I am sending this restored Companion pack hatchet to Washington D.C.
i rarely hang hatchets on handles below 18"
there are times when the occation is very applicable:
when the head is small the handle does need to be shorter. this proportion is needed to maintain balance and a balanced blade will always be a safer striker.
there are also times depending on how one wants to pack their gear that a short hatchet is needed, there is something to be said about the portability of a tool with a shorter handle.