Best Bushcraft Axes of 2019 – Sharp Buyer’s Guide

In looking at recommended tools for survival kits, you may find yourself running across the term “bushcraft axe,” and wondering what exactly that means. Bushcraft axes can be extremely helpful tools in tough, intense situations. Read on to learn more about these awesome options and ways they could take your survival kit to the next level.

Comparison Chart of the Best Bushcraft Axes

Product

Rating

Price

Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19"

Best Overall

Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe

Runner-up

Hults Bruk Torneo Compact Felling Axe

Best for the Money

Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14"

Best Small Axe

Husqvarna 19" Wooden Axe

Best by Husqvarna

What is a Bushcraft Axe?

A bushcraft axe is an one you can trust to perform in situations where, to be blunt, sh*t has hit the fan. In emergency scenarios where you are forced out of your home and shelter, a bushcraft axe could make it or break it in terms of your chances of survival.

You want a model that is tough enough to fell trees and provide you with wood for warmth, but also light enough to be carried along with you for extended periods of time.

How to Choose a Bushcraft Axe

As you could imagine, it is important to look for certain features when hunting for a bushcraft axe. Here are some of those features:

Ability to Hold an Edge

In emergency situations, you likely will not have much time to sit around casually sharpening your axe blade. You will want one that can hold an edge for a long time without needing to constantly be re-sharpened.

Weight

As mentioned above, emergency scenarios may require long journeys on foot away from the danger zone or towards a place of shelter. The last thing you are going to want in that situation is a bulky choice that will weigh you down.

Quality of Sheath

You are probably going to need to throw your axe into a survival backpack with a ton of other supplies, and you need to make sure that blade is covered so it does not destroy your other vital items. Make sure you invest in one with a sheath that is high quality.

Quick Take | Best Bushcraft Axes

Before diving into our review of the best bushcraft axes, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best Bushcraft Axes

Now that you know a bit more about what to look for with bushcraft axes, here is our list of top product options:

Pros

  • Good balance
  • Beautiful aesthetic
  • Has a nice leather sheath
  • Well made of high quality material

Cons

  • On the larger side

The Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe sets the standard in terms of bushcraft axes. If you want the most premium option you could find, this is the choice for you.

It is incredibly sharp upon arrival, sharp enough to be used as a razor if you are so inclined (and a bit of a daredevil). You simply will not be able to find an axe sharper than the Gransfors Bruks. And the blade holds its sharpness for a long time, so no need to worry about constantly needing to hone the edge.

If you need more information to speak to the high quality nature of this axe, think about this: every individual Gransfors Bruks axe handle is branded with the initials of the person who crafted its blade.

You really can’t get more old school than that – Gransfors Bruks does things in style, and it shows on this axe. This is a beautiful and effective bushcraft axe that will serve you well.

Bottom Line

The Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe is the market leader when it comes to bushcraft axes. It is bigger than many of its competitors, so know that it might be difficult to carry along with you for extended periods of time, though.

Pros

  • Hefty
  • Hand forged
  • No coating on the handle
  • Well made of high quality material
  • Comes with a blade protector sheath

Cons

  • Included sheath slips off easily
  • Husqvarna does not provide good customer service

The Husqvarna 26” Wooden Multi Purpose Axe is a fantastic bushcraft axe that is our second choice for the best bushcraft axe model you will be able to find on the market today. It strikes an excellent balance between effectiveness and ease of transportation, as it is not particularly heavy or bulky to carry along.

This quality means it can easily be used with just one hand, making it particularly helpful in emergency scenarios. It is also a good axe to use in everyday life, such as to clear the path on backpacking trips. It arrives sharp and will stay sharp for a long time, so no need to worry about the efficacy of the blade’s cutting.

The handle alignment is solid and the handle itself has some great ergonomic details to ensure your hand(s) will not get tired when chopping. 

The grain pattern, ring width, and grain run-out on the handle’s wood are all excellent. There really is not much to dislike about ​this model.

Bottom Line

The Husqvarna 26” Wooden Multi Purpose Axe is a great choice for a bushcraft axe and our runner-up behind the Gransfors Bruks. But be careful, as its included sheath easily comes off the blade.

Pros

  • Not too heavy
  • Can survive the elements well
  • Will fit inside water bottle pockets
  • Well made of high quality material
  • Comes with its own care instructions

Cons

  • Some users report that this axe needs to be sharpened on arrival

The Hults Bruk Torneo Compact Felling Axe is the bushcraft axe for you if you are looking for an axe that will effectively break wood but not break your bank. This is the best bushcraft axe for the money, hands down. Do not think for a second that by compromising on price, you are compromising on any aspect of this model.. 

Just like the other axes named on this list, it will hold a sharp edge for a long time. It has a wider handle and a wider head, meaning it is actually easier to use than many of its competitor axes. 

It is light enough to be held in just one hand without twisting around in a dangerous fashion. It is just as tough and durable as a more expensive axe – users report it can weather any exposure to the elements, including extensive exposure to moisture.

Bottom Line

The Hults Bruks Torneo Compact Felling Axe is a great economy option that still chops like a premium priced axe. You may need to sharpen this axe a bit when it first arrives, though.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Well balanced
  • High quality forging
  • Feels strong and sturdy
  • Handle has a leather grip

Cons

  • Blade is dull when it arrives

The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 14” is the greatest option for you if you are looking for an effective bushcraft axe that is on the smaller side.

This smaller axe is just as powerful as its larger counterparts. Because it is smaller than many other axes on this list, it is a bit unique in that its head and handle are fused into one piece, so there is no way for the head to ever become loose, as can sometimes happen with other axes.

This axe also has a lot of personality – it comes with a beautiful leather sheath that you will not be able to help but show off.

The sheath covers the front part of the blade, and the back of the axe head is flat, so you will be able to effectively use it as a hammer when driving tent stakes into the ground as well. This little axe is durable and will last you a long, long time.

Bottom Line

The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 14” is a great little axe that is just as effective as some of its larger competitors. You will probably need to take some time on the blade when you first unpack it, though.

Best by Husqvarna:
Husqvarna 19” Wooden Axe

Pros

  • Hefty
  • Hand forged
  • Beautiful aesthetic
  • Well made of high quality material
  • Comes with a blade protector sheath

Cons

  • On the heavier side

The Husqvarna 19” Wooden Axe is the premiere axe if you want to go with the reliable Husqvarna brand. Everyone knows Husqvarna produces quality, and this axe is no different.

Even just starting with the handle – Husqvarna intentionally designed this axe’s handle to have the maximum ergonomic detailing, so you could hypothetically use it for hours and hours without your hand cramping or hurting. 

And do not worry about the blade dulling with extended use, as this axe is guaranteed to hold a sharp edge for a long time.

The handle does not come with any coating, so you will not have to take the time to sand the coating off and treat the handle to prevent water damage, which you have to do with so many other axes on the market today. If you want the quality Husqvarna experience, you are not going to be able to find an option better than this axe.

Bottom Line

The Husqvarna 19” Wooden Axe is a fantastic bushcraft axe that really exemplifies the high quality Husqvarna name. It is a little heavier than some of its competitors, though.

Types of Bushcraft Axes

As you can see above, there are a number of different types of bushcraft axes. Here are some of the major product categories and the benefits of each:

Smaller Axes

Some may think of a more petite size as a drawback, but there are plenty of bushcraft axes that are specifically designed to be smaller. These axes are beneficial in that they can likely be used by anyone, regardless of strength level, and they are easier to haul along with you in a backpack.

Fused Head/Handle

Increasingly, we are seeing bushcraft axes that do not worry about connecting the axe head to the axe handle, but simply design the axe so that it is all one fused piece. In a survival scenario, if your axe head becomes loose or snaps off entirely, that could be it for you, so it may be worthwhile to invest in one of these more modern axes.

Hatchets

You may be thinking wait…aren’t axes and hatchets the exact same thing? The two are very similar, but not exactly the same. If you want to go even smaller than your smallest axe, you may want to go with a hatchet. Hatchets tend to not be as durable as axes, but they are definitely lighter and will not take up as much room in your bag.

Conclusion

Bushcraft axes are a necessity for any quality survival kit. The last thing you want is to find yourself out in the middle of nowhere without one. Read through our selection and go with the choice that will work best for you – we guarantee you will be thanking us later.             

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