Hatchet Handiness

This handheld mini ax does much more than chop wood. It can be your all-around multitool when deep in the backwoods. Here are some uses of a hatchet that may not have been on your radar.

SHAVING TINDER—Although it may seem like a clunky, cumbersome tool, a hatchet can produce finely shaved tinder from large logs with relative ease. Just find the correct angle and let the sharp blade do the work. You’ll have fire in no time flat.

The Ucon Hawk is designed by Leo Espinoza and available through TopsKnives.com

HAMMERING STAKES—With a quick flip of your wrist, your hatchet becomes a hammer, useful to pound stakes into the ground with unrelentless power. No need to carry two tools; leave the hammer at home and utilize your hatchet to create your shelter.

SNOW AND ICE TOOL—Most think woods and forest when a hatchet comes to mind, but winter applications are also no problem for the hatchet. Pound and break ice chunks to build wind breaks or crack through the ice over a stream to fish. Don’t forget your hatchet during the cold winter months!

Two pre-drilled holes are available to add paracord to hang your Hawk when not in use.

One characteristic of the Ucon Hawk that truly affects its durability and long life is its full tang design.

SAPLING REMOVER—Yes, it’s tough to cut trees down with a hatchet, but saplings? No problem! Get on your knees and strike downward at the perfect angle for perhaps a one-strike fell of the immature tree. A sharp edge can fell dozens of saplings quickly and efficiently.

GAME PROCESSOR—Hack through bone, sinew, and muscle fibers with power. A knife can handle the finesse, but a hatchet makes the cuts needed to disassemble the animal quickly for further processing.

FIRE STARTER—After all other options are exhausted for making fire, a hatchet can step in and acts as your scraper to throw a spark onto the awaiting tinder (created from the hatchet, by the way!). Use this as a last resort, as you may slightly damage your hatchet.

PERSONAL PROTECTOR—Sharp, powerful, and wielded with one arm, a hatchet can offer protection from four-legged beasts and, in some instances, two-legged predators. Like a weapon from centuries ago, this tool can drive away even the most vicious of creatures.

SIGNALER—If the hatchet has a shiny, metallic finish, it can act as a signaler reflecting the bright sun’s rays into the sky to attract planes or helicopters. Find the correct angle and flash three times up into the sky. Three is the universal signal for help.

The hammer end of the Hawk is a bit small overall and some misses may occur when you need to pound tent stakes into the ground.