Best Camping Axes Reviewed and Tested

Gearing up for your next big adventure in the great outdoors? No matter if you’re into survival camping in the wilderness away from the convenience of a modern campsite or just enjoying a great campfire with your friends; don’t forget to bring an axe. No camping trip is complete without a campfire, and building a good fire means cutting wood, splitting logs, and carving tools. Whether you are roughing in the deep backcountry, cutting down trees and hacking apart logs, or sleeping in a luxury RV and breaking up sticks, having a one of the best camping axes available today could aid you in building the perfect fire, no matter where you go.

Our Top 3 Picks

Gerber Hatchet
  • Gerber Hatchet
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
Icetek Steel Axe
  • Icetek Steel Axe
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Light Weight
  • Price: See Here
Mtech Axe
  • Mtech Axe
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Sharpened Spike
  • Price: See Here

When you go camping or hunting, you could often find yourself in desperate circumstances where a freak summer storm blows in and you obviously don’t want a snow storm to interrupt your trip you’ve been planning for so long. But because you have a good camping axe at your disposal it could come in handy to help you survive your trip rather than struggling to chop wood with a knife or hammer. You would realize the importance of a camping axe the moment the temperature starts dropping and you’d find yourself in a desperate need for a warming fire. So this is where a camping axe turns out to be your best camping companion.

Why Do You Need a Camping Axe?

When camping in the deep backcountry away from the hustle and bustle of the city life you left behind, having a tool to aid you is a must. Cutting wood, splitting logs, and even animal butchery can be aided by the use of a proper camping axe. They also come in handy when sharpening sticks for roasting food over the fire, or to hunt. Axes or hatchets are far more efficient and useful in the wilderness. Studies suggest that prehistoric humanoids who used axes and hatchets were more advanced and had better hunting skills than those who used knives only.

After all, no matter if you’re an active survivalist or a professional hunter, you need to be aware that axes and hatchets can bring you far ahead of your enemies and gives you an heads-up to speed up your game when it comes to hunting. Some axes are designed for only one job, but some of the best camping axes for an all-round camper are designed to do many things. They can help you in an emergency situation when you need to break some wooden pieces after a freaky storm, or in extreme situations, self-defense. They have a whole host of survival uses and are a perfect camping tool to have around.

Choosing the Best Camping Axes

best camping axes

Having the right axe can make a huge difference in your whole camping experience, but how odd you decide which one is right for you? The best camping axes can be used for more than just chopping a few logs during your journey into the wild. Whatever the situation is, an axe will be an invaluable item in your inventory. The axe you choose depends largely on how you plan to use it. If you’re looking for a hand axe for the family cabin, you might want to have one that’s great for chopping wood, while a hatchet or a surviving axe for an alpine hike should be lightweight and replace as many tools as possible.

Understanding the Parts

Knowing about the parts of a camping axe or a survival axe and what makes for good or bad quality with these parts help you with your selection of your axe.

Handle – This is the most crucial part of any survival or camping axe and is made from a straight-grained piece of wood, usually hickory. With technological advancements, camping axes have come a long way. Today, many axes have handles made of fibreglass or metal. An axe handle directs the force on the axe head, and takes all the hard beating so you need a great handle for your surviving tool. Take a note of the grain before choosing a wooden handle axe. The grain of the wood should be directed towards the blade as this is the strongest orientation of the grain to withstand force. The horizontal grain, on the other hand, is more likely to break under severe force.

Head – This is the part of the axe which bites into the wood. The best quality axes are those made out of forged steel with a high carbon cutting edge. Just so you know, the entire blade of the axe doesn’t have to be high carbon steel, in fact the head is better off being low carbon steel to give the blade more flex. The Vikings used to make their axes the similar way – low carbon steel head with a high carbon steel cutting edge.

Factors to Consider

best camping axes

Choosing the best camping axe or hatchet is an essential part of a great outdoor and camping experience, whether it’s a fun camping trip just a short drive outside of town or a serious hunting trip out in the middle of nowhere. Below are some features and qualities to look for when looking out for the best camping axe for your outdoor experience.

Size – This includes weight as well as physical dimensions. The biggest difference between a full-fledged tree chopper and a camping axe is the size. If you’re out in the wild on a camping trip, you certainly don’t need to carry a big lumberjack axe that’s originally designed for chopping down trees. As it needs to be carried around, a good camping axe or hatchet should be between 12-inch and 24-inch. Some axe heads detach from the handle which makes them easier to carry. A longer handle, on the other hand, can reduce effort by increasing the momentum of your swing and are harder to carry around.

Weight – Knowing the weight of your axe is extremely important, especially when you’re on a camping trip. Having a few extra weights in your backpack is fine, but unnecessary weight can be exhausting when walking those extra miles in the wild. How the camping hatchet feels on your hands should be a top priority because you don’t want your camping pack to be too heavy, especially when you’re planning on carrying it with you all the time.

Agility – Camp axes or hatchets are usually smaller and lighter than those heavy-duty surviving axes, so you get a pretty good range of movement. They can be very helpful when you need to clear small amounts of bush or dead limbs or at times, removing rocks from the campsite. Sharpness isn’t as important as with other chores, such as chopping wood or splitting logs.

Strength – A standard camping axe has two parts – head and the handle. In a decent utility axe, both should be strong and the joint should be firm. You can find those new-age one-piece solid axes on the market as well, in which the handle and the head are forged from the same piece of metal. These one-piece axes are usually lighter than the standard two-piece axes and are less likely to break, even under difficult circumstances.

best camping axes

Penetration – There’s nothing worse than chopping logs with a dull axe in the wild. Penetration is an important feature which affects the quality and durability of your axe. Penetration is a combination of sharpness, the grind of the bit, and balance. It’s important to have a good penetration ability in your axe, especially when you plan to use it for chopping firewood, shaving tinder, hacking logs, and splitting limbs. You’ll need an axe with a narrower grind, so that it will sink into the wood firmly and easily.

Durability – Knowing how your camping axe or hatchet will hold up against dire circumstances is an equally important factor worth considering before buying one. Remember camping axes are not just meant for chopping wood; they can be used for anything from landscaping to construction or even demolition. If you want a good hatchet or axe for your little camping trips, you’d probably need one that won’t rot when left out in the rain or the one that can stand up to long-term use without having to worry about the handle breaking or the blade wearing down too quickly. Always look for durable materials because not every tool is designed for all-weather conditions.

Handle Grip – The grip on the handle is important for safety as well as for fast and effective swings. It’s always a good idea to use leather gloves when handling a camping hatchet or axe, but in an emergency when the weather is rough, let’s say when it rains, you would want an axe with a good handle that you can hang onto while chopping, even with wet hands.

Sheaths – A good and reliable sheath protects both the axe and the handler, so it would be wise to choose a durable sheath of strong leather or ballistic nylon. Some have clips to attach them to a backpack, the inside of a boat, or to your belt.

Price – Last but not the least, the price, after all, you get what you pay for. As with every other outdoor equipment, you get exactly the quality you paid for. You want to go for an axe that’s the most bang for your buck while also reliable enough to perform all the functions that you need it for. If you’re an avid camper or someone who takes hunting trips often, it might be great to invest a little more money on a well-built axe. On the other hand, if you aren’t much of an outdoorsman and the quality of the axe doesn’t mean a lot, it makes sense to go with a cheaper option.

10 Best Camping Axes 

 

1. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

1. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
Don’t let the compact size and slim profile of this survival hatchet fool you. With its slim, easy-to-carry design, the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet earns its spot in your tactical pack at only 1.4 pounds. The 3.5-inch razor sharp blade couples with a well-proportioned design, providing a sturdy tool that not only feels good on hands but chops well above its weight class. It’s built to perform in the toughest weather conditions – you’d easily appreciate the ability of this little camping tool to turn out stacks of firewood or help you improvise a quick shelter.
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The rubberized handle fills your hand pretty well to create a lock-tight grip that won’t let go even when wet. And the finger notches just below the head will let you choke up securely on the axe for more precise control when feathering kindling or stripping logs. Plus, the military-grade durable nylon sheath helps keep the razor sharp blade safe when not in use. Overall, it’s your multi-purpose survival hatchet for scouts, camping, backpacking, and extreme adventures.
Pros

Easy-to-carry design

3.5-inch razor sharp blade

Built to perform in the toughest weather conditions

Cons

Slim profile

 

2. Icetek Sports HF075 Outdoor Camping

2. Icetek Sports HF075 Outdoor Camping
The Icetek Sports HF075 is a critical piece of survival gear which is far more efficient and useful in the wilderness. This portable hunting axe comes in handy when it comes to hammer in tent pegs, splitting wood, using as a weapon or a breaching tool, and maybe even to build a shelter. At around 1.5 lbs, it is nicely weighed and has a heavy-duty cover over the blade that can be strapped on your belt or backpack. It’s extremely lightweight which means it’s easy to use and manoeuvre. The axe itself has a cover that snaps to hold it in place. Plus the heavy-duty material protects the blade from the wear of tear of time.
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This really is a great addition to any tactical gear and is ideal for camping, cutting logs, hunting, or hiking. The blade is very sharp which makes light work of small trees and limbs for a campfire a breeze. This axe is just perfect for any outdoor enthusiast who needs an axe but doesn’t want something huge and bulk to carry around in their backpack.
Pros

Portable hunting axe 

Efficient and useful in the wilderness

Nicely weighed and has a heavy-duty cover over the blade

Cons

Extremely lightweight

3. MTech USA MT-AXE8 Camping Axe

3. MTech USA MT-AXE8 Camping Axe
This extremely lightweight, portable full-tang axe from MTech is a great addition to your survivalist gear collection. The MTech USA MT-AXE8 Camping Axe is constructed from high-quality stainless steel and features a comfortable cord-wrapped handle for superior grip in even the wettest of conditions, plus handy cording when needed in a pinch. This camping axe has a 6-7/8-inch axe head with a 3-1/2-inch, 3mm thick cutting edge, plus a 2-1/2-inch sharpened spike with drilled hole and slot cut-out design with nice balance and heft. The black nylon sheath makes carrying a breeze.
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MTech offers a diverse line of tactical folding knives, fixed blade knives, archery products, and security items – all at competitive prices. Specifically built for survival, this axe is perfect for camping, hunting, throwing, and hiking. If you’re looking for a nice, easy-to-carry yet inexpensive camping tool to add to your bug-out-bag, look no further.
Pros

Portable full-tang axe

Features a comfortable cord-wrapped handle

Sharpened spike with drilled hole and slot cut-out design

Cons

Extremely lightweight

4. Rogue River Tactical Survival Paracord

4. Rogue River Tactical Survival Paracord
Made of 440 stainless steel, the Rogue River Tactical Tomahawk Throwing Axe is a very compact and reliable camping tool that is small enough fit into most glove boxes or tool boxes. Not only it feels great on the hands but it’s terribly well balanced. The grip is very comfortable to hold onto and the blade itself is pretty sharp, plus it comes equipped with a black sheath with a belt loop, making it easy to carry along when camping. The cord around the handle is very high quality and makes it easy and comfortable to hold.
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The snap button holds the handle locks just fine so that you don’t have to worry about it falling out of the sheath while you’re walking around in the wild. This really is a perfect camping tool if you’re going in for hiking or camping with tall brush, and this handy tool here will have no problem clearing your way out. It will also make for a great addition to your camping gear.
Pros

Very compact and reliable camping tool

Pretty sharp blade

Extra safe and perfect for camping

Cons

Might be too small

5. Z Hunter ZB-027 Axe

5. Z Hunter ZB-027 Axe
This zombie-themed small, easy-to-carry camp axe is surprisingly lightweight and thin but works perfectly well when chopping a few limbs and branches out of trees. It continues to hold its edge even under heavy use, plus the thick wrinkle-finish coating seems to hold up pretty well and adds functionality. Measuring 9.5" overall, this Z Hunter tomahawk axe has a 3mm thick. 2.8" black wrinkle-finished blade with a bright neon zombie green cord wrapped handle for a superior grip. It can also be unwrapped and used in a variety of survival situations making this handy axe a reliable sidekick when in the woods.
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The bright green cording makes this axe pretty attractive plus it comes completely with a nylon sheath that has the bio hazard on it for easy and safe transport. It is truly full-tang which means it can practically last forever regardless of the conditions you use it in for. It is razor sharp and perfect for attaching it to the shoulder strap of your bug-out-bag. It’s perfect for kindling and removing small limbs and branches on trails and for fires. Overall, it’s an excellent purchase of a great camping tool at a great price.
Pros

Easy-to-carry 

Amazing design

Has a 3mm thick. 2.8" black wrinkle-finished blade

Cons

Can be only used to chop branches

6. Compadre Camp Axe

6. Compadre Camp Axe
The Compadre Camp Axe is specifically designed as an all-round camp axe for anything and everything that has to do with chopping, dicing or slicing. The 106 Compadre Camp Axe is among the Compadre series of tools for the outdoor enthusiast that boasts the latest in design and innovation. It offers a full tang heavy-duty 5160 steel construction with a Heritage Walnut Dynomwood handle to create a chopping and game prep tool suitable for a myriad of outdoor activities. It also comes equipped with a durable black leather sheath.
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The well-though design makes for easy and comfortable carry, while the red powder coated blades add style, uniqueness and a certain visual appeal to your outdoor tactical gear, while protecting the steel against rust and corrosion. The Compadre can take on any task from even the smallest camp chore to prepping big game. Weighing at only 23.4 oz and boasting a blade length of 3 inches, the Compadre Camp Axe fits all camp-sized backpacks. So if you want to go camping or hiking, or just want to settle down with a campfire, the Compadre Camp Axe is just the tool for all your camping needs.
Pros

Heavy-duty 5160 steel construction

Comes equipped with a durable black leather sheath

Easy and comfortable carry

Cons

Might feel too light

7. Kershaw 1071BWX Tinder Personal Axe

7. Kershaw 1071BWX Tinder Personal Axe
A very versatile axe in an easy-to-pack size, the Kershaw 1071BWX has some pretty good talents under its sleeves – the sharp edge makes quick work of smaller branches to create a great supply of tinder perfect for getting your campfire going. This handy camping tool lives up to the brilliant craftsmanship you’d expect from a heavy-duty camping axe. It feels solid on hands and has a nice grip. It’s a good compromise of weight, size, and durability. With just over 10-inches in length and 15 ounces in weight, it can fit just perfectly in your gear pack.
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The back of the tool is a hammer, which is just perfect for pounding in tent stakes. Plus, there’s a built-in pry point, a nail remover, and a bottle opener along with a set of four hex tools. Even with so many tools on board, the Tinder is easy to take along. A Blackwash finish helps protect the steel against harsh conditions and hides scratches. And the sturdy, all-weather glass-filled nylon handle makes for extra-secure grip.
Pros

Easy-to-pack size

Brilliant craftsmanship

The back of the tool is a hammer

Cons

Might be too small depending on your needs

8. Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet

8. Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet
The Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet is a small, lightweight, multi-purpose camping hatchet/axe made of heavy-duty stainless steel which feels equally comfortable on your hands. Whether you’re looking to carry an axe to carry on for your daily jobs as first responders, or just to keep around for emergencies, the Schrade SCAXE10 is just the thing for you. This is a rugged one-piece packable hatchet made from a slab of 3Cr13 Stainless Steel with a large polished brushed-finish bevel, and a powder-coated head with a Hammer Pommel, black TPR rubber-wrapped handle for added protection. The TPR is basically a Thermoplastic Elastomer similar to that of TPE which makes it a perfect choice for handle grip.
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The 3Cr13 is a terrific stainless steel alloy for an axe head because it is relatively easy to sharpen and holds the edge pretty well. However, it is still susceptible to rust and corrosion without proper care and maintenance. It also comes protected by a thermoplastic belt sheath, and a snap on the front secures the axe firmly in place. It’s terribly well-balanced for single-handed operation and there’s plenty of weight behind each swing, yet it is light enough to wield without undue fatigue. Overall, it’s an ideal tool for budget-strapped campers and survivalists who need a small, handy hatchet for processing wood.
Pros

Multi-purpose camping hatchet/axe

Heavy-duty stainless steel

Relatively easy to sharpen

Cons

Generally small axe

9. Engraved Hunting Camping Axe

9. Engraved Hunting Camping Axe
This brilliantly personalized camping axe with a beautifully engraved handle, custom made for any avid adventurer or hunter who loves the outdoors. It’s an original, handcrafted fun gift for groomsmen, fathers, brothers and that special outdoorsman in your life who love the thrill of the wild.
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Build your favorite memories of the wild outdoors, your little camping trips or your thrill-seeking hunting expeditions, with this stylish and very handy engraved hunting camping axe. The axe comes with a sheath that has a belt loop on it. This personalized camping tool will not only aid you building a perfect fire in the woods but with the custom engravings, it will also keep your loved ones close.
Pros

Custom made

Stylish and very handy engraved axe

Comes with a sheath that has a belt loop on it

Cons

Can be used for basic chopping only

10. Morakniv Boron Steel Camping Axe

10. Morakniv Boron Steel Camping Axe
This sturdy camping axe is a robust yet economical camping tool with a strong reputation. It’s made by Morakniv of Sweden and is created from Boron steel coated in an attractive black epoxy finish and affixed to a reinforced polymer handle for increased durability. It is extremely lightweight which makes it ideal to carry in and around in a backpack when on camping trips. This is a perfect accessory for the avid outdoorsman, plus the simplistic approach offers reliable functionality in a modern, sleek design. And the gorgeous sheath leather is a bonus for added security.
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This is a versatile, heavy-duty tool with traditional lines and functionality, and is shaped for a good grip even if you’re wearing gloves or mits. The polymer handle will also resist vibrations throughout the axe and actually allows the 12.6-inch camp axe to weigh only 17.5 oz, making it ideal for medium hunting game or hiking where carrying a heavy axe doesn’t seem feasible. The handle is ergonomically shaped and is available in two colors: military green and fluorescent orange.
Pros

Made of Boron steel

Extremely lightweight

Reliably functional

Has a polymer handle which resists vibrations 

Cons

The hatchet might be too light

Decision Time

Modern heavy-duty materials and incredible design have transformed the camping axes from a simple blade to a multi-purpose tool that’s easy and comfortable to carry even on a challenging hunting trip. The axe you choose largely depends on how you plan to use it. With a little research and a knowledge of your budget, your needs and requirements, your expertise level, and the conditions in which you’re planning to use this axe, you should be well on your way to finding the best camping axes for your needs.