Best Bushcraft Hatchets: Types, Choosing Guide and Selections

Published on: April 4, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by David Rowan

The bushcraft hatchets are both powerful and flexible. These are small enough to be wielded with one hand and carried in backpacking. But it is enough for more heavyweight with two-handed jobs. Bushcraft hatchets are easier to handle and more comfortable to learn to use.

bushcraft hatchets types, choosing guide and selections

When you search for the right bushcraft hatchet, it is essential to consider how you plan to use your hatchet. A person who needs to knock down trees twice a week will need something different from someone who mainly uses his/her hatchet for a whittling hobby or light camping trip every month.

Types of Bushcraft Hatchet

Bushcraft hatchets are defined by particular handle sizes and their head weights. The curved handle gives your swings quicker and more accurate. For it to sink as deeply into the tree as a hatchet with a broad flat head. It comes with a different range that will perform different functions to fulfill a task. Smaller hatchets two-handed used to chop down thicker trees. 

Bushcraft hatchets can be used with one hand. It is ideal for climbing and splitting firewood for small sizes. If you’re looking for a multipurpose tool, then it will be the right choice for you. On the other hand, only large hatchets are designed explicitly for felling large trees.

Tips for Using Your Bushcraft Hatchet Smartly

Of course, at its most basic use, it is like chopping firewood. Some basic tips for cutting wood are done smartly for your task. First, select your mark where you want to chop, then angle its head far away from the wood. And swing your arm in a 2-foot radius and keep chopping until you’ve cut the piece of wood. This general cutting knowledge will ensure a smooth, precise cut and quicker work, but it’s also the safest and cool way to chop wood. 

Read more: Tree Felling Axes

How Comfortable Are You with a Bushcraft Hatchet?

Most beginners make the wrong choice of a small hatchet as their first camping item. So if you are not experienced in swing, then you should take a longer handle hatchet. It will be heavier to carry but much safer to use. A bushcraft hatchet requires more energy to use, so as for fresher users, we recommend a full-length hatchet.

How to Pick a Perfect Bushcraft Hatchet

Therefore it is crucial, choosing an ideal bushcraft hatchet. Before you select it, there are lots of things that need to be taken into consideration. We’ve done in-depth reviews of many of them, including some pros and cons of each. Hopefully, this review will help you narrow-down.


The size plays an important role and dramatically defines what makes a bushcraft hatchet. If you choose a broad size hatchet, it’s not easy to carry in your backpack. The size of your chosen hatchet’s handle can make a difference in the power it generates. A smaller handle provides less power than a longer handle, but it’s the one that will give you more control of the hatchet. And the long handle has more strength and power, so it’s ideal for big tasks.

What Type Steel and Wood to Choose

With the products described above, we try to explain some different qualities of these bushcraft hatchets. If you choose, the Swedish-made hatchet is usually a good choice. As Swedish steel is solid. The hickory is the most popular material for its handle. It is flexible and strong with a comfortable grip. Some of the hatchets described differ from the characteristics of a traditional bushcraft hatchet. Those are more durable and powerful. 

Grip and Sheath

Generally, hatchets offer a one-handed grip, which makes it easier to handle them for cutting wood. If your hatchet comes with a slippery varnish, we suggest sanding it off to make the handle easier to hold on to. More friction equals more control. There are some bushcraft hatchets, which offer single grips. But these are double-handed grips. 

All the bushcraft hatchets on this list come with a smart sheath to protect your hatchet from picking up rust and getting cut on your travels. The good things of these are made from leather and treated with vegetable oil for extra strength.

Editor’s Speech

A hatchet is an excellent tool and also a crucial part of any bushcraft gear. The hatchet selection depends entirely on your needs. The right hatchet will do most of the work for you.

The tips we’ve listed below can help you decide on a particular bushcraft hatchet. What you choose, they’ve all been given the quality materials to give you a pleasant experience.

Editors Selected Top Rated Bushcraft Hatchets-

Hults Bruk Hatchet Tarnaby

  • Head weight 1.25 lbs;
  • 15 inches handle length;
  • Swedish steelhead;
  • Small hatchet.

It is a part of the hand-forged premium ax from the Hults Bruk Company. Whose origins in Sweden go back to 1697. It might also be considered a handcrafted tool from more than 300 years ago in Sweden (near Norrkoping). It comes with a Hults Bruk catalog, leather sheath, and a user’s manual.

It has a classical 15-inch length hickory wood handle. Which is treated with linseed oil to feel good in your hand. The Swedish steel head includes some recycled steel content. It comes with a leather mask. Overall, this is an excellent, well-made tool for the last generations.


  • Curved hickory handle;
  • Protective leather sheath;
  • Hand-forged quality;
  • It makes a wonderful backup;
  • Perfect weight for a packable tool.


  • It’s not suitable for heavy-duty jobs.

Gibson ESEE Bushcraft Hatchet

  • Overall 10.5 inch;
  • Hatch weight 20.5 ounces;
  • 4.5-inch head width;
  • Cutting Edge 2.75 inch;
  • 1095 Carbon Steel.

This compact camping hatchet, generated by James Gibson. Which one will easily fit in your backpack? Generally, it is used as a bushcraft hatchet. The ESEE ax is made from a piece of 1095 carbon steel. You should clean it up after use, add a drop of oil to save it from rust. The handle is made of micarta materials. It offers enough grip and strength. 

It also comes with a leather sheath. It protects the razor-sharp edge. Gibson’s goal makes it an easy use tool that could do most camp chores and be used for a carving hatchet. The head allows for close up work, and the finger grooves, which provides an excellent grip when chopping. 


  • Full Tang;
  • .188″ Steel Thickness;
  • 55-57 Rockwell Hardness;
  • Leather Sheath;
  • Made in the USA.


  • As a throwing hatchet, it’s not right.

Gransfors Hand Hatchet

  • 9.5-inch hickory handle;
  • Total weight of 0.6 kg;
  • Cutting edge 3 inches;
  • 1 lb head weight;
  • Length with handle 9.5 inches.

The Gransfors Swedish company offers an excellent small hatchet. Its head comes individually stamped. And the handle is embossed with the Gransfors logo. The 9.5-inch hickory handle feels smooth and comfortable to your hand. The vegetable-tanned leather gives you protection when it is not used. The head is hand forged, who made it the initials of the smith. It has cutting edge 3 inches, handles length 9.5 inches, and 1lb weight.

This hatchet is not heavy for serious work. But its handle is not light enough for most tasks. Full-grain is included with this. This isn’t a huge deal as other splitting techniques, which one works splendidly. This item also included a book of hatchets. 


  • Vegetable-tanned leather sheath included;
  • Able for quite heavy work;
  • Gransfors logo on the handle;
  • Can be worn on your belt;
  • Comes with the Book of a hatchet;
  • Full-grain included.


  • The handle is a little bit short from others.

14 inches Estwing Sportsman’s Hatchet

  • Nylon sheath included;
  • Cutting edge. 2.75 or 3.25 inches ;
  • 1.7 pounds of total weight;
  • Forged Tool Steel;
  • The hatchet is 14 inches.

Rockford represents the Estwing Sportsman’s Hatchet with suitable materials. It’s complete with a one-piece steel construct and a comfortable leather grip for safety and extra mobility. It has the perfect size for your backpacking. This hatchet is used for trimming tree limbs, chopping small-sized wood, and other light tasks.

The leather handle is not as comfortable for use. So, you may want to use gloves to reduce the pain and risks of blisters further. The overall cutting edge is 3 inches. This makes it big enough for what you need to chop without taking too much space.


  • Well balanced;
  • Very stylish;
  • Leather Grip;
  • Very budget-friendly;
  • Easy to sharpen the blade;
  • Made in the USA.


  • Its handle can feel slippery.

Karesuando Kniven Big Hatchet

  • 5-inch head length;
  • Cutting edge 3.5 inc;
  • Handle thickness 1.09 inch;
  • Overall length of 11.5 inches.

The Stuorra Aksu Big Hatchet From Karesuando Knives. It has an oiled curly birch handle and a stainless steel head. It measures in at 3.5 inches cutting edge, a 5 inches head and overall length 11.5 inches. This hatchet has a bigger size as an advantage. Its big handle is so much easier to grip than metal. Also gives it a quality and premium feel in your hand without feeling too heavy. 

The blade is designed to be reasonably thick, with an accurately positioned drop. This allows you not only to chop and split also for everything as you need. This hatchet has quality materials with pretty compact materials. If you want a two-hand hatchet at a reasonable price, this item should be in your cart.


  • Stainless steel blade;
  • Most easier to grip;
  • Overall powerful swings;
  • Blade thickness 0.25 inch;
  • Comes with diamond sharpener;
  • Leather sheath included.


  • Not available any cons.

13 inch Husqvarna Wooden Hatchet

  • 1.21 lb Head Weight;
  • Length 13 inches;
  • Swedish steelhead.

This Husqvarna hatchet can provide you with the ability to fall a tree smoothly with its sharp single edge blade. The hickory wood shaft is replaceable for multiple chopping and makes it secure for users. The 26 inches long leather edge cover handle is comfortable to swing and gives strong power to the cut. 

Regarding the hatchet itself, it’s hand-forged and made in Sweden. It also offers high quality and a stylish look with a reasonable price. For its lightweight, it is not perfect for splitting a larger log. This hatchet is ideal for those people who know how to replace wooden handles. 


  • Comfortable grip;
  • Designed for one-handed use;
  • Hand-forged in Sweden;
  • High-quality hatchet;
  • Comes with a leather edge cover;
  • Made with hickory and Swedish steel;
  • Available at an affordable price.


  • Its wooden handle can be replaced if it breaks.

Estwing 12 inch Sportsman’s Hatchet

  • 2-3/4 inch cutting edge;
  • 12-inch overall length;
  • Easy to sharpen;
  • Genuine leather grip.

The Estwing sportsman’s hatchet is proven American steel from the USA. It comes with a sheath and belt strap. Its leather grip gives a sandy and lustrous finish. It can be used as a hammer while it has the case on. The blade is super sharp, and the curves are well-balanced, which makes it easier to use.

The 2-3/4 inch cutting edge for more convenient and effortless arm work without worrying. Suppose you need more power or consider using both hands than it’s hard to operate by you. The ring area of the handle gives a minor mark on your hands while using it.


  • Extremely lightweight;
  • Includes Sheath;
  • Well-balanced;
  • One-piece fully polished;
  • Can be used in both hands;
  • Head and handle both are forged in one piece.


  • The handle can feel slippery.

Read more: Pulaski Axes Reviews


What is an Ideal Size for a Bushcraft Hatchet?

A good size bushcraft hatch is between 18 inches-28 inches long. It is very heavy enough for some serious work. Longer handle hatchets will provide you more power, but you sacrifice weight and portability. Smaller handle sizes don’t generate enough power. 

How to Carry a Bushcraft Hatchet on a Camping Trip?

Before you start traveling, always double-check that the sheath is over the hatchet. It is essential for your protection and also protects the hatchet from falling damage by the ground. Depending on its size, you may carry it on your hip via stringing it to your belt. Precisely for this purpose, some worker’s pants have loops. A bushcraft hatchet is designed for easy carrying and lightweight.

How Heavy is a Hatchet Head for Bushcraft?

2 lbs or less is a good weight for a bushcraft hatchet head. Bushcraft is portable and all about surviving in the wild. A too heavy hatchet head will weigh you down and should get more power out of it. Too lightweight hatchet you’ll just really be carrying as a larger knife.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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