Best Bushcraft Axe & Hatchet – Guide & Reviews (2018)

Want to make your outdoor life much easier? It is challenging to survive in the middle of the forest just with a survival knife. So you need a tool that can work with almost everything you need. Serious outdoorsmen never go out without a bushcraft axe designed for extreme performance to make every swing best.

But picking the best bushcraft axes is very complicated since they range in function, size, weight, portability, intended use, and price. This article will review a few axes that will meet your needs, taking these factors into consideration.

fiskars x11 review

Fiskars x11 splitting axe

Top Features

  • Suitable for splitting small logs.
  • Easy to use with a single hand.
  • Specially designed to produce maximum efficiency.
  • Standard power to weight ratio to multiply the force.
  • List Comes with a sheath to protect both the blade and user.

Fiskars X11 would be an excellent choice for outdoor activities, survival works and campsites to split small logs.
Unique design and lightweight of X11 make it most suitable for those who need to use one hand to split small logs.

Weighing at only 2.18 pounds, it swings faster to multiply the power for its standard balance and perfected weight distribution that provides optimal power to weight ratio. The handle, made from fiber composite, this axe comes with is stronger than steel and unbreakable.

For better contact and cleaner cuts and to keep the edge sharpened longer, the inseparable insert-molded head is crafted with a blade provided with proprietary grinding technique.

council tool 2 wood craft pack axe 24

Council Tool Wood Craft Pack Axe 24 Hickory Handle

Top Features

  • Multipurpose axe.
  • Overall 2.75 lbs.
  • 5160 American Steelhead.
  • 24-inch American Hickory handle.

Are you looking for just an axe to carry with you through the backcountry and want it to do what you need? If yes, this axe will be your best companion in the backcountry trip to get your adventurous works done.

Council Tool 2# Wood-Craft Pack axe is meant for multipurpose tasks that can cut, chop, split, carve, shave, hew, hammer, and build and so on. You can use this multifunctional axe as alternative options for the knife, saw and hammer.

Council Tool 2# Wood-Craft Pack axe is meant for multipurpose tasks that can cut, chop, split, carve, shave, hew, hammer, and build and so on. You can use this multifunctional axe as alternative options for the knife, saw and hammer.

Weighing at 2 lbs, the pack axe becomes more powerful but not too heavy to be cumbersome to carry with. The 24-inch hickory handle is not so long to pack.

To ensure superior strength, American Steelhead is heat treated on both ends. In order to protect you from the sharp edge and the axe from the elements, Council Tool offers a high quality welted leather mask with this tool.

fiskars x7 hatchet review 14 Inch

Fiskars X7 Hatchet 14 Inch

Top Features

  • An ideal choice for chopping and kindling small to medium-sized logs.
  • Lower budget bushcraft tool.
  • Head coating to prevent rust.
  • 14-inch easy to carry handle.
  • Perfected weight distribution and advanced blade geometry.

Fiskars X7 is one of the best lower budget hatchets. When you are in the forest and looking for a shelter to survive, this tool is enough to save you since you can do everything you need to do with it.

Outdoor enthusiasts, hikers and campaigners must appreciate this small hatchet thanks to its portability.

Being easy to carry, it comes with a 14-inch composite multilayer handle. It is virtually designed with a combination of advanced blade geometry and perfected weight distribution to increase the cutting performance.

The unbreakable ultra-sharp edge of the blade penetrates deeper into woods on every swing, resulting in more wood cutting in less time.

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Top Features

  • Comes with a 3.5-inch blade for easy portability, swift and precise cuts.
  • Non-slip rubber grip to protect in dry and wet condition.
  • Constructed with high carbon steel for maximum stability.
  • Includes a mildew resistant nylon sheath.

A survivalist must need this survival hatchet for its lightweight to save and shelter life in extreme surviving condition. How worse the weather is, you will love this compact hatchet thanks to its ease of portability and quick service.

When it weighs only 1.4 pounds, you are supposed to confuse its chopping ability with its lighter weight. But it works beyond its weight class.

The stainless steel this hatchet is made from, and full tang construction can withstand the hardest job. Widening 3.5-inch, the sharp blade is not only good at splitting small logs but also limbing saplings.

I would recommend this hatchet for extreme surviving condition and camp duties since its head features crosshatched striking surface.

Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch

Top Features

  • Has a 13.5-inch long hickory handle
  • Traditional Swedish hand-forged steel head
  • The head weighs 600
  • Best suitable for camping and outdoor duties

What matters most when campaigners or bushcraft men go to the forest is the size of the tool they carry with. Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet comes with a 13.5-inch hickory handle, making it portable and packable in rucksack or backpack.

Traditionally designed for scouting and campaigning, the head features a curved shaped sharp cutting edge, capable of splitting small logs for fire camp and of lopping off large branches. The lighter weight at only 600g of the head, which is made from hand-forged steel and designed, using traditional Swedish method, allows users to use with one hand.

Moreover, covering the edge of the head, the sheath that Gransfors Bruks offers with this hatchet prevents the edge cutting from the backpack or the rucksack.

Small Bearded Hatchet with Adze Blade Bushcraft

Small Bearded Hatchet Axe t with Adze Blade Bushcraft

Top Features

  • Features an adze on the opposite of the blade edge.
  • 2.Designed with a bearded shape.
  • 3.Works great for carving wood.
  • Rust resistant and polished smooth

This is an excellent bushcraft tool for you if you want to prepare camping fire in the forest, and it works great for fine woodworking thanks to the adze provided on the back.

The small bearded axe comes with beard shape on the one end while the opposite is an adze blade. Both edges are suitable to shape wood. The bearded shape gives you a good grip for carving.

You can make handles for hatchet or tomahawk using the adze. The edge of the hatchet looks like a mirror for nicely polished and is rust resistant.

It would be a useful tool for bushcraft works and traditional woodworks. A campaigner must have the small bearded axe with adze blade to make sticks for demonstration purpose.

husqvarna 26 inch multi-purpose axe

Husqvarna 26 Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe

Top Features

  • A traditional axe designed for multipurpose uses,
  • Using both a wooden and steel wedge, the handle is attached to the head to ensure secure fastening.
  • Ideal for felling, chopping and many other jobs for its versatility.
  • Comes with a leather edge cover

Unlike many other axes and hatchets I reviewed, this axe provides a wide variety of cutting works rather than being specific. If you are an average user intending to buy an axe that can work for any cuttings, Husqvarna multipurpose wooden axe is a must-choice for you.

This is a medium-sized tool with a 26-inch long wooden handle having a very nice grain orientation. The finishing of the handle is done smoothly to ensure to make you feel comfortable when in use, but you can treat the handle with linseed oil for further comfort.

The hand forged Swedish steelhead has 3.25-inch widened sharp cutting edge capable of chopping and splitting smaller logs about 2-3 inch in diameter.

CRKT Freyr Tactical Axe

CRKT Freyr Tactical Axe

Top Features

  • Viking style head with a long beard
  • Hot forged 1055 carbon steel axe head
  • Durable Tennessee hickory handle
  • Designed for all camping outdoor survival needs

Designed with a deep beard, the rock-solid blade head which is forged from 1055 carbon steel allows the axe to be used for prying and hooking actions. The axe handle, made from real Tennessee hickory wood, features a lacquer coat for durability.

Besides used as wood cuttings, tactical axes have a special use. Can you assume what is that? They are used to pull an enemy’s shield using the long beard, which makes CRKT tactical axe an excellent safety arsenal.

In addition to this, the beard shaped steel head axe provides a few more functions such as splitting, chopping, prying and digging.

Estwing Sportsman's Axe

Estwing sportsman's axe 14 inch e24a

Top Features

  • Head and handle forged in a piece for highest durability.
  • Steel construction.
  • Perfect for camping duties.
  • Provides a ballistic nylon sheath.
  • Hand sanded and lacquered genuine leather grip.

Estwing Sportsman’s Axe has a reputation for making outdoors tools for over 90 years, which guarantees you quality axe. So do not forget to take this axe with you when start beating adventures outdoors. Campaigners and outdoorsmen are very encouraged to avail this versatile axe.

The axe is constructed entirely with steel and features the head and handle merged in one piece to make it more durable and longer lasting. To make it feel comfortable when in use, this lacquered and hand sanded hatchet comes with a metal handle wrapped with genuine leather grip.

The 3-1/4 inch tempered cutting edge of the blade is perfect for splitting firewood, kindling, chopping logs, small trees and branches.

1844 Helko Werk Germany Axe

1844 Helko Werk Germany Traditional Rheinland Pack Axe

Top Features

  • Total weight 2lbs whereas head weight is 1.5lbs.
  • Overall length is 19-inch.
  • Made with German C50 high-grade carbon steel
  • Grade A American hickory handle made by Switzerland.
  • Comes with a vegetable tanned leather sheath.

This is a traditional axe made by German and extraordinarily designed to be compact, lightweight and easy to carry through your wilds trip. Treated with heat and forged with hand, the high-grade carbon steel is used to produce the axe head that weighs only 1.5lbs. Crafted in Switzerland, the traditional pack axe comes with a 19-inch long hickory handle sourced from America.

To retain customer satisfaction, Helko Werk treated the handle with boiled linseed oil and sanded it smooth with 150grit to make users feel maximum comfort while swinging.

A variety of tasks the axe fit for are felling small trees, limbing branches, clearing brush, making kindling and splitting firewood.

Schrade SCAXE2L 15.7in Large Survival Axe

Schrade SCAXE2L 15.7in Large Survival Axe

Top Features

  • Overall length 15.7-inch.
  • Titanium coated stainless steel blade of 4.2in length.
  • The convenient polyester belt sheath.
  • Has the security of the ergonomic black rubber grip

It does not matter whether you are hiking, camping, executing bushcraft or any other adventures; Scharde is your reliable weapon to make your life much easier. The woodland survival outstanding axe has 4.2-inch titanium coated stainless steel blade and a glass fiber cold resistance handle.

The handle will not slip for it is rubberized to provide a flexible grip in dry and wet condition. Extra-large Ferro rod stored inside the shaft is an additional convenience; the polyester belt sheath this portable axe includes looks great.

I think campers and survivalists have no options other than this survival weapon.

Things to consider when choosing a  best bushcraft Hatchet

What should I look for in a bushcraft hatchet before making the purchase decision? This is the most frequent question almost every outdoorsman comes up with their mind.

Although bushcraft axes are also woodcutting tools, they differ from any other axes in function, size and shape.

Here is my suggestion for what to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the best bushcraft axe that meets your requirements.

Easy to carry with?

Compared to most other things, to be a quality bushcraft hatchet, portability is the first aspect to be fit for your tasks. As bushcraft axes are mainly meant for campers, outdoorsmen and survivalists so they should be lighter, portable and packable to be your wild companion.

Is the axe sized well?

The second consideration should be given to the overall size of the axe. The ideal bushcraft is smaller in size than others and can be used with one hand.

Expert campaigners take a look at their rucksack size before selecting the axe. And accordingly, choose one that can be put inside the backpack.

Powerful Enough?

The power of an axe is one of the most important factors affecting the cutting efficiency and performance. Usually, hand forged carbon steel blade gives the highest performance.

Besides, the standard balance between the length and weight is responsible for efficiency. The more the perfect weight distribution, the faster cutting is possible, thus increasing the efficiency.

What about the flexibility?

What relates to the comfort you feel when using the axe is the flexibility. Hickory wooden handles are more flexible than plastic or composite materials ones. If you go with plastic or composite handles, make sure that the handle wrapped with rubber for a secure grip.

What the axe will be used for?

Last but not least, what the axe you are going to buy will be used for is a crucial point. This would be the most important consideration if you want to meet your needs with the tool you are planning to buy. So, how can you know what to use the axe for?

Simply asking yourself a few questions such as why I buy the axe, where I use the axe and what type of works you perform with the axe will answer.

Bushcraft Axe Skills every survivalist must learn

Using a bushcraft axe is not as simple as you think. There are a lot of difficulties you have to face in your wild trip. So, how to conquer them? Do not get worried. Learning a few skills will enable you to overcome those complexities and let you win wilderness adventures. Why not give a try?

Whether you are planning for camping, wilderness adventures, bushcraft or curving, you must know.

What called bushcraft axes are?

Bushcraft axes are medium to small sized axes or hatchets designed for a wide range of cuttings when you are out in the wild. They are your best outdoor companion that helps you split firewood, build the campsite, carve wood needed to make shelter, cut snow and dress animals.

However, bushcraft axes are also known as camping and survival tools since they can provide everything you need for survival works and camping duties.

How to chop woods ?

Chopping wood is the first and foremost job that every bushcraft enthusiast should learn. Since you have nothing with you except a bushcraft axe, you have to make everything needed to survive, availing your bushcraft arsenal.

Whatever you do like building campsite, making fire camp and firewood, you need to chop wood first, and survival success mostly depends on how expert you are in cutting wood.

With a few techniques and safety tips, chopping wood becomes much easier. Collecting a woodblock will help you cut easily. Keep in mind that you are going to chop with a small tool.

Hence, choosing a small round tree will leverage the chopping action. Before starting for adventures, prepare yourself by practising as much as possible.

How to chop woods 

To make fire, splitting wood is the most crucial bushcraft axe skill since a larger piece of wood is not suitable for making fire. Once you chopped down wood, now it’s time you split the wood into small pieces capable of making fire.

Don’t choose larger sized wood as bushcraft axe cannot split large logs, rather go with relatively small and medium-sized logs. Using a splitting wedge provides you with an added advantage while spitting.

I think splitting wood is the great skill to know for all adventurers because no outdoorsmen can survive without making a campfire.

How to curve wood for your campsite

Probably you know that while setting up a campsite, you need many wood sticks upon which the campground would stand up. But it is not possible to put the sticks into the soil without curving them into narrow end.

Besides, wood carving is also very essential to make a splint that can be used for making a fire. This is a skill that will push you to the next level of bushcraft skill and make your outdoor living more comfortable and enjoyable.

How to cut snow

It’s a great idea to use a bushcraft axe or hatchet to cut through ice and snow. Using a knife to cut through snow is time and energy consuming. If the hatchet you have inside the backpack has an adze shape on the other side, you can make a nice shelter in the icy weather.

This will keep you warm night long. Allowing more people to the shelter keeps you warmer. Surprisingly, you can maintain a temperature of 32 degrees centigrade inside the shelter, even more using heat sources like candles. Is not this an excellent skill?

How to dress animals

The last but not least, the animal dressing is a must-have skill if you want to live in the deep of jungle to cope up with your expeditions. The animal dressing is the best way to collect the meat. Using the axe or hatchet to separate meat from hard bone is easier than a knife.

You can easily dress a deer with your survival axe within a short time, which would take a long time with a survival knife.

Final Verdict

To sum up, the process of axe selection mostly depends on what kind of functions you need to perform with your tool. Also, need to consider your budget. But when it comes to choosing the best bushcraft axe, it is the portability that you must give a thought to if you are a serious outdoor enthusiast.

Apart from these, you should have enough strength to cut whatever you need with your bushcraft arsenal.

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