Helko Axe Review – From Racing to Splitting


Helko Axe Review

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When you’re doing woodwork, you need to make sure that you have the right tool for the job. When you skimp on your equipment, you harm the overall quality of your work. Fortunately, Helko Werk has a huge range of outstanding gear to get any job done.

Whether you need to cut down trees, split logs, or do any other foresting work, you can rely on this brand to deliver. They offer many types of axes, and each one of them showcases the centuries of experience and craftsmanship behind this company.

The Helko axe review will cover 6 of the brand’s offerings, from their most heavy duty felling axe down to one of their premier hatchets. If you want to get your job done, then you want to go with a Helko Werk.

An Overview of Helko Werk

While Swedish companies like Fiskars, Hultafors, and Husqvarna have a reputation for centuries of axe craftsmanship, this German company is nothing to shake a stick at. Helko Werk was founded in 1844 for the sole purpose of making axes, and continues to do that to this day.

The company was originally founded by the industrious Helsper family, and was initially called the Helsper Tool Factory, or Helsper Werkzeugfabrik. In the 1930s, a partner under the named Kotthaus joined the enterprise, and their names were combined to Helko, thus giving us the name Helko Werk.

Today the company hand forges every axe head, using only premium quality steel, and ensuring that the heads meet stringent hardness standards. All wood and leather are sourced from the finest trees and livestock. The company is committed to both premium construction and sustainability, giving them their pedigree of quality.

Vario 2000 Axe

This is one of the finest offerings from Helko. It’s a large axe that’s primarily meant for felling trees and splitting large logs. This is a real worker’s axe, so while you won’t want to take it backpacking, it’s a great tool for heavy duty work.

Like every axe under this brand name, this tool is made using top quality materials, and comes with a leather sheath and axe oil.

  • Total Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Length with handle: 36 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: C50 High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The bit of this axe is made of C50 high grade carbon steel, and is specially forged to have a hard tip and a soft cheek. This reduces the amount of axe sharpening you have to do, making sure that your blade is ready to go at any time.

The head weighs 5.5 pounds, which is perfect for getting that powerful swing in. Whether you’re splitting firewood or trying to clear out trees, this head is going to let you get the perfect swing. The balancing is designed to make sure you can easily pull out the blade.

The Handle

This axe features a timeless all-American hickory handle. This material is the standard choice for wooden handles, and requires much finer craftsmanship that artificially made shafts. The length and shape are perfect for felling trees, but can be used on other tasks.

Most wooden handles are relatively straight and have contouring to maximize grip comfort. But this one takes a more practical route and is bowed without contours. This helps guide the swing, and the length maximizes the force going into the wood.

Hinterland Double Bit Axe

Double bit axes are a highly practical, useful foresting tool that are widely underutilized by most woodworkers. You can use one side for bigger tasks like felling trees, while the other side is perfect for limbng and finer cuts.

The Hinterland double bit axe is Helko Werk’s top double bit offering. Taking all the same quality and construction of the Vario, this tool is a great piece of equipment to keep around. It has the classic look and feel of a wood and steel axe, and is balanced to maximize usability.

  • Total Weight: 5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Length with handle: 30 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: C50 High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

Double bit heads aren’t just for looks, and you don’t use both sides for the same thing. You can focus on keeping one side sharp, for finer cuts, and you can leave the other less honed to use for less precise work.

The head weighs 3.5 pounds, and is symmetrically balanced to ensure that you’ll have a perfectly smooth swing. The bit makes up 70% of the axe’s weight, at 3.5 pounds, making this a pretty versatile tool for cutting jobs both big and small.

The Handle

While single bit heads can have directional handles, double bit heads have to be straight. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to comfortably use both sides of the head. This axe features a highly versatile handle that works with either direction.

The hickory handle features no contouring, offering a smooth, balanced swing no matter which side you use. The 30 inch length maximizes this axe’s force when you strike, letting you take on those heavy duty tasks.

Saxon Splitting Axe

This is one of the largest items on this list, making it perfect for splitting wood. Whether it’s firewood or logging, this large axe will maximize your one-wing chops. It’s balanced to increase force while making it easier to guide.

  • Total Weight: 8.5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 6.1 pounds
  • Length with handle: 31 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: C50 High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The 6.1 pound high carbon steel head is meant to push straight through the wood, getting the chop in one hit. It’s one of the heaviest bits on this list, and you’ll feel it in each swing. You can use this axe around your property, or you can use it on camping trips.

The Handle

This is the first truly contoured handle that we’ve covered today. While the previous offerings have also featured hickory shafts, the Saxon splitting axe is carved to maximize grip and comfort, preventing the tool from flying out of your hands during use.

Tasmania TimberSport Racing Axe

Few companies offer both practical tools and competition axes, but Helko Werks has something for everyone. Just about the only things you can’t find from them are combat axes, throwing axes, and viking axes.

The TimberSport racing axe is streamlined to meet professional axe racing standards without costing a fortune. For the amateur wood cutting enthusiast, this is a great way to get started in competitive chopping.

  • Total Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 4 pounds
  • Length with handle: 31 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: C50 High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

This axe’s 4 pound head is perfectly balanced to get a smooth swing, which is essential in competitive chopping. You’ll be clearing out the competition with one-swing chops as this axe moves clear through the wood.

The Handle

The pure hickory handle weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 31 inches long, which is perfect for getting an accurate, balanced swing. The length maximizes the force in the head, while the weight helps you guide the tool as you chop.

Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter

This axe is similar to the Vario 2000 axe, except with different proportions between the handle and the bit. This one puts more weight on the handle, which is ideal for vertical strikes like what you need in a log splitting axe.

Helko Werks offers a truly vast line of axes, and this tool shows how precise they craft each one for the job. By just shifting the weight around a bit, this axe becomes a completely different tool than the felling axe.

  • Total Weight: 8.5 pounds
  • Head Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Length with handle: 36 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: C50 High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The .8 pound weight difference between this axe and the first one we covered has a huge impact on how it handles. Since you’ll be making more vertical strikes, you’ll easily be able to make up the difference with your swing.

The Handle

Just like the other large offering, this axe has a bowed handle with minimal contouring. It reduces the number of applications this tool works for, but helps ensure that your strikes will have all the power you need to get more one-swing chops.

Voyager Camp Hatchet

This is the only hatchet we’ll be covering, but is certainly one of the best on the market. This beefy one-handed tool is perfect to take camping or hunting, and makes an excellent addition to your workshop.

  • Total Weight: 1.75 pounds
  • Head Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Length with handle: 13 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: C50 High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Head

The 1.25 pound high carbon steel head is perfect for one-handed swinging, allowing you to maximize force without injuring your arm. This head works as a foresting tool, but can also make a great bushcraft axe, making it a solid investment.

The Handle

This handle is made of hickory and is contoured to make sure that you can comfortably grip with one hand. The 14 inch length is ideal for a hatchet, letting you get powerful strikes in while easily guiding the blade.

Which Axe Should I Choose?

Depending on what you’re looking for, any of these axes can be the perfect choice. If you want something heavy duty, the Vario 2000 is the way to go. Or if you want to have a highly versatile option, the Tasmania TimberSport is good for more than just racing.

It’s up to you to decide which one is right for you, but keep in mind that small axes can do the job of big axes, but not the other way around. The most practical choices are either the TimberSport, or the Hinterland double bit, letting you do any job you need.

Get the Job Done Right

When you have a job to do, you need to make sure that you’re getting the best gear out there. Helko Werk is one of the best brands out their, offering premium equipment that will always deliver top-quality results. This brand has been around for centuries for a reason, and they have something to offer for everyone.

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