Why did Vikings use axe? – KBS Knives Store

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Why did Vikings use axe?

Posted by Marian F Nelson on

Vikings used axes for a variety of practical and strategic reasons during the Viking Age, which spanned from the late 8th century to the early 11th century. Here are some of the key reasons why Vikings favored the use of axes:

  1. Versatility: Axes were versatile tools that could be used for a wide range of tasks. They served as both weapons and tools, making them valuable in everyday life as well as in combat situations. Vikings could use their axes for chopping wood, building shelters, and crafting, in addition to fighting.

  2. Availability: Axes were relatively easy to produce, especially when compared to swords or other weapons. Vikings were skilled blacksmiths and could create durable and effective axes using locally available materials. This made axes more accessible and cost-effective for the average Viking.

  3. Portability: Axes were compact and easy to carry, making them suitable for a mobile and seafaring lifestyle. Vikings frequently embarked on long journeys by ship, and carrying a versatile tool like an axe was practical for various purposes, including crafting, hunting, and self-defense.

  4. Battlefield Effectiveness: In combat, Viking axes were known for their effectiveness. The design of Viking battle-axes allowed for powerful strikes, and they could deliver devastating blows to both armored opponents and wooden shields. The "bearded" axe design, with a wide cutting edge and a projecting hook on the lower side, was particularly well-suited for disarming and hooking shields.

  5. Symbolism: Axes had symbolic importance in Viking culture. They were associated with strength, honor, and courage. Vikings often included axes in their burials and believed that a well-crafted axe could have protective and magical properties.

  6. Dual-Purpose: Viking axes typically had a dual-purpose head with a cutting edge on one side and a hammer or spike on the other. This allowed them to serve as both weapons and tools, enhancing their utility.

In summary, Vikings used axes because they were versatile, practical, and effective tools and weapons that suited their lifestyle and needs. Axes played a significant role in Viking culture, both in everyday life and on the battlefield.

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