Hatchets are excellent tools for the outdoors, mainly when they’re used and stored away correctly. Whether you use a hatchet for preparing firewood, building shelters, or general bushcraft, hatchets can be your best friend.
However, unless taken care of, they can quickly be rendered useless. A large and vital part of this is storing hatchets responsibly and safely, ensuring that the tool is kept in good shape and can perform to the best of its abilities. Today, we’ll break down the various ways to safely store a hatchet.
This will put you in a better position to be smart with hatchets and give you something to reference for the future. Let’s get into how to safely store a hatchet!
Invest in a quality sheath
When buying a hatchet, many options will come with a sheath. Sheaths are protective cases that keep outside elements from messing with the blade of the hatchet. They are also for protective purposes. If a hatchet is just lying around with no cover, accidents can happen, and no one wants that.
Now, the sheath that comes along with the purchase may not be that of excellent quality. Investing in a sheath, preferably leather, made to last and be of high protective quality is essential. This ensures that both you and the hatchet are safe from anything happening.
For many purists, leather is the best sheath type out there. This is because of the inherent protective features as well as they look. Leather sheaths have a classic look that is very appealing. Plus, their lives are quite long. You can spend some extra money knowing that it will last a long time.
Other types of sheaths include nylon and Kydex. These are both synthetic materials and have their perks. Generally, these two are used for tactical hatchets. At the end of the day, it comes to personal preference.
Clean your hatchets after heavy uses
Whether you use your hatchet for light work or intense sessions of chopping, there is going to be some wear. After all, tools are made to be used, so there is going to be some grime and gunk stuck to the hatchet.
After these types of use, it is important to keep the blade and head in the best condition possible. Right after use, wipe down the hatchet and make sure there are no visible ailments or particles before being put into storage. This is fairly obvious, but you would be surprised how often people forget this little yet important step.
After cleaning your hatchet, there is another feature that can help store your tool safely. This is axe or hatchet oil. This is a product that creates a protective coating over the metal to stop any outside influence like moisture to create rust. Hatchet oil is fairly cheap, so this is an easy step to ensure a safe, clean tool.
Lock it up when not in use
How you store your hatchet is incredibly important. This will directly affect what you can do with the tool out in the field. We will dive into some great storage tips, but to start, you should lock up your hatchet when not actively using it. Whether you have small children or not, a safety precaution is to put it behind lock and key.
This ensures that a potential weapon cannot be accessed easily. This might seem like overkill for something as simple as a hatchet, but you never know. It is always smart to play it safe.
Store in a climate-controlled space
More times than not, the conditions that you use hatchets may be less than ideal. Whether it be hot, cold, raining, snowing, or anything in between, the way we use hatchets is not always the best for the materials’ sake. So, it is important to keep this into consideration when storing hatchets between uses.
Ideally, you want to store your hatchet in a climate-controlled area. This area should not be too cold or too warm because issues can arise. Both the handle and the blade and warp or be affected by a constant temperature.
You also need to keep in mind the moisture of the area it is staying in. Having climate control will help keep this under wraps. The last thing you need is more warping or rusting to hit the hatchet.
This could simply be your closet or office, but the key is to keep those various aspects under as much control as possible. Don’t overthink it too much, but keep these few points in mind.
Build or buy a hatchet/axe rack
One of the best ways to protect your hatchet during storage is by elevating it and storing it in a way that it is out of the way. This is where a hatchet rack can come into play. You can keep a whole lineup of tools inside a climate-controlled area without running the risk of them being on the floor or against anything compromising.
This is one of the most optional ideas because it is not necessary at all, but it can come in handy. Plus, it can be a fantastic side project to take on. No matter the design or how much work has to be put into it, the key is to buy or create some apparatus to hold hatchets and axes safely.
There are some steps to safely store a hatchet! The key to using a tool like a hatchet is what you do with it when not chopping wood or building structures. How you store and take care of your hatchet will directly affect how it can be used in the field.
There really aren’t many actual rules when it comes to storage. All of the points listed above are best practices when it comes to safety. It is not something to take lightly because that is when accidents can happen. So, play it safe, take the necessary precautions, and have fun using your hatchet!