Yes, today is Halloween, and in a nod to the movie franchise, rather than the holiday, we’re reviewing the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman. It’s an axe, saw, mallet, and tent stake puller, all in one. Had this product been around 30 or so years ago, it could have had a starring role in some terrible movies. Instead, we gave it a shot at center stage for our last campfire.
Like the plot of a B movie, the premise of the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman is simple: it chops, cuts, pounds, and pulls. Actually, that’s not unlike the star of most slasher films. The Woodsman is even outfitted with a Halloween color scheme – black handle and blade, orange blade cover. What sets it apart from your typical axe is that is has saw blades stored in the handle. Pull one out, and with a little bit of work, it can be attached to the hinged axe head cover and the foot of the handle. Bam! You’ve got a bow saw. Of course, you can leave the saw blades stored in the handle, remove the cover, and use it as an axe. The back side of the axe head is useful for pounding stakes and other light duty work. When it’s time to pack up camp, the stake puller on the end of the handle can be put to use too.
Almost any time you try to make one tool do the job of four, there is going to be some compromise, and the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman is no exception. We liked the axe blade, and found that it’s quite effective. Rather than a thick, forged unit, it’s cut from what looks like 1/4″ plate. Removing the cover was a bit of a task. Not difficult, just unusual, as you must unscrew it then pry it apart. Swinging the axe, not everyone found their sweet spot on the handle, with the lever for the saw blade interfering a bit. The hard plastic doesn’t offer the same vibration damping as wood or other composites, but for small jobs, that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Setting up the saw was easy enough, but the plastic did not instill a lot of confidence. It held up, but it’s hard to say how long it’s going to last. On the cover, you can see the black rubber grip surfaces. They worked well, although smaller hands may not find it comfortable. Because the axe handle lacks the curve of a bow saw, the capacity is somewhat limited, but we had no trouble with logs up to four inches, as long as care was taken at the end of the stroke.
Could you buy a better axe and a bow saw for the MSRP of $79.95? Maybe. Would they be as handy and convenient? Probably not. If you use an axe or bow saw a lot, then the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman is most likely not for you. But if you need both for camping, hunting, or weekend maintenance around the yard or back 40, it’s hard to beat this package. I wouldn’t want to build a cabin with it, although if I had a cabin, the Woodsman would definitely be at home there. zippooutdoor.com
You were expecting maybe an article on pumpkin carving?
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman for free from Zippo, in consideration for review publication.