10 TOP WATL Throwing Axes: The Competition Thrower, The Bad Axe, The Butcher…

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If you’re interested in participating in a World Axe Throwing League (WATL) competition, you need the best WATL throwing axe.

The WATL Competition Thrower is our favorite choice. It offers performance, durability, and is compliant with the rules of WATL. 

The Competition Thrower is our overall favorite, but we’ve reviewed ten different axes to help find the right one for you.

Read on to learn more about the ten best WATL throwing axes and get answers to some of the questions you might have before your first WATL competition.

Best WATL Throwing Axes

competitive axe throwing

Check out our post on the BEST throwing axes if want to look at other brands as well – this article focuses on WATL brand throwing axes!

When it comes to throwing axes, not all axes are created equal.

Here are our picks for the ten best WATL Throwing Axes.

1. The Competition Thrower – Best Overall Choice


If we could only recommend one axe to new throwers, it would be WATL’s, Competition Thrower. 

Perfect for beginners or intermediates, the Competition Thrower is built to be durable and holds a sharp edge even after repeated beatings.

This 2.35-lb axe features a sharp, 3.5-inch blade and a 16-inch straight wooden handle. You can cut down the handle to better suit your throwing style. 

Throwing this axe is exceptionally consistent, and there is little wrist fatigue even after repeated matches.


  • Best choice for beginners
  • Comfortable to throw
  • Great budget option


  • Slick handle

2. The Butcher – Best Axe for Advanced Hobbyists


Take a step up from the beginners’ level of axe throwing with the Butcher throwing axe.

Intermediate and advanced throwers will love the 17-inch hickory handle and ultra-thin profile on the 4-inch blade.

The axe weighs in at 2.25-lbs and ships with a razor-sharp blade ready to go right out of the box. It also comes with a complimentary protective sheath. 


  • 1045 Carbon Steelhead
  • Stylish cleaver design


  • Carbon steel susceptible to rust

3. The Bad Axe – Best Blade Design


The Bad Axe is a great option that falls somewhere between the Competition Thrower and the Butcher. 

More importantly, the Bad Axe offers a fantastic blade design that will sink into your target with ease.

The Bad Axe features a 1045 Carbon Steelhead with a 4-inch, ultra-thin blade and attractive snake insignia. The head weighs in at only 1.65-lbs making it easy to throw and stick into the boards.


  • Snakehead design
  • Ultra-thin, brushed-steel edge


  • More expensive than Competition Thrower

4. The Big Axe – Best Axe for Big Axe Leagues


Designed for beginners to the Big Axe League, this axe with a 26-inch hickory handle is excellent for powerful and accurate one or two-hand throwing. 

The profile of the 4.25-inch blade matches competition hatchets and, along with the impressive 3.65-lb total weight of the axe, helps the axe stick into the boards to ensure fewer drop-outs.


  • Sharp, hatchet-blade profile
  • 26-inch adjustable handle


  • Not the best for professional Big Axe throwers

5. The Ace of Spades – Best Professional Axe


The Ace of Spades is the most advanced throwing axe in WATL’s line-up.

The patented spade flare design of the 4-inch blade enables the thrower to toss the axe with precision and offers enhanced bullseye coverage.

The Ace of Spades comes with a 17-inch American Hickory handle and weighs in at about 2.4-lbs. 

It is an accurate, comfortable thrower that many of WATL’s top athletes use in competition.


  • Spade flare blade design
  • Ultra-thin, ultra-sharp


  • Expensive

6. The Commander – Best Entry in Championship Line-Up


The Commander is an impressive option for axe throwers who want to buy a professional-level axe but prefer a flat blade.

This axe combines a 4-inch flat blade and a 17-inch straight wooden handle into a surprisingly lightweight 2.2-lb thrower.

Using the Commander for the first time can provide increased accuracy and consistency that you will be sure to appreciate as you practice your throwing.


  • Very well-balanced
  • Lightweight


  • May need sharpening out of box

7. The WATL Hawk – Best Tomahawk Set


Sometimes the best things come in small packages, which might be the case with the 3-piece WATL Hawk set.

The set comes with three tomahawks that are 12.5-inch long with a 3-inch blade and a paracord handle grip.

These tomahawks only weigh 1-lb each and are designed with a tail spike that can be fun to try to use for throws. WATL also provides a custom carrier that holds all three tomahawks at once.


  • Paracord offers secure grip
  • Extra lightweight and fun to throw


  • Can’t use it in WATL Axe Leagues

8. The Kill Shot – Best Axe for Durability


The Kill Shot is the most durable throwing axe that WATL offers, primarily attributed to its 17-inch molded fiberglass handle.

It’s is designed with a 3.5-inch blade and weighs 2.25-lbs.

The Kill Shot is an excellent option for competition or long hours of practice when you need an axe that won’t break.


  • Molded fiberglass handle
  • Lasts longer than any other axe


  • Can’t easily adjust handle length

9. The Patriot – Best Budget Option for Big Axe Leagues


The Patriot features a fiberglass handle and is approved for WATL Big Axe League.

It has a 26-inch molded fiberglass handle with red rubber coating, 3.94-inch curved blade, and only weighs 3.55-lbs.

The Patriot is exceptionally durable and comfortable for repeated throwing. WATL also prices the Patriot competitively, making it a great budget option for Big Axe beginners.


  • 26-inch fiberglass handle
  • Grippy rubber handle coating 


  • Not the thinnest blade profile

10. The General – Best Dual Purpose Axe


The General is WATL’s premium Big Axe League throwing axe and also the company’s first dual-purpose axe.

WATL designed the General to work as both a throwing axe and for chopping wood in your backyard. 

The General has an extra-long 27.5-inch Hickory handle with an ultra-thin, 4.5-inch blade. It weighs only 3.2-lbs and offers a smooth throwing experience and a reliable stick on the target.


  • Good for throwing and wood chopping
  • Protective Nylon sheath


  • The high cost might deter some throwers

WATL History

The WATL organization was founded in 2017 by individuals from Canada, the United States, Ireland, Denmark, and Brazil. 

The goal of WATL is to promote axe throwing as a professional sport and to standardize the sport through official league rules, safety protocols, employee training, and more.

Currently, WATL consists of 19 member countries and over 175 official membership affiliates worldwide.

Also, in 2017, the organization helped establish June 13 as International Axe Throwing Day and held its first annual World Axe Throwing Competition.

In 2018, Eric Walters was named WATL Commissioner, and WATL added ten countries to the membership list.

The list of countries includes:

  • Spain
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • The United Kingdom
  • Hungary
  • Russia
  • New Zealand
  • Turkey
  • Indonesia
  • Hungary

WALT held its first US Open Tournament and became the first urban axe throwing competition to be featured on ESPN.

In 2019, WATL added four more member countries, including Belgium, South Africa, China, and Australia. That same year, WATL also hosted the first Canada Open Tournament. 

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted WATL in 2020. The organization canceled its Spring and Summer leagues. 

WATL assisted in founding the Quarantine Axe Throwing League (QATL) with co-founders Tristan Ledbury and Mike Morton. The league helped players to continue to compete from home throughout pandemic-related closures and quarantines.

In 2020, WALT also developed WALT Live, a new online style of play for competitive axe throwers. WATL announced Mario Zelaya as its new commissioner.

Starting in 2021, as the world’s governments began to loosen COVID-19 restrictions, WATL reestablished regular-season competitions again. The organization also opened the first affiliate in India. 

WATL also expanded operations in 2021 with a sister league, the World Knife Throwing League.

Also, in 2021, Mario Zelaya stepped down as WATL commissioner and was later replaced by Mike Morton.

Axe Throwing Competitions

Axe throwing competitions involve players taking turns throwing approved throwing axes, throwing hatchets, or another officially authorized implement at a target for points. 

Here are some of the main rules for WATL league competitions:

For a WATL standard hatchet competition, there are seven possible scoring zones on the board:

  1. 1 point for the outermost ring
  2. 2 points for the 2nd outermost ring
  3. 3 points for the 3rd outermost ring
  4. 4 points for the 4th outermost ring
  5. 5 points for the 5th outermost ring
  6. 6 points for the bullseye
  7. 8 points for the Killshots when active.

Only the axe’s blade, head, and cheek count for points.

Players must use a throwing axe that adheres to WATL rules and must throw from behind a 12ft fault-line. A player may throw with one hand, either over or underhanded, with the blade facing the target when released. A player may also use a two-handed overhead throw.

The player must take each throw within 10 seconds of the preceding one. If a player takes longer than 10 seconds between throws, it results in a “fault.” Also, if a player steps over the fault line, they will receive a fault.

If a player receives a fault, the throw is counted, but they receive a score of 0 points.

A match consists of 10 throws for each player, and the player with the highest total points at the end of the match is declared the winner.

A WATL league season lasts for eight weeks, with seven weeks of regular season play and one week for playoffs. Individual affiliates use either a single game or best 2-out-of-3 design for playoff matches. 

The final Championship match is a best of three series, with the player that wins two out of three matches being declared the champion.


official watl approved axes
The WATL Competition Thrower

There are many different WATL axes for sale online – it’s great!

But before buying any professional throwing axes, it’s good to have the answers to the common questions below.

Where are WATL throwing axes made?

WATL USA designs every WATL axe and then they are manufactured in China.

What WATL axe is best for throwing?

The best WATL axe for throwing will depend on the type of match you are participating in, such as Standard Hatchet and Big Axe.

Our favorite official throwing axe for hatchet competition is the WATL Competition Thrower.

What are WATL axes made of?

WATL manufactures most of its axe heads from forged steel, and the handles are made from either American Hickory wood or fiberglass.

What is a WATL-compliant axe?

A WATL-compliant axe is a throwing axe that meets the organization’s standards for use in a match. 

For Standard Hatchet, the rules are:

  • 4-inch maximum blade length
  • No second blade on the axe
  • Handle length between 12-inches and 19-inches
  • 3-lbs maximum axe weight

Where is WATL located?

In partnership with other individuals, Mark Zelaya started WATL out of his company, Bad Axe Throwing, in Ontario, Canada.

The organization now has affiliates in many countries across the world.

Are WATL throwing axes good compared to other brands?


WATL axes use high-quality materials to improve performance and comfort when throwing. And they are certified for WATL competitions.

How long do WATL axes last?

Because WATL designs their axes to be thrown, they are sturdy and can take repeated beatings.

When thrown correctly, they can handle a ton of throws with no severe problems.

Are WATL axes dangerous?

All axes have the potential to be dangerous.

Always take safety precautions when using throwing axes, regardless of the brand. When handled correctly, axe throwing is a safe and fun activity.

The Best WATL Throwing Axe for You

The World Axe Throwing League is one of the best axe-throwing organizations to participate in if you want to throw axes.

If you want to participate in a WATL league, you should use a WATL throwing axe. We think the best overall choice is the WATL Competition Thrower, thanks to its durability and comfort when throwing.

Always remember to practice safety first when you throw axes and inspect your gear before each match.

As a final alternative, consider some of these bearded axes for sale – some are totally appropriate for throwing, though may not be suitable for competing.

Now, get out there and get throwing!


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