Top 5 Best Carving Axes in 2020: Carving Axe vs Hatchet

Best Carving Axes


If you are thinking of choosing a random axe for carving is the be-all and end-all, then stop.

Think again.

It’s not like that.

To pick the best carving axes, you need to consider several factors that I’m going to point out soon.

Considering those factors, I’ve presented 5 best hatchets reviews here mentioning all their benefits and pitfalls.

Here are the points I considered to make this shortlist of best hatchets in the world

  • Is it right for carving tasks or not?
  • Its blade shape, and quality, and the handle quality.
  • Ease of gripping.
  • The quality of the blade sheath.
  • The compactness, weight, and versatility.
  • Ease of sharpening.
  • How long does it hold the edges?
  • Its durability.
  • The cost-effectiveness, and many other vital factors like brands, etc.

Buckle your seatbelt and bear with me because now, I’m going to start doing the legwork for you.

Let’s begin.

Top 5 Best Carving Axes – Detailed Hatchet Reviews

#1. Gränsfors Bruks Hand Carving Axe Review

What We Liked
    • Using this axe for carving is a breeze.
    • It features a well-made handle that’s short, hence easy to grip for carving.
    • The ergonomic shape of the handle makes it non-slippery.
    • A lightweight axe to offer us easy transportation and use.
    • It’s a compact axe that makes it easy to store.
    • A well-made blade sheath is included in the kit that enhances our security for sure.
    • It’s quite easy to sharpen this axe.
    • It maintains its edge for long.
    • This one is a versatile carving axe.
    • The aesthetic beauty of this tool is worth mentioning.
    • A handy book comes with the kit (written in English).

What We Didn't Like
  • The price could have been better.
  • You might find the handle a tad rough. However, a coat of oil solves this minor issue in no time.
  • It doesn’t come sufficiently sharp.

Gransfors Bruks is a Swedish company that has been in the market for more than 118 years now. It has earned a lot of fame in making quality forest axes, splitting axes, double bit axes, leather sheets, and many more.

While this carving Axe from Gransfors Bruks is a perfect choice for carving, at the same time, you can use it for multiple other uses. For example – other small woodworks, campfires, etc.

This best lightweight hatchet/axe is one of the best bets for hiking and camping without any second thought. Kudos to its size and weight.

As it doesn’t come razor-sharp, you will have to sharpen it before use. With that said, sharpening this axe is not a big deal at all.

I found one user who found the book that comes with this axe written in German. I don’t know how it happened because it gives an English book to the Americans.

Although the price is on the higher side, this one is the best carving axe on my list without any doubt whatsoever.

#2. Husqvarna Axe Review: 13″ Wooden Hatchet Review

Husqvarna 13' Wooden Hatchet
3,867 Reviews
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
  • Small, light axe that can be used for cutting branches or splitting small camp fire wood
  • Head is attached to the hickory shaft using both a wooden and steel wedge to secure fastening
  • Comes with a leather edge cover

What We Liked
    • This one is a well-balanced carving axe that holds the edge for long.
    • The ergonomic handle and its curves give a good grip and prevent slipping while working with this weapon.
    • It’s easy to control for delicate works.
    • It doesn’t weigh too much to use and transport effortlessly.
    • The head is attached to the handle firmly using both wooden and steel wedges.
    • It’s compact, hence a useful tool for carrying in the bag or store somewhere.
    • The high-quality leather edge cover makes it secure for carrying it along.
    • It’s highly affordable for what it offers.
    • An ideal tool for gifting considering the price and quality.

What We Didn't Like
  • It could have been slightly lighter. However, it’s still a convenient tool to serve the purpose well.
  • You need to sharpen this axe before you use it.
  • You might find some grind marks on the bevel and cutting edge. Nonetheless, simple filing will solve it.

Husqvarna is a big company doing business in several parts of the world, including North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia & Pacific.

It’s an expert company in making several lawn-cares, as well as forestry accessories, turf care, saws & tree care, battery products, grounds care, cleaning, trimmer accessories, and many more.

You have multiple sizes and materials to choose from Husqvarna’s rich collection of axes.

From those choices, I’ve selected this 13” wooden hatchet because it’s one of the best budget carving axes without sacrificing the quality.

Not only for carving, but you can also use it to serve other purposes like cutting branches or splitting small campfire wood, garden work, etc.

The curve of the handle plays a vital role in providing the desired strength and security while dealing with this tool.

Overall, this axe is such a useful tool for carving without hurting your pocket if you don’t want to spend too much but craving for a quality carving axe.

#3. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet (Carving Ax) Review

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
392 Reviews
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
  • Length with handle: 13.50 inch, Item-ID: 415
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Sheath in vegetable-tanned leather
  • Traditional scouting and camping axe
  • The Axe Book comes with every axe purchased from Gransfors Bruk, Made in Sweden.

What We Liked
    • It cuts woods like butter.
    • The overall construction makes it feel like a durable tool.
    • I must admire the craftsmanship of this axe.
    • You can use it right off the bat as it comes quite sharp and holds an edge for long.
    • It’s compact and lightweight to make it easy to transport and store.
    • A high-quality vegetable-tanned leather blade sheath comes with the axe.
    • It’s a multipurpose axe.
    • Perfect size for someone with smaller hands.
    • A well-balanced tool.
    • The blade is firmly connected to the handle.
    • This axe is a perfect option for a female’s use.
    • You will get good warranty coverage from the company.
    • A handy book is included in the kit.

What We Didn't Like
  • The handle lacks curves for increased strength compared to other models on my list.
  • The price is on the higher side.

If you are a spoon carver or looking for a handy tool for any other carving jobs, then you might not want to miss the opportunity to use this axe.

Not to mention, you can use it for several other uses like splitting small logs for camping, hunting, etc.

As this axe doesn’t have a too curvy handle, you might want to use a leather wrap grip to hold it tight.

Two of the most attractive features of this weapon is the quality of the blade sheath and the compactness of the tool. It’s super convenient to carry it anywhere you want.

Though the price is a bit higher than usual, the quality is remarkable. If you are looking for a beautiful gift for your loved one, this is the one that demands your attention.

#4. Helko Axe Reviews: Werk 1844 Carving Axe / Hatchet

1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping Hatchet bushcraft Throwing Axe Backpacking Hatchet with Leather Sheath 11326
  • HANDMADE IN GERMANY - The Rheinland pattern - a traditional German wide-bit blade - is exceptionally well suited for cutting work. These hatchets perform well at limbing branches, bushcraft, splitting kindling, carving, and other light and fine cutting work. Can also be a handy survival hatchet, camping axe, survival axe, and used for axe throwing or as a backpacking hatchet
  • C50 HIGH CARBON STEEL - 53-56 HRC - Helko Werk axe heads are open face drop forged by hand from German C50 high grade carbon steel. Dropforging is a process in which the blacksmith uses tongs to hold hot steel as a drop hammer falls repeatedly onto it. This hatchet is handmade and handforged, just like the other axes and hatchets in the Traditional line
  • GRADE A AMERICAN HICKORY HANDLE - LINSEED OIL FINISH - 150 GRIT SANDED Sustainably sourced grade A American hickory handle 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 - 1 OZ. BOTTLE OF AXE GUARD PROTECTIVE OIL All Helko Werk Axes include a vegetable-tanned premium leather axe sheath to protect your axes and hatchets
  • DIMENSIONS Head Weight: 1.25 lb / Length: 14 in. / Total Weight: 2 lb

What We Liked
    • It comes sharp. So, you can use it right from the word go.
    • This axe can retain the sharpness for long.
    • It’s a reliable and well-balanced axe.
    • The ergonomic style handle is comfortable and has enough curve to grip it tightly.
    • The handle is attached to the blade tightly without any gap.
    • A top-notch vegetable-tanned cow leather sheath is included in the kit.
    • An axe guard protective oil (1oz) bottle is included in the kit.
    • It’s a highly durable axe.
    • It’s compact and lightweight.
    • I like the aesthetics of this tool.
    • Regarding versatility, this one is one of the best bets among the other axes on my list.

What We Didn't Like
  • A little pricey. But I would buy this any day considering the quality and durability of this tool.

Helko Werk is a German-based axe making company that has been in the business since 1844. Isn’t it a pretty old company?

It has an active business in America, and this company knows how to make hand-forged axes keeping the environment friendliness in mind.

This very axe is also another handmade masterpiece from Helko Werk.

A handy axe guard protective oil comes along with the kit. This bottle has a twist top nozzle system that makes it super easy to use.

Although the blade comes sharp, it comes with a coating for protection. You might want to sharpen it before using it if you feel it is not sharp enough in the beginning.

This axe is one of the best all-rounders on my list. It’s super handy in doing the carving jobs. Besides carving, you can use it for splitting, chopping, and limbs effortlessly.

Though it comes sharp, you might want to spend a couple of minutes on the stone to make it razor sharp before use.

#5. CRKT Freyr Axe Review: (2746)

CRKT Freyr 2746 Axe 4.528" Axe edge, 16"
  • Forged Tough: 1055 Carbon steel provides durability and edge retention
  • More than chop: Beard on axe head tackles many useful cutting tasks
  • Durable: Tennessee hickory is a dense material that withstands hard use
  • Designed by Elmer Roush in Brasstown, North Carolina
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty covers any defects in materials or workmanship, see company site for details

What We Liked
    • It cuts like butter.
    • It’s a beard design blade that makes it super helpful for carving.
    • The magnesium phosphate coating gives it a durable finish.
    • The handle genuinely is shock-resistant and provides a good grip.
    • It feels good in the hand.
    • This axe holds the edge for long if you use it properly.
    • I like the overall finish and aesthetics of this axe.
    • The overall craftsmanship is worth noting.
    • A perfect tool to deal with medium-sized wood.
    • It features a convenient weight to transport.
    • It’s quite inexpensive for what it features.

What We Didn't Like
  • A little more curve in the handle would have made it easier to grip.
  • You might need to sharpen it before use.
  • The blade chips over time.
  • No leather case comes with it.

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) was established in 1994. Since then, it has been producing some really stylish knives and axes for camping, tactical, hunting, and different other outdoor uses.

This is by far the best American made carving axe, I must say. It’s not pricey and delivers what it is supposed to deliver.

The blade shape is something that attracted me most about this tool. Nonetheless, on the downside, it is not too firmly attached to the handle.

It doesn’t seem so versatile to me, either. Go for this only for carving. If you want to use it for multiple other tasks, then better avoid this axe and look for other ones on my list.

With that said, to deal with medium-sized, this axe is useful. Just don’t expect too much other than carving, splitting medium wood, etc.

Carving Axe – Buying Guide

It’s crucial to know the significant buying factor of a carving axe before you spend your hard-earned money on them.

Here are some of the core factors you should consider before buying one.

The Handle

Look, choosing an axe that has a relatively shorter handle is crucial here.

It’s because you have to have enough control over your axe while doing any sort of carving job.

The handle shouldn’t get in the way every now and then.

If it has enough curve and its ergonomic design, then it’s easier to grip and operate than the straight ones.

Best if the company features anti-slip coating on the handle.

The Head

To do a delicate task like carving, you have to have an axe that offers a narrower head poll.

It’s because too often you will want to hold the handle closer to the head for precise cutting.

So, yes, the head shape is vital here to deal with the wood for carving.

The Bit and the Blade

From a carving axe, what you would expect most is the slicing support rather than splitting support.

That’s why the blade needs to have a thin straight edge. Also, the bit should be a wider single bit.

All these will make the axe useful for carving.


It should weigh less. It’s because you need to use it continuously for a long time to get things done correctly.

Carving requires perfection, and to make it perfect, you have to have patience and fatigue less working.

If the weight of the axe is too heavy, it will surely create some fatigue that you don’t expect.

 Ease of Use

Last but not least, the axe should be easy to use. The blade shape should be supportive for carving, also the handle length, and handle shape.

The handle should be firmly attached to the blade to make it sturdy.

A high-quality blade sheath is handy to carry it and store safely.

Carving Axe vs Hatchet

Carving Axe vs Hatchet

A carving axe is different from a broad axe or hatchet.

Yes, a carving axe is not made to do only the carving tasks. You could use a carving axe for several other tasks like chopping wood for camping, to deal with any sort of mid-sized wood, etc.

However, to do the carving, the axe needs to have some specific features like –

  • The blade shape needs to be convenient for carving.
  • The handle needs to be short and has enough curve for proper gripping.
  • It shouldn’t weigh much.
  • The head needs to have a narrower poll.
  • The handle should be attached to the blade tightly.

On the other hand, a ratchet can have a straight handle. The head of the ratchet can be heavier than usual. You will mostly use a ratchet for chopping and splitting wood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question #1. What is a carving axe?

Answer: A carving axe is nothing but an axe with some must-have features and benefits to make it suitable for carving jobs.

When I’m talking about a carving axe, I need to keep in mind that the axe should be perfect for slicing rather than splitting or chopping.

The axe needs to be compact, lightweight, and easy to grip and should not cause any fatigue for long use.

The blade shape of the axe needs to be supportive of carving as well. If the handle is shorter, then it’s better. Otherwise, it will tend to get in the way a little bit.

This is more or less the definition of a carving axe.

Question #2. How do I choose a good AXE?

Answer: Now, if you are interested to know the buying factors of a good carving axe then here are the points you need to consider –

  • That has to have the correct blade shape.
  • The axe needs to be lightweight.
  • It shouldn’t have a longer handle.
  • It should slice the wood like butter.
  • The blade should be firmly attached to the handle to give you ample control and stability.
  • The handle should be ergonomically designed and should offer a good comfortable grip.
  • You should be able to sharpen the blade quickly, and the blade should hold the edge for a long time to cut wood precisely.

Question #3. What makes a good axe head?

Answer: These are the key points:

  • First and foremost, the axe head needs to be attached to the handle firmly.
  • The weight of the axe head plays a role in its performance. A massive head offers more force when swinging.
  • However, a heavy head is only suitable for splitting wood. For carving, you might not go for too heavy an axe head.
  • It should be ample thin to bite the wood properly and thick enough to ensure durability.
  • The head should be made from steel that has the right amount of carbon on it.

Question #4. Where to buy Husqvarna Axe?

Answer: Our recommended online platform is amazon.

Question #5. Where Can I Buy a Hatchet?

Answer: The answer is the same as like answer number 4.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I tried to give you all the insights of the 5 best carving axes out of many other options.

Despite having a few hiccups, all the above tools perform quite well. Most importantly, they are durable and hold the edges for long.

I sorted the list based on my preferences. You can trust the order and see which suits your needs most.

I believe you didn’t miss out on the buying guide and FAQ section to get some in-depth knowledge regarding buying a carving axe.

About the author

John Paterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.