Difference between a hatchet and an axe

Posted on March 22, 2017 By

Both hatchet and axe are tools that have been used since ancient times for shaping, cutting and splitting wood. Both are similar in looks and serve purposes that are similar. But the axe and hatchet are very different tools .

The Axe

This was one of the first tools that were designed by man. It was used to survive in a hostile environment that was full of thick vegetation and wild animals. The earliest axe was made of stone instead of iron or steel. The axe has a wedge and a long handle that reduces the effort needed to chop wood.

The hatchet

The hatchet is often called a small axe because it is meant to be used with just one hand instead of two. This means that the hatchet is meant for smaller jobs. Most people will use hatchets to cut through thick and dense woods instead of being used to cut wood. It is also used a safety weapon by those who live near areas filled with wild animals. There are some hatchets that will have a hammer attached to them.


  • Size is a big difference. The hatchet is smaller than the axe.
  • Axe is normally used with both hands to chop wood while a hatchet only needs one hand is made for smaller jobs.
  • The blade of the hatchet is wider than the axe. It tapers out similar to a V.
  • A hatchet is not the same thing as a hand axe.
  • The hatchet is basically an all in onetool that may be used for more than cutting wood as there are some that use it against animals.