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Bushcraft

Best Bushcraft Axes: How To Choose a Camping Axe

by Jack Green 04 Dec 2023

best bushcraft axes

In the world of bushcraft, where every tool is critical, choosing the right axe can make a significant difference. Whether setting up camp, crafting tools, or preparing firewood, having a reliable bushcraft axe is essential for your outdoor success. Want to learn more about survival - check out our detailed guide «What is Bushcraft».

In this guide, we'll navigate through the wilderness of options and help you choose the best bushcraft axe for your specific needs.

Which Axe Type is Ideal for Bushcraft?

Before we delve into the specifics of bushcraft, it's crucial to understand that the term «bushcraft axe» encompasses a range of designs, including camping axes and even compact hatchets. In general, a bushcraft axe, also known as a survival axe, is a versatile cutting tool designed for outdoor activities, particularly in the wilderness.

bushcraft axe

Its convenient size and multifunctionality make it indispensable for campers, crafters, hunters, survivalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. While some bushcraft axes are designed for carrying and using in rugged, off-the-beaten-path environments, others, like hatchets, offer a smaller, lighter version suitable for use in car campsites and more developed areas. That's why understanding your specific needs and the nature of your activities will guide you toward the best axe for bushcraft.

Hatchets

Compact and handy, a bushcraft hatchet is an adaptable tool of the bushcraft world. With a shorter handle and a relatively small head, they excel in tasks requiring precision and control, such as wood carving, splitting kindling, and small chopping activities.

beavercraft axe

Felling Axes

When the job demands more power, felling axes step in. These axes typically have a longer handle and a heavier head, allowing more forceful swings to take down larger trees and handle more substantial tasks. It makes them an excellent choice for creating shelter in a bushcraft setting.

Tomahawks

While not a traditionalist's first choice, tomahawks have also found their niche in bushcraft. With their roots in Native American culture, these axes are a fusion of history and utility. They're excellent for throwing and certain specialized tasks and can be used as an alternative to a camping hatchet.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Camping Axe

Selecting the right axe for your outdoor adventures involves considering several factors. Let's break down the key considerations that will help you make an informed decision and choose the best camping axe for most camping and backpacking needs.

Handle Length

The handle length significantly influences the axe's maneuverability and power. A shorter handle, like those on hatchets, offers more control for detailed work, while longer handles on axes provide increased leverage for heavier tasks.

beavercraft axe for bushcraftt

Handle Shape

Handles come in various shapes, including straight, curved, and contoured. The right shape depends on personal preference and the intended use. Experimenting with different shapes allows you to discover what feels most comfortable in your hands.

Head Weight

The weight of the axe head determines its striking force. Lighter heads are suitable for precision tasks, such as intricate carving with a wood carving hatchet. On the other hand, heavier heads are better for demanding chopping and splitting activities.

Head and Blade Shape

Consider the shape of the axe head and blade. Convex blades are excellent for cutting and chopping, while Scandi grinds are better for splitting and finer work, such as making stakes or cutting notches. These factors also influence the ease of removing the axe from the wood.

Blade Size

Blade size matters. A wider blade is more efficient for heavy-duty chopping, whereas a smaller blade of a carving axe is preferable for precision tasks. Finding the right balance ensures your axe meets the demands of your specific needs.

bushcraft axe blade

Materials

Quality materials ensure the durability and longevity of your tool. Look for high-grade steel for the blade and a handle crafted from sturdy wood or other durable materials. A well-constructed axe can withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures.

bushcraft axe blade creation

Sharpness

A sharp blade is essential for efficient cutting and safety. Consider the ease of sharpening and maintaining the edge when choosing the best axe for camping.

What Are Bushcraft Axes Used For?

Now that you understand the axe types and key considerations, let's explore the diverse applications of bushcraft axes.

Chopping

From clearing paths to building shelters, the chopping capability of a bushcraft axe is unmatched. Choose an axe with the right balance and weight for efficient chopping.

chopping with a bushcraft axe

Splitting

When it comes to preparing and processing firewood, splitting axes shine. Their design efficiently cleaves wood, turning logs into manageable pieces for your campfire.

splitting with a bushcraft axe

Carving

Surprisingly, axes are not just about brawn. With the correct technique and a well-designed axe, you can delve into the art of wood carving. With their precision, carving hatchets are particularly well-suited for this woodworking task.

carving with a bushcraft axe

carving with a bushcraft adze

The Best Bushcraft Axes

As mentioned earlier, embarking on a successful bushcraft adventure requires not only skill but also the right tools. When it comes to axes, BeaverCraft steps up to provide the tools that embody quality and craftsmanship. Let's explore a couple of axe models that present the perfect fusion of functionality and design.

AX1 – Compact Wood Hatchet

BeaverCraft Compact Wood Hatchet

The BeaverCraft AX1 Compact Wood Hatchet is a testament to the perfect balance between size and power. Designed for those who appreciate on-the-go versatility, this hatchet is small enough to be conveniently portable, yet it packs a punch when it comes to performance.

Its ultra-sharp blade, made from advanced hardened carbon steel, ensures durability and resilience in tackling various difficulty levels of tasks. The compact size makes it an ideal companion for hiking, camping, backpacking, and bushcraft adventures. From cutting branches to crafting outdoor shelters, the AX1 stands out as a reliable and multifunctional tool.

AX2 – Compact Wood Carving Adze

BeaverCraft compact wood carving adze

For those passionate about fine woodcraft, the BeaverCraft AX2 Compact Wood Carving Adze is the answer. This special tool is engineered for unmatched precision and performance in carving, smoothing, and material removal.

The AX2's standout feature is its curved blade with a cutting edge perpendicular to the handle. This smart design makes it an indispensable companion for a range of detailed projects, from small bowls to large spoons and beyond. Crafted from 1066 high-carbon steel with a 56-58 HRC hardness rating, the blade maintains sharpness through prolonged use, ensuring efficiency with every stroke.

Sharpening Your Bushcraft Axe

To maintain the efficiency of your bushcraft axe, regular sharpening is crucial. Invest in quality sharpening tools like a sharpening stone or honing strops to keep the blade consistently sharp. Remember, a sharp axe performs better and is safer to use, reducing the risk of accidents during bushcraft activities.

sharpen axe blade

Safety with Bushcraft Axes

While bushcraft axes are invaluable tools, safety is paramount. Follow these essential axe safety tips for a secure and enjoyable bushcraft experience:

  • Avoid loose, baggy clothes and items that can get caught up in the swing, such as scarves or lanyards.
  • Never use an axe when tired, and ensure you have optimal visibility. Avoid working in the dark or low-light conditions.
  • Always check the axe head and handle for damage before use. This ensures your axe is in good condition.
  • Transport your axe with the sheath on to protect the blade and minimize the risk of accidents.
  • Maintain a sharp edge by regularly sharpening the blade. A sharp axe is not only more efficient but also safer to use.
  • Use the axe for its intended purpose. Different axes are designed for specific tasks; using them correctly ensures safety and efficiency.

When choosing the best bushcraft axe, consider the type of tasks you'll be undertaking, the materials used, and the overall feel of the axe in your hands. A well-chosen axe will become a reliable companion in the wilderness and an essential tool for honing your bushcraft skills.

 

Author:

Jack Green

Bushcraft expert

 
Hello, I'm Jack Green, an enthusiastic explorer with an insatiable curiosity for the natural world. Since my earliest memories, I've been drawn to the outdoors, finding solace and inspiration in the beauty of nature's landscapes.
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BeaverCraft Company guarantees that:

Each tool is tested and undergoes strict quality control. Our tools are professionally-sharpened and come razor-sharp ready to use right out of the box. Every instrument has a sturdy construction, and its blade is securely glued and firmly attached to the handle. The tool blade is made of hardenable carbon steel and hardened to 56+ HRC. Our tools will not break if appropriately used (only for wood carving jobs).

The warranty does not cover the following cases:

Normal wear and tear of the product. Each customer should independently maintain the sharpness of the purchased tool. Loss of sharpness during operation is not a reason for the repair or replacement of the tool manufactured by BeaverCraft. Misuse or abuse. BeaverCraft tools are designed for hand carving only. Lack of maintenance and cleaning (learn about tool care). Defects resulting from incorrect tool storage are not reasons for replacement. Self-repair, modification, disassembly, and other human behavior that causes damage. Tool loss.

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Please contact our customer service team if any BeaverCraft tool has failed due to manufacturing defects or doesn't match the listing description. Let us know what happened; attach a picture of the instrument that clearly shows the problem, and describe how you used the tool. We also require further information, such as your contact details which include the following: your name, phone number, address, and email address that you can send to returns@beavercrafttools.com. We will replace the tool with a new one at our own expense and pay all the shipping costs.

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