Council Tools Axe Review – Different Axes for Different Uses


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When you have some serious outdoor work to do, you need to make sure that you have the right tool for the job. Whether it’s chopping down trees, splitting firewood, or any other foresting work, you want a quality, durable axe that’ll get that one-swing chop.

Council Tools is one of the finest makers of axes in America, and you can’t go wrong with one of their products. From mauls to hatchets to felling axes, this company has a heritage of durable, powerful craftsmanship.

This company offers a wide selection of equipment, primarily focusing on axes and hatchets. Their price point ranges from affordable quality to premium design, and they have a tool for any job. Every axe is made from hard steel and American hickory, and bears the brand’s assurance of quality.

In this Council Tools axe review, we’ll be covering 6 types of axes they offer from the entire spectrum of price. They will be organized from most to least expensive, and we’ll discuss which tool is the best for you.

Council Tools Overview

Council Tools is an all-American company founded in the USA in 1886 by John Pickett Council. For 133 years, this company has had 4 mottos that every employee follows, making sure that each product they make is up to par with their standards.

The first two rules at this company are to make a quality product, and add value to that product be being innovative. This company wants to take the classic axe design, but innovate it with modern construction and design capabilities.

The next 2 rules at Council Tools are to be ethical as a business and to be honest in your dealings. They want to make sure that they satisfy every customer, and by being transparent and honest, they make that happen.

Bad Axe Boy’s Axe

This is one of the finest offerings from Council Tools. This axe has the perfect length, weight, and construction for any user to take care of most foresting jobs. It’s heavy duty enough to use for chopping logs and felling trees, but not too big for splitting, limbing, and more precision jobs.

The axe features highly ergonomic design in the handle, and has a medium-heavy bit to make it easy to use. It’s perfect to keep in the garage for when you need the tool, or you can take it on camping trips if you need some heavy gear for firewood.

  • Total Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Head Weight: 2.25 pounds
  • Length with handle: 28 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Forged Alloy Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The head of this axe is made of forged steel, and weighs 2.25 pounds. It makes up about 65% of the weight of the tool, making it perfect for an all around cutting tool. It has modern contouring and design to ensure that you’ll easily be able to move the axe through the wood, getting more one-swing chops.

The high quality forged steel is durable, and will last a while before you have to hone your blade, reducing your overall axe sharpening. This head is the most important thing when it comes to cutting, and this one will do the trick.

The Handle

This axe features the classic look of an American hickory handle. The pure wooden shaft is carved to make sure that you have a comfortable, stable grip, and won’t have to worry about the axe flying out of your hands on the upswing.

Wooden handles are popular with rival brands like Husqvarna, Hultafors, and Helko fully embracing them. This is in opposition to modern, artificially made handles embraced by companies like Fiskars. The wood has a classic look, but can also bring up the price.

Premium Double Bit Saddle Axe

Double bit axes are a widely underutilized tool in the foresting world. While many people think that it’s just an axe with 2 blades, it’s actually 2 separate tools in one. Usually, each side of the head has a different cut, letting you use each one for a unique purpose.

The Council Tools double bit saddle axe is a premium double headed axe, and each side is crafted for maximum utility. It’s pretty small, making it easy to carry around. So whether you need it for housework or just want an axe for your next backpacking trip, you’ll want to take a look at this one.

  • Total Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Head Weight: 2 pounds
  • Length with handle: 16 inches
  • Handle:Hickory
  • Steel: 5160 Forged Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The head of this axe is made of the same high quality forged steel as the Bad Axe, but features two separate blades. Each side is carved at a different angle to make one side excel at precision cuts, while the other can do heavy duty work.

The weight of the head suggests that this is a great one-handed tool, since the head makes up just over half of the total weight. This makes it so that you can swing with one hand without injuring your shoulder. The length of the handle also suggests that this is meant to be used like a hatchet.

The Handle

The 16 inch hickory handle is the ideal length for getting in those forceful, powerful cuts. The handle is straight, making it easier to use either side. Normally you see axes contoured to make them more comfortable, but you can’t really do that with a double bit axe. Fortunately, this axe has a perfectly balanced handle that’ll make each swing accurate and forceful.

Hudson Bay Camp Axe

This small ax is an ideal tool for recreational use. It’s heavy for a hatchet, but light enough to easily take hunting or backpacking. It has a classic look and feel, and is a versatile axe, making it perfect for many different tasks.

While it may be too small to use on chopping large logs, it’s great for splitting firewood, clearing brush, or even felling small trees. It’s a nifty tool, but it really excels as a bushcraft axe.

  • Total Weight: 3.92 pounds
  • Head Weight: 2 pounds
  • Length with handle: 19 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: 5160 Alloy Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The head is pretty light, making up about half of the total weight. It’s only 2 pounds, but that’s perfect for a travel axe like this one. As the name implies, Council Tools intends this axe to be used on camping trips.

The bit is made of pure forged alloy steel, just like most of the other items on this list. It’s balanced for making sure that you can easily pull the head out of the wood.

The Handle

The handle of this tool is pure hickory, contoured for maximum comfort and usability. There’s a reason that all of the axes on this list have wooden handles instead of artificially made ones. The wood absorbs shock, and continues the classic heritage of traditional craftsmanship.

While tools with artificial shafts may be more affordable, they lack the look, feel, and comfort that you get with a wooden one.

Hudson Bay Camp Axe 2.0

This axe is a reimagination of the previous camp axe on this list. It’s made for similar purposes, but it’s resized and rebalanced to make it an incredibly versatile 2 handed tool. While the first one had an ambiguous 19 inch length, this one has a solid 28 inches.

This axe is pretty lightweight, but the balancing makes it ideal for a wide variety of cutting tasks. You can easily carry it around on a backpacking trip, or leave it around for when you need to chop down a tree.

  • Total Weight: 3.05 pounds
  • Head Weight: 2 pounds
  • Length with handle: 28 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Tempered Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The head is the same weight as the head on the smaller camp axe, but the balancing is completely different. Despite the extended length, the whole tool only weighs a bit over 3 pounds, so the head makes up two-thirds the weight instead of half. That makes it so that each swing is going to have much more power, especially swinging with 2 hands.

The Handle

The handle is a sleek, lightweight, contoured hickory shaft that’ll make this tool comfortable to use. The reduced weight and the balancing ensure that you’ll be able to guide the swing, but you may need to be careful with swinging too hard. It’s pretty thin, meaning it may be at risk for breaking if you strike too hard.

Pulaski Axe

Council Tools may not offer products that aren’t tools like throwing axes, combat axes, and viking axes, but they do offer even obscure tools. The pulaski axe is an unusual, highly useful offering from this company.

Pulaski axes are common firefighting tools, working as a pickaxe on one side, and a chopping axe on the other. They’re great in case of emergencies, and are powerful foresting tools, especially if you need to till soil.

  • Total Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 3.75 pounds
  • Length with handle: 36 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Forged Steel with red enamel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The head on this axe is made with the same forged steel as the previous offerings on this list, but is coated in red enamel. This not only gives it a distinctive look, but helps keep it from rusting, and makes it easier to clean, especially if you use it for tilling dirt.

The Handle

The balancing of this axe puts close to 75% of the weight in the head. But the shaft is straight, and made of hickory. It’s 36 inches long, giving you the maximum power in each swing.

Sledge-Eye Maul

Mauls are dull tools that are used for imprecise, heavy cuts. This option from Council Tools also has an added layer of usability since it has a blunt side for driving stakes and breaking rocks. This is also one of the most affordable items on this list.

  • Total Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 6 pounds
  • Length with handle: 36 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Tempered Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The head of this maul weighs 6 pounds, letting you get plenty of force into your swing. It’s made of tempered steel, rather than forged steel, which helps keep the costs down. One side of the bit has a dull blade, while the other acts as a blunt hammer.

The Handle

The handle is made of hickory and is 36 inches long. This makes it perfect for getting all the force you need into each swing. The handle alone weighs 1.5 pounds, which is ideal for the heavy duty hitting that you’ll be doing.

Which Axe Should I Go With?

When you’re picking any tool, you need to consider the job to find out what you need. If you need something lightweight, versatile, and easy to take around, the double bit saddle axe is the way to go. If you need the heaviest thing out there, you want to go with the maul.

The most versatile options on this list are the Bad Axe Boy’s Axe and the Hudson Bay Camp Axe 2.0. Their weight, length, and shape make them perfect for nearly any job, so go with those for the top usability.

Using the Best Axe

Council Tools has been making high quality, all-American axes for over a century, and have had a commitment to quality, integrity, and honesty. When you pick up one of their tools, you’ll immediately feel the craftsmanship and design.

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