From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
) 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

The axe is a type of melee weapon found in NetHack. Axes can also be thrown and applied as tools.


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.[1]

In addition, dwarves[2] and ninja[3] have a chance of being generated with an axe.


Axes do an extra d4 damage against wood golems.[4]

If your wielded weapon is an axe, you can open a non-blessed tin in six turns.[5]


Axes (and battle-axes) can be applied 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.[6] Doing this within view of a Minetown watchman will anger him. ("Halt, vandal! You're under arrest!")

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 in vanilla 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 ]


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-364}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.