What Is A Double Sided Axe Called ?

A double-sided axe is known by several names, depending on the region and its specific use. Some of the common names for a double-sided axe include:

Double sided axe name

Bipennis: The term “bipennis” originates from the Latin words “bi” (meaning two) and “penna” (meaning edge or blade). It aptly describes this type of axe with cutting edges on both sides.

Double-Headed Axe: This is a straightforward and descriptive name for a double-sided axe. It highlights the axe’s defining feature, which is having two heads or blades.

Labrys: The labrys is a specific type of double-sided axe that holds cultural and historical significance. It was notably associated with the Minoan civilization and is often used as a symbol, especially in Greek mythology.

Dane Axe: The Dane axe is another variant of the double-sided axe with a long handle and two sharp heads. It gained popularity in medieval Scandinavia and is sometimes simply referred to as a “double-bitted axe.”

Double-Bladed Axe: Similar to the “double-headed axe,” this name emphasizes the axe’s dual cutting edges.

Two-Edged Axe: This name underscores the fact that a double-sided axe has two sharp edges for cutting or chopping.

Dual-Blade Axe: Much like “double-bladed axe,” this name highlights the axe’s dual blades or edges.


Double-headed axe meaning

A double-headed axe, also known as a two-headed axe or double-bladed axe, is a type of axe that features two sharp cutting edges or blades on opposite sides of the axe head. Unlike a typical single-headed axe, which has one cutting edge and a flat or hammer-like backside, a double-headed axe is designed for more balanced and efficient cutting and chopping. The dual blades allow the user to strike from both sides of the axe head, making it particularly effective for tasks like cutting wood, clearing vegetation, or even in combat situations.

The term “double-headed” or “double-bladed” simply refers to the presence of two sharp edges on the axe head, and this design feature enhances the axe’s versatility and effectiveness for various purposes.

What is a double sided axe used for

A double-sided axe, also known as a double-headed axe or bipennis, is a versatile tool historically used for a variety of purposes. Its dual blades, one on each side of the axe head, give it unique capabilities and make it suitable for several tasks, including:

Woodcutting: One of the primary uses of a double-sided axe is for cutting wood. The dual blades allow for more efficient chopping and can quickly fell trees, cut logs, and split wood into smaller pieces.

Timber Shaping: Woodworkers and carpenters use double-sided axes for shaping timber. The symmetrical design allows for precise cuts and shaping, making it useful for crafting tools, furniture, or architectural elements.

  1. Agriculture: In agricultural settings, double-sided axes were employed for tasks such as clearing land, cutting through roots, and preparing fields. They were valuable tools for early farmers.
  2. Combat: Throughout history, double-sided axes were also used as weapons in combat. Infantry units sometimes wielded them due to their versatility, allowing soldiers to strike from both sides of the axe head.
  3. Ceremonial and Symbolic Use: In various cultures, double-sided axes held symbolic and ceremonial significance. For example, the labrys, a type of double-headed axe, was associated with goddesses and fertility rituals in Minoan and Greek cultures.
  4. Throwing: Some variants of double-sided axes, like the Francisca used by the Franks, were designed for throwing in battle. They were known for their aerodynamic qualities and effectiveness as throwing weapons.
  5. Modern Applications: While modern tools and machinery have largely replaced traditional double-sided axes for practical tasks, they still find use in specialized fields like competitive axe throwing, where participants throw double-sided axes at targets for sport and entertainment.

The double-sided axe’s versatility has historically made it a valuable tool for cutting wood, shaping timber, agricultural work, and even combat. While its practical use has diminished in modern times, it still retains cultural and recreational significance in certain contexts.


In summary, a double-sided axe can be called various names, but the most common ones include “bipennis,” “double-headed axe,” and “labrys.” The choice of name may vary depending on the context, cultural background, or historical reference.

Related – How To Measure Axe Handle Length

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