The pickaxe is a lever of the third kind. When a pickaxe has to be used it is held with the hands, one hand is placed at the center of the handle to hold it there and the other is used to hold one end of the handle. The load or resistance lies at the end opposite to where the handle has been held. The hand supporting the handle at the end acts as the fulcrum and the hand holding the handle at the center is used to apply the force. This moves the opposite end towards the load which has to be cut or split.
At the end that strikes the load a wedge made of metal is fixed. The wedge allows the load to be pierced or split depending on its shape.