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When you are in the wild, it is natural to bring a bushcraft axe with you—especially if you’re a hunter. Aside from being a hunting tool, an axe is useful in cutting, and carving woods serves as a protection, and allows you to survive in the forest.
Whether you are a novice or a pro hunter, there is a wide variety of bushcraft axes that you can choose from. Buying the best bushcraft axe is the first step towards mastery of hunting.
The most experienced hunters only use the best bushcraft axes available in the market. These items vary in sizes, blade material, and other useful features that will make it easier to survive in the wild.
Needless to say, in the hands of a skilled hunter, the best bushcraft axe can be the key to a successful hunting and wildlife survival.
Top 10 Best Bushcraft Axe Review
The need for a bushcraft axe is unquestionable. It is a tool used from general wood carving to doing straight-edged head designs. It can also be used for wildlife survival. Most hunters feel safer going into the woods with a bushcraft axe in their backpacks.
Today, we are going to take a look at the best bushcraft axes in the market. Each bushcraft axe in the list is carefully examined, and all facets, such as axe head material, axe handle material, blade, weight, and length of the handle. All bushcraft axes are curated from the best bushcraft axe manufacturers of all time.
Here are the top nine best bushcraft axes ranked according to its durability, the craftsmanship of the design, ax-shaped head, and price.
- Gransfors Bruks Forest Bushcraft Axe
- Estwing Sportsman’s Bushcraft Axe
- Classic Hunting Axe by Hultafors
- Council Tools Wood-Craft Pack Bushcraft Axe
- Wetterlings Outdoor Axe
- Husqvarna Splitting Axe
- Schrade SCAXELL2L Survival Axe
- Hults Bruk “Aneby Hatchet” Bushcraft Axe
- Wetterlings “Outdoor Axe #118”
- Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
#1. Forest Axe by Gransfors Bruks – Best Overall Bushcraft Axe
- Axe Head Material: Swedish high-carbon steel
- Length: 19.5 inches
- Handle Material: hickory
- Weight: 2.25 pounds
Surpassing past the basic bushcraft axes in the market, the Gransfors Bruks Forest Axe is precisely what you need for your wood hunting expedition. It is durable, reliable, and a real value for its price.
Its axe head is made of premium-quality Swedish high-carbon axe steel. This is one of the hardest steels in the industry, and rest assured that it can provide one of the sharpest edges.
Aside from that, it only weighs 1.5 pounds. The entire weight of the axe is only at 2.25 pounds — anyone, whether a beginner or a pro, can easily handle this bushcraft axe.
Noticeably, it has an intense curve that allows you to cut the tackiest of wood. It is also ideal for cutting large trees thanks to its long handle. It measures 19.5 inches, and it is made of American hickory wood. It is highly durable with a linseed oil coating.
The blade is thin yet sharp, and the handle makes it easier for you to use the bushcraft axe. Its compact shape allows you to fit the bushcraft axe into your backpack without much hassle.
The manufacturer will provide a 20-year warranty upon purchase. They are best known for their excellent customer service, and to spoil you more, and the package comes with a vegetable-tanned leather sheath.
|Can cut through large trees||Handle does not fit the eye hole|
|Made of durable materials||Poor fit|
|Easy to use|
#2. Sportsman’s Axe by Estwing – Best Budget Bushcraft Axe
- Axe Head Material: American Steel
- Length: 14 inches
- Handle Material:
- Weight: 1.91 pounds
Introducing the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe. This is the best budget bushcraft axe in the market, weighing only 1.91 pounds.
The axe head is made of premium-quality American steel that does not rust or corrode over time. Its 14-inch handle allows you to gain optimal control of the axe when using the product.
If you’re looking for a bushcraft axe that you can use for occasional small woodcutting jobs, this is the right product for you. Without burning a hole in your pocket, you can accomplish your daily tasks and expect professional results.
While the steel may not be the hardest in the market, it is reliable and sharp.
The package comes with a black nylon sheath. It helps to preserve the sharpness of the blade and also to avoid unwanted damages.
For someone on a tight budget, this is an excellent hatchet to invest in. Its genuine leather grip will keep you comfortable even when using the axe for an extended period.
This bushcraft axe is also hand-sharpened.
|Easy and comfortable to use||Blade dulls and chips quickly|
|Budget-friendly price||The sheath is too tin|
#3. Classic Hunting Axe by Hultafors – Best Bushcraft Axe for Balance
- Axe Head Material: Swedish axe steel
- Length: 20 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
The Hultafor’s Classic Hunting Axe is a happy choice for beginners who are looking forward to honing their woodcutting skills. It is lightweight, heavy-duty, and an ideal entry axe level due to its excellent balance.
It is made of heated high-grade carbon steel that is stronger than conventional steel. It is also sharper.
The axe head’s durability and density are increased for your convenience. Albeit it is a bit short compared to a standard Swedish design, its American hickory handle is 20 inches long. It allows you to control the axe when cutting or carving entirely.
For your comfort, it has shock-absorbers that will prevent fatigue after numerous hard-striking blows.
Hultafors is a reputable Swedish brand that has been generating axes since the 1700s. Rest assured that you are getting the real value of your money with this product.
|Made of durable, hardened steel||Has a perpendicular grain pattern on the handle|
|Axe head is broad||Edge is unsharpened|
#4. Wood-Craft Pack Axe by Council Tool – Best Bushcraft Axe for Wood Crafting
- Axe Head Material: 5160 steel
- Length: 19 inches
- Weight: 2.7 pounds
Another trusted brand when it comes to axes and other outdoor tools is the Council Tools. They have been generating premium-quality axes since 1886.
Take a look at this flat grind axe. It is the most suitable bushcraft axe for wood crafting. The axe head is made of steel and carbon, allowing you to enjoy a carbon cutting edge for each of your wooden masterpieces.
The hand-forged head and its 19-inch handle make it easier to handle this axe. The handle is made of American hickory, rest assured that it can withstand heavy-duty use and regular abuse.
Thanks to its innovative design, you can enjoy a stronger swinging power. It is coated with linseed oil and pre-dried below 10 percent moisture that ensures the axe head will not loosen or shrink over time.
Its patented Dayton Style Head, on the other hand, is suitable for chopping large trees and the like. Its razor-sharp cutting edge is precisely what you need to accomplish your wood-crafting projects.
However, this axe is a bit heavy on the side. It weighs 2.7 pounds and requires professional wood crafters for the utmost quality. The package comes with a welted leather mask and light coating oil. It helps to keep the blade sharp while making sure that it does not accidentally cut into anything when not in use.
|Ideal for carving intricate wooden details||Does not hold sides for too long|
|Tempered for up to 52-56 hardness||The sheath is too tight|
|Provides optimal cutting efficiency||Steel edge is too soft|
#5. Outdoor Axe by Wetterlings – Best Two-Handed Bushcraft Axe
- Axe Head Material: Aluminum
- Length: 19 inches
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
When chopping tough and large woods, using your two hands will make it easier and manageable. With this in mind, it is ideal to buy a two-handed bushcraft axe. Take a look at the Wetterlings outdoor axe.
Its handle has a soft curve. To keep you comfortable, this bushcraft axe has an ergonomic grip. Thanks to its innovative handle shape, it offers a powerful swing and increased speed. The handle measures approximately 19 inches. You can put it in your bushcraft backpack or carry your axe using a belt.
The package includes a leather sheath to keep you protected and avoid unwanted incidents when the axe is not in use.
Since the axe head is made of aluminum, except that it is lighter than other axes, however, the downside is its higher risks of getting duller over time. But its sharp cutting edge makes up for this deficiency. Make sure that you use a whetstone with this axe, especially after using it in a tough job.
As for the handle, it is made of tough American hickory wood that can withstand everyday abuse. It is also a great fit to keep the axe head in place and prevent loosening. It has a generous coating of hardening oil that you can buy from the manufacturer if you want to coat it again after using it.
|The handle is comfortable to use||Edge is polished but not sharpened|
|Ideal for cutting large trees||The axe rusts easily|
#6. Splitting Axe by Husqvarna – Best Budget Bushcraft Axe
- Axe Head Material: Swedish Steel
- Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Length: 19 inches
Don’t think you cannot buy a decent and sturdy bushcraft axe if you are in a tight budget. The Husqvarna Splitting Axe is the solution to your financial dilemma.
This bushcraft axe features a hand-forged Swedish steelhead. Thanks to its unique rectangular shape, you can use it freely in chopping large woods and other tough woodcutting activities.
The handle length is 19 inches, enough to fit a large bushcraft backpack. However, it is not hip-friendly, so make sure that you’ll be bringing a pack with you when carrying this axe to the forest. Or you can use a belt loop.
The package comes with a thick leather edge cover that will prevent any incident when the axe is not in use.
Aside from that, it also includes a spare shaft that you can use to the axe head. If your handle breaks, you can easily replace it and save money in the long run.
This bushcraft axe is specially designed for limbing activities. The one-handed gripping bushcraft axe is all you need to cater to household chores and woodcutting activities without burning a hole in your pocket.
|Easy and comfortable to use||Not ideal for tough woodcutting activities|
|Budget-friendly price||Hammer pull is uneven|
|Ideal for limbing||Axe head dulls quickly|
#7. SCAXEL2L Survival Axe by Schrade – Best Bushcraft Axe for the Money
- Axe Head Material: 3Cr13 Stainless Steel
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Length: 15 inches
Another budget-friendly bushcraft axe in our list is the Schrade Survival Axe. It is popular not just because of its low price but also for its appealing features.
The handle measures 15 inches, and the axe weighs no more than two pounds. It is an ideal choice of an axe because it is compact and portable.
It features a black glass fiber-filled PA handle with an ergonomic rubber grip. It ensures that even if you use this bushcraft axe for extended periods, you can decrease the fatigue in your hands. The road also features lanyard holes. The package includes a polyester belt sheath.
This axe does not have the premium features of an expensive cutting tool, but it can cater to your basic needs.
You don’t need to drain your bank to have a decent bushcraft axe for light woodwork and the likes. You can also bring it to the forest for your next hunting expedition.
The axe head is coated with a titanium axe that can minimize scratches. It also helps to keep the sharpness of the bushcraft axe in the long run. Sold at a reasonable price, this is an excellent bushcraft axe entry-level.
|Compact and portable||Not ideal for heavy woodwork|
|Budget-friendly price||Unresponsive customer service|
|Comfortable to use||Axe head easily dents|
#8. “Aneby Hatchet” Bushcraft Axe by Hults Bruk – Best Bushcraft Axe for Survival
- Axe Head Material: Swedish Steel
- Weight: 2.75 pounds
- Length: 20 inches
Wildlife survival requires a mighty bushcraft axe. Take a look at the Aneby Hatchet by Sweden’s trusted Hults Bruk. This manufacturer had been generating premium-quality bushcraft axes since 1697, so rest assured that this model is exactly what you need for in the wild.
Weighing 2.75 pounds and with a 20-inch handle, this axe is ideal for forest work and tough lumber cutting activities.
Rest assured that despite the gigantic size of this bushcraft axe, it provides the highest leverage. That way, you can use it for skinning your prized animals or other woodwork that requires delicacy.
The hand-forged axe head is made of Swedish Steel. Built with durability in mind, you can use this axe for multiple woodworking tasks. The axe has a tempered zone, which allows you to use it with optimal blade retention.
Taking a closer look at the handle, it is made of premium axe wood American hickory. It can withstand everyday abuse. This axe is also comfortable to use.
The package comes with a premium leather sheath to keep the blade protected and avoid unwanted incidents.
This model is built to last. Rest assured that even under tough working conditions, this axe will never fail you. This is why you need to consider investing in this axe if you’re looking for a cutting tool that can help increase your survival rates in the wild.
The Hults Bruks offer a lifetime warranty to defective parts of the product upon purchase.
|Reputable manufacturer and lifetime warranty||Can strain your back when carried for a long time|
|Ideal for heavy woodwork tasks||The head keeps on loosening|
|Longer blade retention||Too heavy|
#9. Outdoor Axe #118 by Wetterlings – Best Bushcraft Axe for Backpacking
- Axe Head Material: HRC57 steel
- Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Length: 19-1/4 inches
Another trusted, and reputable Swedish manufacturer that we have in our list is the Wetterlings. This bushcraft axe is exactly what you need for your backpacking trips.
This long yet lightweight bushcraft axe is suitable for both a one-handed or two-handed grip, depending on which you are most comfortable. It is designed to cater to difficult woodwork jobs, including wood whittling, felling trees, or carving woods.
It features an ergonomic handle that is made of American hickory. Rest assured that your hands will never know of fatigue when working for extended periods.
What makes it an ideal choice for backpacking is its lightweight and durability. You can carry it in your backpack or attach it to your belt loop.
This axe is also versatile. With its impressive blade retention and blade hardness, you can use this axe to doing just about anything. From chopping to cutting to carving, this is what you need for your next backpacking trip.
As for the price, you will get what you pay for. Outdoor enthusiasts who see the real value of this bushcraft axe will pay for its reasonable price. It is a lifelong investment that you can use for more outdoor adventures that await
|Ideal for chopping large trees||The handle is a bit flimsy|
|Lightweight and portable||Prone to rusting|
#10. Wildlife Hatchet by Gransfors Bruks – Best Bushcraft Axe for Self-Defense
- Axe Head Material: Swedish Steel
- Length: 12 inches
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
When you’re in the wild, it’s crucial to equip yourself with a handy bushcraft axe for self-defense. This wildlife hatchet from Gransfors Bruks is the perfect tool for defending yourself in the forest.
Thanks to its compact design, this axe is lightweight. It is not a burden to carry, and it is easier to use. It has a diminished head shape and sharp cutting edge to your defense.
The handle has a noticeable soft curve for your comfort. It is built using oil-hardened American hickory wood. That means it can offer a powerful swing and cutting force. This makes the axe an ideal option for clearing the branches or doing delicate wood designs.
As mentioned earlier, this axe is compact and lightweight. This feels like using a pocket knife in the forest. The axe head is made of Swedish steel that indicates years of services. Sharpening the tool will never be a problem.
The package includes a vegetable-tanned sheath that you can adjust to ensure the blade is properly protected. Hip-carrying this axe is more suitable than carrying it in your bushcraft backpack. The steelhead is strategically incorporated around the axe’s handle, rather than the common top designs. Rest assured that, however tough a job, this axe will stay fit and tight throughout.
|Best for self-defense and intricate wood designs||The handle has a rough finish that causes discomfort|
|Lightweight and easy to carry||The blade needs constant sharpening|
|Made of durable materials||Re-centering the head is required|
Our Top Pick – Best Overall Bushcraft Axe
After a thorough deliberation of the nine featured items in our list, we have come up with a conclusion that Gransfors Bruks Forest Axe is the best overall bushcraft axe for this review.
This bushcraft axe can be used in almost all activities—wood cutting, felling trees, wood carving, surviving in the wild, and also for self-defense.
Sold at a reasonable price, this is a good investment of an axe. It is made of durable materials yet lightweight and easy to carry.
What’s more appealing is the manufacturer of this durable cutting tool. The Gransfors Bruks has been providing premium-quality tools since 1902. Rest assured that this reputable manufacturer can assist you in anything you need concerning your bushcraft axe.
It is no wonder why this bushcraft axe has garnered a lot of positive reviews from their previous customers. Whether it’s your first time purchasing a bushcraft axe or not, this is a good buy.
Choosing the Right Bushcraft Axe – Complete Buyer’s Guide
Reliable and sturdy bushcraft is a vital tool for a lumber or someone who works in the woodworking industry. It’s also a must-have for backpackers or outdoor enthusiasts who spend most of their time in the forest. Bringing a bushcraft axe with you in the woods can bring a sense of security.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of bushcraft axes in the market that are available for your selection. Narrowing down the best bushcraft axes that will suit your needs can be time-consuming. Hence, we have prepared a complete buyer’s guide to help you pin down the best bushcraft axe for you.
Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best Bushcraft Axe
Here are the following factors to consider in buying the best bushcraft axe:
Axe Head Material
The axe head material is an important factor to consider. Blade material is the first indicator of the axe’s sharpness and durability. Swedish steels are often praised for their strength. It is built to last and can handle heavy-duty use.
However, the axe head material also depends on your needs. For instance, if you’re only planning to use the bushcraft axe for occasional woodcutting activities, there is no need to buy a powerful bushcraft axe. Axes that are made of alloy are often cheaper compared to stronger materials.
But if you are a woodworker who works in heavy industry, you need to equip yourself with a robust bushcraft axe that can handle everyday abuse and tough jobs. However, this type of axe head material can be a bit expensive.
The majority of the axe handles are made of American hickory wood. It is durable and a preferred choice of most woodworkers.
Aside from that, its ergonomic use allows you to work for longer hours without suffering from fatigue later on.
Other handle materials include ash wood, walnut wood, birch wood, and Carpinus betulus. It is ideal to choose a lightweight yet durable handle material that will fit the axe head tightly.
The axe bit is a crucial part of the bushcraft axe. The cutting edge can either be single or double, depending on your needs.
Single-bit axe offers more power and can penetrate deeper for a blow. It has only one profile and can be converted into a hammer whenever needed.
Double-bit axe does not feature a poll because both sides have a blade. A single axe that contains two separate profiles allows you to maximize its expediency. Compared to a single-bit axe, this double-bit axe has a more powerful balance.
An ideal bushcraft axe has a convex blade face. That way, it won’t get stuck in the wood, especially when you’re trying to cut through a frozen wood. However, an overly convex blade face can be a bit difficult to penetrate the wood. But a concave or a straight blade face will be difficult to be released from the cut once penetrated.
To ensure your safety, consider the balance of your axe. It should feel balanced in your hands; otherwise, it will be difficult to use it, especially when trying to penetrate large trunks. Aside from that, an axe with a poor balance is dangerous to use.
In checking the axe’s balance, look for the throw. It is located near the head, thrust forward. Hold the throw in your hands, and the other hand should be holding the knob. You can tell an axe has the right balance if it doesn’t incline up or down or if the axe’s blade remains horizontal.
Another important factor to consider is the length of the axe’s handle. For instance, an axe with a short handle has an increased chance of striking the knee. Hitting the instep is a common experience with a medium-length axe. A long-handled axe can hit the ground.
The common misconception is the longer the handle, the better. However, its unwieldiness can also be a risk because of its length.
To determine the right axe handle length for you, cradle the axe head in your hand with a straight arm. You can tell that it’s easy to use when the handle can reach your armpit and doesn’t go further.
The best bushcraft axe can take you to places and lighten your load. To buy the best bushcraft axe that will suit your needs, follow our buying tips and take a closer look at the items featured in our review list. It will help you to determine the right bushcraft axe for your needs.
Equipping yourself with the best bushcraft axe is a must-do before embarking in the forest. This versatile cutting tool can be used in the house or outdoor activities. The significance of buying the right bushcraft axe couldn’t be more emphasized.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
Q: How do I maintain my bushcraft axe?
To ensure that the axe can provide services for years to come, there are multiple ways to maintain it. Starting with the axe head, make sure that the blade is regularly sharpened. If there are dents or chips, evaluate if it still can be fixed or ask for a replacement from the manufacturer. Blades that are made of Swedish steel are not easy to dent. However, it needs proper use and careful maintenance to maximize its usefulness fully.
As for the handle, applying a thin coat of oil is essential. Make sure that the handle is free of dirt and dust before doing so. You may wipe it with a damp cloth to clean the handle before oiling it. If the axe comes with a leather sheath, it’s always a good idea to tan. It prevents the breakdown of the leather and protects the blade when not in use.
Q: How can I sharpen my axe?
Sharpening your bushcraft axe is crucial. Start by sharpening the edge using a whetstone. You can use honing oil t the extreme edge and, in a circular motion, start rubbing the whetstone’s tip. From then on, you can sharpen both sides of the axe’s blade, moving the burr from one side to the other side.