Best Felling Axes

8 Best Felling Axe for Chopping Down Trees Reviewed [2023]

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.

Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe

The Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe is a professional level felling axe, designed for people who want to approach their forest work in a traditional way.

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Felling Axe Reviews Chart

Image Model Weight (lbs) Length (in) A&A Rating Shop Now
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 2.6 25
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Helko Werk Hinterland Double Bit Axe
1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Forester 5.5 31
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Hults Bruk Kisa Felling Axe
Hults Bruk Kisa Felling Axe 3.17 26
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Amer Felling Axe
Amer Felling Axe 7 35
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Snow and Nealley Single Bit Axe
Snow and Nealley Single Bit Axe 5.2 30
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Council Tool Dayton Single Bit Axe
Council Tool Dayton Single Bit Axe 5 36
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Hultafors ABY Swedish Forest Axe
Hultafors ABY Swedish Forest Axe 2 23.6
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1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Forester
Helko Werk Hinterland Double Bit Axe 5 30
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Husqvarna Multi Purpose Axe
Husqvarna Multi-Purpose Axe 2.1 26
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#1 Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe

The Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe is a professional level felling axe, designed for people who want to approach their forest work in a traditional way.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Handle Length: 25"
  • Head Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Leather
  • Head Weight: 2.0lbs

With a long and broad edge, it's perfect for felling small/medium size trees. The head is forged to a curved bit, which makes it well-suited to chopping fresh, resinous wood. This is one of the lighter options, with a 2.0lbs head and 25" handle, you can really feel how powerful it is just by holding it.

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.


  • Refined from Swedish axe steel, giving it a hard and sharp edge
  • Impressive cutting edge
  • Comes with vegetable-tanned leather sheath
  • 20-year manufacturer’s warranty


  • Occasional manufacturer imperfections

#2 1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Forester

The Forester is a full-size general-purpose axe with lots of great features. It has a 3.5-pound head, providing you with plenty of strength and bulk for felling.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Handle Length: 31"
  • Head Material: C50 high carbon steel
  • Handle Material: American hickory
  • Head Weight: 3.5lbs

Its smaller size means that it is also suitable for other purposes, but it's strong and durable enough for the average user to take down a large tree. It comes with a head that has been buffed and polished to a reflective finish, which improves rust resistance and reduces friction.

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.


  • Hand-forged head by a Helko Master Smith
  • Handle material selected for grain orientation, strength, and density
  • Head made from C50 high carbon steel - 53-56 HRC
  • It comes with 1 oz. bottle of Axe Guard protective oil and full-grain leather sheath


  • Not designed specifically for felling, although capable

#3 Hults Bruk Kisa Felling Axe

The Hults Bruk Kisa is a medium felling axe, offering high-quality materials and design.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 3.17 lbs
  • Handle Length: 26"
  • Head Material: Swedish steel
  • Handle Material: American hickory
  • Head Weight: 2 lbs

This genuine Swedish-made product features a 26" hickory wood curved handle and a 2 lb. steelhead. It's not pretty and polished like other models, but that's part of the authentic charm of Hults Bruk's products. This is a product that is designed to last, promising you both durability and quality at a good price.

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.


  • Hand-forged Swedish axe steel
  • Head designed with tempered zone to hold a razor-sharp edge even after multiple times of sharpening
  • Comes with leather sheath and detailed manual
  • Hickory handle coated in linseed oil


  • As a lighter weight option, requires a firmer grip

#4 Amer Felling Axe

The Amer Felling Axe by Council Tools - also known as the Velvicut - is a relatively heavy tree-cutting axe, with an alloy steelhead and American hickory handle.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight:7 lbs
  • Handle Length: 35"
  • Head Material: 5160 Alloy Steel
  • Handle Material: American hickory
  • Head Weight: 4 lbs

It offers you excellent balance and a thin, sharp blade. Even better, it arrives sharpened, so you can get to work right away.

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.


  • Sturdy 5160 grade steel head - significantly harder than standard grade steels
  • Strong hickory handle
  • Comes with leather sheath


  • Handle not finely sanded

#5 Snow and Nealley Single Bit Axe

This single bit option from Snow and Nealley is a 3.5 lbs felling axe, made with a carbon steel head and American hickory handle.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 5.2 lbs
  • Handle Length: 30"
  • Head Material: Carbon Steel
  • Handle Material: American hickory
  • Head Weight: 3.5 lbs

Snow and Nealley have been crafting fine steel tools since 1864, providing you with quality and craftsmanship from a recently re-established American company offering small-batch quality. The slightly shorter handle length that you get with this product makes it easier to carry and improves accuracy.

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.


  • Well forged and shaped head
  • Forged from fine grain steel
  • Comes with a leather sheath


  • Perpendicular wood handle

#6 Council Tool Dayton Single Bit Axe

The Council Tool Single Bit Axe is also known as the Dayton SB Axe. It has a 3.5 lb head and a 36-inch curved wooden handle.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 5 lbs
  • Handle Length: 36"
  • Head Material: Forged steel
  • Handle Material: American hickory
  • Head Weight: 3.5 lbs

Lots of thought and detail has been put into the design and production of this product, with a hydraulically stead head and dried eye section to prevent loosening. You get high-quality materials in the forged steel and hickory wood, all for a great price.

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.


  • Hand sharpened, with a tapered bit for cutting
  • Head is hydraulically seated onto the handle & secured with a serrated aluminum wedge
  • Cutting edges coated in clear lacquer to deter rust
  • More affordable than many other options on the list


  • No sheath provided

#7 Hultafors ABY Swedish Forest Axe

The Hultafors ABY Swedish Forest Axe boasts a light 1.4 lb head, made from Alloy steel. This is coupled with a light hickory wood handle.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 2 lb
  • Handle Length: 23.6"
  • Head Material: Alloy steel
  • Handle Material: Wood
  • Head Weight: 1.4 lb

Designed to take deep and wide cuts, you can use the weight of the axe to do most of the felling for you.

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 2lbs 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.


  • High-quality materials
  • Budget-friendly
  • Budget-friendly
  • Broadhead providing thick cuts


  • Decreased precision

#8 Helko Werk Hinterland Double Bit Axe

The Helko Werk Hinterland Double Bit Axe comes from one of the finest makers of quality felling tools in the market.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 5 lb
  • Handle Length: 30"
  • Head Material: C50 high carbon steel
  • Handle Material: American hickory
  • Head Weight: 3.5 lbs

You get the advantage of a double-bit head, meaning that one can be used for hard felling while the other is ket sharp and finely honed. It's handmade from C50 high-grade carbon steel, providing advanced strength and impressive sharpness.

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.


  • Head with a double-bit
  • High carbon steel for strength and sharpness
  • Comes with leather sheath


  • Slower swing speed

#9 Husqvarna Multi-Purpose 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 multi-purpose single-bit axe, designed in a traditional style.

Major Features :

  • Total Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Handle Length: 26"
  • Head Material: Steel
  • Handle Material: Hickory
  • Head Weight: 1.8 lbs

It features a long handle to provide you with the power you need to cut down a tree. It comes in at a reasonable price, and you get a leather edge cover included to keep your blade protected.

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.


  • Head attached to handle with both wooden and Steel Wedge to keep secure
  • Offers a combination of balance and power


  • The handle is of very poor quality
  • The head is not centered on the handle
  • Users have reported breakage after a few uses
  • The manufacturer only offers a 30-day warranty

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:

  • Height
  • Strength
  • 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

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
  • Husqvarna
  • Truper
  • Snow & Nealley
  • Helko Werk
  • Fiskars

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.

In Summary

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.

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