Double bit axes

From the mid-19th century until the chainsaw took over in forestry in the mid-20th century, Double Bit Axes were commonly used in particular by forest workers in Canada and the USA. The benefit of the Double Bit Axe for forest workers was that each edge could be ground differently. That way the forest workers only needed to carry one multi-purpose axe.

Often one edge was ground more finely for use in felling and the other edge was a little blunter for limbing. The Double Bit Axe was eventually so common that it became a symbol of professional forest workers in North America. These forest workers often worked away from civilisation for many months at a time and the range of leisure pursuits was obviously limited, so they amused themselves in spare moments by throwing their axes at a target, usually the end of a log.

Today the Double Bit Axe rarely appears in the forest. Instead, it is now mainly used for the fun leisure pursuit of axe throwing, where the axe is thrown at a target. Swedish and Nordic competitions are organised by the Swedish Axe Throwing Society, amongst others.

All Double Bit Axes come with a sheath of vegetable-tanned leather and a copy of The Axe Book.


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