(Usual disclaimer I am not responsible for dumb arses that place steel at velocity into flesh after thinking they are qualified from watching youtube clips in their mothers basement).

Apart from no one doing a knots only course or a knife course in this country there are also no axe courses due to liability issues with insurance. So the closest anyone will get in Australia to an axe course is watching youtube videos. Ive put together the basics from the best of the instructors I could find for a do it your self tutorial. As Aussies do if there are no courses we teach ourselves.

I dont think I missed anything other than to say check out the Grey Bearded Green Beret paid courses. I cant remember which one it is but its the only place I have seen anyone show batoning with a hatchet. It blew my mind. From the safety aspect to beginning with larger sections and moving down to smaller pieces to transitioning to a blade. Worth checking out.


“The axe is the most important of all the basic bush tools. Outside of fire, little else can contribute more to living comfortably in the wilderness than knowing how to properly use a well chosen axe.” – Mors Kochanski.

Learn to safely fell a tree, limb it, section it and split it, maintain and repair your axe – from honing the blade to a razor finish to repairing a broken handle.

Brief history of the Axe Axe size, design and anatomy

Axes hatchets and mauls – how to use them

Using an axe safely and powerfully

Timber properties

Re-handling a new axe

Axe care & sharpening

Tree felling

Limbing & sectioning

Splitting techniques

Understand the different types of axes

Choose and appropriate axe for their needs

Maintain a sharp edge

Understand the four major axe uses: Felling, Limbing, Sectioning, Splitting

Understand the implications of being in remote locations on the four majors uses

Know the specific safety parameters of each of the four majors

Understand the role efficiency plays in axe use

Carrying and transporting axes safely

Firewood splitting – fundamental techniques

Optimal use of a chopping block

Splitting firewood when you have no block

Splitting firewood when you are on soft surfaces such as snow

Efficient pole cutting

Felling larger trees with axe and saw

Efficient limbing of felled trees

Sectioning of trees with axe and saw

Splitting larger diameter logs

Splitting long logs

Proper use of splitting wedges

Making gluts

One-handed axe use

Two-handed axe technique

Ambidextrous axe use with smooth transitions

I sent this post off to several mates to see if I missed anything and Al Ainsworth came back with several great suggestions that Ive included here in case anyone should ever start an Aussie axe course these are great suggestions.. The only thing I knew about here was tomahawks and if i asked any of my koorie mates about using stone hand axes they would firstly say they use chainsaws then chase me out of the house with it saying Im a dumbarse. So Id have to contact Jake Cassar about stone hand axes and see if he had time to add anything to this post on indigenous history.

Als Suggestions

History and use of the axe in Australia including indigenous uses. 

Looking at Hytest and Keensteel vintage Australian  brands.

Also development of a Tasmanian pattern axe and uniquely Australian poison axe worth a looking at.

Different timber you can use for handle’s  ash,spotted gum..

Cover the tomahawk advantages and disadvantages.

The role of the axe/hatchet in Australia bushcraft more a crafting and harvesting tool than a wood processor..

Unique properties of ,Australian timbers which links into the Tasmanian axe.

You  can do a lot with “cheaper” brand like Ochsenkopf ,Hello or HB. Geting away from the GB culture or hype.

Value of the vintage axes and hatchet. Example the Jarrah Jack made in the 1970s & 1980s by HB

Youtube clips

Original Outdoors






Blackhat Bushcraft


Ray Mears

choosing an axe

TA Outdoors

axe skills


tips and tricks



skill cult




understanding axes

anatomy of an axe


paul kirkly book

Hidden Valley Bushcraft

care and maintenance

Tomahawks for bushcraft