Whether it’s clearing branches from your path, gathering kindling, opening beers, pounding tent spikes, or splitting firewood for a campfire, a hatchet comes in very handy in your wild outdoor adventures. Its versatility makes it an indispensable camping and survival tool.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
While some argue that carrying a hatchet to a camp is overkill, a true camper knows its value. You might encounter a host of difficult situations that require the use of a hatchet. Therefore, before you head out in the wild, equip yourself with a top-quality hatchet to assist you in your adventure.
There are a variety of hatchets available in the market. This can make it hard for you to select a decent model.
The 4 Best Hatchets for Camping
To help you out, we have separated the wheat from the chaff and compiled a list of best hatchets for camping. This should help you choose a hatchet that suits your needs and your wallet.
1. DC Recreational 440 Stainless Steel Camping Hatchet
Don’t let the small size of this ax fool you. This hatchet is designed to deliver where it really matters. Featuring a broad axe blade and a shortened wooden handle, it is perfect for splitting wood and chopping small logs. Unlike hatches that feature long handles, the shorter handle on the DC Recreational Camping Hatcher should allow for more precise hits and fine work due to the shortened height.
This model features a durable nylon sheath to protect both the blade and you when not in use. The DC Recreational Camping Hatchet is forged from stainless steel and weighs only 0.88 pounds, which makes it more than suitable for camping.
Pros of the DC Recreational 440 Stainless Steel Camping Hatchet
- Shorter handle allows for more precise hits
- Easy to handle
- Durable and strong sheath
Cons of the DC Recreational 440 Stainless Steel Camping Hatchet
- Not suitable for huge tasks
2. Schrade SCAXE10 Full-Tang Hatchet
Schrade is primarily known for producing knives, but they also manufacture top-quality hatchets. The SCAXE10 Full-Tang Hatchet features a simplified design and runs 11.1” in length with a blade length of 3.6”. It sports a durable rubberized grip that’s designed to provide you with a firm grip, even when wet. Thus, you can cut with confidence, knowing that the blade will not slip.
The blade of the hatchet is made with stainless steel and features a conventional shape that improves the overall power of the hatchet. The SCAXE10 Full-Tang Hatchet comes with a thermoplastic belt sheath and a built-in nylon lanyard. You can attach this hatchet to your belt or your bag for convenience.
Pros of the Schrade SCAXE10 Full-Tang Hatchet
- Can be attached to a bag or belt
- Strong rubberized grip
- Durable design
Cons of the Schrade SCAXE10 Full-Tang Hatchet
- Plastic sheath looks and feels cheap
3. Gerber Gator Combo
The Gerber Gator Combo is a two-in-one option for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a top-quality hatchet for splitting firewood and chopping small logs, among other camping tasks. It features an 8.75” hatchet with a knife secured within the handle.
The head of the hatchet is forged with steel and has a low-friction surface that prevents it from getting stuck as you cut the wood. The handle of the hatchet is nearly impossible to break as it’s constructed with glass-filed nylon. The handle is covered in Gator Grip to provide you with a firm hold – the proprietary textured rubber created by Gerber to provide a non-slip grip.
The knife that comes with the hatchet is 7” long and features a three-inch blade, ideal for doing tasks that the hatchet cannot accomplish.
Pros of the Gerber Gator Combo
- Comes with a 7” long knife
- Low-friction blade prevents the hatchet from getting stuck during chopping
- Tough and durable handle
- Good grip
- Reasonable pricing
Cons of the Gerber Gator Combo
- Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
4. CRKT Ruger Hatchet
The Columbia River Knife and Tool firm partners with knife inventors and designers from all over the world to create their own line of original tools and blades. The Ruger Hatchet was designed by Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical.
The head of the hatchet is constructed with carbon steel and features a hammer at the back that can be used for pounding tent spikes. It is coated with magnesium phosphate to prevent corrosion. The blade of this hatchet is over three inches long and can be used for splitting firewood for a campfire.
The CRKT Ruger Hatchet features a glass fiber re-enforced handle with a texture that allows for a good grip. Lanyard accessory is also included for additional retention.
Pros of the CRKT Ruger Hatchet
- Blunt face hammer poll
- Magnesium phosphate coating provides corrosion resistance
- Glass fiber re-enforced handle with texture provides good gip
- Lanyard accessory
Cons of the CRKT Ruger Hatchet
- Not the most durable offering
What to Consider When Buying a Hatchet for Camping
One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a camping hatchet is the price. Some high-end models will set you back several hundred dollars, so you should decide whether you want a top-tier hatchet or a mid-range model. You can find a functional hatchet at a low price, but it won’t last as long as you would like. Generally, they are made with cheaper materials – thinner steel and plastic handles – and are not as carefully crafted. If you invest around $50 to $100, you should get your hands on a quality hatchet that would last long with proper care.
There are a lot of different materials and styles in modern hatchet heads. Materials wise, you should go with a hatchet whose head is made with forged steel. A head constructed with forged steel is more durable and hard. Moreover, the edge of the blade should be tempered for maximum hardness so that it can easily cut wood.
You should pay close attention to the handle of the hatchet that you are planning to buy. Look at the materials used to make it. The most common are fiberglass, wood, and plastic. Synthetic materials are stronger, but some people prefer the look and feel of traditional wood. Hickory is a good option for hatchet handles as it is strong, flexible, and gives a good grip. If you aren’t fond of wood, go with a hatchet whose handle is made with fiberglass. Fiberglass handles are tough and durable and provide a firm grip to prevent slips.
Our Final Thoughts
We have discussed some of the best hatchets for camping. Now it is up to you to decide which axe you want for your camping needs. When making a decision to buy a hatchet to use on your camping trip, consider the factors listed above, including the price, head, and handle of the hatchet. This should help you select a hatchet that suits your needs and your wallet. If you have any questions about the products listed here, feel free to write us a query.