Bushcrafting teaches you a lot of things but primarily, more about survival and to utlise the nature in the best way.
We know that you are pretty hooked to the craft. Neverthless, in this post, you would explore a lot of interesting details about bushcrafting in general plus, some extra tips on how to choose the best bushcraft axe and hatchet for your next adventure.
Axes were widely used since mid-’90s for all types of hunting and outdoor survival. In this post, we would be taking you back to good old times as we would be reviewing the top axes and hatchets.
- 7 Best Bushcraft Axes For the Money
- Choosing a Bushcraft Axe – Top Features to Look!
- How to Take Care of Your Axe?
We covered nearly 23 different axes from the market and planned rating each of these on the basis of usability, blade sharpness, handle quality and price.
From over 23 different axes, we could only find 7 top axes which were worthy of mentioning in this post as they fulfilled each of the above criteria including having great reviews from the existing customers.
7 Best Bushcraft Axes For the Money
Choosing the right axe is very important. As you know, there are multiple brands and manufacturers that produce high quality axes.
More importantly, you should buy something that is sturdy, perfectly balanced but not too heavy.
1. 1844 Helko Werk: Best Bushcraft Axe
The first thing to notice in 1844 Helko Werk is the 1.5 lbs head of the axe that is made up of great quality carbon steel.
Carbon steel helps the axe to hold the sharp edges for a longer period of time as compared to a traditional axe. The same material is also used in whittling knives as well.
The shape of the Rheinland Pack Axe head is very unique as it forged in Germany.
This particular shape of the axe provides a very long blade and that can be useful for trimming the branches and limbing the trees.
When it comes to the power, the axe head along with the American hickory axe handle contribute a lot of it for cutting any hard object as well.
Made with bare hands, you can be assured of the quality assurance. In place of paint and polyurethane for sealing the handle, the company uses linseed oil which is boiled to coat the handle.
So, you will have a very smooth finish for a very long period of time. There is also the presence of a leather sheath that is vegetable tanned in order to provide more safety to the user from the sharp edges of the blade.
Do check this video to get a better idea about the Helko Werk and how it is made:
2. Husqvarna 576926501: Best Carpenter’s Axe
If you are looking for more control and stability in your axe, Husqvarna 576926501 is a very good choice.
This axe comes with a very long edge which is suitable for outdoor carpentry work.
For better control, there is minimal space between the cutting edge and hand grip.
The leather edge provides a very comfortable firm grip.
The hickory shaft is situated near the head under the protection of the steel and wooden wedge.
The Husqvarna 576926501 is available in different sizes. The axe weighs about 2.4 pounds which is comparatively heavier than other axes.
With minimal maintenance, the Husqvarna 576926501 can last for a long time. You will also be provided with a leather sheath along with the axe so that you can carry and store the axe without harming yourself.
The Husqvarna 576926501 comes at an affordable price. No doubt why it has got so many positive reviews from the customers.
3. Gransfors Bruk PECO: Best Bushcraft Hatchet
Made in Sweden, the Gransfors Brul is a hand constructed hatchet and thus has a handmade finish to it.
You can call it the Rolls Royce of axes as it passes through a rigorous process of inspection and quality assurance.
To be frank, we had never thought that a product like axe would be going through such a rigorous inspection process.
The blades of the PECO 33004-PE axes are sharpened by the hand.
The hand-shaped handles are used and they have American Hickory in them. This is the major reason why the axe is lightweight and durable.
Overall, you will be getting a perfectly aligned and tightly-grained axe handle that is more powerful than most of the other axes and hatchets covered in this post.
With exceptional care, attention, and craftsmanship, the PECO 33004-PE hatchet is a sheer example of excellence.
There is a leather sheath that is provided along with the hatchet for easy carrying and transportation.
For better carrying, you could easily lock the axe with your belt as well.
With 14-inches of length and 1.3 lbs of weight, the PECO 33004-PE hatchet is a powerful and highly precise tool.
Let’s take a look at its pros and cons:
4. Estwing E24A: Best Budget Bushcraft Axe
The Estwing E24 is a USA-crafted axe that is widely used for cutting logs.
It is the best best budget bushcraft axe as it comes for a very affordable price.
Made with 1055 carbon steel, the hatchet is very sharp and durable.
It is heated enough to ensure a match of the ASME safety requirements.
This particular bushcraft axe uses very high-quality materials such as leather and steel in order to assure the people of the grip and comfort.
The Estwing E24A Sportsman’s hatchet is designed in a way to minimize the stress and shock in the hand when you are using the axe for cutting logs and wood.
The handle of the axe is 14 inches long and it is staked and polished with leather washers in order to provide a very firm grip.
There are ample reasons which make Estwing E24A one of the best bushcraft axe in the market.
The one-piece steel design is forged for ensuring long-lasting service without any repair and replacement.
An impressive thing here, the weight of the axe is just 1lb. Not to mention, the transportation and carrying the axe becomes very easy due to much less weight.
The hatchet head of Estwing E24A is drop-forged, doesn’t really get loose in any circumstances.
An additional nylon sheath is provided so that you can store the axe without any hassle.
Do check this video to know more details about the hatchet:
Time to dive deep and segregate the pros and cons:
The PECO Gransforc Bruk is a forest axe which comes with both style and size.
The wood is arm-sized and you will easily be able to use it for roughing the shapes and carving the wood.
The weight of the entire axe is about 2 lbs and hence it is a bit heavy compared to other axes.
However, the weight and the height are in perfect alignment as the length of the axe is about 19 inches.
The handle of the axe is made up of smooth American Hickory that will provide a firm grip and stability to the axe.
As the sync of the handle and blade of the axe is such that it will exert very little stress on your hand when you are using the axe for cutting. The axe is also usable as a pruner for removing the small branches.
With an extraordinary look and finish the axe is perfect for long-time use. The blades are very sharp as they use carbon steel to construct these.
For the safe storage, there is a leather sheath that is provided so that you can transport and carry the axe safely.
Let’s summarize the features in pros and cons:
The Friskars X7 is a very high-quality and well-built hatchet which can provide a good balance of an axe including long-lasting durability.
It has got a single-body design and comes with a FierComp handle.
The handle is tightly wrapped all around the carbon steel blade of the axe. It is comfortable including a very strong grip.
Adding more to the handling, the handle grooves are present at the area of gripping.
These grooves ensure that there is a firm grip and the handle doesn’t slip easily.
Chopping the wood becomes easy due to the sharp steel blade.
The baseball bat inspired design provides more power to the axe. The length of the axe is 14 inches and weight is 1.38lbs.
It can be one of the best bushcraft axes in your collection. However, we would leave that decision to you.
Here, check this detailed video:
Let’s know more about what we like and do not like in the Fiskars X7 hatchet:
The Wetterlings SAW 118 outdoor axe might just be a very costly axe
The handle of the axe has a Les Stroud insignia stamp which is proof of the authenticity of the product.
It also includes a two-toned head of steel, leather sheath for storage, a hand-crafted handle which further makes this dangerous tool look beautiful.
The leather sheath helps to carry the axe around pretty easily. The axe is specifically designed for the people who want excellent quality.
The Wetterlings SAW 118 has a very sleek design and there are high-quality materials such as carbon steel used for the construction of the blade which makes it very sharp for cutting and splitting.
The best thing about the tool is that it doesn’t really require any form of repair or maintenance. So, investing in the Wetterlings product will be a one-time thing for sure.
Choosing a Bushcraft Axe – Top Features to Look!
When you are hunting down for the best bushcraft axe, you need to make sure that you know what you need. There are certain factors that you need to consider before buying the bushcraft hatchet of your choice.
You need to make sure that you are considering everything from the size of the blade to the budget that you have.
Here are some important factors for you to consider before you select a particular model.
Blade Of The Axe
Primarily, most of the blades in an axe have a common constituent even if they are of a different style. These blades are composed of steel and hence are very durable.
The blades have a very sharp edge and there is the toe and the rearfoot area on each and every single edge.
When you go on choosing a particular bushcraft axe, you need to make sure that you have a clear idea as for what purpose you will be actually using the axe.
For some people who need to just break the wood, the curved cutting axe edge is sufficient. However, for other functions such as splitting, the sunken cutting edge is the preferred axe blade.
Further, you also need to make sure that you have a cutting edge that is honed and sloped legitimately.
You also need to focus on the sheath of the blade and whether it is of good quality or not otherwise the safety can be compromised.
The hatchet handle also has a very important function to play. Also named as the pole of the axe, the handle is often made up of all sorts of materials such as metal, fiberglass, and hickory.
The axe handle has a very specific function and it is to help in the reduction of the shock while hacking.
While you are picking out the best bushcraft axe for you, make sure to choose one that provides less strain on the hands.
Here, the weight circulation is an important factor to consider. You might also want to look into other highlights such as the outline of the handle, honing and geometry of the edge.
Make sure that you choose an axe which is fairly easier for you to handle and carry. We wouldn’t say that you need to go with the one having the lightest weight.
Just that, you need to make sure that the weight of the axe further does not add a burden to the repetitive shocks and strain on your hand when you are using the axe or a longer period of time.
Head Of The Axe
The axe’s cutting capacity is strongly dependant on the head of the axe. You need to make sure that you choose an axe head that has got perfect alignment with the handle of the axe.
Physical examination of the axe head is very important to decide that. All you have to do is grasp the head and adjust the handle of the head to precision.
The weight of the axe head is also a prominent factor to consider. There are axes that have heavier weights than the others. These axes are far more powerful and will cut most of the hard surface of the wood pretty easily.
When it comes to choosing the axe, make sure that you consider the weight and alignment of the axe head as well.
Choosing the Appropriate Size
When it comes to the size, the hatchets can have various types. You need to select one that will help you solve your problem easily.
If you are someone who does regular woodwork, you might have different sizes available for different tasks. However, for one-time use, a reliable sized axe is enough.
Selecting the appropriate size is important due to this reason. Most people don’t account the size and it is always a waste of money when they purchase an axe which doesn’t solve their purpose.
It all depends on the purpose. For cutting and hacking, people prefer largely sized axes. On the other hand, for removing the branches of the trees, it is preferred to use an axe which is smaller in length.
A very important factor is the price of the bushcraft axe. Not all of the high-quality axes are cheap and affordable.
Considering your budget will be a great start to ensure that you select the best axe that is suitable for you.
There are many different kinds of axes that come for a different price. On the other hand, you also need to make sure that you are buying an axe which would solve your purpose.
Deciding a range in mind would give you a great start while narrowing your research for the best bushcraft axe.
How to Take Care of Your Axe?
A good quality bushcraft axe is typically made up of several materials that support the axe to stay in a good condition for a long period of time.
Let’s talk more on how you can keep your axe in a good condition:
- Protecting the Axe Head
The axe head is one of the most important parts of the bushcraft axe. The most common component that is used for the construction of the axe head is carbon steel or regular steel.
However, the steel used is not stainless or rust-free. So, with time, there are chances that the axe blade or head might develop rust.
In order to prevent rust, we recommend you to properly oil your axe.
There are many rust-preventing oils and axe guards that you can use in order to prevent the rusting of the blade.
Another thing that needs attention is the sharpness of the blades. You need to ensure that the blades are sharpened regularly to so that they can cut the objects with ease.
- Protecting the Axe Handle
The handle of the axe is a prominent thing. The axe handle is made up of wood, mostly hickory. Hickory is a very strong and resilient material that helps the axe handle to last for a long time.
What you need to focus on is the finish of the handle.
Most people choose to replace the factory finish and opt for the high-quality replacement finish for the axe handle.
Although, that isn’t really a necessary thing. However, using linseed oil that is used for polishing the handle can have great effects on maintaining the quality of the handle.