11 Best Hatchets And Axes For Camping And Survival In 2024, Expert-Reviewed

Your idea of a vacation may involve spending days and nights in the great outdoors, pitching a tent under the stars, and looking over the magnificent mountaintops, but it is incomplete if you do not have the right tool kit. An important outdoor tool that you need is the best hatchet for camping. It’s smaller than an ax, so you can easily hold it with one hand and operate it without much effort.

This time-tested, multipurpose device comes in handy if you want to split wood, pound tent spikes, clear an area, create kindling, or perform other tasks while you’re out in nature.

Julio Arco, an architect, interior designer, and outdoor enthusiast, says, “If you enjoy camping and outdoor experiences, owning well-designed camping gear, such as a multipurpose hatchet, can provide utility and peace of mind in an outdoor setting. Consequently, this can allow you to enjoy nature and improve your outdoor experience.”

Here are the top-rated and best-selling options that will keep you sorted on your next trip.

In This Article

11 Best Hatchets For Camping In 2024

1. Best Ergonomic:Fiskars 378501-1002 X7 Hatchet

The multipurpose camping hatchet by Fiskars comes with a flared head that prevents it from getting wedged in the log. The blade has been built using a proprietary grinding technique that promises a sharp edge for better contact and cleaner cuts, while the handle is made of FiberComp, which offers an excellent power-to-weight ratio. The tool comes with a unique blade locking mechanism for safety. Check out this testing cum review video to learn how this product works.

Product Dimensions: 16.5"L x 5.5"W | Blade Material: Carbon Steel | Item Weight: 1.4 Pounds | Color: NULL | Handle Material: Wood

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.38lb
  • Blade Length: 2.7in
  • Overall Length: 14in
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • Comfortable grip
  • Lightweight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Cleaner cuts

Cons

  • Edges may chip
  • Blade may not be very durable

Our Reviewer's Experience

"In addition to being sharp, its well-balanced handle offers controlled swings. Its build is also top-notch, and its versatile design has made it ideal for all my camping-related tasks."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has garnered more than 9,382 positive reviews on Amazon.

2. Best Durable: Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 14in Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel

This gorgeous hatchet for camping keeps you wholly sorted as you can chop logs, split firewood, and perform various other tasks while camping. It is a one-piece, forged steel construction from Estwing with a heavy-duty ballistic nylon sheath for better protection. The curved handle with a genuine leather grip adds to the comfort of handling this tool. You may check out this review video showcasing a tester’s experience to know more about this product.

Item Weight: 1.86 Pounds | Color: Leather | Material: ‎Metal | Product Dimensions: ‎13 x 5 x 1 inches

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.7lb
  • Blade Length: 3.25in
  • Overall Length: 14in
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Forged construction
  • Broad hammer for easy working
  • Comfortable grip
  • Durable nylon sheath for protection

Cons

  • Blade may go dull quickly
  • Varnish may crack and chip

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Besides being sharp, its comfortable leather handle keeps my hand from forming blisters even when I use it for long hours. The stickers were slightly challenging to remove, but the hatchet performs well and will likely stick around for long."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 5,746 positive reviews on Amazon are proof that this product meets customers' expectations.

3. Best Traditional: Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

4.6
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet Image: Gransfors

Gransfors Bruks wildlife hatchet makes it easy to split small logs or chop off large branches even if you do not possess in-depth expertise in doing so. This scouting and camping ax looks similar to a hand hatchet, with a longer handle. The increased handle length design provides more power to lop off the branches. Its ergonomic design allows for better control and movement, making it a practical addition to your gear collection.

Color: Silver, Black | Handle Material: Leather | Blade Material: ‎Stainless Steel | Item Weight: ‎1.3 Pounds

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.3lb
  • Overall Length: 13.5in
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Comes with a vegetable-tanned leather sheath
  • Convenient to carry in a rucksack
  • Ax poll doubles as a hammer
  • Comes with an instructional guide

Cons

  • Blade may need frequent maintenance
  • Ax edge may appear slightly bent

Our Tester's Experience

"Having used this cutting tool for a few months, I can vouch for its durability and functionality. It even feels light in my hand, and the well-crafted head paired with the hickory handle makes for efficient wood chopping."


Fiskars 378501-1002 X7 Hatchet
Best Ergonomic
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14in Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel
Best Durable
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
Best Traditional
Dimensions 16.5"L x 5.5"W ‎13 x 5 x 1 inches-
Blade Material Carbon Steel- ‎Stainless Steel
Weight 1.4 Pounds 1.86 Pounds ‎1.3 Pounds
Color NULL Leather Silver, Black
Handle Material Wood- Leather
Material- ‎Metal-
Rating
Reviews9,3825,746281
Price$32.98$39.98$167

4. Best For Outdoors: SOG Camp Axe – Camping Axe with Sheath

The SOG camp ax is specially designed for outdoor adventures. This small forest ax with a textured glass-reinforced nylon handle makes chopping medium-sized wood logs and small branches a breeze. It comes with a sheath for safety.

Product Dimensions: 11.5"L x 5"W | Blade Material: Stainless Steel | Item Weight: 1 Pounds | Color: Black | Handle Material: Stainless Steel,Wood

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1lb
  • Blade Length: 3.1in
  • Overall Length: 11.5in
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Zero-maintenance construction
  • Satin finish
  • Offers good grip
  • Designed for rough use
  • Large cutting edge
  • Wide hammer head

Cons

  • Attaching the sheath may be difficult
  • May require regular tightening

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Be it camping or hiking, this compact axe is my faithful companion. It easily cuts through small to moderate pieces of wood, and the well-balanced design enables enhanced control. I added a handle wrap to get a better grip under wet conditions, but overall, it is a practical tool."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Over 1,394 Amazon shoppers have left good reviews about this product, citing its quality features and benefits.

protip_icon Quick tip
If you’re on the go for several days, carry sandpaper to sharpen your hatchet when the blade becomes dull.

5. Best With Ash Handle: Gedore Forestry Hatchet

4.5

If you are in need of a hatchet for gardening or woodworking, consider this time-tested compact and powerful hatchet by Gedore. It features a finely polished cutting edge blade and an ergonomically designed handle that provides a comfortable grip. Made from high-quality materials, the Gedore hatchet delivers precision cuts when needed.

Item Weight: 0.02 Pounds | Color: Yellow | Product Dimensions: 11.02 x 7.09 x 3.15 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2lb
  • Blade Length: 4.3in
  • Overall Length: 14.9in
  • Material: Steel

Pros

  • Features a large head
  • High-quality hatchet
  • Ash handle
  • Durable
  • Rugged material
  • Appropriate handle length for easy handling

Cons

  • May not be suitable for professional use
  • Blades’ eye may be small

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I use this hatchet for everything from chopping small wood logs to clearing the hiking trail. The handle’s durability is a point of contention, but its weight and decent visibility make it perfect for controlled work."


6. Best Long-Lasting: Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet

4.6
Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet Image: Husqvarna

Loose hatchet heads can be a hassle, as they may detach during work. The Husqvarna wooden hatchet, however, secures its head using a steel and wooden wedge. It includes a leather edge cover that helps in blade protection and prevents unwanted cuts. With a compact size and lightweight design, the hatchet is suitable for cutting branches and splitting campfire wood.

Product Dimensions: 15 x 6.5 x 0.98 inches | Blade Material: Wooden,Steel | Item Weight: 2.2 Pounds | Color: Black | Handle Material: Hickory,Leather,Steel,Wood

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.20lb
  • Overall Length: 13in
  • Material: Steel

Pros

  • Hand-forged axe
  • Easy to grasp
  • High-quality camp hatchet
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Features a hole for hanging loop attachment

Cons

  • May not be rust-resistant
  • May be larger than expected

Our Reviewer's Experience

"With this axe, I can seamlessly tackle lighter campsite tasks, especially wood splitting. The blade was sharp enough to be used right out of the box, but I refined its edges to speed up the cutting process. All in all, it's the best tool I have found in this price range."


7. Best Secure Grip:Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe

The portable hatchet by Gerber Gear is designed to deliver a wide range of functions. The full tang construction promises strength and steadiness, improving swing efficiency, and the rubber wrapped hatchet handle and nylon sheath offer comfort and safety while working.

Color: Coyote Brown | Handle Material: Nylon,Rubber,Steel | Material: ‎Other | Item Weight: ‎1.3 pounds | Product Dimensions: ‎9"L x 2.7"W | Blade Material: ‎Stainless Steel Color: ‎Coyote Brown | Handle Material: ‎Nylon,Rubber,Steel

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.3lb
  • Blade Length: 2.5in
  • Overall Length: 9.6in
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Finger grooves for secure carrying
  • Tall blade grind for maximum sharpness
  • Lightweight and sturdy splitting axe
  • Ensures easy swing
  • Rubberized grip
  • Sturdy stainless steel head
  • Integrated lanyard hole for easy storage

Cons

  • Handle is a tad short
  • Sheath may not be easy to remove

My Personal Experience

"The included sheath is a boon for portability, and the weighted build offers stability. Its handle is slightly shorter than expected, but the grip provides a decent hold. I always carry it in my backpack as it's handy for chopping and carving wood."


8. Best Full Tang Construction:Off Grid Tools Survival Axe Ultimate Outdoor Multi Tool

4.5

A single-piece hand-held multi-functional tool, it blends elegance with functionality to ease your job. It is a complete survival tool for outdoor adventures and comes with an integrated hammer and claw, a compact hatchet blade, a nail puller and pry bar, multiple hex wrenches, a replaceable six-inch saw blade, and many more such tools.

Color: Black | Handle Material: Nylon,Steel | Material: ‎Synthetic | Product Dimensions: ‎11.5"L x 5.5"W | Blade Material: ‎Alloy Steel | Item Weight: ‎1.7 Pounds |

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.6lb
  • Overall Length: 11.5in
  • Material: 420 stainless steel

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • High-quality camp hatchet
  • Full tang construction
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Rugged material
  • Convenient to use
  • Comes with a protective sheath

Cons

  • May require frequent sharpening
  • Handle may not be comfortable to hold

Our Tester's Experience

"Despite the initial learning curve, this blade is one of the most comfortable ones I have ever used. I had to make a few adjustments, like sharpening the edges. But its build quality is impressive, and the sheath allows me to easily carry it in my bag."


protip_icon Quick fact
A hatchet is the same as a tomahawk, an ax the Native North American Red Indians used for hunting and warfare.

9. Best With Leather Sheath:Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

4.7
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe Image: Gransfors

The Granfors Bruks forest ax features a compact design, making it easy to carry and store when camping in the woods. It features an extended structure, rounded edges, and a flat elongated ax head for more chopping power. The ax’s larger head and longer handle make it suitable for felling trees and chopping small logs. Moreover, this ax comes with a high-quality sheath in vegetable-tanned leather to prevent exposure to external elements, ensuring safety.

Color: Brown / Black | Handle Material: Hickory Wood | Material: ‎wood | Blade Material: ‎Stainless Steel | Item Weight: ‎2.2 Pounds

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.2lb
  • Overall length: 19.69in
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Non-slip grip wood handle
  • Durable and sharp blade
  • High-quality material
  • Portable

Cons

  • May have asymmetrical edges
  • May fall out of the sheath

Our Reviewer's Experience

"All my weekends are spent in the wilderness, so this tool has been a nifty find. Though the edge might require some sharpening upon arrival, the attention to detail is evident. It's also proven durable, and the overall functionality has made it a permanent part of my outdoor gear."


10. Best Multipurpose Tool:Stansport Para Hatchet with Rope Handle & Fire Starter

Carry this time-tested, multitool, and compact hatchet during your hunting, fishing, or camping trips. This steel-headed gorgeous hatchet comes with a flint spark igniter, rope cutter, and three wrenches, making it an extremely functional tool for emergencies.

Material: ‎Other | Color: ‎Orange | Item Weight: ‎0.75 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎9.8 x 3.5 x 0.3 inches

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.75lb
  • Overall Length: 9.75in
  • Material: Steel

Pros

  • Paracord wrapped handle
  • High-quality hatchet
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Durable and sharp
  • Comes with a storage sheath
  • Light hatchet head

Cons

  • Handle may not be comfortable to hold

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Although lightweight, its sharp blades easily cut up the hardest of wood. However, the handle needed some DIY modification to make it comfortable for extended use. Despite that, it has quickly become my favorite wood-cutting tool."


11. Best Compact And Portable:Casavida Survival Hatchet Camping Axe Hunting Set

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Your next camping trip can become all the more enjoyable with this comprehensive camping ax hunting set. The 9-in-1 set comprises a knife, hammer, compass, flint, and even an emergency whistle. The ergonomically designed handle with hand rope makes it a convenient tool. Furthermore, the tool works with the efficiency of any full-sized axe.

Color: Black | Handle Material: Aluminum | Outer Material: ‎Aluminum | Material: ‎Aluminum alloy | Product Dimensions: ‎17"L x 6.5"W | Blade Material: ‎Stainless Steel

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.04lb
  • Overall Length: 17in
  • Material: Carbon steel and aluminum alloy

Pros

  • All-in-one multipurpose tool
  • Compact and portable
  • Strong and durable
  • Functional
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May not be fit for heavy-duty tasks
Our Reviewer's Experience

"After trying multiple hatches, I have finally settled on this one due to its robustness. The assembly instructions could have been better, but the process was manageable. Moreover, the included tool attachments, such as the hammer and compass, are a thoughtful add-on."

Types of Hatchets

Hatchets can be categorized into four main types.

  • Utilitarian: They are versatile and have thin and tapered heads. These hatchets are good substitutes for knives and perfect for kindling creation or splitting small logs.
  • Splitting: They are designed to split medium and large logs effectively.
  • Survival: Also known as backpack hatchets, they are portable, lightweight, and relatively flat to carry in your backpack. Chopping or splitting becomes an easy job with these tools.
  • Tomahawks: These lightweight axes feature a slightly longer handle and a short blade and have a spike on the rear of the blade.

How To Choose The Right Hatchet For Camping?

It is important to buy a good camping hatchet that can take care of your camping requirements. Listed below are essential features you need to consider while buying a hatchet for camping.

  • Material: It is what defines the strength and durability of the tool. Materials like stainless steel and carbon steel are known to be strong and long-lasting options, and therefore, make a good choice.
  • Weight: The more the weight, the better the impact. If you are backpacking, then you don’t want to carry a lot of weight, but if you have a car, go for a heavy head hatchet or axe.
  • Blade: Hatchets with thicker blades are effective in wood splitting, while those with thinner blades are effective in whittling and performing controlled tasks.
  • Grip: Consider a hatchet that offers a secure grip and is anti-slip and shock-proof.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the difference between an ax and a hatchet?

An ax is a tool that is used for chopping wood using both the hands. It has a strong construction with a wooden handle and blade made of iron with a steel edge. On the other hand, a hatchet is an ax with a small handle and is operated with a single hand.

2. Can a hatchet split wood?

Yes, a hatchet is strong enough to split medium-sized wood logs.

3. Which is better: a machete or a hatchet?

A hatchet is designed for splitting small and medium wood logs. On the other hand, a machete features long steel blades for cutting through vines, stalks, and large leaves. Choose one depending upon what task you need to perform.

4. What’s the difference between a hatchet and a tomahawk?

A tomahawk’s head is lightweight, narrower, longer, and shaped more like a hawk’s beak. It’s mainly used for throwing and as a weapon. A hatchet’s head is shorter and has a less dramatic taper but is broader and concave. It is generally used for field work and chopping.

5. Are hatchets suitable for camping?

Hatchets are small and compact, thus making them travel-friendly. Their head is ideal for splitting small wood logs, carving, and hammering lightweight pegs.

6. Why do hatchets have notches?

Hatchets often have a V or U-shaped notch at the base of the blade, which helps convert the hatchet into a nail-pulling or nail-prying tool.

7. Do I need a hatchet for camping?

When camping, a hatchet serves as a multipurpose tool, such as an ax, hammer, and spanner, depending on the design and comes in handy while setting up the campfire, the tent, hammocks, etc. It can also be used for self-defense to a certain extent if required.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Our writers and reviewers have compiled a list of some of the best hatchets for camping that enable easy wood splitting or help you clear an area efficiently. We have scoured several trusted websites and considered trusted product reviews to curate this list. To make the article more helpful, we have also included the specifications, distinctive features, and pros and cons of each best-selling product. We have also provided a buying guide to help you understand the factors that may determine the purchase of a good hatchet.

The Bottom Line

Whether you carry a survival hatchet, a utilitarian hatchet, or a splitting hatchet, they can enhance your camping experience based on your primary requirements. They’re a multipurpose tool that, when chosen carefully, can help with hunting, cutting ropes, and chopping wood. However, when selecting a multi-functional hatchet, ensure it has an ergonomic handle, durable material, and lightweight construction for optimal performance. Considering the above factors, we suggest the Fiskars 378501-1002 X7 Hatchet for its unique blade-locking mechanism for utmost safety; the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe, which offers a long handle for easy and safe handling; and the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe, with a broad hammer and a nylon sheath. Moreover, check for warranty, padding, varnish, and blade sharpness before buying a hatchet for a firm grip and clean cuts.

Infographic: Why Should You Carry A Hatchet Or Axe When Camping?

The hatchet or axe is a reliable companion for outdoor adventurers, serving as an essential tool during camping. Its versatility assists in various camping and survival tasks while instilling a sense of security in the wilderness. Explore the infographic below to uncover the benefits and reasons for carrying an axe on your next camping trip.

Benefits Of Carrying A Hatchet Or Axe When Camping (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version


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