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Best Survival Hatchet: Be Prepared For Every Situation

Best Survival Hatchet
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

Isn’t it very annoying when you go camping and you want to build yourself a little fire, but do not have any means to chop some wood? Or you are going backpacking through some wooded area and have to pass a thick bushy grove and have nothing to aid in cutting the thorny vines? A great way to remedy this is to always carry the best survival hatchet that you can find that will prepare you for every situation.

The hatchet is not only a tool for cutting branches and making fire but it is also one of an essential survivalist tools you can have. You can use it to cut ice, make a splint to tend broken or fractured bones, use the back end as a hammer, and the list goes on. With the number of hatchets available, it’s easy to be overwhelmed when shopping. Don’t worry because we are here to help!

Survival Hatchet

In this article, we have written a quick guide on how to shop for survival hatchets based on a number of important parameters. On top of that, we have shortlisted some of the best hatchets that money can buy. Without further ado.

Our Top Picks

Product NameWeightLengthBlade MaterialPrice
UST Orange0.7 lbs9.7 inStainless steelCheck price on Amazon
Fiskars X71.4 lbs16.5 inCarbon steelCheck price on Amazon
Gerber Bear Grylls Survival1.25 lbs13 inHigh carbon steelCheck price on Amazon
SOG Voodoo Hawk1.33 lbs12.5 in3Cr13MoV steelCheck price on Amazon
Schrade SCAXE21.37 lbs11.8 in3Cr13 stainless steelCheck price on Amazon
Husqvarna 13”2.3 lbs15 inCarbon steelCheck price on Amazon
SOG Survival Hawk SK10011.21 lbs12.1 inCarbon steelCheck price on Amazon
Schrade SCAXE101.37 lbs11.1 in3Cr13 stainless steelCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

If you are an engineer or a professional lumberjack, only then you can know all the important things that define a good hatchet. In all the other cases, there is no need for you to know every little detail about hatchets and only should know how to properly use one without hurting yourself.

Below we will outline the most important features that define a hatchet and its main properties. You can use this as a guideline when making the final selection for a survivalist hatchet.

Blade Material

The material from which the blade is made of is the most important factor in the performance of the hatchet. The high-quality hatchets and axes are made from stainless steel or other types of high-strength steel with various additions like tungsten, chromium or coated with adequate coatings like for example, titanium coating for added strength.

Survival Hatchet Blade

The quality of the blade material is what defines the quality and usability of the hatchet. The high-quality steels retain their sharp edge longer and can be used in more harsh conditions, unlike the lower quality blades that can be prone to chipping and do not retain their sharpness.

Handle and Balance

The handle is another important factor in the performance of the hatchet. Since the hatchet itself is designed to be used with one hand, this means that the handle has to fit nicely in the hand and to have a good non-slip grip and also should not cause damage to the holder’s hand.

Axe Handle

Image credit: arizonabushman.com

The hatchet should be well balanced for it to be comfortable to use. The proper balance means that the user’s hand will not be easily fatigued, and one can use the hatchet for a prolonged period of time.

Sheath

A proper way to store the hatchet, or any kind of ax for that matter, is to keep the head of the hatchet/ax in a proper sheath. The sheath allows protection for the head, protecting it from an accidental bump in sharp objects that may damage the blade. Also, a good sheath protects the user from accidental injuries on the hatchet.

Hatchet Sheath

The sheath can be made from leather, nylon, or heavy-duty cloth that should fit snugly on the head of the hatchet. Many hatchet sheaths even have a belt loop for attaching it to your belt and easy carrying with you, so you always have your hatchet ready to use.

Weight

The weight if the hatchet is another factor that any outdoorsman or survivalist should consider. In this case, the weight of the head is the most important. If you want an ax that produce more force, then find the heaviest model that you can find.

Hatchet Weight

However for beginners and everyday use, it’s best to opt for a hatchet that weighs no more than 5 lbs. This is to provide better accuracy and to prevent potential injuries.

Additional Features

Many hatchets on the market today, besides its basic feature – a sharp blade, have additional features. Some of these are simple as a rope cutter, but there are others with a more intricately included features like hex bolt wrench, nail remover, hammerhead and more.

Hatchet Multi Tool

All of the additional features can find its usefulness in a different situation. But in the end, it is really the preference of the user and intended use that will influence the final decision in selecting the best survival hatchet.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Ready for some great recommendations? Below are some of the best survival hatches that you can get in the market.

UST Orange Parahatchet

Price: Approx. $16UST Orange Parahatchet

Weight: 0.7 pounds

Dimensions: 9.7 x 3.4 x 0.75 inches

Specific features: Practical hatchet head, built-in hex wrenches in three sizes, integrated rope cutter, cord-wrapped handle, magnesium fire starter, limited lifetime warranty

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival

The UST Orange Parahatchet FS is a nice little hatchet that suits the needs of the backpacker, hiker, camper or the people prepared for an emergency.

It is nicely compact in size and fits most hands. The compact size and relatively light weight mean that it is very easy to carry around. The blade and handle are made from a single piece of 4 mm thick stainless steel with a black oxide surface coating which only adds to the ruggedness and its strength in use.

The hatchet head features three hex holes that serve as a wrench to tighten or loosen bolts in the most common sizes. Another built-in feature on the back side of the hatchet is the integrated rope cutter that can be used to cut cord or vines when needed.

The handle is actually cord – wrapped and can be easily and securely gripped. In case of an emergency, this cord can be unwrapped and you will get 8 feet of cord that can serve to tie up a gear and it’s orange color makes it easy to be noticed.

Another nice addition is the fire starter that comes in the pack. The fire starter is made from magnesium with suitable flint. To use it, you need to scrape off the black protective finish and strike the magnesium, the spark will ignite the flint and you can easily make a fire.

This hatchet comes with a quality protective nylon sheath that stores the parahatchet and the fire starter. It also comes with the manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.

PROS:

  • Compact and lightweight hatchet
  • Sharp hatchet head
  • Integrated rope cutter and hex wrench
  • Included fire starter and nylon sheath
 CONS:

  • Very light for chopping thicker branches
  • Paracord handle can easily get unwrapped

Related: A good water filter will be a nice addition to your wilderness survival kit. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is an excellent filter to have while on a hike, camping trip or for emergency preparedness. This nice filter can be used directly, with a straw for drinking right from the source, while it has a capacity to filter about 1000 liters of contaminated water, guaranteed to remove 99.9999% of all bacteria and filters particles to 0.2 microns in size.

Check the price on Amazon

Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Price: Approx. $25Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Weight: 1.4 pounds

Dimensions: 16.5 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches

Specific features: Sharp hatchet head, nice non-slip grip handle, excellent balance, plastic sheath, lifetime warranty

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival, emergencies

The Fiskars X7 Hatchet is a proper little hatchet. Designed for use in the field, this one comes quite handy when needing to chop some kindling, small logs, and even medium-sized logs.

The hatchet head is made with the Fiskars proprietary grinding technique, giving it a uniquely sharp edge that allows very clean cut and also retains their sharpness longer. The included low-friction coating offers rust protection while adding to the ease of use.

The handle is made from a molded FiberComp material that is tougher than steel and is virtually impossible to break. The hatchet features a perfect balance between the handle and the head, making it very comfortable to use even after prolonged periods. The power-to-weight ratio also increases the swing speed and multiplies the power of the stroke, allowing you to go deeper with every next swing.

The hatchet comes with a protective plastic sheath that slips over the blade, protecting it from accidental bumps and also protecting the user when carrying the hatchet. Interestingly, this hatchet comes with a lifetime warranty.

PROS:

  • Great hatchet design
  • Excellent balance
  • Affordable price
  • Lifetime warranty
 CONS:

  • Plastic sheath is difficult to remove
  • The back of the hatchet head should not be used for heavy hammering

Related: When going backpacking or camping, and you carry a hatchet, it can get damaged from accidentally hitting a rock or dropping it on the blade. To fix this, you need to have a proper sharpener, something in the likes of the Fiskars Ax and Knife Sharpener. This sharpener is easy to use and features ceramic wheels that sharpen both sides of the blade simultaneously, while the safeguard protects your hand from inadvertently cutting yourself.

Check the price on Amazon

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Price: Approx. $26Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Weight: 1.25 pounds

Dimensions: 13 x 6 x 2 inches

Specific features: High carbon steel construction, ergonomic non-slip rubber grip handle, backside can be used as a hammer, military-grade nylon sheath with belt loops, Bear Grylls approved

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival

The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is an excellent tool to have when on the go in the wild. Designed and made from a single piece of steel, it is rugged and can withstand heavy use.

It is made from a stainless steel alloy with a protective oxide coating and packs a nice punch for such a small size. The blade is 3.5 inches long and is razor shape. The hatchet head has a slim profile, but is very effective in chopping branches and splitting logs.

The handle is coated with a thick rubberized material that creates a secure, non-slip grip and does not slip even in wet conditions. Just below the hatchet head, there are finger notches that allow you to precisely guide the hatchet when doing some more careful cutting. The back of the handle has a hole that can attach a wrist lanyard for carrying it or attaching it to a backpack.

The back of the hatchet head can be used as a hammer for hammering tent spikes, or even tenderizing meat. The hatchet comes with a very high-quality sheath that has built-in belt loops for attaching it to your belt. Another feature you will get in the pack is the “Priorities of Survival” pocket Guide by Bear Grylls.

PROS:

  • Affordable price
  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Sharp blade edge that retains its sharpness
  • Practical and sturdy sheath
 CONS:

  • Lightweight for large chopping jobs
  • Handle may be short for people with large hands

Related: If you have selected the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet, then you should pair it with the Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter. This practical little tool has a ferrocerium rod and metal striker, a comfortable lanyard for easy carrying and an emergency whistle integrated into the lanyard cord. It also has a little waterproof storage for keeping dry tinder and comes with land-to-air rescue instructions and SOS instructions.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Ax

Price: Approx. $42SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Ax

Weight: 1.33 pounds

Dimensions: 12.5 inches

Specific features: Small heavy-duty throwing tomahawk, large cutting edge, compact handle, stainless steel pommel, nylon sheath, satin finish, limited lifetime warranty

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival, camping

The SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini Ax is a very good small throwing ax. It has a nice large blade edge and also features a large stainless steel pommel on the bottom of the handle.

The hatchet head is made from a steel blade that is mounted on a fiberglass reinforced nylon handle. It is polished to a satin finish and has a nice look to it. The back side of the hatchet head is spiked and able to deliver some serious piercing.

On the bottom of the glass reinforced nylon handle, there is a heavy-duty pommel installed. The pommel gives it a nice balance and enables a good throwing action, and also can be used to hammer small items in place like tent spikes.

This axe comes with a top loading sheath that can be looped on your belt, and the ax stays securely without the risk of falling or hurting yourself. This product also features a limited lifetime warranty which is always welcomed.

PROS:

  • Sharp three-inch blade and a sharp spike on the back
  • Excellent for throwing
  • Small, compact size fit for cutting branches and small things
  • Limited lifetime warranty
 CONS:

  • The pommel is not a hammer, although some light hammering can be done with it
  • The sheath is not very quality built

Related: The Voodoo Hawk Mini is a nice addition to every survivalist gear, and this should be followed by getting another practical survivalist tool like the SOG Entrenching Folding Shovel. This nice folding shovel has a tri-fold design for portability, a comfortable and sturdy steel handle, nylon carry case and a lifetime warranty. The shovel has teeth cut into one side that can be used for cutting or slashing, and when rotating the shovel blade, it reveals a pick.

Check the price on Amazon

Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet

Price: Approx. $32Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet

Weight: 1.37 pounds

Dimensions: 11.8 inches

Specific features: Titanium coated stainless steel hatchet head with hammer pommel, glass fiber reinforced nylon handle, rubberized grip, Ferro-rod fire starter inside handle, thermoplastic belt sheath

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival

The Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet is a great little tool to take with you on your camping, hunting or hiking trip. It features a hatched head on the front and a hammer pommel on the back. The hammer can be used to drive tent spikes or even tenderize meat when in the wild.

The blade is made from stainless steel with a hard and durable titanium coating. The outer coating also protects the blade from rust and retains its sharpness well. The whole hatchet is very small and compact, which is very appropriate when having to carry it with you on camping or hunting trips.

The handle is over-molded over the hatchet head and there is a slight chance for it to come loose. Made from glass reinforced nylon, the handle is very sturdy and provides excellent holding power. The hand holding part of the handle is also coated with a rubberized material, for secure non-slip gripping. Also included with the hatchet is a fire-starting striker that can be stored at the end of the handle.

This hatchet also comes with a thermoplastic sheath that can be attached to your belt through convenient belt loops. It comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.

PROS:

  • Easy to carry with you and do odd jobs
  • Good blade with titanium coating
  • Sheath and fire-starter included
  • Hammer pommel head
 CONS:

  • Small size not suitable for heavy-duty use
  • The fire starter is prone to losing

Related: When thinking of getting yourself the Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet, then you need to consider getting a nice sharpening stone, so you will always keep your hatchet blade in top shape. A good choice is Lansky Puck Dual Grit Knife Sharpener, as it works in the field or in the garage, and can be used to sharpen hatchet heads, ax heads and all kinds of knives.

Check the price on Amazon

Husqvarna 13” Wooden Hatchet

Price: Approx. $20Husqvarna 13” Wooden Hatchet

Weight: 2.3 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches

Specific features: Small and compact hatchet, hickory shaft, with wooden and steel wedges, leather blade cover.

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival

The Husqvarna 13” Wooden Hatchet is an excellent choice when looking for a hatchet suitable for cutting branches or splitting small logs.

The blade is made from high-quality Swedish ax steel and retains its sharpness well. The small size and weight of the blade make it perfect to carry with you on your outdoor activities. The back if the head can be used for light hammering like tent building or driving small nails.

The handle is made from hickory – a type of very strong and elastic wood. The handle has a curved profile for ergonomic and comfortable handling. The hatchet head is secured to the handle with the help of a wooden and steel wedges that do not allow any movement and enable secure fit.

This hatchet comes with a nice leather blade cover that protects the blade when not in use. The steel hatchet head does not have a thick oxide protective layer and when storing it for a longer period, you should grease the blade to prevent rust.

PROS:

  • Excellent hatchet head with sharp blade
  • Swedish ax steel with high quality
  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight and easy to use
 CONS:

  • The wooden handle can shrink if stored in a dry, warm environment

Related: If you are an outdoor enthusiast and have already selected a nice survival hatchet, the nest this to consider is getting a fire starter. A suitable choice is the Light My Fire FireSteel 2.0 Fire Starter. This durable fire starter can be used about 12,000 times and provides a hot spark in any weather and at any altitude. Connected to the lanyard is also an emergency whistle that you can use to signal for help.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Survival Hawk SK1001 Hatchet

Price: Approx. $47SOG Survival Hawk SK1001 Hatchet

Weight: 1.21 pounds

Dimensions: 12.1 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches

Specific features: Full-length stainless steel construction, fiberglass reinforced nylon handle, steel hatchet blade, nail puller, nylon sheath, handle grip wrapped with paracord, hidden fire starter.

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival

The SOG Survival Hawk SK1001 Hatchet is a compact size throwing tomahawk that can find practical uses in many situations.

Even though this is a compact size survivalist tool, it still carries a substantial punch. The sharp multi-purpose steel blade is excellent for cutting branches, splitting small logs and other similar applications. The back of the hatchet head is actually a nail puller that helps when doing construction and deconstruction. The side of the hatchet head can be used as a hammer and it has appropriate checkering.

The steel hatchet head is mounted on a fiberglass reinforced nylon handle with military-grade screws and reinforced with steel ferrule. The gripping part of the handle is wrapped with paracord for easy and secure gripping of the hatchet.

Another useful feature is the fire starter that is hidden in the handle and can be easily reached and used. The fire starter is used with the hatchet head to create a spark and easily start a fire. This hatchet is stored in a top-loading nylon sheath that can be mounted on a backpack or a belt for easy and safe carrying. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

PROS:

  • Steel hatchet head with nail puller and hammerhead
  • Firestarter packs in the handle
  • Paracord wrapped handle grip
  • Limited lifetime warranty
 CONS:

  • Hammer not very practical to use
  • The fire starter does not fit snugly in the handle

Related: The SOG Survival Hawk SK1001 Hatchet is a great compact survivalist tool, but to complement your survivalist equipment you should get yourself a nicely stocked first-aid kit. A good choice is the First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Kit. This kit contains 299 physician-recommended supplies packed in a compact soft pack that fits in every backpack or camping equipment.

Check the price on Amazon

Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet

Price: Approx. $21Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet

Weight: 1.37 pounds

Dimensions: 11.08 inches

Specific features: Stainless steel hatchet head with hammer pommel, black TPR rubber coated handle with wrist lanyard, thermoplastic belt sheath.

Best use: Outdoor activities, survival, daily use

The Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet is a sturdy and durable hatchet suitable for using in different heavy-duty applications.

It has a full tang design, meaning that the hatchet head and handle are made from one piece. The material is stainless steel with durable powder coating to prevent rust and protect the hatchet. The back side of the hatchet is intended to be used as a hammer pommel able to drive tent spikes or hammer nails into place.

The handle portion of the hatchet is coated with a black TPR rubber wrapping with a rugged pattern that enables a secure and a non-slip grip in all kinds of weather conditions. The back of the handle has a hole in which a wrist lanyard is inserted.

This hatchet comes with a thermoplastic belt sheath for protecting the blade when not in use and for safe carrying.

PROS:

  • Full tang for extra durability
  • Hammer pommel on the back of the hatchet
  • Ergonomic rubber handle
  • Wrist lanyard and thermoplastic sheath
 CONS:

  • Lightweight not suitable for heavy-duty work
  • The sheath is plastic and easily damaged

Related: When purchasing a survivalist hatchet like the Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Hatchet, then a suitable addition to your survivalist tool chest would be the Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping Folding Shovel. Made from durable carbon steel, this shovel extends to 19 inches in length allowing its use in different conditions like shoveling snow or clearing a space for setting up camp.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Above we have made a review of our choices for a nice survival hatchet. All the mentioned choices offer something nice and unique, and the final choice depends solely on your personal taste, preferred use and available budget.

Already own a survival hatchet? Which model would you recommend? Please share your thoughts, experiences, and advice with our readers!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bradley Page
Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!

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