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Whats up guys, John here, back again with another action packed review to help you stay on point in the wild. Today we are going to look at, how to choose the best hand axe for your needs. Choosing the best hand axe is no easy task but with a little research, you can narrow your selection down.
Historians consider the hand axe to be the first tool man developed. The original hand axe was simply a pointed rock held in the hand. This was used break up stones such as flint. Hand axes have come along way from their humble beginnings as a pointy rock, and today we use hand axes for chopping branches, hammering or carving tent stakes, and splitting logs.
Hand axes are usually less than 16″ in length and weigh under 2 pounds. This makes this type of axe optimal for one-handed use. Even though hand axes look like a miniature version of full sized axes they are intended for different uses. The last thing you want to do is to spend your afternoon chopping a tree down with a hand axe.
The Best Hand Axe – Why You Need It
Hand axes are perfectly suited for chopping limbs or splitting medium to small sized logs. The smaller size of hand axes makes them ideal for use in tighter spaces. This mini-axe requires less back swing than a traditional 2-handed axe. I prefer to pack a hand axe when camping or hiking because it gives me more chopping power without taking up valuable real estate in my pack.
You can also use your axe to prep game and clear brush when needed. A hand axe can also provide you with greater protection in the event you need it.
Best Hand Axes – Things to Consider
Today hand axes are available in variety of different options and depending on what you plan to use your hand axe for, you may find certain version better suited for your needs. There are a couple key factors to consider when choosing the best hand axe. You want a handle length that is comfortable to your body type. You should be able to swing this axe with ease and the handle should fit your hand comfortably. The majority of hand axes come with a hi-breed splitting blade. I prefer a thin blade that bevels outward to give me a good balance between cutting and splitting.
The Best Hand Axes – My Top 5
Choosing the best hand axe for your needs is not difficult and for the average person, most axes are sufficient for the majority of your uses. The important thing to remember is you want a high-quality steel with a full tang design. This gives your axe more durability. You should also consider the overweight and length. If you are going to be backpacking, you want a smaller and lighter axe than one you would need in a tactical scenario.
There are a lot of quality axes on the market today. If you are like me you may prefer to have a selection of axes to choose from, depending on what you need, you can have the perfect tool for the job. Below are my choices for the top 5 best hand axes.
Winkler Knives II WK005 Maple Hammer/Combat Axe
The Winkler Knives II WK005 Maple Hammer/Combat Axe comes in a full tang design that gives this hand axe big chopping power. The 01 Tool Steel adds to the durability of this blade and the fiberglass reinforced nylon handle has great shock absorption properties that reduce fatigue from use.
- 9 3/4″ Overall Length
- 01 Steel Construction
- 3″ Cutting Edge
- Fully Extended Tang
- Black Finish
- Handle Slippery in Moisture
This very portable axe includes a black sheath with a nylon belt loop. I like the lightweight (1.2 lb)design of this axe. The texture on the handle gives you a solid grip when swinging this blade. I mostly use this axe to remove branches from downed trees and it does so with ease. If you need a very reliable axe, that can handle the toughest jobs in the wild, you can’t go wrong with this blade.
Scorpion Knives Pathfinder Axe Tactical Tomahawk Survival Perry McGee PA-1
The Scorpion Knives Pathfinder Axe Tactical Tomahawk raises the bar in terms of quality and durability. This serious hand axe easily chops through branches and can split logs. The blade is made from x46Cr13 – 420 Stainless Steel with a thickness of 3/16″. This is a high quality axe. It feels comfortable in your hand and the Black Linen Micarta handle adds to the overall appeal of this blade.
- x46Cr13 – 420 Stainless Steel
- Black Linen Micarta Handle
- Kydex and Cordura Sheath
- Too Large for Some people
The Kydex and Cordura Sheath is designed to make this axe ultra-portable. This professional grade axe looks great. The styling of this axe is exceptional, and the materials used in the construction are excellent. If you require a heavy-duty hand axe that can cut anything you put in front of it, this is the right axe for you.
Hardcore Hardware Australia LFT01 Tactical Tomahawk Tan Teflon Desert G-10
The Hardcore Hardware Australia LFT01 Tactical Tomahawk comes in a Tan Teflon Desert color that gives this blade a unique appeal. I like the length of this axe (12.5″) and the handle is made from G-10. This axe is made from super durable D2 Tool Steel. A Coyote Teflon Finish protects this blade from moisture and wear and tear.
- G-10 Handle
- Kydex Speed Scabbard
- D2 Tool Steel
- Black Teflon Finish
- 15.6 oz
- Extended Sharpening Times
This is a professional grade axe suitable for use by soldiers, firefighters, outdoorsman, and woodsman alike. The Kydex Speed Scabbard is MOLLE-Compatible, so you can easily attach this axe to your bag, vest, or armor. This axe weighs in at 15.6 ounces of pure cutting power. When a professional grade hand axe is required, this axe should be your first choice. It is going to be difficult to find a higher quality axe, without having one custom made.
Spyderco SzaboHawk Hand Axe
The Spyderco SzaboHawk Hand Axe has a unique arcing full-tang handle that gives this axe added appeal and comfort. The ergonomics behind this handle are great, you really feel like you have more control than with a straight-handled axe. The handle is covered in a smooth G-10 scales that help to reduce impact shock.
- Double Titanium Carbonitride Coating
- Full-Tang Handle
- G-10 Scales
- D2 Tool Steel
- Molded Boltaron Sheath
- Sharpening is More Difficult
This blade is coated in Double Titanium Carbonitride. This gives this axe added protection from the elements and wear. It also helps prevent your blade from getting stuck in logs. This hand axe has a unique blade shape that makes it well suited for chopping, digging, and slicing. This axe weighs in at 1.4 pounds, so it is very easy to carry when using the included Boltaron sheath. This one of the best hand axes on the market today and it is sure to handle whatever jobs you encounter.
Du-Star Knives 14 Du-Star Axe
The Du-Star Knives 14 Du-Star Axe features a one-piece full tang 01 Tool Steel design coated in a black finish. The fiberglass reinforced handle reduces chopping fatigue by absorbing the impact shock of your swing. I like the shorter length of this axe (9 3/4″) and I often use it as my backpacking axe.
- 01 Tool Steel
- Fiberglass Reinforced Handle
- Black Leather Sheath
- Full Tang
- Lanyard Hole
- Needs to be Sharpened
If you are planning to hike or backpack this is the best hand axe for you. The quality materials used in construction keep this blade sharper, longer, and there is a small hole on the bottom of the extended full tang to attach a lanyard. The black leather sheath is very comfortable and it keeps your blade protected. If you are in the market for a quality axe to take with you on your travels, this is a great choice for you.
The Best Hand Axe – Final Thoughts
A hand axe can be a valuable tool to have on your journeys. I never hike or backpack without a hand axe in my gear. You never know when you may have to spend the night in the wild, and bringing my axe along, even on medium length hikes, ensures me that I have a means to keep my fire up throughout the night.
Thanks for stopping in guys and make sure to check back soon to stay up to date on all the hottest and newest blades hitting the market.