Boarding Axes & Tomahawks

Boarding Axes, with a two or three-foot handle and a combination of sharp blade and blunt hammer side, were used to cut the ropes of boarding hooks, bring downs masts and rigging, and generally tear through anything that stood in the way of the loot, like doors, hatches or locks. They could at times help steady the weight of a boarder if needed for climbing from a smaller boat to a larger vessel (a portable handle).

The boarding axe however, had other very important duties. It was used in fire fighting to chisel out hot cannon balls that could ignite ships' timbers. The broad blade end was used to cut through downed rigging and as a hook to drag the rigging and debris out of the way. 

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