If you’re looking for an inexpensive, do-all survival hatchet for your camping kit, you’ll want to check out the UST ParaHatchet FS. Featuring a quick-action line cutter on the back of the hatchet head, multiple hex-wrench cutouts that can be accessed with the sheath in place, and a squared-off head to be used with the included fire starter to produce sparks in any weather condition, this tool covers a lot of vital bases when it comes to survival and utility.

Specifications

Blade length: 4″

Hatchet head and blade
Hatchet head and blade

Size (hatchet only): 9.7″ L x 3.4″ W x 0.75″ D

Blade and handle materials: The blade is a black oxide stainless steel. The handle is wrapped in orange para-cord, which can be unwrapped to provide 8′ of cord for emergency use. The wrist lanyard can also be removed to provide an additional 1.6′ of cord. The blade steel is made from 3cr13 stainless steel. The 3cr13 stainless steel is a type of Chinese graded stainless steel similar to the 420 series popular in the United States. This steel is one of the most popular metals on the market when creating affordable and durable knives. It is extremely easy to sharpen this particular metal to a fine edge. Add the fact that the 3cr13 adds alloys to improve the natural resistance of corrosion already found in stainless steel and you have a tough metal made for daily use by the average consumer.

Paracord Handle
Paracord handle

Weight: 11.4 ounces

Application: Hiking, backpacking, bushcraft, and survival. This is a nice compact hatchet that will fit into almost any loadout.

Using the hatchet to strike a ferro rod.
Using the hatchet to strike a ferro rod

MSRP: $19.99

Pros

The tool’s compact size allows it to be easily carried in your pack or on your belt. The way the handle is designed allows you to choke up on the blade for improved dexterity and for jobs that require more precision and finesse.

Cons 

The nylon sheath seems to be an afterthought and is cheaply made. I suspect that, given its light weight, its ability to chop will be limited.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to get into the realm of hatchets, this is a good place to start. With the UST ParaHatchet, you’re not going to break the bank and you’ll have a tool that should last a long time.

(Featured image courtesy of Amazon)