Overview/Description of The F.R.O.S.T. Axe
Tradlabs has introduced a new product into the market for the fire service. It is called the
First Responder On Scene Tool or the FROST AXE. It is 35 inches in length and weighs 8 lbs.It is has been developed as a multipurpose fire service tool intended to replace 7 tools currently carried on your fire apparatus. It is designed to perform the following functions.
- Hydrant work
- Hose and Coupling Work
- Forcible Entry
- Horizontal and vertical Ventilation
- Overhaul and Demolition
- Self-Rescue anchor using the Safety Lug
Quality of The F.R.O.S.T. Axe
I was able to spend some time putting this tool to the test and it did everything that it is advertised to do and a few that it was not intended. I was able to break concrete and cut through wood and light gauge steel during an auto extrication drill! I found it to not be as efficient as a conventional set of irons (haligan & axe) for forcible entry but I was able to force a door with it. The spanner works well but was a little cumbersome due to the length of the handle.
The hydrant and utility wrench is very versatile and fit hydrant operating and cap nuts as well as a gas shut off. The forcible entry tool works well for prying up scuttle hatches sky lights and man whole covers. The windshield cutter performed ok but again due to the length of the tool it was a little cumbersome. The head has a blunt angled blade, unlike traditional fire service axes which are more tapered for cutting but it did a nice job on all the surfaces and materials I used it on.
Durability of The F.R.O.S.T. Axe
The Frost Axe is a 1 piece dye cut tool made from high strength AR 400 steel. The grip handle is made from a heavy duty flame retardant material that despite my best effort was impossible to brake. It is 35 inches long and weighs 8lbs. (click here to see the videos by the manufacturer )
- Safety Lug: The safety Lug worked and anchor point worked as intended. I was able to bury it in the roof with two swings and tried very hard to get it to fall or pop out of the roof but it didn’t. One piece of advice though hook your bail out rope to it before you bury it in the roof. Once it’s in it was hard to clip a carabiner to it.
- Hammer Cap: Another nice feature was the hammer cap. Once the safety lug was buried in the roof I was able to place my foot against it as a foot hold when running the saw
Longevity of The F.R.O.S.T. Axe
This is a HEAVY DUTY TOOL!!! And despite my best attempts I was unable to break, crack or bend it. And short of putting it in a vice and heating it up with a torch I tried everything! I can safely say that I believe it can hold up the challenges of our all hazards environment and would be in service for a long time.
Price of The F.R.O.S.T. Axe
At the time of this review, the price point of the axe is $299.99. At first I will admit I though was on the high side, but when you consider the fact that it performs as advertised and can replace 7 tools it seems fairly priced.
Who Do You Recommend This For?
I think this is an excellent personal tool for departments running with smaller crews of 2 or 3 people. It would allow you some versatility and flexibility on the fire ground when you are working shorthanded.
Any Safety Issues?
The only safety concern I have is not with the tool itself, but in the operation of using the tool. When you are kneeling down on the ground and using the spanner wrench, be very careful of any other firefighters working close to you because the long handle could end up hitting your partner.
Any Reasons Why You Would Not Recommend The F.R.O.S.T. Axe?
About the Manufacturer/Company
The manufacturer is Tradlabs, a company who makes and sells equipment for indoor/outdoor rock climbing. They advertise themselves as climbers and techies who look to both traditional and new technologies in developing their products. Go to Tradlabs.com to learn more about the manufacturer. Go to the F.R.O.S.T. Axe manufacturer’s page – Click Here
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