Due to its design as a utility tool, it has many uses, and is sometimes referred to as a trail axe, a camper's or camping axe, or even a bush axe.
It derives its name from French traders that would sail to Hudson Bay in Northeastern Canada. The smaller size made the axe style more useful than larger heavier styles.
Check out the table below to see some fine examples of that we think are some of the best Hudson Bay axes out there.
Hudson Bay Axe Review Chart
Here are four of the best made Hudson Bay axes.
Weight (lbs): 2.8
Length (in): 23
Weight (lbs): 3
Length (in): 27
Weight (lbs): 3
Length (in): 25.5
Weight (lbs): 2.4
Length (in): 22
*Links on the above comparison chart take you to individual product pages on Amazon.com
What to Look for in a Quality Hudson Bay Axe
Like other axes, this style consists of a handle, which is traditionally wooden, and a steel axe head. The head is shaped into a single bit, meaning there's only one cutting surface.
The medium sized handle generally runs between 22 and 28 inches in length. Most high-quality axes will use a hickory handle, but don't let another wood type turn you away if the craftsmanship is excellent.
Many frequent users of this type of axe like a handle that has a lanyard hole. This is due to where and how those that prefer using this axe style typically work.
Wielders of this 3/4 size axe are often found on trails or in dense forrest areas thick with underbrush. If you're clearing a trail, felling a sapling, taking branches down, or doing other small tasks, you're probably doing so in fairly confined space.
When working or hiking in such a space, it's all too easy to get your gear caught on bushes and branches. If you have a heavy load, you might not even realize if you drop something or if a piece of gets caught on a branch. A lanyard helps to assure you don't unknowingly lose your handy trail axe.
Example of a Hudson Bay Axe
This Snow and Nealley Hudson Bay axe is a solid trail clearing workhorse.
- hand worked steel head
- 4-inch cutting surface
- 28-inch hickory handle
- leather sheath included
Maine-based Snow and Nealley know what they are doing, and this axe proves it. It's perfect for the rough and tumble work you might run into in the great outdoors. And, it's always now made in the United States.
This particular model does not come with a lanyard hole, but it's a very good option nonetheless.
Popular Axe Brands
Axes are like any other type of tool you might considering buying. There are many different brands that each come with their own varying levels of quality. From types of steel used to the level of overall craftsmanship, some brands tend to have a better reputation than others. However, it's never a bad idea to take other users' reviews into consideration and not solely rely on any preconceived brand reputations you may have.
Some common and popular brands you may have heard of or may discover while shopping are:
- Snow and Nealley
- Council Tool
There's no best brand so as long as you find a Hudson Bay axe that fits within your budget, both short and long-term, and it gets the job you need done well, then you can feel safe with your choice.
Additional Useful Information
If you have never purchased an axe online before, it's important to understand that though the edge of the bit may be ground well, it might not come as sharp as you'd like. Many axe bits require a bit of extra sharpening, so ordering an axe sharpening tool at the same time as your order your axe is strongly suggested.
Also, some of the lower priced axe handles may not be to your liking. But, that is very much a personal preference as some people prefer a very natural feel and others like a little finish to the handle. Again, this is where reading some reviews comes into play.
But, don't let a finished handle turn you off if you like unfinished handles. A little sand paper and some elbow grease go a long way.
Whether you're camping, taking down some branches, or cleaning up a trail, a 3/4-sized Hudson Bay axe is the perfect choice. It's a little smaller and lighter, so it's easy to take on short hikes as well as on extended outdoors trips. But, it's also great for any kind of utility work around the house if you live in a more rural setting.
We hope our Hudson Bay axe reviews help you with picking which is best for your personal needs!