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Cold Steel Trail Boss Hickory Handle

4.1 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews
| 23 answered questions

Price: $24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
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  • Hawk Length: 6 1/2"
  • Handle: American Hickory
  • Overall Length: 26"
  • Steel: Drop Forged 1055 Carbon
  • Primary Edge: 4 1/2"
  • Overall Length: 23.00"
  • Handle Material: American Hickory
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$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Cold Steel Trail Boss Hickory Handle
  • +
  • Nupla 22213 Rawhide Blade Cover for Campers Utility Axe
  • +
  • Lansky Dual Grit Sharpener
Total price: $42.24
Buy the selected items together


Product Description

The Trail Boss is light and compact enough to carry all day in your hand or strapped to your pack, yet heavy and tough enough for chores that would make a hatchet or tomahawk scream for mercy. Featuring a European style head with a 4" blade and a 4 1/2" cutting edge, it takes a big bite with every swing. Plus, it features a very stout straight-grained Hickory handle. Extensively field-tested by Lynn C. Thompson on a month long hunting trip in the outback of Australia, the Trail Boss was really put to the test. He used it to chop kindling, clear roads and trails, to build blinds and even to chop down a fair sized Gidgee Tree (one of the hardest woods found down under).

Product Details

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here. [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 8 x 2 inches ; 2.2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B001CZ9UY4
  • Item model number: 90TA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,068 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here. [PDF]

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Mayo on December 21, 2010
Verified Purchase
I own three of these guys(one in the truck, house, and one dedicated to my pack, because of there true versatility and cost they can not be beat, they excel in the North American forest and hold and keep and edge like the old axes of yesteryear, they all needed some edge work out of the box for superior edge abilty, the hafts are all straight grained hickory that i would expect on a gransfors, i have experienced no head slip or grain splits in any of them, if you want true performance and overall toughness give this axe a throw, it is as close to perfect as you could get for a 23" inch boys axe for bushing it! someone over coldsteel did there homework for a change!
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The Trail Boss is Cold Steel's attempt to bring a good axe at a low price to the everyday person. It's made in China, but carries the quality of most Cold Steel products. After testing two of them, I really like this axe. The listed price is $33 plus shipping; this is average. The weights on the two Trail Bosses that I have are 2 pounds, 14 ounces and 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

The Trail Boss' handle is straight-grained American hickory. I strongly prefer to look at the grain before I buy an axe handle, and pick out the best, but this isn't possible with on-line purchases. I'll say that I'm pretty happy with the two I ended up with. The handle is 21-1/2" long, making a 23" long axe. The grain in mine are nice. There's a light coat of varnish to protect the wood from the elements, but this can be easily removed if you want to paint or stain the handle. A lanyard hole isn't provided, but a few seconds with a drill bit will fix that, if you wish. The handle is long enough to get a two-handed grip, but short enough that even an amateur can swing it one-handed. After using mine pretty seriously, the heads haven't loosened a bit. The head is pressed deep into the wooden handle, then driven through with a wooden wedge. That wedge is then driven through with an O-shaped piece of steel. This is all then trimmed down and painted black, to match the bulk of the head.

The head is drop forged 1055 carbon steel. It weighs 2-1/2 pounds. It's differentially heat treated, meaning the cutting edge (and butt) are heat treated harder (46-52 Rockwell) than the rest of the head. This allows for a sharp, sturdy edge while letting the rest of the head absorb some of the impact from strikes. The edge is 4-1/2" long. Mine both came dull, and had to be sharpened.
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Verified Purchase
For some reason my axe came with these rusty markings on both sides of the blade. Look at my pictures above^. The defect seems to be in appearance only and may still work fine. It seems like a manufacturer's defect, not like it rusted during shipping or anything. The markings are underneath the lacquer. I was willing to send it back for a replacement but they said there were no more, so they gave me $10 back. Just be aware that if you order this thing it may have similar rusty stains on it; and if this happens you should make sure to complain and get compensated. It is not right to deliver anything less than what is shown in the item's picture that they show in it's description.
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Within the first few minutes of use, the handle broke right where the head is attached.
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Verified Purchase
With the proper application of correct techniques used in cutting down trees, this axe for $30 takes the cake.
I was a little worried that it would be to short, as I am a large man (6'6'' 250 lbs) however it worked rather well. My friend who is smaller (5'11'' 170 lbs) was using it all weekend to procure firewood. It works great, 2 inch diameter branches fall off in one good hit, and trees ranging from 1 to 1.5 feet across were coming down within 20 minutes.
One of the best camping investments yet.
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I feel that I was misled on this Axe. It says "American Tomahawk Company" on one side but Republic of China on the other.

Also, it is VERY dull. After reading some other reviews now, I'm concerned that it won't be able to hold a proper edge because of the steel.
2 Comments 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Elliott on February 27, 2011
Verified Purchase
The axe head was loose right out of the box. The whole thing just didnt look like it was put together very well. Maybe mine was a lemon, but someone had to put it in the box to ship it and even someone with no knowledge of axes should have known this one wasnt right. Normally i would think it just got damaged in shipping... but its an axe! What would they have done to it thats worse than smashing it into a tree? OOO well my $10 axe i bought from the hardware store works just fine.
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This is called a Trail Boss, and not a Tree Boss because it is small and nimble. I was really expecting a tad bit larger axe when I bought it, and when I got it, realized it is a quasi hatchet. Not quite that small, but it is no full size axe. Before I returned it, I read some reviews and read similar comments, but that it had done a good job doing big axe duties so I thought the light nature of it would make a good accompaniment in my pack.

Updated Use Review: Now I have used it ONCE, and destroyed it within 12 swings. The head literally came flying off the handle...good thing no one was in front of me, or they may have had the head of an axe stuck in their gut! The handle just kind of deteriorated inside the head, and the wood just gave way. It just seems that the design of it, completely depending upon the grain strength of the wood on the end of a handle, with a wedge stuck into it, wouldn't hold up to too much impact. And it didn't. So Cold Steel has a number of other axes that have the head on the wood with wood sticking out the top of the head tapering to a larger diameter, essentially being held by a solid piece of wood. That would have to be better.

I called Cold Steel and got their voice mail so decided to email customer service. Three times before responding, finally they said to ship it back, and they would replace or repair. I told them I wanted to trade for a different axe. I paid $11 to ship back, and a month went by with no response. I sent another email saying that I was waiting for them to choose which axe to send me per my previous emails, and their response was that they repaired my ax and I would have it that day. Bummer!! I'll let you know if it breaks in 12 swings again. I was really let down by Cold Steel's customer service. They had a very simple task of responding within a month to my request and simply could not deliver. Disappointing!
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