Being a camping and hiking enthusiast myself, I’ve always loved the breaks from everyday life. Those moments where you just sit around a camp fire, you left all worries at home and packed only the bare essentials in your backpack.
Whether you’re on a day trip or spending a few nights in the wild, a hatchet is an essential survival tool. You never know what comes up, but being able to light a fire is a mandatory measure that you should always consider before heading out. With a backpack-sized hatchet you can always prepare a decent amount of firewood in no time, and it does much more than that.
I’ll always bring a small hatchet in my backpack if I plan on going for a long hike through the wilderness, simply because I want to be able to make a fire anywhere I go. It doesn’t weigh much anyway, and some can even be carried in a belt.
With that being said, I know a thing or two about hatchets and what to look for when picking the best one for your needs. Below are my top picks – make sure you check them all out, and see if one fits your needs.
1. Affordable Yet Durable Backpack Hatchet
- Simple yet durable design
- Very well balanced
- Suitable for small to medium sized logs and branches
What we like: The Fiskars X7 is an incredibly popular little hatchet, and there are multiple reasons for that. First of all because it’s extremely lightweight and durable, and secondly because it has a secure grip and a good balance during use. It comes with a durable plastic sheath too, that doesn’t break over time.
I’d put this hatchet in my backpack any time, knowing that I’ll be able to chop anything from small to medium sized logs and branches, and quickly get a fire going with little to no effort.
All you need to know: Fiskars has a good reputation all over the world, and their price:quality ratio is usually considered quite reasonable.
The Fiskars X7 is an affordable hatchet for basic users, who want something cheap and reliable.
The hatchet comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty, and the handle is made from FiberComp, which is a durable material that provides a secure grip.
- Length: 16.5 inches
- Weight: 1.38 pounds
- Handle materials: FiberComp (fiber glass)
2. Premium Hatchet Forged in One Piece
- Tough design forged in one piece
- Versatile – chops logs, small trees, and can be used as a hammer too
- Made in the USA
What we like: For those who want something a bit more authentic, the Estwing E24A is an obvious choice. I appreciate the premium look and feel of this hatchet a lot, and there’s just nothing that beats this durable build.
Forged in one piece of durable steel, this hatchet will definitely last you a long time, and the genuine leather handle provides a secure and long-lasting grip.
All you need to know: The Estwing E24A hatchet prides itself of being manufactured in the USA, in a facility located in Rockford, Illinois.
It is forged from one piece of steel, with a handle wrapped in a genuine piece of leather. Besides the regular version featured in this buying guide, there’s also a black version available for those who want a less shiny hatchet.
There’s a heavy duty nylon sheath included with this hatchet, that covers the entire cutting edge.
This hatchet weighs no more than 1.7 pounds, and can be carried inside a backpack or securely mounted on a belt/backpack strap.
- Length: 13 inches
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Handle materials: Leather
3. Compact Multitool Survival Hatchet
ALVAGO 13-In-1 Camping Multitool Hatchet
- 13 tools in one small unit
- Chops up small to medium branches
- Fits in a belt clip for easy carrying
What we like: This little fella is the perfect combination between a Swiss army knife and a hatchet! And make no mistake: Although it looks quite gimmicky, it does actually pack a considerable amount of power that will get your fire started quickly.
A total of 13 different tools are built into this hatchet, and as such it’s a genius gadget and great backpacking multitool to bring along on any trip.
All you need to know: The ALVAGO 13-In-1 Camping Multitool Hatchet serves multiple purposes. It has a knife blade, a Philips screwdriver, a small saw, a bottle opener, a cutting knife, a wrench, a nail file, a serrated blade, a flathead screwdriver, a hammer, a wire cutter, pliers, and last but not least; A hatchet.
With this multitool hatchet you’ll also get a belt pouch, allowing you to safe carry it in your belt. It can also be carried in a backpack, or even a side pocket if there’s no space available inside the backpack.
The hatchet can be used for small to medium branches, and enables you to make kindling for a fire anywhere.
- Length: 7 inches
- Weight: 1.05 pounds
- Handle materials: Metal
4. Bear Grylls Backpack-Friendly Hatchet
Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet
- Approved by Bear Grylls
- Neatly designed with a rubber grip
- Suitable for use in both wet and dry conditions
What we like: If you want something as cool as Bear Grylls, this little backpack-friendly hatchet comes close. Bear Grylls is a true survivor, and this hatchet is truly a great tool for those venturing out into the wild Bear Grylls-style.
It has a 3.5-inch blade and a durable steel construction, making it a lightweight hatchet suitable for carrying over large distances. The non-slip rubber handle secures a proper grip in both wet and dry conditions, and I would never hesitate to bring this hatchet along for any unpredictable weather situations.
All you need to know: Gerber has teamed up with Bear Grylls to make the ultimate survival hatchet, and this neat little hatchet was the outcome. Approved by Bear Grylls you’ll be sure to get a proper tool for your next camping trip, and it comes in a backpack-friendly size too.
The Gerber hatchet is made of steel, and the handle is made of rubber to give you a secure grip in all types of weather.
There’s a nylon sheath included, and it has a pair of belt loops for those who want to secure it in a belt instead of carrying it in a backpack.
- Length: 13 inches
- Weight: 1.54 pounds
- Handle materials: Rubber
5. Practical Hatchet and Saw Combo
- Saw blade stored inside the handle
- Chops down small to medium branches
- Perfect for cutting down small trees
What we like: Zippo is probably best known for their refillable lighters, originally manufactured by the American Zippo Manufacturing Company in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
However, this cleverly designed hatchet bears the same brand, and the ingenuity of it is something out of the ordinary. Who would’ve thought a cross between a hatchet and a saw could be this well thought out? And who thought a lighter manufacturer would come up with this idea?
The best thing about this hatchet, is the ability to store the saw blade inside the handle. So it’s properly secured at all times, and can easily be pulled out whenever you want to saw instead of chopping the tree.
All you need to know: The Zippo AxeSaw is a combination between a hatchet and a saw. It features a stainless steel hatchet head and a durable polymer handle with an internal saw blade storage, and there’s a dual-function saw handle and sheath included as well.
The best thing about having a combined hatchet and saw no your camping trip, is that you can either chop down a tree with the hatchet or cut it down with a saw. Some environments may not allow you to swing a hatchet because of lack of free space, and in these scenarios the saw comes in handy.
With a weight of 2.64 pounds though, you may have to consider other options unless you know you’re going to need both the saw and hatchet functionality.
- Length: 20.3 inches
- Weight: 2.64 pounds
- Handle materials: Polymer
6. Tactical Multi-Purpose Survival Hatchet
What we like: The Schrade SCAXE5 is among the best small hatchets for backpacking for several great reasons, starting with its fairly lightweight footprint of just 1.5 pounds. With regards to dimensions, the Schrade SCAXE5 measures 12.8 x 3.1 inches, making it easy to tuck away in medium to large size backpacks.
Adding to this, the Schrade SCAXE5 backpacking hatchet is an ideal choice for both novice and seasoned explorers, and apart from backpacking is also ideal for camping, scouting and general yard work. Adding to this, the SCAXE5 hatchet for backpacking is crafted from SK-5 robust quality carbon steel, which ensures long service life.
The handle of the Schrade SCAXE5 hatchet is topped with nylon fiber for a great, comfortable grip when in use. It features a finger shaped grip that ensures that the blade doesn’t slip when in your hand. If you don’t wish to carry the Schrade SCAXE5 in your backpack, you can secure it to your waist with the included nylon sheath and belt loop.
All you need to know: As mentioned above, this hatchet weighs 1.5 pounds and can be carried by the belt with the polyester sheath included. It is made from SK-5 carbon steel, and besides functioning as a hatchet it also features a spike pommel and a nail pull/pry bar.
The hatchet measures 12.8 x 3.1 inches, and has been shaped to provide a secure grip, so you can stay safe while using the hatchet.
- Length: 12.8 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Handle materials: Nylon fiber