If your future plans include heading to the great outdoors, whether that means your own backyard or a week-long fishing trip, a camping hatchet is an important tool to have on your packing list. A camping hatchet is a small, lightweight and versatile tool that can make quick work out of chopping firewood, clearing branches and hammering tent poles. With most hatchets weighing under two pounds and boasting an impressive level of sharpness and strength, they are a useful tool that won’t weigh you down.
Camping hatchets are typically known for their sharp edges, but the back of the hatchet head is often designed to be wide and flat, helping it double as a hammer. Camping hatchets differ from axes mainly in their size, with camping hatchets on the small scale and easily wielded with one hand, while axes are typically designed for larger wood-cutting jobs and require two hands to swing. While an ax is a great tool to keep at home for cutting firewood, a camping hatchet is designed with portability in mind.
When deciding which camping hatchet to take on your next adventure, there are a few key features to keep in mind. A camping hatchet with a stainless steel handle will have the longest lifespan, but the durability comes at a cost of weight and may be better suited for jobs closer to home. Hatchets with wood handles are closest to a traditional-style camping hatchet and are typically made of high-quality materials. We’ve also included several camping hatchets on our list that are made with composite handles that are usually the lightest option, making them ideal for hikers and campers.
If you’re ready to explore the outdoors and don’t want to get bogged down by branches and fireless nights, check out our top picks for the best camping hatchets.
1. Fiskars Hatchet
We picked the Fiskars Hatchet as our overall top choice for the best camping hatchet because of its lightweight design and impressive durability. Ideal for small jobs, including chopping small pieces of firewood and clearing twigs and thin branches, the Fiskars is a great option for anyone who needs a small hatchet that won’t weigh them down. Its 17.5-inch length makes it slightly longer than some of the other hatchets on our list, but this provides a larger swing range and in turn, more power when chopping or using the back of the head like a hammer. The hollowed-out aluminum handle swings like a baseball bat, which makes it easy to increase speed and thus power. Fiskars advertises their FiberComp handle as stronger than steel and impossible to break.
2. RoverTac Multitool
If your pack is already, well, packed, but you still need a camping hatchet that can perform several roles at once, we recommend the RoverTac Multitool. The compact tool comes with 14 items in one, including a camping hatchet and a small hammer. The stainless steel tool includes a heavy-duty nylon sheath to ensure the blade remains covered and contained when the tool is not in use. A great option for campers who are short on space, the multi-tool also includes a knife blade, saw, wrench, bottle opener, and screwdriver.
3. Hults Bruk Almike Hatchet
For a camping hatchet that will make you feel like an outdoorsman or woman of centuries past, there is the classic design of the Hults Bruk Almike Hatchet. Hand-forged from Swedish ax steel, the hatchet head is struck multiple times to increase its density and durability. Incredibly sharp and weighted well for striking, the all-purpose hatchet is great for chopping firewood and clearing brush. The Hults comes with a higher price tag, but the long-lasting tool can be passed down through generations. Weighing just over 2 pounds, the attractive Hults is finished with a 16-inch hickory wood handle and comes with a leather satchel that is adorned with Swedish decorative elements.
4. Adler German Axes Rheinland Hatchet
For a hatchet that you can comfortably hold for extended periods, there’s the Adler German Axes Rheinland Hatchet. The hickory handle is designed with an ergonomic grip and finished with anti-slip black paint. The company makes its hatchets with a unique, curved blade that increases the area of the cutting surface. Made with C45 steel in Germany, the hatchet is well balanced to deliver a powerful blow to wood and brush. We also like that the company includes a leather sheath with a two-button release system for added safety.
5. Gerber 14-Inch Hatchet
BEST MID-SIZED OPTION
For a hatchet that can be used in your own sprawling backyard but is still small enough to take on your next overnight adventure, we like the Gerber 14-Inch Hatchet. The mid-size camping hatchet features a forged steel blade that will stay sharp throughout several jobs. The durable nylon handle is filled with glass for an ideal counterbalance and includes an over-mold for a secure and comfortable grip. A great option for casual campers, the Gerber can be used to cut small to medium logs for firewood. Weighing just over 1.6 pounds, the hatchet comes with a plastic sheath to protect the blade when not in use.
6. Gerber Pack Hatchet
BEST FOR SMALL JOBS
If you need a hatchet that can be comfortably kept within arm’s reach, we like the Gerber Pack Hatchet. The small but mighty hatchet has the smallest footprint on our list aside from the RoverTac Multitool. The Gerber Pack has a 9-inch handle and weighs just over one pound. Finger grooves make it possible to maintain a solid grip on the small hatchet, making it conducive to precise and strong swings. Good for small jobs, the Gerber Pack comes with a nylon sheath that can be mounted on a belt or pack, and thanks to the small size of the hatchet, the tool can be comfortably worn even for extended periods.
7. Schrade Full Tang Hatchet
Schrade makes one of the few full tang camping hatchets, which means that the entire tool is forged out of the same piece of stainless steel, giving it an increased resilience to breakage and separation. At 1.45 pounds, the Schrade is one of the lightest options available and makes for a great option for users who don’t want to weigh down their pack. The hatchet has a non-slip rubber grip that provides a comfortable handle and is evenly balanced, making it enjoyable to swing. A lanyard wrist attachment provides extra security when using the Schrade in wet conditions and a hammerhead backside means the hatchet doubles as a hammer.
8. SOG Tactical Straight-Edge Tomahawk
BEST FOR THROWING
For campers who are looking for a camping hatchet that can split wood, clear branches and sail through the air with ease, the SOG Tactical Straight-Edge Tomahawk hits the bullseye. Made with an ultra-sharp 420 stainless steel head and finished with a hard-cased black coating and a ballistic polymer handle, the SOG is a strong and sturdy multitool. Designed for chopping, digging and yes, throwing, the Tomakawk style hatchet also comes with a nylon sheath that can be attached to a pack or belt buckle.