The Best Survival Hatchet: Supreme Buying Guide & Top 3 Review

What is a survival hatchet? A hatchet is a type of axe that has a head that weighs anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds and is small enough to be wielded with one hand. On one end, a hatchet has a sharp blade that runs about 3-5 inches. On the other end, a hatchet has a flat area that you can use as a hammer. Hatchets are often used in camping because it is easy to carry in a backpack, has a range of uses, and is dependable. You can use it to skin a deer, make a fire, and post a tent.

So, out of all the hatchets that are available on the market, which ones would be best for survival? If you were on a plane that crashed in the wilderness, which one would you want to have with you?

Camping AxeWildlife HatchetE44A
BrandColemanGransfors BruksEstwing
Size14.5″13.5″16″
BladeDullRazorSharp
SheathNoneLeatherNone
Weight1.8lbs1lb3lb

We will look at the important factors for grading the best survival hatchet and then we will compare 4 different hatchets.

What to Look for in a Good Survival Hatchet

The survival hatchet must be reliable and yet not require a lot of maintenance. It should also be easy to carry around and safe. Here are the grading factors that we took into consideration.

  • Weight: If you are backpacking, an extra 8 ounces will feel a lot after a full day of rucking but it’ll make cutting down a tree a lot easier. Depending on where you live and what kind of survival you plan on doing (lasting until help arrives vs running from the FBI), take this into consideration. You can also cut down weight by getting a tomahawk.
  • Sharpness: The hatchet needs to be able to hold its blade for a long time without being sharpened. Yes, you can carry a wet stone with you but that is another piece of equipment to carry around. Most hatchets are good about this since they use very hard metals. No stainless steel crap here.
  • Size: It needs to fit easily into your backpack and it should also feel good in your hand. The longer the handle, the easier it’ll be to cut things.
  • Sheath: The hatchet should be safe to carry around. It should have a good sheath to protect the blade. It should also have a good grip on the handle to protect your hands from the impact.
  • Price: The range of axes we look at have a variety of prices. Like how different fighters are in different weight classes, these hatches are in different price classes. High prices do not equal to high quality though.

So, with the grading requirements covered, let’s get into the best survival hatchets review!

Coleman Camping Axe

Coleman Camping Axe

This survival hatchet is 13 inches long and weighs 1.8lbs. This hatchet only costs $10! We found this hatchet to be quite good, especially for the price. You can find this hatchet in a lot of big-name retail stores like Sears, Dicks, and Gander Mountain


The axe features a sturdy carbon-steel blade that is sharp and will last a long time. The weight is just right for heavy-duty use. It also feels really well-balanced and solid when we swung it around.

Note that, when you buy this axe, it will not be sharp. It’ll be a little bit dull and you would have to sharpen it at home. I think they do this for safety reasons since Coleman also sells this axe in stores. Most reviewers online complain about this but, in reality, it’s only $10. I’m sort of surprised it’s not made of plastic for this price.

The only downside to this axe is that the sheath is a little bit cheap and flimsy. You might need to buy a leather sheath for this axe if you want to carry it around in a rucksack. However, if you are just going to keep it in the truck, this axe is great! 

Wildlife Hatchet by Gransfors Bruks

Wildlife Hatchet by Gransfors Bruks

This survival hatchet costs a very hefty $111. It is really pretty and cool looking. The blade is very sharp and will last a long time. If you want to have a hatchet that will last for you, your son, and even your grandson, this hatchet is it. It comes with a really sturdy leather sheath.

When I played with this hatchet, it felt amazing. Weights just right and it has just the right length to make cutting wood in the backyard easy. It is made in Sweden and I could tell that there was a lot of craftsmanship inside of this hatchet.

But, it is also $111 !!!  Cool hatchet if you want to spend that much.

As for survival needs, the hatchet might be “too pretty” to take into the field if you understand my reasoning. However, out of all the hatchet we’ve reviewed, this one is the lightest because it uses a wood handle.

I gave this hatchet 3 stars because the price is just too high. Read the reviews here.

Estwing Camper's Axe

Estwing Camper's Axe

I saved the best survival hatchet for last. This hatchet is $40 and has a blade that will never go dull. It is 16 inches long and weighs a little under 3 pounds. Yes, it is a little bit heavy but, trust me, it feels great when you are wielding it. You can easily cut a branch as big as a man’s thigh.

Axe Inside of Tree
Perfect weight, price, and size! Plus the handle is awesome.

This is better than the Coleman hatchet because it comes pre-sharpened. It also holds the blade better than the $10 hatchet we reviewed above. And, unlike the Wildlife hatchet, it doesn’t cost a fortune.

The 3 pounds might turn some people off but consider this knife a heavy-weight hatchet instead of ba antam-weight hatchet. You can use it to cut down a tree if needed. Heck, you can even use it to build a log cabin.

The reviews online are all raving about this hatchet. It is one of the top-selling hatchets online, and best survival hatchets overall. I highly recommend this hatchet.

Conclusion on the Best Survival Hatchet

So, which is the best survival hatchet out of all the ones we reviewed? Well, it really depends on your use. If you want a great hatchet for a wide variety of uses and you have no price ceiling, go for the Wildlife hatchet. However, if you are cheaper and want a good hatchet, I would recommend the Estwing camper's ax. It is much sharper than the Coleman and would be great in a survival situation. I don’t recommend the $10 Coleman since it is designed for the hobbiest camper.

Do you own any of these axes? Tell us what you think of them in the comment box below. You can also comment if you don’t own any of these axes but just like the article ;). If you’re bored, you can also check out throwing tomahawks — they’re really cool and fun. A good partner to the survival hatchet is the survival knife. Make sure you have some of the best survival knives in your bug out bag.

 

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3 thoughts on “The Best Survival Hatchet: Supreme Buying Guide & Top 3 Review”

  1. I have the Coleman. It took some doing to make it sharp, but it can be done. That said, I’m in the market for a new one. Look- 10 bucks is a steal- for sure. But, it’s just “adequate” I’ll have this one as a back up for one more suited for survival. I have a few different bobs, each progressively more involved. The Coleman will go in my last bag- which is all redundant items. A bag that has backups for if I have time to grab and means to carry absolutely “everything”.

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  2. i have the estwing and it is a great tool for anything outdoors, i use it around the yard alot. i have owned this axe for 20+ years and definitely recommend it but my gransfor bruks is my survival tool if it means life or death survival.

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  3. I would like to point out that the Gransfors-Bruks are extremely expensive and all you get is the blade. The poll is used only for balance and per their website you cannot use the poll as a hammer. The risk is deforming the eye. After having owned a GB SFA for about 8 years I sold it because of this weakness. The Estwing is far superior as an all around hatchet. You can use the clear hatchet function and you get the hammer use from the poll. No eye to deform. Further, you save a whole lot of money. Last I saw the GB SFA on Amazon it was $207.00… Stupid expensive for a tool that has a single use and major weakness. I prefer a wood handle, and so I have gone to a rigging hatchet as you can use the hammer for hammer and the blade for blade at about half the cost of the GB SFA. They seem to have descended into just so much hype with true limited use and high high cost.

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