Best Camping Hatchets Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 Fiskars X11
Test Winner: Fiskars X11
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A good ax is an important survival tool that you should always have in your camping gear. The reason is that you are going to need to make a fire at some point in time and to do that you are going to need to have firewood. An ax is an essential tool that you can use to cut branches or brush into the sizes that you need in order to build a fire. An ax can also be used to pound tent stakes into the ground or drive hammock pins into a tree. As you may have guessed, there are lots of uses for camping ax which is why so many campers and backpacks have them in their gear.

Standout Picks

 Fiskars X11
This Fiskars X11 is a great choice of an ax that you can take along with you while you are camping or backpacking. It comes in a variety of different lengths which allows you to pick the size that is going to work the best for your needs. You will love how easy it is to chop a log with this ax since it has been designed to be efficient.
Amazon Link
$55.10
 Estwing
The Estwing is another great option if you are looking for a small ax. This tool has been made in the USA and uses some of the best steel to forge it into a sharp and strong ax. You will glide through the wood on every stroke which will help you cut firewood quickly and in a timely fashion.
Amazon Link
$70.25
 Husqvarna
Sometimes you just need a plain ax to use for cutting wood and lumber. This one by Husqvarna will do the job nicely. It has a high-quality handle that is made of hickory and the head is made of high-quality steel that will help you split wood with ease. You will also love the fact that it is sold in a variety of lengths.
Amazon Link
$59.99
 Estwing Special
The Special Edition Sportsman's Axe is an ax that has been designed for the outdoor enthusiast in mind. This ax is made out of one solid piece of steel so that you never have to worry about the head separating from the handle of the ax. It is well balanced so that you get a great transfer of energy on each swing.
Amazon Link
$70.25
 SOG Specialty Knives Tactical Tomahawk
Sometimes you need an ax that has a spike on the back rather than a flat back. This is such an ax and makes for a great option if you need a small ax for camping. You will find that it is a lightweight yet durable option to use for tasks such as clearing obstacles or cutting firewood while you make camp.
Amazon Link
$45.83
 Gerber Bear Grylls
If you need a camping ax that is extra small, then this one will be a great option to consider. The head is only 3.5 inches and it has a short handle. This makes it into a lightweight and highly portable ax that you can take with you when you are backpacking or just doing regular camping since it packs easy.
Amazon Link
 CRKT Kangee
This ax can be used for a variety of different camping purposes. You can use it to chop wood for a fire or use it to defend yourself from a wild animal. The ax is made of a single piece of steel and it can be easily carried in its sheath when you are not using it which makes it great for outdoor use.
Amazon Link
$55.31
 M48 Tactical
The M48 is a great tool to have with you if you are going into an area that has dangerous animals. It has a sharpened spike on the rear side of the ax head in case you need to defend yourself. The blade is eight inches long which makes it great for cutting, prying and even self-defense should the situation call for it.
Amazon Link
 Cold Steel Trail Boss
You can use the Trail Boss to chop wood or to pound in tent stakes which makes it into a great choice for camping. The blade is 4" and has a cutting edge of 4 and 1/2 inches so you will be able to cut through wood quickly and effectively while you are using this ax. This will help you get a fire going or clear out brush.
Amazon Link
 CRKT Woods Chogan
If you need an ax that also functions as a hammer then this is the tool for you. They use forged steel to make the head of the ax and the backside of it is flat so that you can use it pound in nails or tent stakes. The cutting edge is sharp and will quickly cut through the wood so that you can set up camp quickly.
Amazon Link
$60.52

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Camping Hatchets

Many axes are designed to be lightweight and portable. This will help you carry the ax in your gear without it feeling bulky or weighing you down. Many of these axes come with a sheath that you can attach to your belt or on your backpack which makes them really easy to carry. You will also love that many of them are treated to resist rust so that you don’t have to worry about your ax getting ruined if you are caught in the rain. Some axes even have rear spikes which will help you with self-defense in the event that you are attacked by a wild animal so this is another reason to have a high-quality ax with you while you are camping.

Cutting Edge

Since the main purpose of owning an ax is to but wood, you are going to want to make sure that your ax has a good cutting edge. The cutting edge is the sharp part of the blade that is driven into the wood whenever you swing the ax. Not all cutting edges are the same so you will want to make sure that you have an edge that will work best for your needs. Generally, this will come down to the size of the cutting edge as well as its durability. Both will play a role in determining what you can cut and how long you can cut before the ax needs to be sharpened.

When it comes to axes that are used for camping, you will normally see smaller cutting edges to help reduce the overall size of the ax. This shouldn’t be considered to be a problem but you are going to want to make sure that the cutting edge is not undersized either. Generally speaking, you will want to look for a cutting edge that is between three to five inches which will allow you to cut small to medium sized branches without too much trouble. In addition to the size of the cutting edge, you are going to want to look at the durability of the edge as well. Over time, the edge will start to get notched and will no longer be sharp. When the cutting edge isn’t sharp, you will have to work harder in order to cut your way through the wood. It is best that you make sure that your blade is made of strong metals and sometimes it even helps to get it sharpened professionally.

Backside

Most axes are dual purpose because one side of the head will be used for cutting while the other side can be used for a different purpose. Sometimes the backside of the head is flat so that it can be used as a hammer. Other times there is a spike on the backside of the ax. Each kind of backside has a different application so you are going to want to make sure that you know the difference so that you get an ax that will work best for your needs.

When the backside of the ax is flat, the ax can be used as a hammer. There are plenty of things that you can use a hammer for when you are setting up your campsite. For example, you may need to pound tent stakes into the ground while you are pitching your tent. A hammer can also be used for other applications as well such as pounding spikes into a tree for hanging a laundry line or a hammock. There are other reasons that you may need a hammer along with you but if you can combine your hammer into your ax, then you do not have to bring two tools with you. On the other hand, you may want to have a sharp spike on the backside of your ax rather than a hammer. A spike is useful because it will allow you to pry things apart. For example, you can use your spike to work a stubborn rock loose from the ground or split a piece of wood. A spike can also be used in self-defense applications in case you are attacked by a dangerous animal.

Handle

The handle is the part of the ax that you hold in your hand. It serves a number of different functions, in addition, to give you something to hold onto. For example, you can use the handle to get increased energy on your swing and it also can be used as a prybar if you need to pry something apart. When you are shopping for a camping ax, you are going to want to look at the handle and see if it’s something that will work for your needs. There are a few different kinds of handles so you will want to be familiar with them.

The first kind of handle is the kind that is made of metal and is part of the blade. These are single piece axes and they are great because you will not have to worry about the head of the ax coming loose. However, they weigh more and do not absorb shock as well as the other kinds of handles. The next kind of handle is the fiberglass handles. These are handles that are made of fiberglass. Such handles are lightweight and will help to absorb shock but they are also known to break and splinter. Finally, there are wood handles. Wood is also lightweight and absorbs shock but it too can splinter and break like fiberglass. Wood also shrinks if it’s stored in a hot space. You will want to try out the different kinds of handles to see which one is going to work best for your needs since all of them have their pros and cons. After you try the handles out, you are going to want to think about the length. A longer handle will give you more striking power, but it will also make the ax larger.

Sheath

You are going to want to make sure that your ax comes with a sheath or you are going to want to get one if you ax doesn’t have it. The sheath is important because it protects your ax from moisture while it is not being used. You also want to have a sheath because it will make it easier to carry the ax when you pack it and it will protect your other items as well. Finally, a sheath will help the ax to stay sharp since the cutting edge isn’t rubbing against other objects and it is protected from the moisture.

In a nutshell, a sheath is a case that you put over the head of the ax to protect it from the weather and to hold it securely. You should always protect your ax whenever you are not using it since exposing your ax to rain or high humidity can result in the ax starting to develop rust. Rust will weaken the metal of the ax blade and cause it to get dull so you are going to want to make sure that your sheath is water resistant to prevent rust. A sheath will also protect other items from rubbing against the blade of the ax which will help the cutting edge last longer on the ax.

In addition to protecting your ax, the sheath will help you hold the ax as well. Many ax sheaths can be attached to your belt or to your backpack. This allows you to store the ax on the outside of your gear rather than in your pack. Additionally, the ax is accessible and you will be able to reach and find it easily when you are holding it in this fashion. This is why you should always have a sheath with your ax.

Quality

Quality is important in an ax because a low-quality ax can turn into a safety hazard. In addition to quality, you are going to want to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth from your purchase as well which is another reason why you are going to want to look for quality in your ax. A high-quality ax will save you money in the long run because it will keep you from having to keep replacing your ax or getting it sharpened when it gets dull. You will also be able to cut wood safer with a good quality ax than what you can with a low-quality one.

One of the single biggest hazards with an ax is where they head of the ax attaches to the handle. This can cause severe injury if the ax head flies off of the handle or twists suddenly when you strike the wood. You can easily hurt yourself or other people if this happens which is why you will want to check that the ax head is secured to the handle. The ax head should never feel loose and it should not twist or slide around. Once you are satisfied with the ax head, you should turn your attention to the handle. Many people experience failure when the handle splits or breaks after they strike with the ax. You are going to want to make sure that the handle is strong and durable so that you do not experience such a failure. The handle also needs to be ergonomically designed and should also resist vibrations so that your hands are not injured while you are using the ax.

Top 10 Picks

1. Fiskars X11

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$55.10
 Fiskars X11
Amazon Link

This Fiskars X11 is a great choice of an ax that you can take along with you while you are camping or backpacking. It comes in a variety of different lengths which allows you to pick the size that is going to work the best for your needs. You will love how easy it is to chop a log with this ax since it has been designed to be efficient.

Sheath Included

The ax is sold with a sheath which allows you to protect the ax and the blade when it is not being used. This will help the ax to last longer.

Blade Coating

The blade has been coated so that the ax will glide through a piece of wood without getting stuck. This will make it much easier for you to split a log.

Cost and Value

The Fiskars X11 is sold at a price that is considered to be average for an ax. This allows you to get a high-quality item without having to pay a premium.

Amazon Link
$55.10

2. Estwing

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$70.25
 Estwing
Amazon Link

The Estwing is another great option if you are looking for a small ax. This tool has been made in the USA and uses some of the best steel to forge it into a sharp and strong ax. You will glide through the wood on every stroke which will help you cut firewood quickly and in a timely fashion.

Two Sizes

You can purchase this ax in two different sizes. One is a 16-inch size and the other is a 26-inch size which lets you get the proper length for your needs.

Grip

This ax has a leather grip on the end. The grip will help to reduce shock to your hands and also allow you to hold onto the ax while you are using it.

Cost and Value

You will find this ax sold at a price that is higher than the average price. The higher price is due to it being made of forged steel and American made.

Amazon Link
$70.25

3. Husqvarna

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$59.99
 Husqvarna
Amazon Link

Sometimes you just need a plain ax to use for cutting wood and lumber. This one by Husqvarna will do the job nicely. It has a high-quality handle that is made of hickory and the head is made of high-quality steel that will help you split wood with ease. You will also love the fact that it is sold in a variety of lengths.

Length Options

They give you a choice of seven different handle lengths. This allows you to pick out the right size ax that will work the best for your needs when you go camping.

Hickory Handle

The handle on the ax is made of a lightweight hickory wood. This allows it to stay lightweight so that you can easily carry the ax with you in your gear.

Cost and Value

You will find this ax sold at a price that is well below the average price. The lower price is due to it being a basic tool which keeps the cost down.

Amazon Link
$59.99

4. Estwing Special

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$70.25
 Estwing Special
Amazon Link

The Special Edition Sportsman's Axe is an ax that has been designed for the outdoor enthusiast in mind. This ax is made out of one solid piece of steel so that you never have to worry about the head separating from the handle of the ax. It is well balanced so that you get a great transfer of energy on each swing.

Solid Construction

The head and the handle are made of a single piece of forged and temperated steel. This means that you never have to worry about the head or the handle breaking.

Hand Sharpened

The Special Edition Sportsman Axe is polished and sharpened by hand so that you can count on the quality of the workmanship of this product and expect it to last for generations.

Cost and Value

You will find this ax sold at a price that is average for an outdoor camping ax. This makes it into a great value since you get a premium product without spending too much on it.

Amazon Link
$70.25

5. SOG Specialty Knives Tactical Tomahawk

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$45.83
 SOG Specialty Knives Tactical Tomahawk
Amazon Link

Sometimes you need an ax that has a spike on the back rather than a flat back. This is such an ax and makes for a great option if you need a small ax for camping. You will find that it is a lightweight yet durable option to use for tasks such as clearing obstacles or cutting firewood while you make camp.

Rear Spike

The ax head has a rear spike on the back rather than a flat edge. You can use the spike for prying purposes or to punch a hole into something.

Nylon Handle

The handle is made of a nylon material that has been reinforced with glass. This will help to keep the handle durable but also keep the total weight of the ax down.

Cost and Value

You will find this item sold at a price that is lower than the average price. This makes it into a great value since you will not have to overpay to own a great ax.

Amazon Link
$45.83

6. Gerber Bear Grylls

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Gerber Bear Grylls
Amazon Link

If you need a camping ax that is extra small, then this one will be a great option to consider. The head is only 3.5 inches and it has a short handle. This makes it into a lightweight and highly portable ax that you can take with you when you are backpacking or just doing regular camping since it packs easy.

Small Size

The blade of the ax is only 3.5 inches and it has a short handle. This allows you to easily pack and store it in your gear making it a great choice for backpacking.

Ergonomic Handle

The handle has been designed to be easy on your hands and wrists. It's also wrapped with a rubber that will keep your hands from slipping when you are using it.

Cost and Value

You will find this product sold at a price that is much lower than the average price due to its small size that helps to hold the costs of the item down.

Amazon Link

7. CRKT Kangee

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$55.31
 CRKT Kangee
Amazon Link

This ax can be used for a variety of different camping purposes. You can use it to chop wood for a fire or use it to defend yourself from a wild animal. The ax is made of a single piece of steel and it can be easily carried in its sheath when you are not using it which makes it great for outdoor use.

High Carbon Steel

The ax is made of a single piece of high carbon steel. This helps to keep the head from detaching from the handle and it will stay sharp for longer periods of time.

Curved handle

The handle on the ax is curved and it has grips for your fingers. This will allow you to get a secure grip on the ax and get better energy transfers on your swings.

Cost and Value

This is a premium product so you will find that it is sold at a price that is much higher than the average price when compared to other axes but it well worth the extra expense.

Amazon Link
$55.31

8. M48 Tactical

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 M48 Tactical
Amazon Link

The M48 is a great tool to have with you if you are going into an area that has dangerous animals. It has a sharpened spike on the rear side of the ax head in case you need to defend yourself. The blade is eight inches long which makes it great for cutting, prying and even self-defense should the situation call for it.

AUS-6 Stainless

The blade is made of a strong and durable stainless steel. This will help it maintain a sharp edge and also helps it to resist developing rust on the blade of the ax.

Rear Spike

The backside of the ax has a spike that you can use for a variety of different purposes. You can use the spike to pry or punch a hole into something.

Cost and Value

This ax is a great value because it is sold at a price that is around the average price so you won't have to worry about overpaying to find good quality.

Amazon Link

9. Cold Steel Trail Boss

Where to buy
Amazon Link
 Cold Steel Trail Boss
Amazon Link

You can use the Trail Boss to chop wood or to pound in tent stakes which makes it into a great choice for camping. The blade is 4" and has a cutting edge of 4 and 1/2 inches so you will be able to cut through wood quickly and effectively while you are using this ax. This will help you get a fire going or clear out brush.

Wood Handle

The handle on this ax is made of hickory wood, which helps to keep the ax lightweight while also keeping it durable. It will feel great in your hand and you can maintain a great grip on it.

Compact

The ax has a compact design so that it is small and lightweight. This will make it easy for you to carry it with you while you are on the trail.

Cost and Value

You will find this ax sold at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price turns it into an excellent value since you won't have to spend much on it.

Amazon Link

10. CRKT Woods Chogan

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$60.52
 CRKT Woods Chogan
Amazon Link

If you need an ax that also functions as a hammer then this is the tool for you. They use forged steel to make the head of the ax and the backside of it is flat so that you can use it pound in nails or tent stakes. The cutting edge is sharp and will quickly cut through the wood so that you can set up camp quickly.

Hammer Head

The backside of the ax is a hammerhead that you can use just like a plain hammer. This makes the tool versatile and will help to reduce the gear you need to carry.

Tennessee Hickory

The handle is made of hickory wood that is grown in the state of Tennessee which helps to make the handle durable and yet lightweight at the same time so that you can carry it.

Cost and Value

You will find this ax sold at a price that is considered to be average. This will make it a great choice since it is made with Tennessee hickory wood and forged steel.

Amazon Link
$60.52