Our Top Pick is the Fiskars x15 Chopping Axe
An axe is a common tool used to split and cut wood, as well as harvest timber. Specifically, the axe is used for cutting down small trees and splitting logs down to smaller, easier to manage size. They can also be used for taking out old trees, chopping up stumps, or clearing thick brush.
The axe is believed to be one of the first tools ever created and can date back to as early as 2.5 million years ago in the Paleolithic era. The first tools were heavy flint hand axes created by gathering small rocks or chipping bits of larger rock to create a sharp cutting edge. Back then these tools were used for butchering game and woodworking. Today the axe has the same basic structure but is designed to be lighter weight, balanced and provide more power for more efficient cutting.
The axe’s job has not changed much even since the beginning of its creation and has developed into one of the most popular and most effective wood working tool available. Axes are now built of various material and have metal or wooden handles. Axe heads are made of a hard material like steel or iron. The axe head edges are ground to make them smooth and sharp for a more effective cutting edge. While the axe has a long history, it is still considered an essential tool to have if you live in a home with any wood or trees that need care.
After testing and reviewing 23 different types of axes looking for the best axe on the market, the Fiskars X15 chopping axe was the clear winner. It includes features that make is balanced and easy to use. It is effective and can produce 3 times the amount of power per swing as a traditional axe. The head is molded onto the handle to prevent loosening and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Who Should Buy This
An axe is a very handy tool and suited for most people. If you have a yard with trees, then an axe will help you maintain the trees and chop up branches that need to be removed. If you have a fireplace or outdoor fire pit, then an axe will help you get your wood to the right length for easy use. Those who enjoy camping, working outdoors, or hiking will benefit from owning an axe. Anyone who does regular yardwork, needs to remove a dead tree or even stump removal will benefit from owning an axe. This is a very versatile tool and is used by professionals and amateurs alike.
What Makes a Good Axe
There are several elements of the axe you want to consider before purchasing your own. The first is to determine what jobs you will need to complete and how portable you need it to be. You want an axe to have a good strong blade. The blade is one key to the axe. The edge needs to be very sharp so it will cut the wood quickly. It also needs to be made of strong material so it will not chip or split. The size of the blade will determine the size of the cut you are able to make. A thicker blade is best for larger jobs while a thinner blade can be used for small branches. The size of the blade will also effect the type of wood you can cut. Softer woods like pine do not require as strong a blade as hardwoods like oak or cedar.
The next key feature is the handle. Axe handles are made from a variety of material and you’ll want to choose the best and strongest for your woodworking projects. Many axes have a wooden handle which makes for a lighter axe. These handles are sturdy and powerful, however, wooden handles have been known to split, and break and moisture can weaken the handle. They can also cause splinters and blistering problems. A metal handle is sturdier and offers a more powerful swing, but adds significantly to the weight of the axe which can head to hand stress and back and shoulder pain. Modern axes are also available in composite materials like a FiberComp handle which offers the lighter weight of the wooden handle but the power of a metal handle.
Another feature to consider is the weight of your axe. It is heavy work to swing an axe for a long period of time. A lighter weight axe will allow you to work longer but may compromise in the power of the swing. A heavier axe will provide more power and distribute deeper cuts in a shorter amount of time however, if the axe is too heavy to control properly it can become a dangerous situation.
The length of the handle is also an important feature to consider. Smaller axes with short handles are good for small jobs and chopping small branches. They are also easier to carry and take less room for outdoor events like camping. Longer handles offer more leverage and thus more power in the swing. A handle that is too long may be difficult to control.
The axe should feel comfortable in your hands and have a good grip on the handle. The axe head needs to be secured onto the handle to prevent loosening. The axe also needs to have good balance. If the head of the axe is significantly larger than the handle or vice versa you are not going to be able to perform strong and effective swings which is crucial for providing yourself with accuracy and safety when performing your woodworking tasks.
How We Tested
We conducted a general search for axes available in the market and then looked at qualities need for a top quality axe. We then narrowed our search after consulting with professionals and home users about the axes they like best. This gave us out top list of axes to test. We reviewed axes based on best all-around performance, durability, weight and length of the handle and security of the head to the handle. We then looked at real world applications and searched customer reviews for the long term functionality of each axe.
|Axe Type||All Purpose|
|Product Dimensions||25.6 x 6.5 x 1.2 Inches|
|Item Weight||3.4 Pounds|
|Handle Length||23.5 inches|
|Head Design||PermaHead molded|
The Fiskars X15 chopping axe is an all-purpose chopping axe that makes cutting down small trees and chopping logs quick, and easy. This axe has the capability of chopping three times deeper than traditional axes which allows you to chop faster and reducing the energy and time required to get the job done. This axe has perfect balance and a power to weight ratio that can increase swing fluidity. This will multiply the power applied to each swing much like an aluminum baseball bat give you a more powerful swing. The blade on this axe is ultra-sharpand designed with a low friction coating to help power through wood.
The handle is designed with a material called FiberComp that will not break, split, or produce splinters like traditional wooden handle axes. The FiberComp material is stronger than steel, without the heavy weight of steel. This handle is safe and secure and won’t break due to overstrike. The other concern with axe’s is the axe head separating from the handle. The Fiskars X15 chopping axe has a PermaHead insert molded axe head permanently securing the handle and head preventing the head from becoming loose from the axe.
The Fiskars X15 chopping axe has a shorter handle that is easier to control and only has a total weight of 3.4 pounds. This reduces the energy required to complete an effective swing while increasing its effectiveness. The axe also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Who Else Likes It
The guys at Rocky Mountain Bush Craft have this to say about the Fiskars X15, “All in all, I believe the Fiskars X15 just might represent the best overall value on the axe market today. With almost unrivaled chopping and splitting performance, the X15 simply blows away the competition.”
At the Chainsaw journal they say the X15, “is designed for optimal efficiency to increase your odds of one-strike splits…is perfect for heavy-duty chopping tasks.”
Amazon viewers gave it a 4.7 out of 5 stars from 440 reviews. One five star customer writes “The Fiskars chopping axe with the 24 inch overall length,is a good size and weight axe head,with a handle you can drive a truck over and not break it in two…it is out of the box razor sharp and has the correct angle that you can see on the blade to sharpen the bit…for a camp axe you can split 4 to 6 inches or bigger soft rounds into smaller pieces fairly easy”
Another Amazon Customer writes “This axe is AMAZING!!! I thought it might be a bit on the short side for chopping down dead trees, but it’s not: It’s just right. You can get a nice solid swing with it. Its length makes it long enough to get power and speed but not get caught on other trees nearby. The blade is very sharp and stays sharp. It’s a harder metal, so it keeps its edge longer, which is what you want in chopping wood…Fantastic!”
The Step Up
If you need even more power, then the Fiskars X27 super splitting axe is the best choice. This axe is ideal for medium to large sized logs and features a shock absorbing DuraFrame handle that is lightweight yet stronger than steel to prevent over strike damage and splitting. This axe includes a sheath to protect the blade and the user.
The 36-inch handle is perfect for taller users and larger logs. This axe provides perfect balance and a power to weight ratio to provide smooth and accurate strikes during use.
Top Axe Comparison
|Position||Visual||Tool||Handle Length (Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Blade Size (Inches)
Care Use and Maintenance
An axe is a very versatile tool and can pack a lot of power. Given the sharp blade and powerful swing taking safety measures is critical to safely using an axe. The following safety and maintenance tips will keep you and those around you safe during the use of your new tool. Taking proper care of your axe will extend its life and keep it working properly.
- Always use a chopping block when using an axe for cutting loose wood. The block should be solidly grounded and at least knee high. This will help your power, and reduce back strain.
- Never hold a piece of wood in your hand while chopping
- Keep your hands low on the handle for a more controlled swing. This also ensures the axe will not come down too close to your feet or legs.
- When storing your axe temporarily, such as on camping trips or hikes make sure the cutting bit is away from you. This can be done by sinking the blade into a stump of wood or keeping your blade covered or in a case.
- Do not swing within close proximity of another person.
- Keep your blade sharp, and do not use if the blade has become dull or chipped.
- Check your axe before each use to ensure there has not been any splitting or breaking in the handle.
- Always check to make sure the handle has not become loose from the head of the axe.
- Store your axe in a cool dry place, and avoid leaving it outside weather.
- Do not continue use if your axe become rusty.
Wrapping It Up
An axe is a great tool to own and can be of great use when chopping firewood, removing dead trees, and many other maintenance tasks. These tools can be heavy but are smaller in size and easy to transport and store. They are easy to use and very affordable making then a must have for any home or workshop.