You might think that hatchets are just for the hardcore campers out there. Although hatchets might make you look seriously hardcore in a campsite they have so many uses outdoors, especially for adventurous campers looking to add a little extra utility to their gear collection. From splitting kindling and driving in tent stakes to building a shelter and starting your campfire in the evening, a hatchet will soon become your must-have camping accessory which at the end of the day feels a little like a best friend when you're out on the trail.
A hatchet, otherwise known as a tomahawk, is a small, handheld axe used for chopping. We know that a hatchet is not something one should play around with as a child but something that can be utilized when out on the trail. As with all great hatchets, the tool needs to be heavy-duty, safely storable, and able to handle all of your camping needs.
With this in mind, we have reviewed the top seven best camping hatchets, picking only the products that we would recommend for you and would take with us ourselves on our next backpacking adventure!
- STAINLESS STEEL CHOPPING AXE BLADE: Small forest axe, camping hatchet and backpacking hatchet features a 3.1-inch blade; small hatchet measures 11.5 inches in total length
This hatchet from SOG is a durable, portable axe that will cater to a large number of your camping needs. With an ultra-sharp 3.1” blade, this hatchet is perfect for any of your headier duty tasks, such as felling small trees or clearing your campsite before you set up your tent for the night.
One of the stand-out features of this hatchet is its larger hammer surface area. One of the main advantages of a tomahawk for most campers is that instead of just acting as a portable axe, the hatchet also doubles up as an effective hammer to help you ground your tent and get your stakes tight or for quickly splitting wood. Despite being compact enough to transport easily, this hatchet also boasts a larger hammer surface area than many other hatchets, meaning that you’ve got both bases covered.
This hatchet boasts many features compared to other hatchets on the marketplace and is more designed for heavy use and seasoned campers. Firstly, with its glass-reinforced nylon handle, the grip on this hatchet is perfect for more heavy-duty cutting. However - watch out! It can become slippery when wet, so depending on your usual camping locations, this might not be the hatchet for you.
The blade of this hatchet is made out of satin-polished stainless steel, meaning that its designed to withstand rough use and harder tasks, and exposure to weather all year round. It’s more durable than some of the other models out there and is resistant to corrosion. This, combined with SOG’s lifetime guarantee, means that this is a great choice for serious campers. If you’re going to remote locations, camping often, or know that this will be a product you’ll be using for the rest of your life - SOG’s Camp Axe might just be the choice for you.
At 1.01 pounds, this is one of the lighter hatchets out there, meaning it could be a perfect option for both hiking and camping. However, the sheath that comes with the hatchet is not as heavy-duty as the product itself. It’s slightly flimsy and doesn’t come with a belt loop. This could be a great hatchet if you have room in your backpack, but if you’re looking to transport your hatchet on your belt so it’s at hand, it might be worth investing in another sheath.
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We know you set out looking for a quality and durable camping hatchet but the RoverTac provides something even better: A camping Hatchet AND other necessary tools for your camping trip. This awesome 14-in-1 multitool survival gear provides a hatchet, a knife, a hammer, a saw, various types of screwdrivers, 2 types of pliers, and a bottle opener among others. This is nothing short of impressive.
Gaining nothing but awesome reviews, the RoverTac multitool is made from the best durable stainless steel there is. In fact, it boasts of a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Because your satisfaction is a priority, this brand provides a lifetime warranty. This gear is compact, easy to store, and easy to transport. The hatchet, and other included tools, is made from stainless steel with durable black oxidation for the main part and a very special red color oxidation for the handle. It is durable enough to perform all cutting, prying, screwing, and sawing activities needed without any problem. Even if you are looking to descale fish for dinner, the kit has everything you need.
The strong, reliable, easy-to-handle, and ergonomic design of this gear is crucial to you enjoying a great camping experience. The RoverTac multitool hatchet especially is fit to take on any job you need it to. With this kit, you can never be caught in a state of emergency. It is accompanied by a sheath that makes it safe and easy to store away. The RoverTac multitool camping gear makes the perfect gift idea for camping enthusiastic family and friends.
- FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
Estwing is one of the biggest names when it comes to camping hatchets and axes. This design, in particular, has been produced by Estwing since 1923! So if you’re looking for longevity and tried and tested design: this could be the right hatchet for you. Estwing sportsman's axe blade is hand-forged out of one piece of carbon steel, meaning that it’s well balanced and very durable. It’s chic design and quality materials mean that this option has stood the test of time. Maybe it will for you too!
This option is one of the heavier and bigger options out there, measuring thirteen inches in length and weighing 1.86 pounds. This means it’s great for tasks such as chopping logs, small trees, or splitting firewood and kindling. However, if you’re looking for a hatchet that’s easy to transport on long hikes, this option might be too big and heavy for you. However, it does come with a ballistic nylon sheath to protect its sharpened edge, and make it easier to carry and transport.
One of Estwing’s classic design features for this hand axe is the genuine letter strap. It looks chic and provides a comfortable, soft grip for your hands, meaning it’s great for heavier duty hatchet tasks like chopping wood. The leather grip is hand sanded and lacquered for an attractive, comfortable finish. However, this doesn’t come without the appropriate maintenance. Leather features often require sanding and oiling to stay in the same condition. So ultimately if you put love and care into this product, in the long run it will reward you. But this isn’t as good for someone looking for a more low-maintenance approach.
The Coleman Camp Axe is one of the most popular hatchets on the market, probably due to its affordability. It comes with an ergonomic non-stick handle, meaning it’s easy to hold and chop larger pieces of wood. This is a good option if you’re buying with a smaller budget, or wanting to try using a hatchet for the first time to see what it adds to your camping experience. It also has a very useful extra feature: a notch cut into head to pull out tent stakes with ease. So if you’re looking for a cheap hatchet to help you put up a tent and make kindling, this is a great option, but for any heavier-duty tasks, think again.
This hatchet is probably the least durable out of all of the options we’re suggesting. You might need to sharpen it often, and it’s not as reliable as the other options. Also, it doesn’t come with a holder or sheath, so this might be an extra expenditure for you before you take your trip. It’s also one of the heaviest options and is quite large at fourteen inches in length. Maybe if you’re driving to a campsite and just need an easy, cheap solution to stow in the trunk of your car, then this hatchet suits your needs. But for hikes and heavy-duty tasks, the other options will be better for you.
- FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
Estwing’s Camper’s Axe has many of the same features and benefits as their Sportsman’s ax: it’s durable, has a classic design, is forged out of one piece of steel for the perfect balance and durability, and is perfectly suited to year-round outdoor use due to its high-quality materials.
However, if you were put off by the maintenance of the Sportsman’s leather handle, then the Camper’s Axe might be more your style. The handle is the real selling point of this product. Estwing’s ergonomic handle fits perfectly in your hand, and stays there, meaning it’s safe and easy to use for heavy-duty tasks. Furthermore, it’s made of a patented shock reduction grip, which is durable, comfortable, and reduces the impact vibration by 70%. For the most adventurous campers, this could be the perfect option for you: with the designs and vibration reduction, you can chop wood and trees to your heart’s content!
This option is seriously heavy duty. But that comes with a cost. It’s one of the heaviest camping hatchets, weighing 2.23 pounds. It’s also one of the biggest, with a fourteen-inch length. It might be a little too heavy for a long hike, but depending on the purpose for which you are purchasing your hatchet, it is one of the best solutions out there. Also, it comes with a heavy-duty sheath, protecting the razor-sharp edge, and a belt loop for easy carrying.
- Full tang construction means steadiness in hand and the strength to power through swinging chores
This camping hatchet looks a little different from the rest. In proportion to the handle, the blade is quite large. One of the main features of this design is the full tang handle, meaning that it’s constructed from blade to handle in one continuous piece of metal. This construction feature means that your hand is steadier, due to the balance fo the product, with the strength to keep swinging effectively. The handle is also covered in a rubber overcoat, with added finger grooves, for extra grip and comfort while you’re completing repeated chopping tasks.
This option also features a tall blade grind, meaning the angle at which a blade is sharpened. This feature means that the camping hatchet is razor-sharp, and stays that way for longer, meaning less maintenance for you! It also comes with a nylon sheath to protect you from the bade when not in use, and to make it easier to carry and transport. However, there’s no flattened back to use as a hammer, so this camping hatchet is better used for cutting rather than splitting timber or putting up a tent. It’s therefore only a good option if you’re looking for just a hatchet - no bells or whistles attached.
- INNOVATIVE DESIGN - Fully encased over-molded blade. Hi-Tech fiberglass composite injected handle, featuring reinforced back spine & non-slip TPR grip.
The LEXIVON was designed for convenience, safety and durability. It is a 9-inch hatchet with an ergonomic grip, lightweight fiberglass composite handle. All these features easily make the LEXIVON Amazon’s best-selling camping hatchet.
Even its design is unique, innovative, and very different from most of the camping hatchets out there. It is a fully encased over-molded blade. It has a Hi-Tech fiberglass composite injected handle which provides a reinforced non-slip grip. The blade, made from drop-forged and heat-treated grade A high-carbon steel, is extremely sharp and extremely durable. This makes it easier and faster to cleanly and efficiently cut through wood. It is sheathed, weighs a nifty 1.5 pounds and has amassed favorable reviews from users.
The LEXIVON is stronger than your generic wooden hatchets and further backed by a lifetime limited warranty from the company.
So we’ve outlined our recommended best camping hatchets, but how do you make the final decision? As you can see, there is a big variety of these products, which shows the different uses and purposes a hatchet can have. So before you decide on the best hatchet for you, ask yourself the following questions:
Will I be hiking for a long time before I set up camp? If you’re looking to take your hatchet with you on long hikes, a lighter option is the best for you.
What kind of tasks will I be completing with my hatchet - light or heavy-duty? If you’re only looking to make firewood, use it as a fire starter, and set up a tent with your hatchet than you should choose a light, smaller, option. You might even go for one of the cheaper options too. But if you’re looking to fell small trees, clear woodland, or even to help with self-protection or processing wild game, then choose a larger, headier hatchet with a bigger blade.
How many tasks do I want my hatchet to complete? Most of these camping hatchets come with a flattened back to be used as a hammer as well as an ax. But if you’re looking for even more functions, consider one with extra features.
So, depending on your needs and demands, there’s something here for everyone in our list of the best camping hatchets. One final thing to consider when looking for the best hatchet is your trust in a brand (you could also consider Gränsfors Bruks, Schrade or Fiskars x7). With a product such as a hatchet, quality is key. You want it to last for years and to never fail you or the consequences could be potentially dangerous! It’s worth investing in a good quality hatchet, from a brand you trust and potentially with a lifetime guarantee if you’re a committed camper.