Best Camping Hatchets
Camping hatchets are a solid choice for anyone who’s planning a serious camping expedition. They can seriously speed up the process of gathering wood. They can also assist you in setting up camp overall. Many camping hatchets have multiple uses – they can be used for hammering pegs down, for example. Some variants even have notches to help you remove tent pegs from the ground. They also bring the added general benefit of having a sharp surface nearby. If you’re a frequent outdoor hobbyist you’ll know how useful it is to have a blade nearby to open supplies, fashion your own supplies or perform a variety of other menial tasks.
We’ve compiled a list below of some of the best camping hatchets available today. All of them have different strengths and weaknesses so we’ve been as honest and forthright as possible to ensure you get an accurate idea of what you might end up buying too.
Best Camping Hatchets – Our Favourites
Fiskars 378501-1002 X7 Hatchet
The Fiskars X7 Hatcher is an incredibly popular camping tool. It’s not exactly a mystery why, either. Fiskars are a company that have been manufacturing high quality goods for hundreds of years. And we do literally mean hundreds. They were founded in the 1600’s and are literally the oldest business in FInland. You’ve likely used a Fiskars product before. If you have it will likely be their scissors which bare the companies trademarked orange handle. You’ll note that this axe also dons the companies traditional color scheme. The stonewashed grey axehead is complimented pretty well by the mixed black/orange handle. This handle is angled to ensure maximum grip – which is complimented well by the rubber grip.
This axe is perfect for chopping and kindling all manner of wood. It’s lightweight – weighing well under a kilogram or about 1.36 pounds. It’s also fairly compact too, so you shouldn’t have any issues transporting it.
When assessing axes it’s important to take a close look at the materials involved in manufacturing them. You don’t want a product that’s going to fall apart on you after some light use. This axe was manufactured using a special carbon fiber composite. This composite is stronger than steel, which is exactly what you’re looking for in a product you’ll be exposing to repetitive trauma.
In terms of value for money, this is probably a product i’d keep an eye on. It doesn’t have a particularly high pricing point and yet all the user reviews seem to be glaringly positive.
Coleman Camp Axe
On first sight, this camping axe isn’t anything you’d write home about. It has a pretty normal appearance barring the impressive ergonomic rubber grip. It’s manufactured by Coleman, who are a fairly reputable brand who have existed since 1900. They have a pretty diverse and wide area of products so it’s likely you’ll have interacted with this brand at some point before.
This axe is probably one of the cheapest I’ve seen on the open market. It’s at least half the price of some of its competitors. The problem with cutting costs, though, is that you’ll begin to see issues arising with quality.
An attempt is still made to ensure the axe is fairly durable, despite the lower pricing point. So the axe head has been manufactured using drop-forged carbon steel. The issue you may see beginning to arise is with the actual shaft of the axe. Which appears to have just been made using a generic steel. As a result, many people report bends and dents appearing after heavy use.
If you’re looking for a cheap axe to use temporarily, this is probably your best bet. It’d also be good to keep as a back-up in case you lose or damage your main axe.
It’s compact enough to be packed away easily and lightweight enough that it won’t cause you any fatigue. It also has a handy little notch in the axehead that’s designed for removing tent stakes from the ground as you pack up.
If you’re looking for an axe for long term, heavy use, I’d steer well clear of this axe. You’re almost guaranteed to encounter issues after a while. Remember the old adage – “you get what you pay for”
SOG Camp Axe
The first thing you’ll probably notice about this camping axe is the aesthetic. It has a sleak black and silver, military inspired design. This seriously sets it apart from some of its more bland looking competitors, in my opinion.
It’s manufactured by SOG. They’re a fairly new company in the grand scheme of things, they were founded in the 1980s. They manufacture a wide range of camping and survival equipment, all of which maintain the same tactical aesthetic. This probably has something to do with the companies routes – it spent its early days manufacturing replica knives from the vietnam era.
Apart from looking really cool, this is actually a great quality product too. It’s manufactured in the USA. The axehead is built from a satin polished stainless steel whilst the handle it’s made from glass reinforced nylon. This combines together to make for an extremely sturdy and durable product. It also comes with a sheath provided, which is a nice finishing touch. The sheath is made out of a sturdy nylon material to ensure your blade stays well protected and doesn’t blunt when not in use.
It doesn’t just have solid axe functionality either. The reverse side is designed to be operated as an axe.
It’s relatively compact. It’s a little bit bigger than some other competitors, but it’s only 11.5 inches long in total so we’re talking a couple of inches give or take. The blade on the axehead is about 3.1 inches in total too. Despite being a little bit on the longer side, it’s still incredibly lightweight. It weighs in at under half a kilogram or about one pound.
It’s priced on the higher end of the spectrum, and for good reason. SOG are so comfortable with the quality of their survival products that they offer replacements and repairs for damages – provided you’ve actually taken some effort to take care of your axe. Just don’t leave it out in the rain for 3 years and expect a refund.
If you want some serious value for money, I’d consider giving this axe a try.
LEXIVON V14 Camping Hatchet
On first impressions, I thought this axe looked a little similar to fiskars camping hatchet. On close inspection, I was pretty wrong. The dual color scheme is the only real similarity, and even then, this is black and yellow, not black and orange.
This particular hatchet is manufactured by LEXIVON, who are more of a construction brand. Which you can probably tell just by looking at the overall aesthetic of this hatchet.
They’re not super well known and there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of information about the brand online.
Despite this, they’ve still managed to produce an overall impressive product. They manufacture these axes at home in the United States out of some pretty great materials. These materials include the drop forged and heat treated steel they use for the axe head. This steal grade A High-Carbon, meaning it’s very durable.
The handle is made from a fancy fiberglass composite material to ensure it doesn’t bend or break with repeat trauma. The grip has anti-slip TPR material on it to ensure you can keep a solid hold of the axe, even if it’s lightly raining.
They didn’t just opt for high quality materials either. They opted to use some pretty smart design philosophies to ensure this axe remains sturdy over time. This is why the spine is reinforced and the blade is molded over to ensure it stays in place.
Some care has been taken into ensuring the hatchet is well balanced too. The balancing point has been kept very close to the actual blade, meaning you can generate a modest amount of power where it actually matters.
It’s a little bit heavier than some of the other options on the market. It weighs in at about 1.8 pounds, which is nearly a full kilogram. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, especially given how well balanced this axe is. It means you can generate just a little bit more power for chopping through thicker wood.
It’s moderately sized, with a total length of about 14 inches. It won’t get in the way but you’re not going to be carrying it around in your pocket either.
This product is an exceptional choice if you’re looking for value for money. It comes with an additional nylon sheath to keep your blade sharp. It also comes with a free lifetime warranty. If you encounter any kind of defect as a result of manufacturing – it’ll immediately be replaced free of charge.
Stansport Para Hatchet
This is a product with a lot of features crammed into a fairly small space and low pricing point.
It’s manufactured by stansport, a manufacturer of camping supplies and utilities. They’ve been around for quite some time too. They first started business in 1949 so they have plenty of time and experience on their side when they design a product.
On first sight you’ll probably note the luminous orange paracord handle. This handle provides a great deal of comfort and grip when exerting any level of force with your axe. This cord can be unravelled to reveal there’s actually about 96 inches of paracord ready for emergency use.
Looking to quickly cut some of this off to help secure a shelter or repair some equipment? There’s a rope cutter integrated into the spine of the axehead already. This will stop you awkwardly trying to grind up against the axehead and unnecessarily blunting your blade.
Also integrated into the axehead is three separate sizes of wrench. These sizes are 10mm, 14mm and 17mm respectively. You’ll also note that a flint rod fire igniter is provided with this product too.
Aesthetic is important for many people when sourcing a product like this. I wouldn’t say the visual design is particularly industry-shaking. I will say that the luminous orange handle can make it much easier to locate in lower lighting conditions. Jett black products are often much harder to find in the dark.
It’s compact enough to be easily packed up in a backpack. This is also made easier by the fact that a sheath is provided with the hatchet too. It’s also extremely lightweight, weighing in at under a pound.
The integrity of the product is probably worthy of comment too. Not a lot of details are available on what specific type of steel this axe is manufactured from. With that being said, customer complaints about breakages or damage occurring were VERY difficult to find. Considering the extremely low pricing point of this product, i’d say this is likely a good bargain.
WORKPRO Axe and Fixed Blade Combo
First impressions are usually a factor for me when I’m shopping around for supplies. When I first found out about this workpro combo I was impressed at the presentation. The jet black metal combined with the polished wooden handle stood apart from the endless array of grey and metallic hatchets.
Presentation isn’t everything though, so let’s have a look at the more serious aspects of this combo package. Both of these products are brought to you by WORKPRO. This isn’t a brand that specialise in the outdoor niche or camping. Not by any stretch of the imagination, anyway. But they are a brand who are very good at one thing – which is making tools.
Both the provided hatchet and machete can be used for a wide variety of different cutting, shaving or chopping tasks.
They’re both manufactured from 3CR13 stainless steel. This is an extremely durable steel with great edge retention for bladed tools. It’s also a metal that’s much easier to maintain than other alternatives. The blades are full tang and the hilts/handle can be disassembled for cleaning and replacement purposes.
The handles of both of these devices are well designed. They’re built from the ground up for ergonomic use. The grip is textured with raised “anti-skid” segments on the handle to prevent you losing control mid-swing (which can be disastrous).
They’re a little bit bulkier than some of the other options available on the market. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you prefer working with full-sized tools. It can make transport awkward though. Luckily both items have provided sheaths and integrated belt loops – meaning you can carry them on your waist with relative ease.
For the price – i’d say you’re getting a pretty good deal here. You’re getting two reliable, quality tools. Both of which should last a good amount of time if you take proper care of them.
Camillus CAMTRAX Three In One Camping Hatchet
The Camillus Camtrax was a product that caught my eye immediately due its lockback saw mechanism. Despite the inclusion of this big additional feature – it didn’t look cheaply thrown together. It has a nice, sleak, unimposing black design. The saw also retracts neatly back into the handle without interfering with your grip
It’s manufactured by Camillus. Who are a company that have been manufacturing various knives and bladed tools since the 1870s. As the company are US based, this means the founding members of this company were genuine frontiersmen.
Undoubtedly the most important consideration when it comes to survival equipment is functionality. Something the CAMTRAX excels at. This three-in-one product does three things and does them all extremely well. As we already mentioned, there’s a retractable saw operating under a lockback mechanism stored in the handle of the axe.
The grip on the handle has been specifically designed so that it can be used ambidextrously. This means that it doesn’t matter if you’re utilising the saw, the axe or the hammer. You’ll still be able to maintain a solid grip regardless.
A sheath that is moulded to your axehead is also provided. This moulded sheath fits very snuggly around the axehead and will prevent the blade from going dull preemptively. This sheath also comes with its own belt clip and even a bottle opener (because why not?).
One problem that seems to occur with these “multi-purpose” products tends to be quality. Luckily this isn’t the case with the CAMTRAX. It’s manufactured at home in the USA. The metal segments are made from a particular sturdy titanium. The handle is also constructed using glass filled nylon to ensure maximum durability.
The 12” length can be a dealbreaker for some people. But I like to factor in the space saved by the inclusion of the saw and hammer.
It’s a little bit on the heavier side compared to some of the smaller camping hatchets, but not by much. It weighs in at about two pounds (just under a kilogram).
It may seem obvious, but any kind of bladed or serrated tool brings with it some serious risk. If you’re going to be travelling with sharp utilities, you should definitely bring some form of first aid. Many of the products sourced above have ergonomic grips designed to help prevent accidents. But accidents can still happen, in which case it’s better to be overprepared rather than underprepared.
If you sustain an injury, there’s a few things you need to make sure you do.
Stemming the bleeding is the most important step. The depth of any wound will determine how difficult this is to do. Gauze mixed with some strong pressure will help to slow bleeding. If you’re caught totally unprepared then a clean tshirt will do in an emergency.
Keeping wounds elevated about your heart level is also pretty important.
After this you’re going to need to worry about cleaning your wound. Stronger drinking alcohol such as spirits will work in an emergency. But ideally you should have alcohol wipes and some form of antisceptic solution available.
Finally you’ll need to be able to dress a wound, this is why you should consider bringing bandages.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Sharp Should My Axe Be?
Your axe should literally be sharp enough to shave with. The duller your axe is the more energy you’re going to waste attempting to get a decent cut in. If you’re struggling to chop through wood you’d previously cut through with ease – consider sharpening. Don’t just compensate by exerting yourself further.
Keeping your axe in a sheath will also contribute to it retaining its sharpness.
Can I Be Prosecuted For Having An Axe On My Person?
This depends on the country you live in. For example, if you were based in the United Kingdom, that’s a definite maybe. There’s exceptions for those who have a reasonable justification for having an axe on them – but the police don’t have to accept “i’m going camping” as an excuse over the pond.
If you’re based in the United States, the laws are generally a little bit more relaxed with cutting implements. You COULD still find yourself in legal trouble if you cause damaged to protected areas with your axe. “Leave no trace” is normally a good rule of thumb. Try to avoid chopping down healthy trees and instead use your axe for cutting up already dead wood. Dead wood generally burns better, too. So it’s a win-win.
Can I Throw Axes?
Generally any bladed instrument can be thrown with a bit of practice. But in order to actually expect consistent results, they must be adequately balanced. If you’re looking for an axe you can take camping that also doubles as a throwing axe, you should consider a tactical tomahawk. These are hatchets that have been manufactured so that they can be used for both general bushcraft purposes along with being thrown. You can also purchase axes specifically for throwing – but they’re not particularly useful for a great deal of other tasks outwith this.
Is It Easier To Split Logs The Are Dry or Wet?
Generally speaking, it’s much easier to split wood that’s actually dry. The dryer the wood, the more brittle it tends to be. If you have the choice, always opt for dry wood. Dry wood also has the added benefit of being easier to produce a fire with.