Atax Hand Axe

Atax Hand Axe | The Swiss Army Knife of Axes

Not all survival gear is normal. Some takes a lot of imagination and innovation before it ever see’s production. That’s why I started a new category titled Survival Gadgets. The Atax Hand Axe by Tops Knives is a perfect example of a survival gadget and is why I started this new category. You have probably never seen anything like it.

The Atax was designed by the legendary Ron Hood of He designed this wild looking blade to be a backup or secondary blade to a survival knife.  His first run of 100 of these survival tools went very quickly…his second run did too.

It isn’t a blade that should be put into the hands of a novice because it’s held differently than a knife is held, making it easy to cut yourself if you aren’t careful.
Atax Survival Tool

The Atax can be customized in camo and with these Rocky Mountain handles on the Tops Knives website.

The features on the blade are many and are covered in the DVD that comes with it. I suggest that you watch the DVD twice before you ever use the blade in the field.

Atax Features

The Atax has many interesting features:

  • Sturdy Kydex Sheath
  • It is very thick and the back of the tool can be used as a hammer.
  • There is a wire breaker for bending and breaking barbed wire, fence wire, and other similar wires.
  • A divot in the back of the tool near the handle can be used as a level and also as a fire bow bearing.
  • There is a slot in the tool that has multiple functions. It can be used as a rangefinder, a nail puller, and also as a wrench.
  • The carbon steel blade is great for skinning animals.
  • It has graphics etched into it that can function as the measurements for a sun dial, a compass, and an inclinometer.
  • There are 3 slots on the back of the blade that can be used to latch the blade to a stick so that it can be used as an axe.
  • Ron Hood also designed it to be used as an arrow launcher.

The Atax can also be used as a weapon. Even though it isn’t held like a traditional knife, it performs very well as a defensive weapon. Check out this video that was done by for a demonstration:


The Atax is an interesting survival gadget that combines a lot of function into a small package. You can use it as a camp axe, a skinning knife, a compass, nail puller, and more. It isn’t cheap: it goes for around $200 on Tops Knives website, a little less than that at, and is even cheaper at I think the Atax is a well thought out, expertly manufactured survival tool. However, it is just like any other multifunction tool: it doesn’t excel at any one thing. It does keep an edge well though and in a practiced hand is a very useful tool. Plus, it looks very cool. Let me know what you think!


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