Dwarves prefer to strike their enemy with an axe. And though it has led to some confusion and misunderstandings among the Elves, Dwarves do not use the battleaxe on trees. They can train to become quite proficient with both axe and shield.
Like other Dwarves, axemen are able to move easily underground and easily traverse large mountains. Their inborn hardiness also gives them a natural resistance to many magical effects and poison.