Best Camping Axes Reviews and Buying Guide

What is the toughest thing that comes to your mind when you hear about camping in the forest? Isn’t it chopping trees and splitting firewood?

Cutting wood isn’t that easy, unlike setting up a tent. The pro campers always make sure they carry the best camping axe with them.

Even if you are the kind of person who doesn’t cut down branches of trees, and only collects dead wood from the forest, you will need an axe to split those wood. Having a good quality axe will both save your time and effort, and you will have more time to enjoy with your buddies.

Getting the right axe is quite challenging as there are many options available. To make things easy for you, I have made a list of the top 15 axe considering various aspects that a camper would need the most.

Top 15 Best Camping Axe Reviews

Not everyone’s camping requirements are the same. These 15 axes will cover every essential feature and benefit that will meet the wood cutting requirements for camping.

#1. (Our Top Pick): Fiskars X11 Splitting Axe, 17-Inch

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Gone are those days when people used to buy heavyweight axe to get high split impact. The axe is well-engineered and balanced to perform heavy-duty wood cutting without hassle.

Cutting wood gets tiring when there are lots of wood to take care of. In such cases, you need an axe that can cut wood much efficiently to save your time as well as effort. The blade of this axe is designed for maximum efficiency and ensures one-strike splits to make your work effortless.

Traditional axes have a lot of weight to their blades, which makes it easier for people to split wood with less strike. But this one is designed in such a way that it provides more swing speed even being lightweight.

Like an aluminum baseball bat, its weight distribution and power-to-weight ratio are perfectly balanced and well-constructed to make powerful impacts on wood.

Its proprietary grinding technique keeps the blade sharp enough to make better contact with wood and achieve cleaner cuts. The low-friction coating enhances its sharpness even after using it for a long time.

Conventional axes come with a blade that gets stuck through wood due to the blade’s surface. X11 has got a blade coating that easily cuts through wood without getting stuck. Even if you use it with one hand, you will be able to split small logs without any issue whatsoever.

If you are overly concerned with its durability, let me tell you that this axe might be the last one you would buy for your camping purpose. Its FiberComp handle and inseparable insert-moulded head, which are, according to the manufacturer, virtually impossible to break.

  • Very lightweight
  • Sharp blade
  • Makes a powerful impact with less effort
  • Ultra-durable
  • Stiffy handle

#2. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

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If you are looking for a compact and slim hatchet for your next survival adventure, take a look at what Gerber and Bear Grylls have to offer.

It weighs less than a water bottle. The hatchet combined the experience from Gerber and adventure knowledge from Bear Grylls and came up with a full-tang construction and sturdy stainless steel blade that deals with the hardest tasks.

Don’t go with its size. Even though it’s small, the hatchet is powerful enough to chop things above its weight. Its 3.5-inch sharp blade performs great at splitting logs and limbing saplings.

The ergonomically designed handle will not let you slip. Even when your hand is wet, its rubberized handle will provide you with a lock-tight grip.

Just below the head, there are finger notches that allow you to choke up more precisely and securely. You will get the desired control during stripping bark and feather kindling.

However, if you prefer attaching a lanyard for safety purposes, the handy hole at the base of this hatchet will make you comfortable regarding it as well.

When the weather gets worse, this hatchet can help with its stunning ability to prepare stacks of firewood, and even in constructing a quick shelter.

Apart from axing, the hatchet has other uses as well. The back of the head has a crosshatched striking surface which you can use for various camp duties.

Its double-duty head minimizes the hassle of carrying an additional hammering tool in your backpack.

Furthermore, the hatchet comes with a military-grade sheath. This mildew-resistant sheath will keep the blade sharp and safe.

Considering its compact size, durable construction, double head usage, and sturdy sheath, it can be the best backpacking axe for you.

  • Compact size and lightweight
  • Ergonomic non-slippery rubber handle
  • Double duty head
  • Carbon steel blade
  • Mildew-resistant sturdy nylon sheath
  • Requires for muscle work for splitting branches
  • Poorly finished blade

#3. Estwing Special Edition Sportsman’s Axe

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The axes that are forged in one piece are the most durable ones. If you prefer such axes, this sportsman axe will not let you down.

The head separates from the handle after a few weeks or months of heavy-duty usage in most axes in the market no matter how sturdy it is.

It is something you will not face with this one. As it’s forged in one piece, no matter how hard the impacts are, you will find the axe just like before.

When someone looks for a camping or outdoor axe, he would expect to get one with versatile usage. You can use this special edition axe for splitting firewood and kindling, chopping logs, and small trees with ease.

Moreover, the genuine leather grip of the axe is well sanded and lacquered, ensuring durability and adequate finish. Its hand-polished head and neck with a brown handle make the axe very eye-catching and attractive.

No matter how sharp and sturdy the blade is, if you don’t keep it protected, the edge will eventually get dull within a few weeks of usage.

Therefore, Extwing includes a nylon sheath for protecting the hand-sharpened blade.

  • Forged in a one-piece construction
  • Lacquered leather grip
  • Hand sharpened and polished blade
  • Genuine leather grip
  • Nylon sheath
  • Made of soft steel

#4. Estwing Special Black Edition Camper’s Axe

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This black edition axe from Estwing has got a dope appearance on it. It has a sturdy forged steel construction. There will be no issue with the durability of this axe, as it is drop forged and tempered, ensuring utmost durability and longevity.

You will be able to chop small trees, branches effortlessly with the axe. Its powerful impact will split firewood and kindling much quicker than conventional axes.

This product will surely make your camping hassle-free. However, if cutting wood is your primary concern, consider getting the longer one.

The blade is sharp enough to chop off an entire redwood with a single swing impact. It also maintains a well-balance between its weight and impact strength, which is ideal for the campsite.

You will find the blade very sharp right out of the box, and there will be no need for sharpening it after multiple usages.

If the handle isn’t comfortable, the sharpness and overall quality of the axe will not get you any benefit. Estwing ensures that you get a comfortable feeling when you hold the axe. It has a genuine leather grip that is lacquered, and hand sanded.

With that being said, you can rest assured about its durability and finish as well. It will easily last many camping trips for sure. Unlike the previous axe from the manufacturer, this one has got an eye-catching black coating finish.

  • Forged steel construction
  • Well-balanced weight
  • Hand sanded and lacquered leather grip handle
  • Ballistic nylon sheath
  • The poor black paint job
  • Brittle metal

#5. Coleman Camp Axe

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If you are looking for an axe that will provide great value for the price, look no further. Coleman camp axe is a decent performing axe at a comparatively low price point.

The blade is constructed with drop-forged steel, and you will find it sharp enough to split wood for a stove or campfire without much effort. You can use the flat edge of the head for other purposes as well; such as driving tent stakes.

When you work with an axe, you expect the handle to feel comfortable in your hand. Coleman constructed the handle with forged steel to ensure its durability.

For comfort, the handle is wrapped with a non-slip grip. So even if your hands sweat, still you will get a better grip on its handle.

There is a notch in the head of the blade; you can easily pull the tent stakes with its help. The weight distribution between its head and handle is decent, and there will be no issue with balancing the axe while chopping wood.

You cannot cut down trees with this axe. However, if your primary concern is to chop off small branches and split kindling, it is one of the best budget options that you can get.

  • Drop-forged steel blade
  • Forged steel handle with non-slip grip
  • Notch in the head
  • Not suitable for cutting down trees
  • Edge requires sharpening

#6. Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe

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If you prefer a big size axe for camping reasons, this 27-inch axe will be long enough to take care of axing needs.

The blade of the Boss axe is made of drop forged 1055 carbon steel, which is pretty sturdy. Even if you use it for cutting fair-sized tress, you will still find the axe durable enough to indorse smacking impacts.

So, apart from doing little axing staff, the axe stands solid when it is used for intense cuttings.

Moreover, the Trail Boss axe features a European style head. The 4-inch blade and 4 ½ inch cutting edge take an immense bite every time it swings.

When it comes to chopping, kindling, clearing trails and roads, and building blinds, the blade performs flawlessly considering its size. Also, you can chop down small to medium trees as well.

As it is a lengthy axe, you would expect its handle to be made of good material. Thanks to the cold steel for their straight-grained American Hickory handle which feels pretty sturdy. This product is durable enough to last for a long period.

You will find no blemishes on the handle whatsoever. Also, the orientation of the grain is seamless. You will also get control over the axe due to this handle.

Considering the material of the blade and handle, swing power, and weight distribution, the Trail Boss checks pretty much everything that requires to be the best backpacking axe.

  • Long handle
  • Drop forged carbon steel blade
  • American hickory handle
  • 4 ½ inch cutting edge and 6 ½ inch hawk length
  • Well oriented
  • No sheath included
  • Potential of developing rust if not oiled properly

#7. Husqvarna 576926501 Wooden Carpenter’s Axe

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Husqvarna axes are forged with Swedish steel all the way in Sweden. And as far as the Swedish steel is concerned, their steel is of high quality.

By the title, you can say that the axe is for carpentry work; but you can use it for other woodworking purposes as well.

The cutting edge bites deep with minimal effort. Although it’s excellent at trimming and splitting, it has versatile usage.

The head performs surprisingly well when it’s about clearing branches, cutting down small trees, light chopping, and splitting firewood. You will like how well it swings.

Moreover, the blade of this axe is thin and has a straight cutting edge design, which makes the axe pretty stable and provides the user with good control over it while cutting.

If you prefer placing your hand close to the cutting edge to ensure maximum control, you will find the recess in its head very helpful.

A good axe always makes sure there is a secure fitting between the head and handle. The manufacturer used a wooden and steel wedge to make the attachment between the head and hickory shaft well secure.

Additionally, the hickory handle is beautifully shaped and feels comfortable to hold. Also, it feels thick, and it minimizes the fatigue issue when you use it for a long time.

There is no varnish on the handle to make sure you don’t accidentally drop the axe when your hands sweat.

Furthermore, the light oil coat on the handle will provide you with a decent grip even with a sweaty hand.

Most customers praised the axe because of its durability, thanks to the Swedish steel. The axe feels well balanced and lightweight compared to its competitors within the price range.

  • Multipurpose axe
  • Swedish steel constructed blade
  • Hickory handle
  • Lightweight and well balanced
  • Decent shaft
  • The quality of the sheath is poor
  • Blade becomes dull after multiple usages

#8. SOG Tomahawk Axe

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SOG offers a pack of 3 throwing axes that you can use in camp areas as well. This tactical hatchet pack will make your surviving adventures much easier.

The stainless steel blades have a sharp tomahawk knife-edge design. All 3 hatchet features a removable paracord handle. You can remove them as per your preference and choose to go with either grip or wrap style.

When it comes to the grip, each of the axes knocks out its competitors. You will get a superior grip while holding any of them.

These axes are constructed with quality material. Like other SOG tactical tomahawk, these axes are built to last regardless of the working condition. With a 10.75 inch of length, these axes feel great while working with them.

No matter if you use them for throwing or camp works such as chopping smaller trees, branches, or logs, the axes will serve you without any issue. But especially, they are super fun to throw.

Weight balance is something that makes axes great while using. These axes weigh 18.6 oz, which is perfect considering its size.

Also, the perfect weight adds more to the features when it comes to the balancing section as well. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you will love how well these axes are balanced.

There is an all-in-one nylon sheath with the package. This sheath makes carrying the axes very convenient.

  • Sharp stainless steel blade
  • Removable paracord-wrapped handles
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight, well-balanced
  • Superior grip on the handle
  • Nylon sheath
  • Paracord isn’t durable and unties after little use

#9. Schrade SCAXE10 11.1 Inch Full Tang Hatchet

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Hands of some individuals get extremely sweaty when they work for a long time. This makes it difficult for them to hold anything.

If you are one of those people and looking for a hatchet that can help you in this regard, Schrade SCAXE10 can be the right choice for your next camping tour.

The hatchet has an ergonomic black rubber grip which assures you that there will be no slip issue whatsoever. Even if you work with a wet hand, the handle will provide you enough grip to hold it.

Also, the rubberized handle is good at absorbing vibrations that are created while striking. You can rely on the handle; it will not disappoint you for sure.

If you prefer using a medium-size hatchet, its 11.1 inches of length will be more than enough for you. The blade is made of 3Cr13 stainless steel.

Additionally, the 3.6-inch blade is sharp enough to chop off trees, branches, logs, and splitting firewood. You will be able to split wood pieces that have 4-inches of diameter with ease.

Moreover, you don’t need to baton the firewood with knives when you have such a tool. However, you might need to sharpen the blade before using it for the first time.

With a weight of 1.37 pounds, the hatchet feels just right. The weight balance between the head and handle is decent.

  • Stainless steel blade
  • Rubberized handle secures the hold
  • Hammer pommel
  • Perfect weight balance
  • Poor-quality sheath
  • The blade might not come pre-sharpened

#10. Yes4All Axe with Saw – Full Combo

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This entire package doesn’t only include an axe with sheath; there are 8 other tools that are necessary for survival.

If you are looking for an all-in-one package that will suffice you for camping, hiking, barbecue, adventure, and other outdoor activities, this deal from Yes4All is worth spending your money on.

The axe got solid stainless steel construction. It is durable and rust-resistant at the same time. Regardless of the outdoor condition, the material will ensure its longevity. The blade is sharp and tough enough to chop off small to medium-sized trees, logs, and branches.

You will get a nylon sheath with the axe to carry it around safely. Its handle is made of aluminum alloy which feels pretty sturdy.

Textured aluminum handle will make sure you can get a decent grip while working even with a sweaty hand. The axe can handle severe conditions and your abuses quite well.

Different situations require axe of different lengths, and this is where the axe knocks off its competitors. To make it more convenient, the manufacturer made the handle adjustable. You can adjust the length of the extension bars according to your working requirements.

If you are an adventurous person and often go to survival tours, you will love the free stuff that comes with the package. The entire toolset is lightweight and portable.

Other than the axe, you will get a hammer, fire starter, opener, handle rope, fish scaler tool, whistle, and glass breaker.

  • 8 in one package
  • Solid stainless steel blade
  • Textured aluminum alloy handle
  • Adjustable extension bar
  • Versatile usage
  • Powder coating will come off from the blade
  • Not great for finer tasks

#11. BladeMate Survival Camping Hatchet

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This camping hatchet is from the manufacturer BladeMate. They are well-known among adventurous people for their signature knife.

The razor-sharp black stainless steel blade of the hatchet is perfect for clearing bush, and other similar activities. You can use it for your personal protection as well.

The blade is about 4.5-inches, which is perfect for small cuttings and more delicate tasks. You don’t need to worry about how it stands up against corrosion as it is made of stainless steel.

Even though it’s a survival hatchet, you can easily chop off small trees, branches, and logs.

The grip is the best part of this hatchet. It becomes tough to work with an axe or hatchet with a sweaty hand. The manufacturer designed the handle with ergonomics which is able to provide you with a firm grip.

Due to the length, the handle gives a complete grip and provides additional leverage for swing as well.

Even though the hatchet feels sturdy, it is perfect in terms of weight and balance. The swing speed is excellent considering its weight. You will feel very comfortable while working with it.

Moreover, you will get a nylon sheath with the hatchet for carrying it around safely. It takes very minimal space inside a backpack. Having said that, this can be the best backpacking hatchet for your upcoming tours and adventures.

  • Razor-sharp stainless steel blade
  • Ergonomic handle and strong grip
  • Lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Not suitable for splitting wood due to the hatchet being lightweight

#12. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 13.50 Inch

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We have another Sweden made hatchet on the list. Gransfors Bruks is a well-known company for top quality handmade hatchets and axes.

It is a traditional scouting and camping hatchet that comes with a long handle. But still, you can carry it in your backpack. There is an option to strap it onto your belt with a sheath as well.

The manufacturer made its blade with top-grade Swedish carbon steel which is thin enough for finer cuttings such as wood carving, kindling, processing wood, etc. You will find its 3 inches cutting surface very sharp right out of the box.

Some aspects of its head make the hatchet a versatile tool. As the back of the head is squared off, you can use it for hammering tent stakes.

I’m sure such a shaped head will come really handy around the campsite. Due to the high-quality steel, the head can be used as a knife as well.

And of course, the hatchet will chop darn hard and make some deep bites in each strike. The longer handle will provide you with more striking power to quickly chop wood and drop large branches.

Apart from the high-quality blade, the hatchet has an American hickory handle, which is one of the best handles on camping hatchets. The handle feels great, and the size is just perfect. Also, the grain and the tightness feels top-notch.

Moreover, the manufacturer coated the handle with linseed oil and beeswax, which provides an excellent grip.

Lose and unsafe alignment of the axe is something that makes it highly risky for you and the people around you. The balance and alignment between the handle and eye of the head are very secure.

So, there is nothing to be worried about regarding the issue.

  • High-quality Swedish carbon steel blade
  • Durable American hickory handle
  • Versatile usage
  • Alignment and connection is strong and much secure
  • Perfect weight balance
  • Feels heavier

#13. SOG Camp Axe – Survival Hatchet

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This survival hatchet from SOG looks more like a tactical weapon than a hatchet. Its black straight handle and sheath give the hatchet a dope appearance. Not only does it look like a tactical tool, but it has some tactical features as well.

The tool offers you versatile usages; apart from splitting and chopping wood, you can pound tent stakes, and tinder breakdown with the back of the handle.

So, you can use this hatchet as a hammer too. The back of the head looks like a hammerhead, so you will be able to use it as a hammer.

Now, let’s talk about its blade. The blade is made of stainless steel which stands solidly in chopping trees, splitting wood and branches.

Its 3.1-inch blade also allows you to use it for finer tasks. The overall length of the handle is about 11.5-inch, which will provide added power on each strike to some extent.

It features a ridged handle and provides a reliable grip. Even if you work with a sweaty hand, the hatchet will not slip off. The textured GRN handle feels quite comfortable to use.

Although the hatchet weighs a little over 1 pound, it’s a heavy-duty hatchet for both camp and surviving conditions. You can easily carry it in your backpack due to its size.

Moreover, the included sheath is made of glass-reinforced nylon material which secures the blade well. One exciting thing about the sheath is, it goes over the blade without covering the hammering part.

So, you can use the hammer even with the sheath on.

  • Stainless steel blade
  • Ridged handle provides a strong grip
  • Durable construction
  • Superior power to weight ratio
  • Versatile usage
  • High-quality sheath
  • The handle is short
  • Gets loose after few heavy-duty uses and requires tightening the screws

#14. Estwing Camper’s Axe

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Forged in a one-piece construction makes the Estwing Camper’s Axe one of the most durable axes on the list. The 3.5-inch cutting edge is very sharp and chops small trees, logs, and branches.

Its versatile usage allows you to use it for splitting firewood and kindling as well. Besides, the back of the head can be used for pounding tent stakes as well.

There is a small tent stake puller notch on the blade. So, more or less, this axe will reduce the hassle of using multiple tools in camp areas.

The handle of this hatchet features a shock reduction grip. It reduces the vibration by 70% when you make a powerful strike on wood. The patented handle feels great to hold. You can use the hatchet for prolonged hours without having any issues regarding fatigue.

As far as the power-to-weight ratio is concerned, the tool is perfectly balanced for chopping wood. However, this hatchet feels a bit heavy.

The hatchet is able to make a powerful impact with its 14-inch sized handle. It can effortlessly split pine firewood and line up the wood grain.

Also, the hatchet is popular because it is practically indestructible. It can endure some severe abuses over an extended period.

The only thing you need to do is to sharpen the blade once in a while. For those who hike frequently, this can be the best hiking hatchet from them.

  • Forged in one piece ensures the utmost durability
  • Shock-absorbing handle
  • Heavy-duty sheath
  • Versatile usage
  • Prone to rust
  • Many units require sharpening out of the box

#15. LIANTRAL Axe 18 inch Multi-Tool Tactical Hatchet Hammer

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If you frequently go for adventure tours, you might be looking for a good quality survival kit. Well look no further; this kit from Liantral comes with a complete set of tools that you will need for your adventurous tours.

Let’s talk about the axe first, as this is the main product here. The head of the axe is made of steel. The black color coat on the head with a grey coating on the blade looks absolutely stunning. You will love the appearance for sure.

Chopping off small trees, logs, branches and even splitting firewood with is much easier with this one. The blade will also let you do more delicate tasks such as chipping and trimming.

Furthermore, the back of the head is like a hammer, so you can also use the axe as a hammer.

Liantral used aluminum alloy to make the handle. Outdoor and sports enthusiasts will love how it’s designed. The handle of this axe is detachable. You can remove the extension bars and other parts of it which is great for portability.

Is the handle adjustable? Absolutely yes. You can adjust the extension bar as per your requirement. Portability and adjustability make this axe perfect for carrying on to your next camping or hiking trip.

This complete survival kit includes pretty much everything that you would need for survival. It includes a compass, whistle, fish knife, fire starter, safety hammer, hand rope, bottle opener, and magnesium striker rod.

All these kits are assembled in the handle. So, basically, you don’t need additional space to carry the kits in the backpack. This makes the axe superior in terms of portability compared to its competitors.

This axe can be a great choice for adventurers, hikers, hunters, campers, as well as gardeners.

  • All-in-one superior survival kit
  • Detachable and adjustable aluminum alloy-made handle
  • Great portability
  • Tactical weapon
  • Multifunctional axe
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty usage

Things to Consider Before Buying

Hatchet and axe is something we don’t frequently buy. Not every axe or hatchet will serve your purpose well. Some are good for camping, some are for hiking, and some serve both purposes.

Therefore, to make the purchase worthwhile, there are few things to consider before choosing one.

The Head

Head is the main part of axes and hatchets because they take care of things related to cutting. Heads are primarily made of steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel.

Steel and carbon steel blades are hard, thick, and long-lasting. But they are prone to rust. If the working environment has weather issues, avoid these blades.

Stainless steel blades are, on the other hand, rust and corrosion-resistant. There will be no rusting issue whatsoever regardless of the weather condition. But, the edge on these blades is soft, and they require frequent sharpening.

The highest quality axe heads are made with forged steel which has one-piece solid construction. These axes are the most durable ones.


First, you need to fix your priority. If you want to split wood and cut down trees with powerful swings, you need to get an axe.

However, if your priority is to do finer tasks, precise cutting, and superior finish, consider getting a hatchet. You can also use a hatchet to chop moderate-sized tree branches and logs if the head has significant weight on it.


The handle is the most crucial part of an axe or hatchet. Your tool’s cutting performance largely depends on the handle. Even if your axe has an excellent quality blade, but the handle isn’t up to the mark, you will struggle to get the desired outcome.

Wooden handles are famous for how well they balance the weight with the head.

However, you cannot pick a tool just by seeing the wooden handle. The material needs to be hard, and such materials are expensive.

American hickory handles are one of the most expensive options which deliver the utmost comfort and great performance.

Also, if you consider getting a plastic-coated handle, make sure it provides great grip. There are some shock-absorbing ergonomic designed handles that absorb the vibrations when you strike any wood; these are also a good option to go with.


If portability is your concern, you must consider the size as well. Size of the tool affects chopping capacity.

Short and light models are best for providing dexterity, which is a must in doing delicate campsite tasks without getting fatigued. These models take minimal space and are easy to carry in a backpack.

Larger models, however, are experts at doing heavier tasks such as chopping and splitting. But still, they might seem difficult to operate while bushwhacking which can tire your arms.


A well-balanced axe or hatchet’s head will carry two-thirds of the weight of the tool. This power-to-weight ratio gives more control while swinging and doesn’t make any hand stinging after striking.

For some serious splitting and chopping, you might choose an axe with a shaft length of 13 inches. However, the length will also add more weight to the axe.

Shaft and Grain

The only way to know the quality of the shaft of an axe or hatchet is by going through the online review section of the product. See how the shaft performs in the real field.

You also need to check the grain direction of the wood. Grain that runs towards the blade makes the wood capable of standing against extreme force; which isn’t the case with a horizontal grain.


The durability of hatchets and axes largely depends on their head and handle. So you need to be more concerned with these two parts.

Wooden tools are susceptible to factors such as splintering, contorting, and rot over time. This makes axes and hatchets with wooden shafts less reliable than steel, fiberglass, and other materials.

However, axes that are forged in one piece and full-tang hatches are the most durable ones to go with. Such tools don’t have a weakness where head and handle joins together, which eliminates the issue with a loose head after few usages.

Depending on Your Activity

As I have said before, not all the axes and hatchets are suitable for every outdoor activity. Campsite hatchets and hiking hatchets aren’t the same. Similarly, backcountry camping hatchets and self-defense hatchets are different than each other.

Backcountry Camping or Hiking Hatchets and Axes

People who hike significant distances to pitch their tent, they prefer to keep things that are lightweight and portable.

So, hikers will prefer hatchets that will deliver a decent performance and has great portability. The hatchet needs to be lightweight, smaller in dimensions, and easy to carry in a backpack.

Apart from wood procession capability, the hatchet should have versatile functions such as chopping, kindling, driving in tent stakes, shaving tinder, splitting smaller logs, trimming branches, etc.

Camping Hatchets and Axes

If your camping area is close to where you park your car, then the weight shouldn’t be an issue. In such cases, you can go with a heavier and bulkier axe or hatchet without compromising its cutting ability.

Heavier axes are great for heavy-duty tasks such as splitting firewood, chopping trees, logs, and branches.

And of course, you will be able to drive stakes in larger tents.

General Self-Defense

Pro Campers will buy hatchets for surviving adventures. Although you can use any hatchet for survival purposes, there are some models that are specially designed and have features fit for situations where one may have to defend himself.

Hatchets with longer shaft will keep some distance between you and the aggressor. Also, you can throw one of these with much more accuracy than other conventional ones.

Some manufacturers offer an all-in-one complete survival kit with an axe or hatchet. These kits are great for versatile usage. They are assembled within the axe or hatchet and take minimal space in a backpack.

You don’t require taking additional tools when you have one of these complete sets of kits. But, you might have to compromise with the build quality of the hatchet or axe in most cases.

Other Campsite Requirements to Consider

Apart from just axing, there are some benefits that you can choose to get if you have knowledge about them.

Not every axe or hatchet will get you the same benefits, and that’s where you need to choose one according to your preference and campsite requirement.


In many situations, you will require a hammer to work at the campsite. But you don’t have to carry one if you purchase a good quality axe or hatchet that has hammering surface on the back of its head. You will get dual functionality from one tool.

If you have any experience of camping, you would know that campers need to collect rocks for pounding down the tent pegs; finding appropriate rocks is quite frustrating.

Using an axe or hatchet with a hammer-like surface on the back will allow you to pound tent stakes into the ground.

You can also use a hammer tool to secure pegs for rock climbing, put loops on a tree to keep the food away from animals, and other campsite purposes.


Hikers require trailblazers the most. Often the hikers have to mark through their way so that they don’t get lost. For this reason, they need an identifying marker to be able to track their progress. Having a hatchet can help you make noticeable notches or nicks on tree barks.

Another way is to cut down small-sized trees or saplings and lay them on the ground.  If you unwillingly get lost in the wilderness, a good quality hatchet will take care of this trailblazing issue for you.


When you are in the wilderness, you will need to hunt down animals to feed yourself. Having a hatchet with a sharp blade allows you to butcher big or small wild animals.

Butchering is a lengthy process that takes up a lot of time. A hatchet will provide the necessary strength and weight to help you cut through the bone instead of cutting around it. It will save a lot of time and hassle for you. Furthermore, you can use a hatchet to lop off the heads of fishes as well.

Area Clearing

Great axes are great at clearing the campsite area. During snowfall and heavy storms, tress and debris fall and block pathways. If your hatchet is well constructed, you will be able to use it as a bushwhacking tool to clear out those obstructions as well.


In the campsite, throwing hatchet is an enjoyable recreational game for the campers. Having a well-constructed hatchet can be a great source of fun for you to practice hatchet-throwing skills at your campsite stump.

Many campers give preference to good quality hatchets so that they can participate in throwing contests apart from just using it for cutting wood.

How to Sharpen the Axe?

There are several ways to sharpen an axe. Here, I will give a brief explanation of how you can sharpen your axe using a file and whetstone.

Sharpen Ax Axe Using a File

This is the easiest method. It takes less time and provides decent sharpness to the blade. You will require a 10-inch file and bench vice; clamps will also do the trick.

Place the axe securely in your lap or a vice. Take a sharpie and color the bevel; it will work as a guide.

Now, take the mill file and bring it to contact with the blade. Make sure the angle of the file and bevel are matched properly. Then, push long strokes along the blade without any break for 5-10 times. Do the same on the other side of the blade.

You might need to give more strokes if you see the blade is still damaged after 5-10 strokes.

Sharpen an Axe Using Whetstone

Sharpening with a whetstone will give you the best results. You will need a sharpening stone and lubricant or oil to perform the task.

First, apply the necessary amount of lubricant or oil on the coarse side of the whetstone. Place the blade of the axe on stone and make sure it matches the angle of the bevel.

Then, apply moderate pressure and give the bevel stroke on the stone using a circular motion. Do it for 15-20 seconds. Repeat the same on the other side of the blade.

Now, flip the whetstone to its other side and repeat the same process on both sides of the blade.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have provided the answers to some of the most commonly asked queries below:

What is the difference between an axe and hatchet?

The main difference is the length of the handle. Axes have a long handle, and in most cases, it is held with both hands.

On the other hand, hatchets are smaller than axes. They have a smaller handle as well.

A hatchet or an axe, which one should I carry to the campsite?

It depends on your camping requirements. If you have to cut down large trees and split larger logs and branches, go with an axe.

However, if your camping task requires you to do more delicate tasks and precise cuttings, you should carry a hatchet in your backpack.

What are the uses of a throwing axe?

Throwing axes are primarily used for survival purposes. Other than that, you can use a throwing axe for constructing an emergency shelter, hunting, and cutting firewood.

Campers spend fun time throwing these axes at a campsite stump, and it has been a fun sport for campers for a long time.

How long is the handle of my hatchet supposed to be?

It depends on how you plan to use a hatchet. If you solely need a hatchet for doing delicate tasks, always go with a hatchet that has a short handle.

However, if reducing weight isn’t a concern, you can choose a hatchet with a long handle. Handles that are longer will provide you with more striking power.

What size of axe should I buy?

Again it depends on how you plan to use the axe. If you are looking for an axe for survival purposes, don’t go for the larger ones.

But if performing heavy-duty wood cutting tasks is your concern, bigger and heavier models will serve your purpose better.

Final Words

The best camping axe will save you a lot of time and effort during camping. Some models have versatile usage, which will significantly enhance your camping experience.

Don’t just focus on the blade, wisely choose the handle as well; your holding comfortability largely depends on it.

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