Hand axes were generally pointed in one place. Early axes fit into one's hand, but advancements allowed for them to be attached to a piece of wood for more power.
- Butchering animals
- Digging for tubers, animals, or water
- Chopping wood and removing tree bark
- A source for flake tools
The hand axe was normally made of flint, rhyolites, phonolites, and quartzite but not obsidian which shatters easily.
The hand axe could be made from various forms of knapping, though during this period pressure flaking produced the best blades. It could be either unifacial or bifacial.