10 recommended outdoor hatchets [for chopping wood and bonfires in camping]

Outdoor Hatchets 01, Shieldon

Silky hatchet Nata double-edged 180mm body rubber handle 555-18


A hatchet is often used in camping and hunting. Most of the cutlery that originated in Japan, called hatchet, is made in Japan. It is useful mainly for chopping wood used to start a fire.


At camp, you must first be able to make a fire, but it is difficult to use raw wood as fuel. A hatchet that can cut and process wood to an appropriate size is a very convenient item for camping. However, there are various shapes, sizes, weights, etc. of hatchets, and it will be difficult to choose the best hatchet unless you are an advanced person accustomed to camping.


In this article, we will introduce how to choose a hatchet and recommended products based on an interview with Yusuke Arai, who is known as a mountain photographer.


How to choose an outdoor hatchet

See the type and shape, blade shape, portability, and grip

Outdoor Hatchets 02, Shieldon

Stacked firewood


Let’s see how to choose outdoor hatchets that are useful in camping, including chopping wood.


We asked mountain photographer Yusuke Arai to tell us the key points when choosing an outdoor hatchet.


Choose by type of hatchet

Sword hatchet, waist hatchet, shrimp hatchet, etc.

Outdoor Hatchets 03, Shieldon

Igarashi Knife Industry Steel Standard with steel Highest grade sheath hatchet with brim Cobb handles (single-edged) 180mm C-21


There are many types of hatchets, and the “sword hatchet” is characterized by its sharp blade. It is a versatile hatchet that is suitable for cutting small branches and peeling and can also be used as a kitchen knife.


A hatchet with a rectangular blade is called a “waist hatchet”. Suitable for bonfires, stove rolls, fine branches, and bushes. Since the blade is heavy, you can break the firewood like an ax by shaking it off.


“Shrimp hatchet” is a special hatchet with a stone at the tip of the blade. Since the blade does not easily spill, it can be used not only for camping but also for gardening when you want to clear the vegetation in the garden.


Know what kind of knife the hatchet is and choose the one that suits your purpose

Single-edged or double-edged, weight balance

Outdoor Hatchets 04 472x1024, Shieldon

Igarashi Knife Industry Steel Standard Double-edged eastern hatchet with steel C-8


The hatchet is a Japanese field knife, but it has single-edged and double-edged knives, and different types are depending on the application. Many of them are large and have a heavy tip, so you can work with less force.


Originally, the sword hatchet has a relatively short history, and it is said that it was first made with a broken sword, and because it is a knife located between the knife and the hatchet, daily work can be done with one.


Even if it is small, choose one that has a weight balance on the blade part, not on hand, and can be used using centrifugal force.


Assuming carrying when moving

Easy to handle

Outdoor Hatchets 05, Shieldon

Knife / Hunting Knife Matagi Nagasa (Kaniyama Sword) Fukuro Nagasa 6 inch Mountain Sword / Knife Ino / Deer Hunting Knife / Hunting Knife [Delivery time approx. 1 month]


It is also important to choose a hatchet that is easy to handle and carry. However, although a hatchet with a short blade length is convenient to carry, it will be difficult to chop wood and pruning, so be sure to check both portability and functionality.


“There are various fields, but if you are in a campsite, a wood-splitting hatchet is sufficient. You don’t have to keep it on your hips all the time.”

“Weight is also an important point. If you travel a lot on foot and want to carry it with you, it is preferable to choose one that is as easy to handle as possible.”

“Since the hatchet is a blade with a heavy tip, it is characterized by being able to apply the necessary impact even if it is small to some extent. It is also important to consider the means of transportation when choosing.”


Choose the shape of the handle with consideration for ease of grip

Outdoor Hatchets 06, Shieldon

An easy-to-grip ax


When choosing a hatchet, you also want to check if the handle is easy to grip. In general, it is easier to grip the “type whose handle becomes thinner as it gets closer to the blade” than the hatchet with the same thickness.


Some hatchets emphasize design, but their practicality is not very high, so if you want to choose with an erimphasis on ease of use, you should be aware of the shape of the pattern and the ease of holding.


Recommended manufacturer of hatchet

Toyokuni Forging Factory

Outdoor Hatchets 07, Shieldon

Tosa outdoor sword hatchet 120 black mallet brass wheel Hitachi Aogami No. 2 oak pattern oil stainless wood sheath oil stainless tautodoa_cp-001-fab


It is a brand exclusively for Japanese-style cutlery founded in 1946 in Kochi prefecture. We mainly deal with agricultural, mountain, and forestry knives, and continue to stick to completely custom-made forged knives.

While preserving the tradition of 400 years, we continue to take on the challenge of manufacturing according to the times, and we are producing blades with a 3D computer.



Outdoor Hatchets 08, Shieldon

Uniframe TSURUBAMI Chibi-machete single-edged two-inch three-minute 684078


A comprehensive manufacturer of outdoor equipment and camping equipment in Niigata Prefecture. We mainly develop a wide range of products such as camping tents, gas burners, outdoor tables, and pots.

Based on the idea of creating a unique flame (frame), which is also the origin of the company name, we also make products that are also playful, such as thermo cups that look like teacups and stands dedicated to bonfires.


10 Recommended Outdoor Machete

Easy to use, active in chopping wood in camping

Outdoor Hatchets 09, Shieldon

Machetes of various sizes lined up on the table


Check the weight, balance, blade characteristics, and length to find the perfect outdoor hatchet.


Based on the points of how to select the hatchet introduced above, we will introduce the recommended products selected by mountain photographer Yusuke Arai and the products selected by the editorial department.


UM Industry “Silky Nata Double-edged 180 Body (555-18)”

Outdoor Hatchets 10, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Double-edged

Blade length: 180mm

Weight: 735g

“A hatchet with good availability and cost performance.”

“It is a double-edged hatchet that can be obtained at home improvement stores. This should be enough for chopping wood at the campsite. The blade is replaceable and easy to maintain, so even people who are not good at sharpening the blade can do it. It can be said that it is an introductory hatchet for beginners.”

“Even though it is for beginners, it is designed to be used by craftsmen in the fieldwork, so it can handle full-scale work. This item is recommended for those who are starting to use hatchets and want to gradually step up.”


Nishine Uchiha Seisakusho “Mataginagasa 6 inch”

Outdoor Hatchets 11, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Single-edged

Blade length: about 180mm

Weight: –

“This is a Japanese survival knife.”

“A hunting hatchet used by “Ani Matagi” in Akita Prefecture, which specializes in hunting. Also known as Fukuro Nagasa.”

“The handle part is bag-shaped and can be used as a spear by attaching a long handle. It is a single-edged, sharp-edged shape with no curved edges or warpage. It is supported by a wide range of people from mountain stream anglers to hunters.”

“It can be said that it is a tool of a swordsman (Somabito: a person who cuts and carries out trees) created by a mountain professional. If you want to set foot in the primeval forest, you will want to own it once.”


Blacksmith Toyokuni Toyokuni Sword “Wedge”

Outdoor Hatchets 12, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged)-

Blade length: about 160mm

Weight: about 280g

“The famous blacksmith’s sword hatchet.”

“It is a rugged and beautiful hatchet made by fire one by one and produced by traditional techniques. A brass “hilt” (a guard material that protects your fingers from the knife blade) is attached to ensure safety.”

“The size is easy to handle in the field and covers from rough work to detailed work. It is a product that even advanced users will be satisfied with because it is finished with a black mallet (one of the manufacturing methods) that is said to be resistant to rust.”

“Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, it’s sure to make your adventure even more enjoyable.”


UNIFLAME “TSURUBAMI Tsubame Sanjo no Ax (684191)”

Outdoor Hatchets 13, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged)-

Blade length: about 115mm

Weight: about 450g

With a groove to fold firewood on the principle of leverage.

Uniframe hatchet that handles a lot of camping equipment. To make it easier to chop firewood, there is a groove for folding firewood in the blade part so that you can fold it by sandwiching thin firewood or branches.

The grip of the rubber material is also easy to hold, and the point is that it has a special case. Good for campers who often use small wood stoves.


Igarashi Knife Industry “Steel standard double-edged eastern hatchet (C-8)”

Outdoor Hatchets 14, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Double-edged

Blade length: about 135mm

Weight: about 850g

Made by skilled craftsmen using Yasuki Steel.

Steel hatchet” is one of the brand hatchets created by skilled craftsmen one by one as a high-class knife for professional use. It can be used not only for chopping wood, but also for gardening, mountain climbing, and organizing board materials.

This product is suitable for people who want to use it for a long time while maintaining it.


Toyokuni Forging Factory “Tosa Outdoor Sword Hatchet 120 tautodoa-927”

Outdoor Hatchets 15, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Double-edged

Blade length: 120mm

Weight: 220g

Can be used for camping, mountain climbing, fishing, etc.

Received the grand prize for the second consecutive year at the outdoor knife show where custom knife makers from all over the USA and Europe gathered. It is a sword hatchet that has passed 6 harsh sharpness tests. Each sword hatchet finished by a craftsman has excellent sharpness and durability. It can be used for camping, mushroom picking, mountain climbing, and fishing.

In addition, the hilt part has a brim so that even beginners can use it with confidence. The point is that the brim ring is accented with gold. The scabbard comes with an oil stainless steel scabbard and a leather belt, and it looks very cool even when closed in the scabbard.


uniflame “TSURUBAMI Chibi-Machete Single-edged 2 inch 3 minutes”

Outdoor Hatchets 16, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Single-edged

Blade length: approx. 70 mm

Weight: about 290g

A chibi hatchet that is perfect for use in small pieces of firewood.

uniflame was founded in 1985 and is a comprehensive manufacturer of outdoor equipment and camping equipment in Japan. It is also known for making the Sierra cup as a tour collaboration good for a certain camp animation. This hatchet is a perfect size when you don’t want to make your luggage too bulky or when you don’t chop thick wood.

It may seem small and unsatisfactory as the main hatchet, but a hatchet with a beautiful finish by a skilled craftsman will be one of your favorites. The UNIFLAME logo plate is attached to the grip end part, making it unbearable for fans.


Honmamon “Authentic Tosa Fire Machete Highest Grade”

Outdoor Hatchets 17, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Double-edged

Blade length: about 210mm

Weight: about 560g

1-chrome 1-chome high-temperature hammering! Enjoy the skill of a polite craftsman.

The finest hatchet specializing in sharpness and durability. It is finished because it is made by forge welding ultra-soft iron and high-grade cutlery carbon steel blank steel and hammering each one at high temperatures. Also, because it is made by craftsmen, you can feel the warmth of craftsmen that industrial products do not have.

The total length of the sheath is about 420 mm, and the blade length is about 210 mm, which is rather large. Since it is a double-edged type, it has the advantage that it can be handled by both right-handed and left-handed people. In addition, it has the advantage that it can be cut straight because the force is evenly applied, making it a suitable hatchet for chopping thick wood.


Senkichi “Sheath hatchet 165mm”

Outdoor Hatchets 18, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Double-edged

Blade crossing: –

Weight: –

Excellent sharpness! Chopping wood may be fun!

The shape of the blade is double-edged, and the material is steel, so it is easy to sharpen during maintenance and the blade is not easily chipped. Also, because it is thick, it is sharp and you may want to chop many firewoods.

The weight is a little heavy, so you may find it awkward to hold, but you will be satisfied with the weight by experiencing the sharpness. With a simple scabbard, you can wear it on your waist and carry it safely. It is very useful for chopping wood when you want to cut obstructive branches, BBQ, and camping.


Igarashi Knife Industry “Steel Code Highest Grade Sheath Machete 165mm C-20”

Outdoor Hatchets 19, Shieldon

Blade shape: (single-edged, double-edged) Single-edged

Blade length: 165mm

Weight: 590g

The luxurious scabbard with a hatchet band is attractive.

A relatively large hatchet with a blade length of 165 mm, a handle of 180 mm, and a total length of 345 mm. Since it is a single-edged blade, the cutting edge is thin and suitable for cutting and shaving. Also, because it is made of good steel, it has specialized wear resistance and you will be surprised at its sharpness.

Recommended for those who have a hatchet for chopping wood but want another sub. Accessories include an instruction manual and a scabbard with a luxurious waist hatchet band. If you hang it on your waist when camping, it might be cool and astringent.


A knife can be used as a substitute for winding when there is no hatchet.

Outdoor Hatchets 20, Shieldon

Nishine Uchihamono Seisakusho (Mataginagasa) Fukuronagasa (8 inch)


If you don’t have a hatchet, you can also use a knife to break firewood. This act is generally called batoning, and it is a method of hitting firewood with a knife blade and knocking down a spine (peak) from above with another firewood.


As a premise, the hatchet uses centrifugal force to split firewood, but the padding uses the principle of leverage to split firewood. Please note that if you force the knife too much, the knife may break.


When padding, full tongue knives (full tongues are knives that sandwich steel up to the handle) are generally said to be durable and preferred, but more importantly the blade. If you use a knife for padding, pay attention to the strength of the base, as it will fall off if the strength of the base is low.


In addition to chopping wood, choose a hatchet that suits your purpose.

Can also be used as an outdoor knife.

If you enjoy headwater fishing, you may have a large hatchet. However, if you are not a hunter, you do not need such a large hatchet.


If you want to split firewood in a campsite or field, or if you want to make a firewood hatchet, a hatchet or a firewood hatchet is sufficient.


Also, the cutting edge does not necessarily have to be sharp, and the basic idea is to divide, cut, and sharpen by weight and toughness.


Think about what you want to do with the hatchet and choose what you want to do.


I recommend this article to everyone!


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