Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by TechAdmin, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    Anyone found a very reliable hatchet on the market currently?

    All the ones I've seen at local stores and even Cabela's have very cheap blades.
  2. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Snow & Neally probably Best American hatchet

    I've carried a Snow & Neally Kindling Axe my truck for 30 years and it has given good service. Snow & Nealley: Product List

    However, in recent production I have seen examples in stores with the handle grain running the wrong way diagonally across the blade axis, rather than parallel to it, and sometimes head alignment is slightly off. So find a store that has several and "cherry pick" yours.

    In two survival rucks kept in my smaller commuting vehicle and in the home "grab and go bag" hung over the bedpost I keep Wetterlings hatchets.
    Here are summary comments from:
    Review of a Wetterling hatchet

    "The Wetterling products are significantly cheaper than the Bruks versions. Specifically ~$30 vs ~$55 for the smallest hatchets and ~$45 vs ~$65 for the limbing/forest axes. The extra money you spend on the Bruks versions does seem to be well spent as there are a number of differences, like an edge fully sharp right out of the box, as well as edge geometry issues, more secure head/handle attachment [the locking ring on the Wetterling fell out after extended use, the Bruks metal wedge is till after much more use], better sheath etc. . However for its cost the Wetterling is in a cost bracket that is not that much above general hardware store fare and it is a league above them in terms of performance. Its biggest failing is that it has to compete with the Bruks line which is a product that gives outstanding performance for the dollar."

    Inexperiened users benefit from a rugged axe with other than a wood handle, which will tolerate more abuse. The Gerber and Fiskars axes are affordable, and ruggedly built and give solid performance package for a very low price. Extract from:
    Axe review : Fiskars 14" hatchet

    "The bit is very thick but tapers to a fine edge so it works well in shallow cutting on very hard woods, or very thick cutting on soft woods where is it very fluid in both. It has some issues, mainly the poll is narrow, and on deep cutting wood can impact against the wrap around the bit. It doesn't have the edge retention of the Bruks Wildlife hatchet and tends to take more impaction and rolling on harder woods, but the damage is only light and a lot of wood can be cut before the axe needs to be sharpened and this is only a few minutes work. If some time is willing to be put into the axe by removing the obtuse edge and sweeping the shoulder back into the primary grind, the cutting and chopping ability can be made to match the performance of the Bruks Wildlife hatchet on most woods and there is a corrosponding increase in edge retention as well."

    These folks carry a variety:

    Camp Axes: Wetterlings and Gransfors Bruks Mini Hatchet, Wildlife Hatchet, Hunter's Axe, Gerber Camp Axe, and Bark River Mini Axe

  3. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    As far as manufactured items go, I prefer the Gerber/Fiskars line. The hollow handle is great for lightness, and can be filled with an emergency kit if you like. I keep mine razor sharp & polished, and it will eat a 2 inch birch tree in 1 or 2 swings. I own a hatchet and a 3/4 or "scout" axe with a built-in wedge for heavier work. Both stay in my camper van.
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    X2 on the Fiskars short handle axe.
    The hatchet is too small for any real work, but the short handle axe is just great!


    There is one version of the Gerber hatchet that has a saw or knife (depending on what version you get) in the handle, and I always though that would be handy for hunting or camping, although I never got one (see too small for real work, if they made the knife/saw fit in the short handle axe, that would be different!)


    Actual hatchet...


    I made a tomahawk that had a sort of rounded edge, more like an ULU knife, that came off the handle pretty easily, and that thing was VERY handy!
    Chop the fire wood, then take the head off and use it to prepare dinner with!
    Unfortunately, I managed to loose it on a Jeep ride/camp out... (I suspect it was stolen).

    If I were buying a plain hatchet, I'd stick with metal or synthetic handle.
    Some of the hatchets have the handle forged in with the head, and that is hard to beat!
    Virtually unbreakable, and having it NOT break when you need it most is a big plus!

    Personally, this is my favorite brush tool...
    Much less effort than axe or hatchet on anything 2" and under, and vines don't get away from it!


    Darn handy around the camp site, and it's VERY light weight.

    How about this link for a line up of the axles/hatches,

    Here is a link with a pretty good rundown on the Gerber Knife/Saw in handle and axes...
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  5. trace

    trace Guest

    I purchased a solid metal hatchet for a relatively cheap and it seems like it would hold up under any circumstances.
  6. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    OK! This is all YOUR FAULTS!

    I just ordered the Gerber version of this,


    Ordered a Gerber version of a machete too, my old military version is getting WAY to beat up!

    We'll see how it works!
  7. 5artist5

    5artist5 Member

    I have the Gerber one, though I haven't tried it out yet so i can't comment on it much other than that it looks nice.
    I did just see this one the other day and I like the look and sound of it.
  8. George_H_M

    George_H_M Active Member

    I use Iron Forged Tomahawks . For all my hand ax / hatchet needs.
    Here is a link to one person I have brought my axes from .
    Ragnar's Throwing Axe Catalog
    The nice thing about these axes is that the handles are slip fit .
    So for normal use you will probably never break it unless you miss what you are chopping with it.
    I use them normal to throw at tree stumps stood on edge .
    Its fun and keeps the neighbors for getting to nosey :) .
    Also with the slip fit handle it make it easier to store and carry in a bag.
  9. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    Well, got the Gerber hatchet in, and the first impression is it will work fine for camp duties.

    Not really impressed with the saw stowed in the handle.
    It looks functional, but it's small, more aimed at notching or trimming than for actual sawing.


    I'm wondering how the head is bonded to the handle, but I'm not going to cut this one up to find out!
    I notice the back of the blade is rounded, making it nearly impossible to drive nails with it...
    I may have to *FIX* that part!

    Anyway, it's in, and it looks to be about what I'd expect.
    If it EVER STOPS RAINING here, I'll take it out and see how it actually works compared to some of the other cutting/chopping tools I use.
  10. Washkeeton

    Washkeeton Well-Known Member

  11. chocotaco

    chocotaco Guest

    I would never get a wooden axe cause the heads always break eventually.
  12. Washkeeton

    Washkeeton Well-Known Member

    I agree, the ones that I have posted have stood the test of time and abuse for me up here in the cold. I actually like them... I looked through the estwing site and didnt see a regular sized maul.. just the little one.