Check out the Issue 25 edition of Gear Up for the latest survival...
Just about every prepper and survivalist worth their salt owns at least one multi-tool. It might be small enough to fit on a keychain or large enough to bludgeon a bear, but most are somewhere in between. A multitool is one of those pieces of gear that, once you have it, you wonder how you managed to live so long without one.
The Zubin Axe is a multitool on Creatine. And steroids. And human growth hormone.
Now, we’ll admit it looks a little gimmicky, but we found it does hold up and has real-world use. Make no mistake, this is a pretty cool piece of kit. With the Zubin Axe you can kill your dinner, skin and debone it, bury the carcass, and then fire rocks at tin cans until the wee hours of the morning. Come daylight, head to the shore to gig for breakfast. Seriously, this isn’t your granddaddy’s hiking stick.
It starts with a two-piece hickory shaft that screws together like a pool cue. The joint is protected by a rubber sleeve that keeps out water and debris. The staff has a rubber handgrip, too, which is great when hiking.
Now, here’s where the multitool part comes into play. Zubin Axe’s Complete Kit comes with six different heads — axe, spear, saw, shovel, frog gig, and slingshot. Each of the heads is manufactured from 440C stainless steel and is powdercoated. When not in use, the heads are carried in a nylon pouch and sharp edges are covered by plastic or rubber protectors. (The company also offers models with just one head, and additional head attachments can be purchased separately.)
The heads are changed out by means of two hex screws, which are removed and tightened with the included T-wrench.
When assembled, the staff runs 56 inches. Each head adds about 4 inches, topping it out at 5 feet. All told, the assembled staff clocks in at about 2.5 pounds. The whole kit — all of the heads and the wrench — weighs about 6 pounds.
The heads are a snug fit on the staff. Very snug, in fact. You’ll appreciate those plastic and rubber covers on the sharp edges as they allow you to get the leverage you need to get the heads to fit onto the staff. This also means, though, that there’s absolutely no wiggle room in the slightest once the head is attached.
If you’re using it for hunting, you need to understand this isn’t a spear you’ll want to throw around. While the balance is OK, at almost 3 pounds it would be a hefty toss. Throwing it isn’t recommended anyway, as you could hit a rock and damage the spear point. You’re much better off keeping the spear in your hands and thrusting it at your target. The spearhead arrives extremely sharp right out of the box, too.
Due to tight editorial deadlines, we didn’t get a chance to venture into the woods to bag dinner with either the spear or the frog gig, but there’s a hay bale in our backyard that won’t be giving us any more trouble.
Naturally, it could be used as a self-defense weapon if you’re caught unaware by four- or two-legged predators while in the backcountry. At home, the spearhead on half the staff could be a viable option for those who, for whatever reason, don’t have access to more common options like a firearm, knife, or good ol’ baseball bat. Note we said just half of the staff — full length would be cumbersome for those without staff-fighting skills and could get caught up in hallways and on furniture.
The slingshot attachment is almost identical to the surgical-tube wrist rockets most of us have used. Attaching it to the staff gives you a great monopod for keeping your aim steady. Quite useful, we think.
The shovel works well and has a sharpened edge that works great on chopping through smaller roots and such. Given the small size, you aren’t going to dig a foundation for a new house, of course, but if you need a quick cat hole or something similar, this tool head will get it done.
Cutting down standing dry wood and chopping it to size for the evening fire can be done without packing extra tools. Having the saw head on the end of a 5-foot staff offers tremendous reach and the saw blade is sharp enough to get through the hardest wood with ease. The axe was a bit awkward to operate, even when using just half of the staff. The axe head is fairly light, so you need to use a bit more force than you might be accustomed to when chopping firewood. Not an insurmountable problem, though. If desired, there’s a 12-inch handle that can be purchased separately.
When all you’re doing is hiking, there’s a handle attachment that has a compass built in to the top. This works well for keeping you on the right path as you travel. It’s easily removed when you need to tackle camp chores and such. The other tool heads can be stored in your pack until they’re needed.
All in all, the Zubin Axe is a gimmick, yes, but one that actually works — and works well.
Make & Model
Zubin Axe Complete Kit
54 inches (not including head)
6 pounds (complete kit)