Even the calmest and most gentle spirit will know that nothing compares to the feeling of holding an ax in your hand and chopping through brush or plant life. You probably have more experience with this if you are a survivalist or an aid camper. Camping axes are a necessity for when you are out in the wild. Not only do they help you clear a necessary path but they can also be used for hunting and food purposes. In addition, aces are needed to cut down any plant life that may be needed for supplies.
Hatchets and axes are imperative for chopping wood for a fire and quite literally make the act of surviving a bit easier. With hundreds of ax options out there with tons of different qualities and specifications, it may become tricky to choose which one is right for you. Depending on your needs and what you are using it for you may want to keep an eye out for a specific quality. Don’t worry, we’re going to help take the stress out of choosing the perfect ax. Below we are listing the best axes of 2020.
Before we break down the best choices let’s discuss what you should know about purchasing the perfect ax for you
What is a Camping Ax?
You may think this is pretty self-explanatory but a camping ax can also be called a hand ax. They are made to be small, durable, and portable in order to be taken with you during camping, hiking, hunting, etc. They can also be used as a mallet or a hammer. However, they are not intended for cutting down large and oversized trees.
What is the Difference Between a Hatchet and an Ax?
A hatchet and an ax a virtually the same. They do have some subtle differences though. A hatchet is typically smaller and more lightweight compared to an ax. They are really made to be portable and carried with you in survival situations. The shaft of a hatchet is shorter, the head is narrower, and the cutting blade is larger. Some hatchets have a hammer head on the end. In comparison, true axes do not have any hammering tool – just the blade.
What are Ax Heads Made of?
Most ax heads are made of steel. Some are made from stainless steel and others are even made out of hand-forged Swedish steel.
With axes, like many other things in life, you get what you pay for. When you purchase a Hoffman camp ax you are paying for amazing quality. Hoffman axes are hand-forged in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are created from a block of 4142 chrome/moly alloy steel. If that isn’t amazing enough they are heat-treated then hung on grained hickory handles. The wood for the handles is made from cabinet-grade dried lumber. The poll is hardened so it can be used as a hammer or mallet if needed
This ax weighs approximately 2.25 lbs and the handle length can be built for your needs. They range from 19-32 inches and you have the choice of choosing which is best for you and your work style. Sheaths, that go over the blade, are hand-made from water buffalo leather. Everything about this ax is built in house. If you’re looking for an ax that is genuinely crafted to perfection then this is the one for you.
The only cons we could think of are this it’s definitely the most expensive ax on our list, starting at $300. In addition, it can be pretty heavy for a portable ax because of the quality of the materials used.
Pretty much everything about this hatchet is different from the one we described above. The head is titanium coated stainless steel. It has a fiberglass handle, a rubber grip, and even a thermoplastic sheath. Due to these specific materials being used it is pretty ergonomic and has a much more modern feel. It measures in at 11.8 inches long and has a 3.8-inch blade. A total weight of 1.37 lbs. Obviously, this is a lot more portable due to its weight.
However, due to the fact that it weighs less and is a bit smaller, this means that it lacks the striking power of some of the other axes, especially the one described above. If you need a longer and heavier ax then this probably isn’t the one for you.
If you’re hoping to take a more minimalist approach and don’t foresee a need to cut down anything too large then this one will suffice just fine.
In fact, the handle is actually hollow (for storage) so it may not be as reliable as a solid handle. The cool part is that you get to store things inside of your ax!
If you’re looking to really pack a punch then you’ve come to the right place. This hatchet is not only sleek but it has a 13.5 inch handle (made from hickory), and a 1 pound head. Not to mention it comes with a 2-year warranty. You’ll never have to use that though because this thing is a beast. But don’t worry, the entire thing weighs only about a pound and a half total. It may be small but it is very effective.
It’s well made and incredibly durable. They are handmade with precision. Although it is a bit pricier than other styles of this caliber, again, you get what you pay for. This can be used for small jobs as well as large ones as well. The only real downfall of this piece is that, due to being handmade, each item can have minor differences or flaws. Depending on how significant those flaws it may change how you choose to use the tool. You may be able to look past any minor flaws because each ax purchased also comes with The Axe Book.
Did you really expect Bear Grylls to not be on this list? Even though this hatchet may look like something from the future it is actually super portable and practical. The only thing it won’t do for you is chop actual wood. Otherwise, it’s super lightweight, (1.4 pounds) and is only 9.5 inches long from blade to handle (blade is approximately 3.5 inches). The hatchet is made from high carbon steel with a non-slip rubber grip. There is a fancy grip to the handle for maximum comfort in both wet and dry conditions. The finger notches right below the head let you hang on even if the weather conditions are poor. It also has a great narrow blade for stripping bark, chopping small kindling, etc.
This hatchet is sold with not only a military-grade mildew-resistant sheath (with belt loops) but you also get the “Priorities of Survival” pocket guide with your purchase.
The only major downfall of this particular tool is that if you’re looking for something to really chop thick wood for you, this isn’t the hatchet for you.
Another ax that shows off a sleek finish and stylish curved rubber grip handle. This ax has a flat head for various camping purposes. Overall its a bit heavier, coming in at approximately 2 pounds, and is about 16 inches long. The blade itself is 3.4 inches. Even though this ax isn’t the most portable item on our list it is pretty practical.
We’ve heard that it does arrive and need some sharpening before use. However, once you get this bad boy up and running it can cut through small and large branches.
No matter what you have planned or how experienced you are in the wilderness you should always have an ax or hatchet with you. Depending on your specific needs and preferences you may choose a different one from this list. Overall, every single ax and hatchet on this list is pretty amazing and will definitely help you in any kind of survival situation.