Best Tree Felling Axe – Ultimate Buyer Guide & Reviews (2018)

Are you confused looking at the varieties of felling axes to choose? Do you have loads of tree felling to do and need the perfect tool to help you out? Well, you need not worry anymore as this is a buying guide for the best tree felling axe which along with a few product reviews, will help you make your choice.

01 Hults Bruk Atran - hults bruk Felling axe

hults bruk atran review

Features

  • Hand-forged axe head
  • Lightweight at 3.5 pounds
  • Hickory shaft measuring 32 inches
  • Traditional leather cover
  • Perfect for chopping small and massive trees

The Swedish Hults Bruk Atran felling axe has a hand-forged axe head with a strong section that maintains it’s sharpness even after lots of sharpening. Though a giant axe, the head is rather lightweight at 3.5 pounds and the U.S. sourced Hickory shaft measures 32 inches.

The steel axe head is 100% hand-ground and is struck numerous times for increased tightness and durability. The bent Hickory wood shaft that’s treated with linseed oil offers the best grip and firmness while chopping trees. The handle has a print of originality while the axe has a traditional leather cover with authentic Swedish decorative elements.

Of course, there’s an accompanying detailed user’s manual. The axe is perfectly designed for chopping not only small trees but even the more massive trees. However as the art of chopping trees is not meant for beginners, it’s better if just the adequately trained expert loggers used this axe.

02 Hults-Bruk Torneo - best felling axe for the money

best felling axe for the money

Features

  • Steel axe head weighs 1.75 pounds
  • Linseed oil treated Hickory handle measures 26 inches
  • Protective ornamental leather sheath
  • Compact and fits into a truck
  • Perfect for most outdoor jobs

If you are looking for a compact felling axe, the Hults-Bruk Torneo Felling Swedish Axe may be just what you need. It has an axe head weighing 1.75 pounds, and linseed oil treated handle that’s 26 inches long.

Its axe head is made using steel that has been struck various times for increased hardness and durability. Its strong area maintains it’s sharpness even after repeated sharpening. While the axe head is made of clear and glazed iron, the bent handle is of Hickory wood sourced from the US. The axe has a protective, ornamental leather sheath and shipped in a storage box.

This is the perfect, practical, compact felling axe to use to tackle most jobs in the outdoors. It can cut small to medium trees and comfortably fits into a truck. The axe comes accompanied by a detailed user’s manual.

03 Helko Classic Forester - Professional Felling axe

hickory handle axe

Features

  • Handmade axe from Wuppertal Germany
  • Full-size, all-purpose axe weighing 5.5 pounds
  • Axe head weighs 3.5 pounds with 31 inches long Hickory handle
  • Polished head that reduces friction and rusting
  • Durable drop-forged and oil-hardened axe head
  • Perfect for medium-duty wood splitting and cutting work

The Helko Classic Forester is a handmade wood felling axe from Wuppertal, Germany. It’s a full-size, all-purpose axe weighing 5.5 pounds with a 3.5-pound head and 31 inches long handle. The axe can be used for all types of wood cutting and splitting work, and for cutting large trees with minimal effort.

Its axe head is made using German C50 top grade carbon steel while its shaft is made in Switzerland using Grade A American hickory wood. The axe head is polished and buffed to give a highly reflective finish that reduces friction when in use and also reduces rusting. It’s also drop forged and oil-hardened for extra durability while the shaft has a layer of boiled linseed oil. The axe’s notched steel ring and leather sheath provide for hanging and safe storage.

The Forester is the ideal axe for medium-duty wood splitting and cutting work at the farm, home or cabin. It’s the axe for you if you aren’t comfortable using full-sized axes, but need something stronger than compact boy’s axes.

04 Velvicut 4 Pound Premium - velvicut felling axe

velvicaut felling axe

Features

  • Produced by experienced artisans
  • Axe head weighs 4 pounds with 32 inch Hickory handle
  • 5160 forged sharp, strong, tough, durable steel head
  • Accompanying leather sheath and buckle for fastening
  • Heat treated axe head with oil coating to prevent rusting
  • Preferred tool for skilled woodsmen needing a full-sized felling axe

The Velvicut Felling Axe is a priceless work of art produced by experienced artisans. While its axe head weighs 4 pounds, its overall weight is 5.6 pounds with a 32-inch American hickory handle.

The axe head that is made using 5160 American forged steel that’s rough ground in a robotic work cell. Experienced artisans then sharpen it using fine abrasives and leather stropping. The axe head is sharp but safe with its accompanying leather sheath and buckle for fastening. Its 5160-grade alloy steel ensures the axe head’s strength, toughness, durability, and ability at holding an edge.

The axe head is heat treated to give a hardened edge without becoming brittle. It also has an oil coating to prevent rusting. All this makes this timeless axe the preferred tool for skilled woodsmen needing a full-sized tree felling axe.

05 Hults Bruk Kisa - hults bruk kisa axe review

hults bruk kisa axe review

Features

  • A Hults Bruk axe from a foundry functional since 1697
  • Axe head measures 2 pounds and 26 inch Hickory handle
  • Tight and durable hand-forged axe head
  • Leather cover with Swedish ornaments
  • Perfect for felling and limbing medium-sized trees

The Hults Bruk Kisa Medium Sized tree Felling axe is another one of the many Hults Bruk Swedish axes. It comes from a foundry that’s functional since1697 and has an axe head weighing 2 pounds and a handle measuring just 26 inches.

Like other axes from the company, this axe head too is hand-forged and is struck numerous times for more tightness and improved durability. The axe head is also designed with a strong section that maintains its sharpness even after multiple sharpening.

Its Hickory handle has a layer of linseed oil and a durable finish. The axe is just perfect if you need to fell medium sized trees and do some limbing of trees. It even has a leather cover with unique Swedish ornaments, and the entire set comes in its storage box. There’s also an accompanying user’s manual for reference purposes.

Best Axe For Cutting Down Trees buyer guide 

What is a felling axe?

When you speak of a felling axe, it’s an axe used mainly for cutting down trees, and not for splitting wood with an axe or chopping logs. As felling is more a logging process than a camping or survival task, it’s best done using specific axes that cut and not split wood fibers.

These felling axes have a very sharp, thin blade with a pointed head that makes a very deep cut into the wood grain with each stroke. Its heads are usually medium in weight, weighing between 2.5 to 4 pounds with a 28 to 36-inch handle. They are also ideal for creating stumps, and limbing trees.

What is a felling AXE used for?

A felling axe is an axe used for cutting down trees and branches. It is designed to chop across the grain and not with the grain like mauls. Felling axes have a relatively low cutting edge angle and slightly rounded blade.

With its head weighing about two pounds, and its long handle measuring about two feet; it’s easily swung sideways to fell trees. So this is the right axe to start developing an addiction and fascination for axes.

What size AXE handle do I need?

Most men look for long-handled axes thinking it gives powerful swings. However, experts suggest using short handles as while long handles do provide more strength, sometimes it’s too long for comfort and handling. It’s better using an axe that’s balanced between power and accuracy like shorter handles that give better control for efficient cutting.

The axe handle’s length is usually measured from the axe’s top edge to the bottom knob, and the standard length is 36 inches. However, it’s often too long for most men. A 31 inch or even 28-inch handle gives better force and control to the average 6 feet tall male. It helps get the work done as you can swing the axe with more power.

What oil to use for AXE handle?

Felling axes with a traditional wood handle like Hickory last longer with a protective finish like a periodical coating of teak oil or any other oil like boiled linseed oil. Use only boiled and not raw linseed oil as raw oilseed doesn’t dry, and ends up sticky.

Raw linseed oil is thick, doesn’t penetrate well and needs 3-5 days to ‘dry’ while boiled linseed oil has thinners and drying agents for faster curing. Use a rag or a small paintbrush to rub the oil onto the handle. Linseed oil layer protects the handle from elements and the more layers added to it, the better is your axe handle finish.

How do you sharpen an AXE?

Axes are sharpened based on how worn out the axe head is. A fine-toothed flat file is useful for filing both sides along the edge while maintaining the edge’s original shape. In case of minor damage, use a coarse handheld whetstone to sharpen the axe.

Keep moving the axe back and forth to ground the entire edge evenly. Any feather edge or burr on the side that’s felt while sliding your fingertips on edge can be removed by honing the edge with a whetstone in a rotating motion. Keep turning the axe to sharpen both sides and if you need a keener cutting edge, strop it against some leather after honing with each stroke made away from the cutting edge.

best axe for felling trees - What to look for ?

There are a few main aspects to bear in mind to choose the best axe for felling trees. They are:

felling axe head weight

While the most massive axe head does produce maximum force, it’s better to buy an axe with a head measuring no more than five pounds. Heavy axes do deliver more power but also give less accurate swings. Besides, you may get tired swinging too heavy an axe multiple times while felling trees. You can start with a 3-pound axe with a 2-pound axe head and go on increasing the weight as you get stronger and experienced using the axe.

felling axe handle length

Longer handles do give more force in each swing, but it’s better to use an axe with a shorter handle than necessary. Too long a handle comes with the risk of your not being able to control it after some time. The standard length may be 36 inches, but it’s better to use an axe with a 28 inch or 31-inch handle as it gives you more force and controlled swings.

axe handle material

While many axe handles are made of plastic, the wooden handles are better, specially the hickory or ash handles. Check the grain of the wood, and its growth-ring width and quantity. The grain should run parallel to the axe bit as perpendicular running grains are weak and may snap upon striking trees. Handles with numerous, narrow growth rings are stronger than wood with fewer, broadly-spaced growth rings.

axe handle shapes

While most handles are curved or straight, single-bitted felling axes should preferably have curved handles as it has a more natural feel. However, you need a straight handle if you opt for a double-bitted axe as it’s easier flipping the axe around to use the other bit.

No varnish

If the handle is varnished, it’s better to sand it off using sandpaper and elbow grease as varnish only makes the handle slippery. This is risky as the axe may fly out of your hand. Though you may develop blisters using an unvarnished handle, the calluses you develop with time solves the problem.

Conclusion

Now that you know all about felling axes, and what you should consider to choose the best tree felling axe, you will find selecting the right axe for your felling needs much easier. You can select your axe based on your budget, the weight of the axe you are comfortable carrying and also the amount of chopping and limbing work you have to get done.

And the additional product reviews listed here give you an idea of the types of felling axes available in the market to make a better choice. It’s better reading the reviews to learn about the axes than buying axes you will be unhappy about.

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