The Best Axes in Dark Souls 2 (All Ranked)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).

Growing up, many of us had a favorite Lord of the Rings character.

If you were a person of culture (like me of course) that character was Gimli.

In fact, after sitting down and thinking about it for a moment, a lot of my favorite characters have one thing in common.


In Dark Souls 2, axes sit somewhere in between swords and hammers as far as speed, damage, and range goes.

So whether you want to cosplay a bloodletting lumberjack, or just like wooden sticks with sharp edges, let’s find out which one is the best to hack and slash your way to the top.


8. Infantry Axe

Infantry Axe in Dark Souls 2

Sadly, in Dark Souls 2 there isn’t a huge variety of axes to pick from (disregarding the greataxes for now). And from the 8 that exist about half of them are total garbage.

At the very bottom of the trash heap, sits the Infantry Axe.

Compared to other axes, its damage is bad, its scaling is average, and everything else is unremarkable.

On top of everything, 30 durability really isn’t where you want to be for your main weapon – unless repairing constantly immerses you more for some reason.

It’s okay to keep as an emergency weapon, if you’re a strength build in the very early stages of the game.

How to get: Dropped by the axe-wielding Hollow Infantry enemies.


7. Bound Hand Axe

Bound Hand Axe in Dark Souls 2

Next up (depending on your style) we’ve got either the best or worst looking axe in the game.

Despite having the lowest damage among axes, I’ve chosen to swap its initial ranking with the Infantry axe, since this one is at least somewhat unique, and we appreciate that.

What makes it unique?

It’s the only axe with innate bleed.

That’s not to say that it’s good per-se. But frankly it’s your only choice if you don’t want to infuse any of the other, better axes.

Do not be fooled by its high strength scaling, every other axe in the game can pump out bigger numbers than this one.

If anything, the Bound Hand Axe teaches us that you too can be unique.

You just need someone to put some barbed wire over you.

How to get: Sold by Chancellor Wellager in Drangleic Castle, after defeating the Looking Glass Knight.


6. Hand Axe

Hand Axe in Dark Souls 2

A trend you’re going to notice with most of these is “This weapon is okay, but it’s not the #1 axe”.

As in, most of these axes are mediocre and nothing special.

Such is the case with the Hand Axe as well.

Despite that, if we grade it for its base intent (being a starter weapon) it’s pretty good at its role!

Decent speed and damage will dispatch the early enemies, such as the multiple hollows, with relative ease.

A definite recommendation from me, at least until you can get your hands on one of the better axes.

How to get: Sold by Merchant Hag Melentia, starting weapon of the Bandit, found in the Forest of the Fallen Giants.


5. Battle Axe

Battle Axe in Dark Souls 2

Dipping our toes in the “decent” territory, the first thing we come across is the Battle Axe.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about this, since it’s essentially the same weapon as the previous (and next one), with some very light differences.

The Battle Axe has a small amount of extra Attack Rating, and a D in dexterity scaling,

It’s a very strong starter weapon for anyone looking to go down the strength path, and can be acquired extremely early.

How to get: Dropped by Goblins and Ashen Warriors, sold by Blacksmith Lenigrast.


4. Bandit Axe

Bandit Axe in Dark Souls 2

Without wanting to repeat myself too much, the Bandit Axe ends this streak of similarity that has befallen us.

Once again, it’s very interchangeable with any of the past two weapons, having the highest base Attack Rating but lacking any scaling other than strength whatsoever.

It’s also not the worst candidate for infusions, ending up with a nice 203 physical damage, and 203 elemental damage while keeping an above-average scaling.

How to get: Dropped by Parasite Spiders, treasure found in No-man’s Wharf along with the Brigand Set.


3. Butcher’s Knife

Butcher’s Knife in Dark Souls 2

Number 3 in our list goes out to the most questionable axe that I’ve ever seen.

Though the Butcher’s Knife’s uniqueness doesn’t just lie with its appearance and name, it also possesses the unique ability of siphoning one’s enemies’ life with successful attacks (which just means “not blocked”).

The one-handed strong attack is like a “slam”, which can be used to catch any opponent off-guard.

Take in mind that it’s one of the heaviest axes out there, rocking an impressive 16 in weight.

Regardless, it should be perfect for anyone that wishes to roleplay as a famous Scottish chef with a fiery temper.

How to get: Trade the Soul of the Rotten to Weaponsmith Ornifex.


2. Dragonslayer’s Crescent Axe

Dragonslayer’s Crescent Axe in Dark Souls 2

Here’s a familiar face to anyone that has read about lightning infusions in DS2.

This moon-shaped weapon has climbed to the top of yet another ranking!

The Dragonslayer’s Crescent Axe is a perfect weapon for any faithful warrior, since it’s the only axe with innate lightning damage, which gets even better when infused.

This quick-swinging, zapping, stylish sidearm might not be for everyone though, due to its unique move set when compared to other axes.

If you do go ahead with a lightning infusion, don’t forget that using the Sunlight Blade miracle will further amplify the weapon’s thunderous properties!

How to get: Shaded Woods, take the left route from the Ruined Fork Road. The axe is found behind a different enemy depending on your version of the game.


1. Gyrm Axe

Gyrm Axe in Dark Souls 2

I really want to axe a question to the person that didn’t classify this weapon as a greataxe:

What were they thinking?

Anyway, this beast of an axe cuts down (more like smashes) the competition with its enormous damage output.

Ending up with a base 380 attack rating and an A in Strength scaling, you are sure to destroy anything in your path.

The downsides come in the form of a high weight (18), and relatively slow swing speed, but who needs speed when you have power?!

If you aren’t really looking for something this slow, any of the previous options is perfectly fine.

On the other hand, if you want to say “oh yeah I’m just using an axe” while dunking on everything and everyone, this is the choice for you.

And remember, there’s plenty for the both of us.

May the best dwarf win!

How to get: Dropped by Gyrm Warriors, treasure found in the Doors of Pharros.

Browse: Video Games