Best Axe Under $50
Man has been making axes for thousands of years. Early axes were made from stone with a wood handle attached with animal sinews or leather. Axes have many uses such as chopping, using as a weapon, or doubling as a hammer. Small axes are very useful for chopping wood into small pieces to start a campfire.
So who needs an axe? It turns out a lot of people do.
Hunters, campers, and hikers often pack an axe in case a nice day of recreation turns into a survival situation. If you’re a doomsday prepper, you definitely want to pack an axe in your bug-out bag.
I need a small axe to chop kindling for starting fires in my fireplace at home, but I don’t want to spend a ton of money. As a hunter, I’d like to be able to take it with me when I go out into the woods as well.
I decided to check out expert opinions, industry blogs, and user reviews to find the best axe under $50.
So how do you decide which axe under $50 is the best value for the money? I identified four major considerations to keep in mind:
As with any buying decision, the price is an important factor. Compare features to figure out which axe is the best quality for the price.
Quality of Steel
All steels are not created equal. Different grades of steel are hard or soft, and some hold an edge better than others. Some axes are made of stainless steel as well.
Axe handles can be made of many different materials. Common ones are wood, leather, rubber, and fiberglass. Try to select an axe with a durable handle so it will last.
Does the axe come with a sheath? Sheaths are nice to have so you can wear your axe on your belt, or if you put it in a pack, the axe won’t wear or cut a hole in it. Typical sheaths are made of nylon or leather.
Other considerations are the weight of the axe and safety of using the axe. Remember that you might have to carry your axe for a long time, and safety is always important when you’re a long way from civilization.
I searched the Internet for the best axe under $50, and quickly came up with five top performers:-
1. Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Axe
This is a nice axe from Estwing. Retail price is around $65, but you can get it online for around $40.
This axe features one-piece steel construction with a stacked leather handle. Weight is 2 lbs.
A leather sheath is included.I own several Estwing hammers, and the one-piece steel will last forever.
The thing to remember is that the steel shaft on these tools will cut off your finger almost as easy as the blade. Be careful.Customer reviews for this axe are very favorable. Eighty percent of reviewers love this axe.
Complaints were that the axe is a little heavy and that the leather handle can fall apart if you don’t care for it properly. This axe is made in the U.S.A., which is pretty rare these days.
Feature At a Glance
- All steel construction
- Head and handle forged in one-piece
- 14-Inch overall length
- 3-1/4-Inch cutting edge
2. Columbia River Knife 2730RMJ Carbon Steel Axe
This axe from CRKT is more of a tomahawk than an axe. List price is about $70, and online prices are about $50. The head of this axe is made from 1055 carbon steel with a hammer finish.
The handle is a tapered piece of Tennessee hickory wood sealed with a coat of lacquer.Weight is 2.8 lbs, and a sheath is not included.
My initial thought is that the tapered handle might tend to slip out of your hand with heavy use. User reports are generally positive. Many buyers felt the need to “modify” this axe to make it ready for use.
Mods included shaving the handle for a better fit, and also sanding the handle to make it less slippery.Everyone loved the steel used in the head and were happy with the axe’s ability to keep an edge.
Most people recommended buying the leather sheath for an additional $25. Most agreed that hammering with this axe was difficult at best.
Feature At a Glance
- Solid 1055 carbon steel
- Hot forged in a rock solid head
- Hammer head for pounding in nails
- Handle made of USA Tennessee hickory
3. Schrade Axe with Fire Starter and Rubber Handle
List price is $60 but online prices average $35. The axe features a 5.2” handle made from a firm rubber material.
The metal axe head is made from 3Cr13 stainless steel with a titanium nitride coating. A fire starter that stores in the handle comes with it.
This axe weighs 1.4 lbs. and a sheath is included. Lifetime warranty to original purchaser. This axe is great for hunters and hikers due to its light weight and the hidden fire starter.
The majority of buyers are very happy with their purchase. Negatives are cold-weather performance (the handle might break), and the nylon sheath is a little cheesy. This is a nice light axe with a great warranty.
Feature At a Glance
- Ergonomic Rubber Handle Design
- Fire Starter built-into the handle
- Protective Sheath included
- Titanium Nitride Coating for durability
4. United Cutlery UC2765 M48 Hawk Axe
Features of this axe are a 30% fiberglass reinforced nylon handle that’s 15 inches long, a head made from AUS-6 anodized stainless steel, and an 8-inch long blade.
The head is attached to the handle with three bolts.It comes with a nylon sheath and weighs 2.1 lbs.
This axe is advertised as a personal defense weapon/breaching tool. Opposite the axe blade is a spike, so hammering is out of the question. The materials make this axe almost indestructible.
People who bought this axe generally love it, but they seem to be wielding it as a weapon or throwing it at targets. People who complained stated that it broke easily and was made in China. This is more weapon than tool.
Feature At a Glance
- 8-Inch axe blade
- AUS-6 stainless steel blade
- Reinforced nylon handle
- Snap-button closure nylon belt sheath
5. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F09N-CP Hand Axe
SOG is generally known for their law-enforcement and military style knives and tools. Simplicity and usability are the keys here.
The list price for this axe is $50 but you can find it online for about $40.
This axe features a 420 stainless-steel head, and a composite no-slip grip handle. Overall length is 11.1 inches and it weighs about 1.2 lbs. Nylon sheath is included. This product comes with a lifetime warranty.
To me, this seems like a lightweight version of a real hatchet/axe. This is probably a good choice to pack around in case you find yourself in a survival situation. Customers really like the ergonomics of the handle and the blade sharpness right out of the box.
Negatives are that the flat side is very thin which makes hammering very difficult, and that its light weight limits use to small chopping/splitting jobs only.One guy says if you are looking for a real hatchet/axe, don’t buy this one.
This is a nice light duty axe that will probably last you for a long time, which the lifetime warranty reflects.
Feature At a Glance
- 2.4-Inch 420 stainless steel cutting edge
- Contoured textured G10 handle
- Includes nylon carry sheath
After researching all the axes available for under $50, I think I have reached a decision. I took into account the price, quality of steel, handle material, weight, and if a sheath was included.
Since I am looking for a tool that I can use both at home and in the woods, I prefer a simple, durable design that will last a lifetime.If you are looking for the best, you should buy the Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Axe.
I like the one-piece steel design. I also like its heavier weight which makes it better at chopping and splitting.User reviews say that if you treat the stacked leather handle with a conditioning oil, it will never dry and crack. I also love that it comes with a nice thick leather sheath.
All of these axes are fantastic buys, but some are better suited for self-defense or occasional use. The simplicity and quality construction of the Estwing make it my choice as a best buy.