5 Things to Look for When Buying Your First Axe

With axe throwing growing in popularity, it won’t be long before you want to know which axe you need to make you the axepert at your local joint. Even the most amazing axe throwers in the world have to start somewhere, and it isn’t with a backwards throw with a double-bladed axe while blindfolded (DO NOT DO THAT). Here are 5 things to look for when looking for your first axe.

  1. Axe Weight

    I know you’ve seen the beautiful three pack of tomahawks that look like they’re made from the souls of your enemies. They make you drool at the mouth. That is, until you throw it. Most of the time, those small tomahawks, and a lot of the tomahawks you see in stores, are too light to stick in a wooden target. This is especially true if the target is fresh. I experienced this when I was still trying to learn axe throwing. I bought a three pack of SOG tomahawks and hurled those suckers at my fresh and ugly target I made at my house. Low and behold, not one of them stuck. It was because they were too light. When your axe is heavy enough, the blade will be able to sink in a target. So, what is a good weight? Between 2 to 4 pounds seems to be the magical number, but the axe head should weigh no more than 2 pounds. I came to that specific weight for the axe head from the World Axe Throwing League (WATL).

  2. Axe Handle Length

    The axe can be heavy enough, but too short and you have a lot of rotations. If the axe is too long it means you’ll need more flick on the axe to get enough rotations. Short and long axes can be thrown, but we are looking for a good beginner’s axe for you. The ideal length of the throwing axe will be between 12 and 16 inches. Any shorter or longer and you start having rotation issues. This length is also based off the WATL throwing distance, which is 12 to 15 feet.

  3. Durability

    Starting out, expect the axe not stick. A lot. It’s okay, because you are still learning and honing in on the beautiful craft of axe throwing, but you want an axe that won’t break after 100 throws. The best throwing axe for you will be made of one piece of metal throughout. This means no wooden handles. They look manly and cool, but wooden handles tend to break quickly. The last thing you want to do is spend more money on handles for your axe head, just to break it again. One-piece metal axes are the way to go.

  4. Axe Blade Length

    I know you’ve heard it. You’ve never believed it, but it’s true. Length matters. At least when it comes to the blade of your axe (whew). When the axe blade is too short, you lose the mount of surface area you have to stick the axe. According to the world axe throwing league, the ideal blade length is between 3 and 4.5 inches. Luckily, most axe blades fall into this category.

  5. Axe blade width

    The axe blade width is just as important as the length. Not all axes are created equal, especially when it comes to axe throwing. Some axes are meant for splitting wood, which means the blade is thick and tapers quickly. Utility axes have thin blades and taper slowly. You don’t want axes meant splitting wood. The thicker the blade and faster the taper, the more force you need on the axe to get it to stick. If you aren’t sure about the width, look at the top of the axe. The axe on the left in the picture has an ideal width, while the axe on the right is too thick and taper too fast.

 Good blade width on the left. Bad blade width that tapers too quickly on the right.

Good blade width on the left. Bad blade width that tapers too quickly on the right.

The Axe I Recommend – Estwing Camper’s Axe

 Estwing 16” Campers Axe

Estwing 16” Campers Axe

With all of the tips above, you might be a bit overwhelmed by what you should be looking for. Don’t worry, I thought it might happen and decided to give you my choice on a beginners axe. The Estwing campers axe has a 16 inch handle, thin blade that has minimal taper, weigh (insert poundage) with an axe head weight of 1.75 pounds, and is made of one piece of steel. This axe is so awesome that many axe throwing facilities around the world have it as a choice to throw. This means that no matter where you go, old faithful will be there for you. Another added bonus is that Etwing Axes are made in the United States. ‘Murica!

Where to Buy it

Currently, the axe can be bought at any Lowes or Home Depot store, but you can also buy it on Amazon. The bonus of buying it online is that you can get the all black one, which looks pretty badaxe.

There you have it. 5 things to look for and a solid choice for a beginners axe for axe throwing. If you need a place to throw your new axe, or want to test some axes out before making a purchase, book a session to throw at HardAxe Throwing here on our site. See you next time!