Check out our axe glossary for definitions of words related to axes. The terminology used on this page refers to axes and related tools, axe throwing, and traditional logging industry language.
Tip: Use the table of contents to quickly navigate to a specific term.
The process of adding a design or pattern to metal by applying acid.
A striking tool with a cutting edge that runs perpendicular to the handle.
American style axe
A term encompassing axes with a heavy pole or a tapered oval eye.
A double-beveled axe with a unique concave bit that roughly matches the contour of a tree.
An area in axe throwing often comprising four targets.
A double-bladed tool with a pickaxe handle and thin, elongated blades.
A striking tool consisting of a handle and a head with a cutting blade.
Someone who fells trees and processes them into logs using an axe.
The final 1-2″ cut made on the reverse side of a tree before felling.
A plywood backing used for supporting the mounted target boards.
The back door is the wider or thicker end of a piece of wood to be split.
Someone who works in a forest area that is sparsely populated or uninhabited.
A portable axe or hatchet that comfortably attaches to a backpack or bag.
Describes a cedar pattern shape used for an axe head.
The portion of rough wood pulled from the inner section of the trunk during tree felling (slang).
A symbol chopped into the bark of a felled tree that signals ownership of the log.
Short-handled axe with a thin, rectangular blade used to remove bark from logs.
An axe used for marking trees 4 1/2 feet from the ground.
Also known as a stump, this is the lowest section of a tree that is above ground level.
Backyard Axe Throwing League originating from Toronto.
The section of the axe blade that includes the heel and extends the cutting edge below the eye of the head.
A style of axe that has a large beard or section of blade that extends below the eye of the axe’s head. It increases the blade’s cutting surface and allows the user to hold the handle in a choke grip.
A large wood or metal mallet used to pound large wood joints, drive wedges, and hammer on paving stones.
Small, portable hatchet made for attaching to a belt when not in use.
The sloping edges or angle of the axe head blade.
Axe handle with flattened or sanded-down corners; provides added comfort by removing sharp edges.
A one-handed edging tool consisting of one or two cutting edges.
An iron trade axe with no pole and a short bit.
An uncommon type of axe with its cutting edge removed; bakers used it to pound on dough.
The hardened cutting edge of an axe used to help the blade bite into wood fibers.
Occupation of someone who makes or repairs items constructed with iron.
The tapered area of an axe head that includes the bit, cheeks, heel, toe, and beard.
Removing a portion of bark or adding a spot of visible paint to help mark a route.
Light and portable double-bit axe used for marking trees (forester’s axe).
A small object axe throwers sometimes use that guides where to position the lead food during a throw.
Lump or bar of steel that a blacksmith works on to create a finished piece, such as an axe head.
Forge or furnace where iron ore is made into blooms.
A tree that strong winds have felled.
Axe or hatchet with an axe blade and a pick spike on the head.
An axe with a wide, flat pole and a straight cutting edge.
An impure iron deposit found in swamps and bogs.
The bottom section of a tree trunk typically with an irregular grain caused by tree movement.
A section of split log that is generally wedge-shaped.
Forged iron wedge with a point that gets driven into the end of a log and attached to a chain (boom spike).
A single-bit axe with a curved played and a thick pole used for driving dogs and grabs.
An axe with a 28″ handle and a lighter head than a full-sized felling axe.
An axe with a design extending from the pole which gets used to mark logs.
A type of axe with a long cutting edge ideal for hewing or squaring logs.
The process of coloring an axe head using bronzing powder.
A tool with a curved blade, similar to a shovel, that is used for digging and scraping.
A cutting tool with a heavy-duty curved blade, more popular in the United Kingdom.
The process of cross-cutting felled trees into shorter lengths.
An axe with a protrusion extending from the pole used for killing animals and butchering.
The middle red circle on an axe throwing target.
Using a chainsaw or axe to remove stubs and limb ends from logs.
An axe with a hook-shaped head and a broad blade.
The end of an axe head opposite the blade (also known as a poll).
Cable cutting axe
A robust axe with a heavy head designed to cut metal cable and rope.
A broad range of axes typically light, portable, and versatile for performing various jobs around the campsite.
Wooden lever with a steal lip used to roll logs.
A flat-polled adze ideal for hammering nails and pegs.
Unrefined iron suitable for melting and casting.
A uniform, hard metal ideal for axe blades as it holds an edge effectively.
The process of melting a material and then pouring it into a mold to achieve an object with a specific shape.
A gap shaped like a cat’s eye where the handle is attached
The enlarged end of an axe handle, designed to stop it from slipping out of hand.
Footwear with spiked soles to prevent slipping on awkward surfaces or wet bark.
Single or double-bit broad axes ideal for cutting saplings and young softwood trees.
A style of axe used for displaying, presentations, or demonstrations.
A high-quality iron that comes from smelting charcoal with iron ore.
A hairline crack used as a starting point for splitting wood. It could be naturally occurring or made by pounding a wedge into the wood with a maul.
The sides of an axe head located between the bit and the pool (face).
A chunk of wood removed from a tree or log during the chopping process.
A hand position that holds the axe next to the head and allows for accurate, intricate chopping.
A relatively light axe with a head designed to cut through wood rather than split it.
Section of land where all the trees have been felled.
A style of axe used for clearing heavy brush and small trees.
Metal spikes attached to each leg to help climbers scale a tree trunk (spurs, gaffs).
A cover at the top of the handle used to prevent damage from overstrike.
Combination pattern axe
An with a different pattern forged on each side of the eye.
A sliced-off log end stamped with an identification mark.
A limbing swing that runs parallel with the trunk.
The twisted, tough section of a tree where two or more branches combine with the trunk.
The top of a tree, which typically includes the branch system.
Steel formed by heating and cooling iron and carbon in a crucible.
A type of estimator who calculates the potential lumber yield from a tract of land.
A double-bladed axe used for cutting grooves into tree trunks to collect gum or resin.
An identifying mark used by tree fellers and buckers.
A tough type of steel that makes excellent blades; it takes a double layer of Wootz steel and repeatedly heats, folds, and then welds together again.
Removing bark from a log or tree.
Logs or trees stacked temporarily in an area before being transported away.
The removal of branches from a felled tree.
Devices used to mark wood permanently.
A logging job involving driving grabs and logs dogs into log ends so they can be connected to other logs.
A logging job that involves removing grabs and log dogs from log ends.
The application of a wood wedge and a metal wedge into the eye of an axe to ensure the handle is secure.
Axes with blades on both sides of the head.
Draw the Line
Using a wedge and maul to start a check or crack in firewood.
Using a press or drop hammer with a die to shape heated metal into a specified shape.
A heavy-duty mechanical hammer and anvil used to forge metal.
An axe throwing term referring to axes that don’t stick in the target, resulting in zero points. Also a term for felling a tree in a controlled way, so it lands in a safe, easy-to-access location.
A collective term for various forged tools such as knives, axes, hatchets, chisels, and plane irons.
The section of a log exposed during the bucking process.
The flared end of an axe handle that helps prevent it from slipping out during a swing.
A steel piece used to form an axe’s eye.
A small hole in the axe head used to insert the handle.
The sides of an axe head located between the bit and the pool (cheek).
The first notch cut into the side of the tree where it is expected to fall.
Someone who cuts down trees with an axe or saw (feller).
To chop down a tree.
A long powerful axe with a sharp blade for chopping down large trees.
A metal wedge that helps fell a tree in a specific direction and prevents the saw from binding to a tree trunk.
Fences used for separating each lane and partitioning the adjacent social area.
A metal cap or ring secured around the end of a haft to help prevent splitting.
Typically, an axe with a spike or pick at the other end of the blade that is useful for prying and breaking.
The process of scorching or searing a wooden handle with an open flame to improve its appearance and harden it.
Fusing two pieces of metal using the combination of extreme heat and hammering.
A furnace that can heat metal to very high temperatures.
An area where metal casting takes place.
A type of stencil used for itching a pattern into axe heads and other metal.
A nick, chip, or broken part of an axe head often caused by swinging the axe blade into foreign material or knots.
A short length of wood or tapered branch used as a splitting wedge.
Going in the back door
Flipping over a log to attempt splitting it from the other side.
An axe with a goose-wing-shaped head commonly used for hewing.
A type of axe that has a pick protruding from the poll’s upper section; used for pounding logging dogs as well as extracting.
Traditionally used by Native Americans, these axes used a large stone for the axe head. It had a groove in the middle for attaching the handle with sinew.
To determine the direction a tree will fall once chopped down.
Someone who removes the limbs, branches, and stubs from felled trees.
Someone who has the job of hewing the crossties.
The handle of an axe, hatchet, or other tool used for swinging (halve, helve).
Hammer poll axe
An axe with a single bit and a poll that is for hammering.
A protective guard, generally made from rubber or metal, located at the top of the handle. It protects the handle from overstrike and other misdirected swinging.
The section of an axe, hatchet, or other tool used for holding onto during swinging (haft, halve, helve).
A tree that gets caught in another tree during felling.
Axemen compete with an axe to underhand chop through a log in the fewest swings.
Small axe, often used with one hand for tasks like chopping, splitting, and hammering.
The heavy, sharp part of an axe that cuts and drives its way through wood.
The oldest section of a log, found at its center; it is the smallest ring.
The bottom corner of an axe blade’s cutting edge.
Durable rubber or wood areas used in throwing centers to stop axes from getting damaged on a misguided throw.
Using an edging tool or axe to shape a round log into a plank or another shape.
A specialized axe with a long cutting edge for squaring off logs (side axe, squaring axe)
A variety of wood in the United States that is popular for axe handles.
High carbon steel
A type of steel capable of tempering due to its 1-2% carbon composition.
Someone working at the top of a tree setting up equipment or removing branches.
A section of wood between the back cut and the notch that breaks as the tree starts to fall.
A tool with a handle and hook attached for turning or moving logs.
Hudson Bay axe
A style of trade axe head originating from Canada’s Hudson Bay.
Humboldt notch cut
A common type of felling notch chopped into the stump of the trunk.
An axe with a heavy poll and short handle.
International Axe Throwing Federation; sanctions axe throwing leagues
A type of adze with a long handle used for flattening the surface of ice.
An axe for mountaineering and climbing with a hammer and a curved blade for breaking ice.
International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame.
Hard steel that gets forged between two softer pieces of metal.
Hammer welding metal together.
An axe head pattern from the early 1900s that had a relatively heavy design for that time.
The space that results from sawing wood.
A variety of steel that takes two layers of soft steel and encases a layer of hard, high-quality steel; ideal for making blades that are sharp and durable.
A tree that has grown tilted rather than upright.
The process of removing limbs from a felled tree.
A group of logs fastened together on water to form a temporary barrier containing logs before sorting and transporting.
Large metal staples driven into logs to keep them in place while getting worked on.
Someone that works on floating logs, performing tasks like moving them and ensuring they don’t get jammed up (river monkey).
Limbless felled tree trunks and large branches.
The name for someone who works in forestry, felling, or transporting logs for milling.
A specialist axe with a broad blade used for shaping masts.
A tool comprising of an adze and a pick.
Steel that can’t be tempered as it contains under 1% carbon.
An axe with a single bit with a shorter handle for working in a confined space.
An axe with a narrow head for jobs like shaping a pocket.
A long-handled tool used in construction and mining to scoop, scrape, and clear areas.
The shavings produced when cutting with a saw.
Removing a log’s leading edge to make it easier to move (snipe).
A wedge-shaped cut made in the side of a tree during the felling process (facing cut, box, scarf, undercut).
A curved axe handle that provides clearance for the hands when chopping close to a surface.
Out of reach
An axe throwing term meaning that a round or match is unwinnable, no matter how high the next throw value is.
A stamp applied over the top of the original maker, often to signal new ownership.
A method of moving logs up, down, or sideways using ropes or cables.
When a mark some partial details that are hard to read or missing.
A tool with a spike and hook attached to the end of a handle; used for rolling or hooking logs.
A broad axe that removes bark and small branches from logs.
An axe throwing term where all throws in a round are bull’s eyes.
A safety wall that separates viewers and competitors in indoor axe throwing centers.
Slight depressions adjacent to the blade’s edge, used to reduce binding into wood.
A long-handled tool with a pick at one end of the head and an adze or hoe at the other.
A tool with a long, pointed end used for striking and breaking ground. Some picks have a chisel-like blade at the other end of the head (pickaxe).
A brittle type of iron requiring refinement before use.
A tool for moving floating logs with a spike and hook at the end of a long pole.
A secure method of attaching an axe head to its handle using a metal pin.
An axe maker who thins forged objects by manipulating billets below a trip hammer.
Material that gets removed from the head when an eye is punched out.
An axe with an elongated poll that resembles a hammer.
A part of the axe head opposite the blade; important for adding weight and balance to the tool and is often used for hammering. It may be rounded, arched, spiked, or curved.
The name given to someone who helps move logs along a body of water.
An axe with a regular blade at one end and another running perpendicular to the handle at the other end.
Steel hook with a D-Shaped handle for working with pulpwood bolts.
Logs cut short for paper making.
Wood cut with the grain, ideal for projects like making handles.
An axe made for competition chopping that offers high performance and safety.
Logs held together with cables or chains for floating in one cluster.
Double-bevel axe with a heavy poll designed to deal with tough jobs like track work.
Replacing the steel in an axe bit.
A heavy hatchet that could comfortably be held in a choke grip when needed. Originally used on oil rigs and then adopted by heavy construction.
The natural spinning of an axe thrown at a target.
Sabot maker’s axe
A hatchet with a thick handle and long beard traditionally used by show makers.
An axe with a hinged metal guard that covers the blade as required.
Logs of sufficient length and width for processing into lumber.
The occupational name for someone who works with lumber and saws logs.
Someone who determines the quality and volume of logs as well as their species.
A single-bit broad axe with a straight, wide edge ideal for making layout lines.
Replanted trees that replace virgin forest.
A thick handle section of an axe located adjacent to the axe head.
A term limbers use to swing perpendicular to the branch and remove the unwanted material flush with the trunk.
An axe with only one blade on the head.
Moving logs by dragging them across the ground.
An extremely sharp axe or hatchet with a thin, rounded flay poll that helps skin animals.
Heavy, wedge-shaped axe with a relatively dull blade designed to split wood; usually has a heavy poll for driving.
Typically, a section of wood pulled from the tree’s inside, resulting from an upper portion of the tree breaking off.
Maul used for driving railroad spikes.
A piece of pre-shaped metal used to form axe blanks.
Dead tree or partially dead tree that hasn’t fallen over.
The removal of buds and shoots from branches or de-limbing logs.
Tall, straight tree that is thick enough for use as a ship’s spar.
Speak to it
Using a metal wedge to create a fissure in the endgrain before splitting.
Heavy, wedge-shaped axe designed to split wood.
Heavy, wedge-shaped axe with a relatively dull blade designed to split wood; usually has a heavy poll for driving.
Board that gets jammed into a tree notch to provide a platform for standing on when working at ground level is difficult (chopping board, foot board).
Iron with a high carbon content resulting in a rigid material ideal for sharpening.
Fastening a steel bit to a wrought iron head.
Sticking an axe
Successfully embedding an axe into the target.
When a blade gets stuck or binds to wood during chopping.
A way to attach a handle to the head of a striking tool.
A hand tool that comprises a handle and a head with a cutting edge or point.
A standing tree that is dead.
A section of tree left in the ground after it gets felled.
A sharp axe blade used for tough chopping jobs. The blade is sharpened to an angle less than the “keen edge.”
Strong metal used as a type of mold; softer, hot metal is pounded into the swage’s depression to form a new shape.
Someone that clears areas of brush, saplings, and fallen trees so that the site is safer to work in or can be used for worker campsites, paths, and roads.
A broad axe made for heavy-duty clearing out small trees and brush.
Collecting sap from coniferous trees by cutting through the bark and into the trunk.
An axe with a narrow blade and an extended butt used to harvest sap.
Controlled heating and cooling of metal to make it harder.
A long-handled tool with a curved blade used in the U.K.
A light, well-balanced axe with a double bit used for throwing at targets.
Someone who makes railroad ties by cutting logs to size and then hewing them until squared.
A short, heavy pick designed to remove railroad ties.
Standing or felled, squared trees ready to be cut into lumber suitable for construction.
The top corner of an axe blade.
A single-headed axe used for throwing and light chopping jobs and traditionally used by North American Indians.
The thin end of a log that is being split.
Someone who climbs tall trees and removes the top section before it is felled (topper, high climber).
An axe with a broad, concave blade that fits the tree’s curvature.
United Knife and Tomahawk, an online league.
Cross-cutting through a raised log by chopping upwards from below it.
Modifying an axe head by replacing a section of the bit.
A type of axe used by Vikings and other Scandinavians in medieval times.
Trees and undergrowth that have been knocked over and moved due to flooding or erosion.
World Axe Throwing League; sanctions leagues, tournaments, and judges
A tapered piece of metal or wood that gets driven into a saw cut to prevent binding or influence the direction a tree falls.
Debris or broken branches that may fall from overhead and cause injury or death while the tree is worked on below.
A demolition maul with a spike on one end of the head and a sledgehammer on the other.
Malleable iron that is often used for welding and forging.