What is a Double Bit Axe – What is it Used for?

What is Double Bit Axe

The double-bit axe is essentially an axe with a two-sided blade.

This is a variation of the traditional axe and has been in use in modern times since the late 19th century.

However, double-bit or double-bladed axes have been used for centuries, most notably in warfare before the refinement of firearms.

The typical double-bit axe will have a steel head and wooden handle.

However, there are modern variations that use an all-steel construction for both the head and handle.

Such variations tend to be rare as wood is a more prevalent material.

Plus, if the handle breaks you can replace it easier if it is made from wood.

While the popularity of the double-bit axe has risen and fallen over the years, you can still find it in many homes and even used by professionals.

Uses of Double-Bit Axes

Like the standard axe, the double-bit axe can be used for splitting, cutting, and chopping wood.

Depending on the size of the axe, it can be used to bring down small trees and saplings, cut wood, and even contribute to landscaping.

  • Cutting Small Branches, Back Bushes, and Small Foliage
  • Splitting Firewood, Processing Small Game, and Felling Small Trees

This type of axe offers the advantage of having two sharp edges instead of one.

The most obvious advantage is that when one edge starts to dull, the axe can be flipped to the other edge.

This means you can keep chopping with the sharpened edge until it becomes dull as well.

However, in most circumstances, one side is kept somewhat duller and used for splitting.

The splitting side is also somewhat rounder compared to the sharp side.

The result is an axe that can cut and chop, then be flipped around for splitting purposes.

But if you plan on just chopping and cutting, you can sharpen both sides for the job. 

What Is Double-Bit Axe Used For

Keep in mind that the double-bit axe comes in different sizes, so you will need to choose the size that is best suited to your needs.

Some variations of the double-bit axe include the following.  

  • Felling Axe
  • Forest Axe
  • Hand Axe
  • Miner’s Axe
  • Pickaxe
  • Splitting Maul

You may find that one or more of these versions are well-suited to the tasks that you want to complete.

But there are limitations to this type of axe.

What Not to Use it for?

While the double-bit axe is perfect for many jobs that can be performed by a traditional hand axe, there are some in which it is not best suited.

The most obvious are tasks that are designed for smaller tools such as the hatchet.

A hatchet is different than a traditional axe but offers greater versatility for small jobs.

While most hatchets have a blade on one side and a hammer head on the other, you can find double-bit hatchets as well.

If you are performing small tasks, then a double-bit hatchet will work better compared to a double-bit axe.

In addition, jobs such as hunting, roofing, and the tactical use of axes are not well-suited for the double-bit axe.

If you are throwing axes, then a throwing axe or tomahawk is a better tool compared to a double-bit axe.

Tomahawks are also better for self-defense as well, being light and well-balanced.

Double-bit axes are also not well suited for fine woodworking. For this type of job, a hatchet or carpenter’s axe is the better tool.

Carpenter’s aces are small, light, and use a sharp, straight-edge blade that makes it best-suited for fine woodworking.

Pros and Cons of Double-Bit Axes

There are some strong benefits in using double-bit axes depending on their use.

The most obvious advantage is having one blade sharp for cutting or chopping with the other blade dull for splitting.

This means you can cut and split firewood with the same axe. Other advantages include the following.

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Long-Lasting

However, the double-bit axe has its limitations as well.

  • Heavier Weight
  • Less Safe to Use
  • Limited Availability

You should account for all the factors before choosing a double-bit axe.

You may find that your needs do not include the use of a double-bit axe. However, it does offer certain advantages for some tasks.

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