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The Box Tool

This wicked looking tool — originally designed to open and close crates — looks like it would be good for taking apart objects you really don’t care to put back together.

Part hatchet, part hammer, part pry bar, this Frankenstein’s monster of a tool even sports scars in the form of wood filler in the handle and casting marks in the steel — it has the look of a “pre-owned” tool. At 13-1/2″ long, this crudely built monstrosity weighs about two pounds.

For $10 — who would pay more? — you can add the Box Tool to your arsenal of destruction. Next time your neighbor asks to borrow a hammer, give him this tool and watch the look on his face.

Box Tool [Lee Valley]


10 Responses to Part Hatchet, Part Hammer, All Destruction

  1. Brad says:

    My grandfather had one of these hanging on a wall. Lee Valley can call it whatever it wants, but Pa’s was very old school and he called it a shingler’s hammer/hatchet. He indicated it would be used for old school cedar shingles. The bladed side would be used for splitting shingles when necessary. I think my dad has it now. I’ll take pics if I can find it.

  2. Well a modern day shingler’s hammer/hatchet looks quite different, but I can believe that this could be an older version. If you look at the end, the claw is definitely curved to be used as a pry bar, so it is definitely meant for prying things apart also. Maybe they used it to pry up old or damaged shingles to replace?

    I’m sure this probably has another name other than “Box Tool” I couldn’t find any other examples of a “Box Tool” anywhere. I’d be really interested to see the pics, especially if there’s a makers mark or name on the tool.

  3. Fred says:

    When wooden crates were the way things were shipped – this style hatchet was on the loading/receiving dock to whack them open and pound them shut. I think that some of these were probably made in China when I was a kid in the 50’s. For their purpose they never had to be high quality.

  4. Dave says:

    Watch out if you use this thing as a hammer. Get to swinging it enthusiastically, then whack! Axe in the forehead. Sadly, I’ve done this with a roofing hammer. My buddy giggled the whole way to the hospital.

  5. Chris says:

    @Dave: Heh. We have a similar tool at work, looks like a hatchet with a pickaxe at the butt end (imagine the hammer surface of this thing extended about three more inches, and sharpened to a point). A number of years ago, someone decided it was a good idea to try to hack his way out of an aircraft cockpit with one of these crash axes and hit one of the windows in an attempt to break it. Airplane windows are a lot tougher than you might think, and the axe bounced back and hit the guy in the head, nearly killing him.


  6. RevRagnarok says:

    I got one of these about two years ago from everybody’s favorite Chinese-crap toolbox, Harbor Freight. I doubt I spent $5 on it.

  7. Fred says:

    Re Chris Says

    This tool sounds like a slate roofing hatchet. If it is, the point is used to poke a nail hole in the slate.

  8. Old Donn says:

    This falls into the same slot as the fence tool, (6 tools in 1!). Looks handy in the store but for most of us, winds up in the never used section of the tool chest, along with the Gator Grip and Metrinch sets.

  9. DawgDude says:

    In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), the duo play baggage handlers at a freight company. They use one of these tools to open a crate containing the body of Frankenstein.

    Just offering a chronological data point….

  10. Thomasena says:

    What are these vintage ones worth? Found one in an old house

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