How to choose an outdoor ax

When choosing an outdoor tool, it’s a good idea to check seven points: type, use, safety, grip, price, availability of spares, and brand. I will explain each point in detail.


Choose by type of ax

Outdoor axes include splitting axes used for chopping firewood and kindling axes used to make small firewood for burning. Furthermore, it is possible to use a Japanese ax and a Western ax properly depending on the type of firewood.


If you want to chop wood, we recommend “Splitting Ax”

Outdoor Ax 01, Shieldon

The splitting ax is a characteristic ax that is wedge-shaped when viewed from the side. It is suitable for chopping wood because it can cut wood along the grain by taking advantage of its wedge-like shape. Since the splitting ax has a long handle, it is useful in scenes such as shaking off an ax and breaking large firewood.


If you want to make a material for burning, “Kindling Ax” is recommended

Outdoor Ax 02, Shieldon

A kindling ax is a hatchet, which is suitable when you want to make small firewood for burning. In addition to making firewood for burning, it is also attractive that it can be widely used for pruning, sculpture, and cooking. The handle is short and easy to handle, so it is recommended for beginners and women.


If you want to cut coniferous trees such as cedar, we recommend “Japanese ax”

Outdoor Ax 03, Shieldon

Since the Japanese ax has a thin blade and a sharp angle and is straight, it is suitable for chopping coniferous trees such as cedar and cypress with clean grain. It is also famous as an ax suitable for chopping wood. It is light, easy to handle, and has the peace of mind that it is made in Japan, and it is attractive that you can purchase it at a reasonable price.


For those who cut hard trees such as hardwoods, “Western ax” is recommended

Outdoor Ax 04, Shieldon

The characteristic of a Western ax is that the cutting edge is thin and the thickness gradually increases. The blade is obtuse and solid, and if you make a notch in the firewood, it will be divided into left and right by the weight of the ax, so it is suitable for chopping hard firewood such as oak and oak.


Although the price is high, it can be used with any type of firewood, so it is recommended when you want to use any type of firewood. There are many stylish designs, so you will be satisfied with the outdoors.


Choose by application

The choice of outdoor ax also changes depending on the application. Here are some recommended types for each application.


If you are limited to campsites, we recommend “hatchets around 40 cm”

Outdoor Ax 05, Shieldon

If you want to use the outdoor ax only at the campsite, we recommend a hatchet of around 40 cm. A large ax has power, so it is convenient for chopping wood on hardwood and wood stoves, but it limits the scenes in which it can be used and the people who can handle it.


If you are buying an outdoor ax for the first time, you should choose a versatile 40 cm or so. It can be used for a wide range of purposes such as chopping wood, burning, and pruning at campsites.


“Compact size around 30 cm” is recommended for women and beginners

Outdoor Ax 06, Shieldon

The larger the size of the ax, the heavier it becomes, so women and beginners may find a hatchet of around 40 cm heavy and unwieldy. If you choose it with an emphasis on ease of handling, we recommend a compact size of around 30 cm, which allows for a small turn.


However, please note that a compact size ax is convenient for pruning and burning, but it is not suitable for chopping wood. A Western ax is compact but heavy, so it’s a good idea to check the weight as well.


If you are an advanced player, we recommend the long-handled “wood-splitting ax”.

Outdoor Ax 07, Shieldon

An easy-to-use hatchet is convenient at first, but if you feel unsatisfied, why not try a wood-splitting ax. If you become an advanced player, you can use a hatchet and a wood-splitting ax properly.


A Japanese-made wood-splitting ax is reasonably priced and easy for beginners to handle. If you want to chop wood from a log for a wood stove, we recommend a heavy foreign-made wood-burning ax. However, handling a long and heavy ax requires strength, so please determine the size and weight that suits you.


If you want to use it in a wide range of scenes, “multi-type” is recommended

Outdoor Ax 08, Shieldon

If you want to use it not only for chopping wood and burning but also for a wide range of scenes, we recommend the multi-type ax. Also known as a multi-tool, the blade has a scaler, wrench, bottle opener, and screwdriver socket.


One can play many roles, so if you have one, it will be useful in various outdoor scenes. There are two types, one with a removable handle and the other with a handle, so choose the one that is easy to use.


“Machete” is recommended for small chopping wood

Outdoor Ax 09, Shieldon

If you just want to use it for chopping or pruning small wood at a campsite, you have the option of a hatchet. It’s lighter than an ax, so it’s easy to handle, but it’s not suitable for chopping thick or hardwood. It is attractive that you can use it like a knife, such as making a feather stick or shaving wood.


Shieldon Knife is a professional custom pocket knife manufacturer that owns a factory and designers. Check out our blogs for tips and tricks around outdoor knives and multi-tools! Or contact us if you need help with sourcing hinges.


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