CRKT Skeggox, the compact and versatile outdoor axe

The Sheggox was designed by knifamaker and martial arts expert John Williams, who has been working successfully with Columbia River Knives & Tools (that's CRKT's full name) for years. While usually inspired by Eastern blades, for this tool John instead took the lines of the classic Scandinavian bearded axe, which for centuries was the main tool and the most important defensive and offensive weapon of the Nordic peoples. The main feature of the bearded axe is the head shape, with the upper edge almost straight and the lower edge extending almost parallel to the handle.

CRKT's Skeggox is made from a single piece of SK-5 carbon steel, also known as SK-85, which is characterized by good hardness and high mechanical strength, so much so that it is routinely used for the manufacturing of tools such as hammers, axes and saw blades. The thickness of the metal part of the axe is 6 millimeters, and this gives it a weight of close to eight hundred grams: it is not a feather, but when gripping it, the feeling of strength and sturdiness is reassuring.

The handle is covered along its entire length by two long panels of glass-reinforced nylon with a barely perceptibly textured surface. As we shall see later, the grip of the handle depends much more on its design than on the  its surface texture. The panels are fastened to the metal by three pairs of somewhat ordinary-looking Phillips-head screws, but this has no practical consequence, so we do not consider it a flaw.

The head of the CRKT Skeggox axe is made of carbon steel, with a powder coating. 

As mentioned, the head of the Skeggox is characterized by an asymmetrical shape, with a straight top, convex cutting edge and a secondary point at the base of the blade. The particular head contour is the secret to the success of this type of tool, because it allows the tool to be gripped firmly in a high position and the blade to be used as a cutting tool for more precise work than whacking. The workmanship of the cutting edge is very nice, with a very well made factory sharpening, in perfect CRKT style.

The polymer sheath completely encloses the axe head. 

CRKT's Skeggox comes with a polymer sheath that completely wraps around its head and which, thanks to the M.O.L.L.E. system and a quick-release clip, can be worn on a belt, or better yet attached to a backpack. Retention relies on both the elasticity of the material and a loop with a quick-release plastic buckle, and is quite tenacious, so it is very unlikely that the tool will slip off accidentally as a result of jumping or falling.

Certainly the CRKT Skeggox is an ideal choice for those who want a light, but not too light, and sturdy axe to keep on hand at all times during nature hikes. The U.S. retail price of about $113, on the other hand, is not super light, but commensurate with the quality.

As soon as we get a chance, we will go and try it out in the field and tell you how it performed. In the meantime, stay tuned to

The quick release Dots clip can be mounted on the shearh and makes easy to attach it to the backpack.
A detail on the handle end. The surface of the Nylon grips is slightly textured.

CRKT Skeggox specs and price

John Williams
Blade Length:
122.6 mm
SK-5 carbon steel
Powder coated 
Overall Length:
329 mm
740 g (without sheath)
Glass-reinforced nylon grips
Polymer with M.O.L.L.E. system
Sheath Weight:
95 g
Price (MSRP in the U.S.):
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