5 Tips for Using Your Axe Safely

Using an axe may seem like a straightforward task, but always remember that safety should be your top priority. After all, axes are powerful tools that can cause severe injuries if not handled carefully. 

That’s why knowing the right techniques to use your axe safely is essential. Here are five tips to help use your axe safely.

1. Check the Axe Head

Before using an axe, always give it a quick check to ensure that the axe head is in good condition. Ensure the bit — or the cutting edge — is free of cracks, rust, and other damage. Also check to make sure that the axe head is secured firmly to the handle.

A safety check before swinging your axe will make sure it doesn't "fly off the handle."

Check your axe head before swinging

2. Use a Sharp Axe

Using a dull axe can be dangerous. There is a chance that it will land a glancing blow and you risk losing control of the tool. Therefore, sharpen the blade for a clean, efficient cut before using an axe. Ideally, you’ll sharpen the blade every time you use it, ensuring the axe works in the best possible way.

Watch our video on sharpening your axe with our dual grit honing puck or Arkansas stone honing paddle


3. Maintain a Safety Circle

Always check the surrounding area before using an axe; clear the area and ensure that there are no obstacles that may interfere with your swings. Unfortunately, even small branches or debris can affect your axe swings and cause serious accidents. 

In addition to cleaning up the area around you, maintain a safety circle or a 360-degree clearance to guarantee that no one is within your swing radius.

4. Make Sure That No One Is Within 16 Feet

Apart from maintaining a safety circle, ensure that no one is within a 16 feet radius of your axe swings. Remember that a small falling tree can send debris quite a distance, so no one should be within your swing radius or the felling area.

5. Never Chop on the Ground

Chopping on the ground is a dangerous move. You have a higher risk of hitting rocks and stones, which can cause the axe to bounce or change direction, leading to possible injury. 

Instead, use a level surface such as a stump or a chopping block, making your work easier and safer.

It’s essential to ensure you’re using your axe safely for your and others’ protection. Remember, assessing your surroundings, maintaining a safety circle, keeping your axe sharp and in good condition, giving a quick swing to check if that axe is well balanced, and chopping on a level surface is all part of using an axe safely. 

By following these five simple tips, you can have a safe and easy time using an axe while completing your task.


Ready for an heirloom quality axe you can use for hiking, camping, and everything in between? Look no further than our Allagash Cruiser or Dirigo Belt Axe.