Wood-Handled Classics

The Best Axes for Chopping Wood

November 20, 2013 Buying Guides By

Whether you’re a rugged outdoorsman, a weekend cabin dweller or just a guy who has to clear some branches, these are the best wood-handled axes you’ll find. Wood makes for a classically beautiful tool, and the material also serves an essential function: it absorbs shock, dispersing the impact of a chop through the wood fibers. There’s also a fun cannibalism when you consider that axes are designed to cut, split and shape wood. So while the chainsaw can do it faster and the composite handle can be molded to be lighter and stiffer, there’s something timeless about spending time at the cabin or campsite, chopping firewood with a classic wood-handled, razor-sharp axe.

With a Hudson Bay-style axe head and a short handle, this axe is light and versatile.
Council Tool – Hudson Bay Axe $169
This is a go-to axe for limbing trees and splitting small logs.
Gränsfors – Small Forest Axe $125
If you could only have one axe and are on a budget, this is the best.
Husqvarna Multipurpose Axe $79
This not only looks good above the mantle, it performs at the campsite as well.
Best Made Company – The Hudson Bay Axe $275
This hand-forged axe delivers old-world craftsmanship from a factory that dates to 1697.
Hults Bruk – Kisa $154
Simply the best out there — Neeman axes offer top-notch details and superior performance.
John Neeman – American Felling Axe $470
Designed for heavy use, Autine offers Neeman quality for considerably less money.
Autine – Forest Axe $380
With an American hickory handle and a 1045 high-carbon steel head, this is a great-value axe.
Marble’s – Camp Axe $26
Wetterlings delivers a lightweight, durable axe forged from Orako Smedjebacken Steel.
Wetterlings – American Forest Axe $239