Japanese Hand Axe

Japanese Hand Axe
Stock Number Item Description Availability Price Order Qty
11P23.06 Japanese Hand Axe

In stock


This is a tough axe with great balance. The 4-1/2" laminated steel blade has a "bearded" shape, which brings the center of gravity closer to your hand. The high-carbon edge is sandwiched between thick layers of softer steel that give the super-sharp edge great strength. It will be particularly good for splitting kindling. Japanese tools frequently look different, but those that try them inevitably find them wonderful to use. Overall length: 13"

Click here to Download a PDF* formatted informational / instructional sheet.

(*Note: Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Japanese Hand Axe

How do you rate this product? *

1 1 star
2 2 star
3 3 star
4 4 star
5 5 star
Overall rating

Customer Ratings and Reviews

Click here to write a review
30 reviews 0 5 4.4
Overall Rating
  • Kindling Ax

    Morris, 10/4/2015 Sharp, good balance, well weighted, large cutting surface.
  • Hand Axe

    Rick Saunders, 10/4/2015 With weight behind the blade, the sharp chisel edge is able to remove small branches in one whack, and can split or chop. This is light enough to wear on a belt (sheath not included), but heavy and balanced enough to be a truly useful tool for outdoorsmen (or women). Replace the cotton thong with quality leather and it is a tool you will respect and cherish. A true scouter's companion for backpacking.
  • Bearded Axe

    Sub Sailor, 9/14/2015 High qual as advertised.
  • OK

    Cal, 5/12/2015 I wanted a pruning axe and as other reviewers have noted this is a splitting axe, not a cutting axe. The heavily rounded edge is a little challenging to sharpen, and metal seems a bit soft. I used it to chop down and section bamboo, and the rounded edge did not bite well. Great for chopping into dirt such as around sprinkler heads.
  • Great

    Damon, 2/10/2015 The little axe(really a hatchet) is a fantastic wood splitter, very well constructed and works great.
  • Excellent Hand Axe

    Jr Harden, 10/25/2014 Sturdy, well balanced, keeps an excellent edge.
  • Surprising Steel and Edge Quality

    David M., 5/12/2014 I'm impressed with this little axe. The head has a good heft. The handle seems like it will last. The mechanism to tighten the handle to the head is clever and functional. Most notable of all is the steel, however. The edge is beautiful and seems like it will stay that way with a little care.
  • Not For General Use

    Judson Roberts, 1/24/2014 This small axe is, like most Japanese tools I've seen, well made, but it's not well suited for use as a general purpose hatchet, which is what I was looking for. In order to be able to bite deeply when chopping, the blade of an axe or hatchet should be relatively thin near the edge. This blade is much too thick, and the bevel to the edge is the steepest, fattest I've ever seen. It looks like it was designed specifically to be used for splitting wood, but because of its small size and how slender the shaft is, it could only be used to split small pieces of wood. Not what I was looking for--I'm glad Garret Wade has such a reasonable return policy.

    Response By: Garrett Wade Tech Department
    Thanks for you review on the Japanese Hand Axe. We're sorry that it did not suit your purposes. Please feel free to return it for a full refund.
  • Far Better Than Expected

    Shaul, 1/14/2014 After reading all the reviews before making the purchase, I thought I would give this little axe a go. Glad I did! I don't know if this has been changed since some of the other reviews, but I am very pleased. Well balanced even for its small size and they aren't kidding when they say super-sharp". Right out of the package, this little guy is ready to go. Had to give four stars only because I had to make my own sheath as it doesn't include one. Does a great job on small tasks and the bearded blade offers great access on the handle for fine whittling work."
  • Handy Hand Axe

    Belinda, 12/29/2013 I ordered this for my 11 year old son. He is our lighter pine kindling chopper. It went through those lighter pine stumps with ease. Great balance.
  • Japanese Hand Axe

    Lori , 12/22/2013 This is a utility grade Japanese tool. It arrived fairly sharp but greatly benefits from a little touch up honing. The head has a wide convex profile that is perfect for splitting kindling which is the purpose for which I bought this tool. The head profile is not conducive to fine work such as carving. The metal keeper that prevents the head from flying off has sharp edges requiring some filing to be comfortable in the hand. This tool can be used right or left handed. Removing the heavy protective lacquer from the head and handle with thinner and 220 sandpaper improves grip and cutting performance. An inexpensive leather bit guard or sheath is recommended. If you need a sharp nice handling hatchet for cutting kindling this tool is well worth considering.
  • Axe Is Great, Handle Is Not.

    Mark, 12/20/2013
  • Great Tool

    George, 8/15/2013 I bought now several tools from this On-line store and have been impressed with the quality of their tools! The latest is this Japanese hand axe, which is so nice I want to hang it up on the wall and not use it. The axe is very well balanced and I cannot wait to give it a try!
  • Japanese Hand Axe

    Jon Vordermark, 7/17/2013 Is truly super-sharp. Ready to use.
  • Japanese Axe

    Joey, 4/14/2013 Great tool! Handy and good for Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Style vs Utility

    Jerry Krantz, 1/10/2013 A beautiful, well-balanced tool, but I find that it is too short and too light for safely splitting anything but kindling. The hanging cord is an added impediment when the axe is being used. In short, I love the look, but shall search elsewhere for a proper firewood axe.
  • Japanese Hand Axe

    Michael Mayor, 4/15/2012 I had to purchase this lovely little axe as the one I had gotten previously is resting somewhere in the woods. I'm lost without it, as it is unsurpassed in creating kindling from a variety of native woods.
  • Fine Tuning

    Bernhard, 2/16/2012 Excellent steel in the blade. Good balance and very versatile. Although it came with a keen edge I found that there was a slight cheek on the face of the grind that made the blade prone to skipping when carving. Flattening the face of the grind solved this problem and made this tool my favorite carving hatchet.
  • IAGardener

    Ded, 1/2/2011 Excellent tool. Just plain excellent. Wonderful balance/feel in the hand. Proud to own it. Good enough for the wall of my shop, and I'm a very picky sob.
  • This Axe Is Really Good

    Joe Nelson, 11/28/2010 I cut my own firewood, and butcher my own game. I own several Swedish made axes, and this is just as good at 1/3 of the price!
  • Disappointed

    Mike, 9/19/2010 Used this to chop up some large branches I had cut off a few trees in my yard. Within a half hour of solid work the head came loose from the handle. I reseated it and went back to work. After a few minutes more work, the head flew off. On inspection, everything about the head was loose, down to the shaft of metal on the back that is there to brace the head. The wood handle head had cracked and the axe was irreparable. I threw it away in disgust. An $18 hatchet from Home Depot took care of the rest of the work and was none the worse for the wear. Save your money and don't buy this.
  • I'm Makin' A Holster

    UT1, 4/15/2010 All it needs is a good holster. I love this tool, for carving, fieldwork, making kindling, clearing brush. It's as handy as any knife and much more robust. I'm makin' a holster.
  • Edge Bevel

    Bernhard, 4/14/2010 The edge bevel is a little fat for the carpentry style work I was planning to use this hatchet for, best for a little more rugged use. Nice balance and well made.
  • Great Buy

    Bill Finley, 2/1/2010 I purchased this hand axe with a Christmas gift card. I am well pleased with the quality and design and amazed with the 'Factory edge'. Very good 'heft', and would highly recommend it to anyone.
  • 5 Stars, With Precaution

    Charley Radtke, 1/25/2010
  • Review

    Micah, 4/30/2009 This hand axe is head heavy, which can be good or bad depending on what you want. The head is very well made and durable however the handle began to crack after a couple of months of use and the head started to slip of of the handle as well. If you buy this you may need to spend some time hafting to better.
  • Axe vs Big Knife

    Larry Kramer, 4/20/2009 Out of the yard and into the woods, you are inclined to carry a bigger and bigger knife, until you might as well be carrying an axe or hatchet. This Japanese axe doubles as a knife because it is so sharp and because you can get your hand up in that open space behind the blade for close work. I made a crude blade guard from sheet metal, and put it in my belt for woods carry. Because of that cut-out behind the blade, it rides pretty well.
  • Handy Axe

    Waspswatter, 4/17/2009 This is a beautiful little axe. It has a good heft and is well built.
  • Sharp Hatchet

    Kerry, 4/14/2009 I really like this little hatchet. Excellent quality and sharpness typical of most Japanese tools. I use it for cutting small pieces of wood for my Kelly Kettle (volcano stove) also sold by Garret Wade. Another excellent product!
  • Great Hunter's Axe

    Mark Hart, 4/1/2009 I use this axe when deer hunting. I clean around my stand area, but also able too field dress a quarter my deer. I know this sounds a bit un-orthodox, but this is really up to the task. Perfect size and weight very high quality...did I mention it's sharp.
Read more