A bearded axe, or Skeggøx (from Old Norse Skegg, "beard", and øx, "axe") refers to various axes, used as a tool and weapon, as early as the 6th century AD. It is most commonly associated with Viking Age Scandinavians. The hook or "beard", i. e. the lower portion of the axe bit extending the cutting edge below the width of the butt, provides a wide cutting surface while keeping the overall weight of the axe low. The "beard" of the axe would also have been useful in battle, for example to pull weapons out of the defender's grasp, or to pull down a shield to allow another attacker to strike at the unprotected defender.
There are a number of variants in its design.
Additionally this design allows the user to grip the haft directly behind the head for planing or shaving wood.
Variations of this design are still in use by modern woodworkers and some foresters.