The double bit axe can help you cut wood fast, efficiently and perform multiple tasks. But how to choose the right product?
That’s a question only you can answer. It all depends on your needs, experience level, and budget.
We’ve compiled an extensive list of the best double bit axes that will meet your requirements in one place and a comprehensive guide.
Let’s dive into this article for more information!
Table of Contents
- What’s Double Bit Axe Used For?
- Difference Between Double Bit Axe and Ordinary Axe
- Benefits of Using A Double Bit Axe
- How To Choose The Best Double Bit Axe
- 5 Best Double Bit Axes – Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions About Double Bit Axe
What’s Double Bit Axe Used For?
While there is a wide range of axes on the market today, double bit axes are made with three prime purposes: cutting, chopping, and splitting.
Their distinctive and specialized structure includes a head with two edges and a firm handle.
All the cutting functions of the double bit axe are due to one sharp edge while the other is blunt. It is ideal with one side bit for cutting or chopping and the other side bit used for splitting.
There are various applications you can make with a double bit axe, ranging from small-scaled wooden projects like stick sharpening to larger ones like branch, log chopping, tree felling, firewood splitting, and foliage and bush cutting.
Besides those common applications, depending on specific double bit axes, you can use them for some certain tasks to ensure optimal results.
For example, splitting maul is made for splitting while forest axes are ideal for cutting and chopping.
Overall, it is vital to carefully research your intended axe type to ensure that the product can satisfy your needs later on.
Difference Between Double Bit Axe and Ordinary Axe
The main differences between double bit axe and an ordinary one are their heads and handles:
As mentioned above, double bit axes come with two distinctive cutting blades showing different levels of sharpness.
Specifically, one head is sharp for cutting and felling purposes while the other one is blunt and rounded enough to easily chop and limbing after felling.
Based on your preferences and intended tasks, you can sharpen those cutting plates with ease and use them for a longer time.
On the other hand, conventional types of axe tend to show a single head with a sharp blade.
This feature meets the primary demands for cutting and chopping and requires frequent sharpening to continue doing its wooden tasks.
Double bit axe features a heavier head, thus requiring a greatly balanced and strong handle to bear the overall weight and reduce body strains. This handle is usually made from hickory and other sturdy fiber components.
The regular axes and their single blades have lighter heads. As a result, they don’t have as strict of a requirement on the handles.
In fact, most double axes only have straight handles while single blade axes mainly have curved ones. Aside from the usual hardwood like ash and hickory, single-blade axes can have synthetic handles.
Benefits of Using A Double Bit Axe
It is hard to ignore the advantages of a double bit axe over a traditional one.
Compared to other conventional types of axes, double bit axes are designed with two dual heads, including a sharp one and a blunt and rounded one.
Thanks to this feature, you can accomplish various wooden tasks like chopping, cutting, and splitting with a single product.
Felling trees or removing bushes is no big concern to this type of axe with its extra heft construction.
As each head end is responsible for its specific tasks; therefore, it tends to take less time and effort for care and maintenance.
All you have to do is sharpen both heads, switch among those ends, and make full use of them.
Great For Axe Throwing
Double bit axe’s heavy head and symmetrical design offers you great balance and added power so that you can more easily throw it.
However, this technique still requires great skills and strength to accurately reach the targets and meet the safety rules.
How To Choose The Best Double Bit Axe
To find a perfect double bit axe, you need to pay great attention to two parts of your chosen product and check the following criteria:
Double bit axe head is the most crucial part of a high-quality product and it is worth considering its balance, materials, and overall weight.
Unlike conventional types of axe, a double bit axe shows two edges, resulting in a lighter head. However, it would be best if your axe’s two ends showed equal shape and size to ensure balance when throwing, transporting, or doing wooden tasks.
An unbalanced axe head will likely lead to faulty and less user-friendly experiences. Worse, there are also chances of risky tasks.
Undoubtedly, materials directly influence the overall performance and longevity. For example, if you accidentally purchase a cheap axe head from rusty steel or melted car tires, this axe won’t chop wood properly and needs constant replacements.
The most highly recommended material is high-density carbon steel, which ensures long-lasting and higher resistance to rust and oxidation.
A heavier head doesn’t always offer you greater strength and better force.
Instead, the head should be heavy enough to accomplish the tasks, yet light enough for easy transportation and safe experiences.
A 5-pound axe head is ideal for daily uses and smaller tasks.
However, you should find one that is compatible with your strength and balance to avoid improper swinging, reduced cutting accuracy, and potential injuries.
The handle bears the overall head weight and ensures your comfort, so there are couples things you need to check before picking one.
It is easy to misunderstand that a longer handle provides great strength and accuracy. On the contrary, you need to find one that perfectly fits your height.
A short man cannot work properly with a long handle and will surely miss his target. Holding this handle is also cumbersome and causes great cutting difficulty.
On the reverse, with a short handle, a tall man will likely experience some neck and shoulder pain due to constant bending.
Usually, double bit axes come in two available sizes, full-sized 31-36 inch one and 28-inch axe.
The former size is perfect for tall users and timber cutting while the latter one is designed for average people with household tasks.
You may have once come across various types of plastic handles which are inexpensive and easy to hold. However, if you are a novice, it is better to opt for a wood one.
Hickory handles with clear grain direction and ideal thickness level will last longer, bear greater weight, and allow for easy use.
While hickory wood is undoubtedly the single most popular handle material for double axes, there are many other choices. One of them is fiberglass, which is even more durable than hickory wood.
However, fiberglass increases the vibration that you feel with each chop significantly. That is why they are only good if you are already an experienced woodchopper.
Moreover, the fiberglass handle often isn’t available so it is difficult to replace, unlike the wooden handle.
The rarest of axe handle material is steel. This handle material is the highest durable, as it’s often one piece of metal welded with the axehead. Nonetheless, the shock that they transfer to your hand is also the greatest.
For this reason, unless the steel handle has a good shock-reduction grip, we do not recommend using it.
Varnish handles are widely available on the market and you need to prepare sand papers to peel them.
However, despite the shiny look, the handle is easy to slip from your hand and increases risks of an accident.
The most expensive product is not necessarily the best choice. However, don’t wrongly opt for a too cheap double bit axe to ensure its quality.
The price depends on the length, weight, and materials. Long and heavy axes will cost you more than other lighter and shorter ones.
Besides, a steel product is pricier than a composite axe. Thus, consider your budget and decide which you want to pay for.
How Its Made
There are two main ways that an axe is made, it is made completely by hand, or it is mass-produced. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, mass-produced axes do not allow axemen the ability to shape the handle and profile the head properly.
That is why you can sometimes see a mass-produced axe not having a correctly aligned head and handle.
This issue is completely non-existent with axes made by hand. They are usually tailored perfectly for the user by the blacksmith. You can expect the head and the handle to fit together immaculately.
Also, hand-made axes have great quality, they need to spend more time to make.
Of course, there is no way that the price can be the same. The mass-produced axes will always be much cheaper than the axes made by hand-forged.
If you are just starting out as a woodchopper, we recommend getting you can get a mass-produced axe to familiarize yourself.
After gathering enough experience to know how to customize your axe, get the one that is made by hand.
5 Best Double Bit Axes – Reviews
1. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Classic Odyssey Double Bit Axe
This product has a sleek design with a dark gray carbon steel axe head and a handle made of hickory wood treated with linseed.
It not only has a good look but also works well for various purposes. Notably, it has a hand-forged axe head crafted with a drop hammer on an open die, providing it superb mechanical strength.
Plus, the head is tightly attached to the wood handle with a high-end two-wedge system of a steel ring and a wood wedge for optimal head security.
We like how the 1844 Helko Werk double bit axe provides a guard solution to protect the head against rust and corrosion.
We are also impressed with this double bit axe as it is hardened to merely 53-56 HRC, providing high resistance to rust and reducing cutting friction. Besides, its polished cutting surface lowers friction when you cut across the grain.
Accordingly, you might find it much easier to deliver proper cuts. On top of that, the handle is treated with linseed and smoothed at 150 grits to provide it a blister-free and smooth finish. However, this finish can make your grip slightly difficult.
That’s why we highly recommend you to utilize suitable working gloves. On the downside, we found that the axe is quite shorter in length compared to normal axes. So it will require more practice to get accustomed to it.
Besides, it comes at a heavy price, which can cost you a small fortune. With a weight of 5lbs, the axe is slightly heavy to hold for a long time comfortably.
2. Council Tool Velvicut Premium Saddle Axe
If you seek a double bit axe with compact size and versatility, the Council Tool Velvicut Premium Saddle Axe might be the right for you.
It features a perfect length and weight for easy control, along with a 5160 stainless steel head.
The manufacturers made the ax’s head out of 5160 steel. For those not aware, this type of steel is widely known for its good shape retention and strength.
Added to this is a smart head design with sloping bevels’ surfaces, and you get low friction and deep penetration.
The blade design also contributes a lot to the ax’s wood cutting efficiency. Its left blade has a flat grind of 25 degrees, perfect for carving and cutting woods.
On the other hand, the right edge’s flat grind goes up to 32 degrees, much better for heavy-duty jobs like splitting, notching, etc.
Both edges received a careful and thorough heat treatment, giving them a good balance between softness and hardness.
This balance means that they can both retain their shape for a while yet are not too brittle. As a result, the durability of the axe head is greatly improved.
Moreover, the brand equips this axe with a wood handle of 15.5 inches to make it effortless to yield.
There are also leather sheaths to cover both edges held together by the central buckle.
We found that its head tends to be badly splintered from its wedge. Moreover, It’s difficult to get a great grip on its handle when wearing gloves.
3. Estwing Forged Steel Double Bit Axe
Anyone who has swung an axe into a tree knows how bad the shock to their hands can be.
That is why these days, shock absorption handles are popular on the axe market. Among them, the Estwing Forged Steel Double Bit Axe comes out on top.
The patented shock reduction grip is what made Estwing a household name. Thanks to a rubber-like layer, you feel practically no return force when the axe makes contact with something.
As a result, you can utilize a lot of force without worrying about hurting your hands.
The blades are uniformly thin and hardened all the way to the eye. As a result, you can expect effective performance and an easy time sharpening them.
Also, this blade design means that you can chop small branches, trees, and logs much faster.
It also has quite a unique sheath, which is made from ballistic nylon, unlike the leather sheaths that most axes use.
This sheath is much better at protecting the blades against environmental damages. Also, you can expect it to last much longer.
We do want to note that this axe is not that good for felling huge trees or other heavy-duty tasks.
The blades’ design makes it easy for them to lose their shapes against hardwoods. Also, this hatchet’s overall finish is not as good as the other options.
4. Truper 30524 Double Bit Michigan Axe
We cannot forget to mention the Truper 30524 Double Bit Axe on our list. This product is a perfect choice for chopping firewood.
It features a durable hickory handle to provide a highly comfortable grip. Moreover, it boasts a heat-treated blade with steel and wood wedge assembly, delivering neat cuts across the wood grain.
There is also a contour and the right grain orientation that can provide a great grip.
Notably, the brand Truper also provides replacement handles for the 30524 axe so that you can order in case your axe falls apart.
This axe has a triple clamp construction, which creates a stronger bond between optimum lifespan and materials.
Its blades also have a fairly thin construction and fine polish job, allowing better impact absorption and less chance of breaking.
The head weighs 3 and a half pounds, while the handle is about 35 inches long. This long handle coupled with a light head design provides a much better ergonomic experience.
As a result, you can get much more out of a swing than other axes.
The most noticeable problem lies with its durability, while the triple clamp construction improved its durability, the material’s quality is still low. For this reason, you should not expect it to last for long.
The head of this double bit axe dulls quicker than other axes. In addition, the handle is not as strong as we expected.
5. Council Tool Michigan Pattern Double Bit Axe
The most impressive point about the Council Tool Michigan Pattern Double Bit Axe is its head.
It is the only axe on this list that has a forged steel head, which is a huge upgrade both in value and functionality. If you are a professional lumberjack, you will surely fall in love with this ax.
The steel head is made completely out of 1060 steel, which is among the best material for axe heads. This material provides the axe with an incredible balance between hardness and strength.
It has a 0.6% carbon proportion, hard enough to cut through most types of wood but still flexible to not break easily.
The head also has a red enamel coating, allowing it to resist rusting a whole lot better. In the same vein, the edges also have a layer of clear lacquer to protect them from rust.
It’s not at all an overstatement to say that this axe will not take any rust damage with proper care.
The quality control that Council Tool performs can only be described as rigorous. All parts of the axe are completely made and checked in its headquarter in North Carolina.
They even sink, maintain, and repair their forging dies to make sure that there can be no uncontrollable factor.
The only issue that the axe blade requires quite a lot of sharpening to work properly. This necessity stems from the nature of 1060 steel, which is only sharp if you sharpen it regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Double Bit Axe
What Are Double Bit Axes Good For?
As mentioned above, double bit axes boast two sides for chopping, splitting, and cutting. Its double blades ensure it remains sharp for as long, less maintenance, saving energy and time for you.
How Do I Sharpen Double-bit Axes?
You can easily sharpen a double bit axe by using a stone. All you need to do is to rub it in circular motion against your axe’s blade, then gently pour water on the stone for the best result.
How Often Do I Sharpen The Axe?
It relies on how often you utilize it. Normally, it is best to sharpen once per month. If you use the double bit axe daily with heavy work, we highly recommend you sharpen it whenever you feel it gets dull.
Are Double Bit Axes Dangerous?
The double-bit axes come with two sharp head sides; they appear riskier than conventional axes with just a sharp edge.
How Long Is The Handle Of Double-bit Axes?
Double bit axes are normally available in 28-42 inches in size.
Which Wood Should A Double Bit Axe’s Handle Go With?
Axe handles should be made of straight-grained and long wood like ash and hickory as they’re sturdy and offer straight staves.
How Heavy Is A Double Bit Axe?
Depending on the overall length, each double bit axe shows a different weight. For example, a 32-36 inch long axe is around five pounds while a 40-inch-long one can weigh up to seven pounds.
So you have gone through our reviews of the best double bit axe as well as a comprehensive guide about it.
In a nutshell, all of our suggested axes can meet your requirements for cutting wood quite well. Of which, we consider the 1844 Helko Werk Germany as our winner.
It wins our hearts in various aspects. Its hand-forged head provides a much more excellent mechanical strength compared to that of other products.
Besides, it delivers high resistance to rust while lowering cutting friction when you perform wood projects.
The handle with linseed and smoothens it at 150 grits, so it comes with a blister-free and smooth finish for durability and a great look.
All in all, before buy a double bit axe, it is best to consider several key factors mentioned in our guide to find the most suitable product for you.