This is an interesting camping tool

A couple of months ago a new outdoors store opened up locally. It's pretty neat. They have everything from military surplus to clothing to camping gear to cattle feed. Anyway, I was poking around in the milsurp section and saw a stack of these:

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It was only $3.95 so I went ahead and picked it up. If nothing else I'll have fun beating up on it next time I take it to the woods. The concept is very cool, though. It's a small hatchet with a pry bar, a hammer and a nail puller. It only weighs about a pound and it's not very big. More than anything it struck me as a great urban emergency tool. It's small and lightweight enough that you could easily carry it in a daily carry bag or a laptop bag. It would be a great tool to have on you if you had to pry a door open or even hack through it. My biggest concern is that the steel seems pretty soft. I don't think that I'd want to stake my life on it. The thought of using the pry bar really concerns me. It would be better than having nothing, though. If someone made something similar that was properly heat treated and used good, quality steel then I'd be very inclined to take a close look at it. Does anyone know of anything? At $4 you can't go wrong. I'm not saying that it wouldn't hold up if you needed it to. I just don't think that it would hold up under real torque. I doubt that the hatchet blade will hold an edge for very long, either. It doesn't have the weight to be very effective without a sharp edge.

Quick update: After making this post I decided to test it a little by taking out a few saplings that I needed to remove from the backyard. It made short work of them.

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It's probably something that I could have done just as easily with a good fixed blade knife but it's something. The handle kept slipping off of the rest of the blade after just a swing or two. A little epoxy will fix that, though. At least a few whacks and some stripped branches didn't dull the blade. I'm still worried about the pry bar holding up if you actually use it for something serious. I'll update later when I get a chance to test it.


talnik said…
That's a roofing shingle tool. Some guys use them to break up pallets as well, so you can assume it's medium duty.
Anonymous said…
I would not buy it. To me it is 4 dollars gone wrong. I learned long ago. It never pays to buy cheap tools.
Anonymous said…
I've seen them as well, I think I'd rather have a CS shovel than that, quite a bit more useful and only about $10 more expensive.

$4 though, thats not too bad.
Bitmap said…
Here is one alternative, but it doesn't have the hatchet.$Ntt=pry%20bar$y=0$x=0

Rebranded and in two different sizes:

Here is an online place that sells the one you have for more money. Maybe a better quality tool? Only one way to find out.
Those demo tools are pretty cool. I just prefer the hatchet head to the jaw grips or whatever they're supposed to be. That last link is the same item, material and worksmanship as the tool that I posted.

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