Last Updated on 27/08/2023
Who Makes The Best Axe Sheath?
In this guide, we share the world’s best axe sheaths for all types of axe head shapes and sizes. You will learn the difference between a splitting axe and a chopping axe sheath, as well as between an axe and a hatchet sheath. Our recommendations come from hours of handling and testing different axe sheaths to see which works best.
Axes and hatchets are one of the most important items in a bushcrafters tool kit. You can use an axe for various things, from chopping and splitting firewood to carving, bushcraft, and even hunting. Without them, living in the woods, building shelters, and maintaining a fire would be incredibly difficult.
Axes require maintenance to keep them sharp and some kind of holster or sheath to protect the edge. Keeping your axe edge covered with a sheath when not in use does three things: it keeps you safe from a sharp edge, prevents your gear from being damaged, and protects the edge of your axe from being dulled unintentionally.
An axe sheath is a covering, usually made out of leather but can also be made from canvas, metal, or even plastic sheaths. Axe head covers range from relatively simple coverings to more detailed ones with additional belt straps and pockets. Fiskars axes often come with a plastic sheath with a safety lock which is great but only fits that axe.
This guide aims to provide you with the best axe sheaths and ensure your axe, bushcraft hatchet, or tomahawk head is protected and ready for use at all times.
9 Best Axe Sheaths and Hatchet Covers
Helko Werk Leather Hatchet Sheath (Hatchet)
- WEIGHT: 2.4 Ounces / 0.068 kg
- MATERIAL: Cowhide Leather
The Helko Werk Leather Hatchet Sheath has been handmade in the US and uses full-grain cowhide that has been tanned and treated to ensure it is durable and moisture resistant. Unlike the double-bit version, the Heko Werk Hatchet sheath is designed for single-bit hatchets only and, as such, is much smaller in size and weight.
Instead of covering the entire axe head, this sheath only covers the blade and leaves the rest open apart from the strap. Inside the sheath is a heavy-duty welt to protect your sharpened edge and ensure the longevity of the leather. The hatchet sheath also has seven nickel-plated rivets to aid the stitching in keeping the leather snug and ensuring a long life.
An adjustable buckle means it can fit a range of axe head sizes and be pulled tight so that it remains secure and doesn’t come loose. This particular sheath comes in 4 different sizes to suit axe heads up to five and a half inches wide. And for those that care, you can choose between three colors; tan, brown, and black leather.
You can loop the strap through your belt if you like. Although it wasn’t designed for that, it does mean you never misplace the sheath by accident.
VERDICT: The quality craftsmanship of the Helko Werk Leather Axe Sheath cannot be understated and is all you need to protect the sharp edge of your axe. It is a very simple design that seems to work well for most people and isn’t easily damaged. If you want a rugged but supple leather sheath that will fit most axes, then give this one a look.
TOURBON Vintage Leather Hatchet Axe Head Cover Sheath
- WEIGHT: 1.76 Ounces / 0.049 kg
- MATERIALS: Vintage Leather
The Tourbon Vintage Leather Axe Sheath is a simplistic design for medium-sized hatchets. It is made from vintage leather and is held together with closely spaced rivets without any support stitching. We really like the shape of this axe cover as well as the color, and if you are as proud of your axes as we are, then this is a really nice accessory.
The Tourbon Vintage Sheath has been tanned to ensure it will last a long time, and the edges have been worked so that they aren’t as rough as on the Helko Work Sheaths. The adjustable strap allows it to fit a range of hatchet heads, and the buckle can be pulled tight for security which ensures everything stays in place.
VERDICT: The Tourbon hatchet sheath is priced quite low, making it a good value for money, but most importantly, it does exactly what you need it to do. The quality of the leather and lack of stitching doesn’t quite match the standard of the Helko Werk, but it is more than good enough. It will certainly cover your hatchet head and keep it clean and sharp.
Hide & Drink Durable Leather Hatchet Head Axe Sheath Holster
- WEIGHT: 5.6 Ounces / 0.16 kg
- MATERIALS: Vintage Leather
The Hide and Drink Leather Hatchet Head Axe Sheath Holster is one of our favorites and is designed to fully protect the whole of your axe head. Unlike many other axe protectors, there are no straps or adjustable clips that can often require two hands to open. This hatchet sheath has a single snap button for one-handed operation.
The single snap button is enough to keep the axe secure and safe, but when you are wearing it on your belt, it is gravity that keeps the axe head tightly nested inside the sheath. A belt loop on the back makes it ideal for wearing at your hip or attaching to the outside of your backpack, and it is big enough for wide belts.
The Hide and Drink Axe Sheaths are made by skilled local artisans in Pastores, a town in Guatemala, and are made with local soft and full-grain leather, rivets, and a snap button flap. Local methods are used for tanning and protecting the leather, increasing the durability of the leather before being shipped to the US. The artisans in the town of Pastores are so convinced that their work is some of the best in the world – that they include a 101-year warranty on each and every sheath.
VERDICT: The Hide and Drinks Hatchet Holster is one of our personal favorites, and the leather itself will take on different hues over time, which looks great. The full head covering and the attachment to a belt ensure your hatchet is safe and secure as well as accessible with one hand. If this is the style you are after then, we certainly recommend this as one of the best sheaths for axes and hatchets.
CRKT Berserker Axe Full Grained Leather Sheath
- WEIGHT: 1.72 Ounces / 0.048 kg
- MATERIALS: Leather
The CRKT Berserker Axe Full Grained Leather Sheath is one of the best hatchet sheaths out there because it is so simple and easy to use. It is compact too, so when you take it off, you can tuck it in your pocket. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a belt attachment, although a small length of paracord wrapped around the axe head should do the job.
The CRKT Berserker comes in only one size and is designed for their own Berserker axe. Thankfully it also fits other hatchets and axes too but is not suitable for large log-splitting axes. As such, it is a simple construction with stitches holding everything together and a snap button that holds down the flap. This might not be as secure as other axe sheaths, but falling off doesn’t seem to be an issue.
This axe protector has the coolest name, taken from the Viking axe warriors who made the berserker name famous with their crazy acts of courage. It is handmade in the US from high-quality full-grained leather with a hand-oil finish to ensure it doesn’t absorb any water if it rains.
VERDICT: The CRKT Berserker sheath is the perfect axe sheath for a small hatchet, but you will need to ensure it fits first. There is no belt strap like the handmade Guatemalan Hide and Drinks axe sheath, but it helps keep it sleek and compact. This design can be especially suited for tomahawks and ornamental hatchets with unusually shaped chopping heads.
Helko Werk Leather Axe Sheath (Double Bit)
- WEIGHT: 5 Ounces / 0.14 kg
- MATERIAL: Cowhide Leather
The Helko Werk Leather Axe Sheath (Double Bit) is made from high-quality cowhide leather with a vegetable tan to ensure its durability and water/moisture protection. It has a heavy-duty welt (which is the part that protects the sharpened edge) with plated rivets to aid the stitching and prevent the sharp edge from damaging the leather.
Helko Werk is a traditional German company that has been leading axe makers since 1844 and is the only brand to have two products on our list. They now have businesses worldwide, including in the USA, and their axe sheaths here have been handmade here too. The Double Bit leather axe sheath is specifically designed for a double-bit axe head, which allows you to have two sharp blades instead of one.
You insert your axe from the top by opening the strap and inserting the handle through the hole at the bottom, which then slides down, so your axe head is inside the sheath. Then simply close the buckle strap, and your axe is now safe to carry or strap to your backpack.
VERDICT: The Helko Werk Double Bit is a heavy-duty axe sheath that will protect your double-bit axe for years. It is larger than many other sheaths as it protects both edges and the whole head. The welt is snug and secure and will ensure your edge remains sharp and undamaged while being carried around. Overall, given the craftsmanship, this sheath is a great buy and one of the best axe sheaths on the market – provided you have a double-bit axe.
RingSun Genuine Leather Hatchet Sheath
- WEIGHT: 3.52 Ounces / 0.1 kg
- MATERIALS: Premium Full Grain Leather
The RingSun Leather Hatchet Sheath is very similar to the Hide and Drink from Guatemala in all appearances however it lacks the belt loop attachment for easy carriage of the hatchet. It utilizes rivets and a button snap flap on treated leather, and like other long-lasting sheaths, over time, it will take on some distinct patterns called a Patina that is unique.
The sheath covers the blade and the best part of the head just, leaving the back of the ax head exposed. The snap closure stud loops over the back of your axe or hatchet to secure it, although it isn’t adjustable, so it isn’t always the most secure. There are seven rivets to hold everything together and no stitching at all, which is a bonus with any gear you need to be hard-wearing.
This is not a ‘one size fits all’ style, but rather comes in a range of sizes to ensure you purchase the right size for your axe. The welt is not overly reinforced with this model. However, the leather itself will protect your edge and won’t damage easily.
VERDICT: This is a great axe sheath for general use and keeping your axe’s head covered and lasting a lot longer. There is very little that can go wrong, and it is built to last, which is what you need for protective axe sheaths. The leather is durable and supple and covers the entire top of your axe for utility and style.
Weaver Leather Arborist One Piece Single Bit Axe Guard
- WEIGHT: 2.82 Ounces / 0.08 kg
- MATERIALS: Leather
Here we have a one size fits all (within reason) axe sheath that comes in at a budget price. The Weaver Leather Arborist One Piece Single Bit Axe Guard is a machine-made sheath held together with stitching and an adjustable strap with a buckle made from top-grain steer hide. The fact that there are only two rivets is a little concerning, but the full-length welt prevents your axe blade from ever getting near the stitches, so there is nothing to worry about really.
Designed primarily for gardeners and arborists who use their axe a lot, you can use this sheath on many different shapes and sized axes and hatchets. It will work on blade lengths up to 5 3/8 inches, and the adjustable strap means you get a secure fit. It will even work on some more unusual types of the axe.
This hatchet cover has a strong welt to ensure your edge stays clean and sharp, along with eight adjustment holes for different-sized axe or hatchet heads. Like the RingSun full sheath, the Weaver Arborist is on the budget side and made more for axes that are being used all the time rather than one that gets taken outdoors occasionally or hangs above your fireplace.
VERDICT: This is a great adjustable axe sheath and one of the best leather axe sheaths for a range of sizes. If you use multiple axes or hatchets frequently or budget is a concern, then this ready-to-go sheath will fill your needs cheaply and easily. You can store your axe with your other tools without worrying about your freshly sharpened edge getting dinged against your shovel.
Review Outdoor Gear Axe Sheath for Gransfors Bruks American Felling Ax
- WEIGHT: 2.2 Ounces / 0.062 kg
- MATERIALS: Full grained vegetable tanned cowhide
The Review Outdoor Gear Axe Sheath has been specifically made for a particular style and make of axe – the Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe, which is a larger axe used for cutting down trees and saplings. The reason we include this sheath in our guide is that so many people use this axe and also because it works on similar-sized axes too.
Review Outdoor Gear specializes in making sheaths for specific axe models by popular axe makers. You can get sheaths made especially for other Gransfors Axes, Council Tool 2# Hudson Bay Camp Axes, Husqvarna Axes, Fiskars Axes, Cold Steel Trail Boss Axes, True Temper Kelly Perfect Axes, and many more. We love that they do this, and it is such a good idea.
The sheath itself has a very appealing finish of dark and shiny leather, along with stitching, three rivets, and a strap utilizing a snap button to secure it to your axe head. They are handmade in Spokane, Washington, and use an additional folding technique around the welt construction to ensure your edge stays sharp and clean, and there is no possibility of it cutting any stitching on the sheath, increasing its lifespan.
VERDICT: If you own or are about to purchase a Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe, then this is clearly the best axe sheath for you. Another axe of very similar dimensions will work too, but this is not a sheath for small hatchets or tomahawks. Overall there are no complaints, they are well made with good leather and designed to fit perfectly with little wiggle room.
Fiskars Recycled Leather Axe Sheath
- WEIGHT: 1.13 Ounces / 0.032 kg
- MATERIALS: Regenerated Italian Leather
There is a lot of existing leather that can be re-purposed in this world, which is why the folks at Fiskars have taken some older Italian leather and given it a new lease on life. The Recycled Fiskars Axe Sheath is a nice medium-sized axe protector with stitching and rivets to ensure its durability and is held on with a snap button on a strap. The leather itself looks good but does not seem to look quite as natural when compared to the Hide and Drink artisan sheath.
The plastic locking sheath that comes with many Fiskars axes is great if you have one, but if you don’t or you lose yours, then the Fiskars Recycled sheath is the best axe sheath for Fiskars hatchets and axes. You can get a smaller version designed for hatchets like the Fiskars X7, and between the two, you can decide which will fit your axe the best.
Fiskars axes typically have narrow and flat edges, which means that curved axe blades and wider axe heads may not fit in this sheath.
VERDICT: This is one of the few axe sheaths designed for flat-edge axes and not curved ones. This is perfect for Fiskars axes, but many traditional axes will struggle to get a good fit. So if you are specifically looking for an axe sheath for a Fiskars axe, then this is the one; otherwise, check out the other options above.
Benefits of An Axe Sheath
The main benefits of any protective axe cover are that your blade edge is protected from the elements and safe to handle when not in use. An axe sheath does both by providing a lightweight but strong and durable cover, usually made of leather, coupled with a strong welt to protect the sharp edge and a secure strap or cover to keep it all in place.
This will protect your axe head far better from the elements and also protect you from accidentally cutting yourself or your equipment with an unsheathed razor-sharp axe head while not in use. Some come with attachment straps too, like a belt loop, especially for the small and lightweight varieties.
Different Types of Axe Sheath
Here are some of the different types of axe sheaths you may come across and a brief explanation of what they are:
Splitting Axe Sheath
Splitting axe sheaths are designed for larger, heavier axes’ and axe heads that are used primarily for splitting up tree trunks for firewood. As such, the sheath is larger and wide to compensate for the increased head size. Due to the heavy-duty nature of this style of axe and its head being considerably wide and heavier – an edge protector is most commonly used as opposed to a full head covering.
Chopping Axe Sheath
Most all-purpose or general axes have a thinner and smaller axe head than a splitter to ensure it has the right balance of heaviness and practicality to use for a variety of things. This is where you will find the largest range of axe sheaths available, from full coverage to just a blade protector with a strap.
Double Bit Axe Sheath
A double-bit head axe is a rarer style that has two edges on either side of the head. Double-bit axes are for people who use their axe a lot so that when one edge goes dull, you can simply flip it around. This way, you can sharpen on an evening or morning and not waste any time in the girl’s (or forest). Axe sheaths for double bits are not as common and tend to be larger with two welts for the correct protection.
Hatchets, throwing axes, and tomahawks are all much smaller than chopping or splitting axe and are primarily designed to be used with one hand. These sheaths are all a little smaller than a regular axe sheath but also come in a range of sizes for the same style. Hatchet sheats often have a belt loop so that you can keep them close.
Guide to Axe and Hatchet Sheaths
When buying a sheath for your axe or hatchet, it is important to take some considerations into mind to ensure you end up getting the right fit. If you have an axe that has an unusual shape, then you may have to get a sheath custom-made or make one yourself. Here are some of the features we look at when deciding which sheath for axes we need:
All of the sheaths on this list are made from different types of leather, and that’s because leather is a far better material for an axe sheath than canvas. A canvas sheath with a welt will still protect your axe head and edge. However, it will not last as long, certainly won’t look as stylish, and will not be as water-resistant as leather. Leather will last literally 100 years or more if cared for.
You can also get metal axe headcases as well as ones made from composite material, but these are way less universal than a leather axe case.
The most important thing is to make sure the sheath will fit your axe head. Some are made specifically for certain sizes, some are made in a range of sizes, and others attempt to be one-size fits with adjustable straps. Make sure you read the dimension section clearly and purchase the right size for you. A badly fitting sheath will not protect your edge and allows the elements inside, reducing the effectiveness of both the sheath and the axe.
Belt Loops and Clips
Most of the sheaths on this list do not include belt loops or clips, with the exception of small hatchets, most axes are too heavy and large to carry on your belt, and the handles are too long. Many small backpacks will have loops to allow you to carry things like axes (or trekking poles) easily without additional straps.
How quickly do you need to access your axe? The majority of the sheaths on this list all have a snap button flap or strap that can be opened with one hand quickly and easily. The ones with an actual buckle will take more time to access and may require two hands, but only a few seconds more so there is not much between them. Best to keep your axe on the outside of a backpack if hiking or handy nearby when camping.
DIY Axe Sheaths and Hatchet Head Covers
The prices of the axe sheaths listed in this article are all very reasonable and won’t break the bank, especially for something that can last for many years. However, leather is not overly difficult to use and make things with, and an axe sheath is something you could make at home, provided you have the right tools.
Homemade artisan sheaths can also be found at community or farmer’s markets or specialty stores, or you could even contact a company like Helko Werk or a local leather worker with a specific design you have in mind, and they should be able to custom build one for you.
If you choose to make your own, you need to ensure the leather is of high quality, your stitches or rivets are long-lasting, you have an easy opening system, and you pay particular attention to the hidden welt – as this part is the most important for your edge. You could also use cardboard wrapped in waterproof paper for a super cheap version, or even old clothes wrapped around a welt – but these won’t last that long in the elements.
Why Do You Need an Axe Sheath?
The primary reason you need an axe sheath is to protect the axe head, which is made from metal, from moisture, dirt, and grime. Additionally, a well-made sheath will also have a strong welt, which will protect your sharp edge from being chipped or dulled accidentally.
Lastly, the sheath will protect you and others from the sharp edge many axes and hatchets have to ensure they can cut and chop efficiently. Belt loops are another addition for small hatchets and will allow you to carry them easily.
Does an Axe Sheath Work on A Hatchet?
Axes, tomahawks, and hatchets all have similar heads to each other, with size being a defining factor, so similar-sized axe sheaths will work on a hatchet as they are the same design. Throwing axes, battle axes, splitters, and double-bit heads all have specialty designs for specific functions, and all require a specifically made sheath to fit correctly. It is best to purchase (or make) your axe sheath specifically for the size of your axe head to ensure all the benefits listed above.
Ideally, when you purchase an axe or a hatchet, you would receive a sheath along with it and ensure it fits correctly. If you don’t, then this guide to the best axe sheaths will hopefully save you a tonne of time looking.