Best axe

The right axe will make your work quicker and easier. We’ve found the top designs for chopping and splitting.

LEXIVON V18s Splitting Axe
(Image credit: LEXIVON)

If you have a fire or stove at home or like to gather everyone around a roaring campfire, a good axe for your firewood is essential. A sharp axe is also a good tool for clearing away fallen trees and garden debris. The best pick for you will depend on which jobs you’re looking to undertake with it, the size, and the weight of axe you prefer. To help you pick we’ve put together a selection of the best axes around.

Best overall

Cold Steel Trail Boss axe

(Image credit: Cold Steel )

Cold Steel Trail Boss axe

American hickory handle

This axe will chop trees as well as kindling, but it’s not so large you can’t carry it or strap it to a pack if you’re in the outdoors. The head is a European-style design with a 4-inch blade and 4.5-inch cutting edge, while the handle is made from wood. It doesn’t come with a blade cover, but you can buy one separately.

Best value

WilFiks chopping axe

(Image credit: WilFiks)

WilFiks chopping axe

Hang to store

Opt for this axe and you can keep your outlay low and get your chores done. It’s designed for chopping firewood, logs, kindling, and branches, and has a shock-absorbing fiberglass handle to reduce hand strain. The blade can be sharpened with a file for enduring good results.

Best for smaller logs

TABOR TOOLS chopping axe

(Image credit: TABOR TOOLS)

TABOR TOOLS chopping axe

Easy to see

With a bright orange handle, this axe won’t get lost. It’s best for chopping firewood or making kindling from small to medium logs, and ideal to take into the great outdoors as well as use at home. The blade has a protective rubber sleeve for safe storage. 

Best for large logs

Fiskars 375591-1001 splitting axe

(Image credit: Fiskars)

Fiskars 375591-1001 splitting axe

Shock-absorbing handle

If it’s medium to large-sized logs you’ll be splitting for the fire, check out this axe. The blade is ground to be ultra-sharp using a proprietary technique. The head is shaped to disperse wood from the blade to make clean splits, and the handle is lightweight but strong. 

Best lightweight design

LEXIVON V18s Splitting Axe

(Image credit: LEXIVON)

LEXIVON V18s Splitting Axe

Non-slip grip

If you‘re looking for an axe that isn’t heavy, check out this model, which is designed to be lighter with a fiberglass handle. Made for one-strike splits, the blade is wedge-shaped and fashioned from high carbon steel. This is another of our picks that’s best used for small to medium-sized logs and kindling.  

Best investment

1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt

(Image credit: 1844 Helko Werk Germany)

1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt

Hand-forged model

This is made to last and to be passed on, too. The axe head is individually forged, and the handle made from Grade A American hickory that‘s recognized for its shock-absorbing and resistance capabilities. The axe is suited for splitting rounds and heavy firewood. 

Our verdict

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Make preparation of firewood smooth with the right axe, and you can stay cozy around a home fire, stove, or the campfire. The Cold Steel Trail Boss axe is great for kindling, but you can use it on trees as well. It’s compact enough to carry or strap to your pack outdoors.

If you want to invest, the 1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt is worth your attention with its individually forged axe head and hickory handle. It will last a long time, long enough to pass down. However, if you don't want to spend too much, check out the WilFiks chopping axe which is designed to chop firewood, logs, kindling, and even branches.

Why trust us

At GardeningEtc we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As expert curators, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your day-to-day, from cart to doorstep. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. We deliver detailed product overviews, balancing objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is as easy as possible.

Sarah Warwick
Freelance writer

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens and loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper.