The V14 Camping Hatchet from LEXIVON is a hatchet that I’ve been hearing a lot about lately. It’s already cropping up on a lot of “best hatchets of 2022” lists, and once a tool catches my eye, it seems I can’t resist.
Luckily, the LEXIVON V14 is an affordable little hatchet, which was the only excuse I needed to pick one up and try it out. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little skeptical of the notion that any hatchet with a hollow fiberglass handle would hold up, but the V14 Camping Hatchet surprised me in more ways than one.
First Impressions of the LEXIVON V14 Hatchet
The V14 is unexpectedly light for its size (though maybe it shouldn’t be, given that the handle is hollow fiberglass). When I saw this thing online, I had my doubts about the strength of that handle, but it also feels much sturdier and well-balanced in my hands than the pictures led me to believe.
The axe head itself is fairly small, and weighs exactly 1 lb. (total weight including handle is 1.45 lb.) and is made of “grade A high-carbon steel” of unspecified content. I wouldn’t call it shaving sharp right out of the box, but it has a decent edge to it.
End-to-end, the V14 Hatched measures 14 inches. LEXIVON makes these in a bunch of different sizes ranging from the tiny V9 Camping Hatchet to a massive V36 Splitting Axe, with the numeral in the name representing the length in each case.
The LEXIVON V14 comes with a protective carrying case and a snap-on edge guard. The edge guard is made of what feels like some pretty flimsy plastic, and it’s the part of this whole package I have the least amount of confidence in.
Strength and Durability
Given that my greatest reservations about the LEXIVON L14 Camping Hatchet concerned its ability to withstand the rigors of heavy-duty use, let’s start there. This thing is surprisingly rugged, especially given its size and weight.
The reinforced injected fiberglass handle is plenty tough enough to take on all the chopping and splitting tasks a hatchet is meant for. Despite its hollow design, it withstands impact like a champ, and the handle’s back spine is reinforced to absorb impact.
One of my favorite aspects of the design is the way the axe head is integrated into the handle. It’s fully encased and over-molded into the handle, which makes it virtually impossible to break. One of the most common issues with budget hatchets is that the heads are weakly attached, creating a serious hazard (I’ve literally had one fly off the handle while swinging it). No such trouble here. The way the head and handle of the V14 are connected makes them virtually indestructible.
The head itself is heat treated, with a hardened cutting edge. I couldn’t say exactly what type of steel it is, but the folks at LEXIVON call it high carbon steel. I think it’s safe to say it’s probably fairly cheap steel, which is by no means a surprise given the price point of the hatchet.
You’ll want to run a file over the cutting edge after a while as the hatchet begins to dull. Again, that’s not a surprise, and it’s not a major strike against this hatchet for me. Also worth noting is that it has a black powder-coated finish, which will be worn away by sharpening.
Comfort and Ease of Use
I’ve found the LEXIVON V14 Camping Hatchet very comfortable, well-balanced, and easy to use. The shape of the handle fits average-sized hands very well, and it has a Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) grip to keep it firmly in one’s palm and prevent slipping, even in wet conditions.
I also find the balance of this hatchet quite impressive. It’s designed with the balance point close to the head, and this weight distribution makes it easy to swing, increasing both swing speed and power. The V14 offers excellent control too, and a single well-aimed, one-handed swing is fully capable of splitting smaller pieces of firewood.
The hollow fiberglass handle is also quite shock-absorbant. I’ve used plenty of small wood-handle hatchets that sent reverberations all the way up to my shoulder on every blow, but have experienced no such issues with the V14.
The cutting edge of the axe head has a slightly more aggressive blade angle compared to a typical small hatchet. This gives it some solid “bite” and helps it break down kindling, firewood, small logs and branches easily.
I haven’t talked much about the look of this hatchet yet, but it has a handsome black finish on the head, and a high-vis black-and-yellow handle pattern. The look is modern and not terribly “woodsy,” but I appreciate that the eye-catching colors make the LEXIVON easy to spot. It would be virtually impossible to lose this thing in the bush.
Final Thoughts on the LEXIVON V14 Camping Hatchet
It could have been a little sharper. Ultimately, that’s something I could say about the majority of hatchets I’ve ever bought, so I’m not going to hold it against the LEXIVON too much. And considering that I have no other real complaints (flimsy blade guard aside), I’ll call this a win.
Erin Channing is a budding writer, soon to be wife and all around fun seeker! No cats, no dogs, just a few fish and a pet parakeet named Jelly. You can find Erika’s reviews and stories on several websites sites including Hardwork Theory, Medium, Little Miss Spider and more. New to camping and backpacking, she brings a fresh perspective to everything outdoors.