The Best Axes, Hatchets, Tomahawks & Splitter Mauls Under $50, $75, $100, $150 & $200 Review Your Buyer’s Guide To Axes and Hatchets

The Best Axes, Hatchets, Tomahawks & Splitter Mauls Under $50, $75, $100, $150 & $200 Review | Your Buyer’s Guide To Axes and Hatchets [2018]

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably already drowning in a sea of open tabs full of different axe and hatchet recommendations and reviews.

But that’s what makes this article your new best friend – because I’ve compiled a list of all different types of axes, hatchets, tomahawks, splitters and put them all in one place, reviewed them one by one, and picked the best for each price range.

If you’re on a budget, you can jump directly to the best axes to fit your funds, and even see the best recommendation within your price range.

I’ve also picked an overall winner – the Hults Bruk Torneo Felling Swedish Axe. Overall, it has the best balance between price, versatility, and portability. (Read it’s individual review below.) The winners of each price range are as follows:

I’ve looked at a wide variety of tools, so you can weigh up your options more easily, depending on your personal needs and budget.

At the end of the article, I’ve included a comprehensive Buyer’s Guide, with some basic axe anatomy, information on the different types of axes and hatchets, using your axe, and safety tips. For first-time buyers, I recommend reading the buyer’s guide before you rush into any purchases.

So, sit back, relax, and scroll at your leisure through the individual reviews of different axes and hatchets in each price range: under $50, under $75, under $100, under $150, and under $200. So, let’s dive right into the first reviews.

Table of Contents

Comparison Table

This comparison table of information and measurements gives you a quick side-by-side comparison between all the different models so that you don’t have to flick back and forth between reviews.

Is that handy or what?

The models are organized by price, with the cheapest models first going up to the most expensive.

Model Cost Rating Length Weight Cutting Edge Handle Material Made In Type
BladeMate Survival Hatchet: Hand Held Camping Axe with Full Tang & Sheath $ 4.5 12.6” 1.25 lbs. 4.5” Comfort grip USA Hatchet
14″ Camping Axe Fiberglass Comfort Handle w/ 1.25LB Carbon Blade $ 3.5 14” 1.0 lbs. 3.5” Fiberglass Hatchet
Estwing Tomahawk Axe – 16.25″ Lightweight Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Shock Reduction Grip – ETTA $ 4 16.25” 1.5 lbs. 3” Rubber comfort grip USA Tomahawk
Garrett Wade Swiss Camping Axe $ 3.5 15.5” 2.25 lbs. Raw wood Switzerland Camping Axe
Hardcore Super-Naturalist Hatchet $$ 3.5 18” 1.06 lbs. 3.25” Hickory USA Hatchet
Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet Full Tang $$ 4 12.8” 1.56 lbs. 3.1” Glass-filled Nylon Fiber Taiwan Tomahawk
True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul – 1190400 $$ 4.5 36” 4 lbs. Fiberglass India Splitter Maul
Condor Tool & Knife, TRT (Tactical Rescue Tomahawk), Paracord Wrapped Handle with Sheath $$$ 3 17” 0.4 lbs. Paracord wrap El Salvador Tomahawk
Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet $$$ 4 15” 2.0 lbs. 3.25” Hickory Germany Hatchet
Hults Bruk Felling Swedish Axe $$$ 4.5 26” 2.03 lbs. 3.5” Hickory Sweden Felling Axe
Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) 2725ER RMJ Kangee T-Hawk ER Tomahawk with Axe Edge/Spike Combo $$$$ 4.5 13.75” 1.86 lbs. 2.93” Glass nylon Taiwan Tomahawk
SNOWMUS 45# Drop Forged Carbon Steel Forge Axe with Fiberglass Handle Fire Axe Forcible Entry Tool Fireman’s Necessary Tool $$$$ 4 35.43” 5.95 lbs. 4.49” Fiberglass Chopping Axe
Wetterlings The Compact Hatchet – “Buddy” $$$$ 3 10” 1.58 lbs. 2.75” American hickory Sweden Hatchet
Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter $$$$ 4 36” 8.5 lbs. 4” American Hickory Germany Splitting Maul
Council Tool Velvicut 2.25 Pound Premium Bad Axe Boy’s Axe with Sheath $$$$$ 4.5 30” 4.5 lbs. 4” Hickory USA Chopping Axe
Gransfors Bruks Carpenter’s Axe. $$$$$ 4 18” 1.76 lbs. 3.5” Hickory Sweden Carpenter Axe

Now that you’ve got the very basic details in table form, you can read more in-depth reviews below for the specific tools that caught your eye.

Axe, Hatchet, Tomahawk, and Splitter Reviews

I’ve organized these reviews by price range, from under $50, under $75, under $100, under $150, and under $200.

This should make it easy for you if you’re on a budget and want to jump to a specific price range.

I hope these reviews are helpful and assist you in picking your perfect new axe or hatchet!

So, let’s jump right in to the first set of reviews with a budget of $50.

Best Axe or hatchet under $50

The models in this price range are generally much smaller, lighter, and suited to less intense chopping tasks.

You won’t find any heavy-duty splitters or mauls or felling axes in this price range, unfortunately, but you do have some great options of small hatchets and tomahawks.

The best model in this price range was the BladeMate Survival Hatchet, for its superior versatility and compact design. But everyone’s needs are different, so make sure to read the individual reviews below to see which model best fits your personal requirements.

So, let’s get down to the first model under $50 – the BladeMate Survival Hatchet.

BladeMate Survival Hatchet Review: Hand Held Camping Axe with Full Tang & Sheath

 

The BladeMate Survival Hatchet is an affordable, USA-made, lightweight hatchet, perfect for anyone on a tight budget who wants a tool for small cutting tasks. This is definitely not a tool for chopping large wood or splitting trees.
BladeMate Survival Hatchet Review: Hand Held Camping Axe with Full Tang & Sheath

The 4.5 inch cutting edge is longer than the other options in this price range, but the handle and overall length of the hatchet measures just 12.6 inches – the smallest in this category.

It weighs just 1.25 lbs., which is quite standard for a small hatchet. As I said, it’s not for big tasks, but can handle the needs of a camper or survivalist, for self-defense, or even professionals who work in emergency operations.

The stainless-steel blade is a full tang, making it sturdy, and comes with a nylon sheath that you can attach to your belt.

The BladeMate model comes with a lifetime guarantee, which is pretty handy for such a cheap option.

If you want a lightweight but versatile hatchet for under $50, the BladeMade Survival Hatchet is the one you want.

Check the latest price of the Blademate Survival Hatchet here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Cheap option Lightweight and small
Comfort grip handle for a sturdy hold Not capable of heavy duty chopping
Comes with full tang and sheath

 

Tarvol 14″ Camping Axe Review (FORGED STEEL HAMMERHEAD HATCHET BLADE) Fiberglass Comfort Tomahawk Handle w/ 1.25LB Carbon Blade

The Tarvol 14-inch camping axe features a carbon steel hatchet blade with a cutting edge of 3.5 inches.

Tarvol 14" Camping Axe Review (FORGED STEEL HAMMERHEAD HATCHET BLADE) Fiberglass Comfort Tomahawk Handle w/ 1.25LB Carbon Blade

The handle is 12 inches long and made from smooth fiberglass, which is great for durability as they are less likely to get damaged from the elements (a wooden handle can rot or soak if rained on, for example.) So, that’s a great bonus if this is a hatchet you’re planning on taking with you outdoors in all types of weather.

However, the drawbacks of a fiberglass handle are that it cannot be shaped to fit your grip as you might do with a wooden handle.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a sheath, so make sure you have one already or buy a new one.

Some benefits include a lifetime warranty and an unbeatable price. You can use the Tarvol Camping Axe for any small outdoor tasks, and its 1.0lb. lightweight design makes it great for portability, especially if hiking or fishing.

If you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight camping axe, the Tarvol 14” Camping Axe is a good choice.

Check the latest price of the Travol 14″ camping axe here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Smooth fiberglass handle for a comfortable grip Does not come with sheath
Great price Might require sharpening before use
Good for camping and smaller outdoor tasks Smaller cutting edge than BladeMate model
Lightweight for easy portability

 

Estwing Tomahawk Axe Review – 16.25″ Lightweight Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Shock Reduction Grip – ETTA

It has the smallest cutting edge in this price range, at just 3 inches, but it is also the longest model under $50 at 16.25 inches.

Estwing Tomahawk Axe Review - 16.25" Lightweight Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Shock Reduction Grip – ETTA

The Estwing Tomahawk weighs just 1.5 lbs., making it easy to carry around over long distances or on hikes.

The nylon sheath will protect you from the steel blade and the black rubber comfort grip is made to reduce shock for easier use.

As a tomahawk, it can be used for a wider variety of tasks with its double-edged head, including both a blade and pick end. The pick end is specially made for tasks like breaching, digging, and detachment, alongside the usual uses of the blade end, like chopping small branches.
While it can be used for more tasks, this reduces the effectiveness of the blade, which is made smaller to accommodate the pick end. So, unless you really need the extra features of a tomahawk, I recommend going with a regular hatchet with a larger cutting edge.

The Estwing Tomahawk is made in the USA with a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind, and it’s perfect for a small, versatile tomahawk under $50.

So, if you think the Estwing Tomahawk Axe may be for you, you can check the latest price here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Versatile; can handle wider range of tasks than regular hatchet Smaller cutting edge than other models in this price range
Made in USA Not for chopping large trees and wood
Affordable
Lightweight and portable

Garrett Wade Swiss Camping Axe Review

While it’s called a camping axe, the Garrett Wade Swiss Camping Axe is more of a hatchet in size, and can be used one-handed.
It’s lightweight at just 2.25 lbs., though heavier than the other models in this price range.

Garrett Wade Swiss Camping Axe Review

The handle measures 15.5 inches and is made of raw wood, so you might want to treat the wood before using it to prevent any damage to the handle. The vertical grain is good for durability and is less likely to break.

Made in Switzerland, this hatchet is great for small camping tasks and chopping firewood.

Make sure to take into consideration that while it is brand-new, this model is vintage; however, the cheap price of this hatchet compensates for that, and it has been stored in clean, dry conditions so that it is delivered to you as new.

If you want a cheap, simple hatchet for basic chopping tasks, you could get the Garrett Wade Swiss Camping Axe.

You can check the latest price of the Garrett Wade Swiss Camping Axe here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Good for chopping firewood and small pieces Raw wood handle at greater risk of damage by the elements
Cheap cost Might require sharpening
Small size for portability

Best Axe or hatchet under $75

With a budget of $75, you’ll be able to find yourself a good hatchet or tomahawk and even a couple of options for larger axes. I’ve taken a look at a hatchet, tomahawk, and splitting axe to give you a range of options to suit your specific needs.

My best choice for this category overall was the True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul, because it had the best value for money as an axe for splitting or chopping wood. While the hatchet and tomahawk in this category were also good small axes, you can get hatchets and tomahawks at a cheaper price with similar specifications.

But still check out the other reviews below and see what you can get with a budget of $75 for a new axe or hatchet.

Hardcore Super-Naturalist Hatchet Review

If you want a hatchet that has a natural look and feel to it, you should consider getting the Hardcore Super-Naturalist Hatchet, made in the USA by Hardcore Hammers. It is a redevelopment of Hardcore Hammer’s previous hatchet, the Survivalist model.

Hardcore Super-Naturalist Hatchet Review

It benefits from a nail puller feature, a slight curve to the bit for deeper chopping, and the blade is made from 4140 ordnance tool steel, with a 3.25-inch cutting edge.

It is lighter than the previous Survivalist model; the Super-Naturalist Hatchet weighs just 1.06 lbs. Being lightweight will make this hatchet easy to carry around and take with you camping, hiking, or hunting.

You can also use this Super-Naturalist Hatchet for any outdoor yard work or small building jobs.

The Super-Naturalist Hatchet features an 18-inch handle made from Hickory; the hickory handle has a slight curve to it, to fit your natural grip more securely and organically.

Keep in mind that the Super-Naturalist Hatchet does not come with the leather sheath; you will need to buy it separately.

If the attractive design and portability fits your idea of the perfect hatchet, you could buy the Hardcore Super-Naturalist Hatchet.

Check the latest price of the Hardcore Super-Naturalist  Hatchet here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Portability – only weighs 1.06 lbs. Leather sheath not included
Curved handle for better grip Wouldn’t be able to handle heavy-duty chopping
Attractive hickory wood Wood can become more easily damaged over time

Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet Full Tang Review

Are you looking for a tactical hatchet with plenty of features for a variety of different tasks? The Shrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet is a great option if you want to spend under $75 on a tactical hatchet or tomahawk.

Some benefits to the Shrade SCAXE5 model are features like the nail pull, spike, and pry bar.

The head of the full tang Shrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet is made of high carbon steel that is powder coated, and the handle is made of glass-filled nylon fiber.

It’s great for taking with you anywhere, as it comes with a polyester belt sheath to hang on your belt for easy access. It weighs just 1.56 lbs., so it won’t weigh you down.

Now, for the dimensions: the SCAXE5 is 12.8 inches long overall, with a 6.4-inch handle and a blade length of 3.1 inches. (That’s a slightly smaller cutting edge than the Hardcore Super-Nautralist Hatchet in this category.)

You can use this tomahawk for recreational or professional tasks, and the variety of features make it helpful for survival or emergency situations.

If you want a small, versatile tactical tomahawk, the Schrade SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet may be the one for you.

Check the latest price of the  SCAXE5 Tactical Hatchet here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Not too expensive Not big enough for large chopping tasks
Nail pull, pry bar, spike features Shorter length than most other tomahawks
Come with polyester sheath for your belt

True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul Review – 1190400

If you’re on a budget but you want to split or chop wood, the True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul is an ideal option.

True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul Review – 1190400

Not only is it affordable at under $75. You probably won’t find lots of great options for splitting axes for less than this. (If you do, let me know!)

The True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter features a 36-inch fiberglass handle, which makes it more lightweight and durable – wooden handles are usually more likely to get damaged from rain or temperature. There’s also a built-in molded handle cover to make this axe more resilient.

The head of the True Temper model weighs 4 lbs. and is balanced to give you more control over your swings.

You can use the True Temper Sledge to chop and split wood of most sizes – while it is light for a splitter, it will be able to handle most heavy-duty splitting tasks.

For an affordable, lightweight splitter, you can buy the True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul.

Check the latest price of the True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Splitter-Maul here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Affordable Quite long handle
Durable molded fiberglass handle Doesn’t come with cover or sheath
Can handle more heavy-duty chopping tasks

 

UNDER $100

For under $100, you’ll definitely have more variety in your choice of good small axes, especially tomahawks.

There are less options in this price range for very large axes and more options suited for smaller chopping or tactical jobs, rather than heavy splitting.

My choice for your best option under $100 is the Hults Bruk Torneo Felling Swedish Axe, for its durable design and cutting capacity. But don’t just take my word for it – check out the specifications in each review below to see which model is right for your personal needs.

So, let’s get down to business – first up in this price range is the Condor Tomahawk.

Condor Tool & Knife, TRT (Tactical Rescue Tomahawk), Paracord Wrapped Handle with Sheath Review

For a tactical tomahawk under $100, you might want to consider the Condor Tool and Knife Tactical Rescue Tomahawk.

Condor Tool & Knife, TRT (Tactical Rescue Tomahawk), Paracord Wrapped Handle with Sheath Review
This tomahawk is 17 inches in length, and weighs 0.4 lbs., making it light and portable for when you are on the move. The blade is 7 inches long and 0.24 inches thick.

The blade is made of 1075 high carbon steel that has been heat-treated. This full tang tomahawk is coated with black powder epoxy to prevent rusting and give the tool a tough coating.

The handle is made of wrapped parachute cord that is easy to grip and there is some extra inner strands for emergency use, where you might need some cord.

The Condor Tactical Rescue Tomahawk comes with a sheath made of hand-crafted leather to keep your tool in when not in use.
You can use this tomahawk in a variety of situations, whether camping, hunting, fishing, or tactical.

For a versatile tomahawk, you could buy the Condor Tool & Knife TRT (Tactical Rescue Tomahawk).

You can check the latest price of the Condor Tomahawk here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Lightweight overall and the hand-crafted leather sheath included make it easy to carry Weight centered in handle rather than head; poor balance
Versatile and tactical Perfectly round handle can feel unnatural to hold as it doesn’t fit a hand’s natural grip
Paracord wrap handle with extra inner pieces of cord to use when you need rope

Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet Review

The Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet is most suited to smaller chopping or outdoor recreational tasks.

Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet Review

The 15-inch handle is made from attractive hickory wood that has been coated in linseed oil.

The head, weighing 1.5 lbs., is made of high-grade c50 carbon steel that has been heat-treated. The steel head is highly polished to reduce the risk of rust.

While the head is made in Germany, the handle in made in Switzerland, and the sheath in made in the USA.

Included with your hatchet is a bottle of Axe-Guard and the tanned leather sheath that covers the cutting edge to protect you and your hatchet.

With an overall weight of 2 lbs., this Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet won’t be too hard to cart around with you on the campsite or in the woods, for the odd camping task or small chopping jobs. You can use the poll end for hammering as well.

For a reliable, eye-catching wooden hatchet, you could get the Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet.

Chech the latest price of the Helko Classic Pathfinder Hatchet here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Lightweight and good for camping Too small for heavy-duty splitting tasks
Includes high-quality leather sheath and Axe-Guard Wooden handle can get damaged over time if not properly protected
Attractive hickory wood and polished steel blade

Hults Bruk Torneo Felling Swedish Axe Review

The final axe in the Under $100 category is the Hults Bruk Torneo Swedish Felling Axe.

Hults Bruk Torneo Felling Swedish Axe Review

The Torneo axe is made for felling; so if you’re mainly going to be using your axe for this purpose, the Hults Bruk Torneo is a good-priced option. It can handle chopping down most medium-sized or smaller trees.

For a more natural grip, the handle is curved, and coated in linseed oil to protect the wood for longer. However, do consider that wood will get damaged over time, and the better care you take of your axe the longer it will last.

The Hults Bruk Torneo model has a 26-inch handle made of hickory wood from the USA. The steel head has a 3.5-inch cutting edge and comes with a sheath made of leather to protect your axe and yourself when not in use.

Weighing just 2.03 lbs., with the head weighing 1.75 lbs., the Hults Bruk Torneo Felling Axe should feel quite comfortable to use, with most of the weight being distributed to the head and quite a long handle for better balance.

For a hard-wearing felling axe under $100 that isn’t too big, you could  get the Hults Bruk Torneo Felling Swedish Axe.

Check the latest price of the Hults Bruk Torneo here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Tempered head made to hold a sharper edge Not made for handling very large trees
Durable for felling trees and repetitive chopping Wooden handle more susceptible to wear and tear over time
Comes with Swedish leather sheath

Best Axe or hatchet under $150

In this price range, between $100 and $150, you’ll find a great range of well-made tools, including some larger axes for rigorous work, and the more expensive hatchets and tomahawks.

However, if you want a heavy-duty splitting axe for use on large trees or pieces of lumber, then I recommend slightly increasing your budget and looking at the wider range of splitters under $200.

For under $150, my pick was the Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) 2725ER RMJ Tomahawk, for its range of functions and portability. Below you can read the individual reviews for each axe and see for yourself which bests suits your needs.

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) 2725ER RMJ Kangee T-Hawk ER Tomahawk with Axe Edge/Spike Combo Review

While it might seem expensive for a tomahawk, you do get some great features and benefits from the CRKT 2725ER RMJ Kangee Tomahawk.

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) 2725ER RMJ Kangee T-Hawk ER Tomahawk with Axe Edge/Spike Combo Review

The glass-filled nylon handle is 13.75 inches long and has curves for a more secure grip. It can even be removed from the full tang blade for more effective cleaning. It has an EDM finish on the handle and a 54-55HRC black powder coat on the blade.

The cutting edge is 2.93 inches, which is just slightly smaller than average 3 inches, but will still be able to handle a variety of small tasks. (Obviously, you won’t be able to use this tool for splitting or felling large trees).

The steel bit has a main axe edge and a spike at the opposite end. Luckily, this CRKT Tomahawk comes with a sheath so you can keep both sharp ends covered when not in use.

Overall, the CRKT T-hawk weighs 1.86 lbs. and can handle a variety of tasks, whether professional or recreational – whether tactical or practical. For military use, combat, camping, fishing, or hunting.

For a small, versatile tomahawk that can handle a range of responsibilities, you could buy the Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) 2725ER RMJ Kangee T-Hawk.

Check the latest price of the Columbia River Knife Tool here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Versatile; range of features Expensive for a tomahawk
Comfort-grip orange handle for visibility Not suitable for larger chopping or cutting jobs
Lightweight and compact
Sheath included

SNOWMUS 45# Drop Forged Carbon Steel Forge Axe with Fiberglass Handle Fire Axe Forcible Entry Tool Fireman’s Necessary Tool Review

Chop away with this SNOWMUS 45# Axe – at 35.43 inches long and weighing 5.95 lbs., this axe can handle more heavy-duty tasks than a hatchet or tomahawk.

SNOWMUS 45# Drop Forged Carbon Steel Forge Axe with Fiberglass Handle Fire Axe Forcible Entry Tool Fireman's Necessary Tool Review

The fiberglass handle is black and yellow, and the forged steel head is firetruck red, for great visibility. The axe head and handle are fitted with filling glue.

Being a rather long and heavier axe, it is great for professional use as a firefighter axe or for personal use, if you prefer a heavier axe or are quite tall and want a tool that is better proportioned and balanced to your frame.

The cutting edge of the SNOWMUS #45 is roughly 4.5 inches, which is quite larger than the other axes in the other categories. It’s a pretty good option for bigger chopping tasks.

If you want a heavy-duty fire or chopping axe for under $150, you could buy the SNOWMUS 45# Drop Forged Carbon Steel Forge Axe.

Check the latest price of the Snowmus here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Can handle bigger pieces of wood Quite heavy and long
Is used by firefighters for breaching and other tasks No sheath or cover included
Brightly colored for visibility Costly

The Compact Hatchet – “Buddy” Review

Considering the price, this is quite a small hatchet – it weighs 1.58 lbs. and measures just 10 inches in length.

The Compact Hatchet - "Buddy" Review

It is the smallest hatchet on this list with the shortest cutting edge of 2.75 inches. That being said, it is small for smaller tasks, so it will suit you if you want something compact for cutting small firewood, woodcarving, or using the axe poll for hammering.

The Compact Hatchet “Buddy” is made by Wetterlings in a small town in Sweden and comes with a genuine leather sheath.

If you like the feel of an authentic, hand-made axe, then you will like the look of the Buddy model. The handle is made of hickory wood and the bit is carbon alloyed steel.

It’s extremely portable, and will fit into most toolboxes or bags so that you can take it camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, or bushwalking.

For an extremely compact hatchet for all your smaller cutting tasks, you could buy the Compact Hatchet – “Buddy”.

Check the latest price of the compact hatchet buddy here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Small and easy to carry Expensive for a small hatchet
Aesthetically pleasing genuine hickory handle Short cutting edge
Comes with leather sheath Not for large, heavy duty chopping tasks

 

Best Axe or hatchet under $200

The axes you’ll find in this more expensive price range tend to be correspondingly longer and heavier, and made for more intensive cutting jobs, like splitting logs and felling large trees.

Most hatchets and small axes won’t cost this much, thankfully; if you’re after a smaller tool, then you’ll be able to find them in the cheaper price ranges.

My choice for the best option under $200 is the Council Tool Velvicut 2.25 Pound Boy’s Axe. (See its individual review below to find out why.)

The first axe I reviewed in the Under $200 category is the Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter. Read about it below.

Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter (Splitting Axe) Review

Now we are at the more expensive end of the spectrum, you’ll notice more heavy-duty axes, such as this Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter.

For under $200, the Helko Vario 2000 will successfully split those tougher trunks, logs, or pieces of wood. It is designed for heavy-duty splitting, so it obviously is heavier than your usual axe – it weighs 8.5 lbs. with the head alone weighing 6.7 lbs. The cutting edge is 4 inches.

It is 36 inches in length, so you’ll want to have a certain level of skill and muscle to use this axe.

This splitter’s C50 high grade carbon steel blade is made in Germany, and the American Hickory handle is made in Switzerland. For protection, the Helko Vario 2000 comes with a US leather sheath and a bottle of Axe-Guard.

What stands out about this particular splitter is that the axe head is removable and replaceable, so that you can interchange heads and handles with other Helko Vario 2000 models.

However, unless you have other Helko Vario 2000 axes that you want to do this with, it’s not an extremely useful feature.

If you want a high-quality, heavy-duty splitter, then you could buy the Helko Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter.

Check the latest price of the Helko Vario 2000 here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Capacity for heavy-duty tasks Costly
Can remove and replace head with other Helko Vario 2000 models Quite heavy
Quality sustainable materials used

Council Tool Velvicut 2.25 Pound Premium Bad Axe Boy’s Axe with Sheath Review

This next axe in the under $200 isn’t a heavy splitter, but it will still be able to handle most of your average chopping tasks, and felling small to medium trees.

Council Tool Velvicut 2.25 Pound Premium Bad Axe Boy's Axe with Sheath Review

This axe is 30 inches long with a cutting edge of 4 inches. It weighs 4.5 lbs., so it’s not too heavy, but heavy enough to handle most of your average outdoor tasks.

The Council Tool Velticut Axe comes with a full leather sheath that covers the whole axe head, as opposed to just the cutting edge, which will also help preserve the quality of your axe. You can attach the sheath to your belt for easy carrying.

The handle is made from quality USA hickory wood that is coated in linseed oil. If you were wondering about durability, the 5160 grade steel head has a hardness of Rc 52-56.

The Council Tool Velticut Axe might be in the expensive price range, but it will serve as a durable, reliable, and quality axe for all your everyday outdoor chopping tasks.

If you’re looking for quality and durability, you could buy the Council Tool Velvicut 2.25 Pound Premium Bad Axe Boy’s Axe.

Check the latest price of the Council Tool Velvicut here on Amazon.

Pros Cons
Sturdy and durable Not for heavy-duty splitting
Can handle most of your regular chopping duties Expensive price range
Included full leather sheath

Gransfors Bruks Carpenter’s Axe Review

The Gransford Bruks Carpenter’s Axe is quite a bit lighter than its competitors in this category, weighing just 1.79 lbs. The cutting edge is 3.5 inches.

Gransfors Bruks Carpenter's Axe Review

Almost 10 inches shorter than the Council Tool Velticut Axe, at 18 inches long, the Gransford Bruk Carpenter’s Axe is not made for heavy splitting tasks.

Rather, it is suited to woodworking and carving work that requires precision and control. You could also use it for small to medium wood chopping tasks.

The blade is cut in a way so that you can grip the handle up close to the head for stability. It is quite a thin and straight blade edge, and is guarded by a leather sheath that is included with this axe.

Benefits include its many uses; carpentry, chopping, camping chores, fishing, hunting, hammering, and more.

The handle is quite straight, and made of hickory wood. The axe is made in Sweden, by Gransfors Bruks, who make a number of other types of axes; you can check them out here.

If  you are looking for a quality camping  hatchet. The Gransford Brooks small hatchet is my pick for the best camping hatchet read about it here. It is similar to their Carpenter’saxe but even smaller so that it is compact and light weight making it more suitable for camping.

For a carpenter’s axe that you can also use for your everyday outdoor jobs, you could buy the Gransfors Bruks Carpenter’s Axe.

Check the latest price of the Gransford Brooks Carpenter’s Axehereon Amazon.

Pros Cons
Built for precision and stability with high grip nook Not for huge tasks
Well-known and respected brand Expensive
Lighter and smaller for portability Leather sheath just covers cutting edge and not whole blade

Buyer’s Guide

Congratulations on making it this far – you’re past all the reviews, so now you can sit back and read some general helpful axe-buying information here in the Buyer’s Guide.

In this section, I cover the basics on the anatomy of your axe, basic differences between axes and hatchets, types of axes and hatchets, which type is right for you, how to use your axe, and lastly, some very important safety tips.

So, what do you absolutely need to know before purchasing an axe, hatchet, tomahawk, or splitter? Keep reading to find out!

Axe Anatomy 101

What Are the Differences between Axes, Hatchets, Tomahawks & Splitters? And Which One Is Right For Me?

Do you know the difference between a splitter and a tomahawk? Or what makes a hatchet different from an axe? Before you think about buying yourself a brand-new tool, you have to make sure you’re getting the right one for the job.

I’ll give you the lowdown on the basic types of axes that are reviewed in this article, but keep in mind there are plenty more specific types of axes out there for all types of jobs and I’m just going to give you the basic overview.

It can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time buying or using a hatchet or axe. Luckily, there’s plenty of options out there to choose from.

The main distinction you’ll need to know is the difference between an axe and a hatchet; all the other types will fit into either of these categories (for example, a tomahawk is a type of hatchet, and a splitting maul is a type of axe.)

The basic distinction is size; axes are generally two-handed tools while hatchets are smaller and generally one-handed and used for smaller, less intensive chopping tasks.

So, let’s not waste any more time; here’s all you need to know about the different axes and hatchets on review.

History of axes

Axes and chopping tools have a long history. Watch the video below for a more detailed look at the history of these tools.

How Do I Use My Shiny New Axe or Hatchet Properly Without Damaging It?

Depending on what type of axe you buy, you’re going to need to know how to use it properly or else risk damaging the axe or hurting yourself. (For more on safety, read my list of safety tips below.)

Large Axes (Chopping Axes, Splitters Mauls)

For heavy splitting axes, especially, your stance and technique is crucial to avoiding injury to yourself or damage to your axe.

You want to make sure you’re holding the axe properly. Many people disagree on the exact placement of your hands; some say to have your hands close together towards the end of the handle, while others say to hold the handle about 1 to 2 inches from the end with one hand, and place your other hand about a quarter of the way down from the top of the handle.

The best advice I can give you is to do what feels most comfortable to you, as everyone is different and will find different grips more secure.

For chopping, you want to be standing over the wood (with plenty of space around you to avoid injury) and swing the axe to make a cut at a 45-degree angle. Then alternate between left and right sides to make a V shaped cut in your wood.

As you swing, try to slide the hand closer to the head of the axe downwards to meet your other hand by the time you come through with the swing. This will give you better swing power and accuracy while chopping.

To watch a more in-depth video on properly using an axe see below:

Small Axes (Hatchets, Tomahawks)

To properly use a small axe, like a hatchet or tomahawk, you firstly have to make sure that you’re not trying to chop wood that is too big or thick, as this could damage a small axe or hatchet with too much force or resistance.

To cut a piece of wood on a chopping block, you’ll probably want to be kneeling with one leg to make it easier and give yourself more control with a smaller target and smaller axe.

Use one hand to hold the handle, and bend your elbow to make a swinging motion. You don’t want to use your whole arm as this will reduce your accuracy and control over your swing.

Make sure to keep your hand and wrist straight for more control and better precision. Focus on your target mark on the wood and alternate cutting a V shape into the wood, similarly to how you would with a larger axe. (For lesser tasks, like chopping thin branches or cutting something small, this obviously isn’t necessary.)

Make sure to keep your chopping block/area clean of any debris and wood chips that you make as you go.

For a comprehensive video on the specifics of using a hatchet or hand axe, see  below:

Safety Tips

Obviously, you don’t want to cause an axe-ident (sorry, I couldn’t help myself…) so make sure you read these safety tips before you start chopping away!

So, Now What?

Now you’ve seen all the reviews, read the buyer’s guide, and checked the comparison table, you probably have a better idea od which axe on this list is right for you, depending on your needs.

Summing up my best picks are:

Remember that the axe you’ll want is entirely dependent on what you plan to use it for and what your budget is – that’s why I recommended the Hults Bruk Felling Swedish Axe as the best overall axe, because it’s both affordable at under $100 and has enough power to handle most of your average outdoor camping or survival needs.

If you want something lightweight to carry around on your belt while you go hiking or fishing, you should try the BladeMate Survival Hatchet for under $50, as it can handle a range of different small tasks and is extremely portable at 1.25 pounds.

If you want a heavy-duty splitter that won’t break the bank, the cheap and reliable True Temper Sledge Eye Wood Super Splitter-Maul is a great option for a powerful but affordable splitter.

For tomahawk enthusiasts, the Columbia River Knife and Tool 2725ER RMJ Kangee Tomahawk will make a great multipurpose purchase – it will be useful in any situation and isn’t too heavy or long.

I truly hope this guide has helped you choose the perfect axe, hatchet, tomahawk, or splitter for your own lifestyle and needs, whatever they may be! Now all that’s left is to hurry up and get your perfect axe that’s waiting out there for you – chop-chop!

Best Axes and Hatchets for the Wilderness

Are you into hiking, backpacking, camping or survival? Some axes and hatchets are more suitable for these outdoor activities than others. Check out my review of axes and hatches for these outdoor activities here:

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 budget axes, hatchets & splitter mauls, not covered in this article. Read about the Fiskars range here:

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