Best Hatchet For Camping & Backpacking

Last Updated on ​June 08, 2020

Though not a lot of people think about buying an axe or a hatchet, whoever does must have some good reasons. If you are up for camping, trying to collect woods for fire or simply if you are an outdoorsy man who likes to spend the weekend night among woods (adventurous’y, I know)- then you are at the right place. Thinking why?


Because we are going to present to you some of the best hatchets for camping available in the market. They have a wide variety of functions, size, intended use, and portability- all to cater your varying camping needs.

Estwing Sportsman’s Axe 14 Camping Hatchet

Let’s start our reviews with the best survival hatchet, Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 14” Camping Hatchet is well known among its users for the amazing construction. Made with 1055 carbon steel, this beautiful piece can be used in every outing of yours. If durability and sturdiness are some of your main concerns while looking for a hatchet then Estwing is the best option to go for.

This lightweight model is perfect to cut woods of any size. Plus, the leather handle makes it highly convenient – for every second you hold it and every stroke you make with it.

Now, the blades (3-1/4-inches) are not only sharp but also it has the edge to chop throw those log for fire woods. However, expecting to make heavy duties with Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 14” Camping Hatchet won’t be a good idea, as it is recommended only for the small and medium-sized log, branches or trees.

Pros

  • Steel construction, strong and durable
  • Easier to use because the handle is made of leather
  • Affordable
  • Easier to cut larger logs because of its wide hammer ends
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The ballistic nylon sheath feels sticky
  • Oiling of the blade is mandatory to prevent rusting, which adds as an additional task to maintain the hatchet.

1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet

​​​​​As the name giving us a clue, 1844 Helko Werk Germany Rheinland Hatchet is made by the Germans. This has all the traditional look going on that you can imagine when you hear about an axe. Plus the design is nothing but simple, compact and easy to carry in your wildlife adventures.

Lightweight as any axe can ever be, this 2 lbs. is also made with high-grade carbon steel- so no questions remain regarding durability. This 19 inch long handle is boiled with linseed oil and then sanded it even with 150grit – doing this ensures that you get a comfortable grip every time you chop. This best hatchet of Helko Werk is recommended for limbing branches, cutting small trees- firewood and clearing bushes.

Pros

  • Made with high-grade carbon steel, durable and strong
  • The handle is made with grade A American hickory, comfortable to hold onto
  • Handmade
  • The heft is balanced
  • Lightweight, with a head weighing 1.5 pounds and total weight being 2 pounds.
  • The blades stay edgy and sharp even after multiple uses.

Cons

  • The blade is not edgy and sharp; some users complained the axe doesn’t chop hard oak or hickory knots.
Gerber 17 Inch Frees cape Hatchet

If you are tired of making multiple chops to cut your fire logs and want something that will provide you with efficient yet reliable chopping then Gerber 17.5-Inch Frees cape Hatchet [31-002536] is your go-to hatchet. It uses a forged steel head- so strength and rigidity, you can have it all with this particular axe.

The hard low friction surface blade can slice through woods with greater than average depth; so if you are in a trip among the forests and want some kindling for the fire, make tent stakes or simply build up a primitive shelter- you are will be good with Frees cape Hatchet.

Plus, with this best camping hatchet, the weight is not an issue. This 2 pounds clever tool is something you must stock when you are planning to get lost among the woods.

Pros

  • Soft Touch handle, easy to mold and carry
  • Forged steel head construction making it durable for an extended number of uses
  • Lightweight (with weight being around 2 pounds)
  • Cut trees and branches effectively with greater than average depth
  • Easy to store because of its slim sheath
  • Doesn’t create hand or wrist pain because of its composite handle (the handle is shock absorbent).

Cons

  • Some users reported that there is a jagged deformation at the place where you have to hold the hatchet, so there is a chance to get injured.
  • The handle is loosely attached to the head, chances are the head will fall off after a number of uses.
Husqvarna H900 13 Wooden Hatchet

Let’s talk about the best hatchet for survival, the hatchet that will help you with its amazing built to rescue you from any unwanted situation. Husqvarna H900 has a sturdy, rigid and strong construction.

There are two different models available for Husqvarna H900, one with a composite handle and other with wooden handle. Both of these have 13 inches length, which makes them perfect for chopping branches or kindling for the fire.

If you are worried about the dullness of your current blade, shift to Husqvarna H900 13” Wooden Hatchet- its steel blade can cut through extreme tough oaks and other woods. Plus, not to forget, this hatchet can be used as an all-purpose hammer- from camping to trips, among woods and forests.

Husqvarna H900 Hatchet doesn’t compromise with its convenient design. You can use it for the longest period of time without straining your wrist, thanks to the soft grips of the handle. The only downside, however, is its heavy weight, making it a bit difficult to carry around.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Strong handle made with fiberglass
  • Swedish, solid steel head.
  • Strong, well built
  • Leather sheath
  • Two different models available; composite and wooden handle
  • Belt for accessibility

Cons

  • Heavier than its substitutes
  • Slippery handle
SOG Specialty Knives and Tools F01P

Continuing the saga of the best hatchet, SOG Specialty Knives and Tools F01P-N Tactical Tomahawk with Nylon Sheath is the ultimate versatile tool that you need to stock in your toolbox. There is nothing that this hatchet can’t do, from breaching operation to excavation; from removing obstacles to extracting metals- this good guy does it all.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools F01P-N Tactical Tomahawk have a polished sleek finish, and its rubber grip makes it convenient to hold on to for long usage. To knock in tent stakes and pegs or to bash on branches, its 420 stainless flat steelhead is decent enough to aid you with anything.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools F01P-N Tactical Tomahawk have a simple yet convenient design to excel in its services. Plus, it is lightweight too. With being only 1.5 pounds, you can carry it anywhere you want. This particular hatchet is ideal for all, be it an outdoorsman, survivalist or a collector- you can’t go wrong with it.

Pros

  • Rubberized handle, good for a strong grip
  • Nicely curved blade
  • 420 stainless flat steelhead is useful for knocking in pegs and stakes
  • Strong and well built
  • Durable

Cons

  • The sheath quality is not superior
  • Could still be heavy for some users
Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet Full Tang

Oh well, do you have a wild soul, a survivalist? Need the best hatchet for backpacking? Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet Full Tang is in our list to fulfill your needs. This hatchet is not like the other usual ones which are made with carbon steel; it’s made with stainless steel, making it stronger and rigid. Its two-tone look is classy and elegant.

If you are a traveler and constantly have to move from place to place then Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet Full Tang is the best choice for you. Wondering why’s that? Well, it’s only 1 lbs., what can beat that! Plus, its 11.1 inches length makes it actually a smaller hatchet compared to the others mentioned here. The weight and length ratio is ideal to swing it freely, it doesn’t require a lot of force to chop branches- a real pro when you are looking something for regular use.

Plus, you don’t have to spend money buying a hammer, because its backside can be easily used as one! The handle is a star too; it’s coated with TPR rubber. TPR rubber makes the handle comfortable to hold onto and help you to swing easily when you are kindling for the fire.

Pros

  • Good grip
  • The blade is made with stainless steel, thus chipping is not an issue
  • Lightweight, around 1 pound
  • The handle is made with TPR rubber, comfortable to hold onto
  • Portable

Cons

  • Though the blade is made with stainless steel, it’s difficult to sharpen them unlike carbon steel
  • Its hollow shaft can be problematic, it can produce ‘stingers’ when you are opting for hard oak or log.

Schrade SCAXE2 11.8inches Stainless Steel Small Axe

The name says it all, it’s small! And all of us want our best camping hatchet to be small- who wants to carry a humpa-lumpa on a trip (not me for sure)! If you are looking for a modern axe that has it all – look no more, because you have just got one. It has fiberglass handle, thermoplastic sheath, titanium stainless steel head, and rubber grip too.

Let’s talk about the measurements…well, since the name is itself “small”- you can’t expect a long handle with a never-ending blade. By having only 11.8” length and 3.8” blade, Schrade SCAXE2 has made sure that they have made something easily transportable. Plus, it only weighs about 1.37 pounds- so you can’t really get wrong with this for regular use.

However, if you want an axe that will cut through heavy woods or logs in the blink of an eye, then this small one wouldn’t be that much of a handy. So, decide whether you want a minimalist hatchet that is nicely balanced with everything for regular use, or you want something heavier that will provide you with striking power.

Pros

  • Well-built and nice construction; made with 3Cr13 Titanium and coated with stainless steel
  • Has cold resistance flexibilizer handle
  • Durable
  • The rubber grip ensures that the blade won’t slip from the hand while swinging
  • The blade is strong enough for regular use
  • The kydex sheathe is strong, and will not rot like leather sheathe

Cons

  • Some users reported that the handle broke off after a few uses
  • The blade remains sharp for the first few weeks, later it seems to worn off
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

I know, for all the bushcraft men or campaigners, the important thing that they need to consider is the weight of a hatchet. They want the best backpacking hatchet that can be carried to any trips, any adventures and at any forests. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet has the perfect length to head ratio, that won’t give you a headache while packing.

Now in details…with only 13.5-inch handle made with hickory, 3-inch bit, 1 pound head and a leather sheath. All these comprised into such a handy, robust and strong hatchet that you will never need to look for another hatchet twice in your life. Plus, this point is further proved by the 20 years of guarantee provided by Gransfors Bruks. Now, what else to ask for?

The curved sharp head is capable to cut off small – large logs and make kindling for the fire. Plus, its head is hand forged made with traditional Swedish method. This oh-so-axe is so lightweight (1.5 lbs.) that you can swing it using only 1 hand.

Moreover, Gransfors will give you leather sheathe with the blade. This prevents any sort of cut or tearing of your backpack or rucksack from the hatchet’s blade.

Pros

  • Handmade
  • Comes with a leather sheathe
  • Lightweight, with being only 1.5 lbs.
  • Strong and well built
  • Durable
  • Good for chopping logs and kindling for the fire
  • Provides 20 years of guarantee

Cons

  • Falls in the ‘expensive’ category
  • Some customers reported slight misalignment and mismatched curvature in the hatchet
Fiskars X7 Hatchet 14 Inch, 378501-1002

If you are not in the mood to splurge a lot of money on a hatchet, then Fiskars X7 Hatchet 14 Inch, 378501-1002 would be the best hatchet for you. Its ergonomic design would do nothing but impress you.

The FiberComp handle of Fiskars X7 Hatchet has grooves around the grip area, ensuring you a perfect grip. Plus, the groves prevent any sort of spillage, allowing you to work with the ultimate comfort. The handle wraps around the steel blade, so no worries regarding the blade falling off from the handle.

The steel blade of Fiskars X7 Hatchet is another star feature to talk about. The steel blade is wrapped with low friction component, thus helping you to swing into any oak or other hardwood. So, you can chop off more branches in less time. Furthermore, the blade edge won’t chip off easily compared to other carbon heads. And, after a number of uses, if you think the blade has got a bit duller, you can sharpen it right away.

Talking about the weight, Fiskars X7 Hatchet is relatively lightweight with being only 1.4 lbs. This neat-looking hatchet is suitable for both light and heavy duties, thanks to its portability and sharp blade.

So, go away and have more trips with this survival hatchet. Nothing can stop you with this versatile one…

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • FiberComp handle makes it more durable
  • The head is coated with low friction material, preventing rust.
  • Ergonomic design
  • Power to weight ratio is ideal
  • Recommended for chopping small to medium-sized logs
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Can’t replace a hammer due to the small hammerhead
  • Some users may find the hatchet lacking chopping power compared to other smaller hatchets.

Gerber Gator Combo Axe

Continuing the saga of budget hatchets, Gerber Gator Combo Axe is another one in our bag with the ‘affordable’ tag.

Suppose it’s snowing in your area and its cold outside, and you want to swing your axe to make some kindling for fire – but every time you try to swing you can’t because of continuous slippage (imagine a sad face here). Now here comes our superhero Gerber Gator Combo Axe which has a textured grip to prevent all the slippage caused during wet seasons.

Plus, if you want to make the larger chops then Gerber has the perfect length of 15.6 inches- this length would aid you having the full striking power. In addition to this, its unique integrated saw is held inside the handle which helps the users to trim the stubborn logs or branches into the perfect shape.

Pros

  • Lightweight, with weight being only 1.6 lbs.
  • Affordable price
  • The unique integrated saw is useful to trim the branches

Cons

  • Not a durable axe, like others at the same price range
  • Users may require to sharpen the blade before using

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Ending our list with another Gerber product and this time its Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet. Its unique design will never fail to amaze you when you first take a look into it. Its larger-than-life head and small handle make it a cute hatchet to sock on. Its carbon blade has 3.5-inches edge, giving you a sufficient cutting area.

Now, as I mentioned before, one of the most important features of a hatchet is its portability. This hatchet serves this point well with being only 1.4 pounds, making it one of the lightweight hatchets among the bunch here. But don’t go for its weight, it can chop off any log or branches you are swinging it upon.

As the name suggests, it Bear Grylls-approved hatchet is made with Polypropylene- a strong yet comfortable material to hold onto.

Along with all these, Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet has a belt hole for better accessibility in carrying it to everywhere. You can use this tool to make firewood, hammer camping nails of your tent, and chop off any branches – with ease. Versatile, portable and durable- this hatchet has it all.

Pros

  • Affordable, Lightweight and portable
  • Provides non-slip rubber grip
  • Strong and well built
  • Belt loop for better accessibility
  • Durable, made with superior carbon steel

Cons

  • Some users may find the hatchet to be small to chop larger branches
  • Dull blade after a few uses

​The Schrade SCAXE10 is an 11.1-inch full tang hatchet with 3.6 inches stainless steel blade plus a TPR handle for your outdoor survival camping trip and any tasks you may have daily.

​Looking for a great quality and good looking hatchet? Then look no further! You’ve come to the right place, introducing the Schrade SCAXE10. You’ve read all the impressive features above, it’s a state of the art tool that’s ergonomic and quite easy to handle.


It’s also super sturdy and effective and will make sure to help you with any task at hand. It’s dependable it’s secure, and most importantly it’s super durable. This hatchet has one of the best reviews online especially on Amazon so grabbing one for your next adventure isn’t a bad choice. If you only plan on having one hatchet with you at all-time then this is the one we’d recommend.

Pros

  • ​Dimensions at 11.1” or 28.1 cm overall length and the blade length is 3.6” or 9 cm
  • ​Weight is 1 pound 5.9 ounces
  • ​The blade is made from the reliable powder coated 3Cr13 stainless steel
  • ​Black TPR rubber wrapped handle
  • ​Hammer Pommel full tang design
  • ​Ergonomic lanyard and a black thermoplastic sheath belt
  • ​Non-slip black rubber grip

Cons

  • ​Light​weight means more work when chopping hardwood

Buyers Guide: Factors to Consider When You are Planning to Buy the Best Hatchet


Weight


Portability matters a lot when you are a frequent traveler. You don’t want to forgo all the fun by carrying a weightier hatchet at your back. However, there is a ‘but’ in it. If you like to carry it everywhere, then you might want a hatchet that is lightweight that has a minimalistic design.

On the other hand, if portability is not an issue and you want to have superior chopping power, then you might want to have a more bulky hatchet. So, it actually depends according to your needs and preferences.

Quality of material and construction


The blade is an important feature of a hatchet, something which needs to be of superior quality. Since this does all the cutting, you will want something sharp and strong. Talking of sharp and strong, stainless steel would serve the purpose well than carbon steel.

Plus, when you are shopping for a hatchet, look for a solid shaft that will provide you with good leverage. With a good balance between the weight of shaft – head ratio, and a robust built- you will be good to go for.

Brand


A brand is important while you are shopping for a hatchet. Buying a non-branded model may save you some money, but the quality will not be as good as a branded one. These are the survival hatchets; you will need them from time to time.

Therefore, quality matters with these and purchasing from a reputable manufacturer will ensure this. Plus, they will be durable too.

Power


Well, the most powerful hatchets are the ones that have hand forged steel head. But hand forged hatchets are highly expensive than the machine forged ones because the process of shaping materials requires a huge amount of time, blood, sweat, and tears and are highly laborious.

The hand forged axe also comes with handmade handles, and thus the huge price difference. Yes, hand-forged ones are the more durable ones than machine-based ones but the price point balances this off.

Handle


Hand sweating is something that you want to avoid while you are chopping logs. Plus, if you have to cut a whole lot of branches, then with time the handle will get slippery. In this case, good leather or soft rubbery coated handle will prevent sweating and help you swing more comfortably.

Size


Usually, the experts say that the ideal size of a hatchet should be 14 inches long. This is “ideal” because this size brings you the highest comfort in terms of portability and handling.

  FAQ  

Do I need a hatchet for camping?


Yes. A hatchet is a useful tool that you can use for a variety of purposes while camping. You can use it for chopping up firewood or getting rid of branches from trees. Because they’re about a third smaller than regular axes, it is also convenient to carry them around.


Can a hatchet split wood?


Yes. while a hatchet is relatively smaller than your average splitting axe, it is still capable of splitting wood. In case the wood is too dense to split, you can lay it at the tip of the hatchet and slam it on a flat surface or on top of the log to split it open.


What is a hatchet good for?


Aside from being a convenient camping companion, hatchets are great at chopping down or splitting smaller pieces of wood. It can also help you cut branches or shrubs to help you clean up the path. Alternatively, you can also use the back of its head to hammer down nails when you don’t have a hammer nearby.


How long does it take a backpacking hatchet to become dull?


This would depend on how often you use your hatchet. If you use it often, then it would become dull within a week. If you don’t use it as often, it could take a few months before it would require resharpening. As a rule, sharpen your hatchet as soon as you notice that it’s not performing at its best.


What is the difference between a backpacking hatchet and a backpacking axe?


The main difference between a backpacking hatchet and a backpacking axe is its size. Hatchets are usually just about two-thirds the size of an axe, so you know they’re a lot smaller and lighter. This makes them more convenient to carry with you on backpacking trips and other outdoor activities.


How to choose a proper sheath for a backpacking hatchet?


When it comes to choosing the sheath for your backpacking hatchet, you have to make sure it’s made of a material that won’t allow the blade to poke through. Also, it’s best to go for a sheath that covers the entire head of the hatchet. This keeps it from causing any damage to the other items inside your backpack. 

Final thoughts…

With all these knowledge, you surely know that a hatchet is highly essential if you are an adventure or a camper who spends most of the time among woods. This versatile tool can do it all- from skinning animals to kindling for firewood, a hatchet would never let you down.

With all our reviews, I’m sure you have already selected the one you adored the most. So go ahead and make your adventures more interesting.