Best Survival Axes for the Wilderness

One of the most ancient tools in all of the world, the axe has followed humanity up the rungs of history. The axe has well documented use as far back as the stone age. It was a much different looking tool in those days but used for very similar purposes.

There are few tools where the disparity between junk and quality show themselves as clearly as they do with an axe. The undertaking of the types of work that you need an axe for are not easy or fun for many. The more efficient you can be with that tool the better. Having spent time behind a cheap axe and a powerful, sharp axe I understand the importance of both.

There are two basic types of axes in the market today based on how the tool will be used. A general cutting axe has a shallow wedge angle that works well for many different jobs. Then there is a splitting axe that has a deeper angle for better penetration.

What makes the axe so special is the culmination of its history at our side and its undeniable effectiveness in today’s world. In this review, we are going to take a look at some of the most popular brands on the market today. We will look at things like design, durability, size, weight and price.

Don’t forget safety when using an axe. There will be chips and pieces of debris flying in all directions. No matter how great the axe is it doesn’t care about your vision. Make sure you wear some form of safety glasses when you are using a tool like an axe.

Name
Check Price
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Runner Up
Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 378841-1002
Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe, 27 Inch
Budget Choice
Truper 30528 3-1/2-Pound Single Bit Michigan Axe, Fiberglass Handle, 33-Inch
Image
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 378841-1002
Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe, 27 Inch
Truper 30528 3-1/2-Pound Single Bit Michigan Axe, Fiberglass Handle, 33-Inch
Design
Classic and Stunning design
Bevel Convex Blade Design
Wide Blade European Style Head
Lightweight Fiberglass Handle
Materials
Wood and Steel
Hardened Forge Steel
Drop Forged 1055 Steel
Heat Treated Blade, Wood and Steel
Weight
2.6 lbs
5.85 lbs
3 lbs
3.5 lbs
Editor's Rating
(5 / 5)
(4.9 / 5)
(4.5 / 5)
(4.4 / 5)
Check Price
Name
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Image
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Design
Classic and Stunning design
Materials
Wood and Steel
Weight
2.6 lbs
Editor's Rating
(5 / 5)
Price
Runner Up
Name
Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 378841-1002
Image
Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch, 378841-1002
Design
Bevel Convex Blade Design
Materials
Hardened Forge Steel
Weight
5.85 lbs
Editor's Rating
(4.9 / 5)
Price
Name
Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe, 27 Inch
Image
Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe, 27 Inch
Design
Wide Blade European Style Head
Materials
Drop Forged 1055 Steel
Weight
3 lbs
Editor's Rating
(4.5 / 5)
Price
Budget Choice
Name
Truper 30528 3-1/2-Pound Single Bit Michigan Axe, Fiberglass Handle, 33-Inch
Image
Truper 30528 3-1/2-Pound Single Bit Michigan Axe, Fiberglass Handle, 33-Inch
Design
Lightweight Fiberglass Handle
Materials
Heat Treated Blade, Wood and Steel
Weight
3.5 lbs
Editor's Rating
(4.4 / 5)
Price

Survival Axe Reviews

Estwing E45A 26-Inch Camper’s Axe-All Steel with Shock Reduction Grip

The Estwing brand continually meets and exceeds expectations. I get excited when I see the name. This campers axe is no different. It comes designed to get the job done and even features some new technology as well.

Its forged steel head is combined with a patented shock reduction grip. They claim this new handle will reduce shock up to 70%.

This tool has a powerful 4inch cutting edge which should make quick work of whatever it is you are chopping. With all of this power the axe weighs in at 3.5lbs which is comfortable for a 26” axe.

Estwing E45A 26-Inch Camper's AxeOf course, the fact that this great tool is forged in the you us is just as important as the fact that it works really well. The manufacturer says that it’s great for felling, trimming trees or splitting wood. It’s one piece steel design makes it impossible for any part of this thing to come loose. If you have had a head fail on your before you know how important this is.

Pros

  • One piece design for maximum durability
  • Shock reduction grip
  • One of the best names in axes today

Estwing E45A 26-Inch Camper's Axe Summary:

  • Forged Steel Head
  • Powerful 4-inch Cutting Edge
  • Weighs 3.5lbs Only
  • 26-inch All Steel Axe

Gransfors Scandinavian Forest Axe

There is something about these authentic works of art that just get me. Technological advancements are all good and well. They have their place and they have no doubt made it a better place in so many aspects. There is something about the stick and blade that looks like something from 500 years ago, that I just love.

This Gransfors Scandinavian Forest Axe is the picture of authenticity. It even comes with a beautiful leather sheath. This is a professional axe designed for people in the business of felling trees. We all know the difference in tools that are made for pros compared to tools made for homeowners.

The axe itself is 25” long and has a 3 1/2-inch blade. It is a formidable weapon where the head itself is two pounds of steel.

The beautiful handle is designed of prima American hickory. The handles are soaked in linseed oil and dripped dry. After that they are coated in beeswax to help keep the dirt off. It’s the craftsmanship that sets this axe apart.

The forging process is a slow and careful one. The smiths are not paid by how many heads they make which is common practice in the industry. This creates the type of tool that you see in this axe. It’s a thing of beauty because it was designed to be so.

Pros

  • Classic and stunning design
  • Careful and honored craftsmanship
  • Axe used by professional loggers

Gransfors Scandinavian Forest Axe Summary:

  • Comes with a Beautiful Leather Sheath
  • 25-inch Long Axe
  • 3 1/2-inch Axe Blade
  • 2 Pounds Steel Head

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

Another great big axe! This Fiskars axe has been designed to split logs more efficiently the purpose of this tool was clearly defined and requested by customers. This axe claims to have a virtually unbreakable design. Which is something to be said about a tool that smashes into things for its duration.

There is no doubt that Fiskars is using physics to its advantage with this 36-inch axe. It creates leverage that just cannot be achieved in a smaller axe. This Fiskers comes with a lifetime warranty which is a great option if you fall in love with this axe.

The design of the bevel convex blade will give you more striking power. Another great feature is that this design makes it easier to remove from wood. That is a problem we have all dealt with at one point.

Fiskars is offering a revolution in the axe world with their X27 Super Splitting Axe. Based on customer reviews the design is working. There have been over 3000 reviews and almost 90% of them have been five star. That is quite impressive.

For all its innovation, the Fiskars comes with a hefty price tag and is by far the most expensive axe in this review. Do I hold it against them? Kinda but the tool is of great quality.

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe Summary:

  • Unbreakable Design
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Bevel Convex Blade Design
  • 36-inch Axe

Truper 33-Inch Single Bit Michigan Axe

This is a long axe! The Truper is very reminiscent of the first axe I owned. It was purchased for me by my brother in law. The design was identical. I used it to break down about 1 chord of good firewood and it did the job for a beginner well. This model looks great and has that same new age feel in the fiberglass handle.

The Truper’s lightweight fiberglass handle helps this great tool weigh in at only 3 1/2 libs. The blade is heat treated but after each use it's recommended that you clean the handle and coat the blade in lubricant to maintain it.

Truper is a Mexican company that has been in business for 40 years. I don’t say this make any note about the quality of Mexican tools. I know there are some people who truly buy American and I can appreciate that.

The problem with the Truper is the problem with every fiberglass handled axe. They just don’t hold up to the workload over time. When I was cutting wood with my fiberglass the head just shot off into the woods. I could retrieve it but was terrified to ever handle it again, particularly around the kids

Sadly, there are reviews that say similar things. The axe handle broke in half at the head on one user. I am not a fan of these fiberglass models.

It carries a similar price tag as the Gransfors and to me that’s just a sin.

Pros

• From a powerful name in tool makers

Cons

• Fiberglass axe handle doesn’t hold up
• Craftsmanship is far from exceptional
• Steep price tag

Truper Single Bit Michigan Axe Summary:

  • Lightweight Fiberglass Handle
  • Weighs 3 1/2 lbs.
  • Durable Heat Treated Blade
  • 33-Inch Axe

Cold Steel Trail Boss

Just a nice classic axe at a great price. The Trail Boss is an axe that goes. Its only 26 inches long so it can be carried around easily. This is a great option to have when you are dealing with a job that may be further in the woods.

If you are looking to bring an actual axe camping, not a hatchet but a true axe, the trial boss could offer you this option without being a pain to lug around.

It features a wide blade European style head with a 4” blade and a wider 4 1/2 inch cutting edge. It's made of drop forged 1055 steel that will hold that powerful cutting edge.

It’s got that beautiful hickory handle that I love on an axe. This one is straight grained American hickory. To me there is just no better option for an axe handle. The only handle more durable is that constructed of a single piece of steel.

The axe is priced just over $20. When you really wrap your head around what it takes to forge a blade from steel and craft a beautiful hickory axe handle you wonder how in the world can they sell anything so cheap! The tool reviewed well amongst over 60 percent of buyers and is one of the best survival axes for in its price range

This axe is like any other tool, particularly bladed tools. The amount of care and maintenance you put into your trail boss the better performance you will get out of it.

Pros

• Astounding deal for any axe
• Nice big cutting edge

Cons

• It’s a cheap axe, shouldn’t be your #1 option

Cold Steel Trail Boss Summary:

  • 26 Inches Long Axe
  • Wide Blade European Style Head
  • Made of Drop Forged 1055 Steel
  • Price is just over $20

Using the Best Survival Axe

The Paleolithic axe did not feature a handle. The blade itself would have been made of ground and flint knapped stone with the thicker end being held in hand. Shaping, cutting and trimming were the primary functions of this version of the stone age axe. These tools were found in prehistoric sites all over the world.

Eventually a handle would be tethered to this stone age axe and open up more possibilities but that was only the baby steps for this powerful cutting tool. In fact, there were multiple sites that are today considered to be “Neolithic axe factories” where these stone blades were ground in mass.

Such sites have been found in Ireland, Italy, France, Britain and as far east as Poland. The distribution of these axes was an important indicator of trade in the Neolithic age.

Like many tools created by man this one would be weaponized and used on early battlefields across the advancing world. Of course, the battle axe would be a much more efficient design than its stone age ancestor. These blades were made of different metals at this point.

There were over 15 different types of axe like weapons brought to battle some as familiar as the tomahawk. While others less common weapons like the hurl bat, which was a completely metal throwing axe that was sharpened at every auxiliary point, also originated from the early design of the axe.

Today the axe holds the same reverence as a fire or hunting party. It forces us to reconnect with the roots of our humanity. If you are looking to absolve yourself from the grip of technology pick up an axe. With that tool in hand you will understand there are things in this world for which a black screen cannot substitute. There is no axe app that you can launch on your phone.

Conclusion

An axe under the windowsill was said to ward off witches. In days of old, the axe was a tremendous piece of superstition. It had mystical powers and they were placed all around the property for different uses. An axe buried blade up in your crops was used to protect your food from destructive weather. An axe kept under the bed would assure male offspring.

While much of this may seem like old, uneducated thinking it speaks to the power of this tool. A great axe still has a place in the 2017 society. That is why we recommend you find the best survival axes to fit your needs.

In our list of survival axe reviews I hope you find the tool that you are looking for. Even if you are not looking to buy an axe I think this guide shines a light on various technological advances in the axe making industry as well as the time-honored tradition of good honest craftsmanship. While it may not hold the magic it once did there is no substitute to having the right axe for the job.