Best Throwing Axes

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

39 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
182 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best throwing axes

Last Updated September 2020

Everything old becomes new again, even activities that were popular in frontier America. That's right, axe throwing isn't just for lumberjacks anymore; even a sophisticated urbanite can enjoy an occasional evening of darts on steroids. Although there is a great deal of skill (and a tiny bit of strength) involved, your ultimate success lies in finding the right throwing axe for you.

Someone who is a more accomplished thrower may prefer a lighter axe, but if you're just starting off, a heavier model may allow you to score more frequently. A throwing axe that features a flattened handle is also desirable, especially if you're new to the activity.

If you'd like to learn more about what makes a throwing axe right for you, as well as pick up some handy tips on how to excel at the activity, keep reading. If you're ready to purchase and you just want some quality options, consider one of the throwing axes that we've spotlighted in this article.

Axes are among the earliest tools fashioned by humans. The origin of this versatile implement dates back to the Stone Age.

Key considerations

Axe-throwing competitions

If you’re primarily purchasing a throwing axe so you can compete, there are some fairly strict guidelines on acceptable weight, handle materials, total axe length, and blade length. For competition, these guidelines supersede your personal preferences and must be taken into account. It’s important to note that while some aspects may be similar from competition to competition, there are distinct differences between each, so be certain that you’re reviewing the guidelines that are specific to the competition you want to enter. 

If you don’t need to adhere to any formal specifications, however, then you’re free to choose the throwing axe with the features that you find most desirable. The most important considerations are listed below.

Specifications

The four features you want to focus on first are weight, handle, total axe length, and construction.

Weight: Although a heavier throwing axe may be best for beginners (because it’s more forgiving and will sink more easily into the target), you want to find a model that you feel confident handling. If it’s too heavy, your throws will lack form and you’ll fatigue more quickly. A lighter throwing axe is harder to control, but, on the upside, you’ll be able to practice longer with it before tiring.

Handle: Most accomplished axe throwers prefer a wooden handle because it’s sufficiently durable and slides more easily from your grip. This enables you to maintain the greatest control when releasing the axe. A steel handle is also an extremely durable option. Care must be taken with handles that are coated for comfort because these may cause dangerous, erratic bouncing if the axe misses the target.

Length: The length of your throwing axe is a personal preference. However, the longer the unit is, the more time it will take to rotate. If you have a longer throwing axe, you may find that you need to be farther from the target in order for the axe to achieve a full rotation before it strikes.

Construction: If you purchase a model with a removable head, you can easily replace the handle if it gets damaged. On the downside, a throwing axe that is made of two separate pieces has a tendency to develop a wobble and will become less accurate over time.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some historians believe that axes weren’t actually thrown in battle, because that would mean forfeiting your valuable weapon after just a single use.

Features

The following are four other elements worth considering as you shop.

Durability

In the early stages of learning, you’ll likely be abusing your throwing axe. It will be subjected to striking the target at unanticipated angles and hitting the floor. At this point in your axe-throwing career, you need a throwing axe that can hold up under these extreme conditions, so look for a model that is highly rated for durability. 

Handle

Grip: As noted above, many accomplished axe throwers prefer a handle that can slip freely from their grasp (in a controlled manner). A throwing axe that has a textured grip to make it easier to hold may actually be more difficult to release, which can affect the accuracy of your throws.

Shape: A flattened handle makes it easier to hold the throwing axe in a consistent manner so that you don’t accidentally twist it to the right or the left while gripping.

Sheath

The sheath is the cover that protects the blade. The sheath also protects the user from the blade. Your throwing axe should come with a sheath, but if it doesn't, it's a highly recommended investment.

Accidental entrepreneur Matt Wilson is credited with mixing alcohol and axes when he founded the Backyard Axe Throwing League in 2006.

Throwing axe prices

Inexpensive: Although it’s possible to find a throwing axe for less than $30, it’s better to look in the next price bracket for a model of higher quality. You may find a smaller, one-piece axe for personal use in this range, but if you aspire to compete, there are size and material requirements that the throwing axes in this lower range simply won't meet.

Mid-range: The best place to look is the $30 to $60 price range. This is where you’ll find durable axes that meet competition standards. Additionally, you’ll discover the greatest variety in this price range, with both steel- and wood-handled designs.

Expensive: Once you move beyond $60, you’ll find high-quality, precision tools. However, you must remember that you’ll be tossing these axes about, so they will be taking a beating. The extra care the manufacturer takes to enhance the quality of the tool may actually be considered undesirable, because the axe may not hold up as well as some of the mid-range models. However, if you fall in love with a $100 axe and it’s in your budget, it will serve you well while it lasts.

EXPERT TIP

Axe throwing has become a popular activity for individuals looking for something a little different to do on a first date.


Staff  | BestReviews

Axe-throwing tips

As noted earlier, in competition, the throwing axe is only one component of the success equation. The other is skill. It may take a bit of time before you can consistently stick a throwing axe in a target, but if you follow these tips, you'll be developing the good habits you need to make that happen.

  • Keep your distance. You need to stand at least 12 to 15 feet away from the target to help protect yourself against bounce back. To help achieve consistent success, always stand the same distance away from the target.

  • Grip it right. First, place your nondominant hand at the bottom of the throwing axe handle with your thumb pointing up along the edge of the handle. Next, place your dominant hand directly above with your thumb pointing up along the edge of the handle.

  • Stand firm. With your feet shoulder width apart and both hips facing straight at the target, place your dominant foot back, leaving your nondominant foot slightly forward.

  • Throw the axe correctly. Raise the axe straight back over your head, not over a shoulder. As your hands arc over your head and your wrists reach eye level, release the throwing axe. Don’t let the head of the axe twist to either side; keep it perpendicular to the target. You don’t need to force the axe to spin; it should naturally complete one rotation after leaving your hands.

  • Adjust your distance. If the handle and the head of your throwing axe are hitting the target at the same time, making it hard for the axe to stick, try keeping every aspect the same but move back about six inches to give the axe a little more time to rotate. If the head is hitting on the top (above the blade) and the axe isn’t sticking, then the throwing axe is spinning a little too much. In this instance, if there’s room, move forward about six inches.

  • Lighten up. As you gain more control and your throws become more consistent, switch to a lighter throwing axe so you won't fatigue as quickly.

Other products we considered

Finding the right throwing axe for you involves some degree of personal preference. Maybe you don't ever plan on competing, so you'd be just as happy with a smaller, more affordable model. The following are a few additional highly rated options for your consideration. The Snake Eye Tactical Compact Tomahawk is less than 10 inches long, includes a sheath, and is manufactured using stainless steel. The length of the blade on this affordable model is 2.75 inches.

If you'd like to practice a few two-axes-at-a-time throws, the MTECH Tomahawk Tactical Throwing Axe Set includes two 9-inch throwing axes and two nylon sheaths. The full-tang steel with 6.5-inch pakkawood handle increases the durability of this impressive little set.

Finally, the 15.75-inch SOG Tactical Tomahawk has a small but fearsome 2.75-inch stainless steel blade and weighs just 24 ounces.

It’s possible to throw two axes at one time, but this isn’t a skill that should be attempted by a beginner.

FAQ

Q. Is it ax or axe?
A. Although either is acceptable, "axe" is considered to be the more common spelling in both British and American English.
 

Q. Is axe throwing safe?
A. Although there is indeed an element of danger, which may add to the excitement for some individuals, if you’ve been properly trained on technique and safety, you’re using the right throwing axe, the throwing area has been constructed with safety as a top priority, you’re well aware of the potential risks and hazards, and, most importantly, you firmly adhere to all that you've learned, then axe throwing can be considered a safe activity. The greatest risk of throwing an axe for many beginners may be injuring muscles that you aren’t used to using.
 

Q. Does axe throwing provide a good workout?
A. Yes, it does! Throwing an axe requires engaging muscles in your hands, arms, shoulders, back, and core. Additionally, when you focus on achieving a solid throwing stance, you’ll engage your leg muscles as well. It's no wonder why your entire body may ache (in a good way) the day after your first axe-throwing session
 

Q. Is axe throwing a male-dominated activity?
A. Despite what you might think, brute force doesn’t give you an advantage when throwing an axe. Form, accuracy, and consistency are the most important elements when it comes to excelling at this endeavor. Consequently, women tend to be more focused on these qualities than men. As a result, many axe leagues have an equal number of male and female participants and don’t have gender-specific competitions or events. 
 

Q. What should I wear when throwing axes?
A. The number one concern should be comfort. Your shirt has to be loose enough to allow you to raise both hands over your head to get a full range of motion for throwing. Pants, as well, need to be comfortable and not inhibit movement in any way. You also need to cover your feet with closed-toe, nonslip footwear (no heels).

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
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The team that worked on this review
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    Allen Foster
    Writer
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    Branson Stowell
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    Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Editor
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
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    Web Producer
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    Web Producer

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