What Size Axe for Felling Trees? (Read This First)

Whenever you hear the word axe, the first image that comes to mind is probably of a big, burly woodsman chopping down a giant tree with a single swing. But the question is, what size axe for felling trees?

The best size of axe for felling trees is 36-inches. It is a full-size axe that will give you the power and leverage to chop down even the largest trees. If you are looking for a smaller axe, then a 28-inch axe will suffice.

However, as the size of an axe changes, so does its weight. A 36-inch axe will weigh around 6 pounds, while a 28-inch axe will only weigh 4 pounds. This may not seem like a big difference, but when you are swinging an axe for hours at a time, it can make a big difference in your arms and shoulders.

Besides that, it will also impact the power of the axe too. Let’s take a closer look at different sizes axe and see what they can offer.

What Size Axe for Felling Trees?

What Size Axe for Felling Trees?

As mentioned earlier, 36 inches is considered as the best size of axe for felling trees. However, it may not be the right size for everyone as there are a few factors that come into play.

First of all, let’s take a look at different sizes of axes that you can use for felling trees.

36-Inch Axe:

The 36-inch axe is the best size of axe for felling trees. It is a full-size axe that will give you the power and leverage to chop down even the largest trees. The weight of the axe will be around 6 pounds.

28-Inch Axe:

When choosing an axe for felling trees, a 28-inch axe will suffice. It is a smaller size axe, but it will still get the job done. The weight of the axe is 4 pounds. However, it may take a bit more energy and a few more swings to chop a bigger tree with an axe of this size.

24-Inch Axe:

The 24-inch axe is not as common as the other two sizes, but it can be used for felling trees. The weight of the axe is 3 pounds. But to be honest the 24-inch axe is not as powerful as the above two. It is because you will not be able to produce as much torque with your arms while swinging it because of the short handle.

What are the Different Types of Axes Available?

Before going any further, let’s take a look and see what types of axes are available in the market. This will help you understand the axes and their best applications before choosing the one for your needs.

Different type of axes include:

  • Felling axe
  • Splitting maul
  • Hatchet
  • Woodsman’s axe
  • Tactical axe
  • Forest axe

Each type of axe has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at each one in detail so that you can choose the best one for your needs.

Felling Axe:

A felling axe is the best type of axe for felling trees. It is a full-size axe that can chop down even the largest tree with ease. The weight of the axe is around 6 pounds. It is a bit harder to use due to the length and the weight of the axe.

Therefore, not everyone might be ok with using a felling axe. However, with proper practice and repetitions you can easily build the stamina and be able to use one.

Splitting Maul:

A splitting maul is an axe that is specifically designed for splitting wood. It has a long handle and a wide head, which makes it ideal for splitting logs. Speaking of the Splitting Maul, it weighs around 8 pounds.

The weight and the long handle of the axe may be a bit high, but these are the main properties that make it able to split the log. You just need to lift it all the way up and let gravity do its job.

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However, you will need to use it properly otherwise you may injure yourself. The only thing is that you need to have a lot of strength to use a splitting maul effectively.

Hatchet:

A hatchet is a small axe that can be used for various purposes, such as chopping wood, camp tasks, and even self-defense. The weight of the hatchet is around 2 pounds.

Even though it is a small axe, it can still pack a punch if used properly. It is easy to carry around and can be stored in your backpack without any issues.

Woodsman’s Axe:

The woodsman’s axe is a multipurpose tool that can be used for felling trees, chopping wood, and even camp tasks. The weight of the axe is around 4 pounds.

Even though it is a bit heavier than the hatchet, it can still be carried around without any issues. It is a versatile tool that every woodsman should have in his arsenal.

Tactical Axe:

A tactical axe is built specifically for tight situations, such as survival, combat, and self-defense. The weight of the axe is around 2 pounds.

It is a small and compact axe that can be easily carried around. It is also easy to use in close quarters because of its size. It is usually made quite versatile and can offer a variety of applications, such as felling trees, making shelter, self-defense, and more.

Forest Axe:

A forest axe is much similar to the felling axe, but it is much more powerful and comes with a heavy head. It is mainly used by lumberjacks and woodsmen for felling trees. The weight of the axe is around 7 pounds.

Even though it is a bit heavier, it is still manageable because of the long handle. It can easily chop down even the largest tree with ease. Forest axe is not very easy to carry because of the weight of its head and its size.

What Are The Factors To Consider Before Buying An Axe For Felling Trees?

Now that you know the different types of axes available, it is time to take a look at the factors that you need to consider before buying one. This will help you choose the best axe for your needs.

Size:

The size of the axe is one of the most important factors to consider. If you are felling small trees, then a smaller axe will suffice. However, if you are felling larger trees, then you will need a larger axe.

Weight:

The weight of the axe is also an important factor to consider. If you are going to be using the axe for a long time, then you will need an axe that is not too heavy.

However, if you are only going to use the axe for a short period of time, then you can choose an axe that is a bit heavier.

Handle Length:

The handle length is also an important factor to consider. If you are going to be using the axe for a long time, then you will need an axe with a longer handle.

However, if you are only going to use the axe for a short period of time, then you can choose an axe with a shorter handle. This is because an axe with a longer handle will produce more power during the swinging and will make the chopping easy.

In contrast, shorter lengths produce less power and require more energy to finish the task.

Head Type:

The head type is also an important factor to consider. If you are looking for an axe that can chop down large trees, then you will need an axe with a larger head.

However, if you are only going to use the axe for smaller tasks, then you can choose an axe with a smaller head. There are different types of heads available for an axe

Material:

The material of the axe is also an important factor to consider. If you are looking for an axe that is durable, then you will need to choose an axe that is made from high-quality materials.

Generally, Axes are made from carbon steel, stainless steel, manganese, titanium, or cast iron. However, each of these metals has its own strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you need to choose the material of the axe based on your needs.

Edge:

The edge of the axe is also an important factor to consider. If you are looking for an axe that can chop down large trees, then you will need an axe with a sharp edge.

However, if you are only going to use the axe for smaller tasks, then you can choose an axe with a dull edge. There are different types of edges available for an axe, such as straight, curved, or chisel.

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You need to choose the edge of the axe based on your needs.

How big should a felling axe be?

The size of the axe will also depend on how big the tree is that you want to fall. If you are felling a small tree, then a 28-inch or even a 24-inch axe should be sufficient. But if you are felling a large tree, then you will need a 36-inch axe.

Another factor that comes into play is the width of the tree trunk. The wider the trunk, the more powerful the axe needs to be. So, if you are felling a tree with a wide trunk, then a 36-inch axe would be the best choice.

In short, the best size of axe for felling trees is 36-inches. Apart from that, if you are felling a small tree, then a 28-inch or even a 24-inch axe should be sufficient. But if you are felling a large tree, then you will need a 36-inch axe.

What Type Of Axe Is Best For Cutting Down Trees?

So far we’ve discussed different types of axes and their sizes along with applications. Now, you might be wondering what type of axe is best for cutting down trees?

A Felling axe is the best option for cutting down trees. It offers a good balance of power and weight, which makes it easy to use and handle. Besides that, it is made specifically to cut down any kind of tree.

However, if you don’t have a felling axe, you can also use alternative options such as a forest axe. It is the second-best choice, but it comes a little heavy, which makes it not suitable for everyone to use.

How Do I Choose The Right Size Axe?

You know axes come in different sizes, so which would be the right size for you?

When choosing the right size axe, you need to consider the application first. If you are going to cut trees you will need to choose a 36-inches axe. However, if you are looking for splitting logs then a 24-inches one can also work.

Longer shafts provide better results as you will be able to generate more torque due to the size of the shaft. This will also make you able to do more work while consuming less energy.

In contrast, smaller axes take more energy and time to finish tasks. Therefore, it is best to keep the right axe for the right job.

What Is The Difference Between A Felling Axe And A Splitting Axe?

Although we’ve discussed different types of axes and their usage, you might still have questions on your mind about felling and splitting axes and their differences.

The main difference between a felling axe and a splitting axe is the shape of the edge. The felling axe comes with a long round edge along with an elongated axe head. Apart from that, they are specifically designed to cut across the grain of the wood.

While in contrast, the head of a splitting axe is short and bulky. It is designed to cut along the grain of the wood fiber to split the log for firewood.

What is a 3/4 axe?

You may have heard about a 3/4 axe, but what is it?

A 3/4 axe is simply an axe that features a smaller head and handle than the felling axe. This type of axe is perfect for those who want to do some light work such as cutting down small trees or branches.

It is also known as the one-handed Hudson bay axe. The name comes from the Hudson Bay where fur traders originally used this type of axe for different purposes.

The 3/4 axe is a versatile tool and can be used for various tasks, such as chopping, hewing, notching, etc. It was developed in the 17th century and usually possesses a 2-pound head with a 22 to 28-inch head.

The smaller head size and the handle make it the right choice for cutting limbs of trees along with small chopping tasks.

How Do You Cut A Fallen Tree With An Axe?

Sometimes you may end up having a fallen tree blocking your path. You may think of using different tools to clear it, but axe can also get the job done for you.

To cut a fallen tree, you need to start chopping at a 45-degree angle. Make sure you chop on two different spots in front of each other. This will create a notch in the tree trunk.

After you’ve created a notch, start chopping on the opposite side of the tree. Again create a notch on that side too.

Now, you need to position your axe in the middle of both notches and start chopping downwards. This will eventually split the trunk into two pieces making it easy for you to move.

How Heavy Should A Splitting Axe Be?

The weight of the axe depends on your own preference. If you are looking for a light weight axe, then you can go for 2 to 3 pounds.

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But if you don’t mind the weight and want an axe that can deliver more power, then you can choose one that is 4 pounds or more. It is best to try out different weights to see which one works best for you.

Can You Use A Hatchet To Cut Down A Tree?

The answer is yes, you can use a hatchet to cut down a tree, but it is not the ideal tool for the job.

Hatchet is a smaller version of an axe and is mainly used for chopping small limbs of a tree or carving. It usually features a head that weighs between 1 to 1.5 pounds with a 16 to 18-inch handle.

Although you can use it to cut down a tree, it will take more time and effort than using a felling axe.

Can You Chop Down A Tree With A Splitting Axe?

Technically speaking, you can use a splitting axe to chop down a tree, but it is not the ideal tool for the job. The axe is designed for splitting wood along the grain, not cutting across it.

It will take more time and effort to chop down a tree with a splitting axe than using a felling axe. Apart from that, a splitting axe doesn’t have the appropriate head for cutting the tree due to its size and shape of the edge.

Therefore, I highly recommend you use a felling axe instead of a chopping axe. It is because it will provide much better results in less time and with less effort.

What Is A Carpenter’s Axe Used For?

A carpenter’s axe is much different than the felling and splitting axe. It is mainly used for shaping wood.

The axe features a longer and slimmer head as compared to the other two. It also has a more acute edge that is perfect for precision work.

Carpenter’s axe is mainly used for trimming and creating joints in woodwork. It can also be used for some light chopping tasks.

What Is The Best Way To Sharpen An Axe?

The best way to sharpen an axe is by using a sharpening stone. You can use either a whetstone or a diamond sharpening stone.

Start by soaking the stone in water for 5 to 10 minutes. This will ensure that the stone doesn’t get too hot during the sharpening process. Apart from that, using water also reinforce the edge sharpening process.

After that, place the axe on a stable surface and start sharpening the blade in a sweeping motion. Once you are done, wipe the blade with a clean cloth to remove any metal filings.

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Axe?

It is best to sharpen your axe after every few uses. This will ensure that the blade remains sharp and can make clean cuts.

If you use your axe frequently, then you may need to sharpen it more often. On the other hand, if you only use it once in a while, then you can get away with sharpening it less often.

What Is The Difference Between An Axe And A Hatchet?

The main difference between an axe and a hatchet is the size. An axe is a much larger tool as compared to a hatchet.

An axe usually has a head that weighs between 2 to 4 pounds with a handle that is 18 to 36-inches long. On the other hand, a hatchet has a head that weighs between 1 to 1.5 pounds with a handle that is 16 to 18-inches long.

Apart from that, an axe is mainly used for chopping down trees while a hatchet is mainly used for carving and trimming tree limbs.

Last Minute Thoughts

So, what size axe for felling trees? If you are looking for an axe that can fell all sizes of trees, then go for one that is 36 inches long. The main reason behind using a 36 inches axe for felling trees is that it provides a good balance of power and control.

Apart from that, the axe should also have a head that weighs between 2 to 4 pounds. This will ensure that the axe can chop through the tree trunk with ease.

Yes, it may be a bit difficult to use at first due to the larger size and the heavy weight. However, you will get used to it with a little bit of practice. I hope after reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what size axe to fell trees.

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