A hatchet (from the Old French hachete, a diminutive form of hache, 'axe' of Germanic origin) is a single-handed striking tool with a sharp blade on one side used to cut and split wood, and a hammer head on the other side. Hatchets may also be used for hewing when making flattened surfaces on logs; when the hatchet head is optimized for this purpose it is called a broadaxe.
A hatchet should not to be confused with a hand ax, which is a small ax meant to be used with one hand. Technically, a hatchet has a hammer head on the back side. A hand ax, like a normal ax, has a broad flat area on the back side.
Hatchets have a variety of uses, such as tasks normally done by a pocket knife when one is not present. The hatchet can also be used to create a fire through sparks and friction. Hatchet throwing is increasing in popularity.
Burying the hatchet has become a phrase meaning to make peace, due to the Native American tradition of hiding or putting away a tomahawk when a peace agreement was made.
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