A hatchet axe is slightly different from other axes (such as broad axes or tomahawk axes) because they are a single-handed axe specifically designed for splitting wood. As they are only designed as a single-handed tool, hatchet axes are much more lightweight. This makes for slightly easier chopping because it's less physically demanding. That being said, hatchet axes are popular today, so you need to know what are the best options on the market and what to look out for when buying! Continue reading for a detailed product review and helpful buyer's guide!
The Schrade SCAXE 10 camping hatchet is a sleek but rugged camping tool that does short work of any of your chopping needs. It comes with a blade safety shield as standard, so it can easily be transported in a backpack or camping pack safely. It also has a nylon lanyard that can be tied around your wrist for extra safety whilst chopping. With its black handle and polished blade head, the Schrade SCAXE 10 looks as impressive as it sounds, and it's definitely a hatchet axe worth considering.
The axe is only 11 inches long, making it easily transportable for any camping or outdoor adventure. At 1.4 lbs, this axe is incredibly lightweight too. Its blade is stainless steel and designed for optimum chopping with a sharp edge, and its handle is made of a shock-absorbent TPE material that makes using the axe incredibly simple. The oversized hammer tool on the opposite side of the head to the blade makes short work of any hammering tasks you might have, such as pitching a tent, so it's incredibly versatile too!
This particular hatchet axe is a more modern spin on the classic hatchet axes you might have been used to seeing growing up. It, too, has a blade sheath for safety, but the really impressive part about this axe is its design. Deep black and vivid oranges make this ax instantly stand out next to traditional wood-handled axes like some of the ones listed below. Safety seems to have been a top priority too!
Its handle is made of fiberglass that has been covered in a non-slip shock-absorbent rubber specifically designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It is slightly larger than the Schrade SCAXE 10, however, so that might be something you need to consider if you're hoping to take this camping hatchet axe to multiple places in backpacks etc. Still, it is only 15" long, and it also allows for the blade to be longer than the Schrade axe at 5 3/4", which might benefit you. These axes do come with a lifetime warranty, though, so clearly, the manufacturers are confident that the ax will work well for years to come.
Now, if tradition is what you're looking for, then look no further. The Prandi German Style Hatchet has a sleek and stylish pale wood handle with a polished head that is sharp right out of the box - although it is designed to be sharpened with ease too. A lot of people use hatchets in throwing competitions, and whilst it seems as though this hatchet wasn't specifically designed for axe throwing, most of the hatchet axe reviews talk about how well it performs in these competitions, so it's definitely worth mentioning.
Again, this hatchet is slightly longer at 15", but it is still lightweight and easy to use. Some people might find that the 13" handle serves them better than the smaller ones anyway, so it might come down to personal choice. It's still an ax that can be easily taken with you whilst camping, and its traditional design makes it look impressive when you take it out to chop the firewood!
This hatchet is quite similar to Edward's axe mentioned above, but it is slightly smaller, so that may benefit you. This steel hatchet is still very modern in its design, and it too is orange and black, though admittedly a little less visually impressive than the Edward's. Still, it comes with a fiberglass handle that is also designed to be comfortable in hand. They've also really focused on weight distribution with this axe, too, meaning it'll chop with more loaded weight at the blade end, making chopping easier, but it's lightweight at the handle to make removing from the wood a breeze too.
The axes blade comes coated with something that the manufacturers claim makes cutting even more streamlined as it is non-stick. At 13.5", this is an excellent middle ground for those people who prefer a slightly longer axe, but still want one that is compact enough to pack away easily for camping trips. Weighing only 1.98lbs, it's also incredibly lightweight so it's easy to take with you and use wherever you are.
Slightly different from the other hatchet axes here. This one has been specifically designed to work as a hatchet and a throwing ax, so if that's an activity you take part in, it's good to have an axe that can split wood and be thrown too. That way you don't need to buy more than one! It's hickory pale wood handle looks great, but this axe really stands out for its carbon steel head with its silver blade and black body. It has been designed for razor sharpness, and interestingly the shock absorption of this particular axe comes from the soft steel body of the head, meaning you won't even feel the shock at the palm of your hand.
Its hickory handle is quite long, and the entire axe comes in at 20 1/4", so it's definitely larger than most hatchets on the market. However, you might find this length to be perfect. It also helps to have a longer handle for throwing axes, as you can get more momentum whilst remaining safe, so it's longer design does make sense. Transporting it for camping might be a little less convenient, but it's still certainly doable.
The above 5 hatchet axes are, for us at least, the best 5 hatchet axes available for you to buy today. We understand the need for some of you to go out and find that perfect axe for you, by yourself. So this next section will cover the things you need to look out for when buying a hatchet axe. Yes, you might notice some crossover between hatchet axes and other axes that we have covered on this website already, but there should hopefully be some different things for you to consider too.
This might be the most important thing to consider for hatchet axes, even more so than any other axe. Due to their typically lightweight and compact design, hatchet axes can be prone to splitting if the impact is too great or the shock absorption system fails. Bare in mind that this doesn't apply to the more modern axes like the Husqvarna or Edward's ones above because splitting the ax only really happens in those axes that are more traditionally made with wood handles. Now, you need to understand which direction the wood grows in, in order to be sure that the wood is as reinforced as it can be to handle any chopping task.
Look at the grain of the wood. If it runs horizontally, do not purchase! Only wood that runs vertically along the handle is reinforced enough to withstand chopping in the way that you will need it too. Eventually, wood with a horizontal grain will snap, so always focus on vertical grains - especially for hatchets.
Now, one of the main reasons for owning a hatchet is for its convenience—something lightweight to take with you on outdoor adventures or camping trips. But be warned! A hatchet that is too lightweight can result in you feeling as though you are doing all of the work when chopping, and this can lead to exhaustion pretty quickly. Likewise, though, a hatchet that is too heavy will be inconvenient to use and leave you feeling tired after all that swinging. For best results, look for a weight that you are comfortable enough to carry with you, in a backpack for example, and easy for you to swing. Make sure it isn't too lightweight, and you should have an axe with the right weight for you.
Again, this might not be unique to the hatchet axe, as the balance is important for all axes, but the hatchet ax does need to strike a perfect balance to be most effective. With it being such a small tool, the balance between head and handle needs to be precise to make chopping wood easier. Now, a hatchet axe might come with a promise from the manufacturer that it is perfectly balanced. But it's important to remember that what works for one person might not work for everyone, so get a feel for different axes before you purchase one of your own, so you know what feels best for you to use.
If you didn't find yourself with these axes, then other axe types are waiting for you. But if you find yourself here, then we have nothing more to tell you but to give you a little advice. Do not choose the ax that is the cheapest, but the one that is the safest!