Best Survival Axes

8 Best Survival Axes & Hatchets Reviewed [2023]

Whether you are going camping for a few days, or just out on a hike for a few hours, there are certain pieces of gear that you should always carry with you, just in case. For instance, you never know when you are going to need a survival axe.

If you are camping, you are going to need to build a fire, and you need a way to cut firewood. Even if you are just on a hike, you may need to have a tool that will help you cut through heavy brush. And, you may also need other tools, and instead of carrying an entire tool kit around with you, some axes have pry bars, nail removers, etc. built right into the handles.

Whatever the reason, you need a decent survival axe. Here’s a look at eight of the most popular axes for campers, hikers, hunters, and general survivalists.

Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe

if you are going to be cutting down trees, this is definitely the axe that you need. The balance is going to let you have a powerful swing so you get the job done a lot faster.

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Survival Axe Reviews Quick Chart

Image Model Weight (lbs) Length (in) A&A Rating Shop Now
Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe
Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe 3.7 13.5
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Granfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet
Granfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet 1.3 13.5
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Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet 1.3 9.46
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Fiskars X7 Hatchet Survival Axe
Fiskars X7 Hatchet 1.4 14
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Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet
Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet 2.20 13
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Estwing Camper’s Axe
Estwing Camper’s Axe 3.80 26
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Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet
Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet ‎1.44 11.8
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Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet
Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet 1.6 13
Shop Now

#1 Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe

The Fiskars X15 chopping axe is larger than a lot of other hiking and camping axes, but if you are going to be cutting down trees, this is definitely the axe that you need.

Major Features :

  • 23.5 Inches
  • Steel blade
  • Lifetime warranty

The balance is perfect, so you will have plenty of power in your swing, just like you would with a quality baseball bat. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, but it is highly unlikely that you will ever need to take advantage of that warranty, because of the quality of this axe.

Major Features

If you are looking for a quality axe that is going to be able to take on a variety of jobs while you are out in the field or in the woods, this is a good option to consider. Being from Fiskars, you know you are getting a quality product, as this company has been in business since the 1600’s.

With each swing, you get a deeper chop, and the balance is going to let you have a powerful swing so you get the job done a lot faster.

Features include:

Handle – The FiberComp handle absorbs shock so you don’t end up with sore hands after using this axe. The handle is stronger than steel, yet very lightweight.
Weight Distribution – The weight distribution is perfect, so you will get just the right amount of heft in your swing every time.
Lifetime Warranty – You never have to worry about this axe breaking, but if the unthinkable should happen, you can replace it with the lifetime warranty.


  • Size - This is a good-sized axe, with a handle length of 23.5 inches. This longer handle makes the axe easier to swing, and you get more power behind your swings.
  • Blade - The blade is made from hardened steel that is sharp right out of the box, and will hold its edge for a long time.


  • Durability - This might not be a good option for heavy for everyday use, as it is not as durable as other axes.

#2 Granfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet

This axe is compact enough to carry in a backpack, but it's big on power so you can even fell saplings and small trees. You can easily cut large branches or split small logs to use in a campfire.

Major Features :

  • 13.5-inch handle
  • Weighs 1.3 pounds
  • Hickory handle
  • A lot of bang for your buck

The Gransfrs Bruk wildlife hatchet is made in Sweden, and is ideal for camping and hiking. It has the same head as their hand hatchet, but the handle is longer, giving you more leverage and power when you really need it.

If you are going to be out in the woods for any reason, this is the axe you want to have with you. It’s truly a well-round utility axe that’s easy enough to carry in a pack or on your hip without becoming a burden.

Major Features

Don’t worry if you have never used an axe before. This one comes with an “Axe book” (English only). Be sure to read the book before using the axe, just to familiarize yourself with how to hold it, swing, etc. This is a comfortable axe to hold, and even though it gives you plenty of power, it isn’t going to weigh you down.

Features include:

Handle – The hickory handle of this axe is masterly hung, and no matter how much you use the axe, it is not going to come apart.
Sheath – This axe comes with a sheath that is made from vegetable-tanned leather, to protect the blade when not in use.
Head – The steel head is properly shaped and weighted. It has a thick, convex edge that gives you plenty of cutting power.


  • Size - This axe is small in stature, with a 13.5-inch handle. It weighs just 1.3 pounds, making it ideal for hiking.
  • Price - This axe offers a lot of bang for your buck. It's not always the cheapest options you'll find, but you get a lot of quality for whatever you pay.


  • Construction - There are some reports of space between the axe head and handle, though they appear to be isolated events.

#3 Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Manufactured by the American brand Gerber, the Bear Grylls survival hatchet is a small but effective tool. Best of all, it won't break the bank.

Major Features :

  • Full tang
  • Non-slip ergonomic grip
  • Sharp
  • Long hickory handle for maximum leverage

Bear Grylls is a polarizing figure in survival and outdoors enthusiast circles. But whatever your thoughts on Bear and his television shows are, don't let them influence you opinion on this sweet little survival hatchet.

Major Features

Don’t let the size of this one-hander fool you. It’s made to perform. The high carbon steel blade and non-slip rubber grip make this a mini-workhorse.

It’s easy to hold, easy to carry, and easy to use.

Features include:

Full Tang – The hatchet is manufactured as one solid piece for maximum strength and durability.
Grip – This axe comes with a non-slip ergonomic grip. It’s comfortable and it’s easy to keep a solid grip on in any weather condition.
Sheath – Easily keep the steel head protected when not in use with the nylon sheath that come included with your hatchet purchase.


  • Sharpness - There's no worry about the edge of this hatchet. It comes nice and sharp and ready for use from the get go.
  • Weight - If you are looking for a hatchet that will work without weighing you down, you won't be disappointed with this choice. It weighs in at a light 1.3 pounds.


  • Size - This is not a large and heavy axe. If you just need to clear brush, trim branches, take down saplings, and other small tasks, it's perfect. If you generally have bigger tasks, it might not be enough axe to get the job done.

#4 Fiskars X7 Hatchet

You get more contact, and cleaner cuts, thanks to the proprietary blade-grinding technique that is used on every Fiskars axe before it leaves the factory. This little one-hander gets the job done without breaking the bank.

Major Features :

  • Limited manufacturer's lifetime warranty
  • Trusted brand
  • Durable & Sharp

The Fiskars X7 hatchet can easily be used to chop kindling, as well as small to medium-sized logs. It has just the right amount of heft for light chopping tasks, and it is balanced to give you just the right amount of power in your swing.

Major Features

If you are looking for a powerful axe that is going to be lightweight enough for hiking and camping, this is definitely an option to consider. You can easily store this in your backpack or hand it from your belt or pack using the lanyard hole and use it for a variety of purposes.

This is an ideal axe for cutting smaller logs to use on your campfire, and it is perfect for cutting through heavy brush when you are on hiking trips.

It’s small size and weight and reasonable price point makes it one of the best backpacking axes hand down.

Features include:

Sharpness – Many axes get dull after just a couple of uses. This one has a low-friction coating that helps it to stay sharp longer, and makes it easier to sharpen when it does need it.
Durability – The handle of this axe is made with FiberComp, which is stronger than steel, and the heads are inseparable, so it isn’t going to come apart while you are using it.
Weight Distribution – This is a very well-balanced axe that has a perfect power-to-weight ratio for a faster and more powerful swing, which means both deeper cuts and getting the job done faster.


  • Warranty - This axe comes with a limited manufacturer's lifetime warranty. If anything should happen to the handle or blade, you can get a replacement axe at no cost.
  • Trusted Brand - When it comes to products for the outdoors, Fiskars Corporation is a name you can trust. They have been making quality products, including axes, since 1649.


  • Size - It takes longer than other hatchets to cut because it is so much smaller and more lightweight. But, when you are hiking, a smaller, lighter axe is better because it won’t weigh down your backpack.

#5 Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet

This is a smaller axe, ideal for when you are out in the bush and forests, and it can be used for a variety of purposes.

Major Features :

  • Lightweight
  • Sharp
  • Well-built
  • Great size

The Husqvarna 13 inch wooden hatchet is a small, lightweight axe that you can use for cutting fire wood, or just for getting brush out of your way while you are hiking through the woods. It comes with a leather cover, so it isn’t going to damage anything while it is in your backpack.

You can also use the non-blade side of the head for pounding in tent stakes, so you don’t have to carry a mallet around with you as well.

One tool does the job of many.

Major Features

If you are looking for a hatchet that is lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack, look no further. This is a very portable axe, and it is just the right size for most backpacks.

It can also be attached to your belt via the leather bit sheath, or by taking advantage of the lanyard, so it hangs freely at your side and you can access it easily whenever you need it.

Features include:

Construction – This axe is well-built, with the head attached to the shaft with a wooden wedge and a steel wedge, so you know it is good and secure.
Sharp – You can use this axe as soon as you take it out of the packaging, and there is no need to sharpen it right away. It arrives ready to use.
Weight – This Husqvarna hatchet is light enough to carry around effortlessly, but hefty enough to get the job done.


  • Size - This is a small hatchet that is just big enough for most jobs that you need an axe for when camping or hiking.
  • Quality - Hand-forded Swedish craftsmanship means you know you are getting a well-made hatchet.


  • Handle - The handle has been known to break when trying to tackle heavier tasks.

#6 Estwing Camper’s Axe

This axe can efficiently cut wood, and it can easily cut into tree trunks. This is an essential survival tool that you should always have with you when you are out in the woods.

Major Features :

  • Sharp
  • Weighs 3.80 lbs
  • Shock reduction grip

The Estwing E45A camper’s axe has a four-inch cutting edge, so you are going to be able to easily fell small trees and chop logs for campfires. The head is made from forged steel, so you know it is going to be strong enough for just about any chopping job you need it for.

Major Features

If you are on a hunting or camping trip, you need to know that you have a tool that can be used for multiple purposes, from cutting firewood to self-defense. This axe is that tool. In fact, some users say that it is the best axe available today, bar none.

Features include:

Grip – The grip is bonded and molded, so shock is reduced by up to 70 percent. The grip is never going to come off, and it is comfortable to hold onto.
Sheath – This axe comes with a quality leather sheath that is embossed with the company logo. This is going to protect your axe when not in use.

Weight – This is not a heavy axe, but it does give you plenty of power. It weighs just five pounds, so it is not going to weigh down your pack.


  • Size - This axe is big enough to give you good leverage on your swing, but small enough to not be a hassle to tote around.
  • Sharpness - This axe is sharp and ready to use right out of the box. You can start using it as soon as you get it.


  • Weight - This axe is a bit heavy if you only need something to clear some brush. But, it is this heft that gives you more power in your swing, so you have to decide which is more important, weight or power.

#7 Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet

This axe is perfect for hikers, because it weighs less than a pound and a half, so it isn’t going to weigh you down while you are traipsing through the woods, climbing, etc.

Major Features :

  • Stainless steel
  • Handle: 5.2 inches
  • Blade: 3.8 inches

The Schrade SCAXE2 survival hatchet is the ideal axe for the outdoors adventurer. Whether you are going hiking, camping, or hunting, this is a good axe to have at your side when you need to chop wood, and even for self-defense. It has an ergonomically designed handle with a rubber grip that is easy and comfortable to hold, and you get an accurate swing every time.

Major Features

If you are looking for a small axe that is ideal for cutting smaller wood and using as a self-defense weapon when necessary, look no further than this axe. It is easy to use, but small enough to carry at your side effortlessly, with an overall length of less than 12 inches.

Features include:

Fire Striker – Don’t worry if you have forgotten to bring a lighter or matches with you. This axe comes with an integrated fire-starting striker that you can store in the end of the handle.
Blade Length – The blade is just 3.8 inches, but it gives you plenty of cutting surface. The handle measures 5.2 inches.
Belt Sheath – This axe comes with a thermoplastic belt sheath, so you can easily attach it to your belt and have it handy when you need it.


  • Construction - The blade is made of stainless steel, and the head is connected to a glass fiber-filled handle, making it strong and durable.
  • Ferro Rod - This axe comes with a Ferro rod that can be stored right in the handle, and this can come in pretty handy at times.


  • Durability - This is not a heavy duty axe designed for heavier jobs like splitting large logs.

#8 Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet

If you have never heard of Schrade, you have definitely heard of some of the products they manufacture, including Smith and Wesson knives, which are known to be of extremely high quality, and the exes are of that same high quality.

Major Features :

  • Length: 13 inches
  • Full-tang
  • High carbon steel
  • Durable

The Schrade SCAXE5 tactical hatchet has a full tang that is made from powder coated SL5 high carbon steel. This is an axe that is not just for recreational use. Many professionals use it because they know that they can always count on it to get the job done.

Major Features

This is the ideal tool for chopping small logs for your campfire, and it can be used for a variety of other small jobs like clearing saplings. This axe is perfect when your bigger axe is too large for the job you are using it for, and it makes a great tool to have when you when you are out hiking.

Features include:

Blade – The blade is made from powder coated SK5 high carbon steel. It is going to retain its sharp edge, so you can use it over and over without having to sharpen it.
Accessories – This axe comes with some handy accessories, including a nail pull and a pry bar. It also comes with a polyester belt sheath.
Size – Overall, this axe is just under 13 inches long, and it has a full tang body with a nylon fiber handle that is comfortable to use.


  • Durability - It is nearly indestructible, and you can even use the base of the grip as a prying tool and nail remover.
  • Pointed Spike - There is a pointed spike that you can use when you hold the grip in reverse. Also, the head has a slot that can be used as a valve wrench when necessary.


  • Safety - This axe requires the user to pay extra attention because of the crowbar end making it quite difficult to hold.

There is not one “best” survival axe. It really depends on your particular needs. If you are a trapper living in a cabin in the snow for several months a year you probably need a different axe than someone who is on an extended hunting trip in a warmer season.

In many cases, a multipurpose axe is equally effective as a survival axe.

The two major things to look for when deciding what axe is right for you are:

  • Does it have the ability to do what you need it to?
  • Can you trust it to do its job, or will it fail (quality)?

There are a lot of really cool looking options out there, but like with any tool, performance is much more important than looks. An awesome looking axe that can’t do its job is nothing more than a paper weight.

Focus on quality and function, and you will be happy with your purchase.

Just like with any tool, axes are no different. There are some brands that are known for their quality and craftsmanship.

You will probably recognize a few of these manufacturers’ names:

  • Husqvarna
  • Fiskars
  • S.A. Wetterling
  • Granfors Bruk
  • Estwing
  • Schrade

These aren’t the only brand options out there, but they are some of the more popular ones.

In Summary

If you need a good survival axe to take with you on hiking, camping, backpacking, and hunting trips, or you just want to have a good axe in your tool arsenal, any of the above axes are going to suit your purposes perfectly. Many come with a number of accessories, so you can use them for multiple purposes.

These axes may cost a bit more than those you find at your local hardware store, but they are of the highest quality, and you know that you can always rely on them.

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