Best Hatchet Reviews 2018

Hatchets are the lightweight and portable alternatives to a standard axe, so you can chop wood no matter where you go. Their shorter handles reduce some of your chopping power, but make them super convenient to carry. The best hatchets may feature a rustic wooden handle and a sheath for safe and easy portability. We've assembled a list of the best hatchet brands for your next trip—but check out our guide first!
Our Top Choice
Husqvarna Wooden Handle Hatchet
Husqvarna specializes in professional-quality power tools with robust warranties and innovative designs, including chainsaws, leaf blowers, riding mowers and more.
Ergonomic curved handle. Hickory wood. Hand-forged with a wood and steel wedge for durability. Leather sheath.
A bit on the heavy side, but the extra weight gives it more chopping power.
15 inches
2 pounds
Curved, wooden
Ergonomic handle
Best Value
Schrade Survival Hatchet
Schrade has a long history of making quality pocket knives, machetes and multitools for use in harsh conditions.
Titanium-coated stainless steel. Hammer pommel. Rubber grip. Ferro rod to start fires.
Some users had durability issues, especially in cold weather.
11.8 inches
1.4 pounds
Fiberglass, rubber
Stainless steel
Ferro rod
Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
At Gränsfors Bruks, seasoned smiths have been handcrafting axes for over a hundred years in the Swedish village of Gränsfors.
Lightweight. Durable. Powerful. Very high customer reviews. Leather sheath.
High-end price.
13.5 inches
1.3 pounds
Leather sheath
Fiskars 14-Inch Hatchet
The experts at Fiskars believe that even the simplest tool can be made better and smarter than ever before, which is why its products include design elements you may not have even thought of.
Perfected weight distribution for deeper swings. Hardened steel blade keeps its edge. Low-friction blade coating.
Some users found their blades started to chip after extended use.
14 inches
1.5 pounds
Shock-absorbing FiberComp
Hardened forged steel
Ideal power-to-weight ratio
Estwing Sportsman's Axe
The Estwing family has proudly designed and manufactured comfortable and attractive striking tools since 1923, so it offers true value to seasoned craftspeople.
Made with one piece of American steel. Heavy-duty nylon sheath. Hand-sharpened edge. Leather grip.
A small number of users complained about minor quality control issues, like fraying of the leather grip.
14 inches
0.9 pounds
Hand-sharpened steel
Elegant design

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Hatchet?

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.

What is the Best Hatchet?

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.
Our Top Choice
The highly rated Husqvarna Curved Wooden Handle Hatchet is portable and powerful, especially compared to other hatchets. If you're looking to go through a lot more wood, upgrade to the Husqvarna Multipurpose Logger Axe.
Husqvarna 13" Curved Wooden Handle Hatchet Axe with Leather Sheath

Husqvarna Hatchet 13” Hatchet

Husqvarna has a long history in high-end power tools. Its powerful tools will leave customers satisfied for years to come, which is why it's able to offer great warranties. Its specialties include chainsaws, leaf blowers, snow blowers, riding mowers and more.

The Husqvarna Curved Wooden Handle Hatchet is easy to use and convenient to have on any woodland trip. It's hand-forged in Sweden and includes a wood and steel wedge for maximum durability. Its powerful design lets you chop logs with more power than the average hatchet, so you can tackle bigger logs in less time. The handle is curved for ergonomic use and made with beautiful hickory wood. An included leather sheath lets you keep the blade protected during travel and storage.
Best Value
The Schrade SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet is inexpensive and delivers a serious punch to get through medium logs. For a higher-end alternative made with high-carbon steel, check out the Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet.
Schrade Survival Hatchet with Black Handle

Schrade Hatchet SCAXE2

Schrade offers a wide range of pocket knives for tactical uses, such as military and police work, as well as wilderness situations. It has an especially large variety of folding knives, including "assisted opening" knives, automatic knives and more. It also offers sharpening products, hatchets and police equipment. This is why Schrade's hatchets have a less rustic, more "tactical" look to them. They're made for practicality with high-strength steel and other reliable materials.

Schrade's SCAXE2 Survival Hatchet is made with titanium-coated stainless steel and features a hammer pommel on the back for crushing materials and hammering nails. The handle is made with fiberglass, and the grip is coated with rubber. A hidden ferro rod is included, so you can start a fire if you don't have a lighter handy. Users praise the weight of this hatchet and say it's easy to use.
The Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet impresses users with extremely high-end craftsmanship that combines power and durability with rustic beauty. For a more portable alternative, try the Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet.
Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet with Leather Sheath Included

Gränsfors Bruks Hatchet 415

Gränsfors Bruks was founded over 100 years ago in the Swedish village of Gränsfors. Its forge is located in the heart of the village, along with its axe museum and summertime restaurant. People even come to take lessons in forging and log-building. The expert smiths treat each axe as a work of art, which is why they sign each piece with their initials. The overall focus is always on quality and environmental responsibility.

The Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is a traditional scouting and camping axe, made for easy portability without sacrificing too much power. Gränsfors succeeds where many other companies can't, by retaining much of the power and durability you often get with a full axe. The simple design is all you need when it's crafted by the very best. The axe comes with a vegetable-tanned leather sheath for protecting the head and for easy carrying.
The Fiskars X7 Hatchet (14") reinvents the modern compact axe for deeper chops and superior durability. For a full chopping axe with the same high-quality components and design, get the Fiskars X15 Chopping Axe.
Fiskars Consumer Prod 14-Inch Hatchet

Fiskars Hatchet 378501-1002

Fiskars was established in 1649, when it designed plows, raising the bar on steel quality and engineering. It set a new standard and became a well-known ironworks company making machinery. It's long stood out because of its commitment to smart design, but it's also known for its use of bright orange handles in many products. Fiskars is passionate about improving designs, even if they're well established and simple.

The Fiskars X7 Hatchet (14") is no exception. It's built with high-quality natural and synthetic materials for superior performance. The blade is made with hardened forged steel and coated with low-friction finish to power through more wood than other hatchets. The entire design is built with its power-to-weight ratio in mind to multiply power on the downswing. A huge number of users are extremely happy with this hatchet, and that's not surprising. It's highly durable and stays sharp for longer than most other axes and hatchets. It's ideal for chopping kindling and small or medium logs. You'll also get an included sheath to protect the blade. The hatchet is covered by Fiskars' lifetime warranty.
The Estwing 14-Inch Sportsman's Axe is an Amazon #1 best-seller for good reason: it's got a beautiful and practical American steel design. Looking for a full-length camper's axe? Look no further than the Estwing E45A Camper's Axe with shock reduction grip.
Estwing 14-Inch Sportsman's Axe with Leather Grip & Nylon Sheath

Estwing Hatchet E24A - Steel - 14 Inch

Estwing was founded in 1923 with an eye towards both designing and manufacturing practical and attractive tools. It specializes in striking tools, such as picks, hammers, and axes. It's always on the lookout for a new innovation to improve the user experience, which is why it introduced its shock reduction grip in 2001. For heavier striking tools, this ergonomic grip makes all the difference.

The Estwing 14-Inch Sportsman's Axe is highly practical, as you can see by checking out over a thousand reviews. You can also see that this hatchet is made with one solid piece of American steel and wrapped with leather for an attractive grip. A heavy-duty sheath is included as well for protected transport. This USA-made hatchet is also hand-sharpened, so you can rely on its edge.

Get the Best Hatchet of 2018!

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.

Our Top Choice
Husqvarna Wooden Handle Hatchet
Best Value
Schrade Survival Hatchet
Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
Fiskars 14-Inch Hatchet
Estwing Sportsman's Axe