5 Best Carving Axes in 2021: Carving Axe vs Hatchet

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Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by John Patterson

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 high-quality carving axes, you need to consider several factors that I’m going to point out soon.

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

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

  • Is it right for carving tasks or not?
  • Its blade shape, and quality, and 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

Preview
Best Choice
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
The Runner-up
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Best Value
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping...
CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design, Forged Carbon...
Title
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping...
CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design, Forged Carbon...
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
4.9/5
4.9/5
4.8/5
4.8/5
Prime Status
-
-
Best Choice
Preview
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Title
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
The Runner-up
Preview
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Title
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
Prime Status
-
Full Review
Best Value
Preview
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
Title
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
Prime Status
Full Review
Preview
1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping...
Title
1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
Full Review
Preview
CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design, Forged Carbon...
Title
CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design, Forged Carbon...
Editor's Rating
4.8/5
Prime Status
Full Review

#1. Gränsfors Bruks Hand Carving Axe Review

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 a long.
    • This one is a versatile best 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.

Summary
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 best 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 carving 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

husqvarna 13 wooden hatchet review

Husqvarna 13' Wooden Hatchet
2,934 Reviews
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
  • Small, light axe that can be used for cutting...
  • Head is attached to the hickory shaft using both a...
  • Comes with a leather edge cover

What We Liked
    • This one is a well-balanced carving axe that holds the edge for a 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.

Summary
Husqvarna is a big company doing business in several parts of the world, including North America, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia & the 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 carving hatchet because it’s one of the best wood carving axes (budget) 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 wood carving axe.

#3. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet Review

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet Review

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
465 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...

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 a 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.

Summary
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 best carving hatchet are 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

Helko Axe Reviews

1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping...
102 Reviews
1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet - German Made Camping...
  • HANDMADE IN GERMANY - The Rheinland pattern - a...
  • C50 HIGH CARBON STEEL - 53-56 HRC - Helko Werk axe...
  • GRADE A AMERICAN HICKORY HANDLE - LINSEED OIL...
  • INCLUDES FULL GRAIN LEATHER SHEATH - 1 OZ. BOTTLE...
  • DIMENSIONS Head Weight: 1.25 lb / Length: 14 in. /...

What We Liked
    • It comes sharp. So, you can use it right from the word go.
    • This axe can retain sharpness for a long.
    • It’s a reliable and well-balanced axe.
    • The ergonomic style handle is comfortable and has enough curves 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 carving 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.

Summary
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

CRKT Freyr Axe Review

CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design, Forged Carbon...
1,136 Reviews
CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design, Forged Carbon...
  • Forged Tough: 1055 Carbon steel provides...
  • More than chop: Beard on axe head tackles many...
  • Durable: Tennessee hickory is a dense material...
  • Designed by Elmer Roush in Brasstown, North...
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty covers any defects in...

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.

Summary
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 wood 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 the carving hatchet. 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/Carving Hatchet – Buying Guide

It’s crucial to know the significant buying factor of a wood 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 curves 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.

 Weight

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 carving 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, dealing 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 carving hatchet can have a straight handle. The head of the hatchet can be heavier than usual. You will mostly use a carving hatchet for chopping and splitting wood.

Frequently Asked Questions 

#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.

#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.

#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.

#4. Where to buy Husqvarna Axe?

Answer: Our recommended online platform is amazon.

#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 wood 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 a 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 Patterson

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.