Going camping this weekend and you've been told you need an axe? As a newbie camper, it may not even have crossed your mind. I know it wasn't on my packing list at first.
Initially, we camped only when the weather was really good. But when we got more adventurous and started braving the cold, packing an axe became far more important. You seasoned campers out there know exactly what I mean when I say: "Pack the Axe!"
Our advice: it's time to choose a camping axe. Keep reading for information on a selection of axes to purchase whatever your camping needs.
How We Uncover The Best For You
In choosing an axe for camping we did our research with you in mind. We read 1000s of reviews and compared what was out there on the market.
We looked at why you would need a camp axe or camping hatchet. We looked at whether you wanted to chop wood or need something for splitting wood. To make it easier for you to make your cracking choice, we have selected a range of axes for you highlighting their differences in relation to your intended purpose.
Best Axe On a Budget
Intertool 24-inch Mid-Size Felling Axe
A Cracking Choice for Campers On A Budget
Things We Love
This one is a great all-rounder and not as scary if you aren't used to chopping wood. This axe is a lovely mix between a hatchet and a large handle-length axe. We love the secure grip you can achieve with the rubber grip inserts on the axe handle. With its lightweight fiberglass shaft and curved design, it's a great camping axe. We consider it the best camping axe for chopping kindling and splitting wood on a budget.
Things To Know
This axe is great as its dimensions make it more manageable to transport or carry around.
One piece of advice we can offer is to consider the swing of a small axe before you start chopping. Remember this is a tool with a sharp blade and standing and wielding an axe with a shorter handle could mean it lands short of the target. It might be worth considering a raised platform or even kneeling before you start chopping or splitting firewood.
Best Axe For Splitting Large Logs
Tabor Tools Splitting Axe
A Cracking Choice For Splitting Larger Logs
Things We Love
Ok, this is for those taller campers out there. This axe is big! With a 32-inch handle, you can get plenty of cutting power behind your swing. Before you know it you will have a pile of split wood to boast about. If you need a heavy axe for splitting large and medium-sized logs, this could be one of the best camping axes for you.
The handle has a rubber grip that makes it comfortable when you are splitting wood.
Things To Know
The axe head has a protective coating on it, and the blade has a wing design compatible with the re-sharpening of the cutting edge.
The flatter part of the head, which makes this a splitting maul, is great for hammering in tent stakes too. Storage is also easy as the axe comes with a protective rubber sleeve and can be hung up after use.
Best Eco-friendly Axe
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420
A Cracking Choice For Environmentally Conscious Campers
Things We Love
A love of the outdoors often coincides with an awareness of our impact on the environment. Of course, we had to include an axe where the company has made a real effort to be more eco-friendly.
The blade of this axe is made from recycled steel and other scrap metal. The same applies to the steelhead and the axe comes with a sheath of vegetable-tanned leather.
By designing with a strong hickory handle the manufacturer ensures long-term use with less need for replacement, which is of course an environmentally friendly response.
Things To Know
The axe has a sharp edge. Many other axes require pre-use sharpening, but this axe arrives very, very sharp. This makes this small forest axe great for limbing and splitting wood.
As an added extra, the axe book is included to help you get the most out of your tool. We thought that was a nice touch.
Best Axe For Felling And Limbing Trees
Fiskars 378571-1002 X15 Chopping Axe
A Cracking Choice For Campers Who Have To Deal With Trees
Things We Love
Your camping trip might involve more than just enjoying the outdoors. Imagine you're out trail riding. A tree across the trail will spell disappointment. For those of you out there who know you might need an axe for felling trees, this is the one for you. This is one of the most nicely balanced camping axes where you will find it chopping deeper with each swing. This coupled with a sharp blade means greater efficiency.
Things To Know
This is a chopping axe and axes in the Fiskar X range are well known for their indestructible design. The Fibrecomp plastic handle is light but is stronger than steel which makes it extremely durable. The insert molded design means increased safety for the user. No loosening axe head to worry about. And best of all, they offer a lifetime warranty - don't forget to have a look at what that entails.
Best Axe For One-Handed Splitting
Fiskars 378561-1004 X11 Splitting Axe
A Cracking Choice For An Splitting Axe That Performs Like A Hatchet
Things We Love
This high-quality camp hatchet is perfect for splitting medium-sized logs and is even designed for one-handed use when splitting small logs and splitting kindling.
Its design is strong in that Fiskars puts a lot of effort into making sure the head weight is just right for more single-strike wood splitting. What they do is make sure that most of the weight goes to the forged carbon steel head of the axe while keeping the 'stronger than steel' handle lightweight.
The flared sides of the axe head feature, together with a sharp cutting edge make it the perfect hatchet comparing favorably with heavier axes to split logs and even for chopping kindling.
Things To Know
Ok, ok! I know this is technically not an axe, if you focus on shaft length alone. Remember when we spoke about the hatchets being different from axes? One of the differentiators is the length of the tool. Technically an axe is 18 inches minimum.
Another difference is in the weight of the tool. Axes weigh far too much to be used for backpacking or hiking. A pack hatchet is best for that.
We thought it worth including this not-so-little hatchet here for two reasons: The first is that it's very close in size and it's built like an axe which some modern hatchets are. The second is that we wanted to point out that if you want something with a shorter handle, what you are actually after is a small hatchet.
Now I understand the confusion - been there myself. So what I did was write about the best camping hatchets too! You can read our reviews of Best Camping Hatchet for more detailed information.
The Best Camping Axe - Your Questions Answered
Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!
Axes and hatchets should definitely be a consideration if you have any plans for chopping firewood or processing firewood and split wood while car camping, or if you are the type of camper who needs a more intricate bushcraft tool for things like whittling wood and felling small trees.
Let's say you have a lovely picture in your head about toasting marshmallows around the fire. Without a camping axe you will be gathering mountains of kindling or would've had to bring split firewood with you. Let's get real here: who has space for packs of kindling when you have tents, sleeping bags, food, fur babies, and kids to squeeze in?
Some of the axes reviewed here are quite heavy and you need to consider more lightweight axes or a high-quality camp hatchet for lighter tasks. Ultimately it's all about cutting power and wood chopping power.
Have a good think before you purchase and you will see there are axes and hatchets here that will be perfect for your needs.
Do You Need An Axe For Camping?
An axe is not an essential piece of camping gear for every camper, but it can come in handy for a variety of tasks and is a more important piece of kit if you're planning on camping in the wilderness.
If you are planning on camping in the wilderness survival axes and hatchets are great all-rounders and one of the best types of camping axes for sticky situations when you need something for more than just hammering in tent pegs.
For example, an axe can be used to chop wood for a fire, hammer tent stakes into the ground, and for stripping bark from logs. It can also be used to chop down small trees or branches for shelter or even as a weapon if necessary.
What Is The Best Size Axe For Camping?
When it comes to finding the best size axe for camping, it really depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re looking to do some serious wood chopping, then you’ll want a larger axe, with a big axe head. But if you just need something for general camping tasks like splitting kindling or setting up campfires, then a smaller axe will do just fine.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing camping axes:
First, consider the type of wood you’ll be chopping. Harder woods will require a heavier axe with a longer handle, while softer woods can be chopped with a smaller axe.
Second, think about how often you’ll be using the axe. If you plan on using it frequently, then a larger axe will be easier to handle. But if you only need it occasionally, then a smaller axe will be fine.
Finally, consider your own strength and size. A larger axe with a bigger axe head weight will be more difficult to swing, so if you’re not very strong or have small hands, then you’ll want to choose a smaller size.
Is A Hatchet Or Axe Better For Camping?
There are two main types of camping axes: hatchets and felling axes.
Hatchets are smaller than felling axes and have a shorter handle. They’re lighter and easier to swing, making them ideal for general camp tasks.
Felling axes are larger and heavier, with a longer handle. They’re designed for chopping down trees and to split wood, so they’re not as easy to carry around.
A compact hatchet can function as a survival axe, as they can be used for a variety of tasks as mentioned above, but they aren't as good at felling when compared to a felling axe.
If you’re unsure which type of axe is best for you, then it’s a good idea to buy both. That way, you’ll have a small hatchet for general tasks and a larger felling axe for bigger jobs, and you have the option of leaving one at home on trips where you're planning to travel light.
How Do You Sharpen A Dull Axe?
An axe is a great tool, but whether it's factory-made or hand-forged, an axe is only as good as its blade. A dull axe is more difficult to use and can be dangerous. So, it’s important to keep your axe sharp.
There are a few different ways to sharpen an axe. You can use a file, a grinding stone, or even a piece of sandpaper. The best way to sharpen an axe depends on the type of blade and the level of dullness.
If the blade is only slightly dull, then you can use a file. Just run the file along the edge of the blade, being careful not to overdo it.
If the blade is very dull, then you’ll need to use a grinding stone or sandpaper. First, make a few passes with the grinding stone or sandpaper to take off the burr. Then, switch to a finer grit and make more passes until the blade is sharp.
What Is The Best Axe To Buy?
There are a few factors you should consider when purchasing an axe. For example, what kinds of materials will you be using the axe on? If you'll mostly be using it on hardwood, then you'll want an axe with a harder blade. If you're going to be using it mostly on softer materials, like pine or cedar, then you'll want a blade that is more flexible.
Some general factors to consider when choosing an axe include the head weight and size, the handle length, and the type of steel used in the blade. You'll also want to make sure that the axe is well-balanced and feels comfortable in your hand.
Another thing to consider is the weight and size of the axe. If you're looking for something that is easy to carry around, you may want to opt for a smaller model or even a camping hatchet or pack hatchet. Finally, think about your own strength and how much force you can muster up when swinging the axe. A heavier axe will require more power to lift and swing.
Is Hickory A Good Axe Handle?
Hickory is a great wood for axe handles because it's strong and durable. It can withstand the repeated blows of an axe without breaking, and it doesn't splinter easily.
That said, not all hickory is created equal. The best wood for a hickory handle comes from the heartwood of the tree, which is the densest and strongest part of the wood. So if you're looking for a new axe handle, make sure you get one made from heartwood hickory.
What Is The Safest Way To Handle An Axe?
The best way to ensure your safety when using an axe is to follow some simple, common-sense guidelines. First, make sure that the area around you is clear of any obstructions. You don't want to accidentally swing the axe into something and cause damage or injury.
Second, be sure to keep a firm grip on the handle of the axe. Don't let your fingers slip while you're swinging it. Third, be careful not to overswing the axe. Keep your swings controlled and deliberate, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Finally, if you're finished using the axe, place it down carefully so that it doesn't fall and hurt anyone, people need their toes!
Are Fiberglass Axes Any Good?
There are a lot of different opinions on fiberglass axes. Some people love them and others think they're terrible. The main complaints about fiberglass axes seem to be that they're too light, which makes them feel unstable or "wobbly" when you're using them, and that the blade tends to chip or crack more easily than metal blades.
On the plus side, fiberglass axes are often a lot cheaper than metal ones, and they're also a lot lighter, which can make them easier to carry around, so they could be a candidate for the best camp axe for a quick adventure. So it really comes down to personal preference. If you've never used a fiberglass axe before, I would recommend trying one out before you buy it to see if you like the way it feels.
How Do I Choose A Bushcraft Axe?
Because an axe is such a versatile tool, it’s important to choose one that will suit your specific needs. First, consider what method of bushcraft you’ll be engaging in most often. If you’re planning on doing a lot of woodworking, for example, you might want an axe with a larger head and shorter handle so that it can be more easily wielded with one hand.
Next, take into account the types of materials you’ll be working with most frequently. If you know you’ll be working mostly with softwoods, look for an axe with a sharper edge; whereas if you anticipate felling hardwoods like oak or maple, choose an axe with a heavier head.
Finally, think about your own strength and how much force you can muster up when swinging the axe. A heavier axe will require more power, so if you’re not sure you can handle it, opt for a lighter model.
In the end, the best way to choose a bushcraft axe is to experiment with different types and sizes until you find the one that feels right for you.
What Axe Makes Kindling?
A small axe is the best tool for kindling. It's easy to swing and it chops the wood into smaller pieces that are perfect for starting a fire, if you're looking for a good camp axe, you might actually want to also look at a light camping hatchet.
If you're looking for an axe that can make kindling and also do a job with other important tasks then a good bet is a survival axe or camping hatchet.
Best Camping Axe For You
We have really enjoyed comparing some of the best camping axes. We looked at a lot of different axes and hatchets in order to make sure we gave you a selection of the best camping axes possible.
Our Choice For Campers On a Budget
Our Choice For Splitting Large Logs
Our Choice For Eco-friendly Axes
Our Choice For Felling And Limbing Trees
Our Choice For One-Handed Splitting
From those that aren't technically axes, to those that are heavy-duty we hope you're able to find the perfect axe for your next trip into the great outdoors.
You will be looking forward to using your purchase very soon. We hope we have chopped down on your decision-making time and by making your choices clearer, so you have more time for fun!