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An improvised hatchet. Basically a heavy piece of metal with sharpened edge. Not fancy, but utilitarian.
In-game description

The Improvised Hatchet is a tool in The Long Dark, primarily for woodcutting and self defense.


Functioning similarly to the hatchet, improvised hatchets may be used to harvest sticks from branches, cedar firewood and fir firewood from tree limbs, reclaimed wood from furniture or to break fishing hut ice. The improvised hatchet is slightly heavier (0.25 kg) and 1/3 slower to use than the hatchet. Its condition is reduced by 3% per use. Hatchets are a finite resource, so once all have been ruined, improvised hatchets must be crafted to complete some tasks. The improvised hatchet may be used as a lighter substitute to the heavy hammer to break down furniture or branches.

  • May harvest frozen carcasses.
  • Knives are faster harvesting carcasses 50% frozen or less, as well as guts and hides. Hatchets are faster harvesting carcasses 51-100% frozen.
  • May be selected for self defense during a wolf struggle.
  • May be used for crafting Arrow Shafts.
  • Unlike blunt tools, bladed tools like the improvised hatchet suffer increased condition loss when breaking fishing hut ice.
  • For the Whiteout challenge's objective, an improvised hatchet may substitute the requirement of a hatchet.


Improvised Hatchets may be rarely found in some regions, usually near frozen corpses or structures; such as in Hushed River Valley or Milton Basin in Mountain Town near frozen corpses. One may also spawn atop the workbench in the Gold Mine of Ash Canyon.

Forging improvised hatchets is only possible at a furnace with a Heavy Hammer; coal is required to a heat furnace hot enough for forging along with the necessary crafting materials: scrap metal and cloth.

In Interloper mode hatchets and improvised hatchets will never spawn; requiring forging to create.


Improvised Hatchets may be repaired using a whetstone and the bladed tool maintenance skill, restoring 3% condition to the hatchet and causing 5% condition damage to the whetstone.

The Milling Machine in Bleak Inlet may repair a non-ruined improvised hatchet to 100% condition for one scrap metal, during an active Aurora. Repairing Improvised Hatchet or Improvised Knife with the Milling Machine is more efficient with Scrap Metal than forging new ones.


  • Like the Improvised Knife, the Improvised Hatchet is a flattened metal pipe with cloth for a grip.