Lexivon V9 Hatchet Review: A Budget Fiskars X5

I am a big supporter of bringing a compact hatchet when backpacking, on day hikes, or any time you are out in the wild. I have a bunch different compact hatchets that I love, but decided to try the Lexicon V9 on a bit of a whim (because it was so cheap).

Once I started testing, I was a bit shocked to find I like this axe WAY more than expected. The compact Lexivon V9 is essentially a knock-off of my favorite pack axe the Fiskars X5.

I was expecting this to be junk like most of the other axes at this price point – but it performs pretty darn well. It has a similar head shape and actually manages to weigh slightly less. The steel is not as good as Fiskars, and the finish is noticeably lower quality – but it works.

So if you need a pack axe or survival hatchet the Lexivon V9 is about half the price of the Fiskars and is a surprisingly good budget-friendly option (see on Amazon).

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Note: The larger models of Lexivon axes have durability problems, and I don’t recommend them – just get a Fiskars. But in this size and role, I’ve had no issues.

What the V9 is for

Small hatchets like the V9 are not meant to act as your standard kindling hatchet at home or at the campsite. They are for carrying in your pack when size and weight matter the most. Whether it’s backpacking or even just day hiking – people get lost or hurt all the time, and an axe can be a life-saving tool in an emergency (more on that here).


The Lexivon V9 design is a Chinese-made hatchet inspired 100% by the Fiskars X5. It has a similar wedge-shaped head and lightweight composite handle.

Lexivon V9Fiskars X5
Length9″ (22.8cm)9″ (22.8cm)
Total Weight (inc. sheath)1.25 lbs1.35 lbs
Head Weight1lb1lb
Cutting edge2.5″2.65″

The compact but “full-weight” head concentrates the force, and both chops and splits well for the size – far better than the “lightweight” all-steel hatchets that also get marketed for this role. The wedge shape busts chips out and spreads wood apart quickly.

The blade comes roughly sharpened, which is fine for emergency chopping or campsite splitting. The texture on the head is rough, and the metal is painted black. The black paint is purely cosmetic and will not prevent rust (as you can see on mine).

The rough texture also seems to get more material stuck to it, which can be a pain to clean or lead to more rust. On the Fiskars X5, the blade comes uniformly sharp, smooth, and completely coated in a Teflon-like coating that does protect against the elements.

The handle

The short handle is hollow, very light, and made of a polymer material.

One of the core benefits of a composite design is the strength and weather resistance compared to a wood handle. The short composite handle won’t break and can get wet, cold, hot, or frozen without coming loose or needing sanding and oiling.

Truthfully, I do not trust the durability of the larger Lexivon axes – but at this size, it’s hard to imagine it breaking (it hasn’t failed me yet).

It can be a little slick and cold in the rain or winter, but the smooth surface is actually a good thing. Lots of other “pack axes” have bumps and nubs for “grip”, that end up just being painful hot spots when you chop.

“Bag Clip Sheath”

While the V9 comes with a hanging plastic sheath, very similar to the X5 it also comes with an ultra-light clip-on sheath that looks just like a bag clip and covers only the edge of the blade. This reduces the footprint and weight even further and comes with the axe.

It’s nothing special, and I often feel like I am at risk of snapping it when taking it on/off – but I haven’t yet. And it works great.


It’s rough, it’s kind of ugly, but it works.

Lexivon V9 hatchet chopping log


Most tasks you would need this axe for in an emergency involve chopping. Whether it’s for gathering firewood, building shelter, or crafting some other tool. 

The Lexivon V9 can effectively chop through logs and trees up to 5-6” wide, which should be beyond any tasks you will hopefully need – but it’s nice to know it can.

It chops deep, pops out large chips of wood, and the wedge design won’t get stuck.


Splitting campsite kindling is also pretty easy. The stout wedge shape makes the wood pop apart quickly, and the head doesn’t get too stuck.

You will never swing without a little bit of fear you are going to scrape your knuckles (even though I never have), and these little hatchets cannot deliver as much power as a standard hatchet. But the V9 did as well as any other hatchet this size I have tested.

Carving & Bushcraft

This axe is too rough to use for serious bushcraft work as the thick head and rough sharpened edge aren’t great for carving or shaving small tinder. It can

Final Thoughts

If you need a cheap pack axe that works, it’s hard to beat the value of the Lexivon V9. It’s not the prettiest, or most refined, but it will get the job done in an emergency and is light enough to bring with you anywhere.

You can find it on Amazon.

Alternatives to the Lexivon V9

The Fiskars X5 is my go-to

I highly recommend the Fiskars X5 (amazon).

While the Lexivon impressed me – I would still choose the X5 if you can afford the difference. The finish and materials are worth an extra $20 in my opinion.

I have more info and pics in my review.

The Gerber 9-inch Hatchet

Gerber is owned by Fiskars, and they actually sell the exact same axe under the Gerber brand, but in Black. So, if the X5 sounds good, but you don’t like the bright orange look – check out the Gerber 9, you can find it on amazon.

Note: There is also the Gerber Gator that looks very similar, but is made in Thailand. The quality is not the same as the Fiskars or Standard Gerber models.

If I missed something or you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I do my best to respond to everyone.

About the author:

I’m just a guy who likes axes – as a tool, the craft of restoring them, and the history. I got tired of only finding crap websites, so I set out to build a reliable one myself.

Jim B. – Owner, Creator

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