Busse Combat Paul's Hatchet Review

Tweet ThisShare On FacebookStumbleUponDigg itShare on Del.icio.us

Home > Knives > Fixed Blade Knives > Busse Combat Knives
Busse Paul's Hatchet

Story - One more trophy from Andrew, Crossroads Gunshow in SF Cow Palace 09/01 :) Introduced in 2001, Paul's hatchet is based on Jerry's father's, Paul's design back then in 1984. This subject, Busse hatchet, was being discussed at Bladeforums more than one times in last couple years. I believe there are several custom pieces from Busse, those can be described as hatchets. The idea of having a hatchet, or a small ax made of famous INFI steel seemed very attractive to many knife enthusiasts, and of course Busse Combat fans amongst them :) Finally here it is. Compact, rugged, tough and simple - Paul's hatchet.


 - As most of the new products from Busse Combat PH is available in 2 versions: CG(Combat Grade) with canvas micarta handles, crinkle finish, and LE(Limited Edition) satin finish, paper micarta handles, zero edge geometry. As the original design, PH is intended for utility use, whether it is your garden or a camp. PH is relatively small, at least it seemed larger to me, judging from the pix, for comparison check this picture of PH and SJ LE side by side. As you can see PH is a fairly compact piece :).
    Despite of its small size PF is a potent and versatile design. With .25" thickness, it has enough weight to be a very good chopper for its size, and withstand any abuse you may have to throw at it. Obviously it won't out-chop BM, yet will be preferable on may occasions, due to its smaller size and greater chopping abilities compared to other knives, even twice as big. After all this is a hatchet :) PH handle is resemlbling the one found on SJ LE and LMS. I find it comfortable, yet I have to try it out in use.


 - PH curved blade length is 3 inches. Not that much, though for a hatchet it is not too small either. Out of the box, although I got it without any box, ok, the factory edge was shaving sharp. PH has something that would be called a choil on a knife, though might be the same term for the hatchet as well. Thanks to that choil and overall geometry, very easily PH can be used as a knife. Remember those Eskimo's Ulu knives? PH can be used similarly, the balance is very good, so when used as Ulu knife PH handle won't get in a way.


 - The famous Busse Combat proprietary INFI steel, very tough and with very good wear resistance, plus fairly rust resistant. IMHO a very good choice for any heavy duty blade, including hatchets. For more info regarding INFI, check out the Bladeforums, Cliff Stamp's Busse Battle Mistress review, and many other knife forums and finally Busse Combat website. Sheath - I got factory standard, Cordura sheath with a Kydex insert, unlike the other Busse knives sheathes, this one doesn't have a pocket, though there's not much of a space for it anyways :)

Prolonged Use/Edge Retention

 - First time I've used Paul's Hatchet was for testing, and it was food preparation for the party. Since then I am using it frequently, for food prep, small and not so small chopping chores, etc. As I have mentioned above, the #1 job for my PH at a time was preparing the meat for the party. That included chopping the ribs and cutting/cleaning the meat. PH handled the job just briliantly. For the reference and comparison I was also using CRK Project II. Well, even though PH is smaller than PJ II it was a lot better with chopping. Ostensibly, that wasn't a big surprise, since PH is a hatchet after all, hence primary designation for it is chopping, and PJ II is a medium sized, heavy duty knife. Better in this context means several things: PH was more convenient to chop with; PH edge held up better, and there were two reasons for it, PH had thicker, asymmetrical edge, which is stringer than the standard V-grind I have on PJ II, second - the steel, INFI vs. A2. Although A2 is plenty tough, INFI prooved to be tougher on every occasion.
    More surprising part was how well PH handled cutting and cleaning the bones. For one, NIB PH had a razor sharp edge, which it can hold really well, thanks to INFI. You won't find many hatchets that you can use for cutting at all, and I doubt if there's another one that can match PH's cutting performance. PH is amazingly comfortable when used as Eskimo's Ulu knife. For cleaning bones and cutting small pieces PH was a lot more comfortable that the PJ II, simply because it was smaller, 3" vs. 7". Even though PJ II would cut with lesser effort thanks to its thinner edge, overall PH was preferable for that type of cutting.
    In the end, PH definitely has a place in the kitchen, both as cleaver and as a skinner knife :) Out of curiosity I've tried to use it as a kithcen utility inife, which back then was primarily Global Knives GS-1 4.5" Kitchen Knife. Of course I was not expecting PH to outperform Gobal utility knife in terms of cutting, but overall it was not a good idea anyway. For skinning PH a good choice, but for cutting GS-1 is definitely better performer. No surprises there, just experimenting.
As far the gardening goes, I haven't used it really in that role, though I have no doubts it'll do the job. For heavy duty chopping, I personally would prefer something larger. I've compared PH and good old, straight handled SH 2 to chop some seazoned wood logs, fairly large ones. SH definitely outchopped PH, but not by much, and PH was more controllable at the same time. In short PH is very versatile and practical piece.


  • Model - Paul's Hatchet CG;
  • Blade - 76.20mm(3")
  • Thickness - 6.35mm
  • Width - 64.50mm
  • OAL - 234.95mm(9.25")
  • Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
  • Handle - Micarta
  • Weight - 399.60g(13.51oz)
  • Acquired - 09/2001 Price - 197.00$
  • Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;

Last updated - 05/19/19