Fire axes are an invaluable tool utilized by first responders for a number of potential scenarios. While this style of tool is intended for demolition, search and rescue operations, trail clearing, and other emergency applications, a quality fire axe is a truly awesome tool for completing day to day chores and tasks.
We’ve tracked down the best available options within our list of the best fire axes as a guide for working men and women to select just the right choice for their needs. Whether you’re seeking a tool for felling trees, splitting wood, or demoing your old kitchen, there’s a fire axe here perfect for you.
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1. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Odyssey Double Bit AxePros:
- Large, double-bit timber cutting axe weighing in at 5 pounds designed for felling trees
- Hand forged with premium grade C50 high carbon steel
- Double bit design enables you to sharpen each edge specific to the tasks at hand
- 30-inch American Hickory handle has been sanded with 150 grit sandpaper and treated with a linseed oil finish for a blister-free experience
- Head is fixed to the handle with a premium two-wedge system consisting of a wood wedge and steel ring for maximum security
- Handmade in Germany, and environmentally sourced
- Includes a vegetable-tanned, full grain leather sheath and a 1 ounce bottle of axe guard protective oil
- Expensive option, but well worth the price point
- Five pound weight may be a bit challenging to use as a felling axe for users lacking upper body strength
- Only 30-inch length option available
The 1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Odyssey Double Bit Axe is a serious tool for serious workers, outdoorsmen, and women. If you’re seeking the best fire axe money can buy that will be a delight to weild and perform flawlessly for many years to come, you oughta perk your ears here.
This is a heavy duty double-bit timber cutting axe geared towards felling large trees, but its inherent weight and two-edge design make it an exceptionally versatile tool. Weighing in at five pounds, the Odyssey Double Bit Axe offers a high degree of power without being too unweildly.
This is a double bit option, meaning it has two sharpened edges on either side of the axe head. This enables you to sharpen each edge specific to a certain task. For example, one side can be razor sharp for more precise cuts, while the other can remain less honed for utilization during heavier working tasks that are bound to more quickly dull the blade.
Hand forged in Germany from premium grade C50 high carbon steel and equipped with a 30-inch American Hickory handle with a linseed oil finish, the brand has not cut any corners here when it comes to quality of craftsmanship. This purchase even includes a vegetable-tanned, full grain leather sheath and a one ounce bottle of axe guard protective oil.
The axe head is furthermore fixed to the handle with a premium two-wedge system consisting of a wood wedge and steel ring for maximum security, so this bad boy isn’t going anywhere.
A bit on the expensive end yes, but rest assured the performance, lifespan, and heritage aesthetic of this top-quality option is more than worth the price point!
2. Nupla Six Pound Flat Head Fire AxePros:
- Six pound weight makes this a heavy duty tool great for demolition applications, and splitting wood
- Rear end of axe head is suitable for use as a sledge, although not ideal compared to some other options
- 28 and 36-inch handle options available to best match your preference
- Hickory handle offers high strength and great ergonomics
- Six pound weight may be unmanagable for some users lacking upper body strength
- Edge will require some honing with a file or belt sander before use
- Not a very practical design for use as a felling axe despite the axe head shape
The Nupla Six Pound Flat Head Fire Axe is a wonderfully simple and straightforward option that’s perfect for outdoorsmen and working men and women seeking a DIY fire axe that they can customize to their liking.
This option comes without a sharpened edge, so you can file and hone the bit to exactly where you want it. There are also two different length hickory handles available so you can match the tool precisely to the task at hand.
The high six pound weight and inherent design of the axe head make this option feel almost like a cross between a maul, and a splitting axe. This makes this an exceptionally versatile tool that can be utilized for a wide array of applications. The rear end of the axe head is even suitable for use as a sledge, although it’s not ideal compared to some other options.
There are some complaints about the integrity of the red paint job over time, so keep that in mind if aesthetics are important to you. A solid built, versatile tool with some minor superficial flaws – you get what you pay for with this one!
3. Ucostore Six Pound Fireman AxePros:
- Six pound, heavy duty deisign is great for scenarios in which you require a LOT of power
- Axe head has been drop forged in one piece
- 4 3/4-inch wide axe blade with a 4-inch long pick end provides you with two different style tools
- American Hickory handle provides excellent strength and a great ergonomic feel
- Cool, fire fighting aesthetic
- Reasonably priced
- 36-inch handle length may be a bit long for users under six feet
- 6 pound weight is likely too heavy for use as a felling axe, and will only be manageable for users with high upper body stregth
- Some may prefer a sledge on the back end of the axe rather than a pick, especially given the high weight of this optoin
The Ucostore Six Pound Fireman Axe is about as classic as a fire axe gets. This straightforward option offers a heavy head for tasks requiring a lot of kinetic energy, and a four-inch rear pick for use prying, puncturing, and more
This is a particularly great value option for the price point in our opinion. The axe head has been drop forged in one piece while the American Hickory handle provides excellent strength and solid ergonomics.
The 4 3/4-inch wide axe blade offers a nice profile for both chopping and splitting, making this a solid choice for those seeking versatility over specialized purpose. If you’re in the market for a workhorse of a tool that’s good for a lot of tasks, defnintely consider this option. Those seeking an axe specifically for wood splitting or demolition however, should purchase a more specialized choice.
4. Collins Axe Double Bit Michigan AxePros:
- Double bit, Michigan pattern axe head design can be honed to feature two different sharpness edges
- 3.5 pound axe head weight provides an ample degree of power while remaining managable to weild
- Integrated rubberized grips enhance tool grip
- Reasonable price point
- 34-inch handle may be a bit unweildly for users under six feet tall
- Exposed fiberglass section of the handle may be slippery when wet, or when gloved
- Some folks might prefer a classier look than the modern, yellow aesthetic of the axe handle
The Collins Axe Double Bit Michigan Axe is an affordably priced, double bit optoin perfect for working men and women seeking an easy to weild, versatile tool out of their axe.
Featuring just a 3.5 pound axe weight, this is an easy to swing tool for most folks. While the lack of weight will dampen this axe’s ability to deliver truly powerful impacts, the 36-inch handle will at least enable you to generate some serious momentum.
The double bit design is preferred by a lot of axe enthusiasts because it enables you to sharpen each edge differently – essentially giving you two axe heads in one. If you prefer to keep an especially sharp edge on your axe and find yourself consistently resharpening it after using it for heavier duty applications, a double bit axe will provide you with a beat-around edge that will save your sharp edge from use until you need it.
While synthetic handles have mixed reviews within the axe world, the brand has equipped this handle with rubberized grips in order to enhance the grip and overall ergonomics, as well as reduce hand shock during impact intensive work.
5. United Cutlery Black Savage Firefighter AxePros:
- 3.5-pound stainless steel construction features an extra wide axe head that packs a lot of punch for its smaller size
- 4-inch axe blade features a pick on the opposing side
- Rubberized handle to ensure a rock solid grip
- 23.5-inch overall length makes this a particularly portable, easy to weild axe perfect for grab-and-go applications
- Affordable price point
- Finish on the axe head is prone to wearing off, so the aesthetics are bound to become roughed up
- 23.5-inch overall length is less than ideal for chopping/felling applications
- Axe head arrives unsharpened, so you'll have to hone it to match your needs
The United Cutlery Black Savage Firefighter Axe is brilliant specialty tool for those seeking a shorter, easy to weild axe for demolition purposes.
This 23.5-inch long, 3.5 pound stainless steel option is easily swung with one or two hands, and features both a 4-inch blade for chopping and slicing applications, as well as a pick for prying and puncturing. The manageable, but ample weight is ideal for tearing down construction sites, clearing trails, and other comparable tasks where a lot of axe swinging is required.
A synthetic handle is utilized here which furthermore employs a rubberized grip to ensure a rock solid grasp on the tool and to improve overall ergonomics.
In summary, any builder, forester, or handyman in need of a compact but powerful axe will absolutely find a friend here.
6. Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting AxePros:
- 4.66 Pound total weight is ideal for a wide range of applications including felling and splitting
- Solid Swedish steel construction
- Solid American Hickory handle measures 30-inches and is treated with Linseed oil
- Flared handle to ensure a solid grip during high exertion tasks
- Includes a handsome leather sheath
- Expensive option
- Handle is not sealed, but comes with a protective linseed oil finish
- Lower 4.66 total weight and shorter handle length will make this axe less ideal for heavy-duty felling applications
The Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe doesn’t quite qualify as a fire axe, but we wanted to nonetheless include it here due to its awesome versatiliy and performance, as well as handsome heritage aesthetic.
Built with a solid Swedish steel construction and solid American Hickory handle measuring 30-inches, this is a wonderful tool for splitting wood, and will also perform well for felling small to medium sized trees.
The 3.5 pound axe head is the perfect weight for overhead swings splitting logs, but may fall a bit short of ample weight for use as a more serious felling axe. That being said, if your technique and strength are proficient, you can do a lot with this masterfully crafted tool.
The brand has also included a flared handle to ensure a solid grasp while performing particularly high exertion tasks – because you can’t be too careful.
Hulks Bruk even includes an attractive leather sheath with this purchase so you can keep your edge safely protected, while looking good doing it! Buying from this brand will certainly run a bit deeper into your pockets than a lot of the competition, but working men and women and outdoorsmen who appreciate top-quality craftsmanship will be delighted with the performance of this axe.
7. Fiskars X27 Super Splitting AxePros:
- 36-inch total length is engineered for taller users splitting medium to large sized logs
- 5.85-pound total weight provides a nice degree of power without being overly unwieldly
- FiberComp handle, textured non-slip grip, and flared design effectively reduces hand strain and enhances control
- Advanced bevel convex blade geometry increases inherent power and makes the blade easier to remove from wood
- Perfected balance and power-to-weight ratio boosts comfortable swing speed, effectively increasing power
- Several package deal offerings available including sharpening stones, split wedges, etc.
- Very reasonably priced
- Lifetime warranty
- Hollow nature of the composite handle means if you miss your target, you'll experience some pretty intense shock/stun
- Complaints about the hollow (unsealed) handle filling with debris and water
- Some may not like the modernized aesthetic
The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe is a modernized, synthetic handle version of a traditional splitting axe that is an absolute work horse when it comes to prepping firewood!
Designed for taller users, the 36-inch length of the X27 is intended for splitting medium to large sized logs. If you’re much under six feet tall, then a shorter axe is likely best for you.
Engineered with a 5.85-pound total weight, Fiskars has perfected the balance and power-to-weight ratio here in order to effectively boost comfortable swing speed and effectively increase power. An advanced bevel convex blade geometry furthermore increases inherent driving power and makes the blade easier to remove from wood – the brand has not cut any corners here when it comes to maximum splitting efficiency.
Equipped with a FiberComp handle, textured non-slip grip, and a flared design, the X27 goes on to effectively reduce hand stun while also enhancing control.
Including a lifetime warranty and offered at a surprisingly affordable price point considering the technology in play here, Fiskars even offers the X27 within several package deals including sharpening stones, split wedges and more, all available within this link.
For those who don’t mind the feel and aesthetic of a synthetic handle splitting axe, it’s tough to go wrong with this mindfully designed option.
8. Fiskars IsoCore MaulPros:
- Optimized blade geometry for splitting wood and for driving wedges and stakes
- Forged, heat-treated steel finished with a rust resistant coating
- 8 pound maul weight does most of the splitting work for you!
- Patented IsoCore Shock Control System absorbs shock and reduces hand strain (2x less vibration than wood handles)
- 36-inch long Softgrip handle features a sculpted profile for high ergonomics
- Operates wonderfully as a sledgehammer
- Inseparable riveted head
- Flared handle and strategic texturing helps improve grip and ensures the tool stays in your hand when agressively swinging
- Lifetime warranty
- 36-inch length may be a bit long for users under 6 feet tall - but then again this is a wood splitting tool, not a felling axe
- Heavy, 8-p[ound weight will be difficult to weild for those with lower upper body strength
- Some traditionalists might not like the modern aesthetic
Here’s a workhorse for those on the market for a reliable splitting maul. The Fiskars IsoCore Maul is an eight-pound tool featuring a 36-inch handle that’s designed to effortlessly blast through logs once you gain mastery of the splitting technique.
This is a heavy tool geared towards taller, stronger users, but that doesn’t mean folks with lower upper body strength should shy away from it. Mauls are designed with wider wedges in order to push wood open, rather than slice it, so if you can effectively lift this tool over your head and give it at least a bit of downward force, you’re probably in business. Splitting efficiency at lower swing speeds will also of course depend on the hardness of the wood at hand.
The forged, heat-treated steel utilized here is furthermore finished with a rust-resistant coating, so this tool is built to last – even including a lifetime warranty. Designed with optimized blade geometry for splitting wood, Fiskars has also included a sledge for use driving wedges or stakes. The high inherent weight and sledge feature also of course mean this is a workhorse of a tool when it comes to demolition applications.
The 36-inch long Softgrip handle features a sculpted profile for nice ergonomics, while the patented IsoCore Shock Control System effectively absorbs shock and minimizes hand stun (2x less vibration than wood handles). A flared handle and strategic texturing go on to further enhance ergonomics and safety.
While some traditionalists might think that they don’t prefer the modern aesthetics and technology at play here, we encourage the old school axe enthusiasts to try their hand with the IsoCore Maul – we promise you’ll be impressed!
9. INTERTOOL Steel Splitting MaulPros:
- 5-pound carbon steel head is designed for splitting, featuring a wedge-shaped, heat treated steel blade
- 32 inch fiberglass handle is lightweight, dampens vibration, and features a rubberized handle
- Features a flat poll in order to serve as a dual-purpose sledge hammer to drive wedges
- Finished with an anti-corrosion, shock-proof coating
- Comes pre-sharpened
- Rubber blade cover is included for safe storing and transport.
- 1-year warranty
- Very reasonably priced
- Hollow axe handle is susceptible to bending if torqued enough
- Total weight of 7.1 pounds may be difficult for some folks to swing
- Seems to be quality control issues regarding the integrity of the axe head
- Some may not like the modern, synthetic aesthetic
The INTERTOOL Steel Splitting Maul is a budget option for those shopping on a budget that provides you with a far better splitting tool than the price tag suggests.
Although there seems to be quality control issues with the integrity of the axe head utilized here, this five pound, 32 inch fiberglass handled option is praised by working men and women all over for its excellent value. There is furthermore a one year warranty included with this purchase, so in the unlikely event you receive a defected product, you’re covered.
Featuring a wedge-shaped, heat treated carbon steel blade, this maul has been engineered at an intermediate weight in order to accommodate folks with lower upper body strength, while still delivering more than adequate splitting power. The flat poll furthermore goes on to serve as a dual-purpose sledge hammer, so if you encounter logs too big and burly to split with the maul alone – you have the option to utilize this tool for pounding stakes/wedges.
Finished with an anti-corrosion, shock-proof coating, and equipped with a rubberized grip, you can count on owning this tool for many years to come.
10. CRKT Freyr AxePros:
- Hot forged 1055 Carbon steel axe head provides excellent edge retention and durability
- Beard on axe head style is great for various precision cutting and chopping tasks
- 1 pound 12.7 ounce weight is nicely balanced for single or two-handed use
- Tennessee hickory handle offers high strength and shock resistance
- Limited lifetime warranty covers any defects in materials or workmanship
- Compact, 16 inch length makes this more of a hatchet than a fire axe - so look elsewhere if you're seeking a powerhouse tool
- 1 pound 12.7 ounce weight will not deliver much force compared to heavier options
- Leather sheath must be purchased separately
The CRKT Freyr Axe is more of a hatchet than it is an axe, nevermind a fire axe, so it’s been included here for its exceptional level of utility and versatility.
Featuring a 16-inch length and hot forged 1055 Carbon steel axe head, the Freyr is perfect for bushcraft, camping applications, and tasks requiring high energy cuts – but also precision. The 1 pound 12.7 ounce weight is wonderfully balanced for single or two-handed use, while the beard on axe head style is ideal for an array of precision cutting and chopping jobs.
The Tennessee hickory handle provides high strength and ample shock resistance, while also offering a super sharp, traditionalist aesthetic. The brand has gone the whole nine yards to make this tool look and feel like an authentic Viking hand-axe.
Great for prepping firewood, chopping kindling, felling small trees and even for building applications, outdoorsmen and women in particular will love the utility of this little workhorse.
Including a limited lifetime warranty, you can furthermore purchase in confidence that you’re buying a quality-built tool that the brand stands behind.
11. Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting AxePros:
- Engineered for splitting medium-sized firewood
- Hand forged in Sweden from top quality steel and then carefully hardened and tempered
- 23¼-inch length and 3.5-pound total weight make this a particularly portable and easy to wield axe
- The handle features a protective steel collar below the axe head and circular grooves towards the end for an extra firm grip.
- Forged and ground to a concave, thin blade at the bit that then effectively splits as the axe head becomes broader
- Flared Hickory handle end ensures the axe doesn't slip during periods of particularly high exertion
- Includes an attractive grain-leather sheath
- 20-year guarantee on the axe head
- 23¼-inch length and 3.5-pound total weight make this axe less than ideal for heavier-duty applications requiring an excess of power
- Does not feature a hardened poll and therefore should not be used as a wedge or for striking a wedge
- Expensive option
The Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe is an easy to weild, 23¼-inch long, 3.5-pound option that’s particularly precise and easy to weild. Those seeking a truly high performance splitting axe for medium sized logs will no doubt be impressed by the look, feel, and inherent craftsmanship of this tool.
Hand forged in Sweden from top quality steel and then carefully hardened and tempered, this small splitting axe has been ground to a concave, thin blade at the bit that’s engineered to effectively split the target log as the axe head becomes broader. It’s a standard style bit, but when paired with the shorter handle of this model axe, you’re bound to be impressed by this tools splitting efficiency.
The brand also offers a large splitting axe if you like the look and apparent craftsmanship here, but are seeking a longer handled option.
We find this option to be particularly great for camping applications, as well as bushcraft if you’re seeking a field axe for use on your outdoor adventures. Those who heat their home with wood will also find a friend here when it comes to splitting kindling and small to medium sized where you’d rather weild the precision of a shorter, sharper axe, than the power of a heavy maul.
The flared Hickory handle furthermore features a protective steel collar below the axe head as well as circular grooves towards the end for an extra firm grip, and enhanced integrity.
Including a 20-year guarantee on the axe head and a handsome grain-leather sheath, you can rest assured you’re purchasing an excellent value product here despite the high price point.
How To Select The Right Fire Axe
Selecting the right fire axe for the task at hand as well as your body type will take just a bit of forethought. The main details to consider before making a purchase are the weight, axe head type, handle length, and material. For some more detailed guidance on selecting the right axe for your needs, check out this helpful writeup from Awesome Axes.
We recommend a high quality steel axe head to ensure long-lived, quality performance.
Another detail to consider is whether or not you'll require a single, or double bit axe head. The term bit refers to the sharpened edge or edges of the axe, so a double-bit axe head features a blade on both sides.
Some might prefer a sledgehammer or spike on the other side of their edged blade as opposed to another cutting edge, but the advantage of a double-bit axe head is that you can sharpen each edge specific to two different tasks/applications. For example, one edge can be honed for splitting and the other for felling.
In summary, the two sides of an axe head provide you with two different tools, so consider how you'll be employing your fire axe and purchase accordingly.
Be sure to carefully consider the weight of your new fire axe before making a purchase.
Somewhere around three pounds is a standard weight for this type of tool that will remain manageable to weild for people of variable upper body strength.
Heavier fire axes ranging from five to seven pounds are also available, but are better suited towards demolition applications than they are for more nimble tasks such as wood splitting and tree felling.
At the end of the day, axe weight is a matter of personal preference, but those seeking the most utilitarian, versatile fire axe they can find will likely want to go with an option around three pounds.
If you're around six feet tall, then an axe handle measuring 31 inches will be just right for you.
Anyone much shorter than six feet should however consider a handle length closer to 28 inches in order to best accommodate power, precision, and overall performance.
Axe handles longer than 31 inches can be particularly good for log splitting applications depending on your personal preference, but keep in mind how unwieldy a 32 inch + tool can be for anything other than overhead swings!
Quality hardwood handles are typically preferred by working professionals who regularly utilize fire axes, but that's not to say that synthetic options aren't awesome as well. The main difference is that synthetic handles will simply feel different in your hand, and may be a bit more slippery than wood - especially if you're wearing gloves.
Once again, it's more a matter of preference than anything - but if you're purchasing an axe for the first time we recommend an ash or hickory wood handle as a standard starting point.
If you like a particular axe head listed above but are worried that the handle length or material is not suitable for your personal needs, then consider simply switching out the handle for one that suits you just right. For some detailed guidance on selecting the proper axe handle as well as instructions for removing your old handle, and installing the new one, check out this informative piece by toolstastico.
A felling axe is a specially designed tool for chopping down larger trees that's engineered with a particularly heavy head and long handle in order to generate some serious kinetic force.
While this style axe can of course be used to split wood, we recommend a splitting axe or maul for more standard firewood applications.
If you think a felling axe is the right tool for your needs, then be sure to choose a well made option from a respected brand that can handle the abuses of cutting down trees, trail clearing, etc., without failing. Also be sure to choose an option with a high quality axe handle, as the impact-intensive task of felling trees will generate a lot of hand-shock. A leather axe collar can also mitigate this effect.
A few of our top recommended felling axes include:
- Hults Bruk Atran Felling Axe
- Hults Bruk Kalix Felling Axe
- Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe
- Council Tool Velvicut Premium American Felling Axe
- 1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Forester 3.5lb Felling Axe
Splitting axes are a wonderful tool for you guessed it - splitting wood. While heavy-duty mauls and wedges are often preferred for power-intensive log splitting, a lighter weight, sharpened splitting axe can be a preferred tool depending on who you are.
A splitting axe is lighter and therefore easier to swing than a maul for folks with lower upper body strength, but in exchange, will need to be swung harder in order to effectively and cleanly split the log at hand.
Furthermore, certain wood species are more willingly split with a nicely sharpened axe than others, so when choosing between a maul and an axe, you should consider what you're splitting just as much as your personal preference.
It should also be noted that splitting axes are a more versatile tool than splitting mauls that can also be utilized for a number of working tasks, such as trail clearing, fire tending, building applications, and more!
Here are our top picks for the best splitting axes:
- Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe
- Hults Bruk Gran Splitting Axe
- Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe
- Gransfors Bruk Large Splitting Axe
- Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe
A maul is perhaps the most popular option for manually splitting logs for firewood. This style tool employs a duller edge and wider wedge than splitting axes to "push" the log apart, rather than slice it.
This style tool employs a particularly heavy axe head and long handle in order to create more driving force at the point of impact. This means that although mauls are quite heavy and difficult to swing overhead for users with lower strength, they require less swinging force to blast through logs due to their inherent weight and design.
Most mauls can furthermore be used as sledgehammers for driving wedges into even the toughest to split logs.
The high weight and longer handles indicative of mauls also makes them a wonderful tool for certain demolition tasks. This style tool in the hands of a strong, skilled laborer will turn them into a human wrecking ball. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Some of our favorite splitting mauls include: