SOG Backcountry Axe Review

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewThe Backcountry is an offering from SOG and is made just the way I’ve been saying Gerber and Fiskars should have done years ago. They all had hollow handles and you should put something up there, like survival tools or something, as it feels like a waste of space.

 

 

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewSOG has done just that with their new camping axe, the SOG Backcountry. SOG has incorporated a 7 1/2 inch saw, which is hidden in the handle. I do like the fact that with this product you have two of the main items you need for bushcraft in one. The saw handle is made from the same material as the axe handle, which is a very strong material made from a glass-reinforced nylon, which is nearly unbreakable in my experience. I’ve owned many such products and so have friends, and I’ve never seen anyone to date break or damage this material.  It’s also less weight than steel and I would say has a similar weight to wood, only far more durable to the elements.

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewThe head of the Backcountry comes raw forged and much of the 39oz is the head of the axe. This is great for chopping, but some may find it a little heavy for backpacking.  Personally I think they have done a lot of the right things with this axe and the weight doesn’t bother me, in fact I like a heavier head on an axe as this makes it chop that much better!

 

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewWhen I say they have done a lot right I’m speaking about the saw. SOG has incorporated a blade that cuts through just about any wood. I used this one on maple and in case you’re not familiar, maple is one of the hardest woods out there! The Backcountry worked like a charm cutting just about anything I put in front of it. When you think about it if it cuts maple it will work on just about any wood just fine. I have found it to work much better on green wood than dry, as most saws like that are made for the woods. Another added feature is you could fit a spare blade in the handle if you wanted, and I’m sure you can order one from SOG.

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewWhen the saw is deployed, as you pull the saw from the handle there is a small guard that pops into place that prevents the hand from sliding up the blade when and if the saw blade catches on the wood your cutting. It will happen so it’s nice to have this added feature. Something that is a very big must in my opinion is a replaceable blade, as in any product when you can replace a component it greatly increases the life and use of that product. With the Backcountry you can remove the blade with only a Torx screw driver, which many of us carry as accessories in our mutlitools, and this brings me to an important point: when buying gear you should be mindful of how you would fix it or repair it in the field. I always try to buy products and outfit my packs with this in mind - that way I can fix and repair anything in my pack with the tools on hand, making your Bug Out Bag or go bag that much more versatile.

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewThe saw holds very securely in the handle and even with vigorous chopping it will not slip out.  It’s locked in place by two notches which lock into the lanyard holes of the axe, revealing just about the only downside to this axe which is a lack of lanyard holes unless you take the saw out. Not a big deal for me as I have never used a lanyard on an axe unless it was a tomahawk, but some many find they need one.

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewThe axe head didn’t come super sharp, which shocked me, as every product I have used from SOG has been razor sharp. Not a big deal as sharpening it only took a moment and after that it was back up and running.

 

 

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewI have to say I’m not a huge fan of the molded nylon sheaths, they tend to not hold as secure as product sheaths like kydex but the SOG Backcountry sheath was top notch and held the head of the axe very securely. With its open in the back design it allows you to slide the axe in and out, and secure it with a backing that snaps over a locking divot.  We jumped around and tried everything to get the axe head to move but it stayed in place 100%. SOG has also incorporated a slide over belt hook that both securely holds the sheath to your belt but also allows you to remove the axe in seconds. I would compare the speed and ease of this to carrying a sheath axe in your belt - all it takes is a small well placed pull to pop the sheath off, which is very convenient when it comes time to sit down.

SOG Backcountry Axe ReviewAll being said this is one product with a lot going for it when it comes to backpacking and camping. I can tell you when it comes to bushcraft you must have a saw and an axe so having both in one product is very useful, especially when they work and work as well as they do with the SOG Backcountry. But something to keep in mind is when you have both saw and axe in one like this, if you lose it you lose both, so best to be mindful of your gear, as you should always be!

 

 

 

 

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