Fiskars makes the best axes for the money — light, sharp and virtually unbreakable. The handle is a fiberglass reinforced composite that is amazingly strong. A couple years ago I was carving a dugout canoe with my 28″ Pro Chopping axe. The handle held up through a 30″ diameter tree before breaking while I was working on the canoe (a quaking aspen log — not the best for a canoe, but all I could get at the time). Still, the axe was returned to Lowe’s and replaced for free. I have used similar-priced axes in the $30 range and the wooden handles either break in no time or the blade is dull or both. I have used my axe for around three years now and went quite a while without sharpening it. Eventually, I bought the Fiskars companion sharpener for $10 and with a few passes through it, the axe is ready to go.
[Fiskars no longer produces this axe - it's been replaced by the Splitting Axe -- OH]