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How should you Safely use an Axe?

Axes come in a variety of sizes and serve many different purposes. A forest axe (also known as a range axe) is used to cut or split large pieces of wood and requires both hands to use. A hatchet, or hand axe, is appropriate for cutting dead branches, twigs, and firewood, and can be used with one hand. Axes can help with numerous tasks, including log-building and meat cleaving, and it's important to know how to use different types of axes!

1. Clear your swinging/chopping area. Before you start swinging your ax, you  want to prepare your chopping area. You need plenty of room to swing an axe, and you do not want anything (not even a twig) to get in the way of your swing, as it can cause you to miss your mark, or deflect the ax into your own body. So remember this maxim: “Clear the ground an axe-length’s around.” An “axe-length” means the length of the handle plus the length of your arm. “Around” means overhead and underneath, in front and back, and on both sides. To check that you have got this clearance, hold your axe by the head and slowly swing it in all directions. Remove any branches or brush that touch the handle.

2. Hold the ghtlyaxe tightly. Your body should be loose and relaxed, while your hands need to firmly grip the axe itself. Make sure your hands are a few inches apart on the axe handle before you start chopping.[1]

Grab the axe by placing your non-dominant hand 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) above the end of the axe handle.

Position your other hand approximately 25% down the handle below the blade of the axe.

If you are right-handed, your right hand should be the one closest to the blade. If you are left-handed, the opposite is true.

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