Bushcraft is a term, like many other outdoor terms, often gets tossed around loosely (for example, we’ve all heard the terms ‘bushcraft plane’ or ‘bushcraft pilot’). Bushcraft refers to living in a fully natural environment, and having the required skills and tools to do so. This means you must be able to make shelter, start a fire, fish, track, hunt, forage, carve wood, make rope, make useful items out of fully natural materials, and know how to use the right tools you need. No bushcraft adventure is complete without a solid survival axe (or perhaps more appropriately, bushcraft axe).
With that in mind, we’re here to inform you of the two best bushcraft axes:
#1 – Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet
Estwing has been a family business in full operation since 1923, and their durable and comfortable axes, wedges, specialty tools, hammers, and pry bars alike have been in use by outdoorsman for decades.
Like all Estwing products, the E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet is made in the United States, and comes with the same quality in its forging and grip that your grandfather would have had many years ago. If properly cared for, this axe will last your family many generations in your family.
If you’ve done any shopping for survival axes so far, the most common type of axe you’ll come across is one with either a fiberglass or wooden handle and a wide head. However, the E24A from Estwing is an all steel construction axe, and the blade is also much narrower than that of your ordinary hatchet or axe. This makes it much more efficient for cutting deep with each wallop.
What’s more, is that the handle and the blade is constructed and forged together as one big piece of steel, which is a trait you won’t find on too many other handles. This give the axe a much better balance for your swings and almost gives the impression that it’s been custom made! A leather grip is wrapped around the handle to provide you with a more ergonomic and secure grasp when you pick up the axe.
If there’s a flaw to the E24A, it’s that the edge’s bevel is slightly uneven, but if you’re like most people, i’ts not something you’ll typically notice. To make it look like a more finely tuned piece of equipment, you can always sharpen it down (which is something you should do anyway) before putting it to use. As an axe, the E24A is not a precision tool and isn’t designed to hack logs into firewood, so the uneven bevel isn’t a big enough of a flaw to warrant a non-recommendation for the tool as a whole.
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Length: 14 inches/356 mm
Width: 1 inch
Cutting Edge: 3 ¼ inches/83 mm
Construction/Handle Material: Steel
Sheath Material: Leather
#2 – Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe
If you’ve read any Husqvarna carpenter’s axe review, you know that people hold the company to a high standard and they produce high quality tools as a result. The carpenter’s axe is built for carving and for cutting down timber. The blade is long and straight allowing for more precise work than the E24A can provide. Nonetheless, due to its longer length, the blade on the Carpenter’s is quite heavy and requires more leverage in order to be truly effective. For the experienced bushcraft’s man, the Carpenter’s axe will be a blessing. But to the newer outdoorsman just learning the ropes, it may be too much to start out with at first.
The Carpenter’s axe features a beautiful but strong curved handle that’s made out of hickory. The curved handle helps in you having full control of the axe with every swing, and the hickory material is sturdy and tough, which is why it’s the handle material of choice for many other axe companies as well. The handle also features a lanyard hole for extra flexibility in traveling and utilizing the axe. Finally, there’s a leather sheath to keep the top quality, steel blade safe and protected while traveling or in storage.
Whereas the E24A is more of a general purpose axe for use in the outdoors, the Carpenter’s Axe is, as the name suggests, suited better for more clear-cut work in the carpentry realm. In other words, for carving and whittling a log or piece of wood, there are very few production axes that can compete well enough with what Husqvarna has put out here.
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Head Length: 6.25 inches
Width: 1 inch
Handle Length: 19.5 inches
Handle Construction: Hickory
Sheath Material: Leather
Country of Origin: Sweden