When choosing an ax, you can buy a long-handled (36-inch) ax with a 3- to 4-pound head; a small forest ax with a head weighing 11⁄2 to 2 pounds and a handle measuring from 19 to 23 inches; or a hatchet, with a foot-long handle and a much lighter head. A long-handled ax is the safest, as the head will bury in the ground if it glances off a tree. The long handle also lets you apply more power to your swings; the downside is that its size makes it difficult to pack. A forest ax is more portable and is capable of handling most chores, but without as much power. A hatchet, good for cutting small trees or branches, is the most dangerous, as a glancing blow could cut off your foot.