Bearded Axe 8th-11th century. High Carbon EN45 steel & Tempered

Make Your Own Medieval


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This axe is inspired by the Petersen axe type C from the book De Norske Vikingsverd written by the archaeologist Jan Petersen from extant artefacts Found in Norway and Sweden.

The beared axe was a versatile axe shape useable for combat as well as wood working. It is believed that axes of this style were used in combat during the Viking era of the 8th to 11th century. However, after the 12th century the bearded axe appears to have fallen out of favour as a combat weapon and was used predominately as a woodworking axe. Paintings show bearded axes being used by craftspeople into the middle ages and late medieval / renaissance period. A bearded axe can be seen in the housebooks of the Mendelschen and Landauerschen Amb. 317.2° Folio 26 as shown below from the 16th century.

The bearded axe took its name from the hook part of the axe head. The long hook shape kept the weight low while maximising the cutting surface. The design allowed the user to grip the shaft behind the head for extra control when woodworking for tasks such as cutting shingles for a roof or shaving planks for a long boat.  The long beard also acted as a hook and could be used to pull down a shield in an opponent’s shield wall so that a comrade could attack the unprotected defender.

The axe head is heavy and durable and the steel is 5 to 6 millimetres in thickness and is forged from high carbon EN45 steel and tempered.

The total axe weight including the handle is approximately 1,020 grams.

The handle measures approximately 75.5 cm (30inch) in length.

The blade is blunted however the top and bottom of the axe face are pointed which makes the axe unsafe for historical Viking or Medieval historical reenactment combat.

Other items shown are not included.