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Few tools give you the direct power to cut wood like an axe. When you need to get a foresting job done but don’t want to invest in a chainsaw, axes are absolutely the way to go. These powerful tools let you chop wood, cut down trees, and do other woodcutting tasks.
Husqvarna is a construction and foresting company that offers a range of mid-priced, durable axes. One of these tools is their Carpenter’s axe, which is a highly versatile tool that comes in at a highly reasonable price point.
In this Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe review, we’ll look at how this axe is constructed, what you should use it for, and how it stands up to the competition. This hatchet may not be a premium tool, but it’ll do a pretty great job without breaking the bank.
A Quick Look
This axe is a mid-range product targeted to the home wood cutter. While a professional lumberjack may not choose this axe first, foresting enthusiasts, backpackers, hunters, and campers will love this sturdy axe.
The strongest point of this axe is the price-to-efficiency ratio. It’s not a professional grade tool, but it’s pretty affordable for a tool that’s as effective as this one. It’ll get any small and medium cut job done, and it’s built to last awhile with ordinary use.
The drawbacks are that it can’t do really big jobs. This is a pretty beefy hatchet, but it won’t do a felling axe’s job that well. Great for casual and recreational use, but any serious or professional work will require something more. So let’s get into the details about what makes this tool affordable, versatile, and durable.
- Total Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Head Weight: 1.87 pounds
- Length with handle: 19 inches
- Handle: Hickory
- Steel: Forged Steel
- Country of origin: Sweden
- Price: $60-$75 (check current price here)
This brand is actually a massive conglomerate, holding company, and name. Rather than working as a single maker, crafting and selling axes like Gransfors Bruks, this business has their names on dozens of products, many made by other companies.
Husqvarna is actually not renowned for their axe offerings. The company was founded in Sweden in 1697 to make muskets, which was their primary duty for nearly 200 years. This is one of the oldest continually operated forges and factories in the world. More on this in our full Husqvarna axe review.
For much of the 20th century, the brand was actually known for their motorcycles. It wasn’t until the 1950s that they would begin making foresting tools. They started out by converting motorcycle engines into chainsaw engines before including axes in their lineup.
Today, Husqvarna doesn’t make their axes. Their tools are provided by Hultafors, but are actually made by Hults Bruk. So you get reliability and affordability, but you lose that personal touch and the dedication to craftsmanship.
The head of an axe is the place where the energy from your swing transfers to the wood. It’s the most important part of the tool when it comes to practicality. Everything from the material to the shape to the weight will have a huge impact on how you use the tool.
The Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe has a sturdy head made of forged Swedish steel. It’s pretty lightweight, making it perfect for any precision task or general use. Let’s talk about how this brand approaches crafting a sturdy, versatile bit.
Swedish steel is known for being the ideal hardness you need in an axe. Forged steel is also a better choice than tempered or moulded steel, requiring more care and handling to ensure the toughest, most durable bit.
This axe will cut down on the amount of axe sharpening you have to do because it’s resistant to ordinary wear and tear. It’ll last especially long if you only intend on using it for recreational purposes or small cutting jobs.
The head weighs 1.87 pounds, making it pretty light. Considering this is a hatchet and meant to be used with one hand, that’s going to make it ideal for swinging without risk of injury. It makes up about 75% of the total weight, which will give you an even, accurate swing.
The shape is pretty classic, with a broad blade that dips below the cheek. This helps reduce the weight while increasing the cutting surface area. It’s a smart choice to improve usability while also giving it a sleek look.
The head is coated in a weather resistant sealant. This makes the axe resistant to rusting and ordinary whether damage. Just make sure to properly store and clean your axe so that you can ensure it lasts you for years to come.
As we mentioned before, the blade of this axe dips below the cheek, giving this axe more usability while keeping the weight off. The blade also makes up a pretty hefty amount of the actual bit, which further makes this axe usable and lightweight.
The weight of the head is ideal for one-handed use and accuracy, but is not sufficient for larger cutting jobs. If you want to use this thing to chop down trees or split large logs, then it may be too small for you.
What this head is good for is making precise cuts that don’t require too much force. While you may not be able to use this in a professional carpentry setting, it’s perfect for tasks at home or for recreational use.
The handle has some impact on how well your axe cuts, but it’s really important for comfort and grip. Wooden handles are often more expensive to make, but have a sleek look and feel, and are flexible enough to absorb the shock of impacting the wood.
The Carpenter’s axe has a decent handle that looks and feels nicer than it costs. While you can find plenty of hickory handled axes from brands like Collins, Helko, and Council Tools for a similar price point, this axe has an ideal length and shape.
High quality hickory is the best material there is for a handle, hands down. While you can find more affordable axes with fiberglass and DuraFrame handles from brands like Fiskars, this classic wooden feel is a true show of craftsmanship.
The mass production in this handle shows, as it’s not as drastically contoured as the handles you find on more luxury axes. But the wood is still an excellent, breathable choice for handle material.
The handle is coated to make sure it’s resistant to the elements, which is standard, but useful. Husqvarna has not revealed the coating they use, but it’s likely a chemical lacquer that does the trick while keeping costs down.
The handle is 19 inches long, making this pretty big for a hatchet. When you pair that with the overall weight of the axe, though, you have a light tool with plenty of length to maximize striking power.
Hatchets make excellent bushcraft axes, which is what this axe is intended for. You can choose to use them for foresting tasks like limbing small trees, but you’ll really get your money’s worth out of using it for recreational purposes.
The handle is contoured for comfort, making it easier to hold without it falling out of your hand on the swing. Pair that with the weight of the axe, and you’ll have no problem guiding this axe to get an accurate, powerful swing.
What the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe Is Best For
While the name may imply that this is a precision tool intended for professional woodworking, that’s not this axe’s strong point. You can make it work for small foresting and carpentry tasks, but it really stands out as a travel axe.
Its weight and size make this thing perfect to strap onto your backpack for extended hunting or camping trips. You can use the blade to clear brush, gather firewood, and even carve fish and animals on a successful hunt.
You can also keep it in the garage in case you need some chopping power. But you won’t want to use this thing in place of a felling axe or a splitting axe. And you certainly won’t want to use it in the place of a maul.
If you do use this thing for carpentry and wood work, you can take advantage of the dip below the cheek. This allows you to get your hand right on the head, making the tool much more accurate.
- Reasonable price point
- Durable and versatile
- Weight makes it great for travel
- Dip below cheek allows precision wood work
- Limited chopping power
- Lack of premium craftsmanship
- Only good for one-handed use
How Does it Compare?
When you’re shopping around for hatchets, you’ll want to really consider your options. This axe is competitively priced, and shows some sturdy construction and design. But it may not do the trick. If you need something bigger, or you may need something with finer craftsmanship.
While Husqvarna does a great job of making an excellent mid-range axe, it doesn’t hit the high-end niche. For that you’ll want to turn to Gransfors Bruks. These axes are handmade by a single master smith from start to finish. The price is steeper, but you’ll really see the difference.
For hatchets, you’ll want to look at either the Small Forest Axe or the Wildlife Hatchet. These are premium tools that have similar size and functionality to the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe. They’re small and portable, but have a luxurious feel that makes them excellent choices.
If you want something to chop down trees, check out either the American Felling Axe or the Scandinavian Forest Axe. They are 36 inches and 25 inches long, respectively, and are some of the best chopping tools you can get your hands on.
Should You Get the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe ?
The Carpenter’s Axe is Husqvarna’s entry to the large hatchet category, and is perfect for anyone looking to get a reliable, durable survival hatchet. You can use this for any wilderness or recreational purposes, and can even have it around for minor carpentry work.
If you’re a professional forester, or want the finest axe you can get, then you’ll want to skip this one. It’s durable and sturdy, but is targeted towards a more moderate axe user.
Husqvarna has been around for centuries, and have really mastered the business end of axe construction. They make quality, sturdy tools at a reasonable price. So if you’re looking for a hatchet, check this one out for your next backpacking trip.