Pros: Head Material, Balance, Construction, Weight, Handle Material, None
Cons: Weight, Handle Material
A fine survival tool
Hmm. This Svord Axe Hatchet is an interesting tool. It's small and light enough to be carried unobtrusively in your daypack. It's well balanced (the blade pulls you forward on a snap-cut, yet the minimal weight is such that it's easy to steer) and sharp as the Dickens (that ugly plasticky sheath gets sliced when you draw the hatchet - you can shave with the blade as it comes from the factory). The finger hole in the blade indicates that the designers had visions of uses doing ulu cuts with the blade, and this would truly shine in a game-processing role (add a small pocket knife, and you've got all the kit you need). You can chop wood with this hatchet, but it wouldn't be the first thing I'd grab for such use - the small, light blade is kinda marginal for such usage. In a branch-flicking/trail blazing mode, this light and easy-to-control hatchet would do fine. The plastic handle is not the most comfortable thing on impact and it sort of forces your grip into a configuration that may or may not be the one you want for a given usage role. It's artfully textured and has not seemed slippery in my usage to date. The steel is good quality carbon steel and - as mentioned supra - comes razor sharp (and coated with some gunky Cosmolene-ish stuff, which is good for those of us who don't like rust). One-piece construction means sturdy and solid. The sheath is schlocky, but it works to hold the hatchet - frankly, I'm always afraid of cutting myself when drawing and sheathing the blade and I don't feel the sheath is especially handy for the in-and-out activity that comes with woodswalking use. I like that the handle is blaze orange and the sheath is Tonka-truck yellow: I don't like having to look for my tools, and I don't like them looking Rambo-ish. If you have this in your suitcase when going through Customs into Canada, no one is going to think "Weapon?" for even a second: this sucker is clearly a tool. Although - despite its looks - the Svord Axe Hatchet turns out to have the right size, weight, and maneuverability for a defensive hatchet if you're into such things.And it's kind of an all-around, good to have with you in the daypack or BOB tool - I'm very glad to own it for that purpose. Wood-chopping is do-able, though a heavier blade would be (of course) better. Cutting and hammering tent pegs? Sure thing. Game-processing is definitely do-able - I'd take this along on an elk hunt in a heartbeat. Trailblazing and branch-whacking - the Svord Axe Hatchet would just dance in your hand (and it would do the same in a fighting role for those interested in such thoughts). You're going to have to take care of the blade, and you'll want to be wary when drawing or sheathing it. Mine now lives in my daypack, and I'm delighted to have found it here at such a great price.