Best Carving Axe and Hatchet – Guide and Reviews (2019)

Which one is the best axe for carving? Can you recommend me the best hatchet for curving a lot? These are the most frequent questions we get asked. That is why we planned to write this article that will let you know what makes a good carving axe. Consequently, you will be able to pick the best one, and do what you need to do with your favorite tool.

However, recent development in designing axes makes them more efficient for artwork than a few widely used handy tools. If you only have a curving axe and a belt sander, you can form plenty of curved shapes on woods.

But there are too many design and sizes of curving axe to choose one that fits you most. Here are a few best wood carving axes recommended for you.

Carving hatchet Comparison : Pick the best one

Name

Brands

Length

Weight

Price

GransforsBruks

14.5 Inch

2.2 Pounds

Husqvarna

13 Inch

2.2 Pounds

1844 Helko Werk

17 Inch

2 Pounds

1. Gransfors Bruks Large Swedish Carving Axe

Top Features

  • Total weight 2.2 lbs
  • Overall length 14.5-inch
  • Designed for carving woods and artworks
  • Includes a vegetable tanned sheath

If you are confined to own only one ax for your craftwork, I must recommend you Gransfors Bruks Large Swedish Carving Axe. But do you know why it is a must- recommended carving axe? Because master craftsmen Wille Sundqvest and Onni Linnanheimo collaboratively developed this axe with a special design for carving being inspired by old design. This ax is used for shaping woods and more intricate works. It is one of the best carving hatchets thanks to its perfect combination of design in head and handle. 

Gransfors-Bruks-Large-Swedish-Carving-Axe

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The head features a narrow poll so that you can grip the handle at the bottom to have a controlled grip for carving whereas the curved shape handle lets you carve intricate artworks into the woods.

 The axe weighs 2.2 lbs and has a 14.5-inch long handle. The shorter handle and the lightweight head make the axe easily portable. You can shape your woods easily with one hand. Additionally, Gransfors Bruks offers a vegetable tanned sheath to protect the sharp edge as well as the users.

2. Husqvarna 13 Inch Wooden Hatchet

Top Features

  • Small and light hatchet
  • Suitable for light work
  • Hickory handle
  • Head is attached to handle using steel and wooden wedge

Another best choice for carving is Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet. If you are intending to buy an axe not only for carving but also general purpose then this hatchet would be a nice option.

Although the axe is best suited for campfire wood and cutting small branches, the super quality and smaller size of the axe mean it to be used for carving. Like every axe of Husqvarna, this small hatchet comes with a heavy head made from Swedish steel which is forged in Sweden with consistently high quality.

Husqvarna-13-Wooden-Hatchet

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Compared to 14-inch handled hatchet, the head is somewhat heavier, as a technical feature, to maximize the cutting power. 

The edge of the head is thin and straight with a fairly tapered shape, making it perfect for carving. Though the edge is not sharp as like as Husqvarna but can be sharpened very easily with stone or file.

The 13-inch long handle looks much nicer than rest of other carving axes thanks to the nice orientation of wood grain and excellent finish work. It has a nice curved shape just like ready to fit with the palm of your hand to provide a comfortable grip.

3. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet

Top Features

  • German made head
  • The head made of C50 high-grade carbon steel
  • Switzerland made handle using Grade A American hickory handle
  • Comes with a vegetable tanned leather sheath for protection

One of the most essential considerations for a quality curving axe is the bit width of the blade. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet includes a wide bit around 4-inch and is crafted by Helko’s Master Smith, a famous artisan of metalcraft, which makes it most suitable for carving. The wide bit allows you to carve woods as like as carving tools.

Helko Werk used German C50 high-grade carbon steel for the head, and the steel is open face drop forged, heat treated, and oil hardened to maximize the strength and durability. 

1844-Helko-Werk-Germany-Rheinland-Hatchet

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When overall weight is 2 lbs, the head only weighs 1.25 lbs, meaning that the hatchet has a perfect balance for fine work. Crafted in Switzerland, the handle is made from A grade hickory woods sourced from America.

And the hickory wood used in the handle was individually selected to ensure strength, density, and grain orientation. Lengthening at only 14-inch, the handle makes the hatchet handier that can be used with one hand to shape the woods. More importantly, the design of the handle offers a controlled grip near the head while carving.

Best Carving Hatchet - Buyer Guide

How to choose the Right carving axe?

Knowing what makes a good carving axe is worth before making your purchase decision. There are, of course, some specific features which make a quality carving axe, and you must know them t to have a precisely the right tool what you were looking for.

The handle

Unlike any other axes, the handle of carving axe is relatively shorter. This allows the user to have a controlled grip with the single hand. A good shaping hatchet has nicely finished handle with excellent grain orientation so that you can do your artwork very precisely.

What makes curving axe distinguished is the shape of the handle. All you need to do is take a close look at the handle shape. The handles of quality carving hatchet must come with a curved shape which is readily adaptable with your palm.

The head

Another most important thing that you must consider for a good wood shaping axe is the shape of the head. Most carving axes are designed with a head having a narrower poll.

I would say this is what makes perfect carving hatchet. Thanks to this special design, you can hold the handle at the bottom nearest to the head, enabling you to do a lot of artwork with the woods; and you can also carve the different design on wood.

The bit and the blade

Last but not least, you have to take the bit of the blade into consideration to select a good carving ax. The bit of the carving axe somewhat differs from other axes. For example, carving axes usually have a single bit, and the bit is relatively wide.

The blade edge is also a bit different from other axes like felling and splitting axe. Since the carving axe is used to slice into the wood, the blade has a long thin straight edge along with the straight pointed bevel face.

What is the difference between carving axe and other axes?

Unfortunately, some people think solely a simple knife is enough for carving woods rather than buying a curving hatchet. But this is not the case at all because there is a noteworthy difference between a carving axe and general axe.

Carving axes are specially designed with a relatively shorter handle and a wide bit compared to overall length. They have special grip and shape of the head and handle to make them perfect for carving.

Carving hatchets are meant for carving and shaping woods, especially for wood crafting. It is said that there is place for a curving axe and a belt sander in every woodworker’s shop.

Bottom Line

Now that you know how to choose a good carving axe as well as you found three best axes we recommended for you. All you need to do is practice carving with one of these quality hatchets and master the carving skill.

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