The Ultimate Guide To Cutting Tools For Camping, Bushcraft, And Survival

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Each cutting tool has its own purpose. This table gives a quick comparison.

Though if you want a single tool that will accomplish everything a knife can’t, then check out the Woodsman’s Pal.

Cutting Tool For Camping Comparison Table

Name Weight Clearing Brush Chopping Removing Plants Shaping Wood
Machete 1 lb X X
Hatchet 1 lb X
Ax 2 lb X
Folding Saw 8 oz X
Bushcraft Knife 8 oz X

I think for the average camper a good kitchen knife and a folding saw will be enough.

If you need to bushwack on a backpacking trail, a machete is going to be a better addition.

However, if you need to chop up firewood for a long winter in your mountain cabin, a hatchet or ax is going to be better.

Though with any cutting tool, please take the proper safety precautions.

Hatchets Vs Machetes

A lot of people find it difficult to choose between hatchets and machetes. Sometimes, it might seem like both do the same thing but that is untrue.

They do have a wide array of benefits and each one should be used for specific tasks that are best-suited for their features. By analyzing what each one has to offer, you are going to learn more about what you are investing in and how it will work out.

Here is a detailed comparison of hatchets and machetes.

What is a Hatchet?

In general, hatchets are referred to as small axes that can be used as a hammering force. They are robust, offer comprehensive power, and will work well on drier wood.

What is a Machete?

A machete is a tool that is known for offering slashing force through wet wood or plants. It can offer good cleaning capabilities and is noted for being a light-duty ax in some situations. It tends to have the same weight as a hatchet.

Weight of These Tools

As you are looking at both options, you will want to begin with the weight.

For the most part, both of them weigh the same. However, a general machete is going to come in at under a pound, while a hatchet is going to be slightly heavier at 1.5 lbs. However, some are also going to be near the 1 pound mark.

It all comes down to preference and usability because weight isn’t going to play a role in what you are using.

Clearing Brush

When you are camping, it’s possible to have to deal with a brush. This is when a machete is going to do a great job. It will have a larger blade that can get through a thick brush without a problem. You won’t need to swing hard to get through the thick plants and/or wood.

Which One Is Better For Camping?

When you are looking at camping trips, you will want a tool that is used outdoors. You will want something that isn’t going to let you down when you need it the most.

In a situation such as this, it comes down to the type of work you are going to be doing on-site.

For those who are going to be collecting a little bit of firewood, you should be settling for something stronger such as a hatchet. It will allow you to deal with harder wood better than a machete would.

On the other hand, if you are going to a more tropical setting, you might have to get through considerable foliage, which is when a machete is more useful.


Let’s assume you are going to be working on smaller branches. In situations such as these, it’s recommended to use a quality machete. It will offer a cleaner result as you work through all of the branches one by one. A lot of people will use machetes when they are working through a thick trail and want to get rid of the greenwood that’s around them.

Softer wood should be handled with a machete because it will be a smoother cutting process. It will slice right through and you won’t require a lot of force to get the job done.


When you are trying to drop a tree, it is highly recommended to go with a hatchet. You are going to need the additional slicing power that comes along with a hatchet. It will deliver a greater amount of force and it won’t put a lot of stress on your body at the same time.

General Slicing

For situations where you are going to be making general slices, it is okay to go with either hatchet and/or machetes.

When working at odd angles, you will want to use a machete. It will retain enough power regardless of the angle you are slicing from. This is ideal in the wild because not everything is going to be a straightforward cutting experience.

Removing Plants

When it is time to work on something similar to vines, you will want to have a machete in hand. It is going to make it a lot easier to get through the tangled vines without having to continually use a lot of force.

There is nothing wrong with using a hatchet in a situation such as this, you are going to see good results with a machete with vines or other types of plants. If necessary, it is okay to go ahead with the hatchet but you will not be optimizing the amount of force that’s being used.

Concluding Thoughts

In the end, both are comprehensive tools that pack a punch.

You will want to take the one that is going to work best for your situation when camping. For those who want to go with something that can clear a trail, it’s recommended to go with a machete. It will be easier to carry and you are going to have a much simpler time getting rid of softer wood.

It’s also important to note the choice is going to come down to what you expect. Sometimes, you are going to have to deal with trees on-site, which means you will need more energy with each slice. This is when a hatchet is going to get the job done better. Otherwise, the average person should be going with a machete as it will deliver good value.

For those who know they will be facing drier wood when camping, it might be better to go with a hatchet. It will offer a crisper slicing experience so you don’t have to keep working on the same piece of wood while wasting energy.

For the most part, you should always focus on where you are going to be camping.

Softer wood requires machetes and harder wood will require hatchets. Find out what you are going to be dealing with and go from there to see good results. It will save you a lot of time and energy by doing this.

Ax Vs Machete

One merely has to take a look at Internet news sites or read newspaper headlines to swiftly comes to the realization that we live in an increasingly dangerous world. Natural disasters are becoming more prevalent and more delay and disease, as well as political instability, are both having a direct impact on the quality of our lives - and weather, man-made disasters, and many other events can cause physical harm to ourselves and our loved ones. For these reasons many people have embraced the prepper lifestyle which allows them to flee from areas that are affected by disaster at a moment’s notice.

one of the most important considerations that must be taken into account when preparing to ‘bug out’ is just what essential equipment to pack into that all-important backpack or bug out bag - and this is where careful consideration of whether a machete or an axe/hatchet is the best choice when it comes to wilderness survival.

Of course, as with any tool, the choice must be fit for purpose. Although on the face of its both an ax and a machete may appear to share many commonalities they are very different tools and are suitable for very different tasks.

Let’s take a close look.

A machete is far lighter than an ax, avoiding the fatigue of using it for long periods of time. Although it may lack the power of an ax (which is primarily a function of a heavier, more compact head and the leverage of a longer handle) it is ideal for clearing away brush. A machete is also ideal for light wood chopping. Although one hopes that self-defense will not be an issue while out in the wilderness a machete, due to the nature of its extended blade is close to the ideal bladed weapon.

For heavier wood clearing and chopping tasks, it’s hard to beat the ax. The weight of the blade and the extended handle make most of this heavier work a breeze. However, as mentioned earlier in this article fatigue can be a problem. Although getting the best from an ax may take a bit of practice it can be safer to use than a machete - simply because the blade is further away from extremities. However, as with all bladed tools, it’s preferable to have an experienced outdoorsman show a novice the ropes. An ax can be an effective weapon - however, the user will quickly become tired - and it almost goes without saying that it is severely limited in application in smaller spaces.

There’s very little difference when it comes to the price of top-end machetes and axes, however, an argument could be made that the machete is the more versatile tool. It’s also easier to carry in a backpack when venturing out in the natural world.

When all is said and done the initial point still applies. buy the correct tool for the job - and learn how to use it. make sure that it is suitable for the environment and the tasks you will be faced with and both tools can provide an invaluable asset when faced with a wilderness situation.

Ax Vs Hatchet

If you are going to be spending time outdoors - and given the fact that it one of the best ways to escape and recover from the stress of modern-day life it’s an option you should be considering, one of the essential decisions you will have to make is what sort of equipment you will be using. Of course, there are the usual camping essentials such as your choice of a sleeping bag or tent - but if you will be enjoying Mother Nature you are going to have to choose between an ax and a hatchet - but what are the differences - and which will suit your individual needs.

Let’s take a closer look at these two options.

However, before even considering the choice it’s important to know that your choice will revolve around the terrain that you will encounter and the unique challenges that you will face when camping. In other words, your choice must be based on which piece of equipment is ‘fit for purpose’.

The major difference between an ax and a hatchet is in the length of the handle and often the design of the head. An ax usually features a steel double-beveled shallow or deep wedge angle for cutting wood or splitting wood. A hatchet on the other hand features a much shorter handle and often has that cutting edge on one side of the head and a hammer head on the opposite side. But it should be said that there are numerous variations on those themes.

So which will be best for your uses. It depends on what you want to get out of the tool that you are using and the unique nature of your camping experience. An ax has the advantage of that longer handle - which means that the simple principles of leverage come into play - you can strike with more force - and the fact that it can be used two-handed means that even more force can be applied. The downsides are that using an ax is tiring - and its utility is based on the fact that you have plenty of room to swing. It’s also bulky, which means that hiking to your camping destination can prove a logistical nightmare if you are carrying an ax. But it’s a tool that is hard to beat when dealing with larger pieces of wood.

Now - hatchets are more compact and lighter - making storage and hiking challenges not as much of an issue. Hatchets can also be used with a single hand. The result is a bladed tool that is ideal for dealing with brush - but not as useful when dealing with hardwood or larger branches and logs. There is also the consideration that a hatchet might be better suited for self-defense, although hopefully the average camper will not be faced with a situation where they have to defend themselves. It also needs to be said that those models with the hammer on the other ide of the blade provide added functionality.

When all is said and done the choice between an ax and a hatchet will depend on your individual preferences and the environment that you will have to deal with. Fit for purpose is the guiding principle.

Bushcraft Knife Vs Hatchet

Camping can be a lot of fun when you have the right tools on hand.

For those who are going to be heading out into the wilderness, you will want to be well-equipped. This includes finding the right chopping tools to slice through wood and/or anything else that comes in front of you during the camping trip.

Keeping this in mind, two tools often get compared to each other. These are none other than the bushcraft knife and hatchet.

This article will take a look at what each one brings to the table and which one is right for camping.


Let’s start with the weight of both tools.

In general, both are going to be similar in weight and there won’t be much of a difference when comparing the two. However, this will depend on the type of knife or hatchet you go with including which materials are used to manufacture it.

However, most are going to be in the same range as each other, so the weight will not be an issue moving forward.

Chopping Efficiency

When camping, you are only going to care about the chopping efficiency of your tool.

In this regard, the hatchet is going to do a much better job of chopping through wood and/or anything else that comes in front of it. This has to do with leverage and the amount of power you can generate with the hatchet in your hand.

Hatchets are designed in a way where all of the weight is near the front of the tool. This makes it a lot easier to chop through anything while getting the momentum of the tool heading in the right direction. The same doesn’t apply to the bushcraft knife.


The one thing bushcraft knives do well has to do with versatility.

You are going to have a much easier time carrying the knife due to its shape. This makes it better when you’re trying to quickly cut through vines and/or other smaller items that are in your way.

The versatility of the bushcraft knife can be useful when you are trying to survive in the wild.

Final Thoughts

When you are trying to figure out which one is better, it comes down to your needs on the camping trip.

A person that is going to be chopping a lot of wood will need the hatchet. While a bushcraft knife might be able to get through the solid wood, it might not be as efficient as you want it to be.

This is why most people look to keep the hatchet with them for harder cuts in the woods.

On the other hand, if the goal is only to have something to slice through smaller branches and/or vines while setting up, you are going to like the bushcraft knife. It is all about weight management and that is something you do get with the knife.

In the end, you will have to choose the tool that is best suited for your camping trip.

Bushcraft Knife Vs Machete

When you are taking a look at different camping tools, you will come across both the bushcraft knife and machete.

These are camping tools that have been used for years and continue to be a go-to option for those who are camping all the time. While this is true, you are still going to have to think about your options and what you are investing in.

Here is a comparison of what a bushcraft knife and machete are all about. This information will go a long way in making sure you end up with something versatile, effective, and safe.

Power Output

The main comparison will come with the power output.

When you are holding a machete in your hands, you are going to realize the amount of force it can generate. This has to do with how the weight is distributed across the machete. It has a more front-dominant design, which means when you slice something, the weight is going to transfer to the blade.

This is key when it comes to making sure the cuts are crisp and fast. A bushcraft knife is not a bad option but it can take a bit of time to cut through harder items.


In general, when it comes to overall efficiency in terms of effort, you are going to retain more value from the machete.

A good-quality machete is going to allow you to cut through wood and/or plants without having to worry about how much force is going into it. The machete is designed in a way where it will leverage your slice the right way.

This is good for those who just want to have something easy to take out and use within seconds. It is not going to require minutes upon minutes of work to get through different natural materials. This is a positive that comes along with the machete.


When it comes to using a modern bushcraft knife, you are going to have a versatile solution. This means it can cut through a wide array of materials and is going to be easy to keep in your possession while traveling. This is why a lot of people invest in knives.

Just having something that is easy to hold onto and provides a good amount of versatility while camping matters.

It will provide peace of mind and that is something to account for as a camping enthusiast.

Final Thoughts

There is a sense of power that comes along with a machete and this can be useful when dealing with severe vines and/or other plants. Even wet wood can be handled better by machetes, which is good for those who are going to be spending a lot of time in moist-ridden climates.

If you are someone that wants an effective, powerful tool then a machete is the way to go.

Otherwise, if you just want a bit of versatility without having something cumbersome in your hands then it is time to take a look at a bushcraft knife.

Folding Saw Vs Ax

When you start sifting through different types of tools, you will want to go with something unique, powerful, and efficient.

This is when you are going to come across two tools - the folding saw and axe.

Each person has a differing opinion about what they need on a camping trip. This is why it’s important to break down what each one has to offer and which tool is ideal for your next trip outdoors.

Here is a detailed assessment of the folding saw and axe.

Splitting Force

The one thing you are going to care about when heading outdoors is the ability to carve through dry wood. This is a common requirement for those who are going to be making a fire.

As a result, it is important to put this at the top of the list when comparing these two tools.

In general, a folding saw will do well when it comes to thicker wood. It is going to save you a lot of time and you can be more deliberate with where the cutting force is going. This is why more and more beginners lean towards folding saws when heading out for a camping trip.


When it comes to overall efficiency, you are going to want to take a look at a saw.

This is a solution that is going to work well with different types of wood and will generate a good amount of force.

Plus, a saw is going to be easier to use for the average person. A lot of beginners prefer going with the folding saw as it ensures the cuts are good and sharp without compromising their health. It is also a versatile solution that is good to have around with you whenever you to go the woods.

With an axe, you can do well with smaller pieces of wood and you can get a good amount of force with it too.


A lot of people don’t account for safety when it comes to choosing between two tools. In this regard, the saw is going to be a lot safer when sectioning wood. This is key when you are outdoors and you are looking to create a fire.

Just having the ability to go ahead and use the tool without harming yourself or the wood is great. The sectioning will be clean with the use of a saw and that alone is beneficial while camping.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to finding the right fit, you will want to go with a tool that works well with what you are going to be doing outdoors.

For example, those who will be sectioning wood throughout the trip should be carrying a saw. It simply works better for that task and is going to keep you safer at the same time.

On the other hand, those who want to go with an efficient solution will want to go with an axe. It generates a good amount of force and will ensure the cuts are crisp.

Folding Saw Vs Hatchet

As you begin camping, you are going to care a lot about what you are using and what you have in your backpack.

Whether this is to cut vines, trees, and/or anything else, you will want something that works. To do this, you will come across two options in the form of a folding saw and a hatchet.

This comparison will take a deep dive into understanding what the tools are all about, how they work, and whether or not you should be leaning towards one or the other.

Power Output

When you are going to be handling a lot of dry wood, you will care about power. You will want something that is weighted in a way where the blade will pack a punch when you begin slicing.

In that case, the hatchet wins.

It offers great weight distribution as the blade receives most of the weight. This means when you use the blade, it is going to generate a good amount of force.

A folding saw does offer a good amount of power too but it is not the same as a hatchet. It will not do as well with dry wood but it can handle other types of cuts efficiently. This can be an issue if you want to make a quick fire in the woods.


The one thing you are going to care about will be efficiency.

The hatchet is efficient because it offers a good amount of power. This means you can slice through things quickly and see the results you are hoping for without wasting time.

On the other hand, a folding saw is going to take a bit of time to use but it will be effective too. This all comes down to what you prefer when it comes to efficiency but a hatchet does offer a higher amount of power for dry wood.


When it comes to safety, you are not going to get anything better than the folding saw. This is a saw that is ideal for beginners because it cuts nicely and isn’t going to get in the way of what you are doing while camping.

This doesn’t mean you can wield it around aimlessly but it will be more forgiving.

The same doesn’t apply to a hatchet that has more force behind it due to the weight distribution.

Final Thoughts

The folding saw is often recommended for beginners because it is easier to hold and use. This does matter if you are someone that is camping for the first time and just want a tool that will cut through as many things as possible when necessary.

However, for those who are going to be sectioning wood, you are going to need a bit of power in your hands. This is when the hatchet becomes useful.

It is not easy to deal with dry wood and a hatchet offers enough leverage to ensure it cuts through immediately.

A folding saw is good for beginners, while those who are going to be dealing with drier wood should look at getting a hatchet.

Folding Saw Vs Machete

The recent twelve months have proven extremely stressful for people all over the world. Remote work and the widespread inability to venture out into public spaces - or enjoy the proven mental benefits of outdoor activities such as camping have piled on that stress. However, thankfully in many areas, those restrictions on movement are gradually being lifted - meaning that lovers of the outdoors can once again venture into the welcoming arms of Mother Nature. This has also proven to be an opportunity for many to take a long hard look at their camping gear - and perhaps make some changes/upgrades.

Decisions, decisions.

One of the common concerns for those looking to optimize their camping experience is whether an ax or a machete is best for their uses - however there another option that many seriously consider when it comes to leveraging the utility of a machete - is there an argument to be made for swapping out that machete for a foldable saw? Of course, that decision will depend largely on individual requirements and the sorts of terrain that will feature in that long-anticipated camping excursion. But there is certainly an argument to be made for the folding saw.

Why choose a folding saw?

Firstly although a machete is lighter than an ax and more compact a folding saw leaves both in the dust when it comes to portability. These tools are incredibly light and compact and are therefore ideal for those who face a hike to get to their intended camping spot.

That said the individual choice of which design of folding saw to choose is still an important consideration - especially when it comes to that all-important weight issue. The handle is the weightiest part of the saw - and the camper is faced with three common alternatives - plastic, wood, and steel, with plastic (usually with rubberized coating) being the lightest option.

There are other considerations when evaluating the machete and the folding saw. The first is the material. If you are leaning towards a folding saw make sure that you are purchasing one that is manufactured using high-quality steel alloy. It’s incredibly tough and retains its edge even under the harshest of use. that blade is also what sets the machete and the folding saw apart. Obviously, there are advantages to having teeth on the blade - it can make dealing with wood easier than chopping. However, sharpening the saw tooth blade can be an arduous task, with sharpened tooth models requiring a diamond file or sharpener. These models tend to be a little more pricey and do require that extra effort when it comes to maintenance - but that effort is rewarded by a saw that is incredibly effective at dealing with branches.

What's the verdict?

Once again the selection of a folding saw or a machete is a personal one and one that will depend on circumstance, functionality requirements and the environment. However - a folding saw is certainly an option that should be carefully considered by the avid lover of the outdoor camping experience.

Bushcraft Knife Vs. Folding Saw

There’s often confusion when you have to decide between carrying a bushcraft knife or a folding saw for your camping trip. Both are excellent but suitable for different purposes. If you have to pick one, you need to keep a few factors in mind. They help differentiate between the two types of knives, allowing you to pick one for your next camping trip.

1. Purpose of use

Your camping location often determines which type of knife you should carry. Bushcraft knives are ideal for wilderness activities, such as wood carving, rope trimming, animal skinning, and cutting tree limbs. These knives are popular for their flexibility, reliability, and durability for outdoor activities on camping trips.

On the other hand, a folding saw is suitable if you need to cut down branches that can become fuel for your campfire. The only difference between a regular saw and a folding saw is the latter is lightweight and foldable. A folding saw is available in various sizes. You should choose one according to your carrying capacity. A big folding saw isn’t one that you usually need for camping. Go for a medium or small-sized folding saw if you have to cut down small limbs or broken branches.

2. Size and weight

A folding saw is heavier than a bushcraft knife. Bushcraft knives are smaller, and hence, weigh less. They often look like pocket knives. But a folding saw is bigger and heavier. Make sure you are carrying a folding saw only if you have plans to make branches as your campfire fuel. Otherwise, it can be quite inconvenient to carry it around, especially if you camp after hiking for hours.

The advantage of a folding saw is you can cut anything you want. From trimming ropes to cutting down branches, it can do whatever a bushcraft knife does. But the only downside is its size and weight.

3. Blade size and material

Folding saws would have been heavier had they used stainless steel as blades. But most folding saws come with high carbon steel. This allows the saw to be lightweight even though it can cut through branches easily. The only thing you need to keep in mind while using this type of knife is its maintenance. Make sure you keep the blade dry and clean before putting it away. This makes the folding saw rust-proof. But if you are looking to use it in a humid environment, you should ideally get a stainless steel folding saw. That would avoid rust altogether.

A bushcraft knife comes in two materials: carbon steel or stainless steel. You can choose one according to the camping location. A moist and humid camping spot can make carbon steel rusty by the time you leave. It is better to choose a stainless steel knife as it can cut through tough objects easily without worrying about rust.

You can learn more about bushcraft knives here.

You should pick one of these knives depending on your unique applications. Also, don’t forget to consider the size, weight, and blade type to avoid inconvenience at the campsite.

Woodsman's Pal 2.0 - A Multi-Purpose Survival Tool

Woodman's Pal 2.0 - Multi-Use Axe Machete with Sheath - Survival Machete Ideal for Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Bushcraft - Perfect Brush Axe for SurveyingWoodman's Pal 2.0 - Multi-Use Axe Machete with Sheath - Survival Machete Ideal for Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Bushcraft - Perfect Brush Axe for SurveyingWoodman's Pal 2.0 - Multi-Use Axe Machete with Sheath - Survival Machete Ideal for Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Bushcraft - Perfect Brush Axe for Surveying


The idea behind the creation of Woodsman’s Pal stretches some time back, during combat operations throughout the widespread Pacific Ocean. These include during Vietnam War, the Korean War, and World War II. Aircrews would crash land at times. And that’s when they would require a tool that was hearty, durable, and strong enough to hack through jungle terrain while making protective enclosures. Undoubtedly, the Woodsman’s Pal was ideal for the job.

Woodsman’s Pal 2.0 is basically an upgrade of the traditional design. This product of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, has many unique features that allow it to be used in a wider variety of settings. It is a knife, brush ax, shovel, and machete all combined in one. Perfect for survival, surveying, land management, bushcraft, hunting, fishing, or camping. It is easily might have been applied in Braveheart or some other medieval setting.

You can clearly see that it is a no-nonsense cleaver for branches, wood, meat, fingers, plastic, or just about whatever else you may think of. You have already learned a bit of this tool’s backstory. Now, let’s get to why this is recommended as the perfect camping survival tool.

Apart from using this tool around your house if you own a wood-burning stove or fireplace, Woodsman’s Pal 2.0 can be much useful when it comes to camping. It is also heavy. Although this might be confusing when talking about how weight causes fatigue, it is safe to say that tools that are heavy and well-built in your hand will help inspire confidence, resulting in a calm demeanor. It won’t matter whether it is a screwdriver, an ax, or a rifle, you can truly recognize when quality is in your hands.

What’s more, its cutting edge is absolutely one of the best you can ever find for something smaller than a conventional ax. With its long, arched cutting surface, an average person can quickly chop through a 38mm tree diameter.

The Woodsman’s Pal 2.0 can also be applied to split smaller wood pieces into kindling without having to worry whether the tool will get warped or damaged. Both the ash wood handle and the attractive leather sheath of your new Woodsman’s Pal are handmade and well-finished by Amish craftsmen.

Typically, each blade is uniquely hand sharpened to ensure that the machete can cut through everything. Some people might be reading this and thinking that their machete-style knife may do the same thing. This would be a mistake.

Safety when it comes to Woodsman’s 2.0, as well as all bladed tools, is of utmost significance, and it is in this realm that the “Pal 2.0” outdoes the machete. Many machete-style knives tend to flex and wobble like an elongated piece of spring steel and typically consist of a plastic grip without a guard near the heal.

If you have been out camping, you already know that it is always about the smaller wood and bark pieces that make a fire grow. Woodsman’s Pal 2.0 would be perfect a perfect tool for this!