Which axe should I choose?

Which axe should I choose?

The different uses for an axe

Roselli's axes always live up to their promise and are considered by many to be the perfect companion and tool when you go out into the wilderness. But how do you actually know which axe to choose?

When choosing an axe, consider the size and weight of the axe, the type of handle, and the shape and size of the head. Also, always make sure to use the axe safely and correctly to avoid injury. 

In this blog post, we share practical information that can help you sort out which axe is best for you.

Axe for hiking and outdoor activities

When hiking, it's handy to have a small outdoor axe with you for various needs, and here Roselli's axe with a short handle is a perfect choice. The flexible size together with the well-balanced construction means that you can use it for a long time without it becoming difficult. You can easily take down small trees, split some wood for the fire or sit and carve. This axe is easy to carry, which means that it can always accompany you when you go out into the forest. We recommend this outdoor axe for those who want to go out into the wilderness, who like to camp and who love to hike.

Roselli's axe with a short handle has a handle of birch that is coated with linseed oil to ensure a firm grip, even when wet. The axe edge is protected with a light naturally tanned Finnish leather sheath that makes it safe to store and transport. The sheath also has a practical strap that can be attached to a belt or a backpack. All in all, the axe has properties that make it work both as a hunting axe and a outdoor axe, while at the same time it can replace the need for a larger knife on the hike because of it’s very wide range of use.

Best axe for wood chopping

A basic task for an axe is to split wood, and Roselli's long-handled axe does this amazingly well. The entire construction is optimized for this purpose. The head is specially designed to split the wood with ease. This is further facilitated by the slightly convex grinding of the edge. The head is made of our Finnish carbon steel of the highest quality. The shaft is 360 mm long and well sized so that you get a lot of power when putting it to hard work. The shape is straight, which gives extra good control and feel when splitting wood. The shaft is made of birch or red elm that is coated with linseed oil to ensure a firm grip, even when wet. The total weight is 740 g, so it is a little heavier than its sibling the Roselli axe with a short handle. A stylish and functional sheath in vegetable Finnish leather is included, which makes it safe to store and transport, and the sheath has a practical cover that can be attached to a belt or to a backpack.

The structure and characteristics of the axe blade

There are two parts that make up the actual body of the axe and the axe head is one of the parts. In a way, it can probably be said to be the most important part. The material of the axe head, which is made of carbon steel, consists of these following parts:

The edge of the axe is the sharp part at the far end that cuts and cleaves. There are several different types of grinds and thicknesses on the edge, which gives the axe different properties. A sharper and narrower edge cuts better, while a thicker edge cleaves better.

The blade is the part that comes after the edge. The design of the blade is often adapted to the edge to provide the best function for what it is made for. A thick blade can be good for example, splitting because it "splits" the wood better. A narrower blade cuts better but can jam more easily when splitting wood.

Care for the blade:
The axe head is often treated with oil to prevent it from rusting. If you want to oil the axe head yourself, you can basically use any oil, for example cooking oil.

The material, shape and properties of the axe handle

Roselli's axe handle is made of Finnish birch and red elm. These types of wood provide a nice cushioning to the axe handle and the possibility of being repaired and replaced if they break. They also give a more genuine feeling and can often be More aesthetically beautiful, we think!

Shaft knob
The shaft knob is the part that sits at the far end of the shaft. It is a slightly wider part that acts as a stop for the hands when we hold the axe.

Accessories for the axe

There are some practical and good accessories for the axe which we go through below. Actually, it's about making it easier to take and store the axe during various outdoor activities or on hikes.

Axe holster
A axe holster is like a sheath for the outdoor axe. It allows you to attach the axe to the backpack or to your belt when you are out. Discover our axe holster here.

Sheath for the edge
An edge sheath protects the axe’s edge, mainly to avoid cutting holes in clothes or a bag if you store it in your backpack. It also protects the edge of the axe during transport etc. Our edge sheaths are made of vegetable Finnish leather. Discover our axe sheaths here.

Overstrike guard
A overstrike guard is a accessory that protects the axe handle from shocks and blows when chopping wood. The overstrike guard are placed on the part of the handle that is just below the axe head and prevents the shaft from hitting what you are chopping. Will soon be available among our assortment.

How to resharpen your axe 

From time to time you should always sharpen the axe’s edge to keep it sharp. A dull axe will be difficult to chop wood with and can potentially be dangerous if you slip. The important thing when sharpening your axe with a sharpener is that you keep the original shape of the edge. Use a slightly wet sharpening tool and follow the shape of the edge. Roselli's round sharpening stone is a good sharpening tool that provides great sharpness.


Rosellis runda slipsten som passar att använda för slipning ac yxblad.

Take care of your axe

In addition to making sure that the edge is sharp, you can also check the handle and that the axe head to make sure it does not rust over time.

Take care of the axe handle
You should oil the wooden handle of your axe from time to time. It works with most oils, for example our linseed oil. You often notice it is needed by the wood becoming dry. If you have sharp nicks that are not deep, you can lightly sand to remove them. You can also tape the shaft for a better grip.

Take care of the axe head
The axe head should not get too rusty, to avoid that you can oil it with any oil. If you have nicks or scratches in the steel on the edge or the blade, you can grind them away with some light sandpaper and then sharpen the edge with a sharpener. You can also send your axe to us for a free sharpening service.


Frequently asked questions about outdoor axes

Is it worth having an axe with you on the hike?
It depends on how much you think it will be used. If you'll be passing a lot of fire pits, make fires often, and value that part highly, it could absolutely be worth it. If you do not need to split wood or if there is ready-made wood or access to an axe on the routes you are going to pass, it may be unnecessary to use an outdoor axe and a good knife will suffice.

Should i bring a knife or axe when going hiking?
Choosing a knife or axe on the hike is a matter of taste. An axe will usually split wood and cut better than a knife. If, on the other hand, you have to pack extremely light and don't need to make a fire and split wood, a good durable outdoor knife such as our Heimo 4" Bushcraft Edition, full tang can be enough for the hike.

Can you chop wood with a knife?
Yes absolutely, you can cut wood (batoning) with an outdoor knife, but of course it is easier with an axe. What you do then is use a stick of wood to hit the back of the knife blade, which then splits the wood. We recommend some of Roselli's carbon steel full tang knives for this. You can also read more about batoning in our blog post here and what you should think about so you don't damage your knife.

Rosellis finska handgjorda leuku kniv som fungerar utmärkt för batoing och annat hårt arbete ute i vildmarken.

Can you sharpen your axe with a sharpening stone made for a knife? 
Yes, an axe is sharpened in the same way as a knife. Start by sanding away any damage and then a coarser whetstone. Then gradually switch to a finer sharpener to sharpen the edge. See our tutorial here on how to sharpen your axe:

Can you repair a damaged axe handle?
Yes, as long as the handle is made of wood, you can repair it or replace it. We offer you a service if you need any help: Roselli's Service & Maintenance.

Discover our axes here >


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