Knowing what to look for in an outdoor survival axe can seem daunting if you have never owned one before. Even though knives can be great multifunctional tools, you might need something built for chopping things down on your adventures. Axes are perfect for just that!
If you’re unsure what to look for, this guide will walk you through the crucial factors to consider when shopping for the ultimate outdoor survival axe. That way, you can ensure you’ve made an informed decision and have an axe that suits your needs.
Material: Strength and Durability Matter
When evaluating an outdoor survival axe, consider its materials. The axe head must be made of a strong and durable material, such as high-carbon steel or stainless steel. These materials have good edge retention and a high resistance to corrosion, making them more likely to withstand wear and tear from outdoor use.
In addition, pay attention to the handle material. Quality handles are typically made from hickory, fiberglass, or composite materials designed to absorb shock and provide a comfortable grip.
Size: Small Yet Powerful
The size of your outdoor survival axe plays a crucial role in its effectiveness and portability. Ideally, the axe should be small enough to carry yet large enough to complete tasks. A compact survival axe is particularly important for backpackers and hikers because every ounce counts when carrying supplies for long distances on foot.
The typical size of a survival axe ranges from 12 to 20 inches in length, with a head weight of 1.5–2.5 pounds. This combination of weight and size makes survival axes versatile. You can use them to chop wood, clear trails, and even defend yourself in emergencies. If you look through our selection of Winkler utility knives at The Knife Connection, you’ll find some great compact axes that will fulfill the size requirements you’re looking for.
Head Design: Multifunctional Advantages
A great outdoor survival axe should be more than just a tool for chopping wood. Many axes have additional features, like a hammer on the opposite side of the blade for pounding stakes or a spiked end for breaking through icy or rocky terrain. Evaluate the various head designs to determine which additional features would be most beneficial for your adventures.
Balance: Efficiency and Control
An often-overlooked aspect when learning what to look for in an outdoor survival axe is its balance. A well-balanced axe provides control and efficiency in the swings, allowing you to complete tasks with less effort and risks of injury. To assess an axe’s balance, hold it by the handle near the head and gently move it back and forth. A well-balanced axe will feel comfortable in your hand, allowing for a natural, fluid movement when swinging.