Tops ATAX Review
ATAX = All Terrain Ax
It is an ax, a knife, a skinning knife no less, a wire cutter, a range finder and a compass. We are not done yet though, it also has an inclinometer, a field clock, a wrench, hammer and rescue tool. Is there more, of course there is, because this is a ATAX so it also has a survival kit holder, a fire bow bearing, a field level and it can even launch arrows.
The ATAX is one of the most incredible pieces of survival gear I have ever seen that can be worn on your belt and carried with you anywhere. Pack your backpack and have it standing by because once you get your hands on this incredible survival tool, you will want to head out to the backcountry to put it through its paces.
- Overall length is 5.5 inches
- Width is 4.5 inches
- Thickness ¼”
- Steel is 1095 tool Steel
- Weight 16 ounces
- The Handles is Linen Micarta
- Comes With a Kydex Sheath (Revisable for tight or left hand)
The ATAX also includes an instructional DVD with the purchase of the tool, otherwise the DVD purchased separately is $14.99.
One of the more important aspects of the ATAX is the skinning tool. The razor edge combined with the weight, and simply how the tool fits the hand, takes the work out of field dressing and skinning large game.
The rounded razor sharp edge of the skinning blade is designed to prevent puncturing the skin when working through the animal tissue, thus preserving the hide for further processing.
The rangefinder on the tool is indispensable for hunters, hikers, and any outdoor enthusiast. Use it by sighting through the viewer to get an accurate reading off distant objects by matching with the range variation numbers stamped on the tool.
Slingshot bands can be attached to the tool to launch arrows, so make sure you have one or two sets in your pack along with arrows or you can make your own arrows if you find yourself in need in a wilderness environment.
Slingshot bands and arrows are not included with the ATAX.
Pound nails with the hammerhead on the back of the tool and then you can remove those same nails with the wrench slot. The slot works similar to how a claw hammer or pry bar would remove a nail. Use the wrench slot to grab and help turn a troublesome nut as well. Grasp the nut in the wrench slot and turn the bolt with the pliers on a multi-tool.
The fire drill divot, another indispensable aspect of the tool is built in so you always have one. In any survival situation, fire is critical and if you are caught without fire starting materials, you can put together a bow and drill in no time.
The ATAX has a built in sun dial and direction finder so you can estimate time of day (pretty darn close, account for daylight savings time) and find north, south, east and west. The system is similar to a sundial and uses the cast shadow of the sun, which can be a wealth of information for those that know how to read the signs.
The included DVD has instructions that are more precise so it is important that you learn all of the important aspects of your ATAX survival tool.
Keep in mind there is an “ax” in ATAX, so yes it is primarily an ax and you can easily fit a handle to it to make quick work of heavy limbs and even trees. To make a field expedient ax handle fork/split the end of a stout branch, slip the end between the handle and blade back, and secure the forked end to the tool with cordage. Now you have an ax that you can put some weight behind for those heavier jobs in the field.
Weighing in at one pound I found the ATAX can be used for practically any cutting, chopping or slicing job. The heft feels comfortable, and I found I could accomplish more with less hand strain because of the design and weight. Once you grab it, and hold it in your hand, you will want to go find something to chop, or cut with it.
Remember it comes with an instructional DVD, so be sure and watch it once, and then watch it once more so you know exactly what your ATAX can do. There is no point in having a tool and not using it to its full potential, and this one has plenty of potential, more in fact than any survival tool I have ever used.
The ATAX feels good nestled at the waist, it does not get in the way, and it can be switched around for left or right hand draw depending on what else you may want to clip to the belt.
Keep in mind the Late Ron Hood designed this tool, made by Tops Knives, essentially as a backup survival tool. As incredible as the ATAX is, make sure you always have a quality survival knife and multi-tool with you both of which will complement the ATAX, so together there is not anything you cannot accomplish in any survival situation, especially surviving. The Tops Atax can be purchased for $139.95 at BladeHq.com.