Different Axe Types
Axes and axe parts have been found that trace back millennium in time. The tool has evolved over time into a multi-purpose instrument. There are numerous kinds of axes, all meant for specific uses. If you have a specific project that requires the use of an axe, you have many types to choose from. There are many other types of axes in each category than mentioned, but those listed are some of the most useful.
Axes for Cutting Wood
Since wood is cut in different ways for different purposes, three different kinds of wood cutting axes are availbale. A felling axe is made to cut across the wood grain and was developed for chopping down trees. These axes come in many weights and handle shapes so suit the user and the task. A splitting axe is for cutting along the wood grain, and is commonly used for cutting firewood. The edge of the blade is shaped like a wedge and it is intended for wedging wood apart rather than chopping. The third type is the adze axe which has cupped head for tearing wood off in sheets such as tearing off the bark to make a level surface.
Axes as Weapons
Axes have been used very effectively as weapons in the past. The tomahawk was popular among Native Americans. The head was usually made of stone, fashioned into a very sharp blade, which was later replace by iron or brass. The tomahawk was first used as a throwing weapon which has evolved into a sport.
The battle axe is another historical weapon, especially associated with the Vikings. These also started as stone heads and evolved as metallurgy came about. These were not extremely heavy axes and did not have any one notable shape of blade. As long as it could damage someone in close combat, it was used. The Pole Axe was an ancient weapon that was extremely sharp and meant solely for penetrating armor.
Highly Specialized Axes
The fire axe is a perfect example of a specialized axe and is used globally by firefighters. The edge is very sharp and is made to cut cleanly through wood while the other side of the head is made into a claw-shaped point for pulling apart wood or whatever else may be in the way of a firefighter. The axe head and handle are generally painted in bright colors so it is easily recognized in emergencies.
Another highly specialized axe is an ice axe. You will especially see these used in high-endurance sports in countries with glaciers and mountains. The head of this axe has a pick on one side and an adze on the other and is meant for both scaling and descending walls. It is designed with a loop around the center to wrap around the wrist to hold climbers in place if they start to slide down an icy mountain or glacier.