For any kind of camping or hiking trip, having a bushcraft axe in your backpack can always be handy. They are the perfect balance of power and portability you will need when hiking or camping in the wilderness.
While you can find plenty of axes online, getting one of the best bushcraft axes is always tricky. Getting the perfect bushcraft axe that suits your camping and hiking needs takes time and effort.
To ease the whole process, we bring you the top 8 bushcraft axes you can carry along on your camping trips. Along with that, we also share some key considerations while buying a bushcraft axe. Stick with us!
Why Do You Need A Bushcraft Axe?
Bushcraft is all about surviving in the wild and using the resources available to you naturally. A bushcraft axe works like the primary tool to help in your survival.
Whether you want to start a fire or build a shelter, you can’t do any of it unless you have a bushcraft axe.
While the axes are mostly used for chopping or splitting wood, there are some other uses of the axes as well. Here’s how you can use them.
- Cut or split wood to create a fire
- Process kindlings to work as fuel
- Starting a flint
- Use to hammer tent pegs
- Carving wood
- Breakthrough ice
- Get through felled trees
How many of these actions you can perform will mostly depend on the axe you choose to buy.
Axe Or Knife, Which Is Better For Bushcraft?
For bushcraft, you can get a knife, an axe, or even both. Each tool has specific features that bring unique value to the table.
- Bushcraft axe
Starting with the bushcraft axe they are quite powerful and great for splitting and cutting wood. You can use these woods to make shelter, start a fire or create fencing to protect yourself. Other than that, a small axe or hatchet can also be pretty decent for self-defense purposes.
As for the knives, they are great for tasks requiring precision. Knives work perfectly for crafting or carving small components in the wood. You can create a lot of stuff like traps for animals, prepare the meat, and process through twigs to fuel the fire.
Between the two choices, you can see that bushcraft axes are better when you think about building stuff in bushcraft. On the other hand, knives are better when you think about hunting or preparing food and crafting stuff.
Overall, having a bushcraft axe can greatly benefit you if you have to cut through larger pieces of wood or felled trees. But taking both of these tools with you will bring you the most efficient and effective results for bush crafting.
8 Best Bushcraft Axes You Can Get
Finding a perfect bushcraft axe is difficult when you have so many options. A bushcraft axe has to be sharp and strong enough to cut through wood. Also, it must be portable because you plan to go on a trip with it.
Considering all those factors, here are the 8 top choices of bushcraft axes you can get for your camping or hiking needs.
1. ESTWING Camper’s Axe – 14″ Hatchet – Best overall
Estwing is a very popular name when it comes to outdoor tools for camping and hiking. And this camper’s axe might just be the perfect thing for bushcraft on your trips. It comes with Estwing reliability and some pretty handy features.
Right off the bat, what makes the hatchet perfect is its 14″ length. This makes it a fairly compact axe for bushcraft. You can easily pack it in your bag or carry it with a holster on your waist. The axe weighs around 2 lbs, so it shouldn’t tire you.
The next talking point of the axe is its versatility. Whether you are planning to cut some wood or split some kindling, it can do it all. With the short length, it’s easy to maneuver, and the high-quality, sharp blades cut through wood as if it’s butter.
Another excellent addition to this axe is its high-quality sheath. The sheath they provide on this axe has a ballistic nylon construction. So, you don’t have to worry about the protection of the blade or hurting yourself while handling the axe.
What elevates the axe to a new level is its shock-reduction handle grip. They use patented technology in their grips which can reduce the vibration impact on the axe by 70%. And the bonding of the grip with the handle is pretty strong, so there are no worries of slipping it either.
- Very comfortable to use
- High-quality and sharp blades
- Features a strong design
- Excellent value for money
- Offers great versatility
- The blade steel needs sharpening
- A leather sheath would have been better
2. CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe – Best for versatility
Whenever you think about the bushcraft axe from the next time, the CRKT Freyr will always pop up in your mind. It’s the perfect axe with a combination of power and lightweight construction. It’s easy to handle and works as the perfect tool for bushcraft.
The power of this axe comes from the 1055 Carbon Steel head on the axe. It provides the axe with some impressive durability and top-notch edge retention. CRKT has roughly forged the whole blade so you can cut through wood without any trouble.
There is a Tennessee hickory handle and body to add to the axe’s durability. The wood is pretty dense, and it can withstand pretty hard use in almost any task you encounter in bush crafting.
What makes it perfect for bushcraft is its tactical head type. This kind of axe head type is perfect for activities like chopping, splitting, carving, and crafting. While it’s versatile, it also has some serious sharpness for cutting hardwood.
Something that adds up to the ability of bushcraft on this axe is its lightweight construction. Even though it looks a bit heavy with the 16″ length, it weighs only around 1.9 lbs. So, carrying it around while hiking or camping shouldn’t be a problem.
- Solid build quality
- Sharp and powerful axe head
- Versatile to use
- The handle feels quite comfortable
- Lightweight and compact
- Have to buy sheaths separately
- It needs a lot of sharpening
3. Gerber Gear Bushcraft Hatchet – Best for functionality
Two fundamental bushcraft activities are to start up a fire and build a shelter, and this hatchet delivers on those quite well. With its quality and features, the hatchet becomes the perfect tool to address your primary bushcraft necessities.
First, its hidden compartment is the unique feature that takes it ahead in the competition for bushcraft axes. The axe has a storage unit nesting inside the handle where you can keep a paracord and a small lighter. It’s water resistant as well.
For the axe head, it has got a carbon steel blade material with a PTFE coating and machine relief construction perfect for deeper cuts. It’s also a hammerhead which gives you the option to do some hammering to set up a tent or make a shelter.
Something that adds up to the convenience is the rubber-molded handle. With the rubber grip on the hatchet, it’s usable for long hours, even after extreme sweating. And the ergonomic design keeps it comfortable to use at the same time.
To top it off, the hatchet is lightweight and the perfect size for bushcraft activities. It weighs just around 2.4 lbs, and the length is 16″, making it suitable for crafting, carving, chopping, and building. In short, it does everything you need for bushcraft.
- Versatile and multifunctional usage
- Good build quality
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Resistant to corrosion
- Excellent value for money
- Low-quality sheath
- Blades are dull out of the box
4. Cold Steel All-Purpose Axe with Hickory Handle
If you plan to go on an extreme camping or hiking trip, this Cold Steel axe will be the perfect thing for you. Its features can back you up with just the functionality you would need on a long and intense trip.
An exciting factor about the axe is its quick head replacement feature. The axe uses a clamp mechanism to allow you to switch the axe heads within a couple of minutes. While replacing the heads is easy, they are still rugged enough not to come off by themselves.
What makes the axe suitable for bushcraft is its weight. It weighs about 1.5 lbs, including a heavy-duty axe head. Even though it may look a bit large for camping or hiking, it’s perfectly suitable to carry due to its lightweight. And you can control it easily as well.
Chopping or cutting wood for hours won’t be troublesome with this axe because of its comfortable hickory handle. It features an ergonomic design, so you can hold it without causing any discomfort to your hand. No worries about awkward hand placements anymore.
The precision and sharpness of the blade from the Hudson Bay axe with a 1055 carbon steel head are truly impressive. Chopping down trees isn’t that difficult with this axe. And with the blade’s precision, it can also help you out in bushcraft activities.
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Comfortable handles
- Quick swapping axe head
- Usable with different kinds of handles
- Worth the money
- Blades need a lot of sharpening
- It requires a bit of tightening on the axe head
5. GEDORE – 1591657 OX 235 E-0802 Forestry Hatchet
When you are more into the crafting aspect of bushcraft rather than building, the Gedore 1591657 might be the perfect thing. But it doesn’t fall behind on the building part of bushcraft either. You pretty much get both benefits with this axe.
The compact design of the hatchet makes it a perfect option for crafting. You get to turn around those corners for better precision in cutting. It goes about 19″ in length, including the handle and the axe head.
Coming to the strength of the hatchet, it offers you pretty solid cutting strength and power. With its 2-lb heavyweight axe head, the strikes on wood from the hatchet are pretty impactful. Chopping wood for fire or shelter won’t be of any trouble with this one at all.
It has a fine handle design, making it feel good to hand. Comfortability will never be an issue with this ergonomic handle design, even after hours of using the axe. The craftsmanship on the axe is truly impressive, without any faults at all.
Another great factor about the hatchet is its usability right after the purchase. The blades come sharp right from the factory, so you won’t have to spend time sharpening the blades. It doesn’t need any tightening or setup before you start using it.
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle design
- Heavy axe head makes it powerful
- There is a blade cover for added protection
- The workmanship on the axe is excellent
- Impressive sharpness on the blades
- Poor durability on the handles
- It can be a bit too heavy to carry around
6. Hultafors / Hults Bruk Hultan Trekking Outdoor Hatchet
Here’s a bushcraft axe that will be the perfect companion for your adventure in the wilderness. This axe from Hultafors has a balance of weight, size, power, and quality, making it suitable for any outdoor activity, including bushcraft.
This hatchet’s best and most unique thing is its hand-forged axe head. It uses Swedish axe steel specifically used for making axe heads. This gives the hatchet a more durable and powerful axe head to help you easily cut through wood
The lightweight nature of this hatchet is something to consider when considering bushcraft. With a weight of 1.8 lbs, it is very easy to maneuver. You can use the axe for crafting and building purposes without any concerns.
On top of that, the 14″ inch handle of the hatchet is quite small as well. It’s great for control but also great for portability. Going hiking or camping while carrying this on your backpack or in an axe holster isn’t troublesome either. And it’s comfortable to use too.
Even though the axe head is hand forged, the edges of the head are polished and finished well. It helps out a lot in getting the desired sharpness in the axe. And it comes with a leather sheath to retain the sharpness on the blade and protect yourself from accidents.
- Impeccable craftsmanship
- Very comfortable to use
- It comes with a solid axe head
- The edge sharpness is excellent
- Lightweight and compact
- Handle quality could be better
- Issues of discoloration or rust on the head
7. Schrade Bedrock Magnum Axe
When it comes to camping and bushcraft activities, this hatchet might be the perfect tool to have in your backpack. The combination of features on the axe makes it a great option for trekking or camping.
The first thing to praise about the axe is its sharpness. It has got a 3Cr13MoV steel material on the axe head. This material gives the axe head high hardness levels and top-notch damage resistance.
A great thing about this axe is its over-molded handle grip. Even with sweaty hands, it’s easy to hold onto the axe and keep it steady for a long time. No worries about the axe slipping away from your hands, thanks to the rubbery texture on the grip.
For bushcraft, it’s important to have a compact and lightweight axe, and that’s what you get from this axe. Its 16″ length is suitable for carrying in a backpack or a holster. And it weighs just around 1lbs, making it very lightweight and easy to handle.
Lastly, the build quality is as good as it gets. There is no separation between the handle and the body, which means the axe head won’t be coming off accidentally. With a matte black color, it also delivers a classic camping and hiking appearance.
- Great value for money
- Perfect size and weight for bushcraft
- High-quality blade material
- Excellent build quality
- Convenient and effective handle grip
- Edges are prone to rolling
- The sheath material isn’t that great
8. BRUFER 203651-3 Hatchet Axe
Ending off the list with this amazing hatchet from Brufer. It has got all the makings of a proper bushcraft axe. Its features and quality make it an option worth checking out for bushcraft, camping, trekking, or even axe throwing.
The factor that makes it a worthy choice is the weight. It only weighs about 1.3 lbs, allowing you to move it around or use it for long hours without hurting your hands. And the smaller length of 14″ inches gives it great maneuverability.
Coming to the cutting performance, it has got a carbon steel head to provide some pretty good cuts on wood. The axe blade sticks deeply inside the wood, making it suitable for splitting trees or wood without any trouble.
It has hickory wood on the handle, which gives it great durability. The handle shape is suitable for holding it comfortably. Because of the hickory wood, the handle also becomes much more flexible to reduce the impact of striking it on wood.
Lastly, reasonable pricing is surely a positive on the axe. The price is significantly low due to its quality, cutting, and durability. And all of its features just make it a perfect choice for bushcraft activities within a budget.
- Compact and lightweight to use
- Good durability and quality
- Great value for money
- High-quality axe head
- Versatile with multiple functionality
- The blade requires sharpening out of the box
- Handles can become loose easily
Things to Consider When Buying a Bushcraft Axe
When it’s about buying an axe for bushcraft, you have to consider some key factors. These factors help you determine the best choice for your particular needs. Let’s get through the considerations quickly.
The versatility of the axe is a must-have quality for bushcraft. An axe that is capable of splitting, chopping, cutting, carving, and crafting is the perfect type of axe for bushcraft.
Weight and size
The weight and size factor will usually determine how versatile or useful the bushcraft axe will be. It also dictates the portability factor of the axe.
Typically, for the weight, you should be getting something within 1 to 3 lbs. It’s the most ideal weight to have in a bushcraft axe. That way, it’s light enough to carry and use for bushcraft.
As for the size, anything from 14 inches to 28 inches works out great. The middle number of around 16 to 22 inches is the most ideal size you can have in a bushcraft axe.
Coming to the axe handle, you simply want something that feels good in your hand. Anything with sharp edges or bad shape can be very discomforting to use. An ergonomic handle is the perfect thing for comfort and ease of use.
For the handle material, wood works out great, especially if you have hickory or ash wood. Sometimes the handles can have an over-molded rubber grip, which also helps out a lot for non slippery performance.
Typically, having an axe blade with decent weight can be a great pick for bushcraft. The weight has to be light enough to carry and heavy enough to get the proper strength for all the activities.
The material of the axe head can be any durable steel. But anything with stainless steel or carbon steel will work out very well. Also, the edge needs to have proper sharpening. Because a dull blade on the axe head will always be useless.
After going through some awesome choices, you should know enough about the best bushcraft axe by now. The most important thing is to get an axe with the perfect weight, size, and functionality balance.
If you struggle to pick one of the eight choices, we suggest going with the ESTWING Camper’s Axe – 14″ Hatchet. It’s the best overall option you can get for bushcraft activities. The power, size, and build all add up to this hatchet.
Aside from this one, many other axes with features are loaded to support bushcraft activities. You can get any of them and get effective results.
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