Best Survival Axe Review – This Ain’t Your Pa’s Rusty Hatchet
Will you ever need to hack, slash, pull, pry, saw, pierce, or pound your way to safety?
If you like what you see after reading this review,
Recently, the fine folks at Off Grid Tools reached out to me to see if I wanted to take a closer look at their “Survival Axe Multi Tool.“
As always, I have to be honest with you…
Not being familiar with the company, when I saw the name “Survival Axe” my immediate reaction was one of hesitation.
One, I haven’t done any axe reviews like this before…
Two, the skeptic in me wondered if they were just pandering to the prepper crowd hoping to make a quick buck with a gimmicky product…
And three, one thing I’ve found is that run-of the-mill multi-tools often stack on the features just to inflate the perceived value (and cost) without really increasing true practical utility.
So combine those reasons, and then throw a presumably sharp axe head onto the end of a multi-tool and I’m understandably a bit cautious.
After spending some time with the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe, I’m pleased to say that this tool — designed in the ol’ USofA — is LEGIT.
What you see pictured below is, in my opinion, a well thought-out and well designed, highly durable axe for survival.
As you can see, it’s not just a Survival Axe, either!
Below is a breakdown of all you get and my personal thoughts on why you should consider getting one…
31 Functions Built-In
There are “31” useful functions built near seamlessly into the tool’s axehead and handle without compromising the durability of the tool itself.
One could argue this is a bit exaggerated as they count each size hex socket as an individual function, but I’m not going to get into the weeds on that as each function is still useful…
Useful tools such as:
- A heat treated and resharpenable survival axe head
- Multiple hex sockets – 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 10mm, 11mm, 13mm, 15mm
- Backend hex socket accepts any ¼” bit
- Wire twist
- Recessed nail puller
- Pry bar
- Box cutter
- Can opener
- Demolition grip teeth
- Hammer head
- Hammer claw
- Spanner wrench for hose couplings
- Gas valve shut-off wrench
- Bottle opener
- Rust-inhibiting black oxide coated, hardened stainless steel tang
- Non-slip rubberized grip
- Ergonomic durable 30% glass filled nylon handles
- Seat belt cutter with replaceable blade
- Lanyard pass-through
- Hardened steel glass breaker
- Turning knob for folding blade
- 6” saw blade will cut metal, etc.
- Upper and lower finger guards for added safety and secure grip
How Much Does a Survival Axe Cost?
As with any serious tool, you get what you pay for.
The one featured in this review is OGT’s more basic model. And at the time of writing this review, you can get one for less than $40.
It’s made of hardened 420 grade stainless steel tang that extends down through the handle almost to the end for added durability and support.
So how much does this survival axe weigh? How big is it?
Here are the specs…
It weighs in at just under 1.5 lbs / .68 kg and has a very good feel when handling and swinging. Not too light that you feel like the axe head will snap and fly off (not gonna happen), yet not too big and heavy that it becomes a burden to pack, stow in your car emergency kit, or carry over longer distances.
To give you an idea of scale, the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe measures at just over 11.5” (29.5 cm) with a head width of under 5” (12.45 cm).
The handle width is a comfortable 2.2” (5.6 cm).
Here are some of my general observations for your consideration if you’re thinking about getting one of these…
What I Look for in a Good Multi-Tool
In survival or emergency situations, everything has a trade off. Generally, I look at practicality, functionality, size and weight and try to get the best of all 4 if possible.
If a tool or piece of equipment is heavy or bulky, yet does not satisfy multiple uses or isn’t very practical, I’m going to keep looking for lighter, more compact alternatives.
The Off Grid Tools Survival Axe manages to check off all the boxes of what makes for a great multi-tool of this type.
Watch it in action in this quick demonstration video below…
But Does it Work?
One thing worth pointing out is the particular axe/hatchet model I received doesn’t appear to come with a sharpened edge. Or maybe it’s just powder-coated over, but that’s an easy fix if you know how to sharpen an axe.
Personally, I think a nice sharpened edge would enhance the overall appearance and utility of the tool for chopping through dense material such as hardwoods.
The 6” saw blade (the same kind you’d find in a small reciprocating saw, is a nice touch. It does cut well as shown in the video above. In doing some research for this review I saw there was issue with the previous locking mechanism, but from the looks of the one in front of me, they quickly remedied that with a new and improved lock on the blade.
This is a really good sign of a company that cares about its customers and the product they produce — making sure it is safe and functional, sacrificing profit to do what is right.
This one seems better, although I still think there’s a little room for improvement.
I am in communication with Off Grid Tools about an idea I had to make the blade even more secure when in use and when stored in the handle. That said, I’m not sure if it would be feasible to produce and keep the cost the same. (If there is an update, I’ll post it here for you to see and let you know.)
So How Does This Survival Axe “Feel?”
I like the overall size and weight in my hand, but the handle is definitely not as ergonomic with the blade gap/opening where it is.
That said, a work glove makes for a much more comfortable and secure grip, especially for someone like me who doesn’t have very “beefy” or weathered hands. I think this goes without saying, but it’s always a good idea to wear protective hand coverings anyway when using a tool such as this.
In digging some more to see if my observations were lining up with others online, I see in some reviews their axe didn’t come with a sheath. I think these were earlier models and they have since added the sheath into the package. This is a good move on their part.
I think the included nylon sheath, although not as durable as some other materials available is a nice addition and adds to the safety of it. If you strap this to your pack, you don’t need to worry about a naked axe edge causing harm or cutting into your bag.
User Friendly Features
I also think if OGT were to etch or stamp the function/label into the metal adjacent to the feature, it would be helpful for those getting acquainted with the various tools at their disposal. Fatigue and stress also contribute to a cloudy mind, so in an emergency situation, the less thinking required, the better. Especially when you’re just getting used to the tool and trying out the different features.
For now, I do think the illustrated guide on the packaging is sufficient for getting your bearings on all the different uses. Having them on the tool would just be a bonus.
How Will I Put My Survival Axe to Use?
I see myself packing this Survival Axe in urban situations and definitely in my vehicle. I will most likely pick one up for my wife’s vehicle, too. For wilderness scenarios, I’d probably opt for a true camping axe or hatchet given its primary purpose is for chopping wood, whereas this tool does well to satisfy multiple uses suitable for more than just wilderness survival.
Should You Get One or No?
Overall, I think the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe is a good multi-use tool for the price. I could see it being useful also as a recreational camping hatchet and for general jobs around the house. Like I said earlier, I’m going to keep it in my car emergency kit and retrieve it as needed.
IF push comes to shove, I suppose I could also use it as a personal defense weapon.
Now is the best camping axe or survival axe available?
Not completely sure on that one. But for me, this is the best Survival Axe Multi Tool combination I’ve seen so far.
It’s definitely worth checking out. If you have yet to visit their site for more info, you can do so here.
If shopping on Amazon with fast and free Prime shipping is more your thing, then that’s another option.
Now It’s Your Turn..
Do you own a survival axe or hatchet? Do you carry one in your bug out bag? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below!