3+ Essential Tips For Picking Out A Survival Axe

survival axe
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Many preppers don’t think to place a survival axe in their stockpile of preps. And that could be a big mistake.

There’s no doubt that comparable items – like survival knives – are great. But there’s just nothing that can replace a good old fashioned axe to get the job done. And as you’re about to discover, there’s A LOT this survival tool can do.

A survival axe can do SO MUCH more than just chop down trees. And because of that it’s important to choose the right one. That’s why we’re going to show you…

3+ Essential Tips For Picking Out A Survival Axe

The Difference Between Axes and Knives

Many people choose to carry a knife rather than an axe for the simple reason that it’s easier to carry. And this reason definitely has some merit. Especially when you consider that every single tool you have with you is going to add up.

In addition, it’s undeniable that a knife can do many of the things an axe can do. However, what’s also undeniable is that a knife can not compare to the chopping power that a high-quality survival axe can deliver.

One of the ways that this is apparent is chopping down a tree, or hacking up branches in order to start a fire. When it comes to time and efficiency, there’s no comparison.

For instance, here’s a video showing you a quick way to chop up tree branches with an axe.

But that’s not all (not even close). Axes can also make an essential tool for building canoes and constructing houses. The short-and-long-term benefits of this can not be understated. Check out the two videos below to see how it’s done.

When it comes down to it, both survival knives and axes are useful. But they can (and should) coexist. Bring both with you when the SHTF and you’ll be a reckoning force.

Various Types Of Axes

As you can probably guess, there are lots of different types of axes to choose from. And they’re not created equal. Each type has been designed to fulfill certain tasks. Which makes it imperative for you to do your research and select the one that best fits your needs and specific situation.

Here’s a few types of axes that exist.

Hatchets and Tomahawks
Hatchets and Tomahawks are very similar. For instance, they’re both smaller versions of an axe. They’re also fairly compact, and are able to be placed on a belt or in a bug-out bag due to their lightweight build.
They’re both also useful for small chopping jobs, like slicing off wood strips for making fires and removing smaller limbs from trees.
You can also use these compact axes for self-defense. And, because of their lightweight nature, you can throw them with relative ease.

However, there are a few differences to be aware of:

  • Tomahawk – Easier to throw with accuracy. Head can be removed for certain tasks. Lighter in weight (varies). Easier to make a handle.
  • Hatchet – Splits wood better. The head weighs more, and thus yields more power. More versatile.
 Here’s an example of how you can throw a tomahawk to hit a target (or an attacker).

Felling Axe
Double-bitted felling axe

The felling axe is built for cutting down trees. They’re also heavier and larger than hatchets. If you have some heavy-duty tree chopping to do, this is a good choice.

Forest Axe

This is basically the combination of a hatchet and a felling axe. It’s portable (like a hatchet), but is still able to chop down small trees like a felling axe (although it isn’t built for large jobs).

Splitting Maul
Splitting Maul

This one is an interesting combination of an axe and a hammer. Its primary job is to split logs. And thanks to its relatively dull blade, it’s able to do this without the head of it getting stuck in a log.

If your aim is to only split logs, this is a great option. However, it’s pretty much a one-hit wonder and isn’t super versatile.

Choosing The Right Survival Axe

When it comes down to it, the best survival axe is really dependent on what you’re using it for. For instance, many preppers choose the hatchet as their weapon of choice, due to its lightweight build and portability. On the other hand, when it comes to chopping down large trees and splitting logs, the hatchet is not ideal.

The best thing you can do is to do your research and, if possible, have a few different types of axes to aid you in a variety of tasks.

And, of course, you can always make your own in an emergency (watch the video below to learn more).

What To Look For In A Survival Axe

No matter which axe you choose to bring with you, there are certain things to look for to make sure it’s in as good of shape as possible. After all, that axe is going to be taking on loads of abuse – and you need to make sure it can stand up to the task.

Here are a few things to look out for:

Solid Grip

Any axe you end up using is likely going to get wet – whether it be from humidity, snow, rain, or sweat. Therefore, it’s essential your axe has a grip that isn’t going to be slippery (this can be extremely dangerous). Look for non-slippery grip surfaces like rubber and wood.


The best axes maintain a proper balance between the head and the grip. In the image below, you’ll see the grip point (blue dot), the axe’s center of gravity (green dot), and the axle running through it (red line).

It’s crucial to maintain this balance  – otherwise, any work you do is going to be much more difficult.


The sharper the axe, the easier your work will be (in most cases). Of course, how you sharpen this blade is dependent on what materials the head of the axe contains (as well as the tasks it performs). Do your research to ensure you’re sharpening your axe correctly (and with the right materials).

Know about axes? Enlighten us in the comments below. The more you know, the better prepared you are for an emergency!