Best Survival Hatchets Reviewed and Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When looking at survival hatchets one of the key components to the hatchet is called the head. The head of the hatchet should be sharp in order to get the cutting job done. Another important aspect of the cutting portion of the head is the spot located directly behind the cutting edge. This is known as the bit, you want to look for a bit that is not thick, having a thick bit can cause the hatchet to bounce of wood rather than stick in. A good rule of thumb to follow for the head of your hatchet, be sure there are no chips or nicks in the blade, this will ensure your hatchet will remain fully functional.
Often overlooked when thinking about a hatchet is the balance, this is a more popular aspect when we think of axes. Hatchets should also have a proper balance point, by proper I mean found next to the head of the hatchet. This makes the hatchet easier to control when swinging or doing any carving with the hatchet.
Another key component of a hatchet is the handle. Hatchet handles come in three main material types wood, metal, and fiberglass. Wood handles offer durability when the grain of the wood is running in the correct direction. Look for a wood handle where the grain of the wood runs in line with the bit of the head, this ensures the strength of the handle. One thing to watch out for while using a wood-handled hatchet, they can get slick when they are wet, making them harder to control during your swing.
Metal handles are known for being the strongest of all three choices but tend to add too much weight to the hatchet in the wrong area. The last option we come to is the fiberglass handle, these can be lightweight and normally come with a rubber grip attached. The grip is there in order to combat the fact that fiberglass is a smooth material, making it harder to hold your grip, on the bare fiberglass.
Often overlooked when thinking about a hatchet is the balance, this is a more popular aspect when we think of axes. Hatchets should also have a proper balance point, by proper I mean found next to the head of the hatchet. This makes the hatchet easier to control when swinging or doing any carving with the hatchet. Good balance also ensures that you don't get tired too fast also.
A good comfortable handle is also important. Painful blisters are the last thing you want to deal with you're out trying to enjoy nature. You also want to make sure that the size is sufficient enough for you to get a good grip so that it doesn't accidentally slip out and cause damage.
You may need to depend on your hatchet for fire, food, and maybe even defense. That makes this an invaluable tool to have when out in nature. Although you can't put a price on survival, you can put a price on the quality of the tool you have. For this criterion, we judged on how well the item was priced compared to the durability and usefulness of the model. If you are paying good money, then you'll want the best material and a hatchet that can also be versatile. Although a high price tag doesn't always mean you're getting the best quality, sometimes you're just paying for the name brand. Check out reviews and see what others have said about the product and if it was worth the cost.
There are two types of hatchets that can be found in today’s market, one being the traditional style hatchet, the other is a multi-purpose hatchet. The multi-purpose hatchet will normally contain within the handle portion a small saw, knife, or sometimes even a fire starter. This makes these types of survival hatchets perfect for camping or hiking gear. If you are going to be spending some time outdoors and prefer to keep your load as light as possible, a tactical hatchet with extra features will save you space and weight. These are also great because you don't have to worry about forgetting a tool.
BEST SURVIVAL HATCHETS REVIEWED AND RATED FOR QUALITY
1. Fiskars X7
Fiskars is a company that was founded in 1649. Originally, Fiskars gained a reputation for producing high quality forged tools and hardware. Three hundred sixty-eight years later they are a company that owns multiple brands all over the world. You might be more familiar with Gerber, one of Fiskars' international brands.
Cutting Edge Design
The Fiskars X7 is designed for balance and efficiency. The blade of the hatchet has a unique shape that is sharpened and coated with a low friction compound for smoother cuts. The hatchet also comes with a modern style sheath that outlasts many nylon and plastic ones.
Fiskars boasts that this product is virtually unbreakable. They back this claim by the lifetime warranty that they have on all of their products.
Cost and Value
This hatchet is set at a price point that is very affordable. This allows almost any individual, no matter what their budget may be, to obtain the high-quality features of the Fiskars X7.
2. SOG T-Hawk
The first of two tactical tomahawk style hatchets on this list, the SOG T-Hawk is a mean-looking hatchet that is built for multiple purposes. Being lightweight and only 15" inches long makes itgood for backpacking and camping.
Inspired by History
The SOG t- hawks design and versatility are based off tomahawks that were used by military forces in Vietnam. Tomahawks were popular because of their usefulness as a tool as well as combat applications.
The butt of the hatchet features a spike that can be used for glass breaking or in excavation as a pickaxe. The side of the blade features a textured grip for use as a hammer.
Cost and Value
With a relatively low price point, the SOG T-Hawk is both obtainable and reasonable for what you get.
3. Husqvarna 13
Husqvarna is known for making a number of different tools ranging from leaf blowers to riding lawn mowers. This sturdy wooden handled hatchet is made in Sweden, a country known for remarkable ax manufacturing. This is our choice for Best Value but you'll notice that it's not actually the least expensive ax on our list. That's okay with us because it's not just about cost, but also about value. The axes that lower priced are in some cases smaller, and in some cases (in our opinion) can't match the uniquely quality construction that goes into a Husqvarna. In short, paying a few extra dollars will get you A LOT more ax.
This traditional style 13" wooden hatchet mixes the charm of traditional looks with modern-day engineering. While it is also available with a composite handle, the wooden hatchet has a bit more weight for more potential chopping power.
Attached to a hickory handle with a steel and wooden wedge, this hatchet is built to last. Included is a leather edge cover.
Cost and Value
Having a traditional hatchet that is manufactured in Sweden with forged "Swedish ax steel" won't break the bank.
4. CRKT Hatchet
We like this hatchet because like a lot of great outdoor hafted blades this one has two or three different uses. We like the sharp edges of this carbon steel blade, we like the hammerhead on the back of the ax. We like the Tennessee hickory handle and we really like the lifetime guarantee because we’re hard on our tools.
This a pretty wide blade which makes it useful for just about anything from brush removal to the chopping of firewood. But we also really like the hammerhead on the back which can be very useful when trying to drive pegs into the tough ground. The hickory handle lets you keep your grip but even though this is a hefty ax, it doesn’t carry too much weight so you should be able to pack it back into the woods without too much trouble.
Carbon Steel Blade
The one thing you’re going to need your ax to do is keep its blade. This is built to last and you don’t want to have to keep having to sharpen the blade too often. And this carbon steel blade is guaranteed to hold it’s edge for quite some time. In a lifetime of use, this will keep it’s edge as long as you can keep getting out there.
Cost and Value
This won’t set you back a whole lot but it’s not cheap. This is a high-quality ax with a high-quality handle and it’s built to last and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. All of these things make it easy for us to include it on this list.
5. Gransfors Bruk
This is a classic but strong version that doesn’t have as long a handle as some of the others on our list but has plenty of power and is strong enough to do almost anything you need to get accomplished. And not only do you get a nice leather sheath to go along with this but you also get a Gransfors Axe book that will teach you how to use your ax in a bunch of different ways.
This comes in at a slim 1.3 pounds, which means it’s easily carried on your belt or in your backpack and won’t hold you back too much. The size also makes it an easy carry but the big handle makes sure you can get a good swing and makes sure it’ll do whatever you need it to do.
We think this should just be mandated that all axes have a hammerhead on the back because at some point you’re going to need a flat head from time to time, to knock in tent pegs, or to tenderize your dinner. It doesn’t matter what you use it for but you’re going to need it.
Cost and Value
This is an expensive one but it’s a tool built to last. Because of the broad edge the sheathe that comes along with it, and the well-built handle we think that this is a tool that will last and that you’ll look to early and often.
6. Gerber Bear Grylls Hatchet
Surely every outdoor enthusiast has heard of Bear Grylls. The former officer of the Royal Navy quickly became notorious for some of his survival techniques that seemed unorthodox (elephant dung, anybody). This "survive at all cost" mentality gained the attention of many companies including Gerber who created a line of survival equipment with the Bear Grylls name. The Bear Grylls survival series is based on what the man himself would want to carry in a survival situation.
The Bear Grylls survival hatchet features a slim profile and a blade that is razor-sharp. This combination creates a hatchet that has immense cutting capabilities and perfect for keeping with a backpack or bug out bag. This hatchet features unique finger notches on the neck or complete blade control when making kindling or skinning game. The hatchet is also full tang which means durability and reliability.
The grip is made from a textured rubberized material. Whether it's wet or dry, the handle will remain comfortable and hold strong. The pommel at the bottom of the handle also has a hole for a lanyard.
Cost and Value
Given the high-grade materials and design, this hatchet is a great buy. It also comes with the waterproof Bear Grylls Survival Manual.
7. Cold Steel Trail
Another long-handled selection the Cold Steel is a powerful camping tool. You can cut down trees with this baby or you can just use it to collect firewood. Whatever you need this is the one that’s going to help you get it done when you’re out in the wilderness.
Drop Forged Steel
This guarantees a strong blade that will hold it’s edge for a long time. The blade is also long and broad as well as the handle so there’s plenty to get things done here.
This looks like it’d be a heavy but truth be told it weighs less than three pounds. That means it’ll hike with you into the outback and won’t take up too much space, and won’t drag you down.
Cost and Value
This is a well-priced tool. You get everything that also comes with some of our other blades but at half the cost.
8. MTech USA Camping
Master Cutlery, the MTechs parent company, is known for making a wide variety of bladed products including movie replicas, fantasy type weapons, tactical knives. MTech belongs to the Master Cutlery's line of camping and survival equipment. This one-piece ax is two-toned and at 11" is easy to store and carry when you're on the go.
This survival hatchet is made from one solid piece of 440 stainless steel. The cutting edge of the blade has a satin finish while the neck and handle are coated black.
Chop or pound
The 3" blade is sharpened at the factory so it is ready to go when you get it. The bach of the blade serves a dual purpose as a hammer. The handle is rubberized and textured for increased comfort and control even when wet.
Cost and Value
Master Cutlery brands all produce very well manufactured products that are also very affordable. This hatchet is no exception. It is also available to buy in two-packs from some retailers.
9. Yes4All Multi-Functional
The Yes4All Multi-Functional aims to cut down any obstacle in your way. It features a firestarter and a 12" saw that can be stored in the handle. This survival hatchet is the Jack-of-All hatchets. The plastic sheath that is included has a handle for attaching the hatchet to rucksacks or webbing.
Use of Space
When in a survival situation, the more resources you have the better off you are. The H307 includes a magnesium fire starter that can be used even when wet. A little tip though, most firestarters of this kind come painted so you may have to scrape off the paint before you can get serious sparks out of them. The saw fits neatly in the handle so its there when you need it and doesn't take up space with the rest of your gear.
This hatchet feels similar to a baseball bat in your hands. While it's not full tang it is more than capable of splitting small logs for firewood. The Yes4All company also offers a 60 money-back guarantee. If you don't like it, send it back and you will be refunded.
Cost and Value
Like most products of this type, while it has many tools included with it none of the tools are can by no means be considered "high-end". However the fact that you can have all these tools in one compact package makes it well worth the price.
10. Schrade SCAXE2L
The SCAXE2 hatchet is balanced for delivering the maximum amount of force onto the blade with every swing. At around 1.5 pounds, the SCAZE2 is light enough to carry but heavy enough to chop 4" round pieces of wood.
This survival hatchet comes with a ferrocerium firestarter that stores in the hatchet's handle. This combined with the ability to process kindling and bigger pieces of wood, make the SCAXE2 perfect for making fires.
The blade is made of 3Cr13 steel. It is then coated with titanium to contribute to the blade's strength and durability.
Cost and Value
Like the weight of this hatchet, the price can be seen as being right in the middle. It's not the cheapest hatchet available but definitely not the most expensive. Given the versatility and features of the Schrade SCAXE2L, it is worth paying a little extra.