For many people, survivalists and preppers included, the term survival hatchet can be one that’s confusing. Hatchets aren’t just regular axes, they are a type of axe that can be used for a number of survival purposes. And choosing the best survival hatchet can be confusing depending on what your needs are.
What Is A Survival Hatchet?
Survival hatchets weigh, at most, up to a few pounds. This makes them light enough to not only carry but wield with great authority. Hatchet blades are typically razor sharp and are roughly three to five inches in length. Between their lightweight and sharp blades, a survival hatchet can help with a plethora of tasks related to survival, hunting, camping and even odd end chores you might need to be accomplished around your home. For preppers, survival hatchets and axes are a must have tool. Yes, you should add a survival hatchet to your bug out bag essentials list. At the end of the day, if SHTF, you can be assured that a survival hatchet would help you out in a great many ways.
One of the most pronounced benefits to a survival hatchet is that they are light, making them perfect to throw in a camping backpack or even in an intelligently packed bug out bag. If SHTF were to go down and your survival destination is located in remote wilderness, you sure better have the best survival hatchet possible. Additionally, their lightweight composition would allow you to use the hatchet as a weapon to defeat a zombie attack (if that were to really happen, that is).
A survival hatchet is essentially a monster knife. Yes, my best fixed blade knife list has some powerful knives listed that can definitely get a lot of jobs accomplished. But the reality is, if you need to really chop wood or get some serious power behind your chopping, a fixed blade knife can only take you so far. And a survival axe is just too heavy and long to keep in your bug out bag. Survival hatchets are the middle ground survivalists and preppers yearn for. And let me tell you, the top survival hatchets are affordable, high-quality, and truly make an intelligent addition to your prepper collection.
How To Choose The Best Survival Hatchet
First and foremost, you should decide why you are in the market for a survival hatchet. Are you a prepper? Are you an avid camper or hunter? This decision will offer a little insight that can better serve to help you make a more informed decision. For example, a prepper may want a survival hatchet that’s lightweight and easily fits in their bug out bag. But a camper may be less concerned with carrying the hatchet in their backpack. Some preppers may just put the hatchet in their bug out vehicle making the weight of the device much less relevant.
- Weight: How much the hatchet weights will affect whether or not you can carry it for long distances. It can also affect the overall power of the hatchet. A hatchet that’s light will allow you to swing it faster, but the less weight will impact the amount of resulting force. The amount of weight your survival hatchet carries is the first part of the negotiation for both your ability to carry it for distance and your ability to create pure chopping force. For reference, a good hatchet should never weigh more than three pounds, nor less than one pound.
- Size: How long do you want your hatchet to be? Length can adversely affect your ability to store the hatchet in your bug out bag. But also, a longer hatchet could offer more swinging force, or help balance the tool. It also may affect the comfort of your grip.
- Blade sharpness: How sharp the blade is an what the quality of steel is matters. And the quality of steel can most certainly affect the cost of the hatchet, which is another factor. You can mostly sharpen blades rather easily, so out of box sharpness isn’t always a big deal.
- Handle: If the handle is bad, the hatchet will break. You are swinging a top-heavy small axe and that metal blade is colliding with a hard object. If your handle is low quality or made poorly, it will either break on the first impact or it will break down over time.
- Price: Price matters. We are all on a budget, so don’t be shy in setting one. Whenever you set a lower price point goal, you need to truly understand all the functions that make the product superior or inferior. This will help you get a good survival hatchet at lower cost because you can ultimately decide which aspects matter less for you. A lower price survival hatchet is most definitely going to save money somewhere.
Here are some recommendations
Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet Review (Usually More Than $100 – Premium Hatchet)
Weighing in a modest 1.3 pounds, the Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet is a superb product. It is one of the best survival hatchets on the market, bar none. You simply can’t go wrong having this hatchet as a part of your camping, hunting, or even prepper essentials tools. The total length of 13.5 inches means you can use this lightweight hatchet achievement for a variety of tasks. And expect it to perform impressively.
This is one of the pricier hatchets around, but this product of Sweden simply won’t let you down. The blade is so sharp out of the box that you’d have little trouble using it to shave your face with (um, don’t try that, seriously). I also believe this is one of the most beautifully designed hatchets on the market. There is great attention to craftsmanship. Read my full Gransfors Bruk Wildlife hatchet review.
Fiskars X7 Review (Around $25 Depending – Budget Hatchet)
The more modern looking Fiskars X7 hatchet often catches survivalists off-guard. But don’t take this beastly hatchet lightly, it can accomplish just about any chopping tasks you put it to. When you first swing the Fiskars X7, you immediately notice that the weight (1.4 pounds) and length (16.5 inches), accompanied by the superb hatchet’s balance, mean speed and power. I put this a little higher on my list than it should be overall, but I do this because the price is very reasonable for what you get. Check out my Fiskars X7 Hatchet review.
Wetterlings Wildlife Hatchet Review
The Wetterlings Wildlife Hatchet is by far one of my favorite hatchets I own. This thing is a beast. At 1 pound and 10 inches in length, the Wetterling is light and super easy to handle. Also, the Wetterling wildlife hatchet has a 20-year warranty, which means Wetterling is insanely confident you are going to love this product. This is a product of Sweden.
The blade comes super sharp. It is also amazingly well-balanced, you can put the handle on your arm at the middle point and it will almost balance perfectly. You can chop large and small wood with this beast. This thing just feels sturdy.
Husqvarna Hatchet Review
The Husqvarna hatchet is a top-level hatchet, but I make sure to list it a bit lower on my list due to it having some poor reviews regarding the handle’s strength. Some Amazon reviewers have claimed the handle broke immediately. Other claimed it took time. Oddly, this hatchet is reviewed in a very polarizing way: people either love it or hate it. Husqvarna is a reliable brand with a great warranty. I have had nothing but solid experiences with this hatchet. However, I think people should read further reviews on Amazon before committing to this survival hatchet. This survival hatchet is just too popular to not include on this list.
It’s a 13-inch hatchet, the blade is sharp right out of the box, and it weighs 2.5 lbs. Like the Fiskars X7, this is another lower priced hatchet option.
A survival hatchet is an essential addition to either a bug out bag or to the avid hunter and camper’s arsenal. It is functionally a hybrid knife/axe tool that can accomplish a mesmerizing amount of tasks. All preppers should have a good quality hatchet ready to go.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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