Is an axe a good survival tool

Is an axe a good survival tool? (Complete Guide)

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Having the right tools is essential when it comes to survival in the wilderness. But here’s a question you might not have considered before: Is an axe a good survival tool? Read on to discover why this age-old axiom might be your kit’s most essential piece of gear!


An axe can be an incredibly useful Survival tool in the right circumstances. However, due to its potential dangers and the specialized knowledge needed to use it effectively, it is essential to properly research and prepares before employing an axe as part of your survival strategy. This guide will introduce the essential factors associated with selecting and using an axe for survival. By understanding these points, you can ensure that you have a safer and more successful outdoor experience.

Benefits of an Axe as a Survival Tool

An axe is an essential tool for any outdoor enthusiast and can be a valuable addition to a wilderness survival kit. It can be used to cut wood, maintain trails, and collect resources, making it both a practical and versatile tool. Its portability makes it easy to transport, and its long handle gives users strength and accuracy when chopping.

Axe blades are much sharper than machetes and can easily cut through softwoods. Axes also come in different shapes for different tasks, like splitting or felling, which makes them ideal for larger cutting jobs like chopping down trees or constructing shelters. This kind of power is helpful in wilderness survival scenarios where thick trees may need to be cleared from the path of travel or turned into sharpened stakes for shelter protection against wind or other natural elements.

Most axes are made from durable materials such as steel that require proper care and maintenance to remain in good condition. The handle must always be kept dry because moisture will cause wood to rot over time. Additionally, the head of the axe must be regularly sharpened with an appropriate sharpening stone so it maintains a fine blade edge that can easily perform powerful cuts.

Overall, an axe is an essential tool when it comes to wilderness survival because it helps you maintain trails, clear obstacles on your path of travel, gather food sources more efficiently, construct sturdy shelters with precision accuracy, split firewood quickly and safely and open access passageways if you become lost in the woods or stuck in place due to snow or rain storms that delay your journey home.


different types of axes for survival

Different Types of Axes

Regarding survival skills, an axe can be a valuable tool both in the wild and on the homestead. Before you purchase one or head out in the field, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right type of axe for your needs. Here are some of the most common types:

Felling Axe – A felling axe is designed to chop larger pieces of wood to fall (cut down) trees. It has a heavy broad head and a short handle that allows for greater control during use.

Splitting Axe – A splitting axe is designed for dividing large logs into smaller sections with its wide wedge-shaped blade. Its head is heavier than that of a felling axe but not as thick (which increases its ability to penetrate wood). It also has a more extended handle for extra leverage when splitting logs.

Hatchet – Hatchets are typically smaller than any other type of axe and have a thinner head and shorter handle than either felling or splitting axes, so they are best suited for fine-cutting tasks such as shaping wood and notching logs or even carving wood shavings into kindling sticks!

Bush Axe – Bush axes have similar characteristics to those of a hatchet but generally come with an additional curved bit at one end designed specifically for clearing away dense underbrush from your trail or campfire area.

Broadaxe – Broadaxes are commonly used in carpentry when creating timber frames because their broad blades give them superior cutting control over hatchets or other axes. They feature an elongated body with either straight or slightly curved blades, which allow them to carve shallow grooves along wooden planks as they cut through them.

How to Use an Axe for Survival

An axe can be an invaluable asset in any serious wilderness survival situation. It is a versatile tool that can be used for many tasks ranging from splitting wood for a campfire to felling trees for shelter and even for protection against potential threats. However, using an axe safely and effectively requires good technique and familiarity with the tools’ features, such as handle length, type of blade, blade shape, and sharpness.

To use an axe in a survival situation, one must first select the appropriate type of tool for the task at hand. There are several types of axes available, including felling axes which are explicitly designed for chopping down trees; splitting axes which are used to chop through logs or kindling, and hatchets which are smaller versions of the above two tools designed primarily for light splitting or trimming work. No matter what type of axe is chosen, it should have a firm handle that won’t break easily when put under strain and a sharp blade that can cut through whatever material it is intended to split or chop.

When using any type of axe, safety considerations should always come first. Wearing protective glasses or goggles is strongly recommended, as even small pieces of wood thrown by the force of an axe swing can cause damage to exposed eyes. Protective gloves should also be worn when working with an axe, as accidental contact with the sharp metal parts can cause serious injury. Additionally, maintaining awareness of bystanders within range of the tool user is essential to prevent anyone from getting hurt by errant swings or pieces hot off of flying chips from the cut material being worked on.

Learning how to properly control an axe during use will make all difference in terms of accuracy and effectiveness when working with one during a wilderness survival situation. Basic techniques such as proper stance, grip, swing alignment, and follow-through motion also ensure safe operation with minimal effort expended on each swing while maximum efficiency is achieved on each stroke made by the user.

How to Use an Axe for Survival

Safety Tips for Using an Axe

Axe is a great survival tool and can be used for various tasks such as chopping firewood, building shelters, etc. But it is necessary to exercise safety precautions when using an axe. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Always wear protective gear (e.g. eye protection, steel-toed shoes) when operating an axe.
  • Make sure you have a secure grip before each swing to avoid injury.
  • When not in use, store the axe out of reach of children.
  • Make sure the area around the work area is clear of obstacles or other people before swinging an axe.
  • Don’t forget to sharpen your axe regularly for maximum efficiency and safety.
  • Never use an old, dull, or damaged axe, as it can easily slip and cause a severe injury.
  • When hammering a stake with the back of the head, make sure that the head won’t come loose by using a wooden wedge.
  • Stand close to but not directly behind your “target” when swinging an axe.

Maintenance and Care of an Axe

For an axe to remain a valuable tool in any environment, it is essential to properly maintain and care for it. This will ensure that the axe effectively cuts, chops, and prolongs its life.

Sharpening: An axe should be sharpened regularly using a file or sharpening stone to ensure that it can easily cut through the material. The blade’s edge should be smooth and have no nicks or burrs along the cutting surface.

Cleaning: After use, dirt can accumulate on the blade of the axe, which can decrease its effectiveness. Cleaning should be done regularly using warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to wipe down both sides of the blade and rinse any residual debris away from the handle.

Storage: To keep an axe in top condition, storing it properly when not in use is essential. Ideally, axes should be stored upright in a dry place from direct sunlight where they will not damage or rust due to moisture build-up. Covering the head of the axe with a protective sheath is also recommended so that blunting does not occur due to contact with other objects while in storage.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Axe as a Survival Tool

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Axe as a Survival Tool

Having an axe as part of your survival arsenal can be a helpful and valuable tool in the wilderness. In addition to being useful for chopping firewood, it’s also great for splitting logs and making shavings—materials essential for any fires or shelters you may need. Its tough blade is ideal for cutting thick tree branches, vines, and even small trees.

However, when used as a survival tool, an axe is not without its drawbacks. Its hefty weight makes it challenging to carry with you on extended journeys away from camp. Furthermore, if not wielded carefully and safely, an axe can be hazardous – particularly to those around you or yourself! It is also important to remember that axes are designed solely for chopping and do not have a saw-like feature on the back of the blade – making them less suitable for specific tasks such as trimming smaller branches.

For these reasons, an axe should be considered a supplemental component of any camping or survival trip—providing additional balance and functionality when used alongside other more maneuverable tools such as machetes or hatchets.


In conclusion, an axe can be a great survival tool for many different scenarios. It is versatile and can help a person cut wood for a fire, build shelter and even defend themselves if necessary. It is also relatively easy to use and often easy to obtain in emergencies, making it a good choice if other tools are unavailable. However, it also has some drawbacks. An axe can be heavy and difficult to carry for long distances, requiring skill and practice to properly use without injuring yourself or others. Ultimately, whether an axe is a suitable tool for you depends on your individual needs and goals in an emergency situation.

CEO at Atlantic Survival Gear | Website | + posts

A true wanderer whose heart beats in sync with nature's rhythm. Since his youth, he has sought solace and purpose in the vast wilderness, embarking on countless adventures.

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