Off-roading is an adventure for explorers who love a new journey. But it would only be possible to do it safely with the proper tools, like the best axe.
Whether we need a camping axe, small forest axe, or felling axe the best offroad axes include the following options.
- Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
- Barebones Pulaski Axe
- Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
- MTech USA Two-Tone Axe
- Fiskars Norden N12
We have personally tested a variety of ratchets and axes to find the best products for off-road riders. We recommend hitting the trails with one because they can be helpful. Read below to learn about these products and why they are so great.
7 Best Off-Road Axes
Anybody new to offroading may need help understanding the importance of an axe for these adventures. They are handy when exploring trails because large branches or trees are getting in the vehicle’s way.
Packaging an axe is much safer than other tools like a handsaw. They also come in handy for the best camping trips, which many off-road enthusiasts do when hitting the trails.
With an axe, we can clear a blocked trail quickly. Remember this on the next off-road riding adventure, and consider one of these axes below to make for the best camping experience.
1. Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
The Gransfors Bruks Outdoor axe is ideal for adventurers, campers, and survivalists looking for a handy tool. It has a shorter handle and a compact design, so we love it for off-roading because it’s easy to pack and conceal.
For this reason, we rank it as the best off road axe and the durable head and handle. Between the high-carbon steel head and American hickory handle, it’s hard to find something with such quality at this price point.
Dimensions: 14” x 6.7” x 1.9”
Head Weight: 1 pound
Sheath: Vegetable-tanned leather
Head Material: High-carbon steel
Handle Material: American hickory
Benefits of the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
- Excellent wood-splitting accuracy
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Durable steel axe head
- High-quality hickory handle
Drawbacks of the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
- Expensive and high-cost
- Not the best leather sheath design compared to some competitor options
Who Should Use The Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
Because of this axe’s head shape, it’s ideal to use as an off-road axe because it works best for splitting instead of carving. It’s also lightweight, so we think it’s a good choice for less capable or smaller people who can’t comfortably handle a bigger axe.
We also love how the head is protected with a metal collar so that it will last longer, and accidents won’t happen while using it. It has all the features to provide advanced performance, but it’s also made with the beginner in mind.
Where To Buy The Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe
- Amazon is the best place to find this axe for $218.99 because of the fast shipping and free returns.
- Going directly to Gransfors Bruk is another option, but they are international, so shipping is typically slower.
- Another reliable retailer with solid pricing for this Axe is Appalachian Outfitters. Be aware they do charge for shipping.
2. Barebones Pulaski Axe
The Barebones Pulaski Axe is a high-quality wood-splitting axe with excellent weight balance and a high-carbon steel head. The horizontal mattock split blade is sharp and precise, providing perfect cuts and grubs.
One of the best features of this axe is the removable hex nut. This allows any user to adjust the handle based on their preference. A steel pommel is also positioned at the base of the axe for accurate hammering.
Dimensions: 24” x 12”
Head Weight: 3 pound
Sheath: 900D polyester w/ leather accents
Head Material: 1055 High-carbon steel
Handle Material: Beechwood
Benefits of the Barebones Pulaski Axe
- Top-notch strength and wood-splitting capability
- Durable with a long handle for comfort
- Long-lasting head with sharp edges
- Steel pommel base for precision
Drawbacks of the Barebones Pulaski Axe
- Larger in size, so it can be awkward for some with less experience to handle
- Heavy handle
Who Should Use The Barebones Pulaski Axe
This camping axe and off-road adventure tool is one of the largest options we recommend in this guide for off-road use. Because of this, it should only be used by more experienced riders and those with suitable storage space.
Carrying this axe on a smaller vehicle like an ATV would be difficult. However, larger UTV or truck users would reap the benefits of storing this axe in the trunk or cargo bed for off-road adventures.
Where To Buy The Barebones Pulaski Axe
- First, we recommend going directly to Amazon to find this axe with faster shipping times.
- As an alternative, it’s also possible to buy directly from the Bare Bones website.
3. Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
This Council Tool axe is highly reliable with a simplistic design, but it’s not the easiest option for those with limited storage space. It’s hand-sharpened with a tapered bit so splitting wood is more precise.
The American hickory handle is 24 inches with a slight curve for more comfort and leverage. It also has a heat-treated poll end and a traditional double wedge system, so anybody using this axe can expect plenty of precision.
Dimensions: 30” x 9.5” x 3”
Head Weight: 2 pounds
Head Material: 5160 alloy steel
Handle Material: American hickory
Benefits of the Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
- Hydraulic-sealed axe head with a secure double wedge system
- Excellent bit hardness for precise splitting and chopping
- Hand-sharpened design
Drawbacks of the Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
- Sloppy hang
- Rough finish on the handle
Who Should Use The Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
There are various Council Tool axes, but this option is large enough to use on campsites for light wood splitting, chopping, clearing trails, brush, driving tent pegs, and much more.
We recommend this axe for adventurers searching for a reliable tool without fancy features. It provides enough durability at a solid cost to get the job done.
Where To Buy The Council Tool Hudson Bay Camp Axe
- We recommend Amazon to get this axe quickly at a solid price.
- The other option is to buy it directly from the Council Tool website.
4. MTech USA Two-Tone Axe
For a more modern look, we recommend off-roaders take a look at the MTech USA Two-Tone axe. It has a compact size, lightweight feel, and it’s simple to pack on all off-road vehicles, including smaller ATVs.
It’s only 11 inches long with a black nylon sheath and a highly durable rubber handle. This allows any user to swing it with more comfort and accuracy. However, the 440 stainless steel blade is not as reliable and strong.
Dimensions: 13” x 5.9” x 1.5”
Head Weight: 1.73 Pounds
Sheath: Black nylon
Head Material: 440 stainless steel
Handle Material: Rubber
Benefits of the MTech USA Two-Tone Axe
- Compact with a short 11-inch design
- Safe and easily portable
Drawbacks of the MTech USA Two-Tone Axe
- Not the most high-performance option
- Limited wood splitting and chopping capabilities because of the 3-inch blade
Who Should Use The MTech USA Two-Tone Axe
Younger or less experienced off-road riders best use the MTech USA Two-Tone Axe. It’s a good starter piece and one of the most affordable axe options because of its size.
It’s also recommended for anybody on a tighter budget or with limited storage space to spare for extra gear. Axes like this one are built for entry-level users.
Where To Buy The MTech USA Two-Tone Axe
- Amazon has the axe available for purchase for as low as $21.95. This is the best budget axe available.
5. Fiskars Norden N12
We love the Fiskars Norden N12 as a splitting axe. It’s the ideal choice to use for chopping firewood and while on camping trips because of the wedge shape, axe handles, and protective steel collar.
This full sized axe also has a razor sharp blade, and the flared handle allows the user to generate optimal swinging power. Most axes won’t provide the range of features this one has, and it's one of our favorite axes for this reason.
Dimensions: 20.7” x 7.6” x 1.3”
Head Weight: 2.8 pounds
Sheath: Recycled leather sheath
Head Material: High-carbon steel
Handle Material: Hickory wood
Benefits of the Fiskars Norden N12 Axe
- Reliable double-hardened, precision-ground carbon steel blade
- Can cut large logs, small trees, and chop wood with the forged steel head
- Light weight feel and cutting edge technology
Drawbacks of the Fiskars Norden N12 Axe
- Can show signs of wear in the cold temperatures
- A bit heavy to use for smaller tasks
Who Should Use The Fiskars Norden N12 Axe
This is a comfortable one or two-handed axe, and we rank it amongst the highest quality axes available. It’s also one of the best camping axes with a perfect power-to-weight ratio for excellent swing speed.
It has the power and versatility of a felling axe, but it’s smaller and easier to handle with a razor sharp blade. It’s perfect for splitting firewood too.
Where To Buy The Fiskars Norden N12 Axe
- This Fiskars axe is available on the Fiskars website for $119.99, which is affordable considering how well it works.
How to Choose the Best Off-Road Axe
Choosing an off-road axe should be a thorough process rather than a simple comparison of prices. This is an essential survival tool, especially when venturing off the beaten path, on trails, and into the woods or desert.
For example, the best camping axe will need specific features for the best results. Think about the axe design and what matters when using one. The key features to analyze include the axe head material, axe head weight, handle length, and handle material.
Axe Head Material
Every axe is complete with a sharp and operational axe head. Because of this, the axe head material will impact pricing and performance while using the axe.
Most axes will use a type of steel, and premium models come with hand-forged steel axe heads. The lighter option is a cast steel head. This provides better performance and durability, but it’s also much heavier.
Axe Heads Weight
Camping axes should have enough weight to get the job done, but they shouldn't be too heavy to swing and pack easily. Sharp blades are useful when completing tasks like chopping firewood too.
We believe the camping axe head’s weight sweet spot is between 2-3 pounds. This typically provides enough strength and support, and the hammer head design is another preference.
The handle length will vary depending on the type of axe we use. Larger camping axes will have a longer length than a small forest axe, so deciding what we need is crucial.
Typically, a full-sized axe is close to 36 inches long, but this is a little too large for camping and cutting wood on the trails or at the campsite. Ideally, the best camping axe should be around 24 inches long, and a small forest axe can be even shorter.
When splitting wood, the axe handle material will matter. It’s much easier to chop logs when we can get a good grip and our hands don’t slip while using it.
This is especially important while using a heavy axe. Typically, the larger premium axes have a composite handle or a hickory handle. We prefer the hickory handle because it tends to last longer and provides a much smoother finish.
What’s The Best Offroad Axe For Chopping Wood?
The Fiskars Norden N12 is a splitting axe, so if the sole reason for buying an off-road axe is to chop wood, this would be the ideal choice. It has a special cutting-edge technology to split wood faster.
The hickory wood handle is comfortable and easy to grip. We prefer this as the number one offroad axe when chopping wood, but plenty of suitable options can efficiently split wood too.
With all the options provided, we rank the Fiskars Norden N12 as the number one choice. As an alternative, the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor axe would work, too, because of the head shape and heavy-duty handle.
About THE AUTHOR
Corey has been off-roading all his life, starting from a very young age on ATV's and dirt bikes. As he's grown older, his interests have focused more on larger off-roading vehicles like Jeeps and Toyotas. He lives for the slow and calculated crawl up (or down) steep terrain.Read More About Corey Brooks