Planning an outdoor camping trip and don't know what gear to bring?
Don't worry; you can't go wrong with a good camping ax. So whether you're planning a weekend getaway or an extended expedition, bring one of these bad boys along! This article will review some of the best axes available on the market today.
Not only are camping axes great for splitting wood, but they can also come in handy for other tasks, such as building a shelter or creating a fire. With so many uses, it's no wonder that axes are such essential camping gear.
Keep reading this article to learn more about the best axes and select the one that best suits your needs!
How We Picked The Best Camping Axe For You
You need an axe for camping, but there are many options. How do you know which one is the best for you?
It can be tough to pick the right camping axes. Do you go for a small hatchet that's easy to carry but might not be as powerful? Or do you go for a full-sized axe that might be too heavy to lug around all day?
We've worked hard for you and chosen the best camping axes based on user feedback. Our top picks are lightweight enough to carry around all day but still pack a punch.
Best Overall Axe
Gerber 17.5-Inch Freescape Hatchet
Why You Will Love It
If you are looking for the most versatile and reliable axe on the market, Look no further than the Gerber Freescape Hatchet. This evolutionary axe features efficient strength in a slim profile, making it perfect for every challenge you throw at it unless you think of felling trees with this!
It also has a new friction-minimizing PTFE coating on the blade and a unique grind technique; the steel blade is sharper than ever, making clean cuts a breeze.
The included sheath protects the blade when not used, and the limited warranty ensures you can purchase confidently. So whether you're chopping, kindling, or tackling a backpacking trip, this hatchet is up for the task.
What You Should Know
Length - 17.5 in
Weight - 2.06 lbs.
Blade Material - Carbon Steel
The Gerber 17.5-Inch Freescape Hatchet can handle even the toughest splitting. Forged in Finland from high-quality steel, this durable hatchet is designed to withstand even the most challenging chopping tasks.
The composite handle is exceptionally lightweight and features a soft-touch over mold for added comfort and ease of use. And the low-friction blade coating makes it easy to slice through wood at a greater-than-average depth.
Plus, the shock-absorbing layer on the shaft helps reduce hand fatigue. And the long handle provides increased leverage, making it easier to chop through thick branches or even small trees.
So whether you're chopping kindling or clearing brush, the Gerber 17.5-Inch Freescape Hatchet is up to the task.
Experience the next level of firearm maintenance with ultrasonic cleaners. Check out our article now!
What Could Have Been Better
Don’t let the hatchet word fool you – this is not a single-handed small camping hatchet. The Freescape is designed for two-handed use and is still quite heavy for some people.
Also, if you’re looking for a more lightweight option for your backpacking needs, you should opt for the Gerber Pack Hatchet (check price), which is much smaller and lighter than the Freescape.
But overall, with its versatile design and durable construction, the Gerber 17.5-Inch Freescape Hatchet is an excellent choice for any camper or outdoorsman.
Best Single Piece
Estwing Sportsman’s Axe
Why You Will Love It
The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is the perfect tool for all your outdoor needs. Made in the USA from one piece of solid American steel, this axe is built to last. It comes with a genuine leather grip and a heavy-duty nylon sheath, making it easy to carry on your belt.
This balance is excellent, and the cleverly designed angles will ensure you don't even notice the Estwing on your hip. The perfectly contoured leather washers surround the handle, providing a comfortable grip while the solid weight of the axe reassures you of its quality.
With its versatile design and superior craftsmanship, the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is an essential addition to your camping gear.
What You Should Know
Length - 13.5 in
Weight - 1.86 lbs.
Blade Material - Carbon Steel
The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a new camping axe. It’s well-made and designed for various tasks around the campsite, and it’s affordable.
The sharp alloy steel blade is perfect for performing delicate tasks like whittling wood, delimbing branches, or even in your food prep! The 14" length offers a little more leverage to boost strike power and make up for the lighter weight of the head.
The Sportsman's axe also has a square butt perfect for nailing tent stakes through the ground or for other general hammering purposes. Whether you're looking to chop wood for starting a campfire or need a multipurpose tool to help you with some basic tasks, the Estwing Sportsman's Axe is a great option.
What Could Have Been Better
The only complaint about the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is the balance. The head and blade seem heavy compared to the handle, and when you’re holding the hatchet still, it feels ready to tip over out of your grip. However, this imbalance helps to generate force that can quickly eat through wood.
The handle is also super smooth, which can uncomfortably slide around in your grip. Gloves are always a safe choice. Many users have suggested sanding away the lacquered coating and applying coat after coat of Neatsfoot oil.
This will help to protect the leather grip and make it more comfortable to hold. Sportsman is great for backcountry camping and chopping firewood, but you can try their Estwing 16" Camper's Axe if you need something heavy-duty for larger logs.
Overall, the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a new camping axe.
Best With Wooden Handle
Husqvarna 13′ Wooden Handle Hatchet
Why You Will Love It
This no-nonsense and practical camping hatchet axe is built from quality materials that will last a lifetime and features a hand-forged head with a curved, hickory handle. Plus, it comes complete with a leather sheath for easy transport.
This Husqvarna hatchet will do the job quickly and efficiently, whether chopping kindling for a campfire or dealing with some other task. And when you're not using it, you can admire its classic good looks.
So go ahead and add the Husqvarna 13" Wooden Handle Hatchet to your gear - it's sure to become one of your favorite tools.
What You Should Know
Length -13 in
Weight - 2.24 lbs.
Blade Material - Swedish High Carbon Steel
The Husqvarna Hatchet is an excellent choice for those looking for a hatchet that can handle light to medium cutting tasks and specializes in splitting kindling. The 13-inch shaft provides enough leverage for a solid strike, making it ideal for splitting firewood, chopping small logs, or driving in tent pegs.
The grain orientation is good, and the light coat of oil on the handle helps to protect against moisture damage. You'll also not notice a varnish on its handle.
It's also worth noting that the head is securely fastened to the handle, so you don't have to worry about it coming loose with use. Also, the handle is not made from composite material, so you can easily replace it if you manage to break it.
Overall, the Husqvarna 13′" Wooden Handle Hatchet is an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile and durable camping hatchet.
What Could Have Been Better
The Husqvarna 13" Wooden Handle Hatchet is a beautifully designed tool that is a bit heavy for its small size. The design will take some time to get used to, but the outcome that you will have with this product is worth the effort.
Also, we would have loved a better finish on this product, especially around the edges and the joining of its head. However, the overall function and quality of the Husqvarna 13" Wooden Handle Hatchet are excellent.
Best Budget Buy
Fiskars X7 Hatchet
Why You Will Love It
Weighing in at only 1.4 pounds, the Fiskars X7 Hatchet is perfect for backcountry campers who want a lightweight axe that can still take on big jobs. With a long shaft and a sharp blade, this axe is perfect for chopping or splitting wood or clearing brush.
The proprietary blade-grinding technique provides a sharper edge for better contact and cleaner cuts. And for some extra piece of mind, they offer a lifetime warranty on all their axes.
What You Should Know
Length - 14 in
Weight - 1.4 lbs.
Blade Material - Double-Hardened Steel
The Fiskars X7 hatchet is a versatile and durable tool that is perfect for a variety of tasks. The low-friction coating helps to keep the axe from getting stuck. The handle is made from Graphite reinforced polyimide composite material that imparts unmatched strength, temperature, and corrosion resistance.
However, the problem with composite handles is that you won't be able to replace them easily if you somehow manage to break them! Fortunately, the FiberComp handle of this axe is virtually unbreakable.
The hollow handle is also a nice feature and can be used as an extra storage space, especially for survivalists, as it allows you to keep several things inside it. The lanyard holes on each side of the handle make it easy to attach the hatchet to your belt or backpack for easy transport.
Whether camping, hiking, or doing yard work, the Fiskars X7 hatchet is a great choice.
What Could Have Been Better
The Fiskars X7 Hatchet is a great tool for chopping, but it falls short regarding precision work. The plastic sheath is functional but not very durable, and the handle cannot be replaced.
In addition, the hatchet requires regular maintenance and can be problematic in freezing weather. However, despite these drawbacks, the Fiskars X7 Hatchet is a reliable tool, and at this price point, it is the best you will get for all your camping requirements.
Check out our article on the Best Winter Tents with Stove Jacks.
Get a Free Rope Saw
Because we want you to cut through the hassles!Tap Here to Avail the Offer
Schrade Titanium Coated Axe
The Schrade Titanium Coated Axe is a great value-for-money choice for anyone looking for a reliable and well-made survival axe. We were impressed with the quality and attention to detail Schrade had put into the design and engineering of this axe.
The size, weight, and balance of the SCAXE2L provide ample force and control when notching and shaping logs. Additionally, the titanium coating on the axe head provides superior durability and corrosion resistance. The TPR surface of the handle provides a comfortable, non-slip grip, even in wet conditions.
Additionally, the soft TPR material absorbs some of the vibrations from the axe head as it strikes hard surfaces, thus reducing fatigue on your arms.
However, it feels a bit heavy to be used comfortably with one hand, and it is a bit small in length for two-handed operation. And although the titanium coating does provide some protection against rust, the axe is still susceptible to corrosion if it is not adequately cared for.
Overall, if you are looking for a survival axe and you are someone who loves to take care of your gears, you can go ahead with Schrade Titanium Coated Axe and won't be disappointed.
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is a versatile, lightweight axe weighing only 1.3 lbs. It is perfect for backpackers or campers needing a reliable tool to perform light chores. The included leather sheath makes it easy to carry and transport, and the superior built quality guarantees years of use.
The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet features a Swedish Steel blade and American Hickory handle, which feels great, and seems to be the perfect size for its application. The handle is coated in linseed oil and beeswax, giving that excellent finish, and is very lovely for grip & also protects from rot.
Another great sign of this axe is the handle's balance and alignment with the head's eye. The blade is a bit more convex than a standard felling axe. This means it is more of a slicing tool than a splitting axe.
The sharpness and shape of the blade allow you to use it even as a camping knife in many situations. Creating shavings is also something that this axe is excellent at. Due to the convex shape of the blades, you can shave up kindling over and over, and it’ll easily slice through every time.
This is beautifully crafted and one of our most complete axes. However, we had to place this here because of its steep price, almost equal to our top four choices!
But if you are willing to pay the premium price, you will get something beautiful that will last for generations. If you love the feel of it or don't mind the price, you can also opt for their Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe (check price), which is more suited for car camping trips.
Also, check out our article on the best spotting scopes.
💡 When splitting logs with a camping axe, it is essential to be aware of the dangers and never break the vertical plane rule.
You should never allow the axe to swing beyond its vertical plane without hitting something else first. Doing so could result in the axe striking your leg, which could be very dangerous.
The safest way to split logs is from ground level. Simply place the log on the ground before you and kneel. This will allow you to section it off without the risk of the axe swinging beyond its vertical plane.
If you need to split logs from high up on a stump, be extra careful to follow the vertical plane rule. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself in serious danger.
Also, check out our article on the Best Ice Fishing Gloves
Frequently Asked Questions
People want to know about camping axes but don't know where to start.
People have so many questions about camping axes that it can be hard to know where to start. Do you need particular kinds of axes for camping? What are the different types of camping axes? How are they different from hatchets? How do you use them? How do you choose them?
We've got the answers to all your questions right here. We'll discuss the different types of camping axes, how to choose the right one for you, and how to use them safely and effectively.
Do I need a camping axe?
This is a great tool to have if you plan on doing any serious camping or hiking. It can be used for various tasks, whether you want to chop wood for a campfire, split wood, trim branches to clear the area for your campsite, or create a makeshift shelter.
It can even be used for self-defense in case of an attack by an animal. While unnecessary, having an axe can make your camping experience safer and more enjoyable.
How is a camping axe different from a camping hatchet?
There are a few critical differences between axes and hatchets. One of the main differences is that camping axes are usually longer and have a more pronounced curve to the blade, while hatchets tend to be shorter with a straighter blade. Axes also typically have a deeper scoreline (the groove running down the blade's center), making them better for chopping larger pieces of wood.
Also, axes are designed for primarily two-handed use, and their handles are more than a foot long, while hatchets are designed for single-handed use and mostly have shorter handles. And finally, most camping axes have a head made from forge-welded tool steel, which is much more durable than the cast metal heads found on most hatchets.
The ideal length of a camp axe should be between 12" and 24"; above this, it loses its portability. Our article considered axes with lengths over 12", all less than 20 inches long.
Is a camping hatchet or axe better for camping?
It depends on what you need the hatchet or axe for. If you're chopping kindling or large amounts of wood for your campsite or, in general, looking for a more versatile tool to take on your next camping trip, you'll probably want an axe.
A hatchet may be a better option if you're looking for an available tool to help around the campsite or something to help you in some precision tasks. It comes down to personal preference and what tasks you'll be using it for while camping.
How is a camp axe different from a tomahawk?
Tomahawks are designed primarily for combat or close-quarters self-defense, whereas camping axes are designed for various uses, including chopping wood and striking a spark to start a fire. Tomahawks also tend to be smaller and lighter than axes.
What type of axe is best for camping?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best type of axe for camping depends on several factors, including the type of camping you’re doing (e.g., car camping, backpacking, etc.), what you’ll be using it for (e.g., chopping firewood, clearing trails, etc.), and your personal preferences. However, certain types of axes are generally better suited for camping than others.
For example, felling axes are typically heavier and have longer handles than carving or Celtic axes, making them better suited for chopping down trees or large branches. A felling axe will be a good option if you do a lot of woodcutting while camping.
On the other hand, if you’re primarily looking for an axe to help around the campsite (e.g., chopping or splitting wood of small sizes, driving tent pegs into the ground, etc.), a carving or Celtic axe would be a better choice. These axes are smaller and lighter than felling axes, making them more portable and easier to use for tasks that don’t require a lot of power.
What is the best way of splitting wood using a camping hatchet or axe?
And while there are many ways to split wood, not all of them will be safe. It can also be unsafe even with the best camping hatchets or axes if not done correctly.
You can do it by placing the wood you intend to split between two larger pieces of firewood and pressing them together; the logs on the ground will hold the target log upright. This way, when you go to split it, the heel of your hatchet will catch in the front log rather than hitting the ground.
If you are splitting kindling, repeat this process several times, saving your axe from harm and making the process more efficient as the wood becomes smaller. So next time you split wood, remember this technique and stay safe.
How do I choose the best camping axe for me?
When it comes to camping axes, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.
First, consider what you'll be using it for. If you're mostly chopping a large amount of wood, you'll want an axe with a heavier head and a more extended handle.
Second, think about the size and weight of the axe. You don't want something too big or heavy to carry on your camping trip.
And finally, consider your budget. There is a wide range of prices for camping axes, so it's essential to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Hopefully, this article has helped you find the best camp axe for your next outdoor adventure!
What is the best backpacking axe?
This question has no definitive answer since different people have different preferences and needs. However, a few factors to consider when choosing a backpacking axe are weight, size, and blade type.
Some of the lightest axes on the market are those made with carbon fiber handles, while heavier options include those with stainless steel or titanium handles.
Size also varies, with most models ranging from 12-24 inches long. And finally, different blades can offer different functionality. For example, a felling axe has a sharper blade better suited for felling trees, while a carver axe has a curved blade ideal for shaping wood.
Ultimately, the best backpacking axe is the one that fits your individual needs and preferences. You can also go with any of our top picks for not your backpacking trips.
Pick the Fiskars X7 Hatchet if you have a strict budget, or if budget is not a matter for you, and you want the best wood-chopping experience in your axe that will not weigh you down, you can opt for the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet.
Or if you want the best lightweight solution opt for the Gerber Pack Hatchet, which is a smaller version of our top pick, built for your backpacking needs( You can check it here)
How heavy an axe do I need for camping?
Typically, a camp axe should weigh between 1 and 2 pounds. If you're looking for an all-purpose tool, go for something in the middle of that range. But if you have specific needs – like splitting firewood – you may want to adjust your weight accordingly.
For example, a heavier axe can be better for chopping wood, while a lighter one might be better for easy transport and quick use. Whatever weight you choose, make sure you're comfortable swinging it – or else you'll be in for a long, tedious trip.
How long an axe do I need for camping?
Camping axes come in various sizes but typically fall into one of two categories: full-sized camp axes or hatchet-sized camp axes. A full-sized camp axe is excellent for larger jobs, like chopping down trees or splitting logs. A hatchet-sized camp axe is perfect for more small tasks, like chopping, kindling, or shaving off the bark.
The length of the axe depends on the size and weight of the axe head. Heavier heads require longer handles to provide enough leverage for efficient chopping. But typically, for general camping purposes, a 12 to 26 inches handle will be sufficient for your use.
How long will a camping axe last?
Different axes are made from different materials, depending on the axe. An axe made from stainless steel will last longer than carbon steel. It will also last longer than one not cared for if it is well-maintained.
Also, if used for light work, it will last longer than for heavy work. But, with proper care, an axe can easily last for decades.
Should a camping axe be razor-sharp?
It depends. If you plan on using the camp axe for precision tasks such as cutting small branches or whittling wood, you'll want a razor-sharp edge. However, if you plan on using the camping axe for more significant tasks, such as splitting logs, you'll want a more durable edge that can withstand wear and tear.
Whatever kind of edge you choose, keeping your axe sharpened regularly to perform at its best is essential. A dull blade makes the task more difficult and increases the chances of the blade slipping and causing an injury.
Can I use a knife sharpener to sharpen a camp axe?
Yes, you can use a knife sharpener to sharpen a camp axe. However, you should consider the difference in the blades when sharpening them. Most knife sharpeners are designed for use with thin blades that are curved inward, while an axe has a much thicker blade that is curved outward. You can refer to our article on Knife Sharpeners for more information.
You will need less pressure when sharpening an axe with a knife sharpener because you are trying to sharpen the blade's edge rather than shaving off metal. You can use whetstones and other sharpening stones for your camping axe; however, a better option would be to use something like a grinding wheel or belt sander.
Check out the video below to know some tips and tricks to use your axe safely:
Also, check out our article on Kojic Acid Soap.
So, What Is The Best Camping Axe For You
A camping axe is an essential gear for any backcountry adventurer, and it can even make you feel like a badass.
Whether you’re a lumberjack looking for the perfect tool to take care of business in the wilderness or want something to help you fell trees and build a shelter on your next family camping trip, we hope this article helped you find the best camping axe for your needs. For your reference, they are :
Best Overall Pick - Gerber 17.5-Inch Freescape
Best Single Piece Axe - Estwing Sportsman’s Axe
Best Wooden Axe - Husqvarna 13′ Wooden Handle Hatchet
Best Budget Option - Fiskars X7 Hatchet
Best Premium Pick - Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
Best of the Rest - Schrade Titanium Coated Axe
Just don't forget to click the “Check Price on Amazon” buttons above to purchase the one you love the most.
We hope this has helped simplify your decision-making process and that you are one step closer to finding the perfect axe for your camping needs.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a great time out in the wilderness with your new axe!
Some other camping tools that you might be interested in:
Look at some of the other articles we have written: