You need heat to survive, whether you live deeply settled within the forests of Maine or the Colorado mountains. That’s why choosing the right axe is one of the most crucial things for any outdoor enthusiast, homesteader, farmer, camper, hiker, or survivalist – especially if you live in a cold wintery climate or the middle of nowhere.
That’s also why I’m writing this Ooni Axe review. Let’s examine the brand new Ooni Axe and learn about the build quality, its blacksmithing, its appearance, and more. Is the new Ooni Axe the best axe or is there a better axe out there?
The short answer? This axe is awesome. The craftsmanship and quality of materials used is incredible! You’ll have to be quick though. Because the axes are handmade and take ages to craft, there are only 100 axes up for grabs at the moment, in the whole world!
Check it out for yourself:I have a ton of experience chopping wood and building fires, so I’m happy to share my honest wood splitting and firewood insights with you.
Ooni Axe Review
Who is Ooni, and What Is The Ooni Axe?
Ooni is a successful (and cool) business that makes one of the best outdoor pizza ovens anywhere. Their wood-fired pizza ovens rock and can bake a fresh, fluffy-yet-crusty, and delicious homemade pizza in just 60 seconds once heated.
I’m no stranger to Ooni. I’ve reviewed their pizza ovens before. In full transparency, I gave Ooni pizza ovens stellar remarks in my reviews. I also know that the Ooni team is madly in love with fire and all things burning.
The Ooni Axe is a smart, classic, and all-purpose axe that packs plenty of wood-chopping leverage. Most critically – the forgers try their best to create an axe that can last for years – which is a big deal if you’re a dedicated homesteader providing for your family.
Ooni teamed up with Alex Pole of Alex Pole Ironwork, a passionate artisan and British blacksmith with nearly 30 years of experience, to help bring the Ooni Axe to life.
First Impression of the Ooni Axe
When I first saw the Ooni Axe, I thought it looked fierce, sharp, and fun to use. The design of the blade, coupled with the handle’s swanky-style, makes the axe look awesome. The Ooni Axe is how a campground axe or a backyard axe should look.
The axe handle contains a slightly curved shape and seems smooth. The handle also appears thick and sturdy enough to offer plenty of leverage and balance as you chop, split, and hack your firewood.
The axe itself looks manageable for anyone to wield and efficient enough to dominate the firewood for your next backyard campfire or pizza cookout. The Ooni Axe also gets bonus points for originality and vintage appeal.
Ooni Axe Build Quality
Every naturally-made diamond is unique. No two are alike. Any flaw upon the sparkling diamond is one of a kind and makes the diamond infinitely more rare, precious, and dazzling.
The same is true with Ooni Axes. Each Ooni Axe undergoes an individual hand-forging, grinding, and tempering process by blacksmiths and artisans obsessed with axes, forges, steelwork, – and fire!
What I Love About the Ooni Axe
- Build quality – Ooni knocks it out of the ballpark from a quality perspective. The blacksmithing and forging process for the Ooni Axe is admirable – and I love how they stamp each axe they produce with the maker’s touchmark. Ooni takes the quality build of their axes seriously – and so do I.
- Axe appearance – Ooni’s modern yet rustic axe has a timeless allure that I love. The Ooni Axe can add a coolness factor to almost any backyard, campsite, pizza party, farm, or homestead.
- Quality axe forging – Style isn’t everything. Each Ooni Axe also undergoes an individual hammer and fire forging with EN9 steel to ensure blacksmithing and forging quality. The best axe in the world won’t do any good if the head breaks, so I appreciate Ooni’s commitment to quality here.
- The axe handle – The axe handle is one of the most underrated parts of an axe. A plastic axe handle won’t suffice if you’re a seasoned homesteader, hiker, or grizzled woodsman. The ashwood Ooni Axe handle does the art of axe handling justice.
- The sheath – Safety counts because accidents happen. The chic Ooni Axe sheath is stylish and will help prevent accidents when you’re preoccupied with telling stories around the campfire at night or when your little ones are running around your backyard playing tag.
My Top Ooni Axe Concerns
- No axe reviews, yet – The Ooni Axe is brand new, so there is a lack of real-world case studies and reviews. I love to read dozens of reviews before I buy anything. Especially fun outdoor stuff like axes, knives, and pizza ovens…
- Unproven – Nobody knows how long the Ooni Axe will last when put under stress. How much wood-splitting and outdoor abuse can it withstand over the years – and decades? While the Ooni Axe has superb blacksmithing procedures and forging methods, it’s still untried by the test of time.
Top Quality Swedish Steel Forging
I love the level of craftsmanship, blacksmithing, and care that goes into each Ooni Axe.
There’s nothing worse than a cheap piece of junk axe that breaks when you need it the most! Your axe is an essential survival tool – so dependability is a top-notch priority.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional lumberjack or a backwoods hiker trying to build a firepit at camp. If the head of your axe chips or breaks, then it’s game over – especially if you’re miles away from a reliable source of heat!
That’s why I appreciate the detailed forging process of the Ooni Axe head.
All Ooni Axe heads start with a top-quality, solid steel billet (.6%, EN9 high carbon steel) and endure repeated heating and striking until each axe matches the forger’s specifications.
The smiths work passionately, heating and hammering the edge and bit of the axe’s head until the real shape and essence of the Ooni Axe come to life. This edge-forging process can take hours!
Axe Blade Edge
Each Ooni Axe blade undergoes a manual process of grinding to ensure a perfect blade edge.
The process starts via hardening the edge by heating it to 1,508 degrees (F) and then quenching it in oil. The tempering process helps further harden and strengthen the edge of the blade.
The axe’s edge also looks superb with a delightful curve to complement the final oil polish – excellent presentation.
The result is a sturdy, well-shaped axe blade that’s ready to help you conquer today’s stack of stove-length logs waiting to get split.
Wooden Hand-Crafted Axe Handle
The solid-ash Ooni Axe handle has a polished-look, a protective layer of linseed oil, and an ebony wood stain.
Ash is the perfect wood for an axe handle!
Ashwood is famously firm and lightweight, making it ideal for axes and far superior to plastic handles. Have you ever chopped firewood using a plastic or cheap-feeling axe handle? The axe feels like it’s going to snap in half every time you chop a piece of wood! And, the balance is usually off by a mile and feels artificial.
Speaking of snapping in half, pay close attention to the wood grains of the Ooni Axe. Notice anything?
If you look closely at the handle, you’ll see that the wood grains run vertically along with the handle towards the axe head. The direction of the axe handle grain can help to absorb shock. You’re also less likely to snap your axe handle in half when you hack at a thick, damp, stringy, or heavy log. Smart design.
Leather Sheath and Safety
The hidden bonus of the Ooni Axe is the sheath! Your Ooni Axe isn’t complete without a beautiful luxury sheath that fulfills the look and total wood-chopping experience. These sheaths look comfy for your axe and will help keep your Ooni Axe blade safe.
I have a lot of friends who don’t bother sheathing their axes. But I’m all about axe sheaths. The sheath helps to keep your family and friends safe from accidents around your campfire (these happen), and it also helps to keep your axe’s blade secured.
Each leather sheath is crafted with love and precision and made possible by artisan David Broadbent from SOWK and Alex Pole of Alex Pole Ironwork. David uses luxury leathers and manual tools to develop the sheaths in his workshop in Yorkshire, England.
Ooni Axe Alternatives and Companions
I think that the Ooni Axe rules for average everyday log splitting and wood chopping use. Whether you want a reliable axe for your campsite or if you seek the coolest possible axe to accompany your Ooni pizza oven, then the axe rocks.
However, if you’re an outdoor fanatic, then you might need more than one axe!
There are a few other axes that I love for different situations.
Let’s look at two of my favorite luxury axes and see how they compare when going up against the Ooni Axe head to head – and blade to blade. I’ll also show you two of my favorite affordable axes to see how they stack up against the Ooni Axe.
Ooni Axe vs Gransfors Bruk Hand Hatchet
The first axe going head to head vs the Ooni Axe is a useful (and tiny) axe from Gransfors Bruk.
The Gransfors Bruk team prides itself in eco-friendly responsibility, and they commit to a green forging and axe crafting process. Their philosophy is that they want to help the environment by creating axes that last a long time.
One of the coolest Gransfors Bruk axes is their hand hatchet. Here’s a compact axe that only requires one hand. Perfect if you want a small, light, low-profile axe.
Even better, Lehman’s is offering $20 off orders of $150+. Use code TAKE20. They also offer $10 off orders of $115+. Use code SAVE104U. Not up for spending that much? You can still save $5 on orders of $75+! Use Code TAKE5. Shop Now!
I also like the Gransfors Bruk hatchet as a backup to keep in your truck, RV, or camping backpack. If you want a razor-sharp hatchet to help chip away at logs, splice kindling, and get your Ooni pizza oven roaring, then you can’t go wrong with Gransfors Bruk’s hand hatchets.
Pros of Gransfors Bruk’s Hand Hatchet
- Made and smithed by hand in Sweden
- Perfect for small cutting jobs at your campsite
- Compact enough to tuck away in your camping gear
- Sharp enough to handle bigger jobs than you think
- Hickory handle
- 20-year warranty
Cons of Gransfors Bruk’s Hand Hatchet
- They are hard to find. Suppliers often cannot keep up with the demand for these hand hatchets. If you want one and see one in stock, buy them up ASAP. The official Gransfors Bruk website has inventory for sale. However, they only ship to select countries currently.
The bottom line…
The Gransfors Bruk hand hatchet is a smart Ooni Axe companion if you’re looking for a small, one-handed axe that you can easily wield around your campfire, backyard, or next outdoor adventure.
You can buy your Gransfors Axes at Lehman’s:
Ooni Axe vs Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul
Gransfors Bruk doesn’t only make hatchets. They make double-sided axes, historical axes, splitting axes, forest axes, and log building tools.
One of my favorite Gransfors Bruk axes is their splitting maul. The splitting maul excels when you need to split thick, dense, knotty, and stringy chunks of logs and wood.
The maul has a thin and narrow edge, and then the blade progressively widens. This gradually-increasing blade depth grants the maul swift entry into the log you’re cutting and effectively splits the wood with surprisingly-little effort.
The weight of the maul makes it easy to whack heavy logs, split thick wedges of wood, and chop your entire woodpile.
Pros of Gransfors Bruk’s Splitting Maul
- Smithed and forged manually in Sweden
- The thin axe blade and maul’s weight provide tremendous chopping and splitting-power
- Perfect for splitting wood chunks, thick logs, log wedges, or stringy cordwood
- Includes a cool axe sheath
- 20-year warranty
Cons of Gransfors Bruk’s Splitting Maul
- The maul is heavy! It’s the heaviest axe that Gransfors Bruk makes. If you tire easily, or if you don’t have much experience chopping firewood, then this axe can be tough to wield!
- Like other Gransfors Bruk axes, the splitting maul is tricky to find. If you’re in the market for one of these splitting axes, you may have to place the axe on backorder at your favorite retailer.
The bottom line…
The splitting maul from Gransfors Bruk is a worthy Ooni Axe addition if you have heaping mounds of tough cordwood and thick chunks or wedges of wood that need cutting for heating your home over winter.
Ooni Axe vs Snow and Nealley Split and Kindling Tool Set
The Snow and Nealley brand of axes has been in the axe business throughout the New England area since around 1864. When the company closed down, they vanished until an Amish family bought the company. Working together, the family renewed the prominence of Snow and Nealley and continue to make excellent axes.
This kindling tool set is perfect for canoers, campers, hikers, explorers, backpackers, or anyone who needs to chip away at small chunks of wood to make a campfire. The blades on both axes in the kit are narrow and sturdy so you can split kindling or small campfire logs on the go.
These two firewood axes are also relatively light and small, so they’re easy to tuck away in your camping rucksack or hiking gear without fuss.
I think that Snow and Nealley axes are also more affordable than other hand-assembled axes. If you want a pair of lightweight camp or travel axes, and if you don’t have the most significant budget, then Snow and Nealley axes are some of the best in their price range for sure.
Pros of the Snow and Nealley Kindling Tool Set
- Smithed in Maine, USA
- You get two US-made axes, including a mini-maul and a kindling axe, for less than a few hundred bucks
- Perfect for camping, canoeing, outdoor adventures, and splintering kindling wood on the go
- Ideal if you want reliable, trustworthy travel axes on a budget
- An easy alternative to swinging a heavier axe
Cons of the Snow and Nealley Kindling Tool Set
- These axes aren’t that big! They are well-made and great on the go but not the best for larger wood-chopping jobs.
The bottom line…
Snow and Nealley is one of my favorite US-made axe brands. While their prices are lower than their competitors, you’ll find that their reviews are usually excellent. If you want an economical and affordable traveling companion for your Ooni Axe, then Snow and Nealley is a smart choice.
Let’s also look at four other noteworthy axes, including three axes from Hults Bruk – one of the most fabled axe makers on the planet.
Four Other Ooni Axe Companion Axes Worth Considering
1. Hults Bruk Carpenter Axe
Hults Bruk has forged steel since 1697. Let that sink in for a moment.
These folks know axes from top to bottom – and their carpenter axe is a dream for woodworkers who want to carve with precision!
2. Hults Bruk Akka Forester’s Axe
Here’s your perfect deep-forest axe if you find yourself spending the entire season felling and chopping trees down miles away from the nearest cellphone tower or coffee shop.
3. Hults Bruk Double-Headed Axe
This double-headed axe looks like something out of a comic book and makes short work of your nearest firewood stack. Here’s an axe also balanced for throwing and sporting. Fun times!
4. Gransfors Bruk Outdoor Axe
If you spend a lot of time splitting wood to warm your home in the winter, then the rugged Gransfors Bruk outdoor axe will get your stockpile of stove-lengths ready for the long-winter and your fireplace without delay.)
Is the Ooni Axe the Perfect Axe for You?
If you’ve swung an axe a few hundred times – then you know your axe is much more than a backyard or garden toy.
Your axe is a tool that can help warm and nourish your family. An axe can help keep you alive! That’s why the process of buying the right axe is serious business.
Here are a few of the top questions you should ask before buying an Ooni Axe for your next winter cordwood stacking, backyard pizza party outing, or camping trip.
1. What Type of Axe Do You Want?
Whether you’re chopping a downed tree, splitting kindling, or hacking firewood for your next pizza oven bash – there’s an axe perfect for you.
Below you’ll find some of the most common and a few of my favorite axes you should know about and consider.
Types of Axes
- Hatchet – A one-handed, short, light axe perfect for splitting or chopping small logs or kindling.
- Maul Axe – A big, heavy, mighty axe perfect for splitting thick logs or tree chunks. Mauls have a pointy edge and a dull edge. These axes deliver loads of chopping power but can also tire you out quickly!
- Splitting Axe – Perfect for splitting firewood and logs along the fibers. Lighter than maul axes.
- Felling Axe – Long axes with lots of power and leverage. But, they’re heavy! Perfect for chopping trees. Felling axes can boast impressive, 36-inch handles, or more.
- Carpenter Axe – Perfect for carving, woodwork, joinery, trades, et cetera. Not ideal for the campsite or timber-chopping jobs.
- Throwing Axe – Have you ever seen a gnarly-looking, double-headed axe? I bet that was a throwing axe! A sporting axe designed for throwing at a target. Loads of fun, but not always ideal for splitting kindling.
- Battle Axe – Something you might encounter watching Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. These one or two-handed axes come with bad intentions!
The above is just a quick list of popular axe types. There are endless specialty axes to help with everything from chopping logs and meat cleaving to mining. Everyone uses axes – including ranchers, lumberjacks, farmers, gardeners, campers, hikers, loggers, and homesteaders alike.
Some axes also fall into several categories. I think that the Ooni Axe is an example of a utility, all-purpose axe that’s perfect for splitting logs and kindling or keeping in your backyard shed for small jobs around your yard, garden, or farm.
2. How Heavy of an Axe Do You Want?
A lot of campers and survivalists always go for the most cumbersome and heaviest axe when splitting wood. A heavy axe will make it much easier for you to chop thick-grained, knotty, or damp logs.
But, heavy axes like mauls also tire you out much quicker, and they’re more tricky to control when splitting or chopping wood – especially if you don’t have much experience!
Try a medium-sized splitting axe, hatchet, or multi-purpose axe if you have loads of backyard kindling to split and don’t want to deplete your energy tank quite so quickly.
The Ooni Axe fits this bill nicely.
The Ooni Axe is trustworthy enough to handle your wood-chopping chores when firing up your outdoor pizza oven, and it’s also light enough so you won’t burn yourself out when splitting kindling for your nighttime backyard fires.
3. How Dependable of an Axe Do You Need?
Have you ever taken a mighty swing in an attempt to chop firewood – only to have the head of the axe come flying off?
That’s one of the most frustrating (and potentially dangerous) parts about getting your firewood ready for winter!
But it’s also an important lesson – not all axes are equal – and some do jobs better than others. The smartest way to choose the best axe for your outdoor endeavors is to figure out how you intend on using your axe.
Which Describes Your Axe Use the Best?
- Chopping firewood for backyard campfires?
- Heating your home over the winter and stuffing your fireplace?
- Splitting kindling to heat and fire your Ooni pizza oven? (Yes, please!)
- To keep and store in your RV or camper?
- To help with chopping jobs around your campsite?
- To store around your backyard shed or garage?
- As a last-second line of defense to fend off predators, wolves, foxes, and coyotes?
- For survival?
- Or maybe you depend upon your axe for a variety of homesteading or farming tasks?
Consider your needs. Some small and light wood-cutting jobs don’t require that your axe boast reliable hand-forging and top-quality steel. If you only use your axe sparingly for small jobs, and if you don’t depend upon your axe for survival, then most axes will work fine – for a time.
But – if you depend on your axe for heating your home, cooking food, and survival – then why not seek a brand that puts heart and soul into their craft?
So, Is the Ooni Axe Worth Buying?
Yes! I think that the Ooni Axe rocks for homesteaders, farmers, campers, survivalists, or anyone who has lots of wood-splitting, kindling splintering, outdoor pizza cooking, or winter preparedness to consider!
If you want a gorgeous-looking axe with a rustic and old-fashioned charm that you can depend on when you need it the most – to warm and feed your family, then I invite you to try the Ooni Axe for your next log-burning venture. You’ll probably have a lot of fun!
Please let me know what you think about the Ooni Axe! Do you like the Ooni Axe? I know many in our community chop heaps and mounds of firewood and love to burn campfires – so I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading!
Buy your Limited Edition Ooni Axe – be quick, there are only 100 to go around!