How to Choose a Council Tool Axe [2022 Comparison]

Updated on September 19, 2022 by

Council Tool is one of the most popular and prolific manufacturers of axes, but it can be challenging to understand which axe suits your purposes. What is the difference between a boy’s axe and a camp axe? What is the difference between a Dayton pattern and a jersey pattern?

In this article, I have compared all of Council Tool’s axes and explained their purpose and which tasks they should be used for.

Quick Summary

This table shows the differences between the key specification of Council Tool’s most popular axe styles and the tasks they are best suited to:

Council Tool AxeLengthWeightBest Suited For
Hudson Bay24 inch2 lbCamp axe, chopping, driving in tent pegs
Boy’s Axe24-28 inch2.25 lbVersatile allround axe
Pulaski36 inch3.75 lbChopping, digging, forestry work
Miner’s Axe20-26 inch3.5 lbClose Quarters Work
Dayton Axe36 inch3.5 lbFull-sized Felling Axe
Jersey Axe36 inch3.5 lbFull-sized Felling Axe
Michigan Double Bit Axe36 inch3.5 lbKnot free cutting edge and knot cutting edge
Fire Axe36 inch6 lbForcible Entry Fire Fighting Applications
Splitting Axe36 inch5 lbSplitting large logs
Council Tool Axe Comparison

Hudson Bay Camp Axe

Hudson Bay axes have a proud history as a camp axe from the fur traders of North America. They have a flat top with a square poll and a shorter handle. This makes them ideal for transport and easy to carry. They are highly versatile and can be used for anything from cutting kindling, splitting firewood, and even hammering in tent pegs. They also have a more oval-shaped eye that securely attaches the axehead to the handle.

I am a big fan of the Hudson Bay style of axe, and the Council Tool model is no exception. The axe is only 2 lb in weight, making it the lightest axe on this list. It is ideal for camping as the poll has been heat treated and can be used conveniently as a hammer. The handle is 24 inches of American hickory and has a slight curve that makes it comfortable to wield.

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  • Best Suited For: Camping
  • Weight: 2 lb
  • Length: 24 inch
council tool hudson bay camp axe

Boy’s Axe

The second-lightest axe at 2.25 lb is the Boy’s axe. Boy’s axes are mid-sized and are not designed for youth. They are an allrounder style axe that is easy to transport and versatile enough for almost any task. The 24-in hickory handle gives it enough leverage to fell small trees and split medium-sized logs while being small enough for cutting kindling or limbing branches.

Like all Council Tool products, it is made in the USA of high-quality steel. This is an excellent axe that is very affordable, which, when combined with its durability, gives it high value for money.

Best Suited For: Versatile felling and splitting
Weight: 2.25 lb
Length: 24 inch

Council tool boys axe

Pulaski

Pulaski axes were originally designed for the Forest Service Rangers. They used the combination axe and mattock to chop logs and dig trenches for fire breaks. The 36-inch American hickory handle gives it full leverage so that you can apply a massive amount of power through either blade. This one-stop tool is ideal for rangers, firefighters, or homeowners who don’t want to carry a second mattock or pick axe for any digging tasks.

The axe weighs 3.75 lb, making it a powerful and versatile axe.

Best Suited For: Forestry Rangers
Weight: 3.75 lb
Length: 36 inch

Council Tool Pulaski axe

Miner’s Axe

Miner’s axes were designed in central Europe for miners looking for ore in thick forestry. The combination of a short handle and a heavy axehead allowed them to swing freely in congested areas. It is ideal for cutting pathways through thick forests. The axe weighs 3.5 lbs on a 26-inch straight handle. In modern times Miner’s axes have become increasingly popular with campers or backpackers because of their ease of transport and versatile function.

This budget option ax is ideal for campers or rangers looking to cut trails.

Best Suited For: Trail clearing congested forests
Weight: 3.5 lb
Length: 26 inch

Council Tool Miner's axe

Dayton Axe

The Dayton pattern is named after Dayton, Ohio, where it was used to fell large hardwood trees. They are a popular and easily recognized axehead design. The features make it best suited for swinging horizontally in a felling motion due to its curved flare and balance.

This Council Tool Dayton axe is a full-sized felling axe with a 3.5 lb axehead on a 36-in American hickory handle. This axe can apply serious force to the cutting edge to penetrate deeply into thick trunks.

Best Suited For: Full-sized felling axe
Weight: 3.5 lb
Length: 36 inch

Council tool dayton axe

Jersey Axe

This is another full-sized felling axe with a heavy 3.5 lb axehead on a 36-inch American hickory handle. The handle is curved for grip comfort and to prevent your bottom handle from slipping past the knob. As you can see in this photo, the key feature is the ‘lugs’ or ‘ears’ on the axehead’s cheeks. These bevels cut into the cheeks help to reduce friction and prevent the axe from getting stuck in the trunk of a hardwood tree.

This axe is ideal for homeowners seeking to maintain a heavily forested property who will be doing a lot of felling and need to minimize the labor of each strike.

Best Suited For: Full-sized felling axe
Weight: 3.5 lb
Length: 36 inch

Council Tool Jersey felling axe

Michigan Double Bit Axe

The advantage of a double bit axe is that you can prepare each blade differently for different tasks. In this Council Tool design, one edge is thin and sharp – ideal for cutting through knot-free wood – while the other edge is thicker and blunter – designed for where knots are present. This allows you to continue cutting with the same tool as you encounter knots in the wood.

The axe weighs 3.5 lb with a 36-inch straight American hickory handle, so it is the same size as a full-felling axe. The handle must be straight to allow the axe to be swung effectively in both directions. It is also double-throated for the same reason.

Michigan axes have rounded heels and toes to prevent the axe blade from chipping when cutting into frozen wood.

Best Suited For: Cutting through knotted wood with a single tool
Weight: 3.5 lb
Length: 36 inch

Council Tool michigan double bit axe

Fire Axe

This fire axe is designed primarily for firefighters to be used in combination with a Halligan bar in ‘the irons ‘for forcible entry. The axehead is 6 lb on a 32-inch American hickory handle and can be used for chopping, battery, or other forms of door entry. The steel head is made from 4140 American steel. It also has an extended poll for weight distribution and balance to move the center of gravity back towards the eye.

The top of the axehead is also flat so that it can stand upright under its own weight for easy access.

Best Suited For: Forcible Entry for Firefighters
Weight: 6 lb
Length: 32 inch

Council Tool Fire Axe

Splitting Axe

The last on this list is probably the most useful – the full-sized splitting axe. With a 5 lb axe head and a 36-inch straight handle, this axe can split even the most enormous logs into firewood. There are not many logs that will require a second swing with this mighty axe. The edge has a 25-degree convex bevel to force the wood fibers apart. I find this axe to be very effective due to its wedge-shaped blade. It also has a chamfered poll to be used on splitting wedges without damaging them.

This is an excellent splitting axe that won’t have trouble cutting through any logs you need.

Best Suited For: Splitting Large Logs
Weight: 5 lb
Length: 36 inch

council tool splitting axe

Conclusion

That brings me to the end of this article. I have used a lot of Council Tool axes over the last decade and have positive recommendations for them, as long as they suit your purposes. They don’t have the same quality as a Gransfors Bruk axe, but at a much more affordable price tag, they certainly give good value for money. They don’t have composite material handles like a Fiskars axe design, so you will need to maintain and replace the handles over time.


Photo of author

Michael Culligan

I am a lumber worker who performs logging services for the forestry industry. I have spent years honing my skills and experience to become a well-rounded axeman. I'm exited to share my knowledge of axes and lumber tools with everyone to help.