Difference Between Splitting Axe And Chopping Axe?

14 minutes read

A splitting axe and a chopping axe are both specific types of axes designed for different purposes. While both types are used for cutting wood, they differ in terms of their design and intended usage.


A splitting axe is primarily used for splitting logs into smaller pieces. It typically features a thick and wedge-shaped head, specifically designed to break the wood fibers apart. The weight of a splitting axe is concentrated towards the head, allowing for powerful downward force when swinging. This design facilitates efficient splitting of wood along the grain, making it easier to create firewood or smaller pieces for various applications.


On the other hand, a chopping axe, also known as a felling axe or a hand axe, is designed for cutting down trees or chopping wood across the grain. It typically has a thinner and narrower head, which allows it to cut through wood fibers more easily. Chopping axes are generally lighter and more maneuverable than splitting axes, allowing for more controlled swings and precision when cutting.


The design variation between the two axes is primarily dictated by the intended purpose. Splitting axes are designed to maximize splitting power, resulting in a wider and heavier head that aids in splitting wood along its natural grain. In contrast, chopping axes are geared towards cutting across the grain, requiring a sharper and narrower head to efficiently penetrate the wood fibers.


While splitting axes can be used for chopping, they may not be as effective due to their heavier and wider heads. Similarly, using a chopping axe for splitting wood may prove challenging as its narrower head is not optimized for the task.


In summary, the main difference between a splitting axe and a chopping axe lies in their intended uses and design. Splitting axes are designed for efficiently splitting wood along the grain, whereas chopping axes are better suited for cutting down trees or chopping wood across the grain.

Best Splitting Axe in April 2024

1
1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt - German Splitting Axe, Made in Germany Wood Splitter and Wood Splitting Axe Midsize Medium Splitting Axe - Head 4.5 lbs, Handle 28 in. (Spaltaxt) #13582

Rating is 5 out of 5

1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Spaltaxt - German Splitting Axe, Made in Germany Wood Splitter and Wood Splitting Axe Midsize Medium Splitting Axe - Head 4.5 lbs, Handle 28 in. (Spaltaxt) #13582

  • Handmade in Germany: The Spaltaxt is a German-style splitter suited for splitting rounds and heavy firewood. The dual wedge head design delivers powerful, effective strikes that increase splitting efficiency and prevent the head from becoming stuck or pinched in logs. The Spaltaxt’s mid-weight 4 ½ pound head and comfortable 28 inch handle keep the wielder fresh during long sessions. This axe handily outperforms others in its class, and stands up well against much heavier tools.
  • C50 High Carbon Steel: 53-56 HRC - Helko Werk axe heads are open-face drop forged individually by hand from German C50 high grade carbon steel. Drop forging is a process in which the blacksmith uses tongs to hold and shape hot steel as a drop hammer falls repeatedly onto it.
  • Grade A American Hickory Handle: Linseed Oil Finish, 150 Grit Sanded Sustainably sourced grade A American hickory handle. All Helko Werk camping axes and hatchets have handles individually hand finished and selected for grain orientation and density with a boiled linseed oil finish and sanded to 150 grit for a comfortable and smooth finish on your axe handle
  • Includes Full Grain Leather Sheath and 1 oz Bottle of Axe Guard Protective Oil: All Helko Werk axes and hatchets include a vegetable-tanned premium leather axe sheath to protect your axe blade and head. The Axe Guard oil is a metal protecting oil to help maintain the steel of your axe head, and prevent rust over time.
  • Dimensions: Head Weight: 4-1/2 lb, Length: 28 in, Total Weight: 5-3/4 lb
2
Council Tool 5 lbs. SB Splitting Axe; 36 in. Straight Wooden Handle

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Council Tool 5 lbs. SB Splitting Axe; 36 in. Straight Wooden Handle

3
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe - Wood Splitter for Medium to Large Size Logs with 36" Shock-Absorbing Handle - Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe - Wood Splitter for Medium to Large Size Logs with 36" Shock-Absorbing Handle - Black

  • MULTI-USE AXE: Sharp blade axe is an ideal wood chopper designed for firewood, yard work, and lawn cleanup, with maximum efficiency for more one-strike splits; Perfect for medium to large size logs
  • EFFICIENT AND COMFORTABLE USE: Shock-absorbing handle with textured non-slip grip reduces hand strain, improves control, and prevents overstrike damage; 36" handle is ideal for taller users
  • LONG-LASTING AND RELIABLE: Hardened forged steel blade stays sharper longer than traditional axes and advanced bevel convex design splits efficiently and makes the blade easier to remove from wood; Provides excellent durability and lasting value
  • QUALITY OUTDOOR TOOLS: Designed to help you embrace the outdoors, Fiskars axes and hatchets are equipped with smart technologies and award-winning, ergonomic features that make it easier and more enjoyable to tackle outdoor tasks
  • INCLUDES: 1 Fiskars Super Splitting Axe with protective sheath; Backed by a lifetime warranty
4
KURUI Wood Splitting Axe and Hatchet Set, 15” Camping Hatchet & 34” Chopping Axe for Cutting and Felling, Long Handle Splitter Axe with Shock-Absorbent Fiber Glass Anti-Slip Handle and Blade Sheath

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

KURUI Wood Splitting Axe and Hatchet Set, 15” Camping Hatchet & 34” Chopping Axe for Cutting and Felling, Long Handle Splitter Axe with Shock-Absorbent Fiber Glass Anti-Slip Handle and Blade Sheath

  • MATERIAL WITH HIGH STRENGTH – Our splitting axe consists of a strong helve made of high-quality fiber glass material, which can effectively reduce the vibration while splitting wood, and a durable and high-strength axe head made of hardened carbon steel, which stays sharp longer that traditional axes. This durable 34" camp axes and 14" hatchets is built for a better using experience.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN – The handle of KURUI splitting axe tool is covered with flexible TPR material for a better shock absorbing result. the black TPR handle is also of excellent resistance to slipping. The ergonomically designed proportion of the head and handle offers ultimate using comfort.
  • EASY USE – When you receive this camping axe, you will find that it has already been sharpened, so you can directly use it for chopping wood easily; when you need to sharpen it, just use a sharpening stone and grind on the blade lightly.
  • GREAT HELPER FOR LOG & FIREWOOD – KURUI camping axes & hatchets makes it easy for you to deal with solid wood, kindling, stems and twigs with high efficiency, serving as your ideal and reliable companion for gardening, camping, surviving, hiking, split wood and all other outdoor activities.
  • WHAT YOU GET – You will receive 1 34-inch axe, 1 15-inch camping hatchet. Each outdoor splitting axe comes with our 1-month free refund & replacement warranty to ensure your shopping satisfaction and worry-free service for you!
5
MLTOOLS Splitting Axe X28A - Camping Axe with Fiberglass Ergonomic Handle, High Carbon Steel Head - Torque & Weatherproof Survival Axes and Hatchets - Non-Slip Grip - Protection Guard & Lock - 28”

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

MLTOOLS Splitting Axe X28A - Camping Axe with Fiberglass Ergonomic Handle, High Carbon Steel Head - Torque & Weatherproof Survival Axes and Hatchets - Non-Slip Grip - Protection Guard & Lock - 28”

  • Chop With Efficiency - Chop and split wood with unparalleled efficiency using our survival axe or survival hatchet! They come in handy when you go hiking, camping, or tend to your garden at home.
  • Tough & Aggressive - The non-detachable heads of each camp axe or camp hatchet stay on the handles no matter the force. They’re made of high carbon steel - perfect for aggressive cutting angles.
  • Non-Slip Handle - Swing with confidence thanks to the top-grade fiberglass handles. Our camping axes & hatchets are shock-absorbent and helps reduce strain even as you keep a tight grip for hours.
  • Long-Lasting Tools - Make room in your shed for an axe for wood splitting that will last you years. These tools are built for the outdoors and can withstand high levels of torque and extreme weather.
  • Easy Carrying & Storage - Always have a wood cutting hatchet ready. You can bring this wood chopping axe anywhere you go because they’re lightweight and come with a protection guard and lock.


Can a splitting axe be used for chopping?

Yes, a splitting axe can be used for chopping. While it is primarily designed for splitting wood along the grain, it can also be used for chopping with some adjustments in technique. However, it is important to note that splitting axes typically have a heavy, wedge-shaped head which may not excel in chopping tasks compared to dedicated chopping axes or hatchets.


Are the cutting techniques different between a splitting and chopping axe?

Yes, the cutting techniques for splitting and chopping axes are different due to their different intended purposes.


A splitting axe is designed for splitting logs and large pieces of wood along the grain. To use a splitting axe effectively, you typically want to position the log vertically, aim for the center, and aim for the grain. The swinging motion involves a more downward force, exerted from above your head or shoulder, allowing the axe head to split the wood apart into separate pieces.


On the other hand, a chopping axe is primarily used for cutting down trees or chopping branches. For chopping, you generally want to use a horizontal swing targeting the point where you want to make the cut. The motion involves a more horizontal and somewhat diagonal swing, allowing the axe head to bite into the wood and ultimately chop it off.


In summary, while both axes involve swinging motions, the splitting axe uses a more vertical downward force to split wood, while the chopping axe uses a more horizontal force to cut through trees and branches.


Which axe is more suitable for precision work?

The smaller and lighter axes, such as a carving axe or a hatchet, are more suitable for precision work. These axes offer better control and are designed for fine-detail work like carving, shaping, or cutting small pieces of wood.


What is the difference in weight between a splitting axe and a chopping axe?

The weight difference between a splitting axe and a chopping axe can vary depending on the specific design, brand, and intended use. However, as a general guideline, splitting axes are usually heavier than chopping axes.


Splitting axes are specifically designed for splitting logs along the grain, which requires more force and power. They typically have a heavier head to generate more splitting power, with an average weight ranging from 3 to 6 pounds (1.4 to 2.7 kilograms).


Chopping axes, on the other hand, are intended for chopping or cutting through wood across the grain, such as felling trees or cutting branches. They are often lighter and more maneuverable, providing better accuracy and control. Chopping axes usually weigh between 2 to 4 pounds (0.9 to 1.8 kilograms), although smaller handheld hatchets can be even lighter.


It's important to note that these weight ranges are approximate and can vary based on personal preferences and regional variations. It's always advisable to choose an axe that feels comfortable and balanced for your own strength and needs.


How is the head of a chopping axe designed?

The design of the head of a chopping axe is optimized for cutting and splitting wood efficiently. It typically consists of the following components:

  1. Blade: The blade is the cutting edge of the axe head. It is typically sharp and shaped like a wedge to increase its cutting effectiveness. The blade is usually made of high-carbon steel to ensure durability and maintain its sharpness.
  2. Bit: The bit refers to the part of the blade that comes into contact with the wood during a chop or strike. It is the thickest and heaviest part of the blade, designed to withstand the force and effectively penetrate the wood.
  3. Poll: The poll is the opposite end of the blade from the bit. It is typically dull and flat, often used for tasks like driving wooden stakes or hammering on other tools. The poll serves as a counterweight to the blade, balancing the weight and giving the axe the desired swing and balance.
  4. Eye: The eye is the hole in the center of the axe head, through which the handle is attached. It is typically elongated and shaped to securely hold the handle in place, preventing any unwanted movement during use.
  5. Cheeks: The cheeks are the sides of the axe head that connect the blade to the poll. They provide strength and stability to the overall design, ensuring the head doesn't deform or break under the pressure of chopping.


With these components, the head of a chopping axe is designed to deliver maximum cutting power, precise strikes, and durability for an efficient wood-cutting experience.

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