The KLAX is a multi-tool built into the head of an ax. It allows you to attach the ax head to a handle quickly in the field. It uses the nested clamping system shown here. The clamps rotate out from the handle for use.
Here you can see the handle going into the clamps. The notches on the sides of the handle make sure it will stay secure when clamped.
This is what it looks like using a stick from the wood to be the handle. This took about five minutes to make and mount.
When it’s not being used as an ax, it also includes a number of other very helpful tools including hammer, bottle opener, wrench and scraper, which provide a lot of versatility in a lightweight and compact package.
KLAX-Lumberjack Our high-end stainless steel model with the most features. The first three models are all made from heat treated SUS420J2 stainless steel which is perfectly balanced for keeping an edge and maintaining strength.
Ti-KLAX is a Titanium version of the KLAX – Lumberjack and comes with all the same features, but because it is made from more expensive Titanium, it weighs only half as much as the Feller and is stronger than steel. The Ti-4452813 titanium is also anodized to provide some eye catching highlights.
The KLAX is great for all of these these activities
Hiking Climbing Camping Bush Craft
Survival Trucker Prepper Aviator
Auto Emergency Kit Bug Out Bag
The KLAX is cut from a piece of 5/16” thick steel plate (or titanium) with a water jet and then machined to add the side bevels, the caribiner pocket and the cutting edges on axe blade. The clamps are also cut from the same material and then drilled and tapped. After heat treating, the head and clamps are cleaned up and deburred. Adding a few more parts and a spring is all it takes to complete the KLAX.
The Klax successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign which concluded June 29th, 2014, raising over $48,000. The Klax is now available for pre-order on Crowd Supply while creator Glenn Klecker is manufacturing the Klax.
What is the material used?
The material is 420J2 stainless steel. It is a medium-high carbon stainless steel. The material is heat treated to a level that balances the need for strength and the need for holding an edge. If it was too soft then the tool would deform eventually. If it was too hard, then it would be too brittle. We are heat treating it to a point that provides a good balance between the two.
What is the material hardness?
The hardness will be somewhere around 48-52 HRc. The purpose of this hardness level is to give it the strength it needs to work as an ax but keep it from being too hard. If it is as hard like a knife would normally be (HRc 55-60), then it would be much more brittle. The range we have chosen gives us a good balance of strength and hardness for the scraper edge.
Where will you be making the KLAX?
The KLAX will be made in China if we can fund. I made my prototypes in the US and got pricing for larger quantities before getting really discouraged. The price to manufacture them in the US was over four times the cost in China. The final price would have been too high for people to afford them.
How does the clamping system work?
The clamps are centered on a 1/4”-28 threaded bolt shaft which requires over 1000 lbs of load to shear it, so it is very stout.
The clamps themselves are 5/16” thick and are extremely stout as well. Like the head, the clamps are heat treated in order to increase their strength considerably.
The “front” clamp is threaded and rides along the threaded section of the bolt shaft. It is removed from its stowed position by rotating the knob at the back. When the head is inserted into the handle, it is clamped in place by further turning the knob.
The “rear” clamp rotates out of the handle and is spring loaded to drop into a notch specially shaped to hold it in place. Once the clamp is tightened, it cannot be turned, bent, or otherwise moved until you loosen the system with the Knob.
What is the Klax good for? What is it not good for?
The KLAX is not the tool for you if any of the following applies… I want to build a log cabin in the woods I want to cut up a chord of firewood I want to split logs full of knots I want to do any job that you would normally use a full sized ax instead of a hatchet
If you have the ability and/or means to carry along full sized dedicated tools with you on the road or in the woods, then you should do that instead as those tools will better serve you if you run into trouble,
But, if you can’t carry all that or you want to be ready to tackle unexpected problems even when you can’t take your big tools, then you should consider a KLAX.
The KLAX is designed to be a short term solution to many of the problems that you could face either planned or unexpected. It will help you to get through situations where carrying a full set of dedicated tools is just not possible or realistic. Here are a few examples… stuck on the roadside in the backwoods and need to build a lean-to for shelter injured hiker needs an impromptu travois (stretcher) to be carried to safety hiking and need enough wood for a small cooking fire hunting and want to make small game traps forgot the hammer and need to pound in the tent pegs starting the split on a small log without many knots * need to dig a hole (let’s see your multi-tool do that)
Bottom Line: If you think it is trying to replace your full-sized dedicated tools for everyday use, you won’t be happy with the KLAX.
What are the notches on the Handle for?
The notches in the handle are the location where the clamps will grab onto the handle to ensure that even if the clamps start to loosen, that it will be unable to come off of the handle. See “how do you know if the clamps are working correctly?”
In the case of making a field expedient handle, we recommend ALWAYS cutting similar notches into your rough handle to ensure that the clamps are captured inside the handle like with our handle design.
How do you know if the clamps are working correctly?
The clamps are working correctly when they are seated in the handle notches and have been fully “seated”. To seat the clamps into the handle, the first few times you use it, you should tighten the clamps as tight as you can by hand. Then, tap the hammer head squarely on the top of a log or stump a few times and re-tighten the knob. Once you’ve done that, hit the handle more firmly to seat it further and repeat the tightening process until you cannot tighten it anymore. Be sure to check the head periodically and re-tighten. Typically it will no longer loosen after about five minutes of use, but make sure to check it anyway.
Is the wood being damaged? The hardwood handle is extremely tough and can handle having a small portion crushed. Typically, it will be easier each time you re-install the head on the handle because you have compressed the hardwood a small amount. If you make a handle in the woods, be sure it is of suitable handle material (FAQ coming on this), make sure to add notches. It is not recommended to re-use any field handles.
The hardwood handles in the video looked kind of thin. Why is that?
The prototype handles that we made for our testing and for our video were created by using an off-the-shelf hickory ax handle that was shortened to the right length. As such, we took material out of the middle to make room for the head. To compensate for the material we removed, the final handle design will be much thicker, but still made of hickory which is a hardwood traditionally used for axes. The final handles will be much more sturdy than our prototypes. Note that none of our prototypes has had an issue in all of our testing in spite of being much thinner.
Why would I use the KLAX when I can just take along a real Ax? The answer is, “you wouldn’t”. The bottom line is that the KLAX is designed to give you a very useful tool to use in a pinch. It will do a good job at a lot of small tasks, but it will not replace a full sized dedicated tool if you have one handy.