Menu
Updated October 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Estwing Leather Grip Carpenter's Hatchet
Estwing
Leather Grip Carpenter's Hatchet
Check Price
Bottom Line

Good-quality forged steel makes a reliably sharp hatchet that will stand the test of time.

Pros

Beautiful leather grip. Manageable size. Blade holds an edge well. Sharpens nicely on a stone. Weighs just over two pounds. Does a good job shaping wood.

Cons

This hatchet does not come with a sheath.

Best Bang for the Buck
Vaughan Carpenter's Half Hatchet
Vaughan
Carpenter's Half Hatchet
Check Price
Bottom Line

This lightweight half hatchet is well-weighted and is a good value for the money.

Pros

Weighs less than two pounds. A good hiking and camping hatchet. Solid blade. Good hammer. Works well for chopping kindling. Handle is thick.

Cons

The handle on this hatchet is not as well-made as some others on the market, but you are getting a good price.

Plumb Half Hatchet
Plumb
Half Hatchet
Check Price
Bottom Line

Designed for shaping wood, you will find a lot of uses for the practical half hatchet.

Pros

Close to 14 inches long. Weighs under two pounds. Drives concrete nails well. A reliable hatchet by a company that has been around for a long time. Good for camping and outdoor needs. Holds up under daily use.

Cons

The quality on this hatchet might not be good enough for professional work.

Vaughan Rig Builder's Hatchet
Vaughan
Rig Builder's Hatchet
Check Price
Bottom Line

This old-style tool works well as a hammer but can also handle jobs requiring a hatchet.

Pros

Hickory-handled ax has a nice weight and gives you a little bit more versatility than other hatchets. Handle is easy to replace. Works great as a hammer. Handles small trees and kindling easily.

Cons

The blade on the hatchet side could be sharper coming out of the box.

Estwing Carpenter's Hatchet
Estwing
Carpenter's Hatchet
Check Price
Bottom Line

A solid steel hatchet that can handle heavy jobs.

Pros

One solid piece of steel. Leather grip. Works great as a camp ax or on a construction site. Hammerhead pounds stakes efficiently. Easy to sharpen. A very handy tool.

Cons

Does not come with a sheath or cover, and you will want one for the sharp blade.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
150
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
Category cover

A carpenter’s hatchet, also known as a half hatchet. is considered by many to be an old-style traditional hammer tool. The carpenter’s hatchet has a small blade on one side and a hammer head on the other. Usually, these hatchets have a short to medium length handle similar to that of a regular hammer. They are very effective in woodworking projects but can also be handy as an all-around camping ax. They do a good job chopping small amounts of wood or hammering in stakes. Some good carpenter’s hatchets have a curved grip for comfort, which also aids in making the tool effective and easy to use. You can find these tools with wooden handles, which can be replaced inexpensively if broken. Another option is a head steel forged as one piece to the handle, which offers strength, but may be harder on your hands and arms when using for large projects.

Our Top Picks