Hatchets are mini versions of axes, usually under about 20” long and between 1 and 2 pounds in weight. Because they have shorter handles and lighter heads, they deliver less chopping power than axes. However, they’re lighter, making them easier to carry around and less tiring to use. Typically used one-handed, you can use your free hand to hold or steady whatever you’re cutting. For light chopping, splitting and shaping a hatchet is hard to beat.
In general, hatchets with curved blades are best for cutting and splitting, while those with flat blades are more suited for making shearing cuts and carving. The thicker the blade the better it is at splitting wood. Most hatchets have a poll that can be used to set nails, pegs or stakes.
In this article we look at 5 hatchets – for shop, jobsite, around the home, or enjoying the great outdoors.