If you’re looking for a single tool to keep in your bugout bag, the Off Grid Survival Axe is an excellent choice. It combines a number of useful tools for both the real world and whatever post-apocalyptic world you can image, be it zombies, robots, or even killer cars.
Also known as the “Lil Trucker,” this rugged multi-tool packs 13 types of tool in one. It’s made from a single piece of hardened 1055 carbon tool steel that runs the length of the blade all the way down the tang, which is sandwiched between a pair of glass-filled nylon handles. The finger cutouts in the handle provides an excellent grip – something you want on any sort of hand tool.
First and foremost, this thing is a compact hatchet, and does a great job hacking through logs, for gathering quick and easy firewood. It didn’t take long for me to split a 4″ thick piece of wood, and it certainly could handle thicker logs with additional time and effort. It’s not razor-sharp, but it does the trick. The axe blade is also designed to be resharpened if it ever gets dull, or if you desire a sharper blade.
The head also contains a variety of box wrenches. There are 3/8″(10mm), 7/16″(11mm), 1/2″(13mm), and 9/16″(15mm) hex wrenches. The wrenches offer excellent grip, but with one caveat. Their location on the axe head does limit their utility to locations which are pretty wide open, and they won’t work well turning nuts or bolts in cramped quarters. A 1/4″ hex socket is designed to hold screwdriver bits, but I couldn’t get it to securely hold any of the ones in my toolbox – they just kind of wobbled around. They’d do well to place it in a thicker section of steel, and magnetize it next time around.
On the backside of the head are a couple of other useful tools, including a nail puller, a flat pry bar, a box-cutting edge which doubles as a can opener, a wrench for tightening hose couplings, and a claw hammer. The hammer works quite well, and has plenty of heft for quickly driving nails. Prying stubborn nails is a breeze too. That said, the hammer end started showing scratches quite quickly, which is the one downside I can see to having a black finish. It looks awesome, but isn’t always the most practical for tools. One tool I couldn’t figure out how to effectively use was the can opener. It seems like it could smash holes in the top of a can in a pinch, but it’s not a precise tool like a standalone can opener.
The handle packs several handy emergency tools, including an emergency glass-breaker and a seatbelt cutter. While I didn’t have any glass windows I wanted to break, I did test out the belt cutter on a spare length of seatbelt webbing from a backpack I have, and it sliced right through it.
There’s also a locking, flip-out sawblade in the handle, which is great for cutting branches or wood boards. The 6″ Milwaukee sawzall blade also works great on plastic, metal, and other materials, and is replaceable with a store-bought blade, should you ever wear it out.
Of course, you can’t have a multi-tool without a bottle opener. After all, you need to pop open a cold drink to celebrate all that hard work you did getting to your campsite and setting up your tent, right? This bottle opener is located in the back edge of the axe head, and works perfectly. It also doubles as a gas shut-off wrench, though again, I had no gas lines I needed to shut off, so I didn’t test this.
While you’re unlikely to encounter the undead, the Off Grid Survival Axe would surely help dispense of a zombie or three, should you find yourself in such a dangerous predicament. But even if the zombiepocalypse never arrives, you can rest easy that you’ll get lots of use out of this versatile hand tool. It’s available now over on Amazon for about $80(USD).