These are some of the best camp axes on the market today.
A quality camp axe is an absolute must if you're going to spend any time in the outdoors. In most cases, a high-quality camper's axe can serve as an excellent multi-tool for bushcraft enthusiasts. They can be used not just for splitting wood for the fire, but also for tree trimming, wild game dressing, and even for hammering in your tent stakes.
Whether you call it a camp hatchet, a tomahawk, camp axe, or pack hatchet, there's something out there these days for every outdoorsman and woman.
We wanted to briefly discuss what you should look for in a quality hatchet or axe for camping, and also showcase some of the many options on the market today.
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What to Look for in a Camp Axe
It's going to depend on your exact needs in camp, but most people prefer to go with something shorter and lighter than a regular axe. Most of your wood splitting and kindling preparation while camping is going to be lighter than stacking up a stock of firewood at home to last the winter. You should consider the type of camping you'll be doing. If you're in an RV or car camping in an established campground, you can usually get away with something longer and heavier. In most cases, we wouldn't go much over 24 inches of overall length.
However, if you're backpacking deep into the wilderness, you will want to get something light and compact. Preferably with an axe head made of a steel that offers excellent cutting edge retention so you don't have to haul a sharpener with you. If you want corrosion resistance, consider going with a stainless steel or high carbon steel head. If you want strength, consider a forged steel.
When it comes to handle materials, we would say preference is going to vary from person to person. Some people love the strength of a traditional wooden handle while others want better ergonomics from something with a rubber grip, like what is often offered in a plastic or fiberglass handle.
One thing to keep in mind is that a full tang axe is always going to be stronger than one with a partial tang. In the end, you want to choose something that is comfortable in your hand that you can efficiently use without losing grip or slipping. This is not just for efficiency's sake, but also for safety.
With those points in mind, here are our suggestions for a great camp axe.
Morakniv Boron Steel Camping Axe
We've become big fans of the Swedish-made Morakniv brand the last few years,= because they're a great combination of function and affordability. This axe is no exception. It's 14 inches long and comes in at just 1.1 pounds. The head is made of a boron steel coated in black epoxy and the handle is made of reinforced plastic, which is why it's so light. Morakniv includes a leather sheath and a limited lifetime warranty with this axe.
Gerber Pack Hatchet
This is a good option for backcountry campers as it's just under ten inches long, has a blade length of 3.5 inches, and comes in at one pound exactly. The full tang means you can put a ton of leverage on the head without worrying about it snapping. Gerber included finger grooves and a nice rubber grip that makes this axe extremely comfortable to handle.
Axxis Hand Axe
The unique thing about the Axxis from Bone Daddy Blade Werx is that it's not really a knife or an axe, but something in between. You can use it as a knife or a chopper, and then lash on a wood handle to turn it into an axe. It's a great deal of versatility and it makes this axe more compact than anything else out there today. The Axxis would be a great choice for anyone building out a light survival kit where space is at a premium. While the first generation of Axxis was made overseas, the company has since committed to moving production here to the U.S. for subsequent generations and new product lines.
SOG Camp Axe
This camping axe features a glass-reinforced nylon handle to give it some heavy duty durability. SOG makes a few different sizes of axe, we like the compact nature of this one at 11.5 inches. It is built of 2Cr13 stainless steel and features a nice satin polish finish. The opposite side of the blade is a hammer so you can get extra functionality out of the tool. This one gets high marks from users for being sharp and easy to handle.
Fiskars X7 Hatchet
This hatchet is a nice mid-sized option between a traditional hatchet and a larger axe at 16.5 inches. Fiskars say they designed the handle for this axe specifically to have a better power-to-wait ratio that will help you chop wood more efficiently than ever before. At $34, the price is affordable too.
Sani 15" splitting Hatchet
For those who are looking for something more traditional, this axe is a little bit longer and more suited towards heavier splitting jobs. This axe features a slightly wider, 4.13-inch head that's a little heavier than some of the other options on the market today. It comes in at 1.76 pounds. A leather sheath is included to protect the blade when not in use.
Weyland Survival Hatchet
Don't let the unusual shape of the axe head fool you, this is a quality hatchet for splitting firewood quickly and efficiently and the online reviews reflect this fact. This is a full tang axe made from 3Cr13 stainless steel. The head is 5.5 inches and has more than one cutting edge for extra versatility. This survival axe also comes with a MOLLE nylon sheath that attaches quickly to a backpack, freeing up more space inside for other essential items.
Gerber 23.5-inch Axe
For those campers who want a longer axe for more leverage, but also want some modern features. This Gerber axe has a 23.5-inch composite, shock absorbent handle and has a forged steel head with a blade length of 3.5 inches. This one also includes a nice grip that's going to help you work more efficiently to get the job done so you can enjoy that campfire quicker.
CRKT Birler Compact Axe
This axe is a little more expensive than some of the others on this list. However, like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and the CRKT's 1055 carbon steel head makes this an excellent splitting axe. It has an extremely tough 16-inch Tennessee hickory wood handle that gives this axe a beautiful traditional look. At just under two pounds, it's also a little heavier, allowing a bit more leverage while working.
Estwing Sportsman's Axe
The thing we like about this one is the fact that it features a one-piece construction of forged steel. That's going to add a lot of extra strength and overall life to the axe. This one is 14 inches long and features a 3.25-inch blade edge. It features a leather grip to help with handling. It has excellent Amazon reviews. This is another product that's made in the USA for those who want to support American jobs.
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