This is why nobody tosses a dwarf!
I'm gonna make me a big sharp axe
Shining steel, tempered in the fire
I'll chop you down like an old dead tree
Useful for chopping wood and heads alike, axes are often pressed into service as weapons. An axe's wide, cleaving head is effective against armor, making it a slower and more powerful weapon than a sword
, though not quite as massive as a hammernote
. Smaller axes, such as the tomahawk or the francisca, can be used as throwing weapons. In certain media, they may even return to the user's hand like a boomerang
, though they have the tendency to stick in enemies if they score a hit.
Historically, due to being somewhat easier to manufacture, their general familiarity to the peasant population and mobility (real-life combat axes were small
and rarely weighed more than one kilo), they used to be the close combat Weapon of Choice
of the common foot soldiers, as opposed to the officers and nobility, who wore swords (which were generally too expensive for commoners). While military weapons were often illegal for peasants to own, axes are tools, and avoid the prohibition. Franks used them extensively (lending their name to the francisca), and nowadays axes are associated with the following character archetypes:
However it should be noted that axes made specifically for warfare were fundamentally different in design from the common sort of axes a commoner might have lying around, with thin and almost sword-like edges designed for slicing flesh, rather than the deep wedge typical of axes used for chopping wood, making the latter type a case of Improvised Weapon
. A proper battle-axe would not
be a good choice for menial labor, any more than would a sword.
If the Big Guy
isn't using a hammer
or his bare fists
, he'll generally use a gigantic axe as a weapon. For extra comedy, the Cute Bruiser
may be given a head-chopper bigger than the rest of her body.
Sometimes axes are the most logical weapon simply because they're available as an escape tool in almost every public building. See Deus Ax Machina
May also include halberds and other poleaxes, which combine the chopping power of an axe with the range of a Blade on a Stick
Not to be confused with Author Filibuster
or Author Tract
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Anime and Manga
- Getter Robo: GETTAAAAAAAA TOMAHAAAAWWWKKK!!!
- Each version of Getter 1 has this. From a fairly standard-sized tomahawk (relative to the mech itself) in the original to twin, double-bladed ones for G, a massive one for Shin Getter that's actually more of a halberd than a tomahawk and a GIANT, double-bladed, double-ended ax for Shin Dragon (which is already absolutely gigantic to begin with). And then there's the above "Final Getter Tomahawk"; it is to axes as the Goldion Crusher is to hammers.
- In Super Robot Wars NEO, Getter Robo-1 unlocks this weapon after the final Getter Robo-related event.
- GunBuster: The titular robot was equiped with Buster Tomahawk (or, how Noriko Takaya would tell: "BUSTAAAA TOMAHAAAAWK..."): twin, fifty-foot-long axes folded into its shoulders. The weapon was meant to be a Getter Robo Shout-Out but it didn't make it to the anime. However it was included in Super Robot Wars where Getter Robo's Ryouma teaches Noriko.
- In the Mazinger series:
- Mazinger Z: A few Mechanical Beasts used axes. In the Mazinger vs Devilman film, the first Beast showed up used a double-headed, throwing axe.
- Great Mazinger: Some War Beasts also were axe-wielders. General Juuma -one of the Co-Dragons of Ankoku Daishogun- wielded one in the Mazinger-Z vs Great General of Darkness (and nearly skewers Mazinger's head -and Kouji- with it). In the proper series, Garalya (in the episode 2) was the first War Beast in using an axe (a huge double-headed axe with no handle).
- Asuka of Neon Genesis Evangelion, with her fondness of melee weapons, has Unit-02 equipped with a massive battle axe when the Evangelions fight Leliel. After Unit-01 is absorbed into the Angel's body, Asuka sinks her axe into the side of a building and promptly uses it as a foothold for Unit-02 to avoid being absorbed by the Angel.
- Panzer World Galient: Plenty Humongous Mecha are equipped with battle axes -like General Zaba's panzer-, some of them -like The Dragon- combining this trope with Dual Wielding.
- Bui from YuYu Hakusho. A typical Big Guy example at first blush. In fact , as he's not really a Big Guy. All that armor he wears is not for protection, but rather to keep his immense power in check, and as you can expect the fight only really begins once he takes it off and he starts using his inherent powers instead of axes.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
- Fate's Bardiche, whose basic form is, well, a bardiche, a long poleaxe.
- Force introduces Deville of Hückebein, whose Divider is a massive battleaxe.
- Flora and Schierke spend some time forging a giant axe for Guts to wield against the Trolls that are attacking their village in Berserk, but Guts turns it down because he's already doing just fine with his big whacking Dragon Slayer, thank-you-very-much.
- Midori Sugiura from Mai-HiME uses one as her Element.
- Dinoking in Transformers Victory uses an axe.
- Zeon mobile suits (particularly those of the Zaku bloodline) are often equipped with 'Heat Hawks,' axes with an extremely hot blade that can cut through armour, in the original Gundam continuity. Presumably easier to make than beam sabers. Eventually they split the difference and make beam versions, too. These also are used by the Zaku Expys in Gundam SEED Destiny.
- Utu from The Tower of Druaga had a regular axe that he exchanged for a beam axe in the second season.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- Chris Armalite from Scrapped Princess carries a large axe with a chain attached to it for extra reach.
- Jidanbou uses not one, but two enormous axes. Or at least he did, until Ichigo smashed them.
- Segunda Espada Baraggan Louisenbairn, who sports a very huge axe for a weapon/Zanpakutou. After activating his Resurrección, he has an even bigger axe called Gran Caida.
- Quinto Espada Nnoitra Gilga's Zanpakuto in its sealed form can be considered as an axe, but it looks really weird for an axe if we can really call it an axe. Just look. The light parts are the blades.
- Kenpachi Zaraki's Zanpakuto takes the form of a gigantic axe.
- Kyo Aguri in Weiß Kreuz Gluhen had an axe he could also shoot a chain out of. Didn't help him much.
- Akumetsu has used axes a few times.
- Yuno of Mirai Nikki often uses an axe precisely because its easy for her to get her hands on one. She has been know to use other weapons however.
- Lind from Ah! My Goddess carries a halberd as her Weapon of Choice.
- Korikkakumon from Digimon Frontier wields a pair of axes.
- In Digimon Xros Wars:
- Starmon and the yellow Pickmon can combine into one for Shoutmon X2.
- Who could forget the far superiorSkullKnightmon Big Axe Mode? That's... quite the axe.
- As a homage to Getter Robo, Olegmon has a pair of axes. When he tosses them he shouts DUAL TOMAHAWK BOOMERANG!
- Gaiking has an axe, simply called the "Gaiking Axe".
- Morgan from One Piece. He has an axe for a hand. A later character, Sentomaru uses a large Battle Axe.
- In Legend of Galactic Heroes, axes are the weapon of choice for infantry in close quarter combat.
- The Transformers Cybertron incarnation of Metroplex (who is giant in comparison to the ordinary giant robots) has his shovel/bucket wheel assembly become an axe called Sparkdrinker in robot mode. He brutally smashes Megatron through two floors (in a building for giant Transformers) with it. Things get even more awesome when Optimus Prime wields it.
- In Naruto one of the weapons of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist is Kabutowari, or "Helm Splitter". Called a blunt sword, it consists of an oversized axe and hammer joined together by a cord. The tactic employed by its wielder was to wedge the axe blade into an enemy and then drive it in further by hitting it with the hammer. And yet, is called "sword".
- Axes are the weapon of choice of Yaiba's Gerozaemon . Also the Rock Soldier and Ruby in the Pyramid Arc.
- In Black Lagoon, the Hansel personality uses an axe as his main weapon, it fits his personality too.
- Two assassins from Gamaran come from a Ryuu specialized in Dual Wielding axes. One of their opponent points out how dangerous such weapons are, as they can easily smash a katana blade and break the defense.
- Noda from Angel Beats! uses a giant halberd most of the time, though he sometimes fights with guns.
- Kotori Itsuka from Date A Live uses a massive pole axe in her Spirit form.
- Isurugi uses a rather large one in Seiken Tsukai No World Break.
- The odd weapon used by Buffy (see below) originally appeared — will appear? — in the future, wielded by Fray.
- A double edged battleaxe is the Weapon of Choice and insignia of the Marvel Comics villain Skurge the Executioner.
- The "Atomic Axe", which can cut through anything (even abstracts like time itself), is the weapon of choice for the Persuader, foe of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Sonic the Hedgehog makes a predictable pun when he faces the Mushroom Hill boss in the Sonic and Knuckles special of the Archie comic.
- Part way through the first Sin City story, "The Hard Goodbye", Marv acquires a hatchet and uses it to kill a bunch of people.
- The Headsman of the Thunderbolts wields a giant axe and has a disturbing fixation with cutting heads off. This is implied to have something to do with his Aloof Older Brother using a logging axe to behead his beloved dog. Later 'Bolts member Troll wields an ancient Asgardian war axe, which can only be lifted with super-strength.
- Ares, the God of War in the Marvel Universe, could use whatever weapon he pleased. He chooses to use a savage axe.
- Incredible Hulk:
- During Hulk's time as a gladiator and rebel leader in the "Planet Hulk" storyline, he favored axes as his main weapon. He dropped them for a sword(that he made himself) in "World War Hulk", but promotional art shows him with an axe as well.
- After the Hulk left Sakaar, his son Skaar was left to contend with the aptly-named Axeman Bone.
- The title character in 2000 AD's Sláine has an impressive axe.
- Badd Axe, best known as one of The Hood's Initiative recruits during the Dark Reign. He sleeps with the damn thing! Thor has speculated that it was forged by Hephaestus himself, making it nearly as formidable as Hercules' mace or his own hammer!
- Butcher, the embodiment of the Red Lantern Corps, uses an axe when he's inhabiting the body of a lifeform capable of wielding it properly. True to his name, he also has a belt full of cutlery tools, including a rather menacing cleaver.
- Calie, from Zenescope's Escape from Wonderland, literally and figuratively has an axe to grind. With her daughter kidnapped, Calie takes up a woodcutting axe that mutates into a BFA in her quest to rescue her daughter and get revenge against the Eldritch Abomination that cursed her family line.
- Tricerachops from Super Dinosaur has an enormous axe as her weapon of choice.
- A log-splitting handaxe is the signature weapon of Dead@17 heroine Nara Kilday. She doesn't seem to keep one on her, though, so she's always picking up new ones.
- In the Franco-Belgian comic La Quête de l'Oiseau du Temps, an axe is the weapon of choice of legendary warriors Bragon and Le Rige.
- In the "Supergirl" arc of Superman/Batman, Batman wields a battle axe when he, Superman, and the denizens of Themyscira fight against the forces of Darkseid.
- Revolutionary War hero Tomahawk took his name from his skill with his namesake axe.
- Time-travelling caveman Alley Oop's weapon of choice is a stone axe.
- Samuel D. Axe, the protagonist of one of the best-known One Piece OC fanfictions, uses a diamond axe as his main weapon, and is even named after said weapon.
- One of Stalkkus' weapons in humanoid form in the Godzilla fanfilm Godzilla vs the Kaiju Killer.
- Ash uses a fire axe to take down Tentagator in Carnage Necropolis. What's impressive is that he did it with ONE arm, as the other was ripped off by Tentagator (though it loses some impact when you remember Ash is being boosted by the L-Ject he was infected with, and he dies soon after killing the thing).
- The camp counselor in Camp Nightmare as he attempts to behead Calvin.
- Ayra in Aska uses a 'rune axe' that materialises instantly whenever she needs it. It's probably used because of her ties to Norse Mythology and Vikings.
- In A Growing Affection, Sakura's axe is her primary weapon, until about the middle of book 3. Gouki Namikaze is an axe-wielder, too. Both learned the weapon from Tsunade (who is never seen wielding one), and the latter received his unique weapon from her.
Films — Live-Action
- A View to a Kill. During the final fight at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, Max Zorin famously grabs a nearby axe and attacks the heroes in a last attempt to kill Bond and Stacy.
- In Shadows Of Our Ancestors, which takes place in a Hutsul village in the Carpathian mountains, the men are typically carrying around their traditional axes.
- The Mad Scotsman in The Loch Ness Horror.
- Gimli from The Lord of the Rings. Not to mention countless other dwarves from fantasy fiction (both Tolkien and those inspired by him). Strangely enough, all the main dwarves in The Hobbit fought with swords, and Dáin Ironfoot's army carried mattocks and short swords.
- Plays with the idea of Dwarfs being commonly portrayed with axes. There, it's their cultural weapon so Dwarfish officers of Ankh Morpork can carry them around, and in Dwarfish mines carrying a huge axe strapped to one's back is perceived as more of being properly dressed rather than heavily armed. The particular axe preferred by these dwarfs is mentioned to be a multipurpose tool: It's got a pick on one side, for prospecting, and an ax on the other in case anyone tries to stop you.
- Some of the more progressive female dwarfs eschew the traditional dwarf armor in favor of dresses. They retain the axe, though, because, as one of them puts it, "I said I was female. I didn't say I wasn't a dwarf."
- The elite personal guard of the Low King of the Dwarfs are worthy of special mention. Each is armed with a single axe. While other warriors may bristle with weapons, they bristle with one weapon.
- Thud! has a climactic moment when a reformist Dwarf priest uses a hand strike to the throat to silence a conservative Dwarf priest. He describes it as "like using an axe, but without the axe".
- In The Silmarillion, Húrin (a Man) used an axe to great effect in his heroic last stand. He took down seventy trolls with it before being taken alive. Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs, has a massive, black one made of fire.
- Also in The Silmarillion the Dwarves of the First Age use much-oversized axes and armos with full helmets and masks to fight Dragons at close range.
- Gotrek of Gotrek & Felix is not only a Death Seeker but also carries a double-headed magical axe. Over the course of the series he has unsuccessfully tried to get himself killed fighting dragons, demons, hordes of undead; you get the picture.
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms has quite a few users of both axes and halberds.
- Li Kui, from The Water Margin, was well known for his twin axes and, not surprisingly, being a little Ax-Crazy.
- Jade Empire has Black Whirlwind, a Sociopathic Hero with twin axes who was likely inspired by the above character.
- A moon-bladed hand axe was Perrin's Weapon of Choice for some time in The Wheel of Time.
- Fitz from Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy.
- Raskalnikov in Crime and Punishment and Caderousse in The Count of Monte Cristo both murder people with axes.
- Several of the Church Knights from David Eddings's The Elenium and Tamuli series were axe-users. Three examples: Boisterous Bruiser Ulath, Badass Bookworm Bevier and Only Sane Man Side Kick Berit all wield axes of varying sizes and types. Ulath uses a double-headed axe, Berit an infantry axe and Bevier a lochaber axe. Adus, a brutal Psycho for Hire also resorts to an axe during his final confrontation with the heroes, despite having used a sword in his previous appearances.
- The Valerian footsoldiers of the Lensman series use the space axe as their Weapon of Choice. It's functionally identical to the Medieval poleaxe, but in SPACE! As Valerians are canonically Dutch Heavyworlders. The space axes were extremely massive, on the order of 35 pounds, so that even a slow swing was deadly. This was because the Deflector Shields in the Lensman universe provided resistive force proportional to the cube of the impacting item's velocity. As in Dune, the slow blade penetrates the shield.
- While Conan generally uses swords as his weapon of choice, he has used the battleaxe from time to time in Howard's stories, such as in the first Conan story, "The Phoenix on the Sword," which has King Conan taking one to the assassins trying to kill him in his bedchamber after breaking his sword.
- King Kull, another Howard creation, famously used the axe, with his catchphrase being "With This Axe I Rule!"
- David Gemmell's Druss the Legend was also called "Druss the Axe" because his signature weapon was Snaga, a powerful axe that had a demon inside.
- An axe is the weapon of choice of the titular Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an axe with a four-foot head.
- Older Than Feudalism: Some variations of the Trojan War have Achilles wielding an Axe just before he's killed.
- Averted in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun ... despite Severian being a Journeyman of the Torturer's Guild and therefore (amongst other things) a public executioner, his beheading weapon is a sword rather than the more iconic axe.
- Kaz the minotaur of Dragonlance fame. His weapon of choice was a magic axe, Honor's Face, that could be returned to his hand at will (among other awesome abilities).
- Jean Tannen from the Gentleman Bastard series is skilled with a large variety of weapons, but prefers to fight with two axes he calls the Wicked Sisters, and considers to be family members rather than weapons. Jean does not conform to the usual axe-fighter tropes, though, being a well-educated and well-read cat burglar and con man.
- In The Hunger Games (well, the sequel) Johanna Mason from the lumber district is quite adept with an axe.
- Captain Kotov in Night Watcher uses a huge butcher's axe (practically a BFA) as his signature vampire-hunting weapon, because it was the best weapon he could find when he first had to confront a vampire, and it turned out to be surprisingly good for the job. He's a bit Ax-Crazy, yeah.
- Norbert the Nutjob in How to Train Your Dragon is one hell of an Ax-Crazy.
- In Robert E. Howard's Kull/Bran Mak Morn story "Kings of the Night", the Vikings use axes.
- Action Girl Neeva from The Prism Pentad use a large axe made of steel as her favourite weapon.
- The Tin Woodman from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Used it more extensively in the books than in the film.
- Ex-Con Keith Blackwell in Idoru uses a collapsible war axe not dissimilar to the US army tactical tomahawk.
- The Keldara from the Paladin of Shadows series are very good at using axes for throwing and melee.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the hill clans favor axes, particularly Shagga, who wields one in each hand. Tyrion uses an axe because his dwarfism makes a sword unwieldy. Loras, in spite of being a slender youth, wields an axe during Renly's tournament. In the Tales of Dunk and Egg, Gentle Giant Dunk carries a sword, but believes that he's virtually peerless with an axe or mace. Victarion Greyjoy favors a battle axe.
- Patrick Bateman murders Paul Owen (Paul Allen in the film) with an axe.
- Honor Harrington and her fellow Probationary Rangers keeps a Pulaskinote nearby whenever they travel into the woodlands of Sphinx in Fire Season.
- Black Crown sees King Marion fighting with an axe in the first short story, perhaps because he knew he would be fighting the armoured King Valerius.
- In Hometown, a common wood-splitting axe is the weapon of choice for Luther Harfield, both in life and beyond.
- Novak, the anti-hero of the zombie noir Undead on Arrival uses a hatchet (paired with a small sledgehammer) as his preferred method of dispatching the undead.
- Fellow Man by Norwegian author Olav Duun has a Gender Flip version of the trope. Ragnhild, the female protagonist is out to chop some firewood, and has to look for the axe in the smithy. When she gets there, she is threatened by the antagonist of the book, a jerkass and Magnificent Bastard of a father-in-law, and she is pushed so far by him that she eventually chops him down. After that, she proceeds to chopping firewood.
- A lot of characters on The Oathsworn series fight with bearded axes, great axes, throwing axes, and when nothing more is available, blunt wood axes.
- In the How to Train Your Dragon Books, Norbert the Nutjob has a HUGE double headed axe, with one head black and one head gold, that he sharpens lovingly all the time.
- In the Paradox Trilogy, Cotter's weapon of choice is a giant axe, so massive that he requires Powered Armor to lift it.
- It would be weird if someone called the Axe-Man wasn't an example of this trope. He's the Ax-Crazy variety.
- Game of Thrones:
- Loras wields an axe during his melee with Brienne.
- Tyrion himself uses a double-bladed axe to chop the leg off a soldier of Stannis' army during the Battle of Blackwater.
- Garrett's "Twin Timber Axes!" from The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg.
- Axes frequently show up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, usually in one of two forms — In addition to fire extinguishers, Sunnydale High School is also equipped with fire axes. Joyce uses one of these when she goes Mama Bear on Spike. And Giles (and later Angel) owns several medieval battleaxes, and they seem to be the preferred weapon for fighting demons. When Gunn joins Team Angel, he uses a home-made axe created from a hubcap.
- The Council thought to train Buffy with an axe. Blindfolded. The attacking Watcher was lucky not to be killed, the training dummy Buffy was meant to be protecting...not so much.
- The "Scythe" found near the end of Buffy is clearly an axe (though it includes a short straight blade on the head and a sharpened wooden stake for a base).
- Which crops up again in the comics, which shows a... extremely fit looking Buffy nursing it as though it were a guitar.◊
- And now Willow's gone a little Ax-Crazy and stolen it, thinking it will help restore magic. She absconds to England and goes to Angel, who threatens her (he'd just fought a horde of demons and thought she was another one before answering the door,) she's broken off the end in case she needs to stake him. She later goes ahead with the ritual she had planned, by using the ax on Conner.
- In Kamen Rider Den-O, Kintaros wields an axe, as does his version of Den-O, which is actually named Axe Form. This is because Kintaros is based on the Japanese myth of Kintaro the Golden Boy, who himself used an axe.
- In Kamen Rider OOO, OOO's ultimate form, Putotyra specialises in the use of an axe named Medagabryu. His other forms can use it too, but only Putotyra can use it's alternate mode.
- In Kamen Rider Ryuki, this is Kamen Rider Tiga's Weapon of Choice. His Kamen Rider Dragon Knight counterpart is even named Kamen Rider Axe.
- In Kamen Rider Wizard, the title character gets an axe-sword combo (called Axcalibur) in his Super Mode.
- The various iterations of the Super Sentai / Power Rangers are also fond of axes. It's most common among Green and Black Rangers (which are generally considered "the same", because most teams have the primary colors, pink, and either black or green.)
- The villainous Mordred in the 1998 adaptation of Arthurian Legend, Merlin, wields an appropriately sized axe as his main weapon.
- The Salamanca cousins in Breaking Bad carry a silver fire axe as their weapon of choice when preparing to kill Walter White.
- Will Scarlett in the BBC's Robin Hood fought with an axe and a hatchet, on account of him being a carpenter.
- The Lizard Folk Hargrod from Shadow Keep.
- The old History Channel show Conquest had the host discuss the benefits of axes in one episode. Before starting a sparring session, he gives a protracted warning to his partner that once he starts swinging his axe at the man, it can't be stopped. He then lunges forward screaming and swinging his axe wildly, causing the overwhelmed sparring partner to break and run without putting up a fight.
- Not surprisingly, the main characters of Vikings often carry axes.
- Kids in the Hall has a recurring character in which Dave Foley plays an affable axe murderer.
- On Bitten the final attack by the werewolf "mutts" begins when one of them, in wolf form, rushes Jeremy from the woods. Jeremy grabs an axe that he earlier used to chop wood and tosses it at the wolf. The axe hits wolf in the head and kills him instantly.
- A guitarist may refer to his instrument as an "axe" and few will question him. Typically, the louder the music he plays, the more likely and more acceptable this is.
- Gorillaz: Noodle, the Axe Princess.
- Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie uses one in the iconic cover of Killers◊, and also on the "Run to the Hills◊" single.
- The antagonist of Bally's Centaur uses a large metal axe with a pick on the back.
- The male warrior in Gladiators is using what looks like an electric axe.
- Warhammer (in fact, they're much more popular than the hammer of the title, which is mostly limited to Dwarfs and a few humans)
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Hatchets were the first close-combat weapon to be used in BattleTech. One mech in particular, the AXM-2N Axeman, was the first mech used by Adam Steiner in the animated series. The axe in this case weighs five tons, being designed for use by Humongous Mecha. Vibroaxes are one of many types of melee weapons available in the RPG Spin-Off, Mechwarrior
- Although it's not required per se, the traditional barbarian stereotype in Dungeons & Dragons is waving an axe about as large as himself. They're also a popular Dwarven weapon along with warhammers and crossbows.
- In In Nomine, it's the favored weapon of Michael, Archangel of War, the local incarnation of badass. In fact, even though the game has rules for adding miraculous powers to angels' weapons and entities of Archangelic power levels are kept deliberately vague, Michael's axe is explicitly statted in a player supplement: its only power is to teleport in on command. He doesn't need any others.
- The Munchkin card game has a whole expansion called Unnatural Axe, and the card by that name is a very big axe indeed◊. With spikes.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the labrys was the signature weapon of the Black Furies.
- One of the titular Iron Kingdoms is the Empire of Khador, whose gameplay is often summarized in three words : "Axe to face !" This unofficial motto is made incarnate in Kommander Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov. He calls his Lola.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has Artifact Labrys, a sentient axe that can summon herself when a fellow Artifact is destroyed.
- Yu Gi Oh also has the Axe of Despair, an Equip card that boosts ATK by 1000 points, and features a horrific, ghoulish head as part of the handle in the original Japanese artwork. Notably, the rules have no provisions against equipping the aforementioned Artifact Labrys with the Axe of Despair, resulting in a situation where a futuristic space axe is wielding a demonic flesh axe.
- In Zombicide, set after a Zombie Apocalypse, the group of 4 to 6 survivors player take charge off start with a weapon each, from the following list, distributed randomly: a pistol, a crowbar, 1 frying pan per survivor beyond the 3rd, and a fire axe. The fire axe can be used to breach doors, though it makes quite some noise while doing so.
- Several BIONICLE characters use or have used axes such as Lewa in his original form, Gali as a Toa Nuva, and Axonn.
- Nerf now gives us foam battle axes and foam hatchets, which, judging by their popular reception, are awesome.
- The Transformers "Power Core Combiners" toyline's first wave of releases features Smolder, a Decepticon fire engine whose weapon of choice is an axe, and Chopster, who transformes into Smolder's axe. They're both Ax-Crazy, to boot.
- Red from the webcomic No Rest for the Wicked has a woodsman's axe, and she's made a hobby of hunting wolves with it.
- thog in The Order of the Stick
- In The Brick Testament, the tenth plague of Egypt in Exodus is portrayed as God walking around in Egypt killing people with a large axe.
- Axe Cop. He has a whole school of martial arts devoted to its use; it can also be used as a skateboard and an electric guitar, and I think it can sometimes shoot fire, lasers, other axes, etc...the comic was written by a six-year-old, after all.
- In The KAMics it is Nikki the Red's weapon of choice.
- Hogan of the Webcomic Crossover & Cameo Archive has appeared in many webcomics, with his trademark axe, chasing after authors who use too many cameos.
- In Wayfarers Moon the axe is Lily's weapon of choice.
- In Our Little Adventure, Pauline's weapon of choice is a greataxe, though she used a Dwarven waraxe for awhile.
- In Guilded Age, Byron dual-wields a pair of axes.
- In El Goonish Shive, Abraham uses one to kill abominations.
- In Roza, what they meet on the escape
- Rusty and Co.:
- Girl Genius:
- In Homestuck, the Alpha-session incarnation of the Hegemonic Brute wields one against Dirk that is appropriately called "AXE TO GRIND" due to the times he's been killed off before in previous incarnations. Needless to say, he gets killed off again.
- Shorty from Skullkickers uses Dual Wields them. Notably, his axes aren't cartoonishly oversized; in fact, they aren't much bigger than hatchets.
- In Sinfest, the executioner in the dungeon Squigly falls to. He uses it on Slick's heart, too.
- Karate Bears LOVE axes
- Waterworks: One of the weapons that the protagonist uses. Per a Running Gag, she acquires it from picking up a can of "Axe" deodorant.
- In My Life At War Dhuvalian LIMBs wield giant axes with welding torch nozzles along the blade.
- Before his name was revealed, Aetius of The Silver Eye was lovingly known as "Axe-Man"
- The Fourth, Skava and Derk run afoul of a lumberjack with a comically sized axe at one point.
- Transformers Animated Optimus Prime has the "Boomerang Tomahawk" version with an energon axe with an extendable handle and a rocket attached. It also fits in with the firetruck theme (his other weapons are grapples and fire-retardant foam).
- This is based on an axe made of energon that G1 Optimus could turn his hand into. It became somewhat of an iconic weapon for the character (thus why the Prime above carries one), despite the fact that it only appeared in one episode.
- On The Fairly OddParents, Vicky, as well as a few other characters, have used axes. One of Vicky's more common gags is preparing various horrors when Timmy's parents aren't looking, including grinding her executioner's axe. (When they look over, she promptly kicks the grindstone aside, holds the axe behind her back, and whistles innocently.)
- Harry, King Hugo's right-hand man in Potatoes and Dragons, wields one.
- Chronozoid carries a a curved axe blade attached to an Epic Flail on Skysurfer Strike Force.
- In the Gravity Falls episode "Headhunters", Dipper and Mabel find someone has vandalized a wax dummy of their Grunkle Stan by chopping off its head with an ax. The culprit turns out to be a bunch of vindictive living wax sculptures who were after the real Stan.
- In the season 1 finale "Gideon Rising", the contents of Lil' Gideon's pockets include an axe.
- In the season 2 episode "Into the Bunker", Wendy uses one to great effect while helping explore the bunker.
- Axes symbolized power among the ancient Mediterranean peoples.
- The labrys was a double-headed axe which served as a religious symbol of power for the Minoans and Etruscans. Today it is also a symbol of female empowerment and lesbianism due to its association with the Amazons.
- The Romans had the fasces. The fasces was a bundle of reeds, symbolizing the republican principle of strength through unity (a single reed breaks easily; a bundle does not) and thus the imperium (civil and military power) of the officials whose lictors (bodyguard/policemen) carried them. Outside the Pomerium (the sacred inner precincts of Rome), the fasces contained an axe blade, possibly derived from the labrys; the blade represented the imperium-holding official's power to impose the death penalty (which power he did not have in the Pomerium; only a dictator had such powers).
- The fasces later became a popular symbol of republics that saw themselves as successors in spirit to the Roman Republic, such as the United States of America (e. g. in the Capitol in Washington and on old coinage) and the French Republic. Later also of the Fascist movement in Italy (which actually took its name from fasces). The Vichy régime in France instead of the republican fasces used a francisca as its symbol: a double-headed axe with red-white-and-blue blades and a marshal's baton as its handle.
- Norsemen wielded their axes in battle and in personal quarrels all the way up to the 19th century (mentioned in folk songs, local legend, and even in the national anthem: "Farmers honed their axes where an army advanced..."). The axe is present in the Norwegian coat of arms, and Telemark county weapon shows a battle axe.
- The Anglo-Saxon Huscarls at the Battle of Hastings were reputed to be carrying two-handed daneaxes, whirling them around above their heads in a show of strength. This terrified the Normans, who didn't use axes. Earlier that year, at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, it is said that a single Viking warrior with a similar weapon stood on the titular bridge and held off the entire Saxon fyrd (army) on his own for some time. Never mess with a daneaxe!
- The axes of the Gauls were well known to the Romans—they would throw them at the enemy like javelins with the intent of splitting some shields, then charge in with melee weapons. The Fransisca got its name from its popularitiy among the Franks in particular.
- The Varangian Guard, Rus' Vikings permanently hired to guard the throne of the Byzantine Empire, were noted by multiple sources firstly for their height and secondly for the very large Danish axes which served as their primary weapons. To the Greek-speaking Byzantines, they were known as pelekyphoros phroura—literally, the axe-bearing guard.
- The Tactical Tomahawk has become popular among American military since the war in Vietnam. Much more versatile than the standard combat knife, it can be used in close quarters as a weapon or thrown in desperate situations. It can of course chop through wood if needed, or even be used as a hammer, as well as for any of the number of things—opening a can, breaking through something, excavation, or just nudging something difficult out of the way—that fall in-between.
- The Walking Axe◊ is the closest thing to a modern polearm. Designed centuries ago by shepherds for defense, forestry work and mountaineering, it combines the tomahawk's light weight, the halberd's reach and back spike, the swinging power of a long splitting axe in one tool.
- Rukhsana Kauser in a daughter bear moment used this to kill a terrorist who was threating her parents.
- Lizzie Borden was a suspect in the axe murders of her parents in 1892. After a short trial, a jury declared her not guilty. However, many people believed she got away with murder (and many still do even today).
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her father forty whacks
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her mother forty-one
- The last criminal to be executed in Finland from civilian crimes was Toivo "Kirves" Koljonen, a fugitive prisoner who killed a family of six with an axe - the father of the family had been conscripted in the army. He was executed by firing squad along with Soviet infiltrators in 1943. The word kirves means "axe" in Finnish.
- For a different kind of "fighting", the ax is an essential tool of firefighters: used to hack through doors and debris, break padlocks, etc. Also, in most civilized countries, authorities will always frown when people use or carry in public implements like the machete, kukri or Bowie knife and other stuff which looks too martial, even for mundane woodcutting purposes. Axes and hatchets on the other side are regarded as just tools.
- Symbolic in ancient imperial China. An axe is given to a general and used to perform rites signaling that a fight is about to start.
- Wanderlai "The Axe Murderer" Silva is a Mixed Martial Arts fighter so named because his ferocious attacking style reminds fans of a frothing axe murderer. He's apparently a nice guy outside of the cage.
- On July 13, 1941, Red Army soldier Dmitriy Ovcharenko was hurrying back to his unit with a cart full of ammo and supplies, when he was intercepted by two German trucks containing about 50 soldiers and three officers. One officer knocked his rifle out of his hands and began to interrogate him. Suddenly, Ovcharenko grabbed an axe he had in the cart and decapitated the officer in a single blow. As Germans froze in shock and horror, he immediately produced three grenades from the cart and tossed them at the trucks, killing 21 more and making the survivors, including both officers, scatter and flee. Ovcharenko then pursued a fleeing officer, lopped his head off as well (the third officer escaped), took all their documents, plans and maps and delivered them to his commander along with supplies. He was made the Hero of Soviet Union◊ for that.
- The Hutsul culture of Ukraine is strongly identified by the type of axe that men traditionally carried everywhere, called a bartok. It has a small double-head and a long handle.
- When Sweden entered the 30 Years War, all soldiers were required to have a sword. However, since the equipment was paid for by the village in which the soldier lived, many skipped the sword for economical reasons and rocked a Musket/Axe combo instead. Since most of the soldiers were peasants, axes were cheap and easy to come by.