Washington Firefighter Redesigns Fire Ax, Unveils BADAXX

BADAXX resting on firefighter turnout gear

A Washington state firefighter’s work on redesigning the traditional fire ax resulted in the creation of the BADAXX.

Scott McCann, a fire lieutenant with the Spokane Fire Department for the past 23 years, saw the need to lighten his load by combining multiple tools into one.

“I had been contemplating redesigning the fire ax for a few years,” said McCann, “I have always struggled with which hand tool to take to the roof with me in emergency situations. I liked the pick head ax to provide an extra foothold, but the blade has a tendency to become pinched when set into building materials. For years, we have taught firefighters to use the back side of a flat head ax to eliminate the struggle of a pinched blade. There had to be a way to incorporate both the pick and the blunt face into a single ax head. Once my department purchased the bailout kits, I decided it was time to design something that had all of these features and included a solid bailout anchor point in case I needed to rappel to safety.”

Firefighter tools: Set of irons

Like most good ideas, it took a significant amount of capital to get the BADAXX from a concept to production. McCann turned to “crowd funding” via kickstarter.com  and raised 150% of the necessary funding needed to begin production. Many other first responders rallied behind McCann’s idea as they too saw a need for innovation to help take their equipment to the next level.

Like most fire axs on the market today, the BADAXX weighs eight pounds, but the similarities end there. The head is designed with a pick on one end and the blunt face on the other. The pick is designed to provide a good solid set and not wobble loose like other pick head axs. Set at an angle, the pick can also be used for lifting and prying. On the other side is a flat surface for striking, making it an ideal tool for forcible entry when paired with a halligan-style bar. The rectangular hole in the side of the head receives the adz blade of a halligan style bar, allowing the handles to mate closer than any other tool currently on the market. The striking surface is flanked by two beveled edges that aid in “chopping” while preventing the blade from becoming pinched. Other features include a notch for gas line shut off and knurling on the top of the ax head to increase traction when used as a foothold and to prevent the tool from slipping when forcing doors. The beard of the BADAXX head is made to create a rock-solid bailout anchor for rappelling.

The handle is precision machined from aerospace-grade billet aluminum, and is both beautiful and functional. The ergonomic design makes for a well-balanced and easily manipulated tool. Incorporated features include; two styles of hydrant wrenches, a notch to receive the optional carrying strap, and a rope/hook attachment point at the end. The BADAXX is also offered in a number of custom anodized colors.

Lear more at www.thebadaxx.com.

Firefighting equipment: Another view of the BADAXX


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