The planting season is fast approaching, and you’re engaged in the eleventh-hour rush to ensure everything in your farm is in the right condition. While doing the last-minute inspection, you find out that your garden's fence is decimated, incapable of fending off would-be intruders. Due to the limited time, you cannot carry out major renovations—hence a makeshift fence has to be put up, and urgently.
The fence situation could not have come at a worse time. Another inconvenience added to your already-hectic schedule. As it’s an urgent issue, it forces you to act promptly. Just when your mind is about to be stretched to its limits, a brilliant idea comes through. It hits you that the mini forest in your backyard can act as a source of fencing poles. Armed with the required tools, you set out on your logging adventure.
To cut the trees down, an axe would suffice
, though hatchets are the ideal option when sourcing for poles since they’re meant for smaller trees. A log splitter
is another necessity, as it’s needed to split the larger trunks into the appropriate size. Lastly, you should not forget a wood chipper
, which comes in handy when shaping the poles.
Moreover, hatchets are lighter than axes, hence more portable. Despite possessing a significantly lower density than axes, hatchets boast of robustness that can rival that of their big brothers, so you don't have to worry about them breaking easily. Heck, if well taken care of, it can serve for multiple generations.
All that said, a hatchet is a fundamental tool to every homeowner, regardless of whether you’re a gardener or a forester, or none of the mentioned. At some point in life, you’ll find the services it offers useful. Currently, the market offers a variety of choices, making it a daunting task for rookies to identify the most suitable option. However, we are here for you, and after reading through our guide you won't be the next victim of the sweet-talking salespersons who are willing to promote anything just to make money.
A hatchet is a simple tool, but demands many considerations before buying, among which is its cost. Upon visiting several websites, you’ll find a wide assortment of hatchets, bearing different prices. The cost is often influenced by the included features, the brand's reputation, and size.
The price range for a good hatchet is about $8 up to $100. We checked the marketplace for cheap hatchets, and though they were available, they are made of flimsy material. They’re not even worth the little money you’ll spend on them! If you’re looking for a long-lasting option, we recommend high-end tools, as they repay their initial cost with years of reliable service.
The primary purpose of a hatchet is chopping, though it can handle other jobs such as splitting and shaping. For this reason, a prospective buyer should ascertain the suitability of the tool in carrying out its main objective. Thus, it should be sturdy and durable.
Apart from robustness, other features that ought to be in the buyer's checklist include:
- Length - How long is the handle? Shorter handles are more demanding compared to longer ones, as they require considerably higher amounts of force.
- Weight - Typically, hatchets have low weights which vary across different brands.
- Handle Material - It can be made of wood, fiberglass, rubber, leather, or a fusion of these materials.
- Head - This is the part that does the cutting. It’s forged from either pure steel or stainless steel.
- Extras - The manufacturer may opt for additional features to make its product outstanding.
If the specifications live up to the billing, the next course of action is testing the hatchet to see how it performs.
Construction and Design
When it comes to the design of hatchets, we prefer those with wooden handles. Wood trumps over its competitors because it’s a good shock absorber and can be easily replaced if it breaks. Moreover, it’s more affordable than metal and fiberglass. Metal, albeit significantly more robust than wood, is a poor shock absorber and very expensive. Also, metallic handles tend to be hollow, rendering them ineffective for carrying out heavy tasks.
While hatchets are usually small, they often vary in handle length. Longer handles generate more force than shorter variants, hence they’re more suited to heavier tasks. Conversely, shorter handles offer more control and precision, though they require more force to be exerted.
The wedge is arguably the most vital part of a hatchet. Therefore, it has to be durable, lest you’ll be a frequent visitor to the local hardware store, looking for replacements. To avert such scenarios, we advise going for stainless steel-headed hatchets, as they are immune to rusting and can withstand more pressure than those made of pure steel.
Performance and Ease of Use
Like all tools meant to be operated by human hands, it’s imperative that a hatchet be comfortable. Manufacturers have this in mind, hence modern designs feature a curved handle to increase ergonomics. To further enhance the grip, some brands use materials that improve friction, securing the hatchet tightly during usage.
Hatchets can be dangerous, primarily because of their sharp cutting edges. As a measure to counter the risk of accidents, a majority of brands come with leather sheaths which serve dual purposes; both protection and easing the transportation of the tool.
We looked at brands that specialize in rustic hand tools and reliable power tools, since they know what it takes to get the tough jobs done. They also know what materials make for the best user experience and durability. We compared prices to find suitable hatchets for a variety of price ranges. To find your ideal hatchet, take a look at our individual product reviews.
Consider how often you'll be using your hatchet, since the higher-end hatchets on our list tend to last longer under heavy use. Check out some real user reviews if you're still not sure which hatchet is right for you in the long run. Whatever you're looking for, these expert brands have something for you—even if it means looking at some of their other options.