Overview/Description of The Pig
The Pig is an 8-pound striking tool that combines the butt-end of a flathead axe and the pick of a pick-head axe. With an additional two pounds over a traditional 6-pound firefighting axe, The Pig (rightfully) boasts that it is “eight pounds of fire ground domination.”
Some firefighters may think that the Pig is “top-heavy,” perhaps because they may be used to a smaller axe. However, it has a very similar feel as a maul, and this design was very intentional on the inventor’s part.
The Pig is primarily a striking tool, but it can be used for all of the following:
- Vertical ventilation – Cutting a hole in the roof, skylight removal, foot anchor
- Forcible entry – Striking the halligan, maintaining a door gap, defeating padlocks and other door locks, single-firefighter FE (baseball bat swing), removing metal security bars on windows/doors, etc.
- Forcible egress – Breaching gypsum, plaster and lathe, masonry
- Horizontal ventilation – Breaking and clearing windows
- Overhaul – Removing wall and floor coverings
- Bailout anchor – Anchoring pick into floor or tool into wall for window bailout
- Nearly anything that we can use the pike of the halligan for, we can also use the pick of The Pig (defeating padlocks, crushing masonry, etc.)
There are three basic variations on The Pig:
- It can be purchased with a 28″, 32” or 36” length handle (the 32″ and 36″ will marry with a halligan).
- The handle comes in black or tan.
- The pick part of the head comes notched or un-notched. I would recommend purchasing the notched version to be able to marry a halligan (Pro-bar or Maxximus) to The Pig.
Features of The Pig:
- The steel head weighs 8-pounds. Completely assembled, the entire tool weighs about 11-pounds.
- The pick is 4.5” long. It can be ordered “notched” or “un-notched.”
- The “butt” or striking surface of the head is slightly wider than that of a typical flathead axe, providing a greater striking surface area.
Quality of The Pig
The Pig’s metal head is made of a solid piece of high-quality S-5 grade steel. It’s handle is formed out of Nupla fiberglass and the head is secured to the handle with Nupla epoxy. Without a doubt, it is a solid tool from the top down.
The Pig is made in the U.S.A.
Durability of The Pig
The Pig has incredible strength and durability due to its high-quality steel head and fiberglass handle. It was put through heavy (sometimes punishing) use and the tool only suffered surface scratching/marring.
Longevity of The Pig
Due to its craftsmanship, materials, and high-quality steel, The Pig will last a long time. Its true longevity depends on frequency of use and the overall care taken while it is used. As with any tool, if used improperly or recklessly, there is always a possibility that it will break.
Price of The Pig
At the time of this review (Sept./2015), the price of The Pig was $189.99 (U.S. dollars). As a comparison, the price of a standard 8-pound flathead axe with fiberglass handle was around $100.
Who Do You Recommend The Pig For?
The Pig is for use by all firefighters (non-wildland) at any level within their fire department. It is especially suitable for those who perform truck company operations (i.e. – forcible entry, ventilation, overhaul, roof work, etc.).
Do You Recommend The Pig?
I recommend The Pig for the following reasons:
- The heavier head provides the extra strength needed for more difficult forcible entry operations.
- Using The Pig with a halligan-style tool is very similar to a set of “heavy irons.” The heavy irons typically consist of a halligan and a sledgehammer (or maul). However, using The Pig in place of a sledgehammer provides greater overall versatility.
- The combination of the flat and pick-head provides greater versatility over the standard flathead axe.
- The butt or flathead of the Pig did a great job smashing through roof plywood due to its shape and mass.
- It is a durable, high-quality tool that will last for a long time.
Are There Any Safety Issues With The Pig?
There are no apparent safety issues with the Pig.
Any Reasons Why You Would Not Recommend The Pig?
The only concerns I had with the Pig are as follows:
- I tested out the notched version of The Pig. The notch allows the fork of a halligan to marry with The Pig. However, the Pro-Bar (halligan) from my fire truck had difficulty marrying itself to The Pig because the crotch of the fork didn’t seem wide enough. However, the wider crotch of the Maxximus Rexx’s fork easily accepted the pick of the Pig.
- During single-firefighter forcible entry of inward-swinging doors, I like to use the the blade of a flathead axe as a wedge to capture and maintain a gap in the door while I’m repositioning the halligan. The pick of The Pig does not have a sharp enough taper to be used as a wedge for smaller gaps. This is not a “deal-buster” for me, because a wooden wedge can easily suffice for maintaining the gap if I choose to use The Pig.
- Some firefighters may argue that The Pig’s heavier weight will lead to faster arm fatigue when repeatedly striking. I believe the opposite to be true: the greater mass will provide greater inertia and force to accomplish the task more quickly.
About the Manufacturer/Company
Lone Star Axe, LLC, was founded by Chris Moren. Chris has over 16 years in the fire service and is currently a driver/operator for the Austin Fire Department in Texas. Chris invented The Pig out of his desire to combine a flathead axe, a pick-head axe, and a maul.
For more information on The Pig, please visit: LoneStarAxeLLC.com
Firefighter Toolbox has been hired to provide an honest review of the manufacturer’s product by an experienced firefighter and/or expert in the fire service. The Pig was provided to me free-of-charge and in no way did this influence my review.
Firefighter Toolbox has completed reviews where the products had safety issues and other issues which we reported on and provided the feedback to the manufacturer to improve the product and/or eliminate the safety concern or defect.
Our goal is to provide an honest review and be a trustworthy resource for you to get reliable product review. We do our best to provide that and realize that for firefighters in one part of the country, it could be an extremely valuable tool or product, and for others it may not be. Therefore, we do our best to provide you with solid investigative information that can help you decide if the product would be good for your objective/department.
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