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Having a reliable, well made axe to use while practicing bushcraft is important. If you buy a good quality axe and properly care for it you will have the axe for your lifetime and even your children’s lifetime.
Personally I have purchased a few different axes with different length handles, different weight heads all the way from a hatchet to a four pound splitting axe.
There really is no right or wrong answer because the best axe for you is mostly determined by the environment you frequent. Time of year also plays a role, for example, if you are in the Northern US states in winter time a large axe is more suitable than a hatchet.
Personally I have found that a boys axe with a handle length between 26″ and 30″ to be ideal with somewhere around a 2 to 2 1/2 pound head weight.
The top two most respected axe manufacturers are Swedish makers Gransfor Bruks and Wetterings. These axes usually cost somewhere around $100 and up.
If your budget is tight don’t worry, you can still get a quality axe for a reasonable price. Council Tool makes a boys axe that is 28″ in length with a 2 1/4 pound head that is a quality tool that costs less than $45. The fit and finish isn’t as nice as the Swedish makers but with a little handle sanding and (my personal preference) removing the red paint from the axe head will make it a nice looking usable tool.
Fiskars makes a 24″ chopping axe that sells for around $30 it is a little shorter than the other axes listed above. It also has a “fibercomp” handle which looks like fiber glass, where the above axes all have hickory wood handles.
At the end of the day any one of the above axes will be a solid user for you, you can base your decision on how much you can spend.