This is a replica of a Viking bearded axe. The bearded axe has a blade with a long heel that hangs down. This bit of blade gives the wielder a greater cutting surface, but, more importantly, it provides a great hook. In battle the hook was used to catch the edge of an opponents shield allowing it to be pulled away exposing the opponent to a strike with a sword or axe in the other hand.This bearded axe has carbon steel battle ready axe head. The hardwood handle fits comfortably in the hand and the size, weight and balance make it a perfect for wielding with one hand.