What is an Axe Hammer?

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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 August 2019
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An axe hammer, also known as a hammer axe, is a tool composed of a grip, a flat hammer-like head and, opposite the hammer-like head, an axe blade. The grip is typically a shaft that is roughly the length of one's forearm, but the length can vary based on its intended use. Axe hammers have been used throughout history for many different purposes, from weapons to industrial tools. Modern uses are also varied; some are used as multi-purpose wilderness tools, while others are used for construction or repair purposes in homes and around heavy machinery.

The purpose of an axe hammer dictates its particular design, which can be varied in many ways. If the main purpose is cutting, for example, the axe blade might be larger and sharper and the handle might be longer. The larger blade allows for a wider cutting area, and the longer handle gives the user more leverage for stronger swings. Alternately, the handle may be shorter to allow for more precise control of the blade or of the hammer; this would be true when brute force isn't desired. An axe hammer designed for battle would likely have a long handle and a large axe; many such devices featured a spike instead of a hammer opposite the axe blade.


The term axe hammer is commonly applied to tools developed relatively early in the history of human technology. The specific type of tool that likely was first called an axe hammer was made of stone. A stone axe blade was on one side, while the opposite side the was blunt and could be used as a hammer. These tools were primarily used in the neolithic age—or the new stone age—and in the bronze age. They could be used for a variety of purposes, such as cutting wood or making weapons and other tools.

A modern axe hammer will often be used for heavy construction, demolition, or machinery use. Tungsten is often added to the head to increase the weight and durability. An axe hammer is particularly useful in demolition tasks because the axe and the hammer can both be used for different forms of destructive tasks; the axe can cut through objects that need to be cut, while the hammer is able to bash objects that cannot be cut. An ice pick is similar to an axe hammer, and it displays a similar multifunctional nature; different parts of it can alternately hook into or cut through ice.


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