Best Backpacking AXE ( Hatchet )

by Rishabh Goria | Last Updated: July 6, 2020

Backpacking axes might be an important thing to get because you need to chop wood for firewood or clear some unwanted bush in your way while you are camping or hiking or backpacking. You can also get hatchets instead of ax’s which are slightly small but are very easy to use and carry and convenient as well.

Today in this article we are going to give you an in-depth analysis of the best backpacking axes you can get for camping or backpacking. We will also discuss some important factors that you need to consider while getting an ax/hatchet.

Let’s hop into it.

BEST BACKPACKING AXE (HATCHETS)

1. Estwing 12-Inch Sportsman Axe:

Dimensions: 13x7x2 inches

Weighing only 2.35 pounds and of 14.25 inches length the Estwing Sportsman Axe is a perfect ax for anyone who wants to go for camping, and it would also be the perfect backpacking hatchet. It is very easy to use and is very compact, so it won’t hurt you while carrying it. The handle is super strong so it can also act as a hammer which is great for nailing tent stakes.

It is made up of fully forged steel and is very neatly tucked into the rubber grip which makes it a great handle. If you are rather worried about whether the handle would come off, then that’s not the thing you need to be worried about while using this ax. Talking about the stainless steel blade, it is super sharp, and it is very comfortable to use because of the angle of the shaft.

It is perfectly balanced which makes it very easy to use and because of the leather grip the ax is very easy to handle but the varnish on it makes it slippery to use with wet hands. But after the varnish wears off it starts absorbing moisture and then you can use it with wet hands too.

Also, a small tip once the varnish is off you can apply oil on the leather grip so that it grips well, and the patented shock reduction grip reduces the vibration by 70% which helps you chop more woods which rather reduces the use of pain killer or wrist brace. The best thing about the stacked leather handle is that it absorbs sweat and gives you a perfect grip, also you can sand it on bare leather for making it more comfortable to use.

Pros
  • It has a nylon sheath for protection.
  • It is perfect for chopping logs, trees, and branches for firewood.
  • It has a cutting edge of 3.5 inch
  • Long-lasting.
  • It comes with three color options: black, orange, and blue.
Cons
  • It becomes slippery when used with wet hands.
  • It lasts for 15 uses before sharpening it again.

2. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet:

Dimension: 2x6x13 inches

If you are a big man vs wild fan or someone who watches Bear Grylls then you would also have had a look at his equipment he uses, and often you would have seen this hatchet with him during his camps or doing all the survival stuff.

Weighing only 1.4 pounds it is super lightweight and very easy to use and carry around.

Although the Bear Grylls name is only for endorsement talking about the performance of the ax the full tang construction with no welds makes it so strong that you need almost double the power to break it, although you don’t want to do so.

The rubber grip and fingered cut-outs are perfect for anyone who wants to use this blade for longer hours. Considering the overall length of only 9.46 inches the ax is very easy to use and carry along and with the compact size, you can hang it using a lanyard with the help of the hole present in the handle.

Talking about the blade of the ax, it has a 3.5-inch razor blade which is perfect for splitting logs and can perform even the hardest task without failing. Another feature that we liked about the ax is the super comfortable rubber grip, and the ergonomic design gives the handle a secure locking so that the ax doesn’t slip off.

If you are looking for an ax that can perform small tasks such as cutting logs for the fire and a tool that is in your budget with good brand image and quality, then Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is the perfect option to go for. As a survival hatchet, it would perform tasks such as hunting, building an emergency shelter, or cutting off the bark of a tree for fire very easily and is also fast enough to do those.

Pros
  • Full tang and high carbon steel construction make it completely durable.
  • It has a protective nylon sheath perfect.
  • It might be perfect to use during wet weather because of the rubber grip.
  • It is an excellent choice for woodcutting and backpacking hatchet.
Cons
  • It might be able to generate more chopping power when compared to another ax.
  • It might get stuck in the medium-sized logs as it is not be designed to do such tedious tasks.

3. Fiskars X7 Hatchet:

Dimensions: 16.5×5.5×1 inches

If you want a lightweight ax with more swing power, then Fiskars X7 is the best option you can choose. It has a 14-inch shaft so you can use it single headedly to chop off the logs while it is better to use two hands while performing such risky tasks. Weighing only 1.38 pounds it is one of the lightest axes you can get with such amazing swing power.

Talking about Fiskars, the whole range of X models, whether it is x6 or x7 or x11 or x15 they are sure they need to make the best backpacking hatchets and cover all your camping and backpacking needs.

If you are worried that the head might come off again that’s not the thing to be worried because that won’t happen and in this case, the fiber handle is also almost unbreakable, so you need not worry about breaking it as it doesn’t break very easily.

The blade of the hatchet has a very small width (3-inch) so it can be perfect to delimb small logs of wood but not a good choice to chop wood. But what we like about the blade is that it is sharp and hard which helps the user to chop faster. It is perfect for small work.

If you cannot afford an expensive hatchet and are looking for a hatchet that is in your budget and does small works pretty well then you can go for Fiskars X7 because of its lightweight and the faster chopping skills and also because of the swing power of the hatchet.

Pros
  • It is lightweight so you can hang it on your bag and roam around.
  • It comes with a blade cover, so you need not worry about hurting yourself as the blade lingers when you hang it on your bag, this also makes it easy to carry.
  • The handle (14-inch) is coated with reinforced plastic which disables it from shattering or splitting.
  • The head is inseparable.
  • The blade has a low friction coating that keeps it sharp.
Cons
  • The back is slightly small.
  • At 16 inches it might not be that compact, so you better watch out while using it, you need to be spot-on.
  • It might not be a good option to chop wood using this because the blade has a very little width.
  • If the locking mechanism in the plastic sheath breaks, the cover becomes unusable which might be disappointing.

4. Husqvarna 13-inch Hatchet:

Dimensions: 15×6.5×0.98 inches

If you are looking for a hatchet that would help you chop logs for firewood, or camp or do the garden work then no better than the Husqvarna hatchet.

Husqvarna offers a wide range of wooden axes that you can use it to chop wood or use it for backpacking. But the bad thing about the wooden handles is that they might shrink in warm conditions. They also sell lawn movers so if you need lawn movers you know where to go and whom to approach.

It’s drop-forged Swedish steel, hand-made, durable and the unique curve helps it absorb shock is efficient with every swing. The head is perfectly aligned and accurately set with the handle which means you can use it as soon as you get it.

The hatchet looks handmade and comes in many styles, designs, and lengths, you can choose between them, there are all kind of length’s if you want a wider blade and longer handle you can get that from online/offline stores. The handle is made of hickory wood with straight grains going parallel with the handle and because of the grain orientation, the handle is strong and flexible and has got that shock absorption feature as well.

They also have a composite handle and are perfectly positioned metal overstrike protector, the composite handle can be used by someone who isn’t confident of their aim.

The handle is slightly curved which makes it easy to hold and is completely reliable. You can maintain it using oil and because of the leather sheath, the head can be covered very easily.

If you are looking for a tool that you can use daily in your yard, and for your DIY projects then this is the best hatchet you can choose.

Pros
  • It comes with a durable leather sheath that prevents the blade edge which makes it very easy to store and travel along.
  • The steel won’t get damaged even after the sharpening number of times.
  • It is worth your investment and is worth every penny you spent buying it.
  • It is perfect for chopping small trees and branches.
  • It is very easy to carry and looks cool with that traditional wooden look, as most of the hatchets are not made that way.
Cons
  • The wooden handle might shrink in warm conditions.
  • The wooden handle might slip off when you are cutting the wood.
  • It is heavy for backpacking purposes.

5. SOG Camp Axe:

Dimensions: 5×11.5×0.71 inches.

If you want a multi-purpose ax which is not only capable of camping but also is a great survival tool, then what better than the SOG Camp Axe. It is one of the finest hatches in our list which is a perfect blend of lightweight and balance.

Weighing only 1.01 pounds it is a perfect tool if you want to chop logs for firewood or want to go on hiking with the ax. It has a 3.1-inch blade and the handle is 11.5 inches long which is not that wide but is compact enough which makes it a great tool to carry around and with much less weight a perfect tool for hiking, camping, or backpacking as well.

The handle is made up of glass-reinforced nylon along with the blade sheath which protects the ax too. As told, it is a multi-purpose tool you can hammer the stakes to your tent as well, and because of the sturdy grip near the head, it can be used for making shavings while your campfire is going on.

If you are looking for an ax that is smooth for throwing, easy to swing, easy to carry, then this might be a great choice as well.

You can also go for SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini if you are looking for a better option and want to maximize the bag space, but there you need to compromise in weight but because of the carry bag you can hang it with your bag and travel around.

You can also try other products from SOG such as there is SOG Fast Hawk, SOG Survival Hawk, Tactical Tomahawk, some might be heavier options but except that some of them are exceptional products which you can give a try.

Pros
  • It is lightweight and perfectly balanced.
  • It is great camping as well as a survival tool.
  • It is versatile and can be chosen as an ultralight ax.
  • It is perfect for hunting as well, as you can throw it and it won’t break if it misses the target.
  • They have a great after-sales team which takes care of all the repairs and replacements when the customers face any problem.
Cons
  • It might not be a good option for heavy tasks.
  • The sheath doesn’t come with a carrying option, so you need to put the ax inside your backpack once you apply the sheath to the blade.

BUYING GUIDE FOR BACKPACKING AXE (HATCHET)

As we are done with the products now we can move to the buying guide which will help you understand on what basis did we come up with these products, what made us choose these, and what factors you need to consider while buying a backpacking ax or hatchet. Let’s first understand the basic difference between an ax and A hatchet.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AXE AND HATCHET:

The only difference between the ax and the hatchet is the handle length. Axe’s are normally made for two-hand usage and for most of the time the work is done by the head. The hatchet’s usually had shorter handle lengths and is meant for one-handed usage, which means you need to apply more effort while using a hatchet and slightly less effort while using an axe.

TYPES OF AXE:

  1. Tactical Axe:

                      These are a jack of all trades and are most common among the campers. They are often made of forged-steel or high carbon steel which are designed only to perform a specific task. They also have a slightly cut edge in the blade which can be used for climbing or hammering. They are super strong.

                          These are small and can be held with a single hand as well. They are tough and have immense power in one swing, if you want to chop bigger logs and look like Viking as well then this is a perfect ax for you. They might not be used as a camp ax.

                         They are mostly used by campers who are preppers and are used for getting firewood, clearing bushes but if you want a camp ax this might a better style to get. They might be very accurate when it comes to hunting or for self-defense.

HOW TO CHOOSE RIGHT BACKPACKING AXE?

Here are some factors which we considered while choosing the best products you can follow the same as well.

It is quite overwhelming to decide a product on only four options and it is even tougher when you are getting it for the first time because there are so many options available and you need to select only one and the best one too, so you can also check these points for reference purposes.

  1. What kind and type of wood is used in the handle?
  2. Is there a protective nylon sheath on the handle?
  3. Does the handle have grips, is it easy to hold and whether it slips off your hand or not?
  4. Is it easy to swing? Is it lightweight? Does it maximize power in every swing or not? Try doing it while your buying and check whether it generates enough power or not.
  5. Why do you need an ax or a hatchet? What is the purpose behind it? Whether you want to go camping or backpacking or hiking or only chop woods, get the intention so it might be easy to sort out.
  6. What is the angle, the style, the design-build of handle for striking?
  7. Are there some extra features such as the rubber grip or curved handle, is it easy to hold?
  8. Also, check some advantages and disadvantages of the wooden or carbon fiber handles so that you can get a clear idea of how they work, how to hold them, are they durable or not?
  9. What kind of blades are used in the ax or hatchet, does it have some extra features for chopping or cleaning vines or underbrush?
  10. Is it water-resistant, mildew-resistant, is it versatile? Is it efficient enough?
  11. Does it come with a warranty? How is the after-sales service of the brand you are getting?

Select a product which you can use up to 5-10 years so that you can get a good return on investment from the product, also always try to get better and branded products, don’t get fooled by cheaper and unreliable products as they get broken easily and then you do not get replacements or repairs after you have broken it.

FAQs:

Can a hatchet split wood?

Ans: Of course, it can be better than ax sometimes, it also depends on types of blades the hatchet has, some might get stuck with heavy logs of wood, some might cut through very smoothly, so you need to be cautious about why you need the hatchet and does it do the task well or not.

What is camp AXE?

Ans: A camp axe is portable, lightweight, and can be used with one hand.

Give some names of the best backpacking ax brands?

Ans: There are a ton of those but some of them noteworthy are Estwing, Husqvarna, Fiskars, also deciding these brands depend on whether the products are of superior quality, whether they are cost-effective or not.

Can I get a carbon fiber ax? Is it good enough for backpacking?

Ans: The carbon-fiber axes and hatchets are awesome inventions that help to maximize power and weight which makes them easy to swing and help you maintain your stamina with each swing, so yes you can get it but you need to know when and where to use it.

Conclusion: Concluding the article, we have covered everything in the article and hope you get all the relevant information you are here to get and hope you have enjoyed reading the article, please let us know was the article up to your expectations or not? If not, also tell us how and in which part we can improve so that we can try to grow and improve in further articles. Also, let us know if you bought any of these products and share your experience with us. Till then keep traveling. Cheers!