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What is a ‘bearded’ axe?-VikingStyle

What is a ‘bearded’ axe?

The Vikings were famous for being skilled warriors, but the reality is they were much more than that. Vikings were a resourceful and ingenious people, they adapted to survive and had a huge impact on the formation of modern Europe. They often made use of axes as weapons due to the fact that they were a common tool and were inexpensive when compared to swords.

The ‘bearded’ axe, also known as the ’skeggøx’ is a type of Viking axe that was thought to have originated in Scandinavia and has been traced back as far as 600 BC. Replicas have been found at Viking historical sites throughout Scandinavia, England and Scotland. Various different types of this axe exist, however all of them share some similar features which give the bearded axe some key advantages over traditional axes. 

The bearded design is characterised by the longer bladed section or ‘beard’ which extends below the butt of the axe. 

bearded axe - viking style

There were a number benefits to this design which made it a fearsome weapon. One of the main advantages of using axes over swords is that they are much lighter due to them having a larger wooden section and less heavy metal. The bearded axe design goes further in increasing this advantage. The fact that the blade extends lower allows for a much longer cutting edge when compared to traditional axes whilst keeping the weight to a minimum. This allows the bearded axe to be wielded easily in one hand and made it a fast and deadly weapon in the hands of a skilled Viking. 

Another advantage of this design is that it provides protection for the hand then held behind the blade. This allows the user to hold the axe closer to the top and gives them more control.

bearded axe - viking style

The beard of the axe can be used as a hook to grab the weapons of an opponent or to hook a shield and disarm them, opening them up for subsequent strikes. Some variations of this design have a sharp and pointed beard allowing for better hooking of shields. 

If you are interested in getting your own skeggøx then check out our armoury

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