Operator Axe from 5.11 Tactical

Everyone’s favorite uber-tactical clothing company continues to expand its product offerings, this time in a rather inexplicable direction. Partnering with Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics, the 5.11 VTAC Operator Axe is a multi-functional battle implement that would make a true viking or Goth swoon.

The VTAC Operator Axe is not just designed for chopping watermelons in two. The VTAC team and 5.11 were able to work into it 24 total tools. Quoting 5.11: “This bearded axe features a hammer pry bar, wrench, sockets, metric and standard markings and hex wrench openings. Use the pry bar or axehead to pry through doors or windows without losing your grip thanks to a jimped shaft and handle.”


Blade guys who enjoy such specs will see the Axe is SCM 435 Stainless Steel. The final finish on the outside is Black Oxide. Overall length is 15″ and weight clocks in at 1 lbs, 10 ounces. The sheath adds an additional 5 ounces to the overall carry weight.

The 5.11 VTAC Operator Axe is 100% ambidextrous. The two-piece belt sheath is reversible for both right and left-hand belt mounting.

Features (Courtesy of 5.11):

  • Ambidextrous, belt and MOLLE-compatible sheath
  • 24 tools and functions
  • Jimped shaft and handle for optimal grip
  • Adjustable carry angle
  • 5.11 Tactical® crosshair logo on both pieces

Retail pricing is pegged at $159.00 with the axe available and shipping now. 



Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • gunsandrockets

    Stainless steel? $159?

    And to think how I was mocked for buying something like that for $25!

    • Badwolf

      Its Operator and Tactical, so it must totally be worth it.

  • noob

    Bearded axe? As in tactical beard?

    • RealitiCzech

      A tier 1 tactical beard.

  • Bill

    Point of clarification: 5.11 is not everyones’ favorite purveyor of “tactical” sheet, except maybe when it was Royal Robbins – they are now the Walmart of “tactical” sheet.

    Just take a knife and sever a blood vessel; it’d be a lot easier than trying to run a bolt or nut with an axe, considering a medium size adjustable wrench fits easily into a pouch and weighs maybe a half-pound.

  • Sasquatch

    Sweet get some major ninja bucks for this one!

  • LazyReader

    $159.00!!!!!!!!!!! this thing better be made of something better than 420 steel. If I’m gonna spend $100+ It better be S30V or better………

  • Dan G

    if 5.11 is calling SCM 435 Stainless Steel then they need to explain why, I have yet to find a datasheet on it that classifies it as Stainless Steel its listed depending on manufacturer as either a standard Alloyed steel or a Chrome Molly steel. From looking at the data sheet it has less chrome content on the low end than D2 and an equal amount on the High tolerance side.

  • BillC

    …but it’s “100% ambidextrous.”

  • Rusty S.

    The handle doesn’t come pre-wrapped wih paracord? Looks pretty uncomfortable to use without gloves.

  • phuzz

    When I read the word “operator”, I think of someone trying to make a phone call in an old time movie.
    I assume that actually “operator” is supposed to be the new “tactical”, which is daft because clearly “strategic” is a much better bit of bullshit.

  • Vitsaus

    2009 wants its short-lived gimmick back.

  • Zee

    No thanks. Doesn’t look like it does any one thing particularly well. I’ll use an axe for axe stuff and the proper tool for other jobs.

  • Martin M

    It is NOT 100% ambidextrous! The picture clearly shows the hammer head on the left. Have you ever tried to drive a nail to the left with your left hand? Same goes for the axe head, which is on the right. Just try chopping to the right with your right hand.

  • stephen

    Wasn’t this released April of this year?

    I guess TFB was hard up for an article and couldn’t find anything newer?

  • Nathan Alred

    So the English and metric scales on the side are for seeing whether the guy you just whacked are legal size? Or is this for tactically operationally taking the dread Tango Abalone?

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Hate the name, but looks functional and could replace a couple of the tools I already carry in my vehicle (hammer, prybar, hatchet). Not too expensive either.

  • Don Ward

    Or if you want to chop wood, just go down to the hardware store and buy a proper axe or hatchet?

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    Everyone is saying how they would not own one because its not an axe, crowbar, hammer, or measuring tape. Its not as good as any of those by itself, but it sure weighs less than all of those together. There is a use for this product. Its for those who 1: want to be able to chop wood, hammer something, measure something, or pull a nail or turn a bolt, but arent expecting to have to do any of those tasks, and 2: are carrying all their gear on their person or are very space/weight constrained.

    Its not going to replace my vehicle tool kit. Its not going to replace my axe when I expect to be chopping wood. Its not going to replace my hammer and crowbar or wrench set when I expect to be assembling or disassembling something. What it might do is be a good enough tool if Im carrying all my own gear with no support in a situation where Im not planning to use any of those tools but might need one if things dont go according to plan.

    All that being said the majority will probably end up being purchased by people who have 4lb of useless crap on their rifles, only wear 5.11 clothes, and concealed carry once a month.

    • Jon

      The one who has designed that tool hasn’t got any tool experience.
      Number 1 design defect, a stricking tool worst handle is a metal handle.
      Number 2 it seems a good nail puller, but a very dangerous one. It has too many sharp points and an edge.
      Number 3 that’s the worst wrech I have ever seen, a useless one. Look for bolts in your surroundings, now try to figure the percentage of those who can work with this 159$ tool.
      Number 4 any axe whith the same weight who will cost three times less than the tool we are speaking about will cut wood at least three times faster than it and with less fatigue for the user. The hammer of a real axe will also clearly outperform the hammer of this “axe”.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    All it lacks is a picatinny rail attachment.

  • derfelcadarn

    Remember the direct translation of multi-purpose is does nothing well.

  • mazkact

    It’s TACTICAL so you know it’s GOOD. Likely made in China ,no mention of country of origin. I like it but the price point is way out of whack.


    Omg soooo tactical!!! It even has a beard!! I’m gonna add it to my kit so I can operator like a boss in my mom’s basement!

  • Grump

    I own it. It works well. I keep it in a BOB. No amount of chairborne sarcasm will change that.

  • Jon

    That’s very far from an axe in design and efficiency. That’s just a sharpened prybar…