Last updated on October 19th, 2020 at 08:36 am
A true outdoorsmen/adventurer who loves to spend time in the wilderness is always in quest of Best Axe for Bushcraft. The list we have compiled will save your time and energy when it comes to selecting the best bushcraft axes and hatchets.
A true bushcrafter is the one going out and living in the woods with a minimum of equipment and know-how to survive using natural resources. Talking about a bushcrafting an axe and a knife is a must if you are looking to thrive and survive in nature. These tools can really do wonders if you are an experienced bushcrafter who is equipped with the knowledge to make or craft things out of nothing.
12 Best Axe for Bushcraft List
- Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
“Good for soft and dry wood“
- Fiskars Camping Axe XXS X5
“Good for spoon carving”
- Schrade SCAXE2L
“ideal survival tool”
- Small splitting hatchet
“comfortable non-slippery grip”
- Hults Bruk Akka Foresters
- CRKT Freyr Axe
- Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay Axe
- WilFiks Chopping Axe
“Reshape able blade”
- TABOR TOOLS Chopping Axe
“Fiberglass strong handle”
- Hults Bruk Aneby
- CRKT Birler Compact Axe
“Easy to carry”
- Hults Bruk Tarnaby Hatchet
“ideal for camping”
- Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
Our Top 2 Recommended Axes
What is bushcraft camping?
Bushcrafting is basically the ability to create things that are not in your pack or providing the solution to a certain problem. Bushcrafting is actually the knowledge and the skills that one has to thrive in the natural environment. Bushcrafters do use tools like knives and axes to survive and enjoy in the wilderness by performing different tasks like splitting, hunting, fishing, building shelter, and tracking.
Difference between bushcraft and camping
Well, I will explain the difference in a very simple way, going out in the wood with only a knife or an ax will be called bushcrafting. Making a tripod chair with sticks and rope, building shelters from natural resources without a tarp, and having no container and has to build one of the bark are some examples of bushcrafting.
Camping on other hand is if someone is fully equipped and doesn’t have to craft anything from natural material or resources. It would be called camping if you have a tripod chair bought from the store and tent for shelter and wood arranged already for a campfire before going out for outdoor adventures.“Going out with gear and crafting equipment like tent steaks, tripods and raised beds, etc. would be termed as bushcrafting. But if you have all the equipment and not doing any crafting then I would call it camping.”
12 Best Bushcraft Axes
Hults Bruk Aneby
Shaving sharp strong head
Fiskars Camping Axe X5
Easy to use
Small splitting hatchet
Hults Bruk Akka Foresters
premium outdoor tool
CRKT Freyr Axe
Self defence tool
Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay
splits large logs easily
WilFiks Chopping axe
CRKT Birler Compact Axe
stylish and strong axe
TABOR TOOLS Chopping Axe
Easy to carry
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
Hults Bruk Tarnaby Hatchet
1. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet – Good for hard&soft wood
A great Swedish made axe and considered best for the bushcraft. The axe is ideal for someone who is fond of the small axe with plenty of power that can handle big branches and can split plenty of campfire in no time. The axe can be used easily to perform tasks like carving stakes, building shelter, splitting firewood for a campfire.
The overall weight of the axe including the handle is around 1.4 pounds that is considered ideal for single-hand use.
The axe handle is a bit longer (13.50 inches) than the basic hand hatchet that allows users to generate more power. The power you generate through this axe can even handle tough logs and capable of felling trees as well. The American hickory handle stamps its authority when it comes to durability and strength.
The Head provides a nice balance and great cutting advantage due to its design. The 3-inch cutting edge of the head makes sure it bites deep into the wood and split in a single strike. The head is provided with a protective leather sheath to keep everyone safe from its razor-sharp blade.
The axe is provided with a booklet that explains how one could maintain the axe so that it can be used for a longer period of time.
- Equally good for soft and dry woods
- Sharp edges
- American hickory handle and carbon still head
- Not too heavy or clumsy
- Ergonomic design
- Need regular maintenance
- The protective sheath has to improve
Although the axe is ideal for bushcrafting it should not be considered for throwing. The axe seems expensive but the quality you get in unmatched especially when you are looking for chopping, cutting, carving, and skinning.
2. Fiskars Camping Axe XXS X5 – Easy to use
This axe is a complete package when you are looking for something in terms of bushcrafting. You certainly should not be missing this gem because it can do jobs like cutting, carving, splitting small logs for campfire, stove or barbecue. If you are looking for hiking, bushcraft, survival, or any adventure outdoor that is ax you need.
9.06 x 5.12 x 0.79 inches
Weight 1.2 pounds
The handle has some great features, it’s ultra-lightweight with fiberglass plastic that makes sure it’s weather-resistant. The handle is firmly fixed with the head to ensure everyone is safe while splitting and a strong grip on the handle is an added advantage you will enjoy.
The blade comes very sharp and is coated professionally to ensure it won’t get stuck in the wood and avoid wasting your time and energy. The blade can easily be sharpened after the usage with any simple sharpening stone. The head along with the lightweight handle provides an excellent balance to keep you going for hours.
- Good for spoon carving
- Non-slippery handle
- Need less maintenance
- Comes with sturdy plastic cover
- Easy to use
- Not for splitting heavy logs
The size and the balance make the axe ideal for bushcrafting as you know as a bush crafter you take very little equipment with you when out in wild. The axe takes no space and easily be carried anywhere and helps you survive in the wild. Because of its size and balance, it can easily be used for throwing and hitting targets and helps you hunt for food as well.
3. Schrade SCAXE2L – Ergonomic design
Often the case with a wooden handle that they get shrink or cracked if not handled with care but not in the case of this great axe. You can use this axe in any condition cold or hot doesn’t matter thanks to its handle made of excellent material (glass fiber filled PA & TPR).
Overall length 15.7 inches with a 4.2-inch blade
1 pound and 15 ounces
The handle easily fits in the hand and provides a non-slippery strong grip.
Axe is provided with the hammer shape at the back of its head that certainly will help you building shelters, pounding tent stakes, nails, etc. The head size is ideal not too big and is considered ideal to be used as a cutting instrument or even for skinning purposes.
- Razor-sharp edges
- Ergonomic and lightweight
- Ideal survival tool
- Comes with fire striker and sharpening stone
- Not ideal for daily use
The axe is not only used for chopping wood, hammering tent stakes, and busting wood but is actually a great survival tool that any bush crafter would love to have in wild. The hatchet is strong and big enough to be used as an axe and small enough to be packed in a bag easily.
4. Small Splitting Hatchet – “Hickory handle”
You can work with this amazing ax with single or with both hands if you want to generate more power. The great customer reviews and 5-star rating forced us to put this ax in our prestigious best axes for the bushcraft list. This axe is also ideal to perform splitting tasks along with chopping activities that you would love to do on a given sunny day.
19 x 7 x 1.5 inches; 3.35 Pounds
The handle is a bit lengthy and heavy as compared with a normal hatchet but it also provides extra control for some fine splitting. The handle is also deliberately designed to give an extra-strong grip to keep users at comfort while striking. Some argue that the handle is a bit rough but that is to provide a non-slippery grip.
The head of the axe is pretty wide and very efficient and a bit heavier and it can split 9 -12 inches log with a single strike.
- Efficiently splits large logs
- Sharp blade
- Comfortable non-slippery grip
- Hickory handle
- Head needs regular maintenance
This axe is highly recommended for someone who needs to split more than a cord of wood every season. Although the size of the axe is not as big as other regular axes or mauls still you can use the hatchet for some serious work. Living in the woods with such an axe will sort out many of your problems like building shelter, splitting firewood for a campfire, and even hunting when required. We would recommend this ax if you are planning to spend quite a bit of time in the wilderness.
5.Hults Bruk Akka Foresters – “sheath with welt”
If you want to spend some time in the wild and stuck in the snowbank middle of the journey because of fallen branches or trees don’t worry if you have this axe in your backpack. You can easily clear multiple obstructions in just a matter of time.
Product Dimensions 24.7 x 8.6 x 2.05 inches; 2.7 Pounds
The handle is made of famous American hickory so no need to worry much about its quality and strength. The handle and the head are tightly attached to each other so you don’t bother about the head getting loose at any time. The handle is already treated with linseed oil to get more strength.
To ensure the quality and durability of the head the steel is struck multiple times to increase the density. Remember the head is hand-forged and made of strong Swedish steel. Many times the user is concerned about sharpening the axe head. The head is provided with the tempered zone to hold the sharp edge after many sharpening, that’s a great advantage, isn’t it.
- Razor-sharp blade
- Sturdy sheath with a welt to protect
- Feels great in hands
- The handle needs more finish
- Headcover is a bit finicky
If you love having wooden axes then this is just a perfect gift for any woodsmen. The curved handle for extra grip and style allows working with ease even with both hands. The craftsmanship is really amazing when you talk about this particular ax.
6.CRKT Freyr Axe – “ideal for self-defense”
Some people may argue that this is not a typical bushcraft axe , to an extent they are right. Bushcraft is not all about building shelters and splitting wood, if you want to spend some time in the wilderness you need to take care of your safety first. This particular axe helps you keep safe from any unwanted situation like tackling the wild animals or in any combat situation that you might face anytime in the wild.
Product Dimension 16.13 x 5.46 x 1.19 inches
The handle made of hickory proves its strength and quality with great balance. Apart from its durability, the axe itself will look great in your hands.
The deep beard design of the head provides the ability to split in a single strike. The balance and the broadhead make it even ideal for throwing. Don’t worry about the strength of the head as its made of strong forged carbon steel.
- Corrosion-resistant blade
- Tennessee hickory
- The shaft could be smoother
If you are concerned about self-defense along with bush crafting then we strongly recommend this great little jewel.
7.Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay Axe – “split heavy logs”
This axe is not just a bushcraft axe but a complete package where you can cut down big trees as well when required. Simply a gift for serious woodmen those love splitting.
Handle with a straight grain is strong and slightly coated. The craftsmanship is excellent, the balance and feel will encourage you to swing.
Head made of 1080 carbon speaks volumes and shows its worth. one thing to remember that you have done some sharpening as it doesn’t come that sharp from the manufacturer.
- Strong and tackle heavy logs easily
- The handle is with great grain orientation
- Head is a bit dull
- Sheath quality not good
If you are serious about splitting wood on regular bases then we feel proud recommending this great axe that can be used for bushcrafting as well.
8.WilFiks Chopping Axe – “reshapable blade”
If you are inexperienced and want to take an axe for your outdoor adventures then you should be looking for this. The axe can be used with a single hand for kindling, preparing wood for bonfire or campfire, hiking, trekking, and even for your gardening needs.
Product dimension 15.1 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
Weight 2.59 pounds
Comes with a fiberglass handle with a non-slippery grip and provides great balance and strength. You need not worry about the handle getting exposed to extreme conditions as its cold-resistant as well.
The Head with the sharp blade is made of strong carbon steel that can last for years. The important point to note is that the blade remains sharper longer than the other traditional axes that mean it requires less maintenance.
- Easy to use
- Ergonomical design
- Easy to carry
- Reshape able blade
- No hand strains
- Not for heavy splitting
A great budget axe especially for someone who is new but loves to go out for camping and hiking and improve bushcrafting skills.
9.CRKT Birler Compact Axe – “Great look”
This hatchet can be used for years to come as it’s very strong. The axe can easily fit in your backpack and has an ergonomic design.
Product dimension 16 x 1.13 x 1.11 inches
Made of carbon steel that holds the edge very well. The head doesn’t come sharp but I think that’s an advantage, you can sharpen the blade as per your desire with any simple sharpening tool.
The Hickory handle with the hard reddish look and is pretty solid but without any protection from the splinters from the handle.
- Great look and design
- Strong and efficient
- Ideal size for camping and bushcrafting
- Easily to carry anywhere
- Handle a little rough
- Head needs sharpening
The small budget axe that can easily be carried and strong enough to last long. The size is just perfect to perform any bushcrafting especially building shelters, cutting ropes, etc.
10. TABOR TOOLS Chopping Axe – “Lightweight and sharp”
Axe is easy to carry anywhere because of the lanyard hole and can be fastened to a backpack. The users have even experienced splitting oak stumps of 24 inches wide in the first 2 swings isn’t is amazing? That’s how sharp and effective is this hatchet. The axe is ideally suited for camping and hiking because of it weight and size.
The handle is very special as it allows a very strong grip and balance to provide you the opportunity to hold the handle from any position high or low. The overall length of the handle is 27 inch which is just perfect to keep it in the car or boat.
The fiberglass non-slippery handle is the key that enables the axe to last for years without breaking. The bright orange color allows you to locate it in the garage, in the woods, and in the garden which saves your time.
The blade of the head has a protective coating to make sure it lasts long and it can easily be re-sharpened with a file.
- Lightweight and sharp
- Sturdy design
- The blade is rubber protective
- Edges needs to be sharpened
Great little hatchet for splitting, kindling, hiking, and even good enough for splitting stubborn wood like cotton. The axe is ideal for firewood which is very essential for anyone who loves to live and spend time in the wild.
11.Hults Bruk Aneby – “multipurpose”
Axe is suited for felling small size trees, light forest work, and splitting small size logs for firewood. The ax is particularly suited for hunting purposes during camping and hiking that is an advantage when you are alone in the woods or looking for prey.
Product dimension 22 x 9.25 x 1.95 inches; 2.95 Pounds
American hickory handle with ideal grain pattern provides strength and a comfortable grip.
Ax head is hand-forged and made of Swedish steel that ensures its strength and ability to last long. The blade comes pretty sharp from the manufacturer.
- Drives wooden tent stakes
- Protective sheath
- Shaving sharp
- Gaps found at back of the head eye
This axe is kind of a jack of all trade and we think that’s an advantage when it comes to bushcrafting. Such multipurpose tools avoid the hassle of carrying too much equipment in the wilderness.
12.Hults Bruk Tarnaby Hatchet – “Great balance”
Size and weight are perfect for a hatchet to carry in wild and focus on other buscrafting skills. The hatchet not only fits easily in the pack but can also chop down a good size tree for a campfire. The axe is just classic, excellent, and very tough that can handle mishits.
Product dimension 16.3 x 6.9 x 2.25 inches; 2.4 Pounds
The wooden handle gives a nice classic look and ergonomics are good for swinging it hard.
The Head is made of superior steel and is pretty sharp and it can also be re-sharped easily when required. The head is provided with the tempered zone that is designed to hold the edge and even allow you to re-sharp it multiple times when required.
- Ideal of camping and hiking
- Decent leather sheath
- Bit expensive
- Needs sharpening prior to use.
The size of the axe is small but remember it’s like a small giant that doesn’t disappoint you living alone in the wild.
Hatchet vs Axe Bushcraft
Hatchets are a small ax that can easily be handled with a single hand. They are not that heavy as compared with normal size axe. Hatchets are also termed and considered the best axe for camping.
Hatchets or camping axe is ideal for bushcrafting as they can perform small tasks like making kindling, splitting small wooden chunks for firewood, limbing and notching small branches to build shelters and even pounding tent steaks, etc.
Axes on other hand have long handles that can easily be gripped with two hands. Axes provide more power because you can swing hard with both arms rising above your shoulders. Axes are built for some heavy tasks like felling trees, splitting firewood for a campfire, and even helps in building wooden cabins.
Conclusion if you are looking for bushcraft then a small camping axe or hatchet is the one you should look to buy.
Best Bushcraft axe size
Well when thinking about the size it depends on the user, how tall or small is his height. Generally, the 15 to 20-inch size is considered ideal for an axe to be used for bushcrafting. If you want to generate more power you can opt for a 20-inch size that allows you to grip axe with both hands easily otherwise 14-15 inch handle length is ideal for single-hand use.
Why do people enjoy bushcraft and living in the wilderness?
Some people do love to live in the woods or wilderness for some reasons like
• To get peace
• Talk to their pets and enjoy time with them
• enjoy and play in nature
• Breathe in the fresh air
• Splitting firewood for heating purposes
• Spend or kill their free time in nature
Some people like to live or spend time alone and these are the ones who have some special personality traits that are discussed below.
• They value time
They know the importance of time and don’t want to spend time with friends or people who they think is wasting their time. It doesn’t mean they dislike people they just have high standards for friendship.
• Level headed
People who love to live alone are mentally very strong and when a tough situation arises they keep their cool. In order to overcome or tackle the situation, they tend to spend time alone and make some plans to overcome the stressful situation.
They are open-minded and want to learn and explore new things.
• Clear boundaries
These people do know themselves very well and know their limitations. They are well aware to not cross the boundaries in any situation. These people are aware of their strengths and weakness and always try to improve the short comes that they have.
• Very empathetic
They tend to understand what emotions other people are going through and try to find solutions for problems that others are facing.
• Guided by intuitions
These people are guided by their intuition when in trouble. They are very well aware of the fact that whatever may be the situation they will come through successfully.
Even if they are in a close relationship with someone they always want to be independent. They would like to show how capable they are doing things on their own.
• Kindness and compassion
They are always there to show love and kindness for others and willing to show how passionate they are about things that they love most.
• Extremely courageous
These people are very confident and that leads them to take courageous decisions, not afraid of failures at any stage of life.
Bushcraft tools and gear
- Folding Handsaw
- outdoor stove
- cooking pot
- Bushcraft backpack
9 Best Bushcraft skills
Add the skill list in table
These are the bushcraft skill one would like to master
- Building shelters
- Cooking meat
- Fire starting method bow drilling
- Rock boiling water
- Making a bark container
- Building traps
- Hanging pots making
- Making ropes from plant
- Arranging a fire starter
Bushcraft for Beginners – Buyer’s Guide
Bushcrafting is all about crafting like if you have no lighter, no shelter, no sleeping bag, and using some skills and natural resources you manage to
light a fire, build shelter, and keep yourself warm without a sleeping bag.
Axe is a very important tool especially for someone looking for bushcrafting. I think you can’t even imagine going out in the wild without a knife and a hatchet.
There are a few points you need to consider before buying the best axe for bushcraft.
1. Axe should be of medium size that can be used with a single and with both hands.
2. Should be lightweight and portable that can easily be carried while hiking
3. It should have the ability to act as a survival tool when needed.
4. It can easily be sharped when needed
5. Handle should be strong and the head should be tightly fixed.
6. Should sustain extreme weather conditions like cold, hot, and wet.
What steel is best for axes?
Medium carbon steel 1050-1060 is commonly used but in some case high carbon 1070 is used and these are considered best in term of quality and durability.
Should an AXE be razor-sharp?
Not necessary in most of the cases axe edges are a bit dull you need to sharp them according to your requirement.
What weight AXE is best?
The weight and length of the ax depend on the user how tall or short he is and his physical strength or capability to lift the weight he wants. The hatchets are mostly very lightweight around 1 pound that allows users to work with a single hand without putting too much of an effort behind every swing.
For bushcraft, do you prefer a large chopping knife or a hatchet?
If you are staying for a longer period of time in the wild then you must have a hatchet that certainly saves a lot of time when splitting. Ideally, a small hatchet and a knife both should be part of your bushcraft gear.
How do bushcraft and survival differ?
• Bushcraft is like living in the wilderness using tools like axes and knives enjoying building shelter, splitting firewood, boating, hunting and fishing.
• Survival on other hand is tackling and saving your life in an emergency situation.
What is your opinion of the CRKT woods chogan tomahawk compared to hatchets or axes for a survival situation?
Tomahawk is like a multipurpose tool and with a hammer style poll and sharp edges is considered ideal for bushcrafting.
How can I make my AXE sharp?
You can simply use a sharpening stone we already have a great article about how one can maintain his or her axe by using the best oil for axe handle and head.
What is a better weapon a battle axe or a sword?
A sword to us is considered more versatile than an axe when it comes to fighting in a battlefield. Axes can hook and pull but the sword has hand protection and the ability to thrust which is very useful.
How could people fight with axes?
Historically axes have been used in the battlefield and they have completely different designs as compared to utility axes we use today.
Axes have been made in different sizes and shapes and talking about battle axe some have a crescent shape, others are more squared off. These axes normally have long handle which gives balance and allows easier recovery.
To increase the cutting surface battle axes are provide with a beard which makes them very special.