The right tool can make a world of difference for any craftsman. Husqvarna 576926501 19" Wooden Carpenter's Axeticks a number of boxes making it a versatile addition for any woodworker at a fantastic price point.
Husqvarna makes two versions of this particular style of axe — 20” and a 19” — and we’ve reviewed the smaller version, and it is beautiful. Made from hand-forged Swedish high-carbon steel and a hickory handle, it backs up the reputation of the Husqvarna seal burned into the blade. It also comes with a leather, riveted sheath to protect the blade in between uses.
This axe can do a little bit of everything but is specifically designed for some of the finer work a carpenter may need, as opposed to felling giant trees or clearing brush, this axe is geared more for carving, chiselling, planing or more technical, detail-oriented cuts. It can do some of the other things, but there are other more appropriate axes that will be more effective for those applications.
Like most Husqvarna axes, the business end of the wood carpenter’s axe is made out of hand-forged Swedish high carbon steel and can be sharpened to a razor edge. The head is manufactured by Hultafors group, the company that makes Hults Bruk Axes. It is solidly attached to the handle by a steel ring, wedging it in place.
Unlike their other axes, however, this one is specifically designed for highly technical work. In a pinch you can fell a small tree or split some dry wood, but it is engineered to operate as more of a knife than a heavy-duty chopper. The edge is straight, not curved, and is a much thinner blade than an axe used for chopping or splitting logs.
The straight edge allows for a number of applications. It can be used for shaving wood, chiselling, carving or even hewing. The relatively light weight of the head allows for quick accurate cuts, while a large notch or beard allows the woodworker or carpenter to hold the axe with control close to the head.
The axe also comes with a well-constructed leather sheath. It is made out of thick leather and is riveted at one end to protect the blade when it is not in use. Plus, it looks good too.
The head does require some maintenance to keep a sharp edge, but regular sharpenings and greasing it before storing it to prevent rust will go a long way to extending its life.
If you’re going to design an axe, it’s hard to find a better material than American Hickory. The handle has a nice tight grain which makes it more durable and stronger when striking a piece of wood.
The handle comes unvarnished which gives you a better grip — it will not be as slippery — but we recommend finishing it with some kind of oil like linseed oil. This will improve the life of the handle as well, and will help protect it from the elements.
The handle has a nice curve which makes gripping it easy and comfortable. The handle has a large shoulder near the head of the axe, giving the woodworker a place to hold the axe for some of the more technical, one-handed cuts.
The handle swells to a large knob at the end, making it easy to carry or to help prevent slippage when swinging it. There is a hole drilled through the end to string a lanyard or strap through to make it easy to store or attach to gear for camping or a hike.
The 19” handle helps keep the weight of the axe down and the maneuverability of the axe at a maximum. But it still gives you enough leverage for some light chopping or splitting, certainly more than most hatchets.
How the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe handles specific tasks
It certainly is capable of felling small trees, particularly if it is dry. If you plan to take down anything with some size, however, you’re in for a bit of a work out. The straighter edge is not the best design for felling as it has a tendency to bite into the wood and stick, especially with the thinner head. But it will prove handy in cleaning up a felled tree in taking off small branches. If you’re just going to use it around a campsite it’s versatility will show through here as it can take on producing wood for a lot of smaller jobs. But if you plan to do some serious felling you’d be better off getting an axe designed for it.
This is where this axe really shines. Its weight and well-proportioned head make it excellent for a number of tasks including carving, hewing or planing beams, chiselling or even shaving logs down for some fire starter. The more you work with it, the more you will be comfortable using it for. The large notch makes it safe and comfortable to grip the axe close to the blade allowing for optimal control and precision.
This falls into the same category as felling trees. You can definitely use it for some light chopping or splitting around a campfire, but if you’re working your way through a cord of wood, you would be much better off with a maul or splitting axe. But it’s sharp edge will be effective with dry wood and it has a handle that is just long enough to give you leverage to split some firewood for the night.
Products similar to the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe that you may want to consider:
This entry shares a lot in common with the Husqvarna Wooden Carpenters Axe. It is another beautiful axe with a hand-forged steel head. The Gransfors Burks Carpenter Axe is 18 inches and weighs two pounds. Its handle is a little different than the Husqvarna as it is much straighter to allow for a variety of grips. The biggest difference may be cost as this axe is more than twice the price.
This axe is at the opposite end of the price spectrum from the Gransfors Bruks axe and is a major shift in design and functionality. It comes in at just 1.75 pounds and is only 17 inches long, it can also be found for less than half the price of the Husqvarna Carpenters Axe. This hatchet is designed more for construction work. It’s head is forged from high-quality steel but also has a hammer built into its back end while a notch is beveled into the head to remove nails, adding to its versatility. Definitely not geared to the finer more detailed work, but for framing or roofing it works great.
This is a great little axe to keep on the tool belt for roofers, coming in at 16” and 1.5 pounds. You probably will not be using this axe to fell a tree or to frame a house, but it is great for splitting shaker shingles or some of the finer work on a project. It is also perfect for making kindling or feathering a stick
The Husqvarna 19” Wooden Carpenters Axe offers great bang for your buck. It is highly adept at technical cuts like carving, chiselling and hewing, but still functions like a traditional axe in that it can fell small trees and excels in splitting wood and making kindling and fire starter. It is fairly light and small enough to pack on a camping trip or use around the yard. It is not a workhorse for chopping and felling but its versatility makes it a must-have in any axe arsenal.
Carlo’s introduction to the wilderness was during his stint in geothermal and geological surveying, which brought him to remote and unusual hiking spots all over Southeast Asia. His outdoor experience has made him an expert in axes and other types of saws.