Here are the best American-made axes you can get your hands on right now
Whether it comes to doing indoor wood projects or working in the backyard during the weekends, Americans have always been a step ahead with their interest in doing wood projects by themselves.
On that note, an axe is something all households have in their tool rack. Axes are super useful tools that need to be purchased with utmost consideration since it is more of a long-term investment.
Now, maybe you are a great craftsman with all your axe striking skills, but do you know about the best USA-made axes that might help you get your work done better and easier?
No worries if you don’t. In this article, we are going to review the 8 best axes made in the USA that are available on the market. We are going to enlighten you with pros, cons, and even a buying guide for axes as well.
Our top 5 picks:
What is the Best American-Made Axe
Amongst all the great-built American axes, our best overall tag certainly goes to the Camping Hatchet Axe from Estwing. The axe is made of premium steel with amazing oil finishing. In addition, the wood and leather grip combo are a cherry on top for this axe.
While there are several American brands that have mastered the art of producing quality axes, there are some brands that have done it better.
Therefore, without further ado, let’s dive right into our reviews of the American-made axes that you should certainly consider buying.
1. Best Overall American Axe: Camping Hatchet Axe from Estwing
The Camping Hatchet Axe from Estwing is our top pick on the list
Manufacturer: Estwing | Weight: 1.38 pounds | Dimensions: 12.5 x 4.75 x 1.13 inches | Size: 12″ (Inches) | Color: Steel | Material: Synthetic
With many years of experience, Estwing Manufacturing has been making excellent tools ranging from axes and hammers to a range of specialty tools.
They are vintage axe manufacturers of America who have set their craftsmanship to the highest standard, so it is no surprise we opened our list with one of their classics.
Let us start with the build and construction. The single-piece construction of the axe makes for some of the best and most durable striking tools.
Also, this axe from Estwing’s Sportsman is forged from one solid piece of premium steel. We absolutely loved the grip this axe sports. Made from genuine leather, the handle gives it a timeless look and does not sacrifice the axe’s form or function. The beautiful finish is obtained from sanding the leather.
Now onto the performance, we found the axe to be quite versatile. Taking it with you on your next camping trip will help out a lot.
Why We Love It
- Single piece solid steel construction
- Durable leather grip
- Nylon sheath included
- Ideal camping companion
- Blade might start to get dull after a period of vigorous uses
From chopping logs to splitting firewood and kindling, we found this camping hatchet axe from Estwing to have performed very well and with relative ease. A ballistic nylon sheath is also included with the axe to protect the sharp edges, with the axe offering more and more value.
2. Best Premium: Molded Handle Campers Axe from Estwing
Manufacturer: Estwing | Weight: 7 ounces | Dimensions: 26 x 1.4 x 7 inches | Size: 16″ (Inches) | Color: Blue | Material: Synthetic
We have the campers Estwing axe, regarded as one of the most famous camper’s axes, as our second choice. It is made of 100% American steel. Designed to give each cut the perfect swing, it has an unrivalled temper and balance and performs admirably.
The rubber grip on its handle is hand-sanded for a smooth finish and is composed of nylon shock-resistant grip for maximum comfort and usage.
Estwing is well-known for such shock dispelling features they design in their tools. Impact vibration will be reduced by up to 70% by using the grip of this axe. Another plus side of the axe is that it is built to be nearly indestructible.
Before using it for the first time, you may need to sharpen the edge. It’s tough and sturdy, but you’ll need to sharpen it frequently to maintain the edges. Know that the axe is heavy-duty and shouldn’t be used for fun.
Why We Love It
- Affordable, sturdy, and comfortable
- Fits hand nicely
- Offers great balanced
- Strong and durable
- Does not have that premium feel
This Estwing axe is a good choice if you want something bigger than a hatchet but smaller than a normal axe.
The ax-splitting construction of the Estwing Camper may not win any design awards, but it is well-known for its shock-absorbing grip. This handy tool is ideal for splitting firewood, chopping logs, and a variety of other tasks.
3. Best for Camping: Special Edition Camper’s Axe from Estwing
Manufacturer: Estwing | Weight: 7 ounces | Dimensions: 26 x 7 x 1.38 inches | Size: 26″ (Inches) | Color: Black | Material: Synthetic
Yet another Estwing axe makes it onto our list of the best USA-made axes. They have this certain passion for their craft which results in tools of the highest quality. So, without further ado, let us tell you why this axe should be on your radar and on your tool rack.
Like most other Estwing axes, this axe uses only the finest American steel for its construction for maximum durability and strength. Its build, along with Estwing’s superior craftsmanship, results in an axe that may even outlive you!
The grip on this axe is nothing short of amazing. Sporting genuine leather with a lacquered and hand-sanded finish-the handle will feel super comfortable to use. We also liked Estwing’s patented Shock Reduction Grip that the axe has, making it even more reliable to use for heavy-duty tasks.
As the axe is full-sized, its versatility is on the higher end of the spectrum. Measuring quite tall with lengthy handles, we found there is not much the axe could not go through, whether it be logs or small trees. A smaller hammer on the back is also ideal for hammering in tent stakes.
Why We Love It
- Durable and solid steel construction
- Hammer on the back for added utility
- Estwing’s patented Shock Reduction Grip
- Nylon Sheath included
- Some axes are shipped with manufacturer problems
If you have a lot of wood-splitting work you intend to get done, this camper’s axe from Estwing is the perfect option for you. With its amazing shock reduction grip, you are most likely to get through all tasks safely.
4. Best Craftsmanship: Hudson Bay Axe from Snow & Nealley
Brand: Snow & Nealley | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Dimensions: 23 x 8 x 2 inches | Head Type: Hudson Bay
The best-made axes reviews would’ve stayed incomplete without something like the Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay Axe. It is a medium-sized axe that can handle a lot of serious damage. It has a fantastic hickory handle with a user-friendly shape and is pleasant to hold.
You are certain to notice the top-notch craftsmanship as soon as you get your hands on this axe.
This superior quality and versatile axe have beautiful grain patterns. The axe’s balance is fairly decent. The thick bit, paired with outstanding head geometry, makes it a great splitter as well. The axe parts are of high quality.
However, when the axe arrives, it needs some sharpening as the company keeps it blunt for safety reasons in the process of transportation.
To avoid rust during transportation, Snow and Nealley apply a clear coat finish to each axe head. During sharpening and use, the finish will wear away, which is very normal.
Why We Love It
- A leather sheath is included
- Hickory handle of premium quality
- Great splitter for tough wood
- Considered one of the best handle designs with a comfortable grip
- The top of the head is a bit skewed
The bit of this Snow & Nealley axe is heavier than the poll, so it leans down a little-which only improves axe control during a swing. So, if you want an axe with a good shape and comfort that can be used for heavy labor, this is the axe for you.
5. Best All-Purpose Axe: Fox Woodsman Hatchet Axe from Council Tool
Brand: Council Tool | Weight: 1 Kilogram | Dimensions: 16 x 6.93 x 3.15 inches | Head Type: Hatchet
This Council Tool Axe Hatchet is a multi-purpose camp hatchet. It is designed with certain specifications to work well for wood-cutting tasks while also qualifying for competitive throwing in major urban axe-throwing organizations.
As expected, the forging and steel are flawless, with a highly sharpened blade right out of the box. While most others would have required a new axe edge, most of the time, this axe will still not need to be sharpened. The hatchet is one of the few hatchets on the market with a hardened poll, making it one of the best survival hatchet made in the USA.
In comparison to most other throwing axes, the Flying Fox keeps its edge exceptionally well. The handle, like other handles, is made of classic hickory. However, Council Tools does an excellent job of selecting its handle wood. The grain is completely aligned and as straight as it can possibly be.
Why We Love It
- Hardened bit and poll
- Handle has a large hatchet eye
- Highly sharpened blade, which remains sharp for a long time
- High-quality and durable hickory build
- Handle finish makes the grip a bit slippery
Campers, backpackers, hunters or ranchers, all axe enthusiasts, and even competitive throwers will love this Flying Fox for its features and great grip functions.
6. Best Handle Build: Hickory Handle Wood-Craft Axe from Council Tools
Brand: Council Tool | Weight: 2.75 Pounds | Dimensions: 130 x 9 x 3 inches
Another from Council Tools; this axe is designed to be a multi-functional premium axe that can perfectly cut, split, and hammer. It is designed for all the camp chores you’ll encounter.
The Wood-Craft Axe is manufactured from 5160 steel that has gone through heat treatment on both sides for added strength-a and build quality that enables the axe to regularly deal with heavy-duty tasks. It also has a linseed oil coating to protect against wear and tear of the axe’s handle.
Council tool’s USA-made axe handles are crafted of superior-grade hickory and have a strong design. The grain is also lovely and straight all the way through.
Why We Love It
- Comfortable grip and handy features
- For handheld work, the head shape is ideal
- Made from premium-quality hickory material
- Hardened poll for driving steel stakes or smaller splitting wedges
- Included leather sheath is too small; it only covers the space around the edges
Overall, this is a great axe, and the quality is excellent with American technology and craftsmanship.
7. Best For Log Splitting: Council Tool 2.25 Boy’s Axe, 28″ Curved Wooden Handle
Brand: Council Tool | Weight: 2.5 Pounds | Dimensions: 27.5 x 7 x 1.3 inches | Head Type: Dayton
Coming back with yet another Council Tool Axe, this Curved Wooden Handle axe is a camp axe that can be used by one or both hands.
It comes with a sharpened, tapered bit for mild splitting, cutting, chopping, tent peg driving, and other tasks. Over the forged finish, the head is coated with boiled Linseed Oil. The axe head is secured using a typical double wedge mechanism that has been hydraulically inserted onto the handle.
The axe handle is made of American hickory. To limit shrinking and prevent loosening, the eye region of the axe is dried to a moisture content of less than 10%. The axe offers a perfect balance of weight, size, and handiness.
Why We Love It
- Head is made of forged tool steel
- Curved hickory handle
- To prevent rust, the head is coated in black enamel
- Hand sharpened and tapered bit for cutting and light splitting.
- Poor quality control
The Hudson Bay camp axe has a vintage design. Council Tool is one of the best vintage axe brands that make tools with premium materials and superior grade craftsmanship. The weight and size make this camp axe easily usable by both hands. This axe gives a combination of a perfect balance of weight, size, and hardiness.
8. Best Budget-Friendly: Outdoorsmans Belt Axe from Snow and Neally
Brand: Snow & Nealley | Weight: 0.44 Pounds | Dimensions: 15.75 x 5.35 x 2.15 inches | Color: Hickory | Material: Wood, US Steel, Leather
For our last pick, we have another axe from Snow & Nealley — the Outdoorsmans Belt Axe made in the USA. It can serve as an excellent saw, a huge fixed blade, and a compact survival knife all in one. It may also feather a stick and make exceedingly fine kindling if sharpened properly.
This is one of those axes that can handle everything. It has an American hickory wood handle.
The axe blade on the 5.25″ carbon steel axe head is excellently mounted – thus; you can be sure that it’s not going in any wrong direction easily. Grain orientation of the axe is excellent as well. The package also includes a genuine leather blade guard for your safety.
It feels great whether you hold it an inch away from the head or an inch away from the bottom end; it’s just perfectly balanced. In addition, on the other side of the axe, there is a hammer pommel for hammering tent pegs in.
Why We Love It
- American hickory handle
- Leather belt sheath included
- Well known for durability
- 100% US steel and hickory
- Poor lacquer finish on the handle and edge needs to be re-sharpened
When you buy a Snow and Nealley tool, you know you’re getting something that you’ll be able to pass down to future generations. This axe is ideal for trekking, camping, or trapping because it is lightweight and small and is also a great starter axe for campers.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Axes are quite versatile tools that come in any form and type. So, when you are thinking of buying an axe to get your work done, you need to think it through objectively to make a wise purchasing decision.
Check out our buying guide below to know more.
Purpose of the Axe
Axes are used for several functions, which most commonly include shaping, cutting, and splitting. Moreover, axes come in the form of different sizes of hatches, tomahawks, saws, etc.
So, buy the axe according to the purpose you are going to be using it for. For example, you might consider buying a typical large axe for intense wood split work or felling down a large tree, whereas a small hatchet would be fine for other log-related work.
The cutting profile of your axe is one factor that primarily decides how you will be using your axe further. For example, axes that come with cutting profiles have thinner blades than axes that have splitting profiles.
Thin-profiled axes have most of their power at the edge of the cutting edge of the axe head and create maximum impact to split wood in half.
On the other hand, split axes have wider profiles, more like a wedge. The power of the axe lies throughout the blade’s body rather than just the edge. Thereby, depending on the tasks you have at hand, choose a profile for your axe.
Axe Cutting Edge
The style of the cutting blade and its style is the same axes even though the profiles are different. Both rounded and flat cutting-edge axes have circular edges. This ensures intricate wood penetration and enables a good split or cut.
But, with a flat cutting edge, you will get deeper cuts into the wood. On the other hand, with a broader and rounded cutting edge, the wood will rather get cut into clean sections without much splitting.
Most axes have a flat side and a rounded side, so, depending on your hand orientation, go for the axe that will aid you better when you are splitting or cutting wood.
Double Bit or Single Bit Axe
When shopping for an axe, consider the bit-type of the axe according to your task needs. Most people prefer single-bit axes because it seems more effective. Single bit axes are strong and have to be stroked just like a hammer to cut or split fresh wood into two.
On the other side, double-bit axes are not very common but do have some benefits. While single bits are more heavy-duty and are used to completely cut into a wood, double bit axes can be used for both heavy-duty tasks and even everyday basic work like shaping, cutting, etc.
This is because double-bit axes are made with symmetrical blades and have a good balance to them.
Choosing the ideal length of your axe handle is pretty subjective. You have to find out what length and weight of an axe handle you can manage to use comfortably without any safety issues arising.
Secondly, the material of the handle is important as well. Most handles come in wood or metal materials. While wood is more comfortable to hold, metal handles are heavy-duty and designed for intense tasks, so choose accordingly.
Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay axe, CRKT Jenny Wren Compact ax, Estwing Sportsman Camping Hatchet, and Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe are manufactured in the US.
Sweden is knowingly the country that has earned its name with great axe manufacture.
Gransfors Bruk Scandinavian Forest Axe is the sharpest Sweden-made ax in the world.
Felling axes are the best to use for cutting down trees.
Linseed boiled oil or tung oil is good oil options to clean ax handles and head.
Now that we are done with our reviews of the 8 best American-made hatchets and axes, we hope you make an informed decision and get the best axe for yourself.
Don’t forget to wear safety gloves and goggles when working since axes are heavy-duty weapons that might cause accidents in case of poor handling. Good luck!
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