Crosscut saw vs axe or hatchet

Crosscut saws, axes and hatchets – all of these tools are designed to help you deal with the wood easier. But, what is better, crosscut saw or axe/hatchet?

It depends.

If your intentions are surviving in the wilderness, there is no dilemma, you need an axe or a hatchet. But what if you need a tool just for wood cutting? What should you pick?

First of all, let’s define both tools.

What are crosscut saws, axes and hatchets?

These tools are designed for manual wood cutting and chopping. They evolved throughout the years, and today you can find them in many variations.

Are there other alternatives?

Of course, if you don’t like the manual cutting, you can always take a chainsaw. It will speed things up and save you time and effort.

In case you want to try the easier way, check out my article for best gas chainsaws. I would suggest trying both ways and find the right one for you.


An axe is one of the oldest tools people invented. It has many purposes and one of them is cutting wood.

Basically, an axe has two parts – a wooden/plastic handle with a steel head attached to it. The head had a very sharp blade which helps you to cut the wood efficiently.

Axes come in many size variations, according to the activity you intend to use it for. The most popular nowadays are the hatchets.

Hatchet is a different type of axe, it is smaller, weigh less, and can be used for a huge variety of tasks. You will need more power and time for some activities, but you can easily transport it.

In case you are interested in axes and hatchets, you can check several reviews.

Best Axes and Hatchets for the Camping

Are you into camping? Some axes and hatchets are more suitable for camping than others. Check out my review of axes and hatches for camping here:

Best Throwing Axes

Throwing axes are growing in popularity, particuallary in some bars. You may want your own throwing axe to practice aty home or other places. Check out my review of throwing axes here:

Crosscut saw

Again a tool for cutting wood, but this one does the job in a different way. Most of the crosscut saws are made in a way two people are needed to operate it, but it is not rare to find a single-handed crosscut saw as well.

They are made in different sizes and tooth configurations, based on the length of the wood you are about to cut.

This tool includes blade and handle as well and each inch of the blade has 8-15 pointed teeth.

In addition, here are my crosscut saws recommendations.

Lynx 4 Two Man Crosscut Saw

For people who prefer simple things, this is the model that should pick. Just a blade and two handles, nothing more, the cutting is made simple.

Lynx 4 Two Man Crosscut Saw - vs axe or hatchet

The Lynx 4 Two Man Crosscut Saw

It weighs about 5 pounds, but that isn’t much since you don’t operate with it alone. It has a stainless steel blade and about 50’’ in overall length.

This crosscut saw is great for forestry work, and you can find it for less than $200, which is a good price for a saw of its type.

Check the latest price of the Lynx 4 Two Man Crosscut Saw here on Amazon.


  • 2 large beech handles
  • Peg Tooth pattern
  • Easy sharpening
  • 1.5mm thick blade

Lynx 5 Two Man Crosscut Saw

For larger trees, you will need more power. To get that power, you need this saw and one friend.

This traditional cutting can be also efficient and once you try forestry work with this saw, I doubt that you will want to go back to chainsaw cutting.

The blade is made of stainless steel and has a thickness of 1.5mm for outstanding results.

You need to pay more than $200 for it, but it is worth the price.

Check the latest price of the Lynx  5 Two Man Crosscut Saw here on Amazon.


  • 2 large beech handles
  • Peg Tooth pattern
  • Can be sharpened
  • 1.5mm thick blade

Stanley 20-526 Saw

Again a crosscut saw for one-handed use. What is so special about this one?

Stanley 20-526 Saw review

The Stanley 20-526 Saw

Well, this model cuts up to 50% faster compared to other similar models. Plus, the cutting teeth need more time go get dull than the standard ones.

The handle is specially designed for better grip and more comfort.

The best thing? This saw can be yours for less than $20, which is simply unbelievable.

Check the current price of the Stanley  20-526 saw here on Amazon.


  • Hardened teeth stay sharp 5 times more than standard ones
  • Improved handle design
  • Limited warranty

Gerber Freescape Camp Saw

Still looking for your favorite? Check this out.

It is a perfect bow saw for camping, with several blades depending on your needs. It is very comfortable, compact, easy to operate and it doesn’t weigh much so it is great for carrying.

It is a durable model, that will last for years and even decades, you can get it for a price of about $40.

Check the full review for this saw on one of my other articles.

Check the latest price of the Gerber Freescape Camp Saw here on Amazon.


  • 10” wood and bone saw
  • 20” collapsible chainsaw
  • Moulded gripped handle

Zippo Axe Saw

In case you consider yourself for more than just an amateur that goes to the wild from time to time, this model is something you need to take a look at.

Zippo Axe Saw assessment

The Zippo Axe Saw

This survival model has a 5” steel head, attached to a polymer head, and you get it with a nice sheath for extra safety.

Since you are serious about survival, I guess you will agree to pay $60-$70 for this model. However, its your money and your decisions, but don’t miss this great model.

For more info about this great camping tool, check its full review.

Check the latest price of the Zippo Axe Saw here on Amazon.


  • 5” steel head axe
  • 15” saw blade
  • Comfortable handle, easy to carry
  • Dual function

Folding Hand Saw

What kind of activities can this folding saw handle? Well, believe it or not, this one is the ideal folding hand saw.

It has a 8” blade, very strong and extra sharp. It is the best pick for trimming branches or cutting wood, as the carbon teeth can easily go through the wood.

It is a lightweight model, with a rubber grip handle, for comfort operation and maximum safety.

The best part is that you can find this model for a low price, which is a great for what you get.

It is a great tool for outdoor activities, in case you want to read the full review check my other article for the best hand saws.

Check the latest price of the Folding Hand Saw here on Amazon.



The maintenance of both tools is pretty similar, just need to make sure that the blades are sharp enough. If they are not, you can use other tools to sharpen them and continue working.

Crosscut vs axe or hatchet

When comparing tools, the most important thing you need to know is that there is no absolutely best tool. Every tool has its pros and cons and If one tool is better for you, it doesn’t mean that it will be for others.

The point is – you need to precisely define the use of the tool – what do you need it for?

Crosscut saw and an axe or a hatchet, are a pair like Batman&Robin or Starsky&Hutch, which means you need both of them.

If you need to cut deadfall branches, a saw will do the job. The crosscut will give you straight and clean cuts.

Bucking larger rounds is also a task for the saw, but there are situations that require using an axe.

Axes are better for splitting the wood and carving and other smaller tasks.

What should you take?

As I said, the crosscut saw and the axe/ hatchet are a great pair. The saw doesn’t weigh much, so you can always take both with you.

If you need to decide for one…

Different activities require a different tool, but if I would need to pick only one, I would pick the axe.


Both tools are great and have finest points, but the axe (or the hatchet) is a more versatile tool. It can be used for more activities and If I need to take only one tool with me in the wild, it will be a tough choice, but I would go with the axe.

Best best hand saws for the outdoors

A hand saw can be an alternative to a hatchet or axe. Check out my review of the best folding, bow, chain and wire hand saws for Camping, Hiking, Trekking, Backpacking, Bushcraft & Survival

Fiskars hatchets, axes & splitter maul review

Fiskars make a whole range of low priced axes, hatchets & splitter mauls, not covered in this article. Read about the Fiskars range including comparison between their products here:

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