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The Parts of an Axe

Axes and hatchets are one of the oldest tools known to man. The basic style has remained the same for centuries. While you’ll find different variations over the years, the main parts have held true. Let's dive into the different parts, pieces and names that make up your favorite tool!

Anatomy of an Axe | Motor City Axe
Anatomy of an Axe | Motor City Axe

The Eye - the hole in the axe head through which the handle (haft) is inserted, fitted and secured with a wedge (wood, metal or both).


The Poll (or butt) - located at the end of the handle opposite the blade is often flat and wide to provide a surface meant for striking or hammering. Some axe or hatchets have spikes, hammers or even a second blade meant more as a multi-purpose tool.


The Bit (or blade) - this is the cutting edge or blade of the axe head. There are two styles: single bit, meaning one cutting edge or double bit (see image below), meaning they have two (and no poll).


Double Bit Axe | Motor City Axe
Double Bit Axe | Motor City Axe

The Head - the sharp, metal portion that consists of the blade and poll, which is meant as the cutting edge of the axe.


The Cheek - simply the sides of the axe head/blade.


The Shoulder - transition area between the handle and the axe head. This also provides additional support and reinforcement to prevent the axe head from detaching during use.


The Toe - this refers to the very top, upper corner of the axe blade/bit when someone is holding the axe in the natural position seen most when cutting.


The Heel - Opposite the toe, the refers to the very bottom of the axe blade/bit when someone is hold the axe in the natural position seen most when cutting.


The Handle (or haft) - typically made of wood (or composite) this encompasses the entire area where the axe/hatchet is held. Part of the haft is inserted into the eye to secure the tool together. Handles are designed to absorb shock during use.


Belly of the handle – usually near the center portion of the handle where the upper most leading hand would hold it


Throat of the handle – typically near the bottle of the handle where the bottom hand would hold it


Knob (or palm swell) – the very bottom of the axe/hatchet handle. The knob typically flares out in with hopes of preventing the axe from slipping out of the users hands


Grip - portion of the handle that is held by the user during the swinging motion. It can be smooth or textured to provide better control and prevent slippage.

Well there you have it - a complex look at the areas that make up axes and hatchets.


Knowledge is power. You now know ore about axes than 94.7% of Americans. You will now be a trivia all-star and outdoor wizard! Grab your custom axe today and be sure to practice the proper safety techniques when handling an axe.


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