The 8 Best Survival Hatchets

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The 8 Best Survival Hatchets

There are a handful of invaluable tools you should have when venturing outdoors. One of the most important items is a survival hatchet. If you are venturing into the wilderness or just bushcrafting, the best survival hatchet will come in handy.

These small but effective tools are incredibly useful. They offer similar functionality to a survival knife but have a range of other uses too. Effectively, they are a hammer, woodchopper, weapon, fire maker, and hunting tool combined into one.

In this article we talk about what to look for in a hatchet, and we have picked seven of the best survival hatchets for your benefit below.

Our Top Choice- Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
547 Reviews
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
  • Length with handle: 13.50 inch, Item-ID: 415
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Sheath in vegetable-tanned leather
  • Traditional scouting and camping axe
  • The Axe Book comes with every axe purchased from Gransfors Bruk, Made in...


– Ultra sharp blade holds a great edge
– 13.5 inches in length and 1.3 pounds
– Ergonomic handle feels comfortable in your hand

Why is this out top choice?

The Gransfors Bruks hatchet is a classic that has withstood the test of time. Made of American-made Hickory wood, the handle feels sturdy and is comfortable in the hand. The size is ideal: small enough to easily carry around, but big enough to handle your more intensive tasks. For cutting, carving and bushcrafting this hatchet gets the job done.

We also like that is designed in a way to allow for you to choke up for extra control. The Gransfors Bruks hatchet also holds a great edge as the blade is made from hard steel. While this hatchet is extremely reliable, we admit we aren’t fans of the leather sheath that comes with the axe. But overall this is our top choice for survival hatchet.

Our Budget Choice – Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Fiskars X7 Hatchet
10,446 Reviews
Fiskars X7 Hatchet
  • Ideal for chopping kindling and small- to medium-sized logs
  • Chops deeper with each swing to get more done faster
  • Perfected balance and power-to-weight ratio increases swing speed to...
  • Proprietary blade-grinding technique provides a sharper edge for better...
  • Lifetime warranty. Low-friction blade coating powers through wood and...


– Has a perfect power-to-weight ratio
– The blade has an excellent edge and is incredibly sharp
– The head and handle are made from durable materials
– Has a hollowed handle that is super light

Why Is This Our Top Budget Choice?

The Fiskars X7 is a great well-rounded product. In our opinion this is the best budget survival hatchet due to its simple but nearly unbreakable design, “stronger than steel” fibercon composition, and ultra-sharp cutting edge. The head is made from stronger-than-steel materials which make this of the most durable survival hatchets.

Also, it is compact and lightweight, due to the hollow design of the handle. This creates excellent power and great weight distribution. The handle features a textured grip that should never slip, and it features a loophole so you can attach a wrist or belt strap. As standard, this survival hatchet also comes with a high-quality cover to protect the blade.

What to look for in a Survival Hatchet

What should you look for when choosing a hatchet? First of all, a hatchet should be about 16 inches or shorter- anything above that is really an axe.

Consideration must be given to the style, sturdiness, and design of this item. Although hatches have the same shape, their specific features can differ greatly. To help, we have listed the main things we look for when choosing a survival hatchet:

The Grip and Handle

Firstly, look at the grip. Some hatchets have a textured grip that gives better grip and safety when using it. You don’t want to use the hatchet and have it slip from your hand, potentially causing injury! Some hatchets may also have anti-slip coatings to help improve friction and your grip.
Also, look at the handle. The handle should be long enough to give a powerful swinging momentum- after all, speed is power. However, it should not be too long and bulky, so that you can’t carry it easily. Survival hatchets are usually much shorter than traditional axes and meant for one-handed usage. Therefore, you should try to find a handle that offers a good balance of power and portability.

The Hatchet Head

You should also look at the shape, materials, thickness, and sharpness of the hatchet head. What type of head you choose depends on what you will mainly use the hatchet for. For example, a thicker head is better suited for chopping wood as it provides greater force.

Also, consider the shape of the blade. Some blades are flat, whilst others are curved. Generally, flat blades are better for cutting wood as more surface area of the blade will impact with the wood.

The Weight

Weight distribution is also a key factor for the effectiveness of a survival hatchet. The weight should be concentrated in the head to provide a powerful swinging momentum. This holds true for all hatchets, but each one may feel different when you hold and use it.

Also, your survival hatchet should ideally be lightweight. When exploring outdoors, you don’t want to use your energy carrying and swinging a huge hatchet. Look at the materials it is made from, and its overall weight to see how easy it will be to carry and handle.

The Best Survival Hatchets

Now that you know what to look for in a survival hatchet, here are six other high-quality survival hatchets below that would make excellent outdoor tools:

Estwing Special Edition 16” Hatchet

Estwing Special Edition 16” Hatchet
820 Reviews
Estwing Special Edition 16” Hatchet
  • FORGED IN ONE PIECE – The most durable, longest lasting striking tools...
  • OUTDOOR VERSITILITY - Perfect for chopping logs, small trees & branches or...
  • HEAVY DUTY SHEATH - Includes ballistic nylon sheath to protect hand...
  • GENUINE LEATHER GRIP – Hand sanded and lacquered for a durable yet...
  • MADE IN THE USA – Our tools are proudly crafted in Rockford, IL using the...


– Forged as a single-piece hatchet
– Has a real leather grip for a firm and comfortable feel
– Includes a nylon sheath to protect the blade
– The hatchet is drop-forged and tempered for improved durability

Why Choose This Survival Hatchet?

We like that the Estwing Special Edition Hatchet is forged from one piece of steel. This makes it more durable and less likely to break or separate. It is also drop-forged and tempered which improves its resistance to wear and harsh outdoor conditions.

The handle features Estwing’s patented rugged shock reduction grip. This is bonded to the handle and provides an excellent, comfortable grip.

Schrade SCAXE5 Full Tang Tactical Hatchet


– Blade is made from SK-5 carbon steel
– The finger-shaped grip gives better purchase
– Weighs just 1.9lbs
– Comes with a nylon sheath and belt loop

Why Choose This Survival Hatchet?

This is one of the most durable survival hatchets due to its SK-5 carbon steel blade. It is extremely sharp and the blade will tend to hold for a long time. Also, the handle is made from nylon fiber and has finger grooves for a great grip.

Aside from the hatchet blade, there is also a spike pommel and a bar on the end of the handle that you can use to pull and pry objects like nails. This makes the Schrade SCAXE5 a versatile and valuable survival tool that can be used for many outdoor purposes.

Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet

Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet
152 Reviews
Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet
  • Overall Weight: 1. 75 pounds
  • Head Weight: 1 pound
  • Handle Length: 16 inches
  • Head: Solid Swedish steel
  • Handle: Solid American Hickory


– Head is made from solid Swedish steel
– Handle is made from durable Hickory wood
– Lightweight at just 1.75lbs
– Has a curved handle for a firm and comfortable grip

Why Choose This Survival Hatchet?

The Hults Bruk Almike has a more traditional design and features a solid hickory wood handle. The handle has a curved design that will fit comfortably in your hand and provide a decent grip. Also, the hatchet head is made from renowned and high-quality solid Swedish steel.

It offers great balance and a good weight to power distribution. The head also comes fully sharpened and you get a premium sheath for protecting the blade.

Schrade SCAXE2 Stainless Steel Small Axe


– Incredibly small and lightweight
– The blade is made of 3Cr13 Titanium coated stainless steel
– The handle has a rubber grip
– Has a hammer pommel

Why Choose This Survival Hatchet?

The Schrade SCAXE2 is one of the smallest survival hatchets on this list. If you need to travel light and don’t have much space, this is a great choice. Regardless, it is still incredibly strong and the blade is made from 3Cr13 stainless steel that has been coated in Titanium. While stainless steel is not as strong as carbon steel, it will be more resistant to ruse and takes less maintenance.

We like that the handle is ergonomically designed with finger grips and made from glass fiber filled material. The Schradee SCAXE2 also features a hammer pommel and a Ferro rod for fire-starting stored inside the hatchet handle. Pretty neat.

Spyderco Genzow Hatchethawk

Spyderco Genzow Hatchethawk
39 Reviews
Spyderco Genzow Hatchethawk
  • High Performance - The Genzow HatchetHawk is a versatile, high-performance...
  • Built Tough - The axe head is drop forged from 5160 tool steel, heat...
  • Outdoor Versatility - Made from polypropylene plastic injection, the handle...
  • Heavy Duty Sheath - Includes handcrafted leather sheath with a...
  • Specifications - Overall Length (Inches): 15.82, Blade Length (Inches):...


– Head made from 5160 forged tool steel
– Handle has an ergonomic shape to maximize momentum
– Comes with a durable leather sheath
– The head has a long working edge idea for wood cutting

Why Choose This Survival Hatchet?

When looking for the best survival hatchet, durability is important. The Spyderco Genzow Hatchethawk shines in this regard, as it is made from 5160 forged steel. Also, it has been heat-treated so it will work in any condition and on multiple surfaces. The handle is also made from polypropylene plastic, which is known to be highly durable.

This hatchet has a slightly longer handle than some other models, but it is still quite small and easy to carry. When not in use, you can store this survival hatchet in its sleek premium leather sheath.

Kershaw Deschutes Bearded Hatchet

Kershaw Deschutes Bearded Hatchet
216 Reviews
Kershaw Deschutes Bearded Hatchet
  • Made of tough 3Cr13 stainless steel, the wedge blade of the Kershaw...
  • A tan, glass-filled nylon handle with rubberized inserts provides a...
  • A molded sheath and nylon straps attach for secure storage and easy carry....
  • Chopping, splitting, or light forestry - from boy scout to professional...
  • The Deschutes measures 14 inches long with a 3.5-inch blade; it weighs just...


– Made from 3Cr13 stainless steel
– Full tang blade from improved strength
– Handle has rubber inserts for better grip
– Relatively lightweight at just 1.9lbs

Why Choose This Survival Hatchet?

The Kershaw Deschutes has a great design and is one of the smallest and lightest hatchets on this list. It is made from durable materials but also has some great design features. For example, it has cut-outs in the head and handle to reduce the weight.

In terms of dimensions, this hatchet is 14-inches long and weighs just 1.9 lbs. For portability, it also comes with a nylon sheath and has an attachable wrist-strap. The blade itself is made from 3Cr13 stainless steel and has a wedge shape which is great for chopping wood.


We hope you have found this guide useful. Picking the best survival hatchet for your specific needs affords you great peace of mind.

Survival hatchets are an indispensable tool that have a range of uses. Chopping wood, hammering tent pegs, clearing undergrowth, and preparing food are just a few of the tasks this compact and versatile tool can be used for. Anyone of these survival hatchets should make a great choice, and you will find it invaluable next time you find yourself in a survival situation or wilderness trek.

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