Best Overland Axe for Camp and on the Trail

Whether you are chopping fire wood or clearing a down tree, ensure you're equipedwith the best overland ax to get the job done.

Our Top Overland Axe Picks

Image of Hudson Bay Camp Axe ► What We Run Hudson Bay Camp Axe
Image of Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe ► Compact Design Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe
Image of Fiskars IsoCore Maul ► Best Power Fiskars IsoCore Maul
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Some centuries ago, there was massive use of axe by people in their daily routine but nowadays its usage has become limited. Nowadays, it is also used in homes for some work but most folks who are keen on overlanding use axes to facilitate themselves in such adventures. Here we discuss some of the best axes for overlanding.

While camping you need an ax for cutting firewood. Many other things also needed to help the adventurous to live in the open air. If there are tree limbs in the track, overland axe help you to make the path clear.

When we discuss the types, there are many styles available according to the user’s needs. Before making a decision, a user should ensure whether it fulfills his needs. Here we guide you about the top three axes for overlanding.

What Things To Consider

  1. Chainsaws are still too smelly and loud for use on the trail or at basecamp.
  2. We are here to compare axes…

You should consider many things before buying an ax. Here we discuss some of the vital things that help people to make the right decision. The size and type is imperative to consider before buying because there are different kinds of overland axes available in the market. However, you must deliberate that which one you are selecting can fulfill all your needs.

Axes come in different lengths, materials, handles and styles. Keeping in mind the nature of travel, you should choose the best suitable Axe. Hatchet is a lightweight ax that many people like because it is easy to carry and use.

First decide the intent, whether you are looking to split logs or need to clear branches on the path. Here we guide you about features that people must consider before choosing any ax for overlanding.

Weight Of Axes

No one can deny that weight is a vital factor and everyone should consider it before making a decision. People who do not give importance to this feature usually face difficulty while camping. Therefore, we recommend all the users to consider whether the weight is suitable to carry because most of the time, they have to walk a long distance on foot.

Size Of Axes

There are many companies making axes for overlanding, you must check all, it will help you to make the right decision. Do not buy an ax without knowing its features. Here are the sizes that are common in usage.

  • Full-Size Ax
  • Compact Ax

A full-size ax length is around 36-inches while a compact ax is about 24-inches. Most people prefer compact while off-roading because it is easy to move. While a full-size ax is usually used by people who have planned to travel by road.

Style Of Axes

While buying an ax, you must consider its style because it is vital to meet your consideration. Here we discuss the types on the basics of splitting, felling tree and other generalized tasks. These the commonly used style in the US.

Splitting Axes

As the name shows, it is used to split logs into smaller pieces. To fulfill the task the head of this ax is taper and becomes wide at the thickest point. The wedge shape helps the user to split the wood into pieces with less force. You can use this style of axes for cutting trees and branches.

Felling Axes

This type of axes is also known as forest axes. Because it is used to chop down trees and branches. These axes are usually sharp and thin as they taper from the head. The design helps to cut deep into the tree and it can be stuck into the wood.

Pulaski Axes

It is known by the name of the person who developed this ax. This is also known as cutter Matlock with adze that is used for digging in the hard ground. It is in good demand because of its versatility. You can use it for at-hole, off-roading and overlanding.

Materials Of Axes

The material used in the construction of the ax is very vital. If the material is not right, you face many consequences. Therefore, before making any decision you should be very careful whether the material you are choosing fulfills your needs or not. Here are some of the commonly used materials for axes.

  • Steel
  • Composite
  • Wood

We have discussed various styles and materials in usage. Mostly steel heads with wooden handles are in usage. There also come plastic and fiberglass handles. Here we discuss how a newbie can choose the best axe.

How To Choose The Best?

Most people face difficulty in this step because they become confused in choosing the best suitable axe. While making your decision you should prioritize the style of an ax. If you mostly chop woods then, splitting ax is the best choice for you.

While if you are looking for an axe for clearing the track and some other activities, the Pulaski axe will be ideal for you because of its versatility. Most of the time, for overlanding, you should prefer a lightweight and compact because it is easy to use and effortless to carry.

Here we have listed the three best axes for overlanding. We have also listed their pros and cons, so you can decide the best possible axe for your needs. These are all of excellent quality with reasonable prices from reputable manufactures.

Our Favorite Overland Axes of 2021!

Hudson Bay Camp Axe Image

Hudson Bay Camp Axe

★★★★★ (4.8)

  • Perfect All-Round Overland Ax
  • High Carbon Steel Head
  • Balanced weight and length for power
  • Great for splitting wood and trail use

It is one of the tools that have many usages. The size of this ax is convenient for all outdoor adventures. If you are working with woods then it is imperative for you. The handle used in this overland ax is very easy to replace. You can change it in less than two minutes and not need any extra effort.

The blade of this ax is made of tough and durable 1055 carbon steel. The overall length is 27-inches and the cutting edge length is 4-inches. The head weight of this overland ax is 23.5 ounce while the overall weight is 44.2 ounce.  It is small enough that you can easily pack and also big enough that you can cut some lumber with its help. Because of its size, it finishes the gap between the hatchet and axe.

It is one of the best axes for overlanding because you can use it for most of the situation. If you have a plan of chopping small trees, splitting the kindle or clean the track, it proves to be the best option for you. It does not work well in chopping trees larger than 5-inch diameter.

If you have a medium budget then it is the best option. However, if there is no restriction of price then, we recommend Fiskars ax because it has no limitation.

Primary Benefits

You can use this in different situations because it is built for hard work. It comes in two different styles so, you can choose according to your preferences. When we discuss the European style head, it has a large 4-inch drop forged, 1055 high carbon steel and 4.5 inches cutting edge that helps to take big bites with every strike.

It also has a straight American hickory handle which is easy to grip and very sturdy and durable. Cold steel used in the overland ax can withstand tough outdoor conditions. It has excellent quality and great value. Due to its small size and lightweight, you can also pack it on a hunting trip. Because it is very sharp, so help you in


  • Perfect for chopping small trees
  • High carbon steel
  • Good sharpness
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Excellent power
  • Good design


  • A sheath is not available
  • Not good for heavy-duty cutting
  • Can face problem in replacing the handle
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe Image

Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

★★★★★ (4.3)

  • Compact design
  • Good power to weight ratio
  • Good for the car camper.

This is also one of the best axes for Overlanding. Whether you are looking to clear the track or chop firewood at camp, it proves to be an excellent option for you. The length of its handle is 19-inch and it comes with Gransfors Axe-book that helps the user to understand its working. The total weight of this overland axe is 2 lbs which is a very good feature. It also has a tanned leather sheath to avoid any vibrations while working. It is best for cutting small sticks.

Gransfors Bruks has a larger rugged steel blade, which is sturdy and sharp to facilitate people in unstoppable chopping power. It has a hickory handle that is durable and comfortable to use.

When we discuss from the size point of view, it is one of the smaller axes for overlanding but has enough size to get a good swing and that is needed for splitting wood. The size is very compact so easy to pack. It is also very lightweight so you do not face any difficulty while carrying it.

Primary Benefits

The quality of the axe is very good that is the reason you can get great performance from it. The handle is very smooth and looks beautiful. The balance is perfect which helps the user while working. Because of the quality-tanned leather, it avoids vibration while striking. The size of this overland axe is compact so you can easily carry it and can pack it in your bag.

It is very lightweight that helps the user to move with less weight. You can clear the tail with its help and can use it for cutting the firewood. Due to the high sharpness, you can also use it for hardwood. People should be very careful while using it because when it is new, its blade is very sharp.


  • High quality and performance
  • Beautiful smooth handle
  • Durable and sharp steel blade
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Quality leather sheath


  • Expensive
  • Not excellent for heavy work
Fiskars IsoCore Maul Image

Fiskars IsoCore Maul

★★★★★ (4.7)

  • Easily clear fallen trees on trail
  • Absorbs shock so very easy on hands.
  • Long 36 in handle for extra power
  • Manufacturer: Fiskars

It is the ultimate choice for all overland enthusiasts. Because they need a tough tool for the severe outdoor situation. Therefore, Fiskars axe is the best option for them. It has a lot of power compared to other axes. It is the best option for cutting medium to large-sized woods.

It is more than ideal for splitting wood around camp. You can use it in tough conditions, this is the reason why people like and use it most. It has an optimized blade geometry that helps to penetrate and cut tough logs. It absorbs most of the shock and vibration while striking. You can use it with full force because it transfers very little shock to the user.

Some people can also think that when you swing and strike it with full force, it can be detached. You should make clear that it has an inseparable riveted head that eliminates such misperception about this overland axe. The long 36-inch length helps you to create more power while swinging. The steel used in the blade is heat-treated with a rust-resistant coating. The handle used in this axe is a very soft grip and according to the shape of the user’s hand.

Primary Benefits

It is perfectly balanced and has an accurate power-to-weight ratio, which increases swing speed and ultimately enlarges power. You can understand it with the example of the aluminum baseball bat. When you chop woods with this axe, it takes less time and power to do the job.

The blade used in this overland axe is very efficient in working because of its shape and material. It has a hardened carbon steel head that works for a very long time. The shape of the blade helps it to come out from the wood.

The fiberglass handle used in it is lightweight but stronger than steel and unbreakable. It helps the user by minimizing the shock and vibrations while chopping the wood. You should not worry about losing the axe head because it has locks in its design that prevent it from unhitching from the handle.


  • Best for chopping large logs
  • Cuts deeper because of the thin blade
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Durable Sheath
  • Does Not Produce Vibrations
  • Lightweight and Shock Absorbing
  • As effective as a chainsaw.


  • Loses its sharpness by time
  • Expensive

Reviewed Overland Axes

Summary list of all the Overland Axes we reviewed for this article.

Hudson Bay Camp Axe Cold Steel23.5 oz27 in4.8Check Current Price
Small Forest Axe Anchor Marine Co.24 oz19 in4.3Check Current Price
IsoCore Maul Fiskars10 lb36 in4.3Check Current Price
Trail BossCold Steel41.5 oz 27in4.7Check Current Price

Our Overland Axe Recommendation

After reading whole article, you will be very much sure that which one best meets your needs. However, due to our experience with different overlanding axes, we recommend you to use Hudson Bay Camp Axe because it will prove beneficial for you in most cases. We have ours strapped to the side of our GOBI rack and has held up to miles of travel. However, for overlanding it is best option for you because it will be helpful for most of the tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Overland Axes

Will this fell a 12in round tree?

Overland Axes with longer 27″ handles should make quick work of a small or medium sized tree in the path.

Do these include sheath for the blade?

The Hudson Bay camping ax

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