It’s not often you find a product that is truly innovative. That’s why I’m really intrigued by the KLAX multi-tool campaign on Kickstarter.
The KLAX is a portable ax head envisioned by Glenn Klecker of Klecker Knives that features many other uses (wrench, bottle opener, carabiner, hex driver, hammer etc.) and a unique clamping system that allows it to be attached to almost any sturdy piece of wood it will fit for a makeshift handle. That ability alone sets it apart from a couple similar tools, such as the TOPS ATAX and Fremont Farson Blade. Klecker will also be making specialized handles built specifically for the KLAX.
Four KLAX models are planned: Lumberjack, Woodsman, Feller and Ti; the first three of which will be made from 5/16″ thick SUS420J2, a Japanese stainless steel. The last will be of titanium construction. Yeah, not so sure about that model. Granted, titanium is strong relative to it’s weight, very lightweight and highly resistant to corrosion. But it’s also somewhat soft, expensive, and doesn’t have great edge retention compared to a quality steel while also requiring more experience to sharpen. Not exactly ideal for a novice, but if you can handle more frequent sharpening it should prove to be much lighter than the steel models. The Ti is listed at 7.4 ounces compared to 12 ounces for the lightest steel version. keep in mind these current designs are prototypes and subject to change, which could alter the specifications. Also be aware the Feller model does not include the clamping system, instead relying on paracord to secure the ax head between a split piece of wood.
I would also prefer a high carbon steel over stainless, especially the dubious choice of SUS420J2. But I doubt the KLAX would realistically be used for any heavy duty chopping or cutting tasks, so the SUS420J2 models will suffice for most light jobs you can throw at a portable multi-tool such as this.
As of this day the campaign has been a success, nearly doubling the initial goal of $15,000 (met in only 3 days) while receiving support from 193 backers. Still 23 days left to go for those interested in helping out or getting in early.
So what are your thoughts on the KLAX? Is this a tool you could see serving a purpose either in a survival or rescue scenario? Honestly, I doubt I would pack the current KLAX iteration in my own BOB. The materials used (SUS420J2 stainless steel and titanium) just aren’t exactly to my liking and the price is a bit steep, but the idea definitely has potential. I would love to see a more robust version of the KLAX made from high carbon tool steel at a reasonable price.
Image source: Klecker Knives