It seems almost every aspect of this industry has kept pace with changing technology, from breathing apparatus and bunker gear, to communication equipment and incident management systems. But what about the most common tools we depend on? Firefighters have used the same traditional axe design for over 150 years. It is time for a new tradition!
The BADAXX was created by Scott McCann, a Fire Lieutenant with the Spokane Fire Department for the past 23 years. McCann saw the need to lighten his load by combining multiple tools into one. “I had been contemplating redesigning the fire axe 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 axe 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 axe 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 axe 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.”
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 axes on the market today, the BADAXX weighs 8 Lbs. 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 axes. 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 axe 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.
We look forward to seeing the BADAXX perform and believe this is one tool that will stand the test of time.
For more information, go to www.thebadaxx.com