Choosing the best bushcraft axe is more complicated than finding the shiniest-looking blade. Axes differ in size, weight, power, and flexibility, and each type of axe or hatchet is suitable for different purposes. Bushcraft axes are also commonly called a woodsman axe, or woodsman hatchet.
When choosing an axe, it is essential to know what tasks you will be using it for, and what characteristics of an axe would be useful for that type of work. Someone looking for an axe to whittle and carve wood might opt for a straight edge model, the design of which facilitates slow and precise directing of the blade for accurate carving. If you are looking for more power, you might prefer an axe with a more extended handle for increased momentum and control with harder strokes.
What is the best bush axe for sale in January 2021?
- What is the best bush axe for sale in January 2021?
- 1. Best Small Forrest Axe for Bushcraft: The Gransfors Bruks
- 2. Best Two Blade Small Axe: Council Tool Velvicut Premium Saddle Axe
- 3. Best Cheap Budget Bushcraft Axe: Schrade SCAXEL2L Survival Axe
- 4. Best Woodcutting Axe: The Council Tool 2# Wood-Craft Pack Axe
- 5. Best Hatchet for Bushcraft: Hults Bruk Aneby Hatchet
- 6. Best backpacking axe: Wetterlings Outdoor Axe
- 7. Best hunting axe for bushcraft: Hultafors Classic Hunter's Axe
- 8. Best Camping Axe: Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay Axe
- 9. Best felling axe with cover: Husqvarna 26
- 10. Best carpenter’s axe: Husqvarna 19
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Buyer’s Guide – Best bushcraft axes of 2021
- Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420
|Small Forest Axe|
|Gransfors Bruk||1.5||19"||Check Price|
|Velvicut Premium Axe|
|Council Tool||2.0||16"||Check Price|
|Snow & Nealley||2.8||24"||Check Price|
1. Best Small Forrest Axe for Bushcraft: The Gransfors Bruks
The Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe is about 20 inches long, a really handy little axe. Its head is medium-sized, larger than that of a wildlife hatchet and quite a bit larger than that of a mini-axe, but slightly smaller than the Gränsfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest model.
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe Review 2021
If you want something you can put in your backpack, something lightweight that you can easily carry around, I highly recommend the Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.
When you’re looking at axes, you might find yourself wondering, “Why is this axe so much more expensive than the ones I see in the hardware store or from quality American makers?”
Well, these axes consist of the best materials. You’re also paying for the fact that the manufacturer has already sharpened it and refined the edge. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but this is a very elegantly refined edge. All the hard work has is done.
You can buy a good quality but a less refined axe, even something fine made in America or Europe, but the edge won’t be as sharp as the Gränsfors Bruks. You can buy one of those lesser axes, then spend three, four hours or more doing your filing and honing to get it to the point where it’s similar to a Gränsfors Bruks.
Many people enjoy doing that. I’m not one of them. I’ve got too many other things to do, so I don’t mind paying the money to get one already primed. This ax is hair-shaving sharp right out of the box, and it comes with a beautiful leather sheath as well.
This forest axe is ready to use. This one has the initials “CS” on its handle. All the workers engrave their initials on the axes they craft, so the quality control is first-rate. Nobody wants to put their initials on a poorly made axe, so everything that leaves the plant is incredible.
Because these axes are handmade, they’re all going to be a little bit different. They aren’t perfectly smooth and polished; they’re not supposed to be. They come from the forge with unique characteristics. All of the handles are from American hickory, which is the best material for axe handles. They’re put together beautifully, with a unique blend of beeswax paraffin used for the handle.
The Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe is a great little tool that easily slips into a medium-sized backpack and can easily conceal if you wish to travel covertly through the woods. Of course, you can always get something smaller, and you can still get something bigger, but if this is your first axe, it’s a great one to have. Many people who buy Gränsfors Bruks axes end up buying more than one to have the perfect tool for each job. This axe is one of my favorites, one of the ones I always reach for…The Small Forest Axe by Gränsfors Bruks.
Best Small Forest Axe
The Grӓnsfors Bruks “Small Forest Axe” is our choice for the best bushcraft out there. This axe goes for power, with a longer 19-inch handle and a large head. At just 2 pounds, it’s remarkably lightweight for such a powerhouse.
Despite its size, this axe still retains the compact qualities of a good bushcraft axe and is small enough to fit into a rucksack. Simple and sturdy, the Small Forest Axe has an elegantly plain hickory handle with a small lanyard hole at the end.
The extra power of the Small Forest Axe gives it the qualities desired when felling or limbing trees. The Grӓnsfors Bruks standard 20-year warranty covers the axe head, but not the handle or the leather sheath. This axe is not the most economical choice, but its quality is undoubtedly worth its price tag.
2. Best Two Blade Small Axe: Council Tool Velvicut Premium Saddle Axe
This Council Tool masterpiece is built for the grind and wear-and-tear of heavy axe work. Produced by Council Tool, a trusted tool manufacturer for over 125 years, the Velvicut Premium Saddle Axe is a versatile axe designed to be both multifunctional and easily transportable. This specific design received its name from being traditionally carried on horseback. The axe handle is made of American hickory, the preferred wood for axes, and has a 16-inch “pre-hanging” height and a 15-1/2-inch “post-hanging” height.
Best Premium Bushcraft Axe
This premium axe is renowned for its heat-treated and -tempered 5160 steel blade, strong and sharp metal with long-lasting blade retention. The Council Tool axe has two blades. The left blade has an incredibly sharp 25-degree flat grind, making it perfect for shaving and carving, and the right blade has a blunter 32-degree flat grind, which is more appropriate for heavier jobs such as chopping or splitting wood.
3. Best Cheap Budget Bushcraft Axe: Schrade SCAXEL2L Survival Axe
This axe is perfect for those looking to buy a good axe at a low price. While its price tag is one of its main selling points, it’s also a quite effective bushcraft axe. At 15 inches and under 2 pounds, the axe is compact and transportable, as a traditional bushcraft should be. The blade is made from strong 3Cr13 stainless steel and coated with titanium. The black glass fiber-filled PA handle has an ergonomic rubber grip, and the rod has lanyard holes. The axe also comes with a polyester belt sheath.
While the Schrade Survival Axe lacks some of the premium features of more expensive axes, such as hickory handles, higher grade steel, and elegant, hand-forged craftsmanship, it is still an excellent choice. The axe is ideal for starting fires and performing occasional light woodwork and can be held with either one or two hands, depending on the task at hand and the power needed.
Best Cheap Bushcraft Axe
This stainless steel coated in titanium axe, while susceptible to scratching, retains its sharpness for a long time and can get the job done. While it may not be the quality of a Grӓnsfors Bruks model, this axe is undoubtedly up to the test and can go a long way for a reasonable price.
- DIMENSIONS: 15.7 inch (39.9 centimeter) overall length with a blade length of 4.2 inches (10.6 centimeter) and a weight of 1 pound 15 ounces
- DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 3Cr13 Titanium Coated S.S. with a black, glass fiber filled PA & TPR material and cold resistance flexibilizer handle
- DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient polyester belt sheath
4. Best Woodcutting Axe: The Council Tool 2# Wood-Craft Pack Axe
Aside from heavy work, this axe is also capable of many other tasks, making it one of the more multifunctional axes you’ll find, despite its size. This premium axe can chop, split, carve, shave, hew, hammer, and even start fires.
Best Longer 24″ Bushcraft Axe
This axe’s multifunctioning characteristics make it our choice for the best outdoors axe. Extraordinarily sharp and forged from quality 5160 steel, this axe is always up to the challenge. It is accompanied by a high-quality leather mask to protect the head from the elements and its user. The axe is a little pricey, but not outrageously so for such a capable tool.
- Overall weight: 2.75 lbs.
- Head weight: 2 lbs.
- 5160 American Steel
5. Best Hatchet for Bushcraft: Hults Bruk Aneby Hatchet
Nothing says powerful like an Aneby hatchet. Built by Sweden’s Hults Bruk, axe manufacturers since 1697, the Aneby model is a long axe, with a 20-inch handle, and weighs 2.75 pounds, making it suitable for forest work, chopping and cutting lumber. Despite its size, the axe is carefully designed to give its user maximum leverage, allowing it to be used for animal skinning and other more delicate tasks.
Best Survival Axe
The axe head is hand-forged using Swedish steel. The axe head is struck multiple times during the hand-grinding production process, increasing the density and making the end product extremely durable. The tempered zone of the axe facilitates maximum blade retention.
The Aneby model is not the cheapest bushcraft axe you will find, but it is a reasonable price for the quality.
- Overall Weight: 2. 75 pounds
- Head Weight: 2 pounds
- Handle Length: 20 inches
6. Best backpacking axe: Wetterlings Outdoor Axe
Wetterlings is a trusted Swedish axe manufacturer that has been growing and adapting for well over 100 years. When you buy one of their axes, you are purchasing a quality product, and a rich tradition and traditional design passed down by expert axe welders. Their Outdoor Axe is a lightweight but long axe to use with either one or two hands. The Outdoor Ax is for more difficult jobs such as felling trees and more intricate jobs such as whittling or carving, with equal efficiency. This model, with its ergonomic hickory handle, is particularly effective for bringing down large trees.
The Outdoor Axe is 19-1/4 inches long, fairly long but not unwieldy. A total weight of under 2.5 pounds makes it fairly lightweight for its size, which allows for more comfortable use. The axe is small enough to fit in a large backpack, or it can be worn on a belt.
7. Best hunting axe for bushcraft: Hultafors Classic Hunter's Axe
This Hunter’s Axe is, as its name implies, designed for use by hunters. Sturdy, strong, and powerful, this Swedish-made axe is ideal for hunting, skinning, and the light forest work that is often needed with hunting. This powerful piece has a rounded neck, is hand-forged, and is made using traditional Swedish methods with quality Swedish steel. While this axe was designed specifically for hunters, it has many other functions, including tree cutting, carving, and whittling, which is facilitated by the axe’s rounded neck.
The axe’s ergonomically designed hickory shaft is a little under 20 inches long. The tool weighs just 2 pounds, giving it the heft needed for hunter’s tasks while offering its user the comfort necessary for long periods of use. The blade’s clear-tempered zone allows it to be sharpened continuously without the edge losing strength. Instead of a sheath, this axe comes with a somewhat lesser leather edge protector.
This axe is not only practical but also affordable for those on a budget.
8. Best Camping Axe: Snow & Nealley Hudson Bay Axe
Unlike many bushcraft axes, the Snow & Nealley brand is pure American, and with American goods always comes the American spirit. This handcrafted axe, produced by the Amish, is known for its expert craftsmanship. The axe was originally designed for trappers, hunters, and fishermen. We chose it as the best model for camping because, in addition to being perfect for catching all types of game, this axe is also ideal for wood cutting, carving, lighting campfires, and many other requirements of camping life. All campers need a good axe, and the Hudson Bay Axe is the perfect companion.
Best Camp Axe
Particularly appealing about the Hudson Bay Axe is the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, which ensures you don’t need to constantly worry about your axe breaking. This axe is also quite inexpensive.
- Drake Off Road Tools Featuring a 1 3/4# head on a 24" hickory handle
- Our genuine leather blade sheath is included for your safety
- Drake Off Road Tools
9. Best felling axe with cover: Husqvarna 26
The long, 26-inch length of this Husqvarna multipurpose model and its 3-pound weight provides this axe all the power necessary for the most difficult tree cutting tasks, from tree felling to wood chopping. While its size sacrifices the traditional compactness of a bushcraft axe, users will find that once they get over the axe’s size, it is a very efficient, powerful axe.
This Husqvarna model is not very expensive, adding cost-effectiveness to the characteristics of this fine piece.
10. Best carpenter’s axe: Husqvarna 19
This Husqvarna bushcraft model, unlike its 26-inch counterpart above, is designed for precision and control over size and brute power. It is 19 inches long and weighs almost 3 pounds—which is rather heavy—and is ideal for carpenters and others who perform intricate woodworking.
The axe is designed with a long, straight cutting edge, and its very thin blade allows for stability and control while cutting. This is not an axe for those who need brute strength, as the blade is very thin. A recess in the head allows for the hand to come very close to the head for maximum control of the blade. The ergonomic hickory handle is designed for very specific and careful use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best bushcraft axe?
The all-around best bushcraft axe is the popular Gransfors Bruks “Small Forest Axe”. The axe combines a powerful and sturdy head in a lightweight 2 lbs package. This axe is incredibly sharp upon delivery. The axe features an American hickory handle. It is usually priced just over $200. You can buy it on Amazon.
What is a good size for a bushcraft axe?
A good size bushcraft axe is between 15″ and 20″ long. Longer handle axes will give you more power, but you sacrifice weight and portability. Smaller sizes won’t generate enough power and are more in the hatchet size range.
How heavy an axe head for bushcraft?
2 lbs or less is a good weight for a bushcraft axe head. Bushcraft is all about surviving in the wild, and being portable. A too heavy axe head will weigh you down, even though you may get more power out of it. Too light an axe and you’ll just really be carrying a large knife.
Buyer’s Guide – Best bushcraft axes of 2021
A sturdy and effective bushcraft axe is a must-have for anyone who works with lumber or is involved in other forms of woodworking. The right axe can mean the difference between a job well done and a less than impressive result when it comes to chopping wood. Choosing the best bushcraft axe, therefore, is very important.
The best bushcraft axes are both powerful and flexible. Highly versatile, these axes are small enough to be wielded with one hand and carried in a backpack, but are sturdy enough for more heavyweight, two-handed jobs. In addition to being versatile, bushcraft hatchets are easier to handle than more massive axes, and accordingly, more comfortable to learn to use.
When searching for the right bushcraft axe, it is essential to consider how you plan to use your axe. A person looking to knock down trees twice a week will undoubtedly need something different than someone who mainly uses his/her axe for light camping trips every month, or has a whittling hobby.
What steel and wood to choose
With the products described above, I hope I was able to explain to some extent the different qualities of these axes, and what to look for in a bushcraft axe. A Swedish-made axe is usually a solid choice, as Swedish steel is solid. Hickory is the most popular and preferable material for an axe handle, as it is strong but flexible, and often very comfortable to grip.
It is crucial to understand what a bushcraft axe is (explained above) and whether it fits your needs. Furthermore, some of the axes described above differ from the characteristics of a traditional bushcraft axe. Those looking for more durable, more powerful axes might have to compromise on versatility and compactness, as with the Hults Bruk Aneby Hatchet. In contrast, those looking for more intricate woodworking capability may have to sacrifice some power, as with the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe.
As with most purchases, it’s essential to be familiar with the different brands. Old, established brands such as Wetterlings and Grӓnsfors Bruks are renowned for their craftsmanship and the high quality of their pieces, so one can expect superior quality when buying an axe from them.
Personally, of the ten axes I described, the one I find most appealing is the Council Tool Premium Saddle Axe, with the Grӓnsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe a close second. To me, the Council Tool is the most useful axe, as it has two sides (or angles), is built to last, and can be used to do just about anything. The Grӓnsfors Bruks model is too beautiful to pass up. Especially when considering the intricacy of any Grӓnsfors Bruks design and the preciseness, care, and effort that goes into each model, it will get you through just about anything in the forest.
If you trust the manufacturer and have a good sense of what you need from your axe, this guide should set you up for the perfect axe pairing. Good luck with your axe-related pursuits!