Review of the new Klecker KLAX (Lumberjack and Feller)
The Klecker axe (KLAX) has been much the talk of the knife and tool community since it was first conceived. It’s something completely new and innovative and enters a market that some would perceive as being pretty stagnant in terms of development. But now the introduction of the Klecker KLAX Lumberjack and the KLAX Feller have changed that.
As an introduction the KLAX is essentially a separate axe head that can be attached to a pre-existing handle, or to a handle of your own design through an innovative and patent pending clamping system. Not only is it an axe head, it also comes complete with a range of other tools which makes it truly different from the rest. Is it any good though?
Aesthetics and design
When we first heard about these we thought “wow”, and they haven’t disappointed. But, because the first thing you see when you get the product isn’t the tool, we will start with the box and sheath.
It’s very nicely packaged, it looks smart. To us it looks a very similar style box to those used by CRKT, which is a good thing! Once you’ve opened the box you’ll see the product inside the sheath. The sheath itself is made of ballistic nylon and feels very well made, and something you should have no problem taking with you into the field if you wanted. Note that the sheath is the same for both the Lumberjack and Feller versions. Both axe (ax) heads are also stainless steel.
So far, so good. Now the design of the KLAX Lumberjack and KLAX Feller are similar, however they are a key number of differences. From the off you can see that the Feller version is a lot simpler and plainer (not necessarily a bad thing). You can see it doesn’t have anywhere near the range of tools as the Lumberjack, but to us that shows the focus has mostly been on the cutting edges of the axe head.
Onto the Lumberjack you instantly see the sheer number of tools (ten in total). There are two things that instantly stand out about the Feller. Firstly the wrench (spanner) sockets and the hex bit driver. This is something very different and we like it a lot. The second thing that sticks out is the patent pending clamping system. It looks complicated at first but is very, very simple to use. It’s also very effective, but we will go into more details about that later on.
Both axe heads are similar in terms of shape and general feel, but both offer something unique to the table.
We will look at the KLAX Feller first, mostly because it’s easier to describe. Although the design may look simple, it does still have a number of pretty cool features to tell you about.
Because the Feller doesn’t use a clamping system for attachment, it instead offers paracord lashing holes and knobs to form a very effective lashing system (shown in the pictures in this article). There is also a one hand tying off slot to make things that little bit easier. The axe blade is also versatile and can double up as an Ulu blade when not being used as an axe. If you add that to the knife edge supplied and the hammer head, you have a very effective and multi-use tool.
Now onto the KLAX Lumberjack. So the axe blade and knife edge remain, everything else is a bit different though. Starting with the obvious you can clearly see the wrench and hex sockets located in the middle of the axe head. Above that though you have an interesting tool. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking this was just a gut hook, however, Klecker’s design means that it’s also an effective bottle opener (always useful after a hard day’s work). Just behind the gut hook, you have some thumb jimping so you can keep a good grip on the head if you aren’t using the handle, or if you are using the head on it’s own. If we keep moving down the spine of the head you’ll find the carabiner clip. This is a great idea; however it feels a little flimsy for our liking. That’s not to say it’s bad, just could be better. The poll of the axe head (back) is both a hammer and a ruler. This is pretty cool and a bit different. We haven’t had a chance to use this hammer section yet, but it most definitely looks up to the task. The final feature to point out to you is the lanyard hole. A very good addition to the features by offering you versatility in how you carry the KLAX.
This section will look in particular at three things: The tools, the optional handles and the clamping system.
Starting with the tools: the cutting edges are very good. We took one out for a test run and performed extremely well both when attached to the handle or simply being held in your own hand. The wrench and hex sockets are very easy to use, and especially when the axe head it attached to the handle, you can get good force behind the tool. The bottle opener works, it’s not the easiest but it does the job, so can’t complain. However, the gut hook works well! The jimping on both axe heads adds good grip so also very impressed there. The carabineer works and so the job intended, however, because we haven’t had the KLAX’s for long we can’t give you any more details as yet (fingers crossed it stays true). The lanyard hole is as effective as you’d imagine and we still think it’s a great feature especially if you want to only carry the axe head with you.
What makes these KLAX’s stand out from anything else on the market is not only the range of tools on offer, but the option to be able to attach your head to either a pre-existing and pre-made KLAX handle or to a random stick you find out in the bush. What’s the point in either? With the pre-made handle you know you have a purpose build axe, like any other axe on the market. But, having the ability to separate the head and simply take that into the bush to make your own axe later is great feature. Why? You cut down your weight and volume of gear. You can carry less and do more. The only problem is that you aren’t guaranteed to be able to find the ideal bit of wood to make a handle, so it’s worth considering getting a handle as back up (Please note that the handles are sold separately here). That way if you know you are going to an area where it’s more difficult to get a good bit of wood, you have an option.
Now, the attachment options are very different on both the Lumberjack and Feller KLAX. Starting with the Lumberjack you can the very effective clamping system, which as long as you secure properly is impressive in its strength. With the Feller, you have to attach the head with paracord. This isn’t a problem and once secured, the stability of the head is good. However, it may take you a few times and a bit of practice to get the best possible wrap and get the most secure hold.
Overall we are very impressed. It does exactly as advertised and the build quality is very high. It’s a funtional and usable tool with lots of awesome features. It’s a highly recommended purchase!