An adze (ædz) or adz is an ancient and versatile cutting tool similar to an axe but with the cutting edge perpendicular to the handle rather than parallel. Adzes have been used since the Stone Age. They 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.
The adze is depicted in ancient Egyptian art from the Old Kingdom onward. Originally the adze blades were made of stone, but already in the Predynastic Period copper adzes had all but replaced those made of flint. Stone blades were fastened to the handle by tying and early bronze bla