Hatchets

The 5 Best Hatchets For The Money

Picking the right hatchet can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the brands and how they’re made. Whether you’re going camping, splitting kindling, or you’re an aspiring survivalist, a hatchet is an essential tool. And for less than $45 you can be the proud owner of one of the world’s best hatchets. Shoot, for around $25 you can end up with a decent hatchet; something that will last you several years if you take care of it.

On this page, I’ll go over 5 hatchets I believe are the best for the money. That doesn’t mean they’re the best in the whole world. I’ll say it again; these hatchets are the best for the money. That means they offer the most value for the money.

As for which hatchet is best for you really depends on what you’re using it for; camping, survivalist, yard work, etc. I’ll do my best to explain why I’ve picked each one; by the time we’re finished, I hope you’ll be well equipped to select the best hatchet for you. I’ve taken the liberty of listing all 5 hatchets directly below this paragraph. There is a detailed overview of each product farther down the page.

Image Length Weight Brand
Husqvarna Hatchet 15″ 2.1 lbs Husqvarna
Prandi German Style Hatchet 15.75″ 1.8 lbs Prandi
14″ 1.38 lbs Fiskars X7
Hults Bruk Tarnaby Hatchet 15″ 1.25 lbs Hults Bruk
Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet 13.5″ 1.3 lbs Gransfors Bruk

How to Choose a Hatchet

Before we dive into the individual reviews, I want to give you some pointers on selecting a good hatchet. I’ll explain the basics of how some hatchets are made and I’ll go over the materials as well. I hope this information will help you in selecting the best one for you. If you’re not interested, feel free to skip this section and head straight to the reviews.

Consider the Materials & the Cost

The first thing to consider is the materials. When it comes to hatchets and tools in general, there three basic types of handle materials used. You have wood, composite materials (like fiberglass), and steel. Wooden handles are great because they can be replaced if you happen to break it. Composite materials aren’t so easily replaced but they’re typically stronger than wood. Steel handles are the most durable but some of them can hurt your hands.

Next on the list is the materials used in the head of the hatchet. The head of an axe is the business end; it’s the steel part that chops the wood. By the way, I created a page about the basic parts of an axe and you can find that in the “Learn” category of this website. I recommend brushing up on that information if you’re not already familiar. Otherwise, take a quick glance at the illustration below. Anyway, the head is typically some type of high-carbon steel. They’re not all the same and the type of steel on the cutting edge affects how long it will hold an edge (how long it will stay sharp).

Anatomy of an Axe

Last but not least is the price of the hatchet. Money is an important aspect for this page specifically; remember, we’re looking at the hatchets that offer the most value for the money. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best all-around. Nor does it mean they’re the cheapest. We’re looking for incredible value with an unbeatable price.

What I think makes a good hatchet

We all have our own reasons for wanting a hatchet. For some, you need something to clear out tree branches from around your backyard while others are looking for a light-weight camping hatchet. I’m fairly simple; I want a high-quality hatchet that I can use for just about anything. Something with a nice, hickory handle. As for the head, I want it drop-forged by hand. It needs to be made from high carbon steel so it holds a sharp edge for as long as possible. Last but not least, it needs a sheath to protect the cutting edge.

You’re probably thinking a hatchet like that costs a fortune. It’s true, some hatchets cost a small fortune but you might be surprised to learn you can get one like that for around $40. A hatchet with a drop-forged head and hickory handle is hard to find under $100 but I’ve found three. I’ll tell you more about them in the section below.

The Best Hatchets Reviewed

Now that you know what to look for in buying a hatchet, let’s take a look at the ones I think are the best for the money. Before we start, I encourage you to think about your needs first. Do you want a wooden or composite handle? Are you looking for something super cheap or are you only concerned with finding the best deal? Keep these questions in mind as you read the reviews below.

Husqvarna 13″ 15″ Wooden Handle Hatchet

Husqvarna Hatchet

I consider this hatchet, from Husqvarna, the best for the money. It’s not the best overall but for the money it costs, it offers more value than all the other hatchets on this page (in my opinion). Why is that, you ask? Well, let me tell you. For starters, it perfectly describes the hatchet I was talking about in the “What I think makes a good hatchet” section. In fact, it is the one I was talking about.

The heads are drop-forged by hand but not by Husqvarna. They purchase them from a Swedish company and then Husqvarna hangs them with a hickory handle and sells them for a small profit. It’s impressive how they can offer all this for around $40. These are great hatchets for the money; a hand-forged head with Swedish steel and American hickory handle. It even comes with a nice leather sheath to cover the cutting edge.

It has some drawbacks. For example, the one I received had some small gaps between the head and the handle. They were around the edge in the eye of the axe. Aside from that, I don’t have any complaints. I’ll list some of the specs below.

  • Hand-forged: Yes
  • Handle material: American Hickory
  • Length: 15″
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Comes with a Sheath?: Yes

I can’t express enough how rare it is to see a hand-forged hatchet under $80. It’s just hard to find. A similar hatchet, one made by Hults Bruk sells for around $80 – $90 online. Other hand forged hatchets like Wetterlings and Gransfors Bruk cost even more. Anyway, you get the point, the Husqvarna hatchet is definitely worth the money.

Prandi German Style Hatchet

Prandi German Style Hatchet

The hatchet from Prandi is another remarkable buy in terms of quality and price. It’s similar in comparison to the Husqvarna but it has a different head pattern and it costs a little more. I only recently learned about the Prandi company and I’ve taken a liking to them. They’re making a good entrance into the US market by selling their high-quality axes at affordable prices.

A trip to their official YouTube channel showed me their axes are drop-forged by hand. I’m not entirely sure if this is true for all their tools but I’ll do some more digging later to find out for sure. This particular hatchet is made from C45/1045 high carbon steel and hung with a nice American hickory handle.

So, when comparing this hatchet to the Husqvarna hatchet, the only difference I can see, aside from the head pattern, is a small difference in price. You can purchase the Prandi German style hatchet for the same price as the Husqvarna hatchet but that’s without a sheath. If you want the sheath, it will cost you around $15 more. Still, that’s a hard price to beat in terms of the value it offers.

  • Hand-forged: Yes
  • Handle material: American Hickory
  • Length: 15.75″
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Comes with a Sheath?: Yes & No – You have the option to decide upon purchase.

Prandi is an Italian company that produces high-quality tools; this hatchet is no exception. In terms of value per dollar spent, this is one of the best hatchets on the market.

Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Fiskars X7 Hatchet

The Fiskars X7 made it into this list by way of its price, weight, and believe it or not, it’s durability. If you’ve spent very much time on this website, you’ll quickly learn that I don’t care too much for composite/fiberglass handles. They’re tough, sure, but when they break, you can’t replace the handle like you can with a traditional axe. But because this is such a popular hatchet, I decided to get one and test it for myself. If you click that link you’ll be taken to my in-depth review on the Fiskars X7. Long story short, I see why people like it.

The composite handle is much more durable than I anticipated. At one point, I actually propped one end of the hatchet against a rock and then I ran it over with my vehicle. The handle was bent but it didn’t break. Surprisingly, when I moved the vehicle, the composite handle mostly returned to its original shape. It’s slightly bent now but still usable. The Fiskars X7 composite handle is very durable. You probably won’t break it on accident unless, perhaps, you leave it too close to a campfire. Some of the specs are listed below.

  • Hand-forged: No
  • Handle material: Composite
  • Length: 14″
  • Weight: 1.38 lbs
  • Comes with a Sheath?: No

This hatchet is a great entry level hatchet for anyone, in my opinion. It’s probably not going to last you forever. The head of the hatchet is low quality and, as I said, you can’t replace the handle if it breaks; at least not that I know of. Anyway, it’s great for occasional camping, hiking, or yard work.

Hults Bruk Tarnaby Hatchet

Hults Bruk Tarnaby Hatchet

The Hults Bruk company is one with a long-standing history of producing the world’s best axes. This Swedish company has been operating since 1697 and it’s still making top-notch tools to this day. As for the “Tarnaby”, it’s one of several hatchets offered by Hults Bruk. Their other hatchets sell for around $100 or more but this one is the cheapest of the bunch.

If you compare this one to the Husqvarna hatchet, you’ll find them remarkably similar in appearance; from the head to the handle. The only notable difference is the color of the steel and the logo stamp on the cheek of the head. So, remember when I said Husqvarna buys the heads of their hatchets from a Swedish company? I think Hults Bruk is that company. I can’t find an official source that confirms this but it’s plausible.

If that’s true, it definitely bolsters the value of the Husqvarna hatchet. Anyway, back to this hatchet. It’s the least expensive hatchet from Hults Bruk that I know of. They’re hand-forged with high-quality Swedish steel and hung with American hickory handles.

Now, I imagine you’re wondering what the difference is between this and the Husqvarna hatchet. Let’s assume Hults Bruk makes the heads of both hatchets. Again, that’s not confirmed, it’s just a theory. Both heads are basically equal. The difference is shown in the finishing touches with Hults Bruk hatchet. The head is blasted and clear-lacquered, the handle is coated with linseed oil, and the leather sheath is a little nicer.

  • Hand-forged: Yes
  • Handle material: American Hickory
  • Length: 15″
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Comes with a Sheath?: Yes

So far, this one is probably the highest-quality tool. But, it also costs twice the price of the Husqvarna hatchet, around $30 more than Prandi, and $55 more than the Fiskars X7 (its hard to compare a Hults Bruk to Fiskars – they’re not even in the same ballpark in terms of quality). As for Prandi and Husqvarna, the quality is similar but this hatchet costs nearly twice as much. It’s a great value for the money but maybe not as much as Prandi or Husqvarna.

Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet

Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet

The final item on our list is the stunning wildlife hatchet from Gransfors Bruk. If you’ve spent much time learning about axes or forestry tools, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the Gransfors Bruk. If not, let me get you up to speed.

Gransfors Bruk is a Swedish known for their superior tools. They hand-forge splitting axes, hatchets, adze, froes, broad axes, and more. Their tools are what many people consider the best in the world, especially their axes. Of course, with such a fine hatchet comes a hefty price. This particular one costs over $100 online. I know this page is meant to compare the best hatchets for the money, and it is. Yet, despite the high price, I still consider this hatchet as a valuable tool – well worth the money.

It comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect to receive for such a high price; the American hickory handle, a hand-forged head from Swedish steel, and a vegetable tanned leather sheath. The quality is unbeatable. This is definitely an heirloom tool; something to pass down from generation to generation. Some of the specifications are listed below.

  • Hand-forged: Yes
  • Handle material: American Hickory
  • Length: 13.5″
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Comes with a Sheath?: Yes

I don’t consider this hatchet the best for the money. I believe it’s the best overall, in terms of quality, and I believe it’s well worth the price. If money isn’t an issue for you, I highly recommend this hatchet. Otherwise, you might consider getting something almost as good for half the price.

My Final Recommendation

Now that we’ve looked at the five hatchets, it’s time for me to give you my final recommendation. Before I tell you which ones I think are the best, I’ll start by reminding you that your personal needs are what matter most. My ultimate goal is to help you select a valuable hatchet that will fill your needs. Anyway, here is what I recommend.

I believe the Husqvarna 13″ 15″ wooden hatchet offers the most value for the money. Coming in at a very, very close second place is the Prandi German-style hatchet. I highly recommend either one. Both hatchets offer such a great value for the money they cost.

On the other hand, if you’re not going to use your hatchet more than a couple times a year, the Fiskars X7 is a good choice. Especially if you’re looking for something really cheap. Hults Bruk is in-between the most and least expensive and offers a lot of bang for your buck. And, I’ll say it again, if you’re not concerned about the money at all, the Gransfors Bruk wildlife hatchet is perfect for you. It’s something you can use your whole life and pass it on to your kids.

Anyway, we’re at the end of the page now. I hope this information helps you find a great hatchet!

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