Survival hatchets are one of the most versatile tools to have handy when you are living off the land.
Finding the right hatchet for you can be a challenge. There are many different hatchets on the market, but it is important to choose the one that is right for the job you intend to use it for.
Whether you are headed into the woods for a short camping trip or living off the grid long-term, a survival hatchet is a must-have tool to add to your gear!
Keep reading for a list of the seven best survival hatchets.
Our Top Picks
Fiskars378501-1002 X7 Hatchet
Estwing Sportsman’s Axe
The SOG FastHawk is a lightweight tactical hatchet that is best for backpacking, hiking, and camping.
The versatile hatchet can be used for various purposes, such as chopping, breaking, cutting, prying, and even digging!
It may be small but the heavy-duty hatchet boasts a razor-sharp 420 stainless steel blade that is highly resistant to rust and damage. The blade is mounted to the ballistic polymer handle with heavy-duty bolts that ensure the strongest integrity of the edge.
It is designed to have a sharp blade that bites deep with each swing or throw. The drilled head on this beauty is designed to be smaller than some others, but it is for a purpose – it decreases the weight and allows the hatchet to be thrown faster.
The FastHawk survival hatchet comes with a ballistic nylon sheath, with a belt loop for optimal convenience and safety. The high-impact glass-reinforced nylon handle guarantees a solid grip with every use.
- Lightweight and sturdy
- The compact size is great for camping trips or hikes
- Not great for larger limbs or cutting down trees
- Some users did not like the included sheath
Best Heavy Duty Option
Fiskars378501-1002 X7 Hatchet
The Fiskars Survival Hatchet may not seem like much, but it is nearly impossible to break!
The carbon steel blade is strong and durable, especially paired with the FiberComp handle with inseparable insert-molded heads. It is a popular choice for camping, hiking, and bush crafting.
The blade of the Fiskars X7 hatchet is enhanced by a low-friction coating, insuring the blade will slide through the wood smoothly and easily with each cut. The hardened forged steel blade is guaranteed to stay sharp!
With a perfect balance and power-to-weight ratio, the X7 hatchet increases swing speed to maximize the power behind your swing. It also has excellent grippy rubber on the handle that will protect your hands from forming blisters.
The handle on this survival hatchet is even stronger than the steel blade! It is lightweight and makes for effortless swinging and chopping.
This hatchet is an excellent choice for hiking and camping but is also very effective for chopping small kindling and small logs. It will stand up through years of hard impacts and exposure to the elements.
- Reliable and low-maintenance
- Well-balanced and easy to swing
- The handle can get a bit slippery when wet
- Hard to repair in the field
Best Basic Option
Estwing Sportsman’s Axe
If you are looking for a basic, hand-crafted survival hatchet the Estwing Sportsman’s axe is a phenomenal choice!
Estwing has been a reliable brand for camping tools and all things outdoorsy since 1923. Their products will stand up to years of heavy usage.
Featuring a hand-polished head and neck, the Estwing survival hatchet is a basic hatchet made from American steel and has not been redesigned in decades! A simplistic design that has really stood the test of time.
The handle is made from genuine leather, which is sanded down and lacquered to create the perfect finish and leaves it shining.
The Estwing Sportsman’s axe is drop-forged in one piece, which creates one of the most reliable, long-lasting hatchets on the market.
If you are looking for a perfectly balanced and tempered hatchet, the Sportsman’s axe is the right choice! It is great for chopping small logs, trees, branches, and firewood.
- Decades of proven success
- Durable, one-piece construction
- It may need to be sharpened before using
- Extra care is required for the leather handle
Off Grid Tools ProSurvival Axe Elite
The Off Grid ProSurvival Axe is the perfect addition to your bug-out bag or camping gear. The multi-tool options make it a great survival hatchet for any situation.
It is a versatile, sturdy, and long-lasting chopping tool that works well for a multitude of functions: chopping, clearing debris, pounding, and hammering.
The Off Grid hatchet performs a whopping 30 functions in one small tool! Along with the carbon steel blade, Off Grid toolmakers have incorporated a saw, a seatbelt cutter, a window smasher, and so much more into this axe.
Featuring a lightweight, ultrastrong glass-filled nylon handle, this survival hatchet will stand the test of time and last for years.
The blade is so strong it is capable of cutting through the hardest of wood and even metal! The attached 6-inch saw blade folds out of the handle and will take care of any job the hatchet blade can’t, sawing through nearly anything.
It is lightweight and small, easy to fit in your bug-out bag or with your camping pack. It is also a useful tool to keep in your car, considering the seatbelt-cutting, and window-smashing features.
- Multi-tool features lots of different uses, besides chopping and clearing
- Small and saves space, but does not lack in performance
- There are no included attachments for a belt or backpack
- The effectiveness of the hatchet itself is impacted by the range of available features
UST, or Ultimate Survival Technologies, really put their all into creating the UST Parahatchet!
The small survival hatchet has a tool for whatever obstacle you may run into in the woods. From chopping firewood to fire-starting, the capabilities of this hatchet are impressive for its size.
It is small enough to fit right in with your camping gear, or you can attach it to your belt loop for even more convenient carrying.
Equipped with three sizes of hex wrenches, this survival hatchet can even handle loosening and tightening bolts!
The parahatchet boasts an 8-foot paracord that wraps around the handle, providing its user with a convenient safety measure.
This hatchet features a magnesium fire starter. You can chop your kindling with the UST Parahatchet, and you can also use it to start the fire with the kindling – how cool is that?
The stainless steel blade is coated with a black oxide coating to protect it from rust and other natural degradation and it is one of the most popular metals on the market.
The included sheath features an extra pocket to store the fire starter inside. This survival hatchet is best for camping, backpacking, hunting, and emergency wilderness survival.
- Multi-purpose tool with important survival capabilities
- Comes with an 8-foot-long paracord wrapped around the handle
- The handle is thin so it can be hard to get leverage when swinging the hatchet
- The handle is a little short for the size of the blade
Husqvarna 13″ Wooden Hatchet
Husqvarna is a well-known Swedish company, that believes in quality products made with simplistic materials.
The Husqvarna wooden survival hatchet is sturdy, but lightweight and can be used for cutting branches, clearing brush, splitting firewood, and more.
The head of this hatchet is attached to a high-quality hickory shaft that uses both wooden and steel wedges to secure the head to the handle.
The old-school handle is solid and has a distinctive curve, for optimal grip and powerful swings. It is unvarnished and absorbs the moisture of your skin, so it doesn’t start slipping in your hands when you sweat.
The blade is made from hand-forged Swedish steel, insuring the quality you expect from the Husqvarna name. It is easy to resharpen as well, guaranteeing a long-lasting survival tool.
The simplicity of the Swedish hatchet does not subtract from its effectiveness! This hatchet is reliable, and a great tool to have in any survival situation.
- The sturdy build is reliable and lasts for a very long time when properly maintained
- The wooden handle can be replaced if it breaks
- The head isn’t made for striking like other survival hatchets
- The wooden handle will need maintenance
WilFiks Chopping Axe
Last, but not least, the WilFiks survival hatchet is designed for easy chopping of logs, branches, brush, and more!
This hatchet is ideal for camping, hiking, garden work, and other outdoor activities. It is well-constructed and will last for years, with proper care.
The blade is made from forged carbon steel and it is heat treated to improve the density and make the hatchet produce a smooth, clean split. It also stays sharp longer than other types of blades.
The handle on the WilFiks hatchet is designed with a shock-absorbing, anti-slip grip and a cold-resistant fiberglass handle that will reduce slippage.
Boasting a perfect balance between head and shaft, this axe is efficient and comfortable to hold and swing. It also comes with a rubber sheath for your protection.
- Works great for small limbs and clearing away brush
- Stays sharp longer than other hatchets, and can be easily sharpened once it is necessary
- Doesn’t work that great for bigger logs or kindling
- The blade will rust if stored in a damp environment
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Survival Hatchet
The blade material is the most important thing to look for when you are on the search for a good survival hatchet. After all, that is the part that will be used the most.
Most hatchets are made with varied types of stainless steel, but the hardness of the metal makes a big difference. The amount of carbon in the steel affects the hardness of the metal The harder the metal, the easier it is to slice through wood and the less it needs to be sharpened.
Most quality survival hatchets are forged from high-carbon steel and stainless steel.
When looking for the hatchet that works best for you, it is important to consider what you will be using it for and where you will be using it. Hatchet handles must be strong enough to absorb the shock of the impact.
If you are gonna be spending a lot of time in the wilderness, a composite handle is probably the best bet for you because they hold up to the elements better than wooden handles. Steel handles are also nearly impossible to break.
Wooden handles absorb the shock of the impact better than others. The wooden handle does not need to be varnished or coated or it will interfere with your grip.
Size and Weight
Lighter hatches are generally preferred for bug-out bags and camping trips because you will need something you can swing with one hand to clear away brush or split firewood.
Lighter hatchets are also easier to throw and move faster through the air.
A longer hatchet will be better for heavy wood splitting, while a shorter hatchet is better for working in tight spaces and gives you more control over your swing.
Wrapping up the 7 Best Survival Hatchets of 2023
A survival hatchet is an important tool for living off the land and can have multiple functions. The SOG FastHawk ensures you’re prepared for any survival situation, as do all the other hatchets in this list.