5 Best Camping Hatchets & Axes

ModelRatingBuy Now
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife HatchetGransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
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Schrade Full Tang Tactical Hatchet Schrade Full Tang Tactical Hatchet
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Estwing Sportsman's AxEstwing Sportsman's Ax
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Sog Tomahawk Tactical AxSog Tomahawk Tactical Ax
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Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
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* Ratings are based on TravelSafe - Abroad's data analyzing.

Camping tools are necessary for your outdoor adventures.

They can keep you safe in the wilderness and help you complete essential tasks such as installing a tent, preparing food, etc.

If you are looking for top-notch camping tools to help you get the job done quickly and effortlessly, you’re in the right place.

I present to you the list of the five best hatchets and axes for camping.

Check the list and find the one that matches your preferences and your budget.


Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
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This Gransfors Bruks hatchet is classy-looking and features old-school camping aesthetics.

It has a 13.5-inch hickory handle and a 3-inch blade.

The head is around 1 pound, which makes the hatchet lightweight, but powerful to tackle every task you might encounter during a camping trip.

The hatchet has a 20-year guarantee, but the lifespan is longer than the guarantee due to great materials and excellent construction.


  • Entirely handmade
  • Practical, fits into most rucksacks
  • Excellent for splitting wood
  • Versatile


  • Expensive
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

This hatchet by Gransfors is handmade and pricey.

However, the durability, the performance, and the quality make it truly one of the best hatchets for camping ever made.

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Schrade Full Tang Tactical Hatchet

Schrade Full Tang Tactical Hatchet
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The Schrade Tactical Hatchet is a modern hatchet with a premium blade handle and excellent performance.

The carbon steel blade alongside other quality parts such as nylon fiber handle and steel finish provides the modern effect to this hatchet.

Surprisingly, the hatchet is lightweight and comes with convenient features, such as a pry bar and spike pommel.

It is very functional and practical for a variety of outdoor tasks.


  • Ensures good grip
  • Durable
  • Multi-purpose
  • Sharp blade
  • Precise


  • Shorter shaft
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

The Schrade hatchet might not be as powerful as heavier models on the market, but it is easy to use and well-balanced.

The hatched is multi-purpose and capable of plenty of wood processing.

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Estwing Sportsman's Ax

Estwing Sportsman's Ax
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The Estwing Sportsman ax is affordable and has exceptional design and performance.

You will start loving it after the first few swings.

The ax has excellent construction and will provide you the freedom to perform cuts, chops, and everything else you need from it.

The shaft is somewhat short, but overall, the ax has good head-shaft balance and a wide hammer end.


  • Inexpensive
  • Well-balanced
  • USA-made
  • User-friendly


  • Shaft is short
  • Sheath is of poor quality
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

If you are buying a camping ax on a budget, you will hardly find something with better performance and quality than this Estwing 12-inch ax.

It is well-balanced and compares well even to more expensive models out there.

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Sog Tomahawk Tactical Ax

Sog Tomahawk Tactical Ax
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This Sog tomahawk ax is versatile and has plenty of uses, apart from traditional military and tactical uses.

You can use it for splitting, digging, prying, throwing, cutting ropes, and plenty of other things.

The Sog tomahawk is 15.75-inches long, relatively lightweight, and portable.

However, this tomahawk might not be the best one for wood processing, but it will have superior performance in all other uses.


  • Good for self-defense
  • Made from durable materials
  • Long shaft
  • Excellent for throwing


  • Not good for wood processing
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

If you are looking for a truly good ax that can help you with a variety of tasks around camp – Sog Tomahawk might be the perfect one.

However, ensure that you have an additional tool for wood processing.

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Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
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The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is compact and great for packing.

Despite its small size, the hatchet is quite powerful with its 9.5-inch shaft length.

The hatchet is superb when it comes to small campsite tasks.

Rubber grip and exceptional blade sharpness are additional pluses.

You can rely on the hatchet to provide excellent performance even in wet conditions.


  • Affordable
  • Good grip
  • Excellent in all weather conditions
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty included


  • Comes with one disposable bag
Dylan's TakeDylan's Take

The superb performance of this Bear Grylls hatchet makes it handy for different camping tasks such as working around a tent and chopping wood.

It is a lightweight, precise, and durable hatchet with plenty of reasons to be on this list.

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Buying Guide

There are several things to consider when buying outdoor gear.

First of all, you have to determine the type of hatchet you need and other specific design features.

Additionally, you need to analyze your needs and tasks you will use the hatchet for.

Hatchet for Campsite

Pitching the tent close to the parking spot gives you more freedom in terms of weight you can carry with you.

Therefore, you can choose heavy and bulky axes that will be of great use when pitching large tents and chopping large wood chunks.


If you are a backcountry camper and you like to go hike a lot before you pitch the tent, you need something more portable and lightweight.

In that case, you need to consider more than the performance of the ax.

Most of the backcountry campers prefer lightweight and compact axes which can help them split small logs, trim branches, and pitch smaller tents.


Another important use of a hatchet is self-defense.

All hatchets will help you with this, but some are more practical and versatile than others.

For example, some axes with well-balanced heads and long shafts are excellent for throwing.

Others might not be precise.

The most practical hatchet for self-defense is the tomahawk.


The next thing to consider is size.

It is important for packing but also chopping capacity.

Light models are better for delicate and precise camping tasks, great for packing, but might not be powerful enough for larger logs.

On the other hand, large and heavy axes are suitable for splitting large logs but can be too big for splitting branches, etc.

Moreover, larger axes can snag on undergrowth and can be quite tiresome for use.

Also, you have to think about packing and prepare yourself for carrying extra weight.


Have you watched the movie 127 Hours?

You might have learned how important quality material is when it comes to outdoor gear.

The materials used determine how outstanding performance you can expect from your hatchet.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the hatched based on materials used.


The only way to determine the quality of the shaft is to check what other people have to say about it.

Reviews will tell you how the shaft performs after a couple of uses and in different situations.

If you want a wooden shaft, check the wood’s grain direction.

It should run towards the blade, to ensure the hatchet can withstand heavier use of force.


The most practical and durable shafts are made with forged steel with a high-carbon cutting edge.

It improves durability and resistance to dings.


The best hatchet offers an excellent balance between weight and performance.

In some terms, the heavier the hatchet, the stronger performance it has.

But, on the other hand, the heavier the hatchet, the less user-friendly it is.

Other things that determine the weight and usability of the hatchet are the shaft length.

If you need a hatchet for serious wood chopping, make sure to get the one that is at least 13 inches long.

But, be prepared that extra inches will also give extra weight to the ax that might affect the ease of use of the ax.

If the ax is well-balanced, it will help to be more precise and ensure better control over the hatchet when striking.


Different factors, such as materials, construction, and design of the hatchet determine the longevity of it.

If you are looking for a classical ax with a wooden shaft, you have to consider two things.

Wood might start to rot over time and splinter.

Therefore, it is less durable than fiberglass and steel.

Also, check if the shaft is single-piece, as multiple-piece shafts are weaker on the joints and the hatchet might loosen over time.

Camping Hatchet Brands to Consider

There are plenty of brands that produce amazing camping gear.

My favorites are Klecker Knives, Almike, and Estwing.

Here are a few more to consider:

  • Gransfors Bruks
  • Ontario Knife Company
  • Gerber

Frequently Asked Questions about Hatchets

Let’s answer the most common questions campers have when buying their outdoor hatchets.

What Hatchet Type to Choose for Camping?

The hatchet type for you depends on your tasks.

If you are going on a car-camping trip, a hatchet that is similar to an ax in size might be suitable.

If you need something for trips into the backcountry, pick tomahawk and bona fide hatched.

Those are versatile and can give you a lot of freedom in the wilderness.

Is There a Difference Between an Ax and a Hatchet?

While most people use the terms hatchet and ax interchangeably, there are a few differences.

Axes are longer and you have to use them with both hands.

Hatchets are compact and designed to be used with one hand.

Therefore, their purpose is different.

Ax is for chopping logs, while hatchet is better for delicate and precise work.

What is the Optimal Length of the Hatchet Handle?

The handle determines the striking power.

The rule of a thumb to follow is the shorter the handle, the smaller the striking power.

But, longer handles add to the weight of the hatchet, and not all campers need that powerful hatchets.

What about Sizes?

The suitable hatchet size for you depends on your tasks.

If you need tools for precise and delicate tasks, such as food preparation, smaller models will be perfect.

But, for chopping woods, you need something heavier and larger, as the small hatchets cannot chop large logs for heating.

How Can I Sharpen a Camping Hatchet?

Sharpening the hatchet isn’t very different from sharpening the knife on the blade.

You can use different tools, but I recommended using a whetting stone to sharpen it and remove bur.

You should run the blade diagonally from the ax head, in the outward direction.


Camping hatchets are essential for building tents, self-defense, wood processing, and plenty of other tasks around the campsite.

You have to consider the material, the design, the length, and several other factors to choose the one you could use for most tasks.

Also, weight and size play significant roles when picking your hatchet.

My list can help you to narrow the choice down to several models on the market, but you have to analyze your needs to find the one that will work best for you.

Best Overall Choice

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Best overall choice: Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet See on Amazon

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