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What is a Foot Adze?

What is a Foot Adze?

How to choose the best adze for you

Adze’s are a tool as old as time. However, most people are only familiar with hand adze’s which may leave you asking what is a foot adze? At Wonkee Donkee our hand tool experts have done their research and put together this complete guide to foot adzes.


Keeping it simple, a foot adze is a long handled adze which is designed to be held with two hands and swung around the shin or foot level (usually between the legs) to shave wood. They are more typically used to carve or plane large pieces of timber or other types of wood.


Unfortunately, due to the advancements in power tools and modern technology the trusty foot adze is not used as much in modern day woodworking. Nevertheless, many carpenters use adze’s to show off their skill level in competitions around the world.

What is a foot adze used for?

Flattening wood with an adze

Adzes are in a way big versions of chisels and are used for carving away larger slithers of wood. This is typically done in the initial stages of outdoor wood carving to begin shaping the wood roughly before it is more finely chiseled. The user of an adze swings the large handle to build up force which helps the sharp blade cut through the wood. When using an adze the operator will typically keep swinging until it has either made the surface smooth, hollowed a piece of wood or removed any excess bark.


In certain countries like Norway, carpenters enter wood carving competitions whereby they carve out a design within a certain time period. Typically hand adzes and foot adzes are used by the competitors in order to begin to shape their initial piece. In some other competitions, they use long handled foot adzes to sharpen pencils which are around their feet. This is to demonstrate their skills and control when carving.

How to sharpen a foot adze?

Adze used to sharpen pencils

To get the most out of any adze it needs to be as sharp as possible. Keeping your blade sharp allows it to travel through wood easier and makes for cleaner cuts and finishes. A sharp adze also allows for you to be more efficient when using an adze, taking less swings/cuts in order to refine your wood.


When it comes to sharpening a foot adze it is exactly the same as sharpening a hand adze. Luckily for you, at Wonkee Donkee tools we have put together an easy to follow step-by-step guide on how to sharpen an adze?

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