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Carving Axes

There are several defining features of a dedicated carving axe. Starting with the head: slicing is important when carving with an axe so ideally the cutting edge should be curved and of a reasonable length. The Gransfors Bruk Large Carving Axe was from the outset designed for carving wood so its long cutting edge is sloping backwards at the top, permitting a good slicing action with little intervention required from the user. Bevels should ideally be quite long and flat, this way good and fine controlled wood removal can be achieved. Some axes come from their makers with bevels that are hollow ground; practically, this is essentially the same as flat bevels but makes sharpening and maintaining an edge easier.

The handle of a good quality carving axe is usually curved and designed for a good grip with minimal rotation. It should also have the centre of balance just below the head where your hand most often sits. That way, you aren't consciously or subconsciously fighting the balance.

Having said all of this, please bare in mind, you don't need all of the features mentioned above to be able to carve with an axe, good technique is arguably far more important, as is sharpness. When starting out, an inexpensive everyday modern hatchet or an old English hatchet with a good reprofiled edge is often the right way to go before committing to a hand-made dedicated carving axe.

If you have any specific questions about choosing a carving axe please get in touch, we are more than happy to help and advise.