Disagree completely on the safety of a hatchet or axe. I have seen people bounce them off logs into their shins and fingers tons of times. It is a thousand times safer to baton a knife through a log than split with a hatchet. And a large knife can do the tasks a small hatchet can do and the tasks a knife can do as well a hatchet can only do what it can do. You can't skin or whittle with a hatchet. In addition you are adding weight and reducing utility with a hatchet.
If you need to cut wood into smaller pieces to split use a saw. More effective and cleaner (leaves a flat surface to split) than an axe of knife.
Yep, me too, but maybe it's just the fact that many folks don't have much skill with hand tools in general.
Having owned a bunch of hatchets and big knives over the years, I think the big knives 10"+ cut faster and are definitely more versatile than a hatchet for shelter building, fire starting and other bushcraft task. Especially if your going to carry only one cutting tool. I've lost count of the number of small critters I've worked down with large knives and sure you have to choke up and be carefull, but it's not a big deal. Try that with a hatchet, I know you can worry though it (I've done it) but it's definitely a different class of suck.
Between the two knives listed, your in luck I've owned and used both. I wanted to like the Buck Hoodlum, I've been a Ron Hood fan for years and spent a fair amount of time around him. Ron Hood was why I bought my first large Busse and retired my Buck Frontiersman and Case Bowie many, many moons ago. God rest his soul and be with Karen
However, the knife just never cut it for me (pun intended
) Steel is fine, quality was fine and it's a great value, but I just didn't care for how it felt in the hand when I was using it. It just felt too light to me and I know the curved handle is supposed to be ergo, but it was too curved for my taste. I also never warmed up to the notch on the back of the blade. My buddy loves the thing and bought it the instant I offered to sell it.
I still have the ESSE Junglas, but don't use it. I kept it because it's has what I want in a large knife But I've been a Busse user (and abuser) since way back when Jerry started in his garage. My go too, favorite blades are a vintage Attack Badger and a Bushwacker. I still have my trusty rusty Battle Mistress as well, but IMO heavy bush knives get no better than the Bushwacker in INFI.
Don't sweat it too much, there ain't no perfect knives and either of your choices are good ones.