees. We love the carbon steelhead, but it's worth noting that the steel blade is quite soft and will require sharpening when you receive it. The hickory handle is strong and thick; the only issue is that the grain goes perpendicular to the head, which isn't quite as strong as a parallel cut. Overall this is a competitively priced product with some quality features.
Pros & Cons
#6: Council Tool Single Bit Axe
This is a good-quality, USA-made axe. The components have been put together really well, meaning that it's not likely to break or split, even with many times of use. While this option doesn't offer the kind of craftsmanship you get with other models, it comes in at a very budget-friendly price to compensate. The Council Tool Single Bit Axe makes a great alternative to the more expensive options, still offering you a great design and powerful swing.
Pros & Cons
#7: Hultafors Hand-forged Swedish Felling Axe
Straight from the world's oldest axe maker, you can expect quality and craftsmanship when you buy this well-designed product. It's a good light-weight axe, made from high-quality materials. As the whole thing weighs in at only 4.4l bs for the entire, this fantastic product would be well-suited to beginners.
Better yet, it's one of the cheaper options featured here, so you can get yourself a great and reliable product without the extortionate price tag.
Pros & Cons
#8: Helko Werk Hinterland Double Bit Axe
This Helko Werk Hiterland features a hand-shaped head made from the finest materials - and we love the fact that you get the bonus of two bits. The handle lacks curve so you get a slower swing speed, but overall this axe is perfectly designed for felling.
Pros & Cons
#9: Don't Buy This Axe
There are hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to felling axes - and we think we've narrowed it down to the very best options available. With so much choice, however, there are also some products that you may want to avoid - so we wanted to include the following axe, which didn't quite measure up to the standards of the others featured in our best tree-cutting axes reviews.
This is a budget-friendly option, but we found ourselves asking whether it was really worth the money at all. While it is designed with some good quality materials, it isn't put together with the quality of the other axes featured here. You don't get a strong warranty, and we were put off by the fact that multiple users have reported breakages within a few weeks of using this axe.
Pros & Cons
What to Look for in a Quality Felling Axe
Not sure which is the best tree-cutting axe for you? We've got you covered. Check out the following list of features that you should think about before making a purchase.
Cutting down a tree is no small task. If you're going the manual labor route and skipping the chainsaw than you really will need to right tool for the job. Choosing a quality felling axe that's up the the job at hand is essential.
The two major parts of any axe are the head and the handle, and axes made specifically for chopping down trees are no different. However, the shape of the head for a felling axe is very specific to its job.
While the head of an axe made for splitting logs is very thick and resembles a wedge, the head of a felling axe is much thinner. The purpose of this thin head is to make it easier to slice through the wood as opposed to fracturing it into multiple pieces as a wedge does.
Additionally, a unique feature of some axes made specifically for chopping down trees as opposed to splitting logs or carving wood is that some will be double bitted, or have two cutting edges instead of only one. The major benefit of using a double bit axe is that you have twice as long to work (chop trees) before you need to sharpen the bit, but unless you're doing some serious felling, it could be overkill.
The handles are usually fairly long in order to give you plenty of leverage on your swing. They are typically made wood, often hickory, or some type of hardened composite material like Fiskars uses.
What Kind of Head Material Is The Axe?
Felling axes are made with many different head materials. Heads that are formed from carbon steel tend to be sharper and lighter than other options, but they're also at the pricier end of the spectrum for this reason. Carbon alloys offer some of the finest cutting edges, while strong, hardy steels provide equally as effective cutting edges.
What Handle Material Is The Axe?
The material of the handle can affect things like grip and comfort, as well as shock absorption. The majority of the axes on this list are made with a hickory wood handle, and with good reason.
Hickory is able to absorb the shock of each blow better than any other type of wood. This means that with a hickory handled axe, you don't have to worry about damaging the handle from long and heavy swings.
What Is The Weight of The Axe?
Your axe doesn't need to be excessively heavy to be effective. Getting a good cut against the tree grain is equally affected by the curve of the handle, the material of the head, and the accuracy and speed of your swing.
You should take into account things like portability, and the weight you are happy to carry around. This will determine whether you should choose a heavier or lighter axe. If you are new to tree felling, you might choose a lighter one to get used to the process without straining muscles.
What Is The Weight of The Axe Head?
These tree cutting axes are available in a number of different head weights, so you need to think about which is most suited to you. If you have only recently begun felling trees, you should start with a lighter weight head. This will help prevent your arm from getting too tired before you've cut through the tree. Around 2.5-3 lbs is a good starting point for head weight.
The head weight can also affect the accuracy of your swings. Heavier axes are naturally more powerful than their lighter counterparts, but they aren't as accurate when you're trying to hit your mark.
What Handle Length Is The Axe?
You should look for an axe with a handle length that will provide you with easy handling and comfort. While it's true that axes with longer handles can give you a more powerful swing, it will only work as intended if the person using it is strong enough and tall enough to handle the axe.
You should, therefore, consider opting for a handle length that provides you with a good balance between power and accuracy. This should be based on your:
- Experience in tree felling
If you go for one with a medium or short handle, you may still find it's more efficient and productive for you. Don't simply opt for the biggest, heaviest option if you won't be able to handle the axe over a sustained period of time
Popular Axe Brands
Like most other tools, there are many different manufacturers and brands from all over the world. Most of the more popular brands are manufactured in America, Sweden, Mexico, and China with America and Sweden having the reputation for manufacturing a higher quality product.
Some of the more well-known brands are:
- Council Tool
- Granfors Bruks
- Snow & Nealley
- Helko Werk
Each brand weighs in at a different price point, so there are value based options for less than $40 and more expensive options for the serious lumberjack or collector.
Additional Useful Tips & Info
When you need to fell a tree, the right axe is going to make that job a heck of a lot easier. Trying to cut down a tree with a heavy maul would be a very inefficient and unpleasant task just like trying to split logs with an axe made specifically for felling will be equally frustrating.
Besides the shape of the head, a thin taper as opposed to a thick wedge, the weight is on the lighter side as well. While for log splitting duties you'll often find axe head anywhere from 4 to 12 pounds, felling axe heads usually weigh in at around 2.5 to 4 pounds.
The more comparing and contrasting you do while searching for the best felling axe you'll start to notice that some of them include a city or state in their name too, like the Truper Double Bit Michigan Axe and the Council Tool Dayton Axe listed in out felling axe reviews chart. The locations denote where the head shape originated as smiths from different areas experimented with designs.
And, while there are some axe are manufactured specifically for felling trees, there are some that are more multi-duty design too, that can fell trees or split logs.
Some trail and camping axes can serve as a felling axes as well.
When you're looking for an axe to help you chop down trees, you'll want to pick up the best felling axe you can afford. Whether that's $30 or $300, having the right tool for the job will make it all that much easier to complete.
Lower cost axes can still get the job done, they just might not last as long as more expensive models. Some of the higher end models can last for generations.
Whether you choose to go the budget route, or the more professional route, as long as you get an appropriate axe for the task you need to complete, any of the models featured in our splitting axes reviews chart or anywhere else on this page should leave you with a smile on your face.
And, one final word in closing -- Timber!