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) Axe.png
Name axe
Appearance axe
Damage vs. small 1d6
Damage vs. large 1d4
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill axe
Size one-handed
Base price 8 zm
Weight 60
Material iron

An axe is a kind of melee weapon.

Axes do an extra d4 damage against wood golems.[1]

Axes are throwable.

If your wielded weapon is an axe, you can open a non-blessed tin in six turns.[2]

Axes as tools

Axes (and battle-axes) can be (a)pplied to chop in a specified direction, through a door or a tree. The process of chopping with an axe is similar to digging with a pick-axe or dwarvish mattock.

Applying an axe to a door is a safer way to open it than kicking it, because an axe will never destroy a shop door ("This door seems too hard to chop through.") This spares you a 400-zorkmid bill for damages.

Chopping down a tree has a 20% chance of generating a random fruit, even if you already got fruit from the tree by kicking it [3]. Doing this within view of a Minetown watchman will anger him ("Halt, vandal! You're under arrest!")

It is not (currently) possible to apply an axe to a corpse.


Axes make up about 4% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops).

Barbarians start with an axe as a secondary weapon 50% of the time.[4]

In addition, dwarves[5] and ninja (on the Samurai quest)[6] have a chance of being generated with an axe.

Axe skill

Max Role

The "big brother" of the axe is the battle-axe, which uses the same skill but does more respectable damage versus small and large monsters, with the downside of being heavier and two-handed.

Cleaver, a battle-axe, is the only artifact weapon to use this skill.


In SLASH'EM, the artifact long sword Giantslayer is replaced with Giantkiller, an artifact axe.

Encyclopedia entry

"For ev'ry silver ringing blow,
Cities and palaces shall grow!"

"Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree,
Tell wider prophecies to me."

"When rust hath gnaw'd me deep and red,
A nation strong shall lift his head.

"His crown the very Heav'ns shall smite,
Aeons shall build him in his might."

"Bite deep and wide, O Axe, the tree;
Bright Seer, help on thy prophecy!"

[ Malcolm's Katie, by Isabella Valancey Crawford ]