An Axe to Grind
aka: An Ax To Grind
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."
Ewan MacColl, "Dirty Old Town"

Useful for chopping wood and heads alike, axes are often pressed into service as weapons. Cheaper and easier to make than Swords, and less demanding of one's wielder than both Swords and Spears, making it the Weapon of Choice of Peasant levies and Miltiamen, and by forces in pre-knightly medieval era due to their effectiveness at splitting the wooden shields so commonly used in that era. Smaller axes, such as the tomahawk or 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.

While axes made specifically for war have different dimensions than wood axes, many designs play double-duty. Because axes are tools and fairly simple to makenote , they tended to be more plentiful and familiar to peasants, making them the close combat Weapon of Choice of common foot soldiers in a variety of ancient cultures. Being tools also allowed axes to sidestep prohibitions against commoners owning weapons. Nowadays axes are associated with the following character archetypes:

In spite of the popularity of double-headed battle axes in fiction (as shown by Gimli here for the trope picture), there are few examples of such weapons historically - battle axes were overwhelmingly of a single bit. Actual double-headed axes tended to either be purely ceremonial or for logging.note 

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:
    • 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: Some 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.
  • 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.
  • Bleach:
    • 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 Future Diary often uses an axe precisely because its easy for her to get her hands on one. She has been known 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:
    • Gaiking has an axe, simply called the "Gaiking Axe".
    • In Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, both Gaiking and Vulking have axes, each dubbed "Great 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 Brave Fighter of Legend Da-Garn: Ga Ohn has two of them stored in his shoulders.

    Comic Books 
  • The odd weapon used by Buffy (see below) originally appeared — will appear? — in the future, wielded by Fray.
  • The Mighty Thor:
    • A double edged battleaxe is the Weapon of Choice and insignia of the villain Skurge the Executioner.
    • Jarnbjorn before he acquires and after he loses Mjolnir and his qualification.
  • 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 at the Roark family Farm and uses it to kill Painted Cop and his goons.
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'."
  • 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!
  • Green Lantern: 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 Quęte de l'Oiseau du Temps, an axe is the weapon of choice of legendary warriors Bragon and Le Rige.
  • In Supergirl story arc The Supergirl from Krypton, 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.
  • Viking Commando was the feature character of DC Comics All-Out War comic. A Viking warrior who was transported through time to the D-Day landing, he carried an axe called Iron Fang that had been magically strengthened by his journey through time to the point where it could cleave tank armor.

    Comic Strips 
  • Time-travelling caveman Alley Oop's weapon of choice is a stone axe.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: Axes are Asuka Langley Sohryu's favoured weapon. During her first battle in the fic she used a huge battle-axe.
  • Thousand Shinji: Asuka is her world's champion of physical combat and masters all kind of weapons, but axes are her Weapon of Choice (she is a Khornate berserker so it goes with the territory). Throughout the history she handles from tiny hatchets to huge bronze battle-axes capable to cleave a man in half in a single blow. Her Unit-02 is equiped with a chain-axe, and eventually replaced by a Bloodthirster axe against the MP Evas.
  • 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.
  • In Child of the Storm, Uhtred prefers to wield a single headed war-axe.
  • 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.
  • Robb Returns: So far unseen, the Lannisters are said to have a sky-metal axe called Rocktooth.
  • Minor character Zarrack the “viking” in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World has a Dynamo Axe that crackles with electricity. He loses it to a furious Paul, who pulps the handle and pounds the unbreakable axe blade into the ground.
  • The Evabon Saga: Gard's weapon of choice however he has used other weapons.
  • The Bridge: After he recovers from getting blasted into a weapons rack, Xenilla rejoins Princess Cadance's fight against King Sombra by using a bearded axe to counter Sombra's scythe as Cadance's sword was too light to damage it. He manages to break the scythe later on in the fight with a strong cleave.
  • Forum of Thrones: Several characters have chosen the axe as their weapon of choice.
    • Samantha Ducard is the most major character who wields an axe as her weapon of choice. Two axes in fact, small hatchets, but she still puts them to good use.
    • Leonard Hill wields a massive battleaxe, befitting of his status as a badass.
    • Cleaver Clint Volmark uses a variation of the typical axe, an oversized meat cleaver, which also gave him his nickname.
    • During the Raid on Maybros, Durren Stallhart is shown fighting with two axes at once.
  • Orion from RWBY Second Generation uses a massive double-sided axe as his primary weapon. It’s also incredibly modular, as it can split into twin hatchets that, as per the series’s standard, are also guns
    • India also uses a pair of twin axes, with the added bonus of being lined with Wind and Fire Dust.

    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.
  • In Killer's Kiss, Vincent takes a fireman's axe off the wall and comes after Davey in the climactic fight.
  • An axe is featured prominently in Island of Terror, first in a failed attempt to kill one of the monsters, and later as the deciding factor in a Life-or-Limb Decision for Peter Cushing's Dr. Stanley character.
  • In Fiend Without a Face, Major Cummings (Marshall Thompson) gets an axe from... somewhere, and uses it to kill one of the brainlike "fiends" after it gets Melville.
  • In Savages Crossing, Phil switches to an axe when his gun runs out of bullets.
  • In Marketa Lazarová the Captain can often be seen wielding a big axe.
  • In Uncle Buck, Buck engages in Twerp Sweating with his niece's boyfriend Bug by bragging about having a hatchet that he keeps in his car for maiming and is sharp enough to castrate a gnat. When his niece simply derides it as a bluff, Buck actually takes said hatchet out of the trunk.
  • In The Magnificent Seven (2016), Jack Horne carries a rifle and a pistol, but his preferred weapon is his tomahawk, which he wields with deadly effici.eEvilDead'', Ash is more associated with chainsaws, but his original choice for a weapon to fight the Deadites with was an axe.

  • 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.
    • But Tolkien still portrays the axe as the traditional weapon of the Dwarves; the Dwarven battle-cry Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu! is translated as "Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!"
  • Discworld:
    • 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." Later books have gone into some detail about the smaller and more decorated, but still functional, pickaxes carried by openly female dwarfs, as though they might do a spot of mining on the way to a soirée.
    • 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". This particular modernizer doesn't carry an axe at all, yet is considered among the highest authorities in his culture; he insists the axe is a state of mind and thus not a physical necessity.
  • In Black Legion, the warband Fifteen Fangs uses chain axes as their weapons. Main character, Khayon, also has an ax, called Saer (Truth), which he took from a Space Wolf champion centuries earlier.
  • 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 The 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!"
  • In David Gemmell's Drenai saga, the warrior Druss the Legend was also called "Druss the Axeman" (among a great many other things: The Captain of the Axe, Deathwalker, the Silver Slayer, etc) because his signature weapon was Snaga, a powerful axe that had a demon inside. For the first part of his adventures at least. Then he exorcised it. And was no less (perhaps even more) deadly with it gone.
  • 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.
  • 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. Axes are the Weapon of Choice of the Sparrows later the Poor Fellows of the Faith Militant mostly because they can't afford swords.
  • Patrick Bateman murders Paul Owen (Paul Allen in the film) with an axe.
  • Stephanie 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.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, Rob's weapon of choice he never parts with is a giant axe called Wanda.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
    • Both the Thenns, Styr and Loboda on the show also wield axes.
    • Shagga son of Dolf is mentioned to have insisted on two battle-axes prior to the Battle of the Green Fork.
    • Yara wields a pair of tomahawks in "The Laws of Gods and Men". The Ironborn (Yara is one of them) are famous for utilizing axes in combat instead of the usual sword. This makes sense as long swords are bad options in close quarters, such as ships. But axes are not only short and sharp, but they also make good throwing weapons. Perfect weapons for raiders.
    • Sandor uses a wood axe as his main weapon in Season 6 and uses it to take vengeance on a group of renegade members of the Brotherhood Without Banners.
    • House Cerwyn's sigil is a war-axe.
  • 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 a Lochaber 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.
  • Kamen Rider:
  • 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.
  • The 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.
  • Forged In Fire has had its contestants make battleaxes twice. The first time it was a viking battleax, the second time it was a tabar.
  • Bors, a Medieval fighter in the Doctor Who episode "The Magician's Apprentice", holds an axe as he awaits his challenger in the arena. Enter the Doctor, standing on a tank, playing a screaming electric guitar solo.
    Bors: Dude! What is that?
    Doctor: You said you wanted an axe fight!...Oh come on! In a few hundred years, it'll be really funny! It's a slow-burner!"

  • 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.
  • From the band Glory Hammer:
    • The "crystal laser battle axe" of the King of the Astral Dwarves of Aberdeen on "Apocalypse 1992" on Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards.
    • "The Hollywood Hootsman" from ''Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards":
    With his mighty battle axe,
    He slaughtered everything,
    'Til all of California,
    Did call the Hero King!

  • 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.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Executioner, one of many failed gimmicks given to a wrestler to setup a feud with The Undertaker, wielded an ax.(he ended up jobbing to Goldust and never being seen again)
  • Inquisidor has an ax on his mask and twirls an additional axe during his entrances.
  • During the last half of the year in Progress Wrestling, Jimmy Havoc has taken to using an axe more to threaten people with but he did attempt to act on the threat. It has become pretty associated with him to the point of a Lego figure of him being given away with a DVD of his matches came with an axe as an accessory

    Tabletop Games 
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Warhammer axes are much more popular than the hammer of the title, which is mostly limited to Dwarfs and a few humans.
      • Dwarfs take it up to twelve; The Khazalid word for "axe" (az) doubles as a prefix meaning "warrior". An "azdawi" or "axe-dwarf" is a Dwarf warrior, an "azumgi" or "axe-human" is a human warrior, etc. This applies even if the warrior in question uses a completely different weapon and has never touched an axe; Axe <-> Warrior as far as Dwarfs are concerned.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Chain-axes were popular close combat weapons used by assault troops during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the game’s setting. Some particularly archaic and/or barbaric assault troops still use them during the main 41st Millennium era.
      • Many factions in the game use power axes, an axe with a force field that disintegrates solid matter when it hits.
      • The power axe is the traditional melee weapon, and badge of office, of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Often taking the form of large halberd-like axes, the blades of these weapons typically sport a cog-like serrated edge in imitation of the Machina Opus, the holy symbol of the Omnissiah.
      • Axes of all types, from regular to power axes, are popular amongst members of the Space Wolves Chapter of Adeptus Astartes as they fit with their Viking visual theme.
      • The traditional form of the incredibly versatile choppa is that of a brutally primitive axe or cleaver.
  • 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.
  • Bleak World has the fire axe as probably the best melee weapon in the game.
  • In Rocket Age the Martian Sun Axe is a long, heavy double bitted axe given as a reward to particularly brave Maduri. These weapons are so powerful that they can cleave through enemies standing too close together.

  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • This is the specialty of The Berserker mech in Templar Battleforce.
  • Hexen II has the Paladin use throwing axes as his green mana weapon.
  • Rock and Astaroth from the Soul Series. Their weapon sets often include hammers as well.
  • Bloodline Champions has the Vanguard use a scythe-like axe for their default weapon. The Harbinger's default is a crude weapon with a sharp edge curved inward described as a 'hatchet'. The Guardian uses large two-handed axes.
  • One of the three basic weapon types from Fire Emblem (along with swords and lances). Axe users have a tendency toward Big Guy archetypes: the pupil-class Journeymen, then the Fighters and Warriors, Brigands, Pirates and Berserkers, and certain types of Armor Knights and Generals. In a subversion, the axe is also the secondary weapon of the Hero, which is less of The Big Guy and more like the Jack-of-All-Stats.
    • Axes also frequently show up as special weapons that only some characters (generally with S axe use rank) can handle. The below mentioned Helswath is only one of them: we have Armads and Basilikos in the Elibe continuity, Garm (Sacred Relic of the Grado Empire) in Sacred Stones, the Pugi in Thracia 776 (which, in a variation, can be used only by Othin).
    • In Blazing Sword, Hector of Ostia is actually the first Lord who specializes in axe use. He even gets to use the aforementioned Armads after the Sacred Weapons are unlocked ( and it was formerly wielded by Durban the Berserker, one of the Twelve Legends). One type of axe is used as a ranged boomerang, though it doesn't do much damage.
    • In Radiant Dawn, Ike can do the same. (And the axe became Greil's Weapon of Choice after he handicapped himself willingly so that he could not use a sword again.)
    • Boyd from the exact same duology deserves a mention for being Ike's axe-wielding Friendly Rival and Lancer, at least as far as the early-game goes. He's also notable for being one of the best axe users in the series, and for a very good reason.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War: The sacred Weapon of Choice of the Crusader Neir (founder of House Dozel) was his BIG FRICKING AXE Helswath . This one is the heaviest FE weapon period: it gives insane bonuses to strength and hits from two spaces away, but is also insanely slow and only avaliable to people with major Neir blood.
    • House Dozel in general is specialized in axe use, whether their members can use the Helswath or not. From there alone we have Duke Langobalt, King Danan, and the princes Lex, Burian, Johan and Johalvier: out of them, three (Lex in the first generation, Johan and/or Johalvier in the second) join your group.
    • In Radiant Dawn, the wyvern riders switch from being lance users to axe users. Similarly, the War Cleric/War Monk class in Fire Emblem Awakening (promoted from the Clerics/Priests) can use axes as well — giving birth to the "NUNS WITH AXES" meme.
    • Also in Fire Emblem Awakening, there's Walhart, who wields the unique and powerful Wolf Berg axe.
  • The Warrior class from Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy III can use a few axes as weapons. However, he likes swords better. (Technically, the Warrior should use swords instead of axes because axes have a lower inherent accuracy, reducing the possibility of multiple hits, which is the biggest source of damage multiplier in the game.)
    • Both The Beastmaster and Warrior classes in Final Fantasy XI use axes as a Weapon of Choice. While Warriors use giant axes to the best ability, halberds are still considered polearms, and thusly Dragoons are best at them.
    • Lani from Final Fantasy IX. In her first scene in the game, when she learns that she doesn't need to spare any of your party members on her mission to obtain Garnet/Dagger's pendant, she speaks as though her axe has a mind of its own.
    Lani: "My axe is pleased to hear that."
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption, halberds give the most bang for the buck in early stages. The drawback is requiring a heavy investment in strength.
  • The arcade game Golden Axe, where the dwarf Gilius Thunderhead wields the titular axe (he's stuck with a boring old steel one in the home versions, though).
  • In Terraria, there are plenty of axes that make surprisingly good weapons for their ability to be automatically swung and decent damage. One of them, literally called The Axe, is actually a "Flying V" guitar that functions as an actual axe AND a hammer. It also takes "an axe to grind" even more literally, perhaps too much so, as it requires an average of 200 boss kills against Plantera, with only a .5% chance of dropping, and Plantera being a fairly difficult boss.
  • Subverted at one point in Neverending Nightmares. Thomas picks up a bloodstained axe in the dark and using it to... chop down wood to clear a path. Later, however, on one ending path your evil counterpart will use the same axe to One-Hit Kill you.
  • Magic Rampage: There are a few of these, notable the Umbranian Cutter and the Lightning Axe.
  • Axes and Polearms are both prominent, of course, in the Total War series of games, with barbarian factions and units tending to be the biggest users of the former, and militia-class units the biggest user of the latter.
  • The Pyro from Team Fortress 2 uses a fire axe as his melee weapon.
    • Also, the unlockable melee replacement, the Axtinguisher, is a different fire axe wrapped in barbed wire. It inflicts critical hits on burning targets - for those times when fire simply isn't enough.
    • The Third Degree is an axe that copies damage against an enemy to the Medic healing them or vice versa.
    • A community weapon update gave the Demoman the Scotsman's Skullcutter, a bloodstained two-bladed great ax with 20% more damage. It's so huge and heavy it actually slows the Demoman down, however. It also easily lops off heads on a killing blow.
    • The Demoman may also employ the Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker, a giant, haunted axe with a demonic face in the blade. It also decapitates enemies on a killing blow and powers up the Demoman at the same time with each head taken.
    • The marines from Quake used Axes as their melee weapons. When the original Team Fortress was developed as a mod for that game, the Medic used an axe to heal.
  • Presea from Tales of Symphonia is a prime example of the "Cute Bruiser with implausably huge axe". Interestingly, this tiny little girl's ability to not only lift but actually effectively wield a massive axe is justified through Applied Phlebotinum. Other examples in the Tales series include Cless Alvein, Yuri and Karol, and Rid Herschel (all primarily sword-users, but they can wield axes as well), Mary Argent, Loni Dunamis, and Innes Lorenz, whose weapon is described as an "axe blade" which can probably rival Presea's Gaea Cleaver for raw size and power.
  • Kaeli from Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is a White Mage in nature (definitely not squishy), but her standard weapon is an axe (later the mighty Giant's Axe).
  • The Axe Knights from Castlevania. There's also a fair few examples of Axes as primary weapons. They're slow and even stronger than the slow two handed swords, but often have a blind spot where enemies can be just about missed. The main example though is the Axe subweapon, present throughout the entire series. For some reason, the character just lobs the axe into the air in an arc. Nonetheless, it's really useful for those flying enemies!
  • The Warrior class from Gauntlet uses an infinite supply of magical throwing axes.
  • The Robot Master Tomahawk Man from Mega Man 6, Mino Magnus from Mega Man Zero 4. King from Mega Man & Bass also wields an axe.
  • Most Orcs in Warcraft III. True, there are sword users, but orcs are mostly associated with axes in the series, grunts even having a victory animation where they flip it in the air and catch it. The Tauren Chieftain (who has a poleaxe taller than himself) even says "I have an axe to grind." upon training. On the other hand, the human Militia unit (essentially a Peasant that picked up some basic weapons and armor at the town hall), wields a small axe along with a wooden shield, contrasting the steel kite shield and sword of the standard Footman.
    • In World of Warcraft, orcs have a racial ability that increases their skill with axes.
      • And its cousin, the Arcanite Ripper.
      • And then there's the legendary Shadowmourne from Wrath of the Lich King.
      • The Hellscream clan has in possession of a powerful axe called 'Gorehowl', first possessed by Grommash Hellscream, who eventually used it to kill off the Pit Lord Mannoroth and releasing the demon's curse from the Orcs, and later passed down to his son Garrosh who uses it in conjunction of many of his conquest. Safe to say, they have quite a short fuse to go along with the axe.
  • In Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, Mogul Khan is better known as Axe, and Axe uses his axe to counter-attack blows with a quick whirl of his axe or execute a low-health enemy, even through effects that can normally negate death.
  • Nishiki from When Yanderes Cry can obtain an axe, which helps him get around the mansion and get out the last room.
  • Moraxus in Heroes of Newerth is a demon who loves axes, whether he's hitting things with one, throwing several of them at enemies, or creating a barrier that's made of axes.
  • City of Heroes has a Battle Axe powerset for Tankers and Brutes, which may be ported to the other melee classes at some point (if you can get your head around the idea of a stealthy Stalker with a giant axe). As of a recent update, said axe can be customised between different colours and different models, including a fireman's axe, an energy axe and a shovel. (the edge of the shovel; the blunt end is an option for the War Mace powerset) Notable NPCs with Axe powers include the Classical Mythology styled street gang known as the Warriors, and the heroic yet demonic Infernal. (and his Evil Twin)
  • Gremio from Suikoden, among many others.
  • Hulk Davidson from Viewtiful Joe.
  • Barbatos Goetia of Tales of Destiny 2 has a mean axe, and a hidden special move called World Destroyer where he slams his axe down and kills everyone in one hit. Talk about cheap.
  • The best Melee weapon in Urban Dead. Also, the same in Dead Frontier - until you get your hands on a katana.
  • Axe weapons show up Ragnarok Online as the primary Weapon of Choice for the Merchant class series. Of the Merchant-derived classes, only the Blacksmith line can fully utilize axes compared to the Alchemist line.
  • Persona:
    • Axes show up in Persona 3, possessing the greatest damage potential, but the worst accuracy rating. They are part of a group of weapons called Bludgeons, which also include hammers, maces, and a bus stop sign. And for the short time he's with your group, tough guy Shinjiro Aragaki uses an axe.
    • In the first Persona, the axe user is Mark/Masao Inaba.
    • Persona 4: Arena has Labrys, a Robot Girl who wields a giant axe.
    • In Persona 5, Haru Okumura uses axes.
  • Axes are a weapon option in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, popular with dwarves and orcs. High damage, slow, but also capable of hacking open a door or stubborn chest without being damaged.
  • Axes are one of three weapons usable by Warriors in Guild Wars, AoE attacks for Player Versus Environment gameplay. (Though hammers have the ability to knock foes down and swords have some really good skills like Dragon Slash, so they're fairly even.)
  • In Age of Wonders, the dwarves use axemen as their basic melee infantry rather than the swordsmen most races have, and their berserkers and boar riders also go into battle with axes.
  • The executioner miniboss from Resident Evil 5 follows this trope. His axe is so large he has to lug it around Pyramid Head-style and takes huge swings at Chris, even knocking out some of his fellow Majini in the process. It also has a spiked hammerhead.
  • There are multiple types of axe ghosts (the kinds that charge found swinging an axe on seeing him) in Wario Land 4, with Hotel Horror especially having a freaking ton of them (about four to every door in the hotel).
  • Axes are a popular weapon choice in Dwarf Fortress, partly because they're considered "dwarfy" but mostly because there is currently only one "axe" item that's used both in battle and for felling trees. (Truth in Television up to a point, as touched upon in Real Life below.) Falling slightly out of favour after the massive combat mechanics overhaul that finally enabled swords to thrust as well as cut, however, whereas previously an axe and a sword were roughly equivalent in battle.
  • In Dynasty Warriors, Dian Wei used a giant axe which was later replaced with a flail in 6 before returning to his axe. Same goes for Xu Huang, who gets another Blade on a Stick of sorts in 6 but returns to a great axe in 7. Jia Chong in 8 gets a pair of throwing axes. Zhang Liao goes for the gold in this trope, having been given twin long axes since 7.
  • Brütal Legend: The Seperator "Touch not this awesome axe, or suffer the wrath of the Tainted Coil!!"
  • Choosing the Barbarian from the character select screen in Diablo II will prompt him to let out a yell and start grinding an axe while you choose his name. His starting inventory includes an axe. Diablo II also introduced one-handed axes that the Barbarian can use with a shield or in each hand, while the first game only had two-handed axes. Axes have more consistent damage output, with higher minimum but lower maximum damage than swords and maces.
  • Shania from Shadow Hearts 3 dual wields them.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • Takeda Shingen from Sengoku Basara carries a double-headed battle axe as big as he is (and he's pretty big). It can also create tornadoes.
  • The Axem Rangers from Super Mario RPG.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 has a fire axe as one of the melee weapons. The opening cutscene shows Rochelle using the pointy end on an infected mook. It's also the most common melee weapon in the game, with wide range but the slowest attack rate.
  • Axemen feature as early melee units in Civilization 4, with a bonus against other melee units. This is mostly used against spearmen and swordsmen, because when two axemen (or their upgrade, macemen) fight each other, the bonuses naturally cancel each other out).
  • Axes have been one of the staple weapon types in the Disgaea series, with hammers, scythes and even maces being grouped into this class as well. Though explicitly shown to be stronger than swords (and even lowering enemy defense as well), they suffer from low accuracy and a lack of multi-target skills. Both were remedied in the third game, though axes now lower speed, reducing your chance to dodge an attack.
  • In Deadly Premonition, an axe is the signature weapon of the Raincoat Killer.
  • The Alsignos from Super Robot Wars NEO uses an axe.
  • The knight enemies in The Haunted Mansion.
  • Gitaroo Man plays with this with the very first stage. Since all the characters are Musical Assassins, the first enemy is a demon wielding an axe. Not a guitar, an actual axe. He charges it up by strumming it like a guitar, but attacks you with unusually musical chopping of air.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, this is the signature weapon of enemy General Borankio the Unshakable.
  • Pokémon Black and White has the pure Dragon-type Haxorus who has axe blades for teeth. Unsurprisingly, it has a whopping attack stat of 147. Several Bosses use this Pokemon, including Drayden and Iris.
  • One of the melee weapons (the best one, in fact) that can be found in Odium.
  • Ermac and Nightwolf from Mortal Kombat. Ermac has a plain old axe, while Nightwolf uses a tomahawk.
    • When he was brought back for Ultimate Mortal Kombat III, Scorpion was the first to use a weapon in a chain combo. Prior to that, characters only used weapons as special moves such as Kano's Knife Throw. Scorpion's weapon? A big, double-bladed battle axe. Since then Scorpion has dropped the axe and has since stuck to using swords to fit with his Japanese ninja origins.
  • Axes are a usable weapon in the Dragon Quest series such as being the weapon of choice for Yangus in Dragon Quest VIII. It's also used by some enemies.
    • A weapon class in Dragon Quest IX as well, that deals bonus damage against plant-type enemies. However, it's not very useful as there are no high-end monsters to use it on.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, an axe was left beside the sedated Captain, in order to lure Ace to kill him. And, in the "Ax" ending, Clover goes Ax-Crazy and slaughters the other characters including the protagonist.
  • Warriors of Might and Magic includes several powerful axes of magical nature, including the, hard-to-build Meteoric Axe and the Axe of Vim.
  • The Rusty Axe is overall the best weapon in Silent Hill 4: The Room, as it's comparatively fast, hits pretty hard, has a good range, and its charge attack, a vicious overhead swing that Henry performs with his whole body, is the most damaging attack in the game (save for the swings of the Pickaxe Of Despair and revolver shots, both Awesome, but Impractical either because of slowness or little ammo), and the one that keeps you invulnerable the longest. Subverted in that it's a relatively small one-handed model (a better term for it would be a hatchet, actually).
  • Firefighters in Liberal Crime Squad come equipped with fire axes (except at C+ Free Speech law, when they come equipped with M-2 flamthrowers and torch to the ground any building publishing the Liberal Guardian).
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, the fire axe (available in Los Angeles, the second city) is the first weapon that does more damage than an ordinary punch. Although weaker than the sledgehammer (from Hollywood, the third area), it's also faster, making it a good choice until you pick up a katana in Chinatown (the fourth area).
  • Axes of the single handed, two handed, polearm, and throwing variety are available as weapons in Mount & Blade. Most notably, the expansion, Warband, included the powerful and extremely rare (and not on merchant sale lists) Two Handed Sarranid Battle Axe, an all-metal weapon which could only be acquired by attacking high level Sarranid units and hoping it Randomly Drops from the one unit class that has a chance of carrying it.
  • The fire axe is Lee's signature weapon in the first two episodes of The Walking Dead, until The Lethal Connotation of Guns and Others kicks in.
  • One of the weapon types in Dark Souls, and the larger ones, the Great Axes, are some of the strongest weapons in the game.
    • While you can custom-tailor a character to however you like, this is apparently the Weapon of Choice for Pyromancers. This is because in the games the class shows up, every new Pyromancer starts with a Hand Axe.
  • Bloodborne:
    • The Hunter Axe. In a world with saw cleavers, whip canes, tombstone hammers, etc., this is "just" an axe (that can extend into a halberd). Still, it's one of the better weapons in the game.
    • The Old Hunters DLC, however, adds the Whirligig Saw, which functions as an axe but with a circular saw instead of a blade, which can be thrusted into mooks spinning until they die or your stamina runs out.
  • The Chigo great axe in Onimusha 3. It can also summon magma bursts within quake range.
  • Frantz from Rusty Hearts has axes as his secondary weapon.
  • In Vagrant Story, axes come in single-handed and dual-handed ("great axe") varieties.
  • Connor Kenway in Assassin's Creed III uses a tomahawk as his signature weapon.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has a few axe weapons, such as the wooden axe, the denim axe, and the drywall axe. Also, players under the Avatar of Boris challenge path are restricted to using Boris's trusty axe, Trusty.
  • The Minecraft axe, though primarily a tool for chopping wood, can be used as a weapon. It deals more damage than a pickaxe or shovel, but less than a sword.
    • Now a viable weapon in its own right: it's slower than a sword and lacks its knockback capability, but it's stronger and can disable the use of a shield. Unfortunately as a tool it takes twice as much damage in durability, so its best used only to disable shields and chop wood.
  • Most of the Psychos in Borderlands and Borderlands 2 wield axes. In the first game, they're made of scrap metal. In the second game, they've been upgraded to Buzz Axes, which have buzz saws for blades.
    • Axton uses a hatchet as his melee weapon.
    • Krieg, a playable (though DLC) character who is also a Psycho, uses a massive buzzaxe for his melee attack and action skill, which with certain skills can be upgraded to have dynamite strapped to it or give it a chance to do fire damage.
  • White Heart's weapon of choice in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series.
  • Legend of Legaia
    • In the first game, Gala uses axes as one of his primary weapon types, along with clubs and maces.
    • In Duel Saga, Ayne wields a massive axe as big as the other party members. As his Variable Art finisher, he spins and throws the massive axe at the target.note 
  • In the SNES game The Firemen your AI-controlled partner Danny not only puts out fires with his axe but also uses it to destroy killer robots.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3 has the Auto Axe (a modified concrete saw) from The Pitt, the standard Axe from Point Lookout, and the unique Dismemberer.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has, in addition to hatchets and standard fire axes, a unique Infinity +1 Axe named Knock-Knock.
    • The Old World Blues expansion gives us the Zeerust proton axe as well as a throwing variation. This is a Shout-Out to Wasteland, Fallout's spiritual predecessor.
    • Fallout 4 has Grognak's Axe, which is a replica of the one used by the comic book character Grognak the Barbarian. In addition, it's possibly to modify tire irons to create Bladed Tire Irons, which resemble rusty hatchets.
  • That said, Wasteland has the proton ax as its strongest melee weapon. The more common and far weaker fire axe is also present.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, one can find a variety of one-handed "War Axes" and two-handed "Battle Axes" to use. Naturally, Orcs and Nords get racial bonuses to using axes in several games. Out of the non-playable races, Minotaurs favor axes (along with warhammers), and are strong enough to use two-handed battle axes with one hand. (Sometimes even Dual Wielding them.)
    • In the series' Backstory, the legendary Chimeri/Dunmeri hero, Lord Indoril Nerevar, used the "Named Axe" as his primary weapon for a time and used it to slay the Parliament of Craters. (He would later move on to using the Flaming Sword, True Flame.)
    • Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Plots, is typically depicted as wielding a massive battle axe in his male statues. (Boethiah's female form statues instead wield a Cool Sword.)
    • Morrowind is notable as the single most damaging (per strike) weapon the in game is a Daedric Battle Axe with a Damage Health on Strike enchantment, enchanted with Almalexia's soul for the max number of blows before it runs out.
    • In Oblivion's Knights of the Nine expansion, the Aurorans, a race of lesser Daedra in service to the Daedric Prince Meridia, have battleaxes as a favored weapon. As Giant Mooks to the expansion's Big Bad, they naturally wield them one-handed.
    • Skyrim:
      • Axes are part of the generous selection of weapons on offer. Quite fitting for a game taking place in the homeland of the Nords.
      • Skyrim also reveals that axes are of great cultural significance to the Nords. An old custom involves sending your axe to another Nord. How he responds will determine if you have business to address.
      • Wuuthrad is a battleaxe and the iconic weapon of the ancient Nordic King, Ysgramor. It has a screaming Elf carved into it and deals extra damage to Elves. Finding its pieces and reforging it is part of the Companions questline.
      • Tsun, the old Nordic god of "trials against adversity" and shield-thane of Shor, wields a beefed-up ancient Nordic battleaxe when he is met in Sovngarde. Game files reveal that it is actually the most powerful axe in the game, exceeding even Dragonbone weaponry in damage.
  • Michael Edwards of Eternal Darkness is a fireman, and he starts his chapter carrying his trusty fire axe. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, he finds an OICW, effectively limiting how much use the axe will see in practice.
  • The Ravager class in Aura Kingdom is restricted to greataxes as weapons. Predictably they're slow, but because they're so long they deal powerful damage to both the target and enemies within their range.
  • In Surgeon Simulator 2013, among your surgical tools is, inexplicably, a hatchet. Said hatchet's intended use? Slicing the brain stem. Though it works pretty well for getting through that pesky skull, too. The Meet the Medic level has the Pyro's axe.
  • Unturned gives you a choice of two: a basic axe and a fire axe. The fire axe is less common but also a complete upgrade from the axe. Both can be turned against trees to get lumber for crafting.
  • InThe Matrix: Path of Neo the, sometimes, last wave of enemies in a training level use throwing axes as their only weapons.
  • Monster Hunter has the Switch Axe and the Charge Blade, two Swiss Army Weapon-classes. The former is huge axe that can change into a huge heavy sword which can trigger explosions, while the other is a sword and shield set which combines into a huge axe (also triggering explosions).
  • Cry of Fear has one monster in the "Psychopath" variety that uses them: the patients at the asylum. They lurk in corners before jumping out and attempting to chop you into pieces.
  • In the game Afraid Of Monsters, made by the same team as Cry of Fear, David Leatherhoff uses an axe. The axe is the most powerful melee weapon in the game and falls neatly into the "Psychopath" variety, as David is hallucinating and killing real people while he's chopping up "twitchers".
  • Voodoo in the 2010 Medal of Honor defaults to his hatchet for close combat. A mission late in the game has you investigating a seemingly abandoned camp where you find a dead Taliban fighter with said hatchet buried in the back of his head. Taliban fighters in the game's multiplayer mode carry hatchets for their Quick Melee attack.
  • In Devil's Dare, Kingston, one of the playbale characters, fights with a giant, two-handed axe.
  • In Mercenary Kings, your character can act as such with the Violence Axe weapon, which is one of the most powerful melee implements.
  • In The Fall Last Days Of Gaia, there's the Long Axe melee weapon. It's quite powerful, but takes a while to swing. Out of combat, it can also be used to chop chunks of meat down to size!
  • In The Age of Decadence, axes are one of the melee weapon categories. They deal high damage, but have high AP cost per attack. Attacks from them can break shields apart, and it's also possible to execute a whirlwind attack with them.
  • One Way Heroics has axes as a possible weapon. They are powerful, but inaccurate. Their main use is that they do extra damage against walls, which is good when the Darkness is about to consume you and you're trapped in a dungeon. They also deal extra damage to skeletal enemies, and the Pirate class starts with one, which gives them an early-game advantage since the axe is much stronger than the other classes' starting weapons.
  • The Jenny Fox enemies in Ittle Dew hurl axes at you every two seconds. According to a sign, they might also use them as gardening tools.
  • In the Animal Crossing series, one of the tools that villagers can have is an axe. Which is useful for chopping down unwanted trees. Unfortunately, the axe is one of the few tools that break with repeated use. There are also silver axes, which last much longer, and gold axes, which are unbreakable. In Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS, the villager can use the axe as long as his or her tree is planted on the battlefield.
  • Rune has a weapon class devoted to axes along with swords and hammers, each varying in size, damage, speed, and rune power.
  • God of War (PS4): Having lost his signature chain blades in the previous game, Kratos now wields a magical battle axe that can be infused with elemental forces and thrown.
  • The Wraith in Dead by Daylight has one that is in the shape of a skull as his Weapon of Choice.
  • Jotun: A large, two-handed axe is the only weapon of Thora, a decidedly non-Horny Viking trapped in Norse purgatory. The axe proves more than sufficient to deal with the magic, elemental giants she needs to defeat in order to escape.
  • The axe, a normal woodsman's or fire axe, is one of the most coveted items in Project Zomboid. As a weapon, it's got all-important reach (which weapons in the Blades category generally don't), multi-hit, good knockback, and used well it can often kill at one blow. But since all weapons eventually break, and axes are rather rare, you may want to resist the temptation. Only axes can fell trees for lumber, making the humble axe one of the gatekeepers of the extensive Carpentry build menu. Plus, axes are far more effective at battering down doors than most other weapons.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has (former) Wind of Destruction Khamsin from the Blade Wolf DLC. A foul-mouthed cyborg with a humongous chainsaw axe with a rocket booster at the back to give a speed boost or add more force to every swing.
  • Eternal Card Game includes axes as weapons, both for units and the players themselves.
  • Several enemies in The Legend of Zelda series use axes against Link such as Dairas, Lizalfos, Bokoblins, Iron Knuckles, Stalmasters, Gold Phantoms, and more. However, Link himself didn't get to use anything other than swords as his main weapon until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In Breath Of The Wild one of the first weapons you have access to is a woodcutter's axe, and you're able to scavenge bigger and better ones as the game progresses.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, axes had the highest crit chance of any melee weapon aside from daggers. They also had better base damage than maces and hammers and better armor penetration than swords. If you completed the Witch Hunt DLC on Nightmare difficulty, you were awarded an Infinity Minus One Axe called the Dragonbone Cleaver as a New Game+ starting item.
    • Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Inquisition also had axes available as melee weapons, but they no longer had stat differences from swords and maces.
  • Axes show up as the weapons of a couple of the classes in For Honor. Unsurprisingly, axe-wielding classes are mostly Vikings, namely the Raider, who uses a long-handled Dane Axe as their primary weapon, and the Berserker, who dual-wields one-handed axes. That said, the Knights have their own axe user, the Lawbringer, who carry poleaxes, the most versatile weapons ever created.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • In We Bare Bears, Ice Bear seems to be fond of wielding axes for different things, like cutting up his breakfast and murdering rogue vacuum robots.
  • The Boondocks:
    • In "Stinkmeaner Strikes Back", Stinkmeaner's ghost (who was possessing Tom's body) tries to attack Robert with an ax, in a scene that spoofed The Shining.
    • In "Freedomland", Ed II holds an ax and tries to slice off Huey's foot with it.

    Real Life 
  • 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 Minoan priestesses, who appear from surviving artefacts to have had a far more important role in their society than in the succeeding Mycenaean civilisation.
    • 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 (see below for its relationship to France) 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 Germans 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 Francisca got its name from its popularity among the Franks in particular; an alternate theory is the other way around, that the tribe got its name from the weapon.
  • 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.
    Their axes had been designed and built with great care to be at the same time very light for their size, very sharp and to use momentum in swinging, so they could cleave through an armored man.
  • 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.
  • 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 Thirty 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.
  • Carry A. Nation, an early 20th Century American female activist and Dry Crusader, (in)famously vandalised several bars and other drinking establishments with a hatchet.

Alternative Title(s): An Ax To Grind