A bearded axe, or Skeggöx refers to various axes, used as a tools and weapons, as early as the 6th century AD. It is most commonly associated with Viking Age Scandinavians. The lower portion of the axe bit is called the "beard" and the cutting edge of the bearded axe extends below the width of the butt to provide a wide cutting surface while keeping the overall weight of the axe low. The hook, or "beard" of the axe would have also been useful in battle, to hook onto things, such as shields or weapons, to pull them out of the defender's grasp.
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.