or at home. And damn useful it is. An axe. Doesn't have to be big and heavy, just something of decent quality that holds an edge and cuts well.
Let's see, trees across the road? Firewood? For that matter, last-ditch weapon? Good for all, but let's forget the more dramatic stuff for a moment. Pruning in the yard? Or cutting up pruned limbs? Very handy, indeed.
You can get a decent hatchet for a few dollars, and an axe for not much more. This is one of the tools that, if you can, I'd strongly suggest you spend a little more for a good one: it'll cut better and more easily, and stay sharp longer. Instead of new, you can look through flea markets(you can sometimes find all kinds of stuff there) and find an old head and put a good handle on it; I've seen some damn good old heads for a few dollars, clean them up and stick in a handle. I haven't seriously looked at what's out there in a while, so can't make much in the way of recommendations. I can say I bought one of these back last fall when the place had them on sale, and it's one of the best tools I've ever bought. Came from the maker sharp enough to scare hoplophobes, a really good handle properly set and a cover for the head. And this thing cuts really well, the bevels were made by someone who really knows their business. They've got three listed by that maker right now, if you're in the market for a hatchet or mid-size might take a look. Ok, I just searched on Wetterlings and got a bunch of hits from suppliers. There's also some on Gränsfors Brucks, seems to be a hand-forged products, priced accordingly.
In any case, a good axe is a very handy tool to have around.