20 Best War Axes in Skyrim (Our Top Picks 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).
How do you like wielding a war axe? Do you prefer to use a single axe while holding a shield on the other hand, or perhaps you would rather carry axes to war, slaying anything standing in your path?
It does not matter how you use this terrific weapon. If you are here, you have probably already know you want the best war axe possible.
War axes are incredibly useful for sure. They combine the power of a mace with the speed of a sword.
In fact, war axes are a balanced mix of both attributes and they are the ideal weapon for dual-wielding.
In any case I have listed the best war axes in the game in this post. Choose which one suits you, but keep in mind that some of these weapons are unique and cannot be found more than once.
20. Dwarven War Axe
Though the Dwarven war axe holds the last rank on our list, its strength is a testament of how powerful war axes can be.
It may be one of the weakest, but it manages 11 points of base damage and can be found as early as level 12.
You will start seeing bandits and thieves, as well as dungeon fiends, wield them as soon as you hit the level requirement.
It has a design which truly resembles the approach the Dwemer always took with their weapons and constructions. As you can imagine, you can use Dwarven metal to upgrade and improve these axes to your heart’s desire.
19. Falmer War Axe
Usually wielded by the Falmer, this hefty war axe is crafted with chitin and often wielded by a Falmer creature in the game, even during the early levels.
It has quite the ugly (but intended) design, which resembles all the weaponry and armor elaborated by the eerie Falmer race.
With a base damage of 11 points, the Falmer war axe is one of the best war axes you can obtain and use at the beginning of the game.
18. Dawnguard War Axe
The Dawnguard war axe has the same base damage as the Falmer war axe, except it weighs much less. Which earns it a better spot on my list since it’s much more useful.
It has the same design as the Dawnguard Rune Axe, but unlike its sun-damaging counterpart, the Dawnguard War axe is not enchanted and is not unique.
You will be able to come across various versions of this axe as you progress through the story.
17. Forsworn War Axe
These fearsome axes can be found wielded by the terrible Forsworn. You will come across plenty of these weapons as you travel through the outer regions of Skyrim.
Similar in weight and damage, these axes resemble the Dwarven, but the design makes them quite appealing, as they consist of a sole sax-shaped stick with a sharp stone tied to it.
16. Honed Draugr War Axe
The Honed Draugr war axe shares similar characteristics to most of the weapons already mentioned on this list, but takes higher rank than the rest, thanks to its unique and beautiful design.
It resembles the Ancient Nord War axe, except it is usually held by the Draugr.
And with a base damage of 12 points it can deal a significant amount of harm.
It can be easily upgraded with steel and you can find it early on in the game, as it does not have a level requirement and it is wielded by the Draugr of almost any dungeon in Skyrim.
15. Skyforge Steel War Axe
The Skyforge axe can be wielded and swung around very quickly since it is so light weight.
Though the Skyforge Steel War Axe does not have high base damage, it does more damage per second than any weapon currently listed thus far.
It has the same shape as a regular steel war axe, but it needs crafted on the Skyforge. It is one of the best axes in the early game, but you will have to put in some work to obtain it!
If you want it for free, you will have to be initiated into the Companions and ask them to provide you with the weapon.
14. Lunar Steel War Axe
With low base damage and a very light weight, the Lunar Steel War axe shares the same design with the Skyforge Steel war axe, as well as the traditional steel axe.
Like most other Lunar Steel weapons, it has an enchantment which burns the targets, earning it a higher spot on our list.
It might not be the strongest axe in the game, but It is incredibly useful and can be found near the Silent Moons Camp.
13. Honed Falmer War Axe
The Honed Falmer War axe is an improved version of the traditional Falmer war axe.
And, similar to its original counterpart, it can be crafted using chitin.
It offers more damage points, and though all types of Falmer tend to wield it, it is more commonly found being used by higher-ranking members of the faction.
12. Elven War Axe
The Elven War axe has a high base damage and a low weight, making its strikes swift and its damage plentiful.
It has a beautiful design and can only be found after you reach level 19. But at level 20 you will start finding this weapon in the wild with enchantments.
You can also buy the weapon from merchants and some blacksmiths, but only after meeting the level requirement.
11. Dawnguard Rune Axe
Although this axe may not be the most powerful you will find in the game, it certainly possesses one of the most beautiful designs of any weapon in Skyrim.
It has a special enchantment, which provides an extra 10 points of sun damage, but only affects the undead.
It also becomes more and more powerful the more undead you kill!
It does not hold a better spot in my list because its base damage is relatively poor, which makes it quite a mediocre weapon against any undead foe.
10. Notched Pickaxe
The Notched Pickaxe is the only weapon on this list which does not earn its rank because of its damage, enchantments, or use in battle.
The pickaxe increases the wielders ability to smith, although it also offers you the chance to deal extra points of shock damage to an opponent if you decide to wield this weapon in the field of battle.
You can find this weapon lying on top of the Throat of the World, so prepare to embark on a large journey if you wish to get your hands on this rather weak but useful weapon.
9. Nordic War Axe
The beautiful Nordic War Axe was included in the Dragonborn update, and its design is one of the most unique and stunning weapon designs in Skyrim.
You can craft it at the blacksmith’s forge if you possess the materials, but keep in mind the main type of steel used to craft these weapons is Quicksilver.
You will also need some traditional steel and leather strips.
It has a base damage similar to most of the weapons I have listed here, but its design and weight make it rank higher than the other axes reviewed so far.
8. Glass War Axe
Do not be fooled by its name, the Glass Axe does tremendous damage and can only be found after you reach level 27.
As with many other base-game weapons, you will start seeing it wielded by foes and bandits after you meet the level requirement of the weapon.
It can strike quickly due to its weight being only 16 points. It also has a beautiful design and is incredibly functional in battle.
It can be crafted and upgraded using refined malachite, but it may also be found before level 27 if you storm the Northwatch Keep and steel it for yourself.
7. Ancient Nordic Pickaxe
Why does a weapon only dealing 5 damage make it so high in our list? The answer is quite simple: The Ancient Nordic Pickaxe can be used to mine Stalhrim.
In fact, it is the only type of pickaxe in the game capable of doing so, meaning this weapon is your gateway to some of the best weapons and armor in the game.
It has a base damage of 5 and no enchantments, so it is strongly advised to only wield this weapon if you intend to mine the precious material – it will not serve you well in battle!
6. Ebony War Axe
With a base damage of 15, the Ebony war axe is one of the strongest war axes in the game.
You must be level 36 to find them, but its strength will make it a trusty companion on any journey.
And it’s guaranteed serve you well until you get your hands on a better weapon, such as a Stalhrim axe or a Dragonbone Axe.
5. Stalhrim War Axe
The Stalhrim War Axe, as you can imagine, must be crafted using Stalhrim.
You may need the Ancient Nordic Pickaxe before you can craft this weapon too.
It deals 15 points of damage and it is ideal to be enchanted with frost damage spells, as Stalhrim makes them 25% more powerful than they would be on any other weapon in the game.
A decent weapon design although it’s the raw strength that makes it stand out.
4. Daedric War Axe
Daedric weapons always have a high rank in most lists, and there is a good reason for it.
They have excessively high base damage, and a design making it worthy to be wielded by even the scariest of warriors.
Dual-wielding these weapons provides an abundance of damage output, but you will need level 47 before you can find them.
Okin has a base damage of 11, but its enchantment is what makes it such a powerful companion.
This unique weapon is a Nordic War axe that targets both the enemy’s health and stamina with 10 points of frost damage.
You can only obtain the Okin axe after defeating Kvenel, the Tounge in the Volunruud ruins.
You will need to complete the “Silencing the Tongues” quest to obtain the weapon.
This weapon will serve you well throughout most of the game even with its low base damage of 12 points.
2. Dragonbone War Axe
Out of all the common war axes in the game, the Dragonbone axe is the one dealing the most damage.
Dual-wielding this weapon is probably the smartest thing to do if you want to cut through the flesh of any opponent, regardless of their potency.
It was added in the Dawnguard DLC, and must be crafted after reaching a smithing level of 100 and using the bones of slain dragons.
It deals 16 points of base damage, so be sure to swing it with strength and strike true towards any opponent standing in your way.
Surprisingly enough, Hoarfrost only deals 5 points of base damage.
It has a unique Ancient Nordic Pickaxe, but unlike its other two pickaxe counterparts you can actually use the Hoarfrost in battle.
This deals 15 points of damage both to your enemies’ health and stamina bars, and it also provides them with a chance of being frozen upon each strike.
It can be swung as quickly, thanks to its low weight so be sure to use it wisely and watch your enemies’ bodies drop like flies. And remember that sometimes, initial base damage can be deceiving.