An axe is a tool for chopping wood and felling trees, based on the wedge. In many Nordic countries, the axe was so common that it also became a weapon, in the form of a battle axe, which could be in the single-edged or double-edged varieties, and would be heaved in large sweeping motions by skilled warriors. In some eastern American Indian cultures, they preferred smaller throwing axes. The word "tomahawk" is an Americanization of an Algonquian word for this small axe.
The common axe is a very useful tool and a reasonable means of self-defense.
Types of Axes
Axes vary in shape, size, and intended use. The following are a few examples of axe and axe-like tools, but is by no means all-encompassing, and may not be appropriate for your particular survival scenario:
- Splitting Axe - The most basic and easily-recognizable axe style. A heavy metal blade mounted on a wooden or fiberglass shaft roughly 30 inches long. The side opposite the axe-blade can be used as a sledgehammer.
- Camp Axe / Hatchet - Pictured above. A small axe, approximately one foot (30 centimeters) in length, and fitted with a one-to-three pound (500 to 1,500 gram) cutting head. Some have a flattened side opposite the blade meant for basic hammering purposes. A good all-purpose survival tool.
- Fire Axe - A large axe, roughly 30 inches in length with a brightly-painted cutting head. Opposite the blade is a hooked pick-like protrusion for pulling and breaking through materials. Designed as an entry tool to break down doors and barricades.
- Pulaski - Similar to the Fire Axe above, a Pulaski has a slightly-curved blade called an 'adze' set perpendicular to the axe blade. The tool is used in fighting wild-fires as it is perfect for cutting tree roots and digging out fire lines.