How To Swing An Axe: Ultimate Guide

June 8, 2020

how to swing an axe

You can't get any work done with an axe if you don't know how to properly use it. Read on to learn how to use an axe with safety and precision here. Read more about how to swing an axe.

Do you know how to use an axe? While we often associate them with Vikings and warriors of old, axes have a huge number of uses in the modern world including chopping firewood and removing branches.

Yet if you're not careful, axe swinging can lead to a hospital trip. This is a tool not a toy and there's more to swinging an axe than you might think.

In this article, we're going to show you how to use an axe effectively. Ready to find out how to use these versatile tools? Then keep reading!

The Gear

Before you can start chopping and pruning, you need to purchase an axe. When you're buying your first axe it can be tempting to want to buy a cheap one. After all, you don't know how often you're going to be using this, right?

Buy cheap, buy twice applies here. A cheaper axe can land you in serious trouble if its construction is shoddy.

You can end up with the axe head flying off, a handle that is hard to grip, or a whole range of other issues. Don't buy a cheap axe. Stick to established and premium brands like Clutch Axes.

Preparing to Chop

Before you even think about swinging an axe, you must get a few things in place.

The way that you hold your axe is crucial. Holding an axe requires precision and care:

  1. Take your non-dominant hand and hold it above the knob at the base of the shaft
  2. Your dominant hand needs to hold the axe a few inches below the axe head, with your palm facing outward

Hold it firmly but don't tense up.

You also need to clear the area so that there's nothing you can trip on mid-swing. The path to your target should also be clear to ensure you won't hit anything else.

When you're starting out, put a priority on accuracy instead of power. Axes are heavy tools and you don't need too much power to chop a log in half, for instance.

How to Use An Axe: The Swing

To paraphrase Duke Ellington, it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that axe swing. Swinging an axe requires precision and different techniques depending on the swing.

Chopping Horizontally

If you want to chop horizontally, for instance, to chop down a tree, you need to ensure that you aren't actually swinging horizontally. You should chop in a diagonal motion.

The target should be in front of your lead foot so that if the axe ricochets off or there's any other mishap, you don't get injured.

Chopping Vertically

Let's say that you want to chop a tree trunk into logs. Stand on the trunk with your legs wider than your shoulders. Swing the axe down between your legs and strike the trunk at a 45-degree angle to the right and then the left, creating a notch in the wood.

Continue like this to cut the trunk into logs.

Want to Learn Techniques For Other Tools?

Now you know how to swing an axe. We've shown you how to use an axe: if you want to learn how to use other tools, follow us on social media to get access to our articles as soon as they're published!

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