7 Best Survival Hatchets – Reviews & Buying Guide

Survival hatchets are one of the most versatile survival tools that exist. It is a compact tool that has been used for centuries for a wide range of uses.


Despite its versatility, the anatomy of a survival hatchet remains very simple. It basically consists of a handle that is attached to a metal blade.

The short form factor makes this tool very maneuverable and an excellent choice for those who need a highly portable cutting tool. It can be used to start a fire, become a replacement hammer or a defense weapon, amongst others. This versatility makes it a personal favorite for many outdoorsmen and campers.


If you are on the lookout for a quality survival hatchet, here we separate the good from the bad. Read our detailed review of some of the best survival hatchets for the money. It does not have to be an expensive or difficult purchase when you know what and where to look for.

Survival Hatchet Reviews


We spent many hours researching the best models for the money. Here is our opinion on what we think are the current top hatchets on the market.

Fiskars survival products are often rated by experts as being one of the best around. The Fiskars X7 is no different. It is a well-built and high-quality survival hatchet that feels solid and well-balanced in the hand.


This is a unibody design, with a FiberComp handle that wraps tightly around a steel blade. The handle is comfortable to hold and there are grooves at the grip area to promote handling.


Furthermore, the grooves prevent slippage and allow the user to work more comfortably for longer periods.


The steel blade is sharp and designed in a way to chop wood more efficiently. Further, it is coated with a low-friction material that allows it to bite in material better. This makes it also safer to use, especially considering this tool packs quite some chopping power.


In fact, Fiskars took inspiration from the dynamics of a baseball bat to design this hatchet. It multiplies the power to provide a more efficient and powerful cut. The blade edge is also strong enough to prevent chipping and can also be quite easy to sharpen if need be.


All in all, we think this model is one of the best hatchets for survival out there. It is a simple and yet very effective tool that gets the job done just right.

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: Steel with low-friction coating.
  • Handle: FiberComp.
  • Full length: 14-inches.
  • Weight: 1.38 lbs.

Pros

  • Low-friction blade cuts material safer.
  • Durable handle made of FiberComp
  • Excellent power-to-weight distribution.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Hammerhead is a little small

If we have to rate a survival hatchet for best construction, then it will have to be the Estwing E24A sportsman's axe. This is a beautiful hatchet made from a single piece of 1055 carbon steel. It feels solid and highly durable.


Moreover, a comfy genuine leather wraps around the handle making this hatchet extremely comfortable to hold and use. Best, this model is very lightweight which means that it offers excellent maneuverability when making precise movements.


Further, the large 3-1/4-inches blade is very sharp and allows you to chip and chop branches, trees or logs with ease. Due to the lightweight and sharpness of the blade, this hatchet is a very good candidate for kindling and splitting firewood.


Do not expect more heavy-duty cutting action with this hatchet, though. It was not designed to be that way. However, for smalltime cutting tasks, this model is certainly one of the best survival hatchets in the industry.

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: 1055 Carbon Steel.
  • Handle: Genuine Leather.
  • Full length: 14-inches.
  • Weight: 0.93 lbs.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Lightweight. Highly maneuverable.
  • Comfortable leather handle.
  • Sharp 3-1/4-inches blade edge that will not chip.

Cons

  • Has difficulty cutting medium to large size branches.

The Gerber Bear Grylls is a tiny survival hatchet. It is lightweight with a solid carbon steel blade. Remarkably, the blade edge is quite big for such a small hatchet. The edge measures 3.5-inches proving this hatchet with a generous cutting area.

Moreover, the hammerhead at the back serves as a useful hammer during camping. It can easily replace a traditional hammer for average uses.

The handle is made from Polypropylene which is a tough and comfortable material. It is also anti-skid and prevents your hands from sweating making it very comfortable to use. To make it even more convenient, this unit has a belt hole for accessibility and is delivered with a durable nylon sheath.

But, what we like the most about this hatchet is just how portable it is. It is not meant to replace a survival axe. Far from that. Instead, it is meant for people who need a certain level of versatility in a survival hatchet.

Consequently, this tool can help you make firewood, cut small branches, drive camping nails to the ground and serve as a defense weapon, among other uses. What more to ask?

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: Carbon Steel
  • Handle: Polypropylene
  • Full length: 9.46-inches.
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • Large 3.5-inches blade can cut more.
  • Non-slip rubber handle.
  • Hammerhead for camping uses.
  • Belt loop and sheath included.

Cons

  • Very small hatchet. Difficult to cut big branches.

The Schrade SCAXE10 is a full-tang survival hatchet that took the internet by storm. It is a fairly new model that has a huge following base. Indeed, this model is very popular amongst wilderness enthusiasts and survivalists for many reasons.

Unlike most hatchets that are made from carbon steel, the blade of the Schrade is made from stainless steel giving this hatchet a two-tone look. So, it is stronger and more resistant to chipping than other models as well.

It is a small hatchet, at 11.1-inches and weighs only 1 lbs. This gives it an excellent weight to power ratio when swinging. It does not demand a lot of force to cut thin branches or when kindling for firewood.

Further, the backside has a pommel that can easily replace a hammer. Very useful when setting up a camp in the wilderness.

As for the handle, it is coated with TPR rubber and the bottom has a belt sheath and lanyard for accessibility. We like the TPR rubber handle as it makes the hatchet comfortable to hold and a pleasure to use.

All in all, this is a solid survival hatchet that has a lot of offer.

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: Powder Coated 3Cr13 Stainless Steel.
  • Handle: Black TPR Rubber.
  • Full length: 11.1-inches.
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Pros

  • Stainless steel blade. Does not chip easily.
  • Very maneuverable. Lightweight.
  • Lanyard and belt sheath for accessibility.
  • Comfortable handle with TPR rubber.

Cons

  • The stainless steel blade is more difficult to sharpen than carbon steel.

The MTech USA is a camping hatchet that looks almost like a clone of the Schrade
SCAXE10. Except for pattern differences in the handle.


This too is a compact hatchet that is very maneuverable. The 3-inches blade is made of 440 stainless steel. It is a very tough material that resists chipping really well. The only caveat is when sharpening this blade edge, as stainless steel takes more time to sharpen.


The back hammerhead is useful and solid. The small handle in this hatchet almost makes it feel like a real hammer. The handle is comfortable to hold and the patterns on it do a good job preventing the hand from slipping during use.


Overall, there is a good reason why MTech advertises this axe as a camping axe. This is where it really shines as it can easily retrofit as a hammer or kindling tool when needed.

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: 440 Stainless Steel.
  • Handle: Black TPR Rubber.
  • Full length: 11-inches.
  • Weight: N/A

Pros

  • Compact and portable hatchet.
  • Solid blade that does not chip easily.
  • Comfortable anti-slip handle.

Cons

  • Blade is hard to sharpen.

The Husqvarna H900 is one of the most popular survival hatches in the world. This unit is made in Sweden and the greatest level of detail is observed in its construction.

While this model comes with a composite handle, there is another model you can purchase a wooden handle. They both measure 13-inches in length, which is kind of the sweet-spot of survival hatchets.

The steel blade is solid and cuts through material easily. To further aid, the blade is covered with a non-stick coating making it bite into wood even better. The back of the black has a handy hammer for driving wedges into wood logs. It can also serve as an all-purpose hammer for various camping purposes.

As for the ergonomic, this hatchet is a pleasure to hold. The handle has soft grips making it comfortable to use even for a long period. However, it is a little bit heavier than other hatchets than can make it not the best model to use for an extended period.

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: Steel.
  • Handle: Composite Fiberglass.
  • Full length: 13-inches.
  • Weight: 1.98 lbs.

Pros

  • Strong fiberglass handle.
  • Solid build construction.
  • Ability to purchase a wooden handle model.
  • Belt hole for accessibility.

Cons

  • A little on the heavy side.

If you want affordability, it is hard to beat the Tarvol 14” survival hatchet. Despite its low price, this unit did not have to sacrifice quality.

The blade is made of 1.25LB carbon steel that is strong and does not chip easily. It is
sufficiently large and gives the hatchet a nice balance.

Further, the 12-inches handle in this unit is solid and coated with a soft rubber material for handling comfort.

Additionally, we think that the 14-inches length and 1 lbs weight of this hatchet gives it an excellent weight ratio that is perfect for any camping chores from branch cutting, to kindling, to hammering.

If you are looking for an affordable survival hatchet, the Travol 14” is an excellent model to consider. It cannot do everything, but what it does is deliver excellent outdoor and camping usefulness that is above and beyond of what you would expect from a hatchet in this price range.

Specifications:

  • Blade Material: 1.2 LB Carbon Steel.
  • Handle: Ergonomic.
  • Full length: 14-inches.
  • Weight: 1 lbs.

Pros

  • Very versatile.
  • Strong 1.25LB carbon steel blade.
  • Nice weight ratio.
  • Solid and comfortable handle.

Cons

  • Blade may require sharpening before first use.

Hatchet vs Axe

There are some subtle but key differences between the survival hatchet and the survival axe. They are not interchangeable and each type has a specific use.

 Head Attachment


Most survival axes consist of a metal head attached to a handle by a shaft system. So, the top of a survival axe has a distinct eye.

On the other hand, a survival hatchet is usually made from a single metal piece that forms both the head and the handle. It definitely feels more solid in the hand as it is one piece.

Splitting Wood

The survival hatchet is a more refined tool than the axe. It can be used to shave off wood
splinters that are very thin to start a fire.

The survival hatchet is smaller and lighter. This makes it more maneuverable, allowing it to
perform more complex maneuvers with less effort.

Hammer Head

Survival hatchets have a hammerhead at the back. This makes the survival hatchet a go-to tool when it comes to camping.

Not all survival axes have a hammerhead as their main use if for chopping wood and lack the versatility of a hatchet.

Therefore, if you are going camping then the survival hatchet is the better tool as it can be used both as a hammer and an axe.

Blade

Lastly, the blade of the survival hatchet is usually smaller than that of a survival axe.
So, it takes significantly more time to cut a big branch with a hatchet than with an axe.If you only want to cut branches and trees, the survival axe is better than the hatchet.

How to Buy a Survival Hatchet

Before buying a survival hatchet, here are some important factors to consider. This will prevent you from making an expensive purchase as good survival hatchet models can be expensive.

#1. Blade
Also known as the head, the blade is what does the cutting of a survival hatchet. To prevent it from chipping and get the best performance possible, make sure that the blade is made from a strong metal like steel. Moreover, look if the blade edge is sufficiently sharp for a smooth cut.

#2. Handle
The handle is the part of the tool that you always make contact with. Therefore, it is very important that it is comfortable and has good technologies that prevent hand-sweating. Especially important is the comfort level the handle provides to the user.

This is a very important factor if you plan to use the survival hatchet for a long time. Many manufacturers use genuine leather or a soft rubber coating on their handle to promote comfort. Both of those options are good solutions we can safely recommend.

#3. Hammer
The back of the survival axe usually has a flat surface called the poll or hammerhead. This surface is meant as a replacement for the hammer.
It is particularly helpful for those setting up camps as the hammer is strong enough to drive metal camp nails in solid ground.

Ensure that the hammerhead is large and flat to be a convenient hammer replaced.

Additionally, the distance of the back hammer from the handle is important. If it is too short a distance, it will be uncomfortable to use as the blade will off-balance it. It needs to be of a reasonable distance.

#4. Length
Most survival hatchets are on average around 14-inches in length. This is the sweet-spot between portability and handling convenience.
You do not need a hatchet that is too long, or else, it would be better to buy a survival axe instead.

#5. Brand
Never go with a no-name model when it comes to buying a survival hatchet. They are survival tools and your life may come to depend on them one day.
So, ensure that you always spend the extra dollar to get a good model that comes from a reputable and trusted manufacturer. It will be of superior quality and last longer.

#6. Warranty
Many manufacturers issue a lifetime warranty on their survival axes. This is a testimony of just how well-built and durable those tools are.

Conclusion


After having gone through this review, you can clearly see that the survival hatchet is a highly versatile survival too that no outdoor adventurer or camper should be without. It can be used as a temporary hammer, a fire starter, a branch cutting tool or a survival weapon. 

Additionally, it can conveniently replace a survival knife to skin wild animals if
required. Indeed, there is no lack of uses when it comes to the survival hatchet and it is a must-have tool for any outdoorsmen.

If you have still not found the best survival hatchet for your need, then we highly recommend you go through our review again. In any case, we wish you good luck in your outdoor survival endeavors.

Daniel Ryan
 

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