When you’re camping or backpacking, you have to be prepared for different types of situations. We know how hard it is to fit everything in a backpack, which is why all tools and equipment need to be multi-purpose. Do you want to be caught short-handed in a survival situation? The best survival hatchet can help protect against wild animals, help start a fire, chop firewood and can be used for self-defense. A hatchet is an indispensable hiking or camping tool because not only is it multi-purpose, it can help you survive in the wild.
Aside from chopping and defending, a survival hatchet can also be used for breaching and hammering tasks. Chopping tools are easier if you’re trapped in a vehicle or structure which is why it is better to bring a survival hatchet too when you’re camping. The back of the hatchet can be used for driving stakes and nails and smashing nuts. However, how do you shop for a survival hatchet without getting overwhelmed with the options available? It’s a good thing we’re here to help!
If you’re looking for a good survival hatchet, you’ve come to the right place. This article will tackle the different features you need to consider when buying a hatchet. We will also feature different survival hatchets and their reviews so that you will have an idea of the best products in today’s market.
|Product Name||Weight||Blade Material||Blade Length / Overall Length||Price|
|Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet||1.5 lb||High carbon steel||3.5 / 9.46 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Axe||1.44 lb||3Cr13MoV steel||3.5 / 12.5 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet||1.37 lb||3Cr13 Stainless Steel||3.55 / 11.08 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Fiskars X7 Hatchet||1.4 lb||Sandvik steel||3.55 / 13.8 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|United Cutlery UC2765 M48 Hawk Axe||0.43 lb||Anodized AUS-6 stainless steel blade||8 /15 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Gerber Gator Combo Axe II||1.62 lb||Forged steel||2.7 / 15.60 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|Husqvarna 13-Inch Wooden Handle Hatchet||2.2 lb||Swedish steel||6 /15 inches||Check price on Amazon|
|ASR Tactical Full Tang Hatchet||0.93 lb||No information||4 /10.5 inches||Check price on Amazon|
Things To Consider Before Buying
Chopping kindling, driving in stakes or dressing game is easier if you have the right survival hatchet. However, there are many different brands and hatchets available in the market. Furthermore, newbies have no idea what features to look for before buying one.
Here are some features you need to consider before buying the best survival hatchet.
For most of us, one blade looks the same as the other. As long as the blade is sharp, the hatchet is good. This is generally true. Sharp blades are important especially if you want speed and efficiency.
However, blade material can make a very big difference when it comes to durability and reliability. When buying a survival hatchet, try to look for blades with high carbon content. High carbon steel is very durable, hard and is capable of holding an edge.
Some blades are made from a variety of materials like melted cars, industrial equipment and other metals. These types of blades are low quality and can be very soft which makes it prone to chipping. If you want to survive in the wild or a zombie apocalypse, better buy a hatchet with high quality blade.
Some people like to use heavy hatchets because it produces more force. Backpackers and hiker on the other hand, want to save on weight especially on long trips so they want something more lightweight. For these situations, it is better to find a hatchet that weighs less than 3 pounds.
Heavy hatches and axes might have more force per swing but lighter hatchets are better because they are more accurate plus they are also easier to carry.
Just like the weight, a longer hatchet will allow you to swing with more force. However, it is better to go for a hatchet with a shorter length. Longer length means more force but you also lose control. A shorter length means better accuracy, which is actually better because you’re miles away from help in case of a medical emergency.
Hatchets compared to axes are usually smaller and can be held in one hand. Axes are also usually longer at around 30 to 36 inches in length. Ideally your hatchet should be less than 15 inches in length for better control and accuracy.
Ideally you want a survival hatchet with a hickory or ash handle. You also want to choose a handle with grains that run parallel to the bit of the hatchet. Handles with rings that run perpendicular are weaker and less durable which is important since you will be using your hatchet to hack objects and you don’t want it to snap.
You should also look at the rings on the handle. They should be numerous, tight and narrow. Wood with this pattern is stronger compared to handles with fewer and broadly-spaced growth rings.
Hatchets today are usually made with plastic handles. It can be hard to tell the material for these kinds of handles just make sure that the plastic feels durable and strong. Handles should also have rubberized grip for better control of the hatchet.
Lastly, you also want to consider what you’re going to use your hatchet for. This will make it easier for you to select a hatchet that is best suited for your needs. Take a look at the head of the hatchet to find out their best use.
For example, convex blades are best used for splitting logs while concave blades are prefect for stripping away branches and round edged blades can cut deeper compared to flat edged ones. Knowing the primary job the hatchet will be doing will make it easier for you to select a product and it will make the job easier and faster.
The right hatchet is the one suited for your needs. Reading product reviews of hatchets will give you an idea whether the product is suitable for your requirements. Here are some of our featured products.
Best Products on Today’s Market
There are so many hatchet manufacturers and products today. Browsing through all products can take a lot of time. Reading product reviews about hatchets is a good way of learning which products are worth considering or which ones to avoid. Here are reviews of some of the best hatchets available today.
Price: Approx. $30
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Blade material: High carbon steel
Blade length: 3.5 inches
Overall length: 9.46 inches
Specific features: Ergonomic non-slip grip, mildew resistant nylon sheath, double duty head
Best use: Chopping firewood, building shelters, splitting logs
Description: The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is a compact tool that can turn out stacks of firewood or help you build a shelter quickly. Don’t let the small and compact size fool you because the 3.5-inch razor sharp blade is made from high carbon steel for durability while the full-tang construction enables it to stand up to the toughest tasks.
The rubberized handle feels good to hold and gives the hatchet a solid feeling. The zero-slip grip creates a lock-tight grip that won’t slip even if your hands are wet or if it’s pouring out. It also features finger notches so that you can squeeze the handle securely for better swinging control and accuracy. This product also sports a double duty head featuring a crosshatched striking surface that can be used for different kinds of camp activities like driving stakes, straightening bent backpacks or tenderizing meat.
When not in use, the military-grade, mildew-resistant sheath will keep the blade sharp and secure. The sheath also comes with loops that you can strap on your belt or backpack.
This is a good survival hatchet that can get your through many camping and hiking activities. It feels good on the hand and has a good weight that is not too heavy or light for a hatchet. Best of all it comes with Bear’s “Priorities of Survival” Pocket Guide so that you can pay attention to the details that matters most when you’re in a wilderness jam.
- Good weight and construction
- High carbon steel blade
- Affordable and durable
- The back of the head is slim and not really good at pounding stakes or acting as a hammer
Related: Chopping wood can make you thirsty so it’s best to rehydrate with your own LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. This personal hydration option can filter up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without using iodine, chlorine and other chemicals. It removes up to 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and protozoans so you can access clean and safe water anytime, anywhere.
Price: $30 – $60
Weight: 1.44 pounds
Blade material: 3Cr13MoV steel
Blade length: 3.5 inches
Overall length: 12.5 inches
Specific features: Compact handle, stainless steel pommel, ballistic nylon sheath, limited lifetime warranty
Best use: Camping, hiking and survival situations
Description: The SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Axe looks and feels like a tomahawk. Modeled after SOG’s Tomahawk and FastHawk, the Voodoo Hawk is smaller and lighter but features the same components. This version features an extended cutting head, a spike for piercing, compact glass-reinforced nylon handle and metal pommel cap. It features a straight blade edge for neater and more efficient cuts.
The Voodoo Hawk feels good and can be very useful when you’re camping or backpacking. It is also a good throwing weapon, just don’t try doing that if you’re a novice because the edge of the blade is really sharp, you can use it to shave your face.
If you know how to use a tomahawk, you can easily use this product to hunt small game with accuracy and then use the blade to dress it. This product comes with a top-loading sheath that you can carry it easily from your belt for easier access.
The back of the head features a spike which can be useful if you need to make holes on solid ground before you can drive your stakes. The durable glass-reinforced nylon handle is comfortable to use even during extended periods. This is a good hatchet for camp activities like chopping wood or meat, cutting down small logs or dressing game.
- Small and compact
- Good weight for throwing
- More tomahawk than a hatchet
Related: Chopping wood or hunting can be dirty business so make sure to clean up with PURELL Hand and Face Sanitizing Wipes before handling food or eating your dinner. These pre-moistened hand wipes can clean up to 99.99% of illness causing germs. The small flow packs are compact and don’t take up a lot of space in your backpack so you can safely clean your hands when soap is not available.
Price: Approx. $22
Weight: 1.37 pounds
Blade material: 3Cr13 stainless steel
Blade length: 3.55 inches
Overall length: 11.08 inches
Specific features: Thermoplastic Belt Sheath, black TPR rubber wrapped handle
Best use: Chopping, stripping wood, crushing, breaking and pounding
The Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet is tough as nails with powder-coated 3Cr13 stainless steel blade with hammer pommel. The full tang TPR rubber wrapped handle with lanyard is made to fit comfortably in your hand. A thermoplastic belt sheath is included to protect the blade and for easier access to the user. It is the perfect choice for the outdoorsmen looking for a lightweight, rugged and versatile chopping tool.
The back of the head features a hammer which is a good tool if you want to crush, break or pound something. The lanyard is also pretty useful as it can provide better safety and control. The tool’s lightweight and snug sheath makes it easy to carry in your backpack or bug out bag or safely store in your home or vehicle. This tool is rugged, versatile, powerful and crafted from premium material so you know that it is reliable and durable.
The SCAXE10 hatchet is built to last and can be your go-to hatchet when you’re outdoors. You can easily use this product to chop wood, drive stakes or chop and slice meat. It is small in size and light in weight, making it a good option for backpackers and hikers.
- Lightweight and compact
- Durable and versatile design
- Not very shock absorbent
Related: Chop faster and see better with the Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight. This personal illumination device sits comfortably on your head leaving your hands free to chop or slice for better speed and accuracy. It features a 60-meter beam, 165 lumens, 45 hours of run-time and weighs only 3.2 ounces.
Price: Approx. $24
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Blade material: Sandvik steel
Blade length: 3.55 inches
Overall length: 13.8 inches
Specific features: Shock-absorbing FiberComp handle, perfected balance and power-to-weight ratio, textured non-slip grip, lifetime warranty
Best use: Chopping kindling or small logs, hiking, camping and outdoor activities
Description: The Fiskars X7 Hatchet chops deeper with each swing so that you can get the job done faster. It features superior blade design crafted with proprietary grinding techniques that provides a sharper edge for better contact and cleaner cuts. The blades have low friction coating so that they stay sharp longer.
It also features a shock-absorbing FiberComp handle so that you can swing the hatchet comfortably in your hand for long periods. The combination of the weight and material of the handle makes this product comfortable to hold.
The tool is designed to be perfectly balanced with excellent power-to-weight ratio so that you can easily multiply the power of your blows with every swing. This means that you can chop wood faster for better efficiency because the blade bites deeper with every swing. According to Fiskars, they make hatchets that are impossible to break and so far there are no customer reviews about the product breaking.
This is a good and comfortable hatchet to hold. It can maintain a sharp edge for long periods so it does not need a lot of maintenance. It does a great job of chopping and hacking wood while the hammer at the back of the blade can come in handy when you want to drive or smash objects.
- Good balance and power-to-weight ratio
- Very sharp edge
- FiberComp handle can sometimes slip
Related: Wear the Arcteryx Teneo Glove for an enhanced grip when camping or using the above mentioned product. Aside from better grip for less slippage, this pair of gloves also helps keep hands warmer while providing breathability. It features a trim-fit cuff and anatomical shaping for better fit and comfort.
Price: Approx. $24
Weight: 0.43 pounds
Blade material: Anodized AUS-6 stainless steel blade
Blade length: 8 inches
Overall length: 15 inches
Specific features: Nylon sheath, fiberglass reinforced handle, lightweight
Best use: Chopping, slashing, cutting
Description: The United Cutlery UC2765 M48 Hawk Axe weighs only 7 ounces (0.4375 pounds) and is probably one of the lightest survival hatchets you can buy. It is designed to be carried all day without muscle fatigue, making it a great product for hunters, campers, hikers and backpackers. Aside from this, the product is also a good tactical weapon which can be used for hunting or self-defense.
The product features a wide upswept blade designed for chopping, slashing and cutting. The back of the head is specially sharpened on both edges designed to hook or cut. This combination of head and spike makes the Hawk axe an efficient defense and breaching tool.
To complete the product, the axe comes with an indestructible 30-percent nylon reinforced handle with three separate bolts and nylon snap-button sheath for storage. Overall, this is a good choice for backpackers who are looking for a lightweight hatchet they can easily carry with versatile functions.
- Very lightweight
- Durable construction
- Very sharp edges
- Reports of the handle breaking
Related: Keep those edges sharp and honed easily with the Lansky Puck Dual Grit Knife Sharpener. Not only is it ideal for sharpening hatchets, it also works well with lawn mower blades, machetes, knives, axes and other chopping tools; making it a very versatile household item. It is small and light enough to carry in your backpack.
Price: Approx. $36
Weight: 1.62 pounds
Blade material: Forged steel
Blade length: 2.7 inches
Overall length: 15.60 inches
Specific features: Longer handle for striking force, glass-filled nylon handle, saw included
Best use: Camping, hunting and outdoor adventures
Description: The Gerber Gator Combo Axe II features a rugged forged steel blade that is designed to retain an edge even after repeated use. The Gator Axe is a great addition to your camping gear and is designed to work under any condition so you can be ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
The Gator II has a longer length than its original version for better striking force. The hatchet’s handle is texturized for better control and to keep force in check. The handle is made with glass-filled nylon for lightweight but strong performance. It features an internal magnet to hold a detachable razor-sharp saw inside the handle so you can enjoy 2 different tools in 1 camping gear.
Included in the product is a ballistic nylon sheath for storage and safety. Gerber and Bear Grylls usually come up with durable and useful products that can help you survive an emergency situation and this product does a good job.
While the product itself is handy and durable, it is quite long and heavy so it is not really ideal for backpacking use. The saw comes in handy during some situations but usually, it is just added weight to the product; making it redundant.
- Good craftsmanship
- Sharp edge
- Saw included
- Long and heavy
- Saw is redundant
Related: Make sure your hands are clean before eating or preparing food in camp with the Sea To Summit Trek and Travel Pocket Soap. It has a gentle fragrance, is phosphate-free and biodegradable so you only leave small footprints when camping or backpacking. One pack is lightweight, compact and contains 50 leaves of pure, dry soap so you have plenty of soap for your entire trip.
Price: Approx. $20
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Blade material: Swedish steel
Blade length: 6 inches
Overall length: 15 inches
Specific features: Small and light, hickory handle, with leather edge cover
Best use: Chopping and cutting wood
Description: The Husqvarna 13-Inch Wooden Handle Hatchet is forged in Sweden using Swedish axe steel of premium quality. This is one of the most affordable hatchets in the market and with good care and maintenance, this product will last a really long time offering users good value. It features a hickory handle for a classic or old school look that does not go out of style.
At approximately 15 inches in length, this hatchet looks more like an ax and can accommodate a 2-handed grip. The hickory feels good and solid to the touch. This is a pretty basic product that sticks to a design that has worked for decades. It can do a pretty decent job of chopping or cutting firewood.
However, the hatchet is heavy at 2.2 pounds and long so it’s not really ideal for backpacking use. The hickory handle is actually quite durable but there are reports of the blade snapping. This is pretty disappointing especially since the product looks good and is reported as well made.
- Good price with classic good looks
- Nice hickory handle
- Reports of snapped blades
- Heavy and long
Related: Hook the PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer on your backpack right next to your hatchet so you can clean up easily after chopping wood. This 1-ounce flip top cap bottle can kill the most germs with just one squirt. It also has a skin nourishing agent that is mild on hands.
ASR Tactical Full Tang Hatchet
Price: Approx. $25
Weight: 0.93 pounds
Blade material: No information
Blade length: 4 inches
Overall length: 10.5inches
Specific features: Full tang with functional pry bar, lightweight and compact, nylon button clasp sheath
Best use: Camping, hiking, backpacking adventures
Description: The ASR Tactical Full Tang Hatchet has an ergonomically contoured grip with functional bar handle for versatility. Weighing at a very light 0.93 pounds, this hatchet is one of the lightest products you can use for backpacking and hiking. It sports a superior look and feel and is lightweight and compact. The sheath is made with nylon and sports a button clasp for easy access.
The hatchet can maintain a sharp edge even with repeated use and is easy to maintain. It has a rugged design and durable construction so your hatchet can last a long time. The handle has grooves and ridges for superior grip but it is not very comfortable to hold.
While this product is lightweight, but it could use more mass to provide power and good cutting efficiency. This product is good as a secondary hatchet since it is not very efficient in cutting or chopping wood. The handle can also use more padding for a more comfortable feel and hold.
- Could use more mass
- More padding needed for handle
Related: Before chopping wood, make sure you have good illumination with HAITRAL 2IN1 Portable LED Camping Lantern. Use the hook on top to get 360-degree lighting in your campsite so that you can clearly see what you’re doing. It is super bright and can last up to 37 hours on a set of batteries. This product also features a fan for some cooling effect on warm nights.
When buying a hatchet, you need to consider what you intend to use it for. Will it be used for chopping wood, dressing game or making a shelter or all of the above? Whatever reason for buying a survival hatchet, the key is to find the right product to do the job.
For such a simple too, hatchets can be very confusing. You need to consider many features that you need so that you can pick a hatchet that is best suited for your needs.
However, taking time to find the best one can provide a lifetime of useful service. The hatchet is one of man’s oldest tools and even now it can help make your camping life more comfortable and even help you survive in the wilderness.
What do you think about our featured products? Do you think you will be buying any of them soon? Tell us by leaving your comments below.