Best Hatchets for Kindling 2020: Find The One That Fits Your Needs

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If you are looking for the best tool for splitting kindling then hatchets are your answer. Hatchets are an important tool for every house. Having a hatchet can help you a lot in your woodworking projects, especially in kindling. But, choosing a quality hatchet isn’t easy. There are a lot of low-quality hatchets on the market that will break after a few uses.

That’s why we have decided to make a list of top 5 best hatchets for kindling, plus one buyer guide to help you find a quality hatchet that fits your needs.

See also :

The list of the best kindling axe has different axes with a different price range and features so it can fit most people’s budgets.  We have made sure to also write a detailed review for each of the hatchet we have listed. You can find the list, detailed reviews and the buyer guide down below.

Products
Product NameDetailsPrice
Estwing Sportsman's Axe - 14
  • Material: American Steel
  • Weight: 1.9 lb
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Husqvarna 13
  • Material: Swedish Steel
  • Weight: 2.2 lb
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Gerber 14-Inch Hatchet
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 1.5 lb
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Schrade SCAXE5 12.8in Full Tang Tactical Hatchet with 3.1in High Carbon Steel Blade
  • Material: SK-5 High Carbon Steel
  • Weight: 1.9 lb
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Fiskars...
  • Material:
  • Weight: 1.5 lb
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Best Hatchets for Kindling


1. Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 14″ Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip – E24A

Best Features  Estwing...

  • Durable
  • Made of American Steel
  • Leather Handle

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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More detailed review ↴

If you ask experienced people of this field about the best kindling hatchet then I’m sure that most of them will recommend the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe.

The Estwing hatchets have been around for a long time. They have been in circulation since 1920, clearly with a few adjustments.  The E24A hatched comes with a lot of features.  The first thing you will notice once you have this hatched in your hands is the beauty. Although beauty doesn’t affect the performance, it is still a thing worth mentioning. The leather handle and the polished neck and head gives the tool an attractive look.

Except for the external features, The E24A comes with a lot of internal features as well. It is a durable hatched. A big reason for that is because the tool has been forged all in one piece which makes it super durable and gives the tool a longer life.  The E24A is mostly used for kindling, but it isn’t limited to. It does a great job as well with small trees, branches or chopping logs.

As we mentioned earlier, the handle is made of leather. The leather handle is sanded and lacquered which makes it durable plus it gives you extra comfort while using it.  The handle is also ergonomic which is wide at the bottom, this prevents the tool from slipping from your hands.

The E24A head is polished and made of American Steel. It comes with a tempered 3-1/4 inches cutting edge. The steel construction makes the tool powerful and it only requires minimum effort from you to make an easy cut.

If you are in a hurry here are the pros and cons of this model!

Pros:

  • Durable – The hatched is forged in one piece which gives the tool a longer life.
  • Comfortable Handle – The handle is made of leather which makes it extra comfortable, plus it is wider at the bottom to prevent slipping.
  • Head –  The head is made of American steel plus it comes with cutting edge that makes the tool powerful.
  • Beauty – Although this doesn’t affect the performance, it is still worth mentioning.
Cons:

  • Vibration – Although the handle does a great job to prevent this, it still can vibrate your hand.

2.Husqvarna 13″ Wooden Hatchet

Best Features  Husqvarna 13'...

  • Durable
  • Hand-Forged with Swedish Steel
  • Ergonomic Handle

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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More detailed review ↴

If we are talking about best ax for splitting wood then the Husqvarna axes come at least at the top 3.  The Husqvarna 13″ Wooden Hatchet is a small and light axe, which is a perfect combination if you are going to use the tool for kindling.

This beauty, expect for kindling, can be used for different tasks as well. It does a great job when it comes to cutting down branches or small trees.

It comes with a high-quality handle. The handle is made of hickory. To prevent the tool from slipping from your hands while working, the tool has a good grain on the handle. Except for that, the handle is also ergonomic which at very least makes the work process more comfortable.

Unlike our first product, the E24A, this one doesn’t come with a full-tang body, but the head and the handle are connected with a wooden wedge and a steel pin that ensures safety. Since the blade protection is necessary, the tool comes with a leather edge cover to keep your blade protected.

When it comes to head, the Husqvarna 13 inch Wooden Hatchet comes with a great head design. The shape gives the tool an extra boost.  The head is hand-forged with Swedish steel. Swedish steel is a known material when it comes to quality hatches.

If you are in a hurry here are the pros and cons of this model!

Pros:

  • Quality Handle – The handle is made of hickory.
  • Non-slip Handle – To prevent the handle from slipping this tool has good grain on the handle plus the handle is ergonomic.
  • Head –  The head is hand-forged with Swedish Steel
  • It comes with a leather edge cover to keep the blade protected.
Cons:

  • Unlike the first product, this one doesn’t give you a mirror-like finish.

3.Gerber 14-Inch Hatchet [31-002647]

Best Features  Gerber 14-Inch...

  • Durable
  • Non-slip Handle
  • PTFE coated blade

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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More detailed review ↴

The first thing you will notice while holding the 14-inch Gerber hatchet is its color. It comes with an unique color which happens to be my favorite color as well. Although the color doesn’t make any difference when it comes to performace, it is still worth mentioning it.

The 14-inch Gerber hatchet comes with a PTFE coated blade. The PTFE helps in reducing the friction between the blade and the wood. Less friction means that you can cut the wood easier and at the same time helps you to make a clean cut known as a mirror-like finish. But that’s not all, it also helps you to remove the blade from wood using less energy, this is helpful especially when the blade is stuck into the wood, which tends to happen a lot, especially if you are inexperienced.

It comes with a forged steel head construction. Steel is known for durability, so you will be able to use the tool for a long time without needing to replace it. Plus the steel has a low-maintenance feature which means that the blade only requires a few and quick tune-up to hold it’s sharpness.

The handle comes with two features. The first one is that it reduces the shock. While working you won’t feel the vibrations from the splitting. And the other feature is that the handle offers a non-slip grip. The hatched won’t slip from your hands while working.

If you are in a hurry here are the pros and cons of this model!

Pros:

  • Quality Handle – The handle acts as a shock absorber.
  • Non-slip Handle – The handle offers a non-slip grip.
  • Head –  It comes with a forged steel head.
  • PTFE coated blade – This helps in reducing the friction between the blade and the wood and also helps you to make a mirror-like finish.
  • Looks Good
Cons:

  • I didn’t have any problems with this tool, at least for now. I will make sure to update it if I ever have.

4. Schrade SCAXE5 12.8in Full Tang Tactical Hatchet with 3.1in High Carbon Steel Blade

Best Features  Schrade SCAXE5...

  • Durable
  • Carbon Steel Head
  • Lightweight

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

More detailed review ↴

If you need a small hatched then the SCAXE5 is a perfect choice for you. The SCAXE5 overall length is 12.8 inches, and the head length is 3.1 inches. Except for small this hatchet is also lightweight, it only weights 1lb.

But don’t let the small size fool you, the tool features a razor-sharp blade. The blade is powerful, you can easily cut wood and get a clean finish. You can also use this hatchet to cut down sheet metal.

It has a full-tang body, which means that the tool has been forged in one piece. The head is forged with carbon steel, which is a known metal for durability. The combination of a full-tang body and a carbon steel head makes this tool to last longer.

If you are in a hurry here are the pros and cons of this model!

Pros:

  • Head – It has a carbon steel head
  • Full-tang Body – It means that the tool has been forged in one piece.
  • Small – Its length is only 12.8 inches
  • Lightweight – Weights approximately 1lb.
Cons:

  • Pricey – Costs more than the other hatchets listed here.

5. Fiskars 375501-1001 Hatchet with Sheath, 14″, Black

Best Features  Fiskars...

  • Clean Cuts
  • Low-Friction Blade
  • Lightweight

My Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

BUY RIGHT NOW ↴

More detailed review ↴

The Fiskars 375501-1001 hatchet comes with a low-friction blade, that means that the blade has enough power to cut through the wood but at the same time it prevents the head from getting stuck.

It also has a blade-grinding technique that helps you make cleaner cuts. Except for kindling, this hatchet can be used for a lot of projects, small to medium projects.  It has a molded head that will prevent over-striking. This tool also has a great handle. The handle is shock-absorbing and lightweight but at the same time, the handle is durable.

 


How to find the Best Hatchet for Splitting Kindling?

Before starting this buyer guide where we list the things best hatchets for kindling should have, let us explain to you what hatchets are and their history.

A lot of people get confused when they hear the word ” hatchet”. The hatchet and the axe are the same things, a hatchet is just a smaller/shorter version of axe. The term hatchet comes from old French Hachette and a diminutive form of hache, “axe” of German origin.

The best kindling axe is the one that will fit your needs and budget. Always make sure to know what features you need and what is the size of the project before starting to shop for an axe.

However, the length isn’t the only difference between a regular axe and the hatchet. Hatchets also have a sharper blade on one side, the other side of the blade comes flat and it can be used as a hammer. Since hatchets are smaller they are easily used with a single hand.

Unlike axes, hatchets are used for smaller projects. They are mostly used for kindling, cutting down small trees, throwing, hammering, etc.

There are a lot of different models that come with different features. You need to have a hatchet with the right features so it can fit your needs. That’s why we will list all the features you need to consider before buying one.

The features a hatchet for kindling should have?

Material – 

The first thing you need to consider before buying a kindling hatchet is the material. The choice of the material you make will determine the longevity of the hatchet. In my opinion, the best materials for this kind of tools are steel, iron or metal.

The materials I have listed are strong and they guarantee you a longer life of the tool. To take it to the next level, you can also look for axes that have this kind of material and at the same time are also rust-resistant. You will be set for a long time if you find a combination of these two things.

But, longevity aside, the materials also play a big role when it comes to the sharpness and maintaining it.  If you choose a material that is too harsh then you will have a hard time sharpening it. And on the other hand, if you choose a material that is too soft then the material will lose it sharpening easier and faster so you will have to maintain it more often.

You will have to keep in mind that these materials I have listed often cost more money than the regular materials, but clearly, they are more durable and do a better job. So the choice is yours. But whenever you choose a hatchet with a high-quality material or one with a regular one, the longevity of the tool depends a lot on how you maintain and store your axe.

Head & Usability

We have talked about the material the head of your hatchet needs to have. Another thing that you need to consider about the blade/head is the weight.

As you know, usually the hatchets are used with one hand only, so ideally a hatchet should not be heavy. But at the same time, the hatchet should not be too light either. So, if you are looking for the perfect weight then you should aim for one that it’s between heavy and lightweight. In other words, a hatchet should be heavy enough to cut through the wood easily, but at the same time lightweight enough so you can use it comfortably with one hand without fatigue.

Even though most designs are simple and easy to use, some need more time to set up. Ideally, you want an ax that is set-up before so you won’t lose a lot of time setting it up.

Handle – 

The handle is a very important factor when it comes to axes. The ideal length of the handle for a hatchet should be between 14 inches and 20 inches.  This length is long enough to keep you safe from any kickbacks or vibrations and it is short enough to help you control the tool easier.

Except for easier control, a short handle also help you to carry the tool around easier and safely store it.  Usually, the handle is made of hickory, hickory is a known material for durability. Beside all these things, a handle should also have a non-slip grip or be wider at the end so it doesn’t slip from your hands while working.

Safety

Safety is the most important thing when dealing with tools, especially axes. But, when it comes to hatchets then the risks of you injuring yourself are lower, however, you still need to protect yourself and be careful all the time.

You should always make sure that the blade has a stable base and it’s at the right place to prevent the tool from slipping.

Since you will be carrying the tool around a lot and you will be storing it when not using it, make sure to find a hatchet that comes with a protective sheath. This will protect you while carrying the tool around and at the same time it will keep the blade safe from rust and dust when not in use.

If you are looking for the best kindling axe then you need to know all the features you need, your budget, and the size of the project you will be working on, once you know these things then you can start looking the one that fits your needs.


Final Words

Choosing a hatchet can be easy or hard depending on how experienced you are with axes. If you are not experienced then you don’t have to worry. Just make sure to read our buying guide and check the list of the 5 best hatchets for kindling until you find one tool that has the right features and fits your budget.

Michael is the Editor at thetoolgeeks.com. He used to own a local shop where he sold different tools for 20+ years. He now enjoys researching DIY tools and writing guides about it.

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