Hatchet Job

By The Editors
October 28, 2013 9:00 am

Because every man needs gear, and no man likes comparison shopping, we present That’ll Hunt: a series that recommends the best tool, gadget or sundry for the job. 

It’s wood-chopping season.

And yes, wood-chopping season is a thing.

But as we looked about for a new axe this year, we realized: these days, there are entirely too many options out there.

So we called in the most widely recommended tree fellers and had our intern Duck test them out on our Manhattan rooftop. Yes, our neighbors love us. Our findings follow: 

FOR NOVICES: Vipukirves Leveraxe
V axe
This Finnish company’s axe has a counterbalanced head. Result: your axe will never get stuck. But per Duck, the composite plastic handle and no-stick blade “takes all the fun out of it.” Check it out.

FOR CLEARING BRUSH: SOG Badaxe Backcountry
Better known for their tactical and hunting knives, SOG recently introduced this brush-clearing hatchet with a hidden feature: a compact saw tucked into the handle. Check it out.


Yes, this is a hipster axe. And it can run upwards of $300. But it’s also a joy to swing, and comes a bit sturdier than the Trust Co. Single Bit Axe (below). Sports an Appalachian hickory handle, drop-forged high-carbon steel head, leather blade guard and wooden crate. Bonus: gifting to groomsmen, according to a Best Made rep, is “very popular.” Check it out.

BEST TRADITIONAL AXE: Trust Co. Single Bit Axe
The Portland heritage company’s single bit axe (with a hickory handle) feels strong in your hands. Excellent grip, if slightly lighter than Best Made’s. For the price ($125), this is the axe you want to get any basic job done. Plus, their wood carrier is dope. Check it out.

FOR MULTI-TASKING: Trucker’s Friend
Trucker's Friend
More of an all-purpose tool, the TF is a pry bar, hammer, tire chain hook ice chipper … and an axe. Good for emergencies and kindling. Secondary use: “Aggressive self-defense.” Their words. Not ours. Check it out.

FOR TRAVELING: Hardcore Huntsman Axe
We fetishize Hardcore’s hammers. But their camping axes deserve accolades, too: they’re sturdy, old-school folksy and extraordinarily lightweight. Says Duck the intern: “It almost feels like a throwing blade.” Check it out.

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