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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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:
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.
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.