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Where most swords in some way or another balance the thrust, cut and slice, an axe's primary method of attack is based on percussive cuts. The shape of an axe head will focus momentum into a fairly small area and could transfer the shock through the mail and padding that many fighters would have been wearing. Because of this, the balance of most axes will be much further forward than most swords, and this bearded axe certainly follows suit.
It is easy for most people to assume that axes, due to their forward balance, are slow and clumsy. This replica is a very nice example that proves this image to be false. The weapon has far more versatility than one might gather from a casual glance. This weapon can be wielded comfortably and easily. The dominant hand can shift around to change techniques easily: In closer-in fighting, the dominant hand can shift further towards the head, allowing very fast strikes utilizing more of a "punching" type of hit, but at the expense of sacrificing some power. At a greater distance, the dominant hand can slide slightly further down the haft mid-swing, in the same way one would chop wood, to not only cover the extra distance but to add momentum for much more powerful strikes.
I have often heard people claim that an axe is a purely offensive weapon. While it is unfortunate that there is very little surviving evidence to detail how an axe like this was used historically, a basic understanding of larger hafted weapons can be applied to this weapon, and one can begin seeing that this is as effective at defense as it is with offense. Much like with a larger poleaxe, the haft can be used to deflect and stop outright oncoming attacks, and this axe's haft is more than substantial enough to take some serious damage. The wood will certainly be more easily damaged than metal, but historically it could easily be replaced after extensive use. The portion of the haft from the hand towards the head could be used to knock aside an oncoming blow, which would then leave the blade in a perfect position for a follow-up attack. A downward cut could be caught on the haft between the hands, which could easily flow into a strike with the butt of the haft, leading directly into a downward strike with the blade. One could even catch and set aside a sword blade with the top of the wide head.
This axe is not the decorated status symbol of a chieftain, but the austere weapon of a warrior. Despite its deadly feel in the hands, it resembles the wood axe that every common man would have had. The head clearly shows the hammer and tooling marks of a hand-forged weapon, and lends the axe a degree of authenticity, that said, it is not crudely made in the least. The blade is expertly shaped, with each angle crisply defined, and each curve smooth and flowing. The taper is even and well executed. Despite being such a simple-looking tool, a close examination of the careful shaping of the head shows that it was clearly made by a craftsman who knows his trade.
Solid and lightweight very comfortable to swing around. Would recommend 100% Todd on 4th Jul 2017
Very good axe for the price Unknown on 22nd Dec 2016
Better than expected and functional. Have put it to use on light work. Will use it carving a longbow, a long anticipated project and when camping. Great companion for the Dublin Seax another wonderful item from the medieval Shoppe! David on 6th Jun 2016
I appreciated the quick delivery first of all, and then i unwrapped this superb Fighting Axe, its strong, sharp and attractive, and now mounted on my roof beam near my Viking Practical Sword. Thanks again and job well done. Ruf on 4th Jun 2016
This gorgeous item cannot be faulted. It is comfortable in the hand, balanced, and the craftsmanship is not only extremely professional, but the beauty of a hand-forged piece gives the weapon a realism often missing from the mass produced, machine turned equivalents.
My only negative as it pertains to my purchase has to do with the courier service used for shipping. It took nearly three weeks for my order to arrive and I live in Australia. So, apart from that, I could not be happier. Will recommend, and will purchase again. [Note from Medieval Shoppe: Sorry about the late delivery, It is very unusual for our courier to make such a mistake. They had sent the parcel to the wrong depot/state.] Juliette Ward on 21st Apr 2016
Received my axe in the mail as of today.
Was surprised how quickly it came.
Charming axe, it's not perfectly shaped, adds to the character.
Feels great in the hand, not too heavy but has some good heft to the strike.
Each head is slightly different, no two are the same - Mine came with a prominent beak and beard, giving it a wide striking surface, also came beard-up which I prefer.
Being a war-axe, the head is thinner than a felling axe, though the head is still quite thick and durable being roughly 12mm at the thickest point tapering to 4mm just shy of the cutting edge.
The poll of the axe is sturdy, roughly 4mm thick all around, with double lips to help stop twisting or to be hammered in for a tougher grip, and the fit is quite good.
I'm not a fan of the glue used to help hold the head on, just a personal point.
I'd definitely recommend this axe to anyone! CJ on 4th Feb 2016
I love this axe its very well made, great qaulity. Its got real nice feel to it and would look great in anyones collection. It definitely better than I thought it would be. I will definitely recommend to everyone. Unknown on 16th Nov 2015
Such a great little axe. Feels great in your hand and looks even better in person.
I might sharpen it a bit more as im going to do some traditional fist carving with it. But it's already plenty sharp for general use. Unknown on 2nd Nov 2015
Thanks so much. Was what I was expecting :) Thanks again. Jason (red viking) on 28th Oct 2014