Axe vs Hatchet: Common Uses, Comparisons and FAQs

When most people see the word “axe,” they think of a tool used for chopping wood. However, axes are actually multipurpose tools that can be used to chop wood, shave logs into boards, or even as an emergency weapon if you’re in the woods and don’t have anything better!

A hatchet is very similar to an axe but has a shorter blade and is more suited for smaller tasks like splitting kindling. In this post, we will discuss all the differences between these two common tools so that you know which one to use when.

Difference in their Shape

The axe has been around longer and it’s much bigger, heavier, and sturdier than the hatchet. It’s also meant to be swung over your head at great speed because this puts more power behind each chop!

A hatchet, on the other hand, uses a typically shorter blade. It’s not as heavy or wide, which gives you more control when using this tool. It also comes with a hammerhead on the opposite side of the blade that you can use to pound in nails or smash things in your garage.

However, if you intend to use the hatchet for hammering, make sure to cover the sharp side with a sheath for protection.

this is a hatchet
A hatchet

Generally speaking, you’ll be able to differentiate an axe and a hatchet only by seeing the length of their handle. The handle of an axe will be longer than that of a hatchet.

Difference in Use Cases

The axe is a great tool for cutting through anything that’s standing in your way, but it can also be used as an all-purpose tool. It has the chopping power to cut through branches and can even chop down small trees.

A hatchet, on the other hand, is much lighter and better suited for smaller tasks such as splitting kindling or cutting a small tree branch. Since you can use a hatchet with a hand, it’s more suitable for jobs that require precision.

what is an axe
An Axe

Do I Need an Axe or a Hatchet?

If you have a large project that requires chopping through lots of materials, an axe would be the best tool for the job. If you’re just working on small projects and precision is more important than power, then grab your hatchet instead.

It’s easy to tell from looking at these two tools which one was built for heavy-duty use while the other one is better suited for precision tasks. Furthermore, the axe is harder to use with your hands than a hatchet which is perfect for smaller jobs that require hand-eye coordination.

However, if you are yet to purchase one and want to get one that can serve you better, I would recommend a hatchet. Except for felling trees and splitting logs, you will hardly use an axe. But a hatchet can serve you in both home and outdoor jobs frequently.

You might need both of them, but which one should be your primary choice? That is entirely up to personal preference and needs. It’s worth mentioning though, axes are more expensive than hatchets.

axe vs hatchet differences

Can I Use Axe and Hatchets Interchangeably?

No, you can’t. If precision is more important than power in the task at hand then a hatchet is what you need. If power is required, go with a full size axe.

With that said, there are some tasks for which an axe and a hatchet would work equally well such as splitting firewood or cutting up boards with nails sticking out of them. Furthermore, when it comes to chopping down a tree, you can use either an axe or hatchet to do the job.

One thing to keep in mind is that although a hatchet can be used for jobs that require an axe, it will take significantly longer and put more effort into the work.

On the contrary, axes are not intended for light work and if you plan on using an axe in place of a hatchet, the chances are that it won’t fare out to your liking.

Should I Use Hatchet or Axe for Survival?

Hatchets are very lightweight and controllable, best for survival due to their versatility. This gives the person more strength than with an axe.

A hatchet will be more than enough for anything from splitting firewood to self-defense whereas an axe is larger, heavier, and not as easy to use in a pinch. So, it is better to have a hatchet for survival than an axe.

Can I Cut Down A Tree with a Hatchet?

You can, but it will take a lot more time and effort. You’ll have to chop at the tree from all angles, making sure that you get through the entire trunk before moving on. It’s much easier for an axe user because they only need one angle of attack – as long as they can hit the right spot with enough force.

So, while you can cut down a tree with a hatchet, it’ll take a lot of effort that won’t worth doing while having a better way to achieve the result with an axe.

The Bottom Line

-An axe is meant for felling trees, splitting logs and similar tasks that require more power than what a hatchet can provide.

-Axe has longer reach than a hatchet which makes it easier to use on larger or high up targets like wood piles in the backyard or out in the forest.

-Hatchet is easier to handle with one hand than an axe, making it an ideal purchase for people who are often on their own and need something that can be handled without much support from other arms or hands.

-Hatchets may not always have enough power behind them when cutting through larger logs with knots in them, and an axe can give you a lot more power to make it through that type of log.

-A hatchet is easier to transport from one place to another because it is usually lighter than axe which means less weight for the carrier.

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