A pick axe or pick is a hand tool with a hard head attached perpendicular to the handle.Some people make the distinction that a pick axe has a head with a pointed end and a blunt end, and a pick has both ends pointed, or only one end; but the international Oxford Dictionary of English states that both words mean the same, i.e. a tool with a long handle at right angles to a curved iron or steel bar with a point at one end and a chisel or point at the other, used for breaking up hard ground or rock. The head is usually made of metal, and the handle is most commonly wood, metal or fiberglass. The head is a spike ending in a sharp point, may curve slightly, and often has a counter-weight to improve ease of use. The stronger the spike, the more effectively the tool can pierce the surface. Rocking the embedded spike about and removing it can then break up the surface. The counterweight nowadays is nearly always a second spike, often with a flat end for prying. The pointed edge is most often used to break up rocky surfaces or other hard surfaces such as concrete or hardened dried earth. The large momentum of a heavy pickaxe, combined with the small contact area, makes it very effective for this purpose. The chiseled end, if present, is used for purposes including cutting through roots.Originally used as agricultural tools as far back as prehistoric cultures, picks have also served for tasks ranging from traditional mining to warfare. The design has also evolved into other tools such as the plough and the mattock.The axe has many forms and specialized uses but generally consists of an axe head with a handle, or helve.The axe is an example of a simple machine, as it is a type of wedge, or dual inclined plane. This reduces the effort needed by the wood chopper. It splits the wood into two parts by the pressure concentration at the blade. The handle of the axe also acts as a lever allowing the user to increase the force at the cutting edge. Most modern axes have steel heads and wooden handles, typically hickory in the US and ash in Europe, although plastic or fiberglass handles are also common. Modern axes are specialized by use, size and form. Hafted axes with short handles designed for use with one hand are often called hand axes but the term hand axe refers to axes without handles as well. Hatchets tend to be small shafted axes often with a hammer on the back side (the poll). Commonly referred to as,steel pick axe, small pick axe, iron pick axe, chopping axe, wood cutting axe, splitting axe, fireman axe, small forest axe, ice pick axe, hatchets, ice axe, ice pick, and ice tools.