The Interesting History of Viking Axes You Haven’t Heard Of


The Viking axe was an all-purpose tool that could be used for multiple tasks in battle and at home. When the Vikings lived, swords and other long weapons were expensive, and only wealthy warriors could afford them. Conversely, an axe was something almost everyone owned, as it was more of a standard tool than a weapon.

The axes were generally lightweight, so warriors could easily handle and throw them. The edges of the axes were designed to be razor-sharp. Axe types were also meant for close fighting, as they had a short-cutting edge. The most common types of these axes during the Viking age were the Dane axe and the bearded axe. 

The length of a Viking axe typically ranged from one to five feet. The size and thickness of the blade also varied. Dane axes usually had a thin blade profile with a significant, curving cutting edge. This made them especially effective at cutting through leather armor and inflicting severe wounds. 

Bearded axes, on the other hand, were heavier and thicker. This made them a better choice for tasks such as wood-cutting and splitting, allowing them to deliver powerful crushing blows against an enemy.

The design of axes has changed, with Scandinavian people becoming masters of axe making. Initially, the head was made of stone, but this was gradually replaced by iron and steel. Interestingly, these smaller frames make these weapons enjoyable groomsmen gifts for a manlier feel.

Why Is the Axe Particular to the Vikings?

The Vikings were a powerful and dominating force in Northern Europe from the end of the 8th century through the middle of the 11th century. They conquered new lands and settled in many through raids and military movements. Their success can be attributed to their Norse mindset, brutal fighting style, and diverse weaponry.

The most common weapon for a Viking soldier was an axe. These axes were light enough to be wielded with one hand but deadly enough to kill an enemy. Viking axes were also used to help build the longboats for which the Vikings were famous.

Ultimately, the biggest reason Vikings are so closely associated with axes is that they were able to use them for various purposes. Not only were they able to use them as weapons, but they could also use them for things like chopping wood and hunting. Also, axes were much more affordable than other weapons at the time, making them more accessible to the average Viking.

Verifying Its Authenticity

If you want to own this light weapon or give it as a groomsman gift, remember this short guide: 

  • Dane axes must have a thin blade but a wide curved cutting edge.
  • Bearded axes will always have a longer bladed section (known as the beard) extending below the axe’s butt.

In Closing

While modern takes on these arms see various engravings or ropes intertwined on the handle or shaft, authentic Viking hand axes were unattractive and straightforward but effective weapons for the once mighty conquerors over a thousand years ago.

Carry on the Viking Tradition with Ella Bing Haberdashery

As a men’s lifestyle brand, we provide exciting accessories, groomsmen gifts, and other similarly-themed items for various events. Check out our collection today by visiting our website right now!

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing