Ok, so it doesn’t make julienne fries, but it does perform several in camp tasks surprisingly well. The axe features a solid 5-inch blade, stake mallet, stake puller, and 15-inch bow saw. Saw blades are conveniently stored inside the axe/mallet handle, and the sheath doubles as a comfortable handle for the saw and stake puller.
I left Overland Expo with the Woodsman™ in tow… reluctantly—the bold packaging and plastic hardware are decidedly not my style. In fact, my first impression was that it seemed sturdy but gimmicky. Already biased against the oversized multi-tool, but with a green light from the Zippo rep, we set out to torture the axe to the breaking point. That task proved more difficult than we imagined.
After pounding and prying away abusively at logs and tent pegs in the rocky Utah desert for the better part of a week we came away with a new-found respect for the Zippo axe. So for the past six months I’ve used it exclusively when performing the camp tasks it’s designed for to see how it does over the long term.
In that time the blade’s held an edge quite well and the polymer handle is still just as solid as day one. The stake mallet’s design takes a page from Snow Peak’s book, with a softer face deadening the shock of the strike to improve accuracy and reduce fatigue. Though it’s certainly not as pretty, the polymer has held up just as well as a copper mallet. The stake puller works well on both a direct pull and as a lever (using a small log to pry against). The bow saw cuts quickly, and is comfortable enough to slice through several logs without a break.
As a matter of personal preference, I’m still partial to the look and feel of wood, leather and copper. Nonetheless, the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman™ is a solid choice for a camp tool, particularly if you’re short on space and can benefit from having a small axe, bow saw, stake mallet and stake puller all in one. Check out the Woodsman™ at your local outdoor outfitters or directly at Zippo.