The 10 Best Hunting Axes

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Serious sportsmen know that, when it comes to outdoor recreation and survival, it's important to have specialized tools in your arsenal for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. The hunting ax is one such instrument, differing from its more standard counterparts in its versatility, portability, and knife-like sharpness. Our list covers a variety of options, from hatchets to tomahawks. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

2. Schrade SCAXE10

3. Estwing Sportsman's E24A

Editor's Notes

October 26, 2019:

Even if you only plan on spending few hours in the woods, it is still a smart idea to bring along a hunting ax. The wilderness is an unpredictable place and you never know what can happen. If you do unexpectedly wind up getting stuck out there and having to spend the night, you'll be happy you have a sturdy ax on hand to chop some firewood, make a shelter, or handle any other challenges that present themselves.

During this update we removed the Hultafors Classic and replaced it with the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet, which are relatively similar, however the latter is easier to carry due to a lighter weight and more compact size, yet feels just as capable of lopping off branches and splitting firewood. We also liked the wide flair at the base of the handle that should prevent it from slipping out of the sweatiest palms. Additionally, we removed the BladeMate Survival Hatchet because of user reports of it digging into the hand and causing blisters.

The Woodman's Pal 2.0 is another new addition. Though it may not technically be an ax, and it certainly has an nontraditional shape, it is an extremely effective and versatile option that is well-suited to a variety of tasks. The blade has enough heft to hack through branches, yet is still sharp enough for delicate jobs. Plus, it has some great safety features, like a safety notch on the back of the blade and a blunt toe at the tip.

Those who care just as much about form as function may want to consider the Estwing Sportsman's E24A, which has a beautiful leather-wrapped handle and a near-indestructible drop-forged steel head.

If you pair any one of the axes on this list with a great hunting knife, you'll be ready to handle anything the great outdoors has in store for you.

Special Honors

Garett Wade Bearded Viking Inspired by the weapons carried by the famous Norse warriors of its namesake, the Bearded Viking has an extended heel that adds length to the cutting end, without significantly increasing the weight. Its carbon steel head takes a sharp edge, and the entire thing feels well-balanced in the hand.

Wetterlings Outdoor #118 Coming from a Swedish company that has been forging axes for over 100 years, the Outdoor #118 can be wielded with one or two hands and produces a lot of force during your swing, allowing you to fell fairly large trees. It features an ergonomically-curved hickory haft, comes with a leather sheath, and has a lanyard hole.

4. Woodman's Pal 2.0

5. Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

6. Cold Steel Trail Boss

7. Gerber Gator Combo II

8. Columbia River Knife & Tool Woods Chogan

9. SOG Hawk SK1001-CP

10. Elk Ridge Er-199

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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