Best Axe for Spoon Carving (Tested & Reviewed in 2023)

By Kevin Kessinger •  Updated: 10/01/23 • 

An axe is a versatile tool that will help in shaping your spoon. It removes most of the wood material easily and faster, so you can get closer to the final shape. The standard axe you get from your local hardware store is great for splitting and kindling wood but not for spoon carving. If you’re looking for the best spoon-carving axe, you’re in the right place.

My Best Spoon Carving Axes

Best Axe for Spoon Carving

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Our Top Pick
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is razor-sharp and ready to work out of the box. It holds an edge quite well and is a versatile hatchet/axe for different purposes. Although it is slightly expensive, its durability and quality are quite good.

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The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is one of the best hatchets/axes for spoon carving I own. The axe comes sharp out of the box and ready to go to work. Although the finish seems a bit rushed and rough, it is very comfortable to use. The handle is carved out of hickory, one of the toughest hardwoods, which speaks about its durability.

When using it for spoon carving, the Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is great and holds an edge quite well. It carves wood easily and has a well-balanced weight, perfect for carving. Apart from carving, the axe is versatile and works for kindling, chopping down small trees, and skinning. The axe is quite expensive, but if you appreciate quality and a lifetime purchase, you’ll be more than satisfied with this hatchet.

Budget-Friendly Option

BeaverCraft Carving Axe Hatchet AX1

Budget Pick
BeaverCraft Carving Axe AX1

If you're looking for an affordable yet quality axe/hatchet for spoon carving, the BeaverCraft AX1 is for you. It comes razor sharp out of the box, has a nice sheath for easier portability, and is light and comfortable for extended hours of carving without fatigue.

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BeaverCraft has been in the wood carving niche for quite a while, and they have some of the best wood carving tools. The AX1 hatchet arrived sharp out of the box. The hatchet comes with a sheath that fits around the blade, which is a nice addition and helps when traveling with it. The construction and finish are nice to the eyes and to hold.

The AX1 holds an edge quite well when roughing out wood for spoon blanks. With regular maintenance and stropping, you should be able to keep the knife sharp very easily. It is a great knife for the price and very comfortable. It is light enough for extended use and tough to handle even some hardwoods like American hickory easily. Overall, this is a reliable and affordable carving hatchet to have.

Best Carving Adze

Seven Pines Forge Adze

Optional/Upgrade Pick
Seven Pines Forge Adze

An adze makes hollowing out spoons and bowls faster. It is a fusion of a hatchet and a gouge. This adze comes razor sharp and ready to work. It has a good length and holds its edge quite well. It is an optional tool for beginners but a worthy upgrade.

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A carving adze is an optional wood carving tool to have, especially for beginners. However, as you advance in the craft, it is a good tool to have at your disposal. If you’re looking for a good one, the Seven Pines Forge is for you. It comes razor sharp and has a cutting edge of 2-inches. This is great for hollowing out larger spoons and bowls faster and easily.

It is comfortable to use and has a good-sized handle that makes it easier to work closely with the wood. It is slightly more expensive, and this can be a turnoff to most beginners. However, as I said, this is an optional tool you’ll need as you make your way up this craft. For professional spoon and bowl carvers, this is definitely a must-have in your arsenal.

Choosing The Right Spoon Carving Axe

There are different types of axes made for different jobs. How do you choose the right one? While popular brands come and go, in this guide, I’ll help you choose what is right.

If you’ve tried using a firewood splitting axe or general camp axe for spoon carving, then you know how heavy they are. You can split the log for the blank with them, but they are of little use when spoon carving. Apart from the weight, the convex bevel of firewood splitting axes does not work well for precise cuts, especially when carving greenwood. Below are some types of bevels you’ll find around.


  1. Hollow Bevel – This is the ground to create a concave beveled cutting edge. It is very sharp but has a weak edge.
  2. Flat Bevel – Blade tapers evenly. This bevel type sacrifices edge durability for sharpness. When using it, you’ll get clean and precise cuts.
  3. Scandinavian Bevel – Made with strength in mind and is common for bushcraft knives. It is stronger and easier to sharpen.
  4. Chisel Bevel – This bevel comes in right and left-handed varieties. It is common with Japanese culinary knives.
  5. Secondary Bevel – This bevel sacrifices sharpness for resilience. It is less prone to rolling or chipping compared to a single bevel.
  6. Convex Bevel – There is a lot of metal behind the edge, which makes for a stronger edge while still allowing for a good degree of sharpness. This is a common axe bevel.

The different designs of the axe head are adapted to the area of use. A convex bevel that is thick and rounded is great for hardwoods. Pointed axes with a thinner edge are great for cutting softwoods and green wood. The straight-edge bevel is what you get for wood carving.

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

My Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Axe vs. Hatchet

The difference between an axe and a hatchet is the size. A hatchet is a smaller version of the axe and is meant to be used with one hand. The shorter handle of a hatchet gives a carver more control when carving. When shopping for a wood carving axe, look for those classified as hatchets. Anything other than a hatchet is likely to be for splitting logs and a terrible tool for carving.

BeaverCraft Carving Axe Hatchet AX1

My BeaverCraft Carving Axe Hatchet AX1

Carving Adze

An adze is a good tool to have when you need to remove wood quickly. An adze is like a combination of an axe and a gouge, making it basically a swinging gouge. I’ve included an adze in this list because, like an axe, it is a good tool for roughing out. You can easily get the general outline of the spoon bowl with an adze and go in with your hook knife and straight knife to finish it up. An adze also makes for a great tool to delve into bowl carving.

> Recommended Reading: Tools for Spoon Carving

Kevin Kessinger

Kev is the founder of Pro Wood Carving and has been carving spoons, small pieces, and whittling since his teenage years. He has continued to level up his wood carving skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other wood carvers. He launched Pro Wood Carving in 2021 to make wood carving more approachable for everyone looking to improve their skills.