The 5 Best Survival Hatchets in 2021 – Reviewed

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One of our favorite bushcraft essentials? A high-quality survival hatchet! A hatchet is a small axe, ideal for cutting firewood, building a shelter, hammering and kindling, and even butchering. Compared to a full-sized axe, a hatchet typically has a wider blade, but a shorter handle, making it easier to use with one hand, instead of requiring a two-handed grip. Compact in sizing, big in functionality: a survival hatchet is also extra portable and lightweight, meaning it won’t weigh you down on your outdoor adventures.

But how do you determine which is the best survival hatchet for your needs? Simple, by using our handy overview, which contains the top-rated options on the market. We’ve scoured high and low, rounding up the best-value hatchets on the market – each with their specific appeal. From ultralight fiberglass hatchets to heavy-duty Swedish-made designs: there’s a match for every preference and survival situation.

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

And here’s an overview of the best survival hatchets on the market today:

Preview
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Tasks , Black
SERGEANT Camping Hatchet SGT-14 Inch, Camp Axe Survival Hatchet Tactical Outdoor Camping Axe w High Carbon Steel Blade, Lightweight Fiberglass Handle and Compact Portable Design + Protective Case.
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
Title
Sportsman's Axe & Camping Hatchet
SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet
Fiberglass Camping Hatchet
Wildlife Hatchet
Brand
Estwing
Schrade
SERGEANT
Gransfors Bruks
Overall length
12 inches
11.10 inches
14 inches
13.5 inches
Weight
1.7 lbs
1.6 lbs
1.5 lbs
1.3 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
Title
Sportsman's Axe & Camping Hatchet
Brand
Estwing
Overall length
12 inches
Weight
1.7 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Tasks , Black
Title
SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet
Brand
Schrade
Overall length
11.10 inches
Weight
1.6 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
SERGEANT Camping Hatchet SGT-14 Inch, Camp Axe Survival Hatchet Tactical Outdoor Camping Axe w High Carbon Steel Blade, Lightweight Fiberglass Handle and Compact Portable Design + Protective Case.
Title
Fiberglass Camping Hatchet
Brand
SERGEANT
Overall length
14 inches
Weight
1.5 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
Title
Wildlife Hatchet
Brand
Gransfors Bruks
Overall length
13.5 inches
Weight
1.3 lbs
Includes sheath

We’ve ensured all the survival and camping hatchets on this list rate highly in Amazon reviews, confirming that they’ve got what it takes to support you in any bushcraft or survival scenario.

Our top-rated Best Survival Hatchets are:

Discover more about the products in our Best Survival Hatchet Overview below, and upgrade your outdoor gear with this must-have wilderness essential!

 

Best Survival Hatchet – Overview

 


 

Estwing Sportsman’s Axe & Camping Hatchet

Sale
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
  • FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe & Camping Hatchet is one of the best-selling, most popular survival hatchets on the market. Combining a premium quality standard with affordable pricing, this small axe delivers outstanding value-for-money and is simply a great deal for any outdoorsman.

The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe & Camping Hatchet measures 12 inches in overall length and weighs approximately 1.7 lbs. Both the head and the axe handle are forged in one piece for maximum durability. The blade of the Sportsman’s hatchet by Estwing has a tempered, 3.25-inch cutting edge for easy cutting and chopping, plus splitting firewood and kindling. The cutting edge is also hand-sharpened and hand-polished, making it a true piece of artisan craftsmanship.

The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe & Camping Hatchet adheres to a high-quality, heavy-duty standard. This small axe is forged in the USA, using only premium-grade American steel. The camping hatchet’s handle features a genuine leather grip, which is also sanded and lacquered for a long-lasting, durable finish.

The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe & Camping Hatchet includes a ballistic nylon sheath, which makes the design extra portable and keeps the edge protected. This handy nylon sheath also features a belt loop, allowing you to keep the hatchet within instant reach at all times.

 


 

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet has a compact size, slim profile, and only weighs 1.4 lbs. The highly-rated, highly-recommend hatcher is a reliable choice for bushcraft and survival adventures and has both the durability and agility to get the job done – regardless of whether you’re building a shelter, splitting firewood, or even butchering the day’s catch.

Most of the heft of this survival hatchet is located in its head, allowing you to deliver a forceful and precise blow. The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is equipped with a 3.5-inch, razor-sharp blade, which is praised by other outdoorsmen for its sharpness and edge retention. The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet by Gerber has an overall length of 9.46-inches.

The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet by Gerber features full-tang, high-carbon steel construction, which gives it superb durability. Opposite the razor-sharp blade, the back of the hatchet’s head features a crosshatched striking surface. This blunt surface can be used for all kinds of campsite tasks, from hammering tent stakes and tenderizing meat: making it a versatile addition to your outdoor gear collection.

Zero Slip rubber handle

The handle material of this compact survival hatchet is made of high-quality polypropylene with a ‘Zero Slip’ rubber grip. This rubber handle is ergonomic and fills your hand to create a ‘lock-tight’ grip, even in wet conditions. This small axe also features finger notches just below the head, which enable more precise control of the blade when feathering kindling or stripping bark for firewood.

Another perk is that the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet includes a mildew-resistant nylon sheath with belt loops. Additionally, the hatchet also has a functional hole at the base, which can be used to attach a lanyard for extra safety if desired. A copy of ‘Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide’ by Bear Grylls is also included with your purchase: a nifty bonus perk that can come in handy for beginners to bushcraft or survival.

 


Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet

Sale
Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Tasks , Black
  • Dimensions: 11.1 inch (28.1 centimeter) overall length with a blade length of 3.6 inches (9 centimeter) and a weight of 1 pounds 5.9 ounces
The Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet is an agile, well-constructed, great-value choice in outdoor gear. Though this camping hatchet is very affordable, it doesn’t compromise on quality, ensuring you get a lot of bang for your buck. The full tang design measures 11.1-inch in overall length, with a blade length of 3.6-inches. The lightweight hatchet only weighs 1.6 lbs, ideal for taking it with you, wherever your outdoor adventures take you.

The multi-purpose Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet is equipped with a high-quality, 3Cr13 stainless steel blade with a hammer pommel. The hatchet’s stainless steel blade is corrosion-proof, durable, and offers great edge retention.

The Schrade SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet is made by Taylor Brands, a well-known name in high-quality, stainless steel knives and other cutlery since 1975. Do note that though the company is USA-based, the hatchet is produced in China – though, according to Amazon reviews, it’s certainly up to premium American quality standards.

The handle material of the SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet by Schrade is black TPR Rubber. The rubber handle offers a secure and ergonomic, non-slip grip – even in wet conditions. The hatchet comes with a thermoplastic rubber sheet (with belt loops) and also has a lanyard looped through a hole at the bottom.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, lightweight hatchet with excellent durability: this could be the design that cuts it for you!

 


 

SERGEANT Fiberglass Camping Hatchet

SERGEANT Camping Hatchet SGT-14 Inch, Camp Axe Survival Hatchet Tactical Outdoor Camping Axe w High Carbon Steel Blade, Lightweight Fiberglass Handle and Compact Portable Design + Protective Case.
  • ✔️ COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE – The Sergeant SGT-14 Camping Hatchet is the perfect size for all your needs and can easily travel with you to the campground, garden or job site. At just 14"...
Another budget-friendly favorite amongst outdoorsmen is the SERGEANT Fiberglass Camping Hatchet. Affordable and lightweight, yet durable and suitable for heavy-duty usage: this style is built to handle even the toughest jobs. The camping hatchet measures approximately 14-inches in overall length and weighs 1.5 lbs.

This affordable survival hatchet features a high-carbon steel blade and a lightweight yet sturdy fiberglass handle. The fiberglass handle comes with a textured rubber coating, enabling an ergonomic non-slip grip and smooth handling.

Designed for versatile outdoor usage, the SERGEANT Fiberglass Camping Hatchet can handle all kinds of camping and survival tasks including kindling and chopping wood. The American-based brand behind the hatchet, SERGEANT, states its mission as ‘Build the world’s toughest outdoor gear’, which is reflected in the quality of the hatchet. Plus, according to hunting enthusiasts, this razor-sharp hatchet is also perfect as a tactile axe/hunting axe for cutting through bone. The design is also compact enough to fit into most kill bags/hunting bags.

Lifetime warranty available

Do note that instead of a full nylon sheath, the SERGEANT Fiberglass Camping Hatchet only comes with a protective storage case surrounding the blade. This means that when carried, only the edge of the blade is protected. And though the protective casing can be clipped to a bag with a carabiner, it is not ideal to attach to a hiking belt. That said, for its affordable pricing and excellent Amazon reviews, we think the lack of nylon sheath is a far trade-off; especially since this lightweight and durable hatchet ticks all the other boxes.

Not convinced yet? The manufacturer even offers a Lifetime Warranty on your purchase, ensuring your 100% satisfaction. This guarantee promises that if you encounter any defect in workmanship or material, you’ll be able to receive a refund or a replacement. Making this a risk-free purchase that should fully live up to expectation.

 


Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

If you’re looking for a premium hatchet and don’t mind paying a bit more to secure top-notch quality, the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet could be your match. This traditional small axe has a longer handle, lending more power when felling trees and chopping. Though the style is equipped with a longer handle, it still is compact enough to make it easily portable, measuring 13.5-inch in overall length.

Weighing just 1.3 lbs, the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is also one of the lighter hatchets available on Amazon. However, don’t let its modest weight fool you: this hatchet is one of the most durable and heavy-duty designs you’ll find.

The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is made in Sweden and is characterized by lots of Swedish craftsmanship. For over 100 years, Gränsfors Bruk has been a leading name in hand-forged axes, with a strong focus on quality and environmental responsibility. Founded in 1901, Gränsfors Bruk draws upon centuries of expertise and a rich heritage in the Swedish logging industry. This means that when you indulge yourself with the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet, you know you’re getting a hatchet that offers optimal performance, no matter where or when you need it.

Suitable for all camp tasks

The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is ideal for any kind of bushcraft scenario. The heavy-duty design is capable of lopping off large branches when building a shelter, splitting firewood, and even butchering. The hatchet includes a high-quality real leather sheath. This leather sheath is shaped to cover the edges and top part of the poll, preventing the axe head from damaging your bag, or being a hazard to you on the go. The handle material of this camp axe is a durable wood. The wood handle is beautifully grained and smoothly sanded for an ergonomic and comfortable grip.

The camp axe has a razor-sharp edge and is capable of lopping off quite large branches or splitting small logs for the campfire. The shape of the tanned leather sheath, which covers the edge and the top part of the poll, stops the axe head cutting into your rucksack. When you order the Wildlife Hatchet, you’ll also receive a copy of the Axe Book by Gransfors Bruk, which provides interesting insights on the manufacturing process, axe usage, and other tips and tricks.

Granted, it’s quite a pricey addition to your outdoor gear, but if you’re looking for the very best quality standard, it’s hard to beat this Swedish-made survival favorite!

 


 

Verdict

So, which of the 5 survival hatchets in this overview is the best? Well, that more a matter of personal preference than hard facts. The truth is, each product already belongs to the best hatchets on the market. And is fully worthy of your time, money, and attention. Which is ‘the best’ depends on multiple buying factors, such as how much you’re willing to spend, and what type of material you prefer.

Each camping hatchet is quite similar in size, silhouette, and weight – and we’re confident each hatchet will get the job done, no matter what the survival task at hand. Whether you’re building a shelter, splitting firewood, or even butchering the catch of the day when hunting: these razor-sharp, lightweight hatches are a great addition to your survival gear. More compact than a regular camping axe, more powerful than a survival knife, and more packable than Tomahawks, hatchets are a versatile solution to your survival needs.

To determine which is your best match, we firstly advise you to decide how much you’re willing to spend. This will instantly narrow down your options, and make it easier to find a match. Secondly, decide whether you want a sheath included with your camp axe – as some styles do come with protective covers included, and others don’t. Thirdly, decide whether you prefer heavy-duty, classic materials such as wood, or prefer more innovative lightweight options such as fiberglass.

Once you’ve eliminated the unsuitable options, you’ll be left with one or two options – pick your favorite and voila: you’ve just scored yourself the best deal on this essential survival tool.

 

Winner

As we explained in the verdict-section, picking a winner is more a matter of personal preference than fact. That is why we can’t pin-point a single survival hatchet from this overview that reigns supreme. However, we can pick which hatchet we think is the best value deal, based on its pricing, quality standards, and 5-start Amazon reviews: the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet.

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This mid-budget favorite offers superb durability, functionality, and is made of first-class materials, yet its economy-pricing makes it accessible even to those on a budget. The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet by Gerber is easily packable with its overall length of just 9.46-inches and 1.4 lbs weight. It includes a nylon sheath with belt loops, allowing you to keep it close at hand at all times.

Non-slip grip and razor-sharp performance

The blade itself is razor-sharp and 3.5-inches in sizing: ideal for cutting through logs, branches, and even animal bones. Other outdoorsmen praise the hatchet’s powerful performance and confirm it gets the job done swiftly, and cleanly. We also like that the hatchet features a high-quality ‘Zero Slip’ rubber grip. This rubber handle coating ensures you can keep a secure grip on the hatchet, even in wet conditions and heavy rain.

Another perk is that the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet features a crosshatched striking surface at the back of the hatchet’s head. This allows you to hammer tent pegs or tenderize meat using the blunt surface, making it more versatile for all kinds of camp tasks.

Reasonable priced, outstanding Amazon reviews, made by an expert brand in outdoor gear, and small and compact: if you’re in doubt which survival axe to buy, get the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet – we’re confident you won’t be disappointed. So, whether you carry it backpacking, take it hunting, or pack it in a bug out bag or keep it at home for self-defense (just in case), this high-quality hatchet is a great investment for all survivalists!

 

Recap

Preview
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Tasks , Black
SERGEANT Camping Hatchet SGT-14 Inch, Camp Axe Survival Hatchet Tactical Outdoor Camping Axe w High Carbon Steel Blade, Lightweight Fiberglass Handle and Compact Portable Design + Protective Case.
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
Title
Sportsman's Axe & Camping Hatchet
SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet
Fiberglass Camping Hatchet
Wildlife Hatchet
Brand
Estwing
Schrade
SERGEANT
Gransfors Bruks
Overall length
12 inches
11.10 inches
14 inches
13.5 inches
Weight
1.7 lbs
1.6 lbs
1.5 lbs
1.3 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14" Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip - E24A
Title
Sportsman's Axe & Camping Hatchet
Brand
Estwing
Overall length
12 inches
Weight
1.7 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Tasks , Black
Title
SCAXE10 Full Tang Survival Hatchet
Brand
Schrade
Overall length
11.10 inches
Weight
1.6 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
SERGEANT Camping Hatchet SGT-14 Inch, Camp Axe Survival Hatchet Tactical Outdoor Camping Axe w High Carbon Steel Blade, Lightweight Fiberglass Handle and Compact Portable Design + Protective Case.
Title
Fiberglass Camping Hatchet
Brand
SERGEANT
Overall length
14 inches
Weight
1.5 lbs
Includes sheath
Preview
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch, Axe, 415
Title
Wildlife Hatchet
Brand
Gransfors Bruks
Overall length
13.5 inches
Weight
1.3 lbs
Includes sheath

 

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    Caleb Cole

    I grew up in Montana, spent my free time camping, hunting and fishing. I began writing as a side hobby while camping. Very happy to be working with the guys here at Outdoor Command and look forward to providing best in class outdoors content for you.