ZIPPO 4-in-1 Woodsman

ZIPPO 4-in-1 Woodsman (Zippo)

Name: Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman

What it is: A smartly designed hatchet, tree saw, stake mallet and stake puller that is easily converted from one task to the next. It comes with two saw blades, which stow away in the hatchet handle.

The good: The hatchet is shaped like a Viking battle ax, meaning the hatchet blade makes a perfect handle for the tree saw when the rugged plastic case is snapped on over the hatchet blade as a support for the saw blade. I'm blessed with an overabundance of trees in my yard, so I went to work on some small trees that were crowding larger ones, using it variably as a hatchet and a saw. For campers (but likely not backpackers wary of weight, which is 3.4 pounds), this would be a great tool. The tree saw cut through maples 3 inches in diameter in 30 to 45 seconds. So if you're gathering firewood (dead wood, please), you would have an evening's worth in no time. Likewise, the hatchet is sharp, nicely shaped and easily wielded. I would call it more of an ax than a hatchet. Just watch out for your legs if you chop downward; if you miss the wood, you could be on your way to the emergency room.

The bad: It's not a toy. I wouldn't let older children use it unless they have had plenty of instruction and are supervised.

Cost: $79.95 but watch for sales

Available from: zippo.com and amazon.com