Whether it’s gathering kindling, splitting firewood for a campfire, or clearing low branches from a path, an axe can come in handy. The versatility of it makes it an indispensable tool in the wild. Some might argue bringing an axe to a camping trip is overkill, but it never hurts to be prepared. You might encounter a whole host of different situations.
Finding the best camping axe for your needs mostly depends on where you’re planning to camp, your intended activities, the length of your trip, and the handle type you prefer. The size, weight, affordability, and portability aspects of it also needs to be taken into account.
Here are the 15 best camping axes.
If you’re looking for an exe to split small logs, the X1 Axe from Fiskars is the among the best in the business. Fiskars is a consumer goods company founded in 1649 and has its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland. It’s a globally recognized brand and best known for its orange-handled scissors and gardening tools. Its X series axes are built for performance, and the X11 leads the pack on splitting jobs.
The X11 axe has more power than you’d expect for its small size. It’s 17 inches long and weighs about 2.2 pounds. With a balanced power-to-weight ratio, this tool increases speed for one-strike splits with each swing. This allows you to cut deeper with less time and effort. Its size also makes it ideal to bring along on your camping trips.
The handle is exceptionally light yet strong, courtesy of the shock-absorbing FiberComp. Besides, it has a non-slip grip, which reduces hand strain. For safe storage, a blade cover is included in the package.
If size is a big factor for you, the X11 comes in a variety of sizes.
Estwing is an American-based company known worldwide for its production of axes, hammers, and specialty tools. It was established in 1923 by Ernest Estwing, a Swedish immigrant. While Estwing hammers are known throughout the United States as the world’s finest, its axes are slowly gaining market share in the sector. The Estwing Sportsman’s axe, for example, has an excellent reputation among outdoorsmen.
Aside from being an American-made axe, there’s no better representation of a sleek classy-looking tool than the Estwing Sportsman’s model. It’s forged in one integral piece making it very strong while eliminating the dangers of the head flying off when in use.
The Sportsman’s model has a relatively shorter handle measuring 14 inches in length. So, it means business when splitting and chopping logs. It also comes in handy when making kindle wood. The head comes with a 3 ¼ cutting edge allowing faster chopping or splitting. The handle’s lacquered leather grip not only looks good but also makes it comfortable to use.
The blade is sharpened by hand and comes with a nice-looking nylon sheath. It weighs 3.8 pounds, which is relatively heavy compared to other options on the list.
Given this model performance and low price point, it’s probably the best budget camping axe out there.
Renowned as a master of consumer knives and multi-tools, the Gerber brand has been around since 1939. It’s a subdivision of Fiskars Brands, Inc., and it’s headquartered in Tigard, Oregon. Gerber has made somewhat of a name for itself with its high-quality knives and axes. Its 23.5-inch axe is the perfect definition of an all-rounded outdoor tool.
Whether you’re out on a work site or deep in the woods, this axe can get the job done quickly and efficiently. Its long handle allows you to swing with more force to get the job done faster and with minimal effort. Coated with the PTFE, the hardened forged steel blade makes cutting and splitting logs a smoother and easier process. The axe weighs 3.35 pounds, and the blade is 3.5 inches wide.
Another impressive feature is the glass-filled nylon handle. It’s shock absorbent and has a soft touch over-mold grip for added comfort. While it might be a bit heavy to pack, the Gerber 23.5-inch axe is a perfect tool for car camping.
With over 100 years of manufacturing and developing axes, the Gransfors Bruks is renowned for its top-quality craftsmanship. Located in the Swedish village of Gransfors, their axes are hand-forged to the highest standards by professional smiths. This is evident in the Small Forest Axe.
The axe has a 19-inch-long handle and weighs about 2 pounds. This excellent distribution allows the blade to bite deeper when chopping wood. It has a flat elongated head with a rounded edge to ensure a more accurate and finer work. The axe cuts across the grain rather than along the grain, so it’s best suited for felling and limbing tasks.
It’s not surprising to see another Estwing product on our list considering the brand’s excellent reputation. This Tomahawk Black Eagle Axe from Estwing is forged of one solid piece of steel made right here in the United States. Its lightweight design makes it easy to hold and carry around. Besides, it’s perfectly balanced, providing you with top swinging speed and precision.
It features the innovative shock reduction grip for maximum comfort and durability. The rubber grip greatly reduces hand and wrist pain when chopping or cutting wood. The hand-sharpened edge is paired with a pointed tip for breaching.
This 16-inch axe from Estwing is a multi-purpose tool in the sense that it can be used for cutting, breaching, digging, or trenching, among other operations. It weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with a protective black sheath.
Although Schrade knives are the most popular and recognized tools in America, its axes and hatchets are just now gaining popularity in the outdoors industry. Schrade has seen a host of takeovers and its currently owned by the Taylor Brands, LLC. Despite the change of ownership, Taylor Brands continue to manufacture knives and tools under the Schrade brand.
The Titanium coated 3Cr13 stainless steel blade is not only rust-resistant but also makes it easy to sharpen. For convenience sake, the hatchet has a hammer pommel at the opposite end of the blade. It can come in handy at the camp. The blade is paired with a glass-fiber filled handle for additional structural strength. The black handle features a TRP rubber grip for a more comfortable grip and balanced contact when in use. It has an overall length of 11.8 inches with a 3.5-inch blade, and it only weighs 1.4 pounds.
This survival hatchet also comes with a large Ferro rod and molded thermoplastic sheath as a bonus.
Ever since its establishment in 1986, the SOG Company has become a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors and gardening industry. Its knives and tools are highly rated and, the SOG Base Camp Axe is right there at the top.
This American-made axe features a 3.1-inch stainless steel blade. It’s durable and provides superior resistance to corrosion. The axe also consists of a large hammerhead, which can be useful in driving tent stakes. What’s more, it is versatile enough to be used for splitting kindling, carving, building a shelter, and chopping down small trees.
Weighing only a pound, this is the lightest option on the list. Its lightweight and compact design makes it easy to carry as part of your go-to everyday tool.
The Husqvarna brand is well-known for its high-quality forestry and wood cutting tools. Their wide range of axes are outsourced from Hultafors Burks, a reputable Swedish company that has been operational since 1697.
The Husqvarna Multi-Purpose Axe is a top-notch tool for those who love camp chores like chopping and splitting small logs. The 2.2-pound hand-forged Swedish steel head features a slightly curved blade and sits on a curved wooden hickory handle.
The 26-inch handle makes splitting wood a breeze while the ergonomic end knob is comfortable to hold. This functional detail means better control and exceptional striking power. The handle, however, is a little rough and needs a bit of sanding down. Hence, you can apply any finish you want. The axe comes with a leather protective sheath to keep the blade safely away when not in use.
As mentioned earlier, Gerber has made a name for itself. The brand is fast becoming a crowd favorite, and it’s easy to see why – low price point, reliability. and robust performance.
While the Gerber Gator Combo is smaller than your average axe, it does an excellent job in the woods. It might not split the firewood, but it performs all of the smaller detail tasks like starting a fire, chopping small branches from trees, whittling. and carving wood.
At 1.5 pounds and 8.75 inches in length, this combo will easily fit into your pack without weighing you down. The glass-fiber filled handle features a textured rubber grip for comfortably supporting your hands.
The fixed-blade knife in the hollow axe handle is long enough to handle almost all camping chores. For your convenience, there’s a magnet inside the handle to hold the knife in place when you’re not using it.
The Kangee T-hawk axe is a product of Columbia River Knife & Tool, an American knife company based in Tualatin, Oregon. The company works alongside world-leading knife designers to create unique, dependable, and high-quality tools.
This axe is the work of designer Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical in Chattanooga. While it was designed for self-defense fighting, it can also be used to split and chop wood. The blade is made from SK5 carbon steel. which lasts longer than other blades while maintaining its sharpness.
The handle is curved and checkered to provide an excellent grip. Besides, the scales can be easily removed for cleaning. Weighing a modest 1.53 pounds, the Kangee T-hawk in among the lightest options on the list. Further, the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Hults Bruk has been making hand-forged axes since 1967. This makes it the world’s oldest active axe manufacturer. While Hultafors Group currently owns the brand, it still maintains the traditions preserved by Hulks Bruk craftsmen.
The Hults Bruk Almike is a small tool that performs in a big way. Just like tradition dictates, the axe head is hand-forged and made from Swedish high-quality steel. The 16-inch handle length and 1-pound head weight are balanced perfectly to give high penetration and power to the cut. So, the tool is more than capable of fine carving, cutting or chopping small firewood, and dealing with other small camping tasks.
The curved American hickory handle is solid and treated with linseed oil for a lustrous finish. Just like all camping axes on this list, a traditional protective sheath is included in the package.
Another Gerber model makes it onto our list with this themed survival axe. The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet weighs a mere 1.4 pounds, making it the second lightest tool on our list. The overall axe length is 9.46 inches, and the blade’s cutting edge is 3.5 inches.
The hatchet comes extremely sharpened and features full stainless steel construction. As the name implies, this hatchet is perfect for survival situations. However, it can also be useful in camping chores, like striking tent stakes, courtesy of the crosshatched surface at the back of the head.
The non-slip rubber grip offers excellent traction in both wet and dry condition. There’s also a lanyard hole at the end of the handle for added security. The sheath is military-grade and mildew-resistant.
And another Fiskars model makes our list of the best camping axes. The X7 pretty much resembles the X11 Splitting Axe in appearance. The two are different, though, in the sense that the X11 is an axe, and the X7 a hatchet.
This small brother to the X11 is perfect for kindling and chopping small to medium-sized logs. Its perfect weighted distribution makes the chopping easier and faster. It features a hardened forged steel blade that stays sharper over time compared to traditional axes.
Besides, Fiskars incorporates a proprietary blade grinding technique that’s designed to produce clean, accurate cuts. The 14-inch handle is shock absorbent and sturdy, yet lightweight. It also features a textured non-slip grip to reduce hand strain.
The tool weighs 1.64 pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Council Tool is among the oldest forging companies in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by John Pickett Council. It has been passed down from generation to generation ever since.
The Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe was designed with performance and durability in mind. It weighs around 3 pounds and has a handle length of 28 inches. The long, curved handle is crafted from American hickory wood for shock absorption and durability.
It has a forged steel head which is secured traditionally with a wooden and round steel wedge. The head is also coated with black enamel to give it a lustrous appearance. This piece of American heritage is ideal for light splitting, cutting, and chopping.
If you’re looking for something special, this is it. All Hoffman axes are hand-forged by the owner, Liam Hoffman, himself. Of course, that means that you might have to wait a while to get your axe, as these are in high demand, and even Liam’s diligent efforts can’t always keep up with orders.
If you do want to wait your turn (or happen to order one in a slow period), you’ll get a hickory handled, 19-inch axe with a 2.25-pound head. If that doesn’t suit you, can also order a longer handle or a heavier head. Whichever you order, you’ll also get a vegetable tanned leather sheath.
Treat it right, and you could give this axe to your grandkids when your camping days are over.