Friday, October 23, 2020

Omniblade Alternatives

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
If you're a patron of the Assorted Calibers Podcast, by now you should have heard Oddball's review of the Omniblade, a $60(!) machete-hammer-hatchet-saw "multitool". If you aren't a patron, don't worry; the episode will be free on Monday. However, if you don't want to wait, here's an executive summary: It sucks.

As part of the commentary on that podcast episode, I mentioned that I would write an article for this blog where I would recommend for you cheaper and more effective tools than the Omniblade. The good news is that this is that article; the bad news is that I'm over budget... by $6. 

Machete and Hatchet

I'm a big fan of the kukri-style machete, as the design makes for a good chopper of more than just foliage. I have owned a Cold Steel Kukri Machete ($30) for over a decade now and it has yet to disappoint me. Not only is it well-balanced and a pleasure to swing, but its 1055 carbon steel construction is as close to indestructible as I've found -- a far cry form the Omniblade's cheap 420J2 Stainless Steel which bends when chopping wood. Also unlike the Omniblade, the kukri machete doesn't need a specialized hatchet blade to chop wood, as I have used it to cut branches as thick as my arm off of trees. Not only does it do that well, there's not a dent to be seen. 

Price: $30
Weight:  almost 1 pound (15.87 oz)


How about a real saw instead of a saw blade on the back of something awkward? The Corona Folding Saw ($18) has an ergonomic handle, a chrome-plated high-carbon steel blade, and folds away for ease of carry. Plus, it doesn't have other sharp bits sticking out at uncomfortable angles waiting to cut you when you use it. 

Price: $18
Weight: 0.54 pounds

I can't think of a reason why you'd need a hammer while out in the woods (pounding stakes? Get a rock!) but if you really want to carry one, why not get a tool that does other things along with hammering? The OX Tools 10" Molding Bar ($18) is also a chisel and a nail puller. 

Price: $18
Weight: 0.75 pounds

The Omniblade:
  • weighs 2.35 pounds
  • costs $60
  • is made of cheap materials
My suggestions:
  • weigh a combined 2.28 pounds
  • cost $66 total
  • are made of quality materials
In short, the real tools are lighter, more durable, more likely to work properly, less likely to injure you, and for a negligible difference in price. 

Please don't buy poor-quality tools, especially if you plan to use them for survival. 


  1. Yeah....that thing looks like prop from a bad slasher movie, it has horrible balance... and like you mentioned the potential to slice and dice your own precious body pats thanks to its' bizarre configuration, I'm surprised it doesn't have a cup holder and a usb port.

  2. When I saw that abomination, I thought, "If that gets a good review, I'm never looking at this website again." I accidentally chopped off two fingers just looking at it.

  3. And you get extra function from the modding bar, so the $6 also gets you a pry bar and cat's paw. Or, since the hammer is worthless and probably dangerous on that you could dump the bar and come in $12 under budget and nearly a pound lighter!

  4. Looks like a bat'leth for a Klingon dwarf from the trailer park accros the tracks.

  5. You know, I think it's actually more useful than everyone else here is making it out to be! It would look nice on the mantle of a fireplace, and if you're ever attacked by angry mobs or zombies, you could always throw it out the window and say "Hey, why don't you just use this?"


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