Even if you have a full suite of chainsaws and log splitters, you still need quality hand tools to help with your cutting and splitting chores. We’re taking a closer look at Hooyman axes and hatchets to see how well they translate our muscle into cutting efficiency.
Hooyman has two hatchets to choose from with either a 14-inch or 18-inch handle. Like we saw with Hooyman’s sledges, the handle is made from reinforced fiberglass. They’re hollow cored to reduce the overall weight of the tool, but strong enough to withstand overstriking. In fact, Hooyman tells us it’s the strongest construction currently on the market.
The green base of the handle has a no-slip overmold that also improves grip comfort. The bottom flares out and helps prevent the handle from completely slipping out of your hand. With the weight of these hatchets, you can generate a lot of swing speed, and that extra level of grip security is nice to have.
Wrapping up the handle features, there’s a hang hole near the base.
Moving up to the business end, these hatchets have a single cutting edge rather than a tomahawk-style twin blade design. While having both sides available of chopping is nice, Hooyman’s design is great for gripping at the head and doing some precision slicing when you need to make tinder from larger branches.
The blade is a 1065 high-carbon steel blend and the cutting edge itself is V-grind. As the head curves down towards the edge, the grind cuts in at a hard angle, leaving a stronger, sharper edge than a steady taper. When it’s time to sharpen your hatchet, be sure to match that grind to keep the edge’s strength intact.
The 18-inch model has a higher mass blade and not just a longer handle—the overall weight of the 14-inch is 1.4 pounds and the 18-inch is 2.3 pounds.
Either way you go, they’re both easy to swing and very effective at chopping through smaller branches.
Grab the smaller model for $30.99 or the larger for $35.99.
Hooyman Chopping Axe
Take the concept of Hooyman’s hatchets, scale it up, and you effectively get the Hooyman chopping axe. The handle characteristics are the same, it’s just 28 inches long with a thicker girth.
The blade starts from the same 1065 high-carbon steel. The edge has the same V-grind and the sides have a more concave curve than the smaller hatchet blades.
The overall weight is 4.3 pounds.
As far as chopping goes, this is the one to get if you’re only going to have one axe or hatchet. It gives you more mass and a longer handle to tackle larger branches and it still cuts smaller limbs just fine. The obvious trade-off here is that you don’t have as much precise control as you do with a hatchet.
Retail pricing on this one is $49.99.
Hooyman Splitting Axe
Moving up to Hooyman’s splitting axe, the handle is identical to the chopping axe. All the differences are on the head design with changes to the shape and weight. It still has a V-grind edge, but it’s not as concave and it flares out to more of a wedge for splitting duties.
The design work well for splitting those smaller and medium-sized logs. However, the total weight is 5.3 pounds and you’ll want to move up in mass to the splitting maul if you’re tackling larger diameter logs and denser species.
The splitting axe runs $54.99.
Hooyman Splitting Maul
For your heavy-duty splitting, Hooyman’s splitting maul is the way to go. With an 8-pound head and 11-pound, 2 oz. overall weight, it helps you deliver the greatest force into the log.
The head is the most concave of the Hooyman axes and hatchets lineup, helping it to plunge deeper into the wood while its aggressive wedge shape pushes it apart. It also helps get the head back out if the log doesn’t split right away.
The handle is longer, giving the tool a total length of 35 1/2 inches. Unlike the axes, there’s an additional layer of overmold around the top grip area to help when you start your swing. The extra overmold is nice, but it’ll take damage quickly if you overstrike.
The base of the handle doesn’t flare out the same way the axes do, either. Instead, it has a more traditional butt design.
This one runs $54.99.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line for an axe or hatchet is that the tool needs to make the most of the effort you’re putting into it. Hooyman does an excellent job across the board with their line of axes and hatchets, keeping the grip comfortable and the handle vibration near zero as they chop and split ’till the job is done.
Discover more at Hooyman’s website!