Top 7 Best Survival Hatchet Reviews for 2021

Survival hatchets are not just a common tool in camping and outdoor survival, they are an essential one. They let you split, chop and carve wood and can get you out of so many hairy situations out in the wilderness.

Best Survival hatchets in the market

Survival hatchets help with self-defense, building fires and putting together a shelter. Hitting the trail or going camping without a survival hatchet is asking for trouble. This guide covers what you should look out for in a survival hatchet.

Before we get started, let’s address the pink elephant. Survival axes, Tomahawks, and hatches are not the same thing. Not quite.

Axes are large, often two-hand tools. They cut down trees with might but are not light and one-hand friendly like hatchets. Hatchets are used more for carving, building fires and clearing smaller obstacles.

Before getting into the reviews, here are my picks for best survival hatchets at a quick glance:

  • Comfortable handle.
  • Durable steel.
  • Good leverage.
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  • Rubber handle absorbs shock.
  • High quality steel.
  • Small and lightweight.
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  • Multiple survival tools in one.
  • Has a hearty weight.
  • Stainless steel.
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Best Survival Hatchet: Our Top Picks

Let’s get to the product reviews!

1. Estwing Sportsman's Hatchet Review

Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14

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Estwing has done it again. This 14” camping hatchet grips well and has a satisfying swing. The size is small enough that it is truly portable, and big enough to get good leverage for swing strength.

It comes in two blade size options. You can get a 2.75” or 3.25” blade and either works well. I find that the 2.75” blade does the trick just fine, but either works great. It is super lightweight and easy to use.

The strong forged steel makes this hatchet strong. Other users seem to love it as well. It has garnered some great customer feedback. For me, it meets my criteria for a perfect little survival hatchet.

My only real complaint is that I anticipate it going dull somewhat quickly. It slightly lost its edge after heavy use over a short period of time, so long-term that may become an issue. Until then, I’ll enjoy it.


  • Comfortable handle
  • Durable steel
  • Good leverage


  • Blade dulls quickly

  • Comfortable handle.
  • Durable steel.
  • Good leverage.
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2. Gerber Pack Hatchet Review

Gerber Pack Hatchet Camping Axe - Coyote Brown Handle/Black Blade...

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This rubber-gripped survival hatchet is impressive. It measures in at just barely under 9.5” and is the definition of portable. That is after all, all that you can ask for in a survival hatchet.

As I mentioned, it has a rubber handle. I love this rubber handle specifically because it alleviates some of the WHAM of striking with it. The shape itself is also a high point for me. It is shaped perfectly to adapt to many situations and small enough to fit into tight spots.

The steel is high quality and seems like it will last. I’m not the only one that loves this hatchet. It gets great reviews from verified customers and other people seem to appreciate it as well.

While I find the shape to be great, there are some users that think that the shape is somewhat limiting. I can understand that because it is slightly odd. I personally appreciate its unique shape, but I can see why it could hinder some people’s experience.


  • Rubber handle absorbs shock
  • High quality steel
  • Small and lightweight


  • Shape may be limiting to some
  • The sheath is not very reliable
  • Rubber handle absorbs shock.
  • A tall blade grind retains optimal sharpness.
  • High quality steel.
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3. Axe Hatchet Hammer Review

Axe Hatchet Hammer Shovel Saw Digger Compass Multitool Survival Kit...

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This is what I meant when I referred to special features earlier. This hatchet gives you a hatchet, a shovel, a hammer and a compass all in one. That means that it is going to lessen the load of other tools you may be throwing in your bag normally.

I love this hatchet kit. It literally has made me rethink how I pack for camping. Everything in this kit is made out of stainless steel. The hatchet itself is small, but effective.

While the hatchet is strong, I wish it was a little bit bigger. I could get more use out of it if it were slightly larger. Besides that, it is a great value for all it comes with.

You can find some pretty glowing user reviews online, so I am not alone in backing this one.


  • Multiple survival tools in one
  • Has a hearty weight
  • Stainless steel


  • It is pretty small

  • Multiple survival tools in one.
  • Stainless steel.
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4. MOSSY OAK 2-Piece Hatchet + Machete Review

Mossy Oak 2-Piece Hatchet and Machete Set with Sheath - Camo Handle

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Value is a big deal for me. This MOSSY OAK hatchet epitomizes value by coming with a similarly sized machete. The hatchet itself is great, sure, but the addition of the machete sends it over the edge. Not only that, but it around the same price that you would normally pay for just a hatchet.

The head of the hatchet is thin, light and sharp. I get great swing speed out of it. Because it is thin, it is great for carving. The handle is a camouflage design and fits in right in the wild.

My main issue with the hatchet is that it could be a little bit heavier. If this hatchet added some more weight, there would be better leverage and it may swing better. Other users seem to feel the same way as well.

With that said, it is a great value and has plenty to offer.


  • Comes with a great machete
  • Good swing speed
  • Camouflage handle


  • A little bit too lightweight

  • Comes with a great machete.
  • Good swing speed.
  • Camouflage handle.
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5. SOG Tomahawk Hatchet Review

SOG Tomahawk Tactical Hatchet - Voodoo Hawk Mini Tactical Axe, Throwing...

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This survival hatchet is all about performance. It is made out of stainless steel and is sleek. The blade is 2.75” long and it serves many purposes.

What I like about this hatchet is that it works for so many needs you may have in the wild. You can throw this hatchet very well. It is light enough to fly well and easy to carry, but heavy enough for good leverage.

The feature that stands out is the hammer pommel. The other end of the head has a spike that can pierce just about anything.

That said, there is one key issue. The sheath is unreliable for me personally. Other customers seem to agree. That does not make or break a hatchet, but I wish the sheath was better.


  • Strong hammer pommel
  • Heavy and sturdy
  • Throwable


  • Shoddy sheath
  • Bolt that is hard to adjust

  • Strong hammer pommel.
  • Heavy and sturdy.
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6. ALVAGO 13 in 1 Survival Hatchet Review

ALVAGO 13 in 1 Camping Survival Hatchet, Gifts for Dad, Camping Tool Kit...

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This survival hatchet provides many key features. It is an all in one survival hatchet. It is almost like the Swiss army knife of multipurposed survival hatchets.

Besides the hatchet, you get a screwdriver, pliers, hammer, knife, saw, and more. I like this because it lets me leave other tools at home when I go out camping. It is especially great for hunting and camping in my own experience.

I tend to enjoy hatchets like this that let me honker down on what I have to take out with me. I will say that I wish that the actual hatchet head was bigger. It cuts well but does not have a lot of surface area. Besides that, it is pretty great.

Other people seem to agree. All of the reviews I have come across seem to love it like I have.


  • Comes with many camping tools
  • Great value


  • Small hatchet head
  • Could be sharper

  • Versatile tool perfect for all sorts of jobs.
  • Solid Built Survival multitool.
  • Hammer Tool is made of stainless steel.
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7. SOG Camp Axe Review

SOG Camp Axe- Compact Camping and Survival Hatchet/Hammer Tool with Sheath...

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Sometimes, smaller camping hatchets are better. The blade on the head of this survival hatchet is 3.1” which is plenty, but the length of the whole hatchet is small. Often times, survival hatchets skimp out on the sheath. Not with this one, however.

The sheath is great and perfectly fitted to the hatchet head. The opposite end of the sharp edge is fitted with a hammer head. It helps me to set up tents and hammer spikes.

I wish that it had just a little bit more weight to it. Some users report that the sheath is less than stellar, but I did not have that experience. People seem to love it besides that.


  • Hammer head
  • Serves multiple purposes


  • Handle can easily come loose
  • Smaller than it looks in pictures

  • Serves multiple purposes.
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Survival Hatchet Buying Guide

Before settling on a hatchet for yourself, there are several things to consider. A good survival hatchet is well rounded and can help you in many situations.

How to Choose?

Personal preference and personal needs are a big part of settling on a survival hatchet. Some survival hatchets have key features such as Firestarter rods that come in handy. Firestarter rods are a big help when wind and moisture conditions make it hard to start a fire.

What Makes a Hatchet Good?

There are many factors that determine whether a hatchet is good or not. The materials that make up a hatchet are a big one.


Think about what kind of weight you want to work with. Lighter survival hatchets let you get better swing speed and are less cumbersome to carry around. Heavy survival hatchets, on the other hand, can sometimes be stronger. This comes down to what you want out of it and how much you want to carry.


Look at the head of the hatchet. If it is made from stainless or carbon steel, it is probably strong. Look at the edge of the hatchet. Some survival hatchets have very fine and sharp edges, and some have duller, more blunt edges. If you plan on carving and chopping wood, a fine, sharp edge is for you.


Survival hatchets should be comfortable to grip. Swinging it around or using it to finely carve means it will be taxing on your hands. Choose a handle that is easy to hold for up to long periods of time.

Wood and rubber are comfortable and easy to grip. Even leather-grip survival hatchets are good, and when sometimes even better than wood or even paracord.  

Special Features

Special features make a survival hatchet better as well, for me at least. I like using a hatchet that is fixed with added tools that I can use in the wild. They are not always necessary, but they are always welcome.

FAQs about Survival Hatchets

Q: Is one kind of handle better than another?

A: Not really. Wood handles give the classic look, but rubber, paracord and leather are just as good to me.

Q: Can I use a survival hatchet as an axe?

A: They can be used for some of the same things, but not all. Axes are bigger and are used for cutting bigger object. You can’t cut down a tree with a little hatchet.

Q: Are special features necessary?

A: That depends on your survival needs. You may have the tools already that often come as bonuses with hatchets. If that is the case, you may want a basic, stripped down hatchet. Special features get rid of the need for extra tools when they are good enough.

Q: Are hatchets the same as throwing axes?

A: No. There are some two-in-one hatchet/throwing axes out there. There are differences between pommels usually and axes have different blade heads than hatchets in most cases.

Q: Can you sharpen a hatchet?

A: Yes, you can fairly easily. Position the hatchet so that the blade is facing upward. Next, take a mill file and run it across the edge several times. You should start to notice that it is getting sharper. Exercise caution while sharpening a hatchet always.

Hands-on Hatchet Reviews

Our team at SurvivalCache has done hands-on reviews of various hatchets. Check them out below:


Well, we have gone over what to look for in the best survival hatchet. We have even gone over what some of the best picks out there right now are. Of course, everybody is different, and you may come across a hatchet that is not on this list better suited for you.

All I can say is that in my experience, the above hatchets are the best I have gotten my hands on. The Estwing got the top spot. It does not come with special features, but it functions so well on its own as a hatchet.

Some of the more versatile survival hatchets like the two SOG hatchets I reviewed above are loaded with bonuses. They also have certain drawbacks as well. There are always drawbacks when it comes to any camping or survival tool. It is a matter of deciding what matters most to you and what you need out of a survival hatchet.

Always be safe when handling a hatchet. I hope that your experiences are as good as mine and that this guide helps you. Refer to this guide before settling a hatchet. Most of all, happy camping!

Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.