An adze (//; alternative spelling: adz) is an ancient and versatile cutting tool similar to an axe but with the cutting edge perpendicular to the handle rather than parallel. They have been used since the Stone Age. Adzes are used for smoothing or carving wood in hand woodworking, and as a hoe for agriculture and horticulture Two basic forms of an adze are the hand adze (short hoe) —a short handled tool swung with one hand— and the foot adze (hoe) —a long handled tool capable of powerful swings using both hands, the cutting edge usually striking at foot or shin level. A similar tool is called a mattock, which differs by having two blades, one perpendicular to the handle and one parallel.
Modern adzes are made from steel with wooden handles, and enjoy limited use: occasionally in semi-industrial areas, but particularly by "revivalists" such as those at the Colonial Williamsburg cultural center in Virginia, USA. However, the traditional adze has largely been replaced by the sawmill and the powered-plane, at least in industrialised cultures. It remains in use for some specialist crafts, for example by coopers. Adzes are also in current use by artists such as Northwest Coast American and Canadian Indian sculptors doing pole work, masks and bowls.
"Adzes are used for removing heavy w
"Adzes are used for removing heavy waste, leveling, shaping, or trimming the surfaces of timber..." and boards. Generally, the user stands astride a board or log and swings the adze downwards between his feet, chipping off pieces of wood, moving backwards as they go and leaving a relatively smooth surface behind.
Foot adzes are most commonly known as shipbuilder's or carpenter's adzes. They range in size from 00 to 5 being 3 3 1/ to 4 3/ pounds (1.5–2.2 kg) with the cutting edge 3 to 4 1/ inches (75–115 mm) wide. On the modern, steel adze the cutting edge may be flat for smoothing work to very rounded for hollowing work such as bowls, gutters and canoes. The shoulders or sides of an adze may be curved called a lipped adze, used for notching. The end away from the cutting edge is called the pole and be of different shapes, generally flat or a pin pole.