Multi-tools have been around for a quite a long time. They took a quantum leap with the advent of the Swiss Army Knife, a knife-based multi-tool, and then another when Tim Leatherman dropped his eponymous pliers-based design. Knives, saws, pry tools, drivers, and bottle openers are easy to integrate. Pliers are a bit more difficult.
But to this day, the hammer remains the most daunting challenge for a multi-tool. Aside from a few bargain bin designs that combine a pair of pliers and a hammer into an ergonomic nightmare or crazy axe designs, no real multi-tool has even tried to integrate a hammer. The Leatherman MUT has a smashing end, but without the long arm and heavy head to coerce physics to help you out, it’s not the same.
ACLIM8 has a new multi-tool on Kickstarter, the Combar (which has already met its funding goal, so you can pledge with some certainty—no project is ever 100% guaranteed on Kickstarter), and it looks like the best attempt at a hammer-based multi-tool.
This is no flimsy device. It has a massive handle and a real steel head to give you the heft and durability you would expect in a hammer. It also comes with a fold away, lock in place axe head, and a fold away spade (a narrow design more like a garden space than a shovel). If you opt for the Pro model, the hollow handle stores two more tools: a small fixed blade knife and a folding wood saw. The Combar has a holster and a full carry case if you want to integrate it on to a backpack.
The full Combar Pro kit, which includes the hammer/axe/spade with the knife and saw in the handle, as well as the carry case and holster, runs a pretty penny at $579 on Kickstarter. The base model without the knife, saw, or carrying accessories, runs $359.
That’s a lot of money, given that you could buy all of the tools included as standalones for significantly less. But this is a tool made with good materials—titanium and aluminum are used as weight savers (the Combar tips the scales at 3.2 pounds) and the stainless steel parts, usually 420J or 420HC—both lower grade steels, are all hardened appropriately.
In all, this seems like the best multi-tool design with a hammer we have seen. The hammer has always been the biggest design challenge in multi-tools and ACLIM8 might have just solved this perennial problem.
See More(via KickStarter)
Update 1/1/2020: It’s now available on Amazon.
There is the Cole-bar ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/363439631/the-cole-bar-hammer ), which you have covered.
I did back that. Still waiting, but hopeful.
There seems to be more a problem/challenge getting the gears for the pry bar portion of it to sustain the force.
The Cole-Bar sent out announcements a long while back that they are not going to move forward.
it would be nice if the spade was bigger/wider – but to be fair interesting idea. That knife doesn’t look too small to me. I’d rather have a model with a hold in the handle to put whatever I can put in there – vs spending so much extra for their kit.
SO if I was to buy one I’d want the cheaper model but I hope it still has the cavity and end cap the other model has. Put a ring saw in there – maybe a folding saw if I had one that fit. etc – and still come out ahead of the game.
Steven from Aclim8. All models have the space in the handle. You can use either the supplied ‘magazine’ to store ring saws etc. or design something for the space yourself. We would love to see new ideas for usage.
I would be in at $200. Perhaps some market research is in order?
I can see $200 maybe. But my thought is I can get a decent cold steel Tomahawk for about $50 that does prettt much off of that.
You are closer with the 50 dollar price.
They are way out odd their minds on the price. Maybe at $300.
Even worse the whole tool is made with a sub par steel choice for this price point.
Steven from Aclim8 here. Yes it is not cheap. We designed it to be robust and used excellent materials to provide the level of quality we wanted plus a lifetime warranty. The titanium in the spade alone is more than you will find in any knife out there. Have a look at a decent brand titanium folder and then compare it to what you get from us.
Not sure where the ‘sub par’ steel choice comes from. 6061-T6 Hard anodized Aluminum for the shaft. Titanium 6AL-4V for the spade and axe cheeks. The rest is stainless steel 420JC or HC.
At $1000 price point, there had better be a solid Gold, Platinum, or Silver insert somewhere, weighing about 8 Oz pure. Steel, Aluminum, and Titanium aren’t that costly. Plus the weight of the whole tool, and the bad Spade (Really an Adze, not a Spade) design, plus the false advertising about “Best Multi-Tool Ever” and “Nature Never Compromises” when you’ve left the Pro users high-and-dry when using the Holster… It adds up to a ripoff.
Titanium and Aluminum are common materials in Multi-Tools. And their versions max out at around 4 Oz total tool size, at the $150 price point. You want to know why? Because Tool Users of our type aren’t up mountains smashing rocks. We’re installing cabinet hardware and electrical or electronics panels. Your 3-pound monstrosity is a camping and hiking tool, and with the vast majority of us having to invest our money into tools that make us money, yours falls desperately short of desirability. We can buy 2 drill/driver kits for the retail price of your outdoor toy. We can make back our money spent on our other tools within months of working with them.
For the COMBAR, we’d be in the hole for its cost, which we can’t maximize its use for, for a bare minimum of 5 years’ worth of vacation time, which we rarely, if ever, take. Plus, expanding into Canada? The “Spade” is little larger than our own hands, and much slower to move things like ice or snow from tires, plus our hands don’t risk ripping, damaging, or puncturing tires while in use to free them. The COMBAR is CLEARLY not designed for this audience. It’s an over-expensive toy that won’t pay for itself building things the way ToolGuyd users use tools.
I’m sorry. Your tool is several zeroes too high a price point for the audience here. I already carry better made tools on my belt, and find your false claims that the COMBAR is “The Best Multi-Tool Ever” to be laughable when I see how little use it is to a tool person.
Part of the issue here is that there are no commercial off the shelf components here–the hammer, the axe, the knife, and the spade are basically made just for this tool.
Also, given the size of the run, amortizing all of that machining and processing results in high per unit pricing, but that is the case with all of these kinds of tools.
Considering that’s true for Leatherman as well, and Leatherman took time to grow capital instead of making limited runs of things, it still doesn’t excuse the price point of this tool.
All that talk of MilSpec is just proof that these are designed and made by Military specialists, not Contractors. The ToolGuyd audience isn’t dominated by the Military, so we’re not the audience for this tool. We look at how we can use it, and it utterly falls short of every need and expectation we have.
Aclim8 needs a DARPA or DoD grant, not a Kickstarter campaign. This audience here on ToolGuyd will NOT see a value for a$500 sub-par axe with obvious bias in favour of use in Military situations. This will not help anyone in the trades, and it certainly won’t be anyone’s EDC from pickup truck to worksite.
This tool doesn’t have a home in the Civilian Market. Knife Enthusiasts are not stupid, and neither are Tradesmen. This tool is a Military Contract without a home. Give all the excuses you want, this should not have been brought here.
Respectfully, it absolutely does belong here on ToolGuyd.
I’ve posted about International Space Station tool storage https://toolguyd.com/iss-toolbox-tools/
New socket tool invetions https://toolguyd.com/adjustable-ratcheting-socket-wrench-invention/
Lego trucks https://toolguyd.com/lego-technic-mercedes-benz-arocs-building-set/
Lego auto shop dioramas https://toolguyd.com/lego-auto-garage-scooter-service-shop-builds/
So why not a first of its kind outdoors multi-tool?
Maybe it’ll inspire someone to build a more affordable tradesmen-centric version. Maybe there are some readers who could benefit from a tool like this. Such a user might have a need or problem that this could solve, despite the cost.
ToolGuyd is read by all kinds of people. Contractors, DIYers, industrial professionals, active military personnel, instructors, farmers, rescuers, deal-shoppers, university professors, high school teachers, junior high school teachers, tool brand product managers, inventors, and so forth.
I have a budget for tool samples, and a special budget for “I’d never buy that” tools, because it can help put things in perspective at times.
This tool is way outside my “I’d never buy that” tool sample budget, and it’s outside my personal needs. But I still found the post interesting.
Remember, nothing ever gets posted here on ToolGuyd without going through me, whether my posts, or by contributors new and long-standing alike.
Some products solve problems that don’t exist. There was a big story recently, about a pricy juicer that scanned barcodes on special subscription-only packets. It turned out that it was easier to squeeze the contents out by hands.
But this? It seems to be a problem-solver. And if not a problem-solver for you, perhaps a problem solver for others.
Maybe some users will treat it as a conversation piece. But reading about who designed it and why, I’m inclined to believe that its design is driven by a desire to solve a problem and fill experienced and observed needs, rather than being marketing-driven.
At 3.2 pounds it would not be a backpacker’s or climber’s delight. A climber’s wall hammer might weigh in at 2 pounds and add some other functionality. My favorite Swedish camping hatchet weighs in at about 1.3 pounds. But this does add on a knife and small saw. Anyway I’m not the target audience and as others have said – it is way too pricey.
OK so they are indeed on to something.
YOur hammer 2 lbs, hatchet 1.3 and you still don’t have a folding shovel or such so another 1.3 let’s say. vs this 3.2 lbs tool is lighter and you don’t have 3 different handles to try to pack up in your kit.
SO in the realm of minimizing your individual load out – this is a useful idea albeit expensive.
Maybe – but a rock climber would not likely carry both (or this), a backpacker might if the price were right – but the weight would still be an issue compared to a hatchet, folding shovel and knife.
Then there is this multi-tool that may not be as functional – certainly looks less robust and less elegant but is an order of magnitude cheaper:
I think that design has merit. It might not look be as elegant but it does look to be even more functional. I do question the execution and it might need some refinement but that look like a very decent multi-tool for a camper.
While searching for an alternative I found this thing…
Perused the site. Not for me… I do want to watch the guy that tries to dig his vehicle tire out with this spade, as the blurb suggests. LOL.
Interesting idea. The design seem to be well thought-out. Price is rather steep for me but understandable. Limited production run, niche market… As long as it live up to it promises (quality, durability, warranty) I think it will do fairly well. Overall It does look like a good tool for a lone backpacker.
Personally I carry the Trucker Friend in my car along with a folding saw. Sometimes I’ll add a folding shovel. All add up to well under $150. When we go backpacking we usually splits the main tool so each will have a different primary tools (guns, axe, big knife…)
$579?? More like $79
You can have a tool that does one thing well, or a multitool that does many things poorly.
My thoughts exactly…. Seems like it is for people who have more money than sense. I think a E-tool alone would be more useful.
Agreed. Gadget guy thing to pass around to friends drinking beer on the couch.
I think you guys are missing the point of the tool. It is designed for hard use in serious situation. Each tool is carefully thought out for the purpose and has been subjected to mil-spec testing.
I’m not saying some armchair warrior will not buy one and never use it but that is not our intended audience.
In what field, Steven? Carpentry? Metal Smithing? Millwork? Electrical installation? Drywall? Welding?
The vast number of ToolGuyd users here make their tools pay them back for buying them. Whether it be a nail we choose to hammer in, or a full on Miter Saw. What job does the COMBAR do? How does it earn money for the user? ‘Cause we’re not seeing it paying us back $79, let alone $579, or especially $999. We can’t use it to make money, so we are hesitant when you flaunt all sorts of specs that say more about your choices of audience than they do the value of the tool.
I don’t think the Combar is intended for carptentry, metal smithing, millwork, electrical installation, drywalling, or welding. Just like a paint brush probably won’t help in the great outdoors, the Combar is probably out of place in a tool box for a general handyman. That said, I do appreciate the need for tools that pay for themselves.
Anthony, let me take this time to say that you are most appreciated on the ToolGuyd team, and your review of the COMBAR was extremely well written, and you show great benefit to many of us in the future.
But, let’s be totally honest here. The COMBAR doesn’t belong on ToolGuyd. This is not the kind of EDC we would EVER be interested in. Aclim8 may have started a Kickstarter campaign for it, but for the vast majority of us who use WORKING tools (Tools that make us money) this device is a joke at best. All the work they’ve put into trying to convince the public they need it, and they’ve totally shot themselves in the foot for their funding method. They come from the Military, and should have approached the Military instead of the Civilian market. That would have built their capital for them, and allowed them to produce them in a factory, where they could finally drop it down to Civilian pricing. At THAT point, I’m sure we’d be interested here at the ToolGuyd community.
Most of us have had to balance our tool costs with some sort of business cost. We’re business owners as much as we are hobbyists and tradesmen. So, the likelihood is, we’re not going to use this for anything but Camping or City Life. And at $1000… This is a failure to us. We can’t balance the use versus the expense. You might be a Knife and Survivalist expert, with a whole fascination with the newest and the most different… but really this is a very different audience than that. Knives, we do like. EDC, we do like. Flashlights, pocket tools, etc… we use them all the time.
The COMBAR is WAY outside our wheelhouse. For future reference, the tool being reviewed really does have to fit into a business structure we’ll see reflected in ourselves. It’s not enough that it simply exists. We’re smart enough, collectively, to see when a tool is a gimmick or a toy that we can’t justify buying.
But, let’s be totally honest here. The COMBAR doesn’t belong on ToolGuyd.
Yes, it does.
See https://toolguyd.com/combar-outdoors-multi-tool-with-hammer-axe-spade-more/#comment-1169637 .
Novel tools are always worth discussing, even if they’re beyond our budgets, needs, or even wants.
More examples come to mind – https://toolguyd.com/toolchanger-toolbox-tool-storage/
Mil-spec? Military specification, meaning the minimum required to mean specification. Meaning the company that can achieve that lowest price while meeting those specs is awarded that contract. So your saying the lowest bidder manufactured those parts? And what “mil-spec” were these parts spec’d to? The same mil-spec that is spec’d for a P-51 can opener?
If Woodpeckers called this a One Time Tool it’d sell out…. Lol
Price is right for them.
Pretty sure that 1.) You count on it being delivered or get your money back . 2.) It would have tight and precision cnc cuts to x/1000th lol. 3.) It would be st least this expensive 😉
That said reading about the hollow handle for storing the knife etc. I can only imagine the rattle.
This is not really in the EDC multi-tool category (perhaps stored in your rig). Even the Leatherman Surge was almost to big and heavy for EDC in your belt. I could see this better sold to, if it was tested for SF Teams /or sailboaters (but also selling for well north of $1k as it is paid by DoD). They do have cool toys like Ti bolt cutters with carbide jaws that weigh almost nothing.
I do keep the basics in my rigs, HD jumper cables, small folding camping shovel, gear wrench ratchet kit’s, cheap HF, K-bar knock offs complete with hollow handle, compass, saw matches, fishing hooks, etc.
Yes, this seems to have more of the gadget factor, but give me my wave leatherman and if not stuck in the Sahara with just sand. I can fashion a hatchet/hammer (or simply spend a few minutes searching for an appropriate rock, hey not framing a house, if you were bring a $25 framing hammer.
The shovel/spade again for snow or sand (and your vehicle a $15-25 fold camp shoveI or $10 B&D folding trunk shovel. Unless it is for your G-wagon or Tesla PD then the is perfect for when you can get ahold of roadside service.
Sorry for the long diatribe, but the Leatherman/multi-tool other than some specialized MT were never meant to replace a regular screwdriver, saw, file, scissors, pliers, but they do get regular use because they are handy but they were also the right size for EDC.
I was really curious as to why stuart or ben would post this “tool”. But i see now that it’s ANTHONY SCULIMBRENE. I’d be interested to hear his background.
Oh, I didn’t notice that. He is a knife and flashlight nerd. His blog is pretty good and tries to give objective rationale as to why this is a good sword (or not). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qucKoFsPPmo
That does explain the review better, I did see his name by the tag line, and I did notice it was well written. I can better appreciate this review from a fellow blade/knife/tool-aholic .
It is nice to see Stuart broading the reader base. Hey Stuart has even reviewed some Lab and precision tools that I was thinking huh? But I did learn from it and may even use the same way.
Really? ‘Will retail for $999’? When did Tiffanys get into the tool business?
At one time Hammacher-Schlemmer (HS) was an actual hardware store and tool purveyor on 57th street about 3 blocks away from the flagship Tiffany 5th Ave NY Store. Of course when HS opened before the Civil War – the Manhattan landscape was very much different and Tiffany’s was located much further downtown.
This is an advertisement. I get that this site regularly shows new tools that you’ve never touched or seen, but those tools are from companies that produce tools of an already known quantity. This is just someone’s design, that they had a quality machine shop produce a prototype of. Who’s going to make it, certainly not these guys, they’re going to contract it to a factory in China, which one, the low bidder? What’s they’re experience procuring quality products from any contract manufacturer, let alone from China? Maybe that’s all addressed somewhere, I didn’t study for too long. But for $600 bucks you can get something that will look cool on the mantel of your bachelor pad.
The design’s crap too, good luck with that shovel. Might make a packaging engineer smile though. An actual hammer and a sharp Japanese style garden knife, hori hori, would weigh less, do more and cost a fraction.
But then i think we all know this isn’t a tool designed to actually be used.
Well, as much as I don’t want to, I now feel compelled to spend the weekend riveting a Hori Hori onto the handle of a perfectly good hammer.
Steven from Aclim8 here. All steel comes from a single manufacturer in Taiwan. All plastic (glass filled nylon) comes from an Israeli holster manufacturer. All assembly will initially be in Israel with the original design team.
You, sir, just put a nail in the coffin for this tool being liked by the visitors of this website… They tend to be Pro-USA Made tools, and will fight tooth-and-nail against outsourcing to places like Taiwan and China.
I’m Canadian, and I have been told I own a couple of trees in Israel. And that is about as soft a cushion against the Pro-USA posters as I can give you.
It really is best if you and the Author here (Anthony Sculimbrene) stop trying to defend the tool with the talking points you’ve already prepared, and started examining who ToolGuyd’s Audience is. Because at this point, you’ve both shot yourselves in the foot on this one. It’s an incredibly well worded, very intelligent review of the tool, done by Anthony. But we’re tool users. Multi-Tool Users as well. You keep speaking like we’re Mountaineers and Military Contractors here. Although I have no doubt there are at least 2 or 5 of that type of customer that visits here, the other thousand or two are more likely to only see your tool as a camping tool, for use 1-3 weeks out of every two years.
It’s time to take this tool to the target audience. Not us. You need a DoD or DARPA grant, not a Kickstarter. You come from the Military, use Military Specs, and have decided (wrongly) to market a Military design to Civilians and Engineers. As a former Scout? I would have LOVED one of these… if you’d designed the magazine and holster properly, and dropped the price point to Civilian pricing around $100. Every penny above that, for the civilian market, is $10 overpriced. Reach out to the Military and Forestry Enforcement via the DoD, worldwide. It’s the only group of people who would buy this item.
Not an ad. It is an unusual multitool design and that is why I wrote about it. I do not get paid by Combar, did not receive anything in exchange from them, and I did not talk to them about the post. It was just something different and it tries to do something that no multitool has done yet.
Good to see someone trying and this is on the better end of tools with a similar concept. However, this would only make sense to me for a person in their car who doesn’t plan to be near the woods or even better on a motorcycle. Whether in a car or hiking or bushcrafting, I’d rather take a proper hatchet(the poll can double as a hammer), a small but lightweight knife such as a Mora Companion, a folding saw such as a Bahco Laplander, and a titanium trowel. True not really an option for a pick there but for dirt one could get away without. All my picks could be had for less money and only a bit more weight but their capability offsets things and extra space taken up isn’t too bad either. Easily packable in a pack and a car is less of an issue unless one drives something like a Smart Car. I’d even consider a folding aluminum buck saw, far more capable then a small folding saw for processing wood for shelter and fire, especially when the temperature starts to drop. More capable tools save on the calories used to pack them out. One could even fashion a digging stick or a trowel handle if they wanted and were in a wooded environment. I know back in the old days people wrapped a buck saw blade behind their belt around their waist and just made the bow out in the woods fast and easily (for them).
Jeremy J Solsbery
Cool but no way anyone pays a grand for it.
Stupid and overpriced.
If I need to hammer something out in the Boonies, I’ll pick up a rock, whack what needs whacking, throw the rock back where I found it, be a grand richer and my knapsack will be 3# lighter.
Your new reviewer needs to learn this isn’t a survivalist site. The people here BUILD things.
To be fair, we’re DIYers and EDC people as well. The new guy just needs to be a little less enthusiastic over “Outdoor Survival” based living. Since most of us are Every-Day-Carrying stuff from a house to a car or bus, not up a mountain.
That price has to be a joke right?
Steven from Aclim8 here. Yes it is not cheap. We designed it to be robust and used excellent materials to provide the level of quality we wanted plus a lifetime warranty. The titanium in the spade alone is more than you will find in any knife out there. Have a look at a decent brand titanium folder and then compare what you get from us.
Leatherman Charge TTI+ is 4 Oz or so, and sells for around $200. THAT tool has hardened saws, files, and screwdrivers that can all be chisels that can do the job of your axe. Plus they’re using a higher grade steel for it. It has a 25 year no-questions-asked warranty, and has a force tolerance greater than the weight of a hummer. You can smash a rock flat, and create a bigger surface to move dirt or snow away from tires than your “Spade” is capable of moving. Also, in the same climates, our hands do a better job than the blade you’re calling a “Spade”…
And, of course… You keep saying “This isn’t our target audience”… Well, you’re right. You didn’t need a Kickstarter campaign, you needed a DoD or DARPA contract. THEY are your sole audience. This isn’t for us. You can’t seriously expect us to shell out that kind of money for a Military Prep tool.
One of the interesting parts of Kickstarter is that it generates capital to convert these small batch innovative designs into full scale production products. That tends to bring the price down over time. I am not sure if that will happen with the Combar, but it has happened with other products.
Their design is Military in nature, and they openly present themselves as veterans. The place they should have gone for capital was the Military. They could have got this turned into the standard tool for some military or another out there, and had the capital to make a Civilian version. Perhaps where they resolved the wasted magazine compromise problem, and dropped the price down to what it is worth on the Civilian market.
Kickstarter is not the right place for Military designs. That’s Aclim8’s failure here. They came from the military, which they admit to in their campaign videos, and yet they didn’t turn right around and go to the DoD or DARPA with the design for funding. They could have been the PMC responsible for making and providing this tool to half of the NATO, EU, and UAE militaries, with funding and manufacturing made easy. From there, they could have easily just changed a colour or two, sourced their steel and aluminum from a Civilian Partner company, and licensed their design to an established Civilian company with pre-established global distribution.
Remember… At ToolGuyd… we’re not just individuals posting here, we often are teaching eachother our life’s experiences running business ventures, heading contractor teams, and working in extreme climates… when we see a company like Aclim8 make this kind of giant mistake, we mean no insult to their product when we critique their poor choices for release. We just hope they come to their senses, really.
This is the kind of thing you see on a plane in their flight mall magazine. It kind of looks cool, then you see the price, you laugh and turn the page to look at the next overpriced kind of cool thing.
I’d rather have a ‘Truckers Friend” for 50 bucks , a Letherman Wave, and an Ontario Rat and I’d feel good about what they could do and be happy for my wallet.
Ontario rat is quite a knife. And a great price.
Too heavy for backpacking I’m thinking maybe canoe/kayak tripping. Where weight isn’t a critical issue but space is. Anyway too expensive for my budget.
I’m sorry, this is just stupid. If you buy this you will end up like me after every date. In tears and with less money in your wallet. First, look at the design aspect. The axe is very tiny, it doesn’t protrude that much at all from the handle. Look at the first picture on the Kickstarter page where the axe is in a tree. There doesn’t seem to be that much room for your fat fingers at the end of the handle between the tree and the axe. It seems like a totally staged shot. If someone swung the axe and it landed parallel to the tree as shown, they would have smashed their fingers. The axe needs to extend further out from the handle. Then the axe cheeks have a sharp ledge so the axe can only go down about 2 inches before it gets hung up by the ledge. You are going to have a hard time splitting small logs and stakes. Even in the video on the Kickstarter page, about 25 seconds in, he is trying to split a small log and he seems to be trying to split it while holding the axe parallel to the log rather than using the axe to split the top while perpendicular. The axe needs to be a wedge to spilt logs smoothly. The hammer is nothing special, again it doesn’t seem to protrude much beyond the handle. The spade only seems useful for light gardening, like making small holes for seeds for some potted plants. The main reason you want a spade when you are out camping is so that you can make a hole in the ground so you can go #2. You are going to soil your pants before you make a hole with that tiny spade. It is more practical as a spear. The spade needs to be wider to move more material faster. Now for the price aspect. For 3 half useless tools they want to charge you $499 retail. For only $899 retail, they will throw in a knife, folding saw, flint, and case. If you want the holster too, that will be $999 retail! I think I’d be embarrassed to pull one of these out and tell someone I paid $1000 for it. They’d look at me and the axe and wonder which is the more useless tool. If the tool seemed like it would excel at being what it is advertised as, then maybe you could see some value in it. However, it appears to be a bunch of compromises. Then you want to attach a thousand dollar price tag on it, I am going to hate it even more. Maybe the price is not inflated, maybe they are only making a small margin because there’s alot of startup costs. Maybe. I doubt it. They seem to be trying to cash in on the ‘tacti-cool” / “survival” / “cool gadget” market and there are plenty of people there with more money than sense that are willing to pay for such . A few alternatives have already been mentioned. If I were looking for the same functionality I would get a roofing hatchet, a folding shovel (even the “Russian” shovel ), a decent hunting knife, some matches in a waterproof case (because I just want to start a fire and not test how fast I can rub two sticks together), and a folding saw. You could pick up all of this for less than $150 and each will be better at their tasks than this half-axed job. ( I made a funny). I would be interested in seeing some real world reviews of this tool and a follow up on this company in a 12-18 months and see how it all turned out. One more thing- Why are there so many “survival” tools sold on the market? Are there really that many people dying in the backcountry areas that could have lived if they had a “survival” knife/ axe/ stick/ keyfob? If you were really stranded somewhere without modern tools, what makes anyone think their survival gadget would be there with them too? Why not just have a “survival” satellite phone, or locator beacon then?
I think it’s safe to say that most of us toolguyds aren’t the target market for this. Frankly I think we are a tough crowd to please. Not that it’s a bad thing.
Bluntly put, even if this was 100% American made, nearly $1000, not including shipping, taxes would be VASTLY overpriced. Virtually no average user would buy this, as you could buy domestically made axes, knives for hundreds less. Heck, I still can’t imagine people lining up to buy this even if this were professionally sharped by set of master knife sharpeners.
Perhaps this appeals to hipsters or anyone with a large disposable income, yet I can’t see anyone willing to pay for this at this price. Then again, I’ve seen people stand in lines for Apple electronic toys and Nike shoes, so I am guessing there must be a market for this. In case anyone doesn’t believe me, there are videos on this posted online proving that large amounts of people would wait hours, days or i some cases longer for electronic gadgets and shoes.
100% with the previous post.
Buy a gransfors wildlife hatchet, a mora fixed blade and bahco folding saw and you have a set of excellent proven tools with good ergonomics for less than what $200 ? With those and a little wood you can make so many more tools.
This has a truly awful design of axe.
Not an ad. It is an unusual multitool design and that is why I wrote about it. I do not get paid by Combar, did not receive anything in exchange from them, and I did not talk to them about the post. It was just something different and it tries to do something that no multitool has done yet.
Never in my life have I thought I needed something like this. Still don’t. The price ? You have got to be insane to even consider this as a realistic selling point.
It would be perfect tool targeted at Bay Area millenial “glampers” who sleep under the stars beneath their glass roofed Tesla Model S/X in AC/Heated comfort and sound system. If Tesla had dealers it would be a great dealer add on.
Koko The Talking Ape
I agree with the suggestions to buy separate tools. A good hatchet, knife and trowel will be more reliable, more effective, and cheaper. All those tricksy little bits in the head of this Combar makes me wonder how it will fare when mud, road salt, tree sap, etc. get into it.
I will accept that the Combar is lighter than the equivalent separate tools. But if it breaks, or doesn’t do the job, then you might as well have carried just the hatchet. At least then you would have a good hatchet.
And the price is crazy.
and only $80 shipped – if you shop around. While I’m not a fan of multi-tools – this one looks better than the $18 one that I linked to above
With either of those multi-tools it would be pretty easy to fab up a hammer attachment.
In the words of the old addage… “Let’s call a Spade a Spade”… In this case, that is NOT a Spade. It can qualify as an Adze, but not a Spade. You could potentially sell that particular tool on the device as being useful for removing bark on a log, in the need to hack the rest into a point for a stake with the axe, sure. But, that thing won’t handle snow and ice. It would slow you down, because it really can’t move much more material than your own hands. So, it doesn’t serve THAT purpose properly.
Say what you want about Multi-Tools, Swiss Army/Victorinox, Leatherman, whatever… Their tools are the size required for the task. That “Spade” is not a Spade in either configuration. It’s an Adze, and that is being generous.
I’m also of the mind that their Holster shouldn’t compromise between the Pro and Standard models. If you bought a Pro, you PAID for the Magazine box AND the two hidden tools. You’re supposed to leave some behind? I watched those videos. They keep saying it over and over, “Nature doesn’t compromise.” But, buy the PRO version, and YOU WILL. That makes no sense. There should be no compromise for this tool. Have somewhere to put the Magazine when the Knife and Saw are in the handle. No compromises.
And… Here’s the painful part… I’d want one of these, in this design, the Pro version and all, assuming two MAJOR changes. ONE: The Price Point should be $50 standard, and 100 Pro models. Point blank, this only has 6 tools, and I have better made tools that I paid far less for, that did more than 6 things. Kickstarter funding to cover research costs or not, the final retail price should NOT exceed $100 max. And TWO: They modify that holster to hold the Magazine as well as the tool for the pro version. Otherwise, it’s worth ZERO to me, and so is their insistence that “Nature doesn’t compromise.” All their “3 Years of Research” is wasted the second they forced Pro buyers to compromise their loadouts.
Only $999 ? Fantastic! I bet they would make faaabulous additions to Oscars after party goodie bags.
Here in the real world, and not “I’m a senior executive at Apple looking for neato accessories I can throw in the trunk of my Tesla and post on instagram”, a bog standard pry bar will do all that for like $25.
Mr Hyde should cover this thing on the next edition of KSTV.
So much bashing. I wouldn’t spend $500 on it either, but let me first acknowledge: the concept is pretty cool.
I suspect this post generated so much heat specifically because many readers saw the tool, thought it was pretty cool and then experienced disappointment realizing the price.
I too applaud inventiveness and inventors. That doesn’t mean that one should not critique their inventions. Serious comments – as opposed to just bashing – might help them or others refine their concepts. Generally the utility of a new product is either confirmed or “bashed” by the marketplace. So if this one actually gets produced and sells – we may see some real use comments rather than just our speculations and prognostications (mine included.)
I’m 100% the target market for this thing: I hike, I camp, I off-road, I 4×4, I overland, I carry a “get home bag” and I have “bug out bags.”
There is ZERO possibility of me paying $600 for what this thing provides. The convenience of a having a few tools stuffed into one product just doesn’t equate to $600.
I applaud the ingenuity and the attempt, but price-wise, its a stellar failure for the 99%ers.
I’m just going to say it to be clear. Aclim8 JUST went to the Civillian market too early, and expected Kickstarter to generate growth capital. That is the problem. That is the SOLE problem.
Aclim8 should have went back to their Military roots and went to the DoD or DARPA to get their starting Capital. Then, with state of the art factories wherever they were needed, and the buying power to get and make their custom parts in bulk, they could have easily put the COMBAR on our wishlists for eternity.
But they went Civillian first, and that has meant a glaring mistake we can all see. This kind of mistake really doesn’t belong here on ToolGuyd. Text is really blunt, and what may sound like hatred for the product is actually the voices of hundreds of past posters, natural problem solvers at that, who are going to go over the design with a red marker and correct the work we see as a problem. We don’t want you dead, we want you to go away with what we’ve pointed out, and saved yourselves before it fails as a business as a whole.
We WANT to like this creation, and we WANT Aclim8 to succeed. But that means countering every response or talking point with a counter point that sends them back to the drawing board in the BUSINESS side of this. Innovation is always supported here, but sometimes we have to give that some tough love when there is a glaring mistake. We want to help, but the money side of this is not going to win out. We can see that clearly.
Anthony is not at fault with this. His write up was spot on, and I look forward to seeing him cover some pen sized flashlights, knives, Leatherman stuff, and further EDC products. He’s really good at this. The COMBAR just happens to need a heavy handed criticism of the product, and it is unfortunate that Anthony has felt the need to defend himself, when HE did nothing wrong.
When the COMBAR gets a Version 2.0 Civillian Model, after Aclim8 is either working with, or bought by, a company like Leatherman to make a rationally priced mass-produced version… Yeah, I’m totally in for it. Perhaps consider a fork lock system so the “Spade Blade” can come off and be appropriately wide enough for the Civillian use market? It really is too narrow, but if you keep that design and call it an Adze, it would be a lumber working dream tool for camping. It comes down to who you have asked to build your company capital for you. Kickstarter was the wrong place for this design, and this version was… Well… Wrong for ToolGuyd. Anthony was a first-time staffer, Aclim8 made mistakes in funding, and we are all probably guilty of not getting you guys used to how critical we can be of things. For the future though, I still want UPDATES on how this went. I just don’t see this FIRST attempt as the right one.
for $600 i can engineer and machine my own stainless steel, spring locking prototype, and start my own multi-tool axe company. no ground-breaking alien technology at work here. good luck with that price
In case anyone was interested, these started shipping about 18 months after it was making the marketing rounds. I found a review of it and it confirms most of the commenter’s initial reactions.