Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of throwing an axe will help you throw more accurately. To further up your game, equipment maintenance is crucial. It’s another important factor to consider if you’re serious about axe throwing.

Keeping a sharp blade and damage-free axe is a good starting point. But you’ll also need to learn how to balance a throwing axe for better accuracy. Unbalanced axes are more likely to break or bounce off their target. 

In this guide, we’ll look at how to make sure your prized axes are in top condition for the next competition.

Why do axes become unbalanced?

Over time, general wear and tear will affect the performance of an axe. The harder its life, the quicker it will go downhill. Bad throwing technique or tossing it outdoors where the blade can land on rocks will also impact the balance of an axe.

The quickest way to put an axe out of balance is by replacing the handle. Check how the axe feels after it’s replaced and consider thinning it down if needed.

How to check an axe is balanced?

An effective throwing axe needs to have an appropriate weight ratio between the handle and the head. Place a couple of fingers under the axe handle about 2” from the head. It should sit in a horizontal position as you hold the axe in the air.

More importantly, the axe head itself must have good balance or it’ll wobble through the air. The poll and bit should be roughly the same weight, resulting in an equal mass distributed on either side of the eye.

You can check this by balancing the axe on its handle. Place it on something like the arm of a chair. A head that lays perfectly horizontal is well-balanced. 

If the blade hangs a little lower then it’s heavier than the poll, which isn’t ideal for axe throwing as it’ll have a slight wobble. 

Note: Some experienced axe throwers prefer a modified weight ratio which puts the axe out of balance. This isn’t recommended for less experienced throwers.  

What should I do with an out-of-balance axe?

Axe throwers who suspect their throwing axe is unbalanced should start by locating the source of the problem. Check the head for minor deformations in the metal or damage. Of course, the blade needs to be precisely aligned with the handle.

If the head looks fine, check the handle for cracks, chips, or discoloring. This may also be a good opportunity to take care of any maintenance on the axe.

Axes with visible damage can have the head or handle replaced to retain ideal balance.

Undamaged axes may have been manufactured slightly out of balance. In this case, locating where the weight imbalance lies and grinding or sanding it back will help with correcting the imbalance.

You may find it easier to simply replace the axe with a new one.

Why does a throwing axe need balance?

Using an unbalanced axe will cause it to wobble, leading to inaccurate throwing. Continued use will also cause it to deteriorate faster and could also be a safety risk.

To learn more about axe throwing, be sure to check out our tips for axe throwing or how to paint an axe target so that you can practice in a safe location at home.

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