Players must have an Attack level of 50 to wield a Rune hatchet as a weapon and a Woodcutting level of 41 to use a Rune hatchet to chop down trees. There used to be no level requirement to use it to chop down trees, but Jagex changed this to prevent macros from using them from the creation of their account.
On 1 April2009, Jagex officially changed the names of all Woodcutting "axes" to "hatchets".
Prior to the removal of free trade, Hatchets would lose their metal head, and you would have to re-attach them to the handle before being able to continue woodcutting. This was considered a random event designed to combat bots.
Before the release of the Dragon hatchet, the rune hatchet could be used to cut down trees at any Woodcutting level.