The Best Multitool for Big Jobs? Check Out the Zippo AxeSaw
This Family Handyman Approved multi-tool is the master of the campground, the yard and more!
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What do you do if after decades of catering to cigarette smokers, your business needs to make a change to survive? Well, if you’re Zippo, you get into the campfire game. That’s exactly what the company did, producing neat campfire-centric multi-tools, fire starters, emergency kits, lanterns and more.
One of the most interesting camping products I’ve seen in a long time is the Zippo AxeSaw, a lightweight, well-designed multi-tool for preparing firewood. I’m a sucker for these strangely engineered niche tools, so I ordered one up to try out.
What is the Zippo AxeSaw?
The Zippo AxeSaw is a bow saw, hatchet and mallet in one.
The 15-inch stainless steel saw blade can cut limbs up four inches thick. It also features a hardened five-inch, 420-alloy stainless steel axe head and a heavy-duty mallet capable of driving tent stakes in even the hardest of soils. The durable polymer handle includes storage for multiple saw blades and a flip-over cam for self-adjusting tension.
The AxeSaw looks and feels durable and well made. The saw and hatchet blades provide top-notch corrosion resistance. And the polymer handle and dual function saw handle/safety sheath feel comfortable and sturdy in the hand.
How We Tested It
Like other multi-tools, I tested each distinctive function of the Zippo AxeSaw. I split some logs with the hatchet, broke down a pile of branches and limbs with the bow saw, and hammered several stakes with the mallet.
Because of its unique shape, I carried it in my backpack and in a pack on my dual-sport motorcycle to test its true camping mobility.
Out of the sheath, the hatchet blade came sharp and ready. The stainless-steel blade effortlessly tore through the log’s age dried heartwood. The AxeSaw’s nearly 18-inch handle is a joy to swing and broke the firewood to kindling in no time.
The AxeSaw’s mallet is the butt of the hatchet head. Again, the long handle provided plenty of swing force for driving stakes. But you’d better be accurate with your blows, since the mallet’s face is less than 1-1/2-sq. in. It drive stakes well, and the user’s manual clearly states that’s all you should use it for. Don’t try it with nails.
While splitting thicker logs with the hatchet or delivering arching blows with the mallet, the bow saw blade rattles in the hollow handle. The vibration makes the AxeSaw feel clunky, noisy and poorly constructed. It was more irritating than anything else.
The bow saw was the most efficient tool of the bunch; I broke down a mass of downed limbs after a storm. It easily assembled in seconds, linking the sheath with the self-tensioning cam. From there, the sharp blade did the bulk of the work, smoothly cutting branches in the two- to three-inch diameter range. The AxeSaw proved to a comfortable tool, and the self-tensioning cam effective way at handling many binding cuts.
The unsung hero of the Zippo AxeSaw is its portability. At only 20 inches long and 2.6 lbs., this tool slid easily into my camping pack on the back of my motorcycle. It’s durable, so it won’t break if you drop your pack. As long as I stored the saw and hatchet blades safely, I felt confident packing it with fragile items like a raincoat or drinking water.
Why You Should Buy This
Deep down, a multi-tool provides function in an easy-to-carry package. That’s the Zippo AxeSaw. It’s ideal for camping at a nearby state park or deep in the back country.
It’s well-made and carries a one-year warranty on materials and craftsmanship. This tool isn’t flawless, but it’s become a welcome addition to my camping gear.
Where to Buy
The Zippo AxeSaw is available from the Zippo store on Amazon.com.