Best Forest Axe -Ultimate Buyer Guide And Reviews (2018)

Having trouble choosing the best forest axe? Do you find making your choice confusing as there are so many brands and types of forest axes to select? If yes, don’t worry. This is a problem many people face as there are so many types to choose from, with minimal differences between them.

Forest axes are best used for all your forest work like felling large trees to limbing logs and for clearing trails. Its specialty lies in its flat, long axe head that has a long, rounded edge. These axes are designed to cut not along but across wood fiber grains.

Forest axes are designed keeping a hunter’s, fisherman’s, hiker’s, survival expert’s and forest worker’s needs in mind. This is why some brands have limbing axes in different sizes with varying axe heads and handles. The smallest sized axe can be used as filleting knives while the largest, is ideal for felling huge trees.

With so many brands and types of forest axes in the market, we thought we’d help make your choice better by providing product reviews of 5 forest axes in the market today. These reports include essential information about its specifications and features that let you know more about your axes.

#01 CS90TA-BRK Trail Boss

BRK Trail Boss axe

Feature at a glance

  • American hickory handle
  • List Element
  • Carbon steel 6 ½” axe head
  • Light and compact and tough
  • Reasonably priced
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    Weighs 2.70 pounds with an overall length of 27 inches

The CS90TA-BRK Trail Boss is a good quality forest axe from Cold Steel Trail Boss. It has a 6 1/2 inch 1055 high carbon drop-forged steel blade with a 4 ½” cutting edge. Its handle is made of genuine Hickory, and though the axe is light and compact in structure, it’s extremely tough.

The highlight of this forest axe is that it’s reasonably priced when compared to other axes. The handle’s wavy grain may not be perfect but is good. The excellent quality steel blade maintains a sharp edge, isn’t prone to chipping and is easily sharpened. The axe may need some filing to thin out the corner and use as a chopper. Some people may, however, find the axe to be on the heavier side, and not well balanced making it difficult to control its swing.

#02 gransfors bruks scandinavian forest axe review

Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe Review

Feature at a glance

  • 25” long American Hickory handle soaked in linseed oil and dripped dry
  • Overall weight of 2.6 pounds with a 2-pound axe head
  • Its curved bit makes it suitable for cutting fresh, resinous wood
  • Has a vegetable tanned leather sheath and English language ‘Axe-book.’

The made-in-Sweden Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest axe is a professional general purpose axe. Perfect to use for cutting the more massive trees and for limbing felled trees. As its bit is forged curved, the axe can use for cutting fresh and resinous wood like pine. It is an excellent quality axe with a very sharp forged and tempered blade.

The axe measures 25 inches and comes with an American Hickory handle that is dipped in linseed oil and dripped dry. It’s then coated with beeswax to keep dirt off, and it’s this unique craftsmanship of the axe that sets it apart from other axes. The axe’s overall weight is 2.6 pounds while its head weighs 2 pounds.

#03 Hults Bruk Akka - hults bruk akka review

Hults Bruk Akka Review

Feature at a glance

  • Made in a foundry operational since 1697
  • Hand forged axe head with hickory handle treated with linseed oil
  • Increased axe durability and density because of multiple strikes
  • Comes with an embellished leather sheath
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    Perfect forest companion for clearing forest trails

The Hults Bruk Akka Forester Axe may be just what you want for your overnight forest trip and clearing trails. It has a curved 24” American hickory handle that’s treated with linseed oil and an axe head weighing 1.5-pound, while the entire axe weighs 2.2 pounds. This is a high quality, razor sharp axe with the handle offering a smooth grip.

The axe is better suited for controlled carving and splitting than heavy chopping. The handle has a grip for your thumb on its butt. The extra length of the axe provides better leverage to handle even difficult jobs with two hands. It comes with a unique leather sheath with embellishments and a detailed user’s manual.

#04 helko black forest axe - best small forest axe

Best Small Forest Axe

Feature at a glance

  • Compact forest axe with oil-hardened, Switzerland made American hickory handle
  • Measures 24 inches long and weighs 3.5 pounds with a head weight of 2.2 pounds
  • Pattern named after Rhein River Valley
  • Axe head made of German C50 high-grade steel
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    Comes with vegetable tanned leather sheath

The Helko Black Forest Woodworker axe is made in Wuppertal, Germany with a axe head pattern named after Rhein River Valley. This is a prominent geographical feature in Germany where cutting axes were once a necessity for designating and creating towns and villages in areas filled with thick forests.

This axe is most often used for chopping and can also be used for reasonable log splitting work. Its small stature however makes it convenient for performing other tasks like chopping down small trees, splitting of logs and wood, to clear bushes and making kindling. The German forest axe’s head is made of drop forged; heat treated high-grade carbon steel with the Helko crown logo.

#05 Garrett Wade Forest Axe - New Arrival

forest axe review

Feature at a glance

  • Full-sized tree cutting axe​​​​
  • Comes with a 31” ash-colored handle
  • Perfect to use also for clearing branches and making kindling
  • Comes with a thick neck and a red colored steel safety collar

The Garret Wade Forest Axe is the result of a collaboration of the company Garret Wade with a 3rd generation forge located in Germany. The result is a full-sized tree chopper that has a 31-inch long ash colored handle and a red steel safety collar to ensure there’s no risk of the axe head coming off while in use.

The extra thick neck gives added strength and support to the axe while using it to chop huge trees, clear branches from the trees and for making kindling to start fires. This is a professional felling axe worth its value.

what to look for in the best forest axe ?

There are a few things you have to remember while looking for the best forest axe:-

Budget

Budget is always a consideration as it should be something you can afford. It’s not always that expensive axes are the best. Sometimes even cheaper priced forest axes offer good value; just ensure you choose carefully based on the handle quality and axe head forging.

Forest axe Handle

forest axe handle

Choose a forest axe with a handle measuring 25 to 28 inches long so that you are more comfortable swinging it. Sometimes a forest axe with too long a handle may get difficult to control, and lead to inaccurate cuts. An axe with a strong handle like an American hickory handle is also a wise choice as it’s durable and long-lasting.

Weight of axe-head

The weight of the axe head should preferably be between 2-3 pounds, which you will be able to carry and use for chopping and splitting wood comfortably. A heavier head may help by giving powerful strokes, but you may also get tired while swinging the axe so many times as you cut and limb trees.

Protective sheath

If possible, choose an axe with a suitably sized protective sheath that will keep the axe safe and covered when not in use. This can prevent unnecessary accidents that may occur if the blade remains exposed when in storage.

best axe for forest- buying guide

What is a forest axe?

As the name suggests, a forest axe is designed to carry and use in the forest. The distinctive feature of this axe is its long and rounded edge with a flat but long axe head. The specialty of the axe design is that it cuts across the wood fibers and not along the wood fibers like while splitting wood.

Forest axes come in varying sizes; you need to choose the axe you are most comfortable holding and swinging. While the smallest forest axe is around 26 cm long and weighs only 0.3kg and is best used as a filleting knife, the largest is about 90 cm long and weighs 2.2 kg, and used for felling huge trees. So in other words, you have to choose your axe size based on its intended usage.

What is a forest AXE used for?

Forest axes are the perfect axes to carry along while you go trekking and camping in the wilderness. These axes are compact enough to carry in your rucksack and were designed taking the tips and advice from professionals and specialists like survival experts, forest workers, hunters, hikers, and fishermen.

They have all provided input and suggestions to create forest axes that help with most of the tasks that are performed in the forest. They can be used for variable functions like felling and limbing trees, splitting logs, filleting and clearing forest trails.

You need to choose your forest axe based on your comfort zone, and how and where you intend to use it. The blade is also convex in design and sharp enough for shaving wood. So this implies that this axe can be used for felling and limbing trees and even for processing firewood.

What size AXE handle do I need?

Forest axes have rather long handles, measuring about 25 to 30 inches long. They are usually made of American hickory, and are soaked in linseed oil and drip dried for added durability and protection from elements. It is the length and the material of the handle that gives you the necessary power in your cuts and swings.

Most men tend to choose long-handled axes as it gives more force to your wings. However, in reality, it’s a shorter handle that delivers the best as there’s the chance of your not being able to control long-handled axes accurately. Shorter handles, on the contrary, offer better control while cutting wood.

Forest axes have handles ranging from 24 inches to 31 inches long. No matter how tall you may be, it’s better to buy a forest axe with a 25-28 inch handle as it gives better control to your swings and cuts.

How to use forest axe?

Always make sure there’s sufficient working space while using your forest axe. Check by holding your axe at arm's length all around you and make sure there’s at least two axe lengths clearance around you.

Remove branches the handle touches and make sure no one’s nearby while chopping trees or wood. While limbing trees, stand on the side of the log opposite a branch and chop close to the base of the branch.

Always keep the log in between you and your cuts so that even if your axe misses a branch, the blade hits the log and not your leg! Make sure the axe blade is sharp before starting any work and keep the blade covered in its protective shield when the axe is not in use.

Final Verdict

It’s now so much easier for you to choose the best forest axe for your outdoors work. You not only know what to look out for in the axe but also have some reviews of a few great forest axes you can read and consider buying.

Remember, you have to make your choice mainly based on what you plan to do with the axe and of course your budget. And though many consider long-handled axes to be a better choice, sometimes a shorter forest axe will be a better choice for you. As long as you don’t cut too many corners with relation to cost, a well-chosen forest axe will serve you for years as long as you maintain it’s edge and cut well.

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