The Trailblazer AN1

Jun 22, 2009
by Mike Estes  
The Cool New Trail Building Tool

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have all kinds of issues to overcome when it comes to building our legendary singletrack. Any builder that has the hours of swinging axe, a pulaski or macleod knows they can reap the excitement when they gander at the Trail-Tools Trailblazer AN1. This multi use forestry tool is making allot of jobs easier out on a trail build.

Come see why...JR Rager, the man behind the Trailblazer AN1 was fed up with breaking his tools. He sat down and took the things he liked about certain tools and put them into a plan, end result is the Trail-Tools Trailblazer AN1 Multi-Forestry tool.

The Trailblazer AN1

The Trailblazer AN1


From the website:
The Trail-Blazer AN1 is the perfect ground engaging hand tool for building and maintaining trails. It also is well suited for the forestry and fire industries. It is designed to be tough and combine multiple tools into one compact balanced heavy duty tool. A select group of trail builders in the Pacific Northwest had input on the design and durability of this tool and spent almost a year developing and testing to make sure we had the absolute best possible design.


Specs:
Length = 52.5 inches
Width = 12" x 6" (tool head dimensions)
Weight = 6 lbs
Handle = 1.25"x 52" ( .125” wall) Fiber Reinforced Polymer orange
Tool Head = Laser cut, heat treated ,and tempered steel.
Coating = Powder coated
Hardware = Stainless steel
Assembly = Stich welded for trueness and stress relief
Edge = Beveled edge 60 deg on 3 sides

Uses:
- Raking
- Digging
- Dozing
- Scraping/Grading
- Root Busting
- Prying
- Tamping/Compacting
- Brush Busting
- Berm Shaping
- Trenching
- Shelving
- And whatever else you can imagine while playing in the dirt!


Laser Cut Head

Laser Cut Head

Tamper

Tamper


Root Buster

Root Buster

Cutter

Cutter

Rake

Rake


The finished work of a fellow trail builder who got his a few days before I received one:
Marmot Dam MTB Trails

Marmot Dam MTB Trails


Now the price is going to seem high, but in all honesty the quality and amount of work this tool does it makes it very valuable to my own quiver of tools. I no longer worry about damaging my other inferior tools as this has become the real work horse. If you're serious about purchasing one you can send a message to jrager.pinkbike.com or send him an email at joseph.rager@gmail.com to inquire about purchase. He does have limited amount to ship right now and he's currently developing a new handle for the guys who have to pedal far into trail locations.

Scope the website for more information.


75 Comments

  • + 16
 Pretty damn cool
  • + 1
 hopefully it'll be cheaper than Mcleods. Most run 80 bucks for cheap ones.
  • + 2
 I think i will get one of theese soon, cuz i have alot of roots tro bust on my trail and im getting tired of digging them up and then chainsawing them.
  • + 3
 How much are they?
  • + 4
 Outstanding tool, JR, and a nice write-up by Mike. As to the comments, I'm more than just a little amused by some of the "I'll give you maybe $50" or "I can build one myself," blah blah blah. My guess is maybe 3 of you over the age of 25 have actually tried to fab something like this, and less than that are still in use. This is not a "garage project" one-off, and has substantial research into its design and manufacture. My guess is the real builders here are already planning to buy one, and the rest of the know-it-all populous that just went on summer vacation will keep coming up with excuses why they don't want to spend $80-$110 on a quality product.
  • + 9
 awesome tool
  • + 6
 I could soo do with one of those.
  • + 0
 Look like I have found a new tool for my ever growing kit.
  • + 5
 giggity
  • + 2
 Agreed
  • + 2
 shit yah brewsky openerWink Big Grin Big Grin
  • + 3
 Thank you for all the interest. I have received a lot of emails in the last week as word has gotten out; I promise to follow up on every one.

I have only about 15 left to sell from the first production run as I have sent out a lot of demos.

I am trying to work out the international shipping and sales tax rules as soon as I have this all settled I will be posting up a link to buy direct from the site, until I get a distribution group set up.

I am also setting up a pre-order form where you can reserve yours for the next production run as I believe that the remaining few will sell out almost immediately.

As this tool is made in the USA and I am a small guy the costs are significantly higher to manufacture than most tools. Direct cost is going to be $85 and Retail $110 once I get a retailer/distribution group set up. I know this may seem high, but for a Made in the USA specialty tool this is very competitively priced. Considering most import specialty tools are in the $70-$80 range and they are made for 1/4 the cost it costs to make domestically, I think this is on target.

I am planning to be up at the Fluid ride Cup on Friday/Saturday with a few demos for you to see in person.

Thanks,
JR Rager
www.trail-tools.com
  • - 1
 Thats not cheap but I was expecting much worse. So can you fill me in on how that can be used for digging
  • + 1
 I am a fellow trail builder. I have used and destroyed pretty much every tool out there.

At a minimum in my base digging kit I used to carry a saw, shovel, ax, modified hoe, mattock, rake, and tamper. Even with those tools I could not efficiently build trails and the kit was heavy to boot!

This tool replaces all those and does even more. I can move quickly from section to section going from shelving to grading by simply rotating the tool 90 degrees. While I am grading if I have a soft spot in the tread I can simply start tamping it and go right back to grading it out without changing out tools. Even better example is when I am building berms I can drive 2-3" stakes to hold my frame and move right into digging the berm and pulling out/shaping the material and finish packing it in all with one tool! The possibilities are endless. I will be posting up some video soon of my son and me working on and constructing new trails. I build a lot of trails so I may eve start a short how to series showing what you can do with this tool.

I can carry a hand saw and my AN1 in to the woods and build just about any thing you can imagine.

Add a Hammer and spikes and the possibilities are endless...
  • + 3
 i would love to see a vid of this thing in action, cuz to be honest, i think it would be a nice addition to my existing tools, but i don't think it would REPLACE too many of them.
  • + 2
 i understand all of your previous stated purposes except a shovel. how would you scoop with it?
  • + 1
 You can dig with it however if you want to move dirt further than a few feet a shovel is the right tool. For example I can dig out the tread and pull or push a large amount of dirt into a pile for a jump shape it and hit it. However, if I need to move dirt from 10 feet away I get a shovel.
  • + 1
 I hope you have a patent filed for this because at that price people are just going to make their own and cut you out completely.
  • + 2
 I can appreciate the concern on price, but most people are not going to go through the trouble of making it themself and you miss out on important features like heat treating to increase hardness of the steel. I went through a lot of R and D to get it just the right hardness to make it keep an edge vs being pliable enough to hammer back into shape if you get really aggressive with it and get a ding or two. Which means if you take care of it it will last for a long long time. I believe this is a competitive price for a quality tool that will last a long time.
  • + 1
 I can appreciate the price as well, but to me, $115 is when I make my own. This one has stuff on it I would never use as well...now if you make a cheaper model for 30$-40$ it wouldn't be worth my time to make my own. But either way, it's a great tool, about time someone made one, and good luck with your sales!
  • + 1
 Please man, I admire your entrepreneurial spirit and I hope this makes you some dosh. Get a patent. Some asshole can get these made in China for a fraction of the price.
  • + 7
 it doesnt say the price anywhere!!
  • + 2
 I love the one I got. Ive had for three weeks now and have beat the tar out of this thing. Building trails at the old Marmot dam is not easy. Most moving and digging around river rocks and its held up great. I'm ready to buy more of these.
  • + 1
 We've largely given up on McLeods and Pulaskis in favor of the Rhino Tool from Nat'l Firefighter www.nationalfirefighter.com/product_info.php?products_id=1100 The curved blade is fantastic because it makes it easier to skim a surface, yet it's stout enough to be one heckuva chopping tool. But the reinforced handle is enough to make the AN1 pay for itself. Can't tell you how many hickory handles we've snapped. :-(

We'll generally have everyone in a work party grab a Rhino, and then one other tool to share (McLeod, Pulaski, Axe, Shovel, Saw, Rake, etc).

Gonna have to try this new toy!

Come check out the trails in Brown County!!! Beginner singletrack to Pisgah-level hike-a-bike. Yummm!
www.hmba.org
  • + 2
 wow thats a great idea. if he can markjet it right and get it out to the general public he could make a killing. that looks very useful i must say
  • + 4
 oooo i love trail building tools, nice
  • + 3
 What part of that do you dig with, it says you can dig, awww would of been better if there was a spade head under it xD
  • + 1
 Hate to burst everyone's bubble......but the Mcleod has been out for a while which is really similar....you can buy it at firestore.com. The price is around $80.....firefighters use it for wildland fires.
  • + 1
 Hate to burst your little bubble but the Mcloed isn't as stout nor does that tool perform like this one. It's night and day compared to a Mcloed.
  • + 4
 thats going on the wish list for sure!
  • + 3
 It sure beats carrying 5 tools around from trail to trail. Now you only need one, sort of.
  • + 4
 Great idea.
  • + 3
 Anyone know price on this thing yet? It looks awesome.
  • + 4
 (bow)
  • + 1
 This will never replace my friends Foot long gas powered chainsaw Pimp but this seems like a perfect tool you think he'll ship it to Canada?
  • + 3
 know that what we all need when we are bulding a trail
  • + 2
 it sure makes things esier, one tool that makes the job of five. agree with andy
  • + 1
 Much better than a normal spade... But what about a compact spade? You cant put this in your backpack...
  • + 5
 Comments (1)
_displayNameOrEmail_ - _time_ - Remove
_text_

Joseph Rager - May 15, 2009 8:26 AM
News: We are also prototyping a new brake down handle kit so this can be broken down and put in your pack! Hopefully the kit will be available in late 2009.

Direct from the website!
  • + 3
 now THAT is friggin sick! so much easier to pack in!
  • + 3
 yea. i could do with one of these! too bad they cost so much. Frown
  • + 1
 i just made one today and it cost about 40, i have my own welder and everything though
  • + 1
 yeah, the mcleod only offers a hoe/rake combo. this offers two more cutters. also, its alot cheaper.
  • + 2
 2 words, custom colours Big Grin
  • + 1
 Maybe anodized purple head and hot pink handle....lol
  • + 1
 Nema 6to 30 snimki ste dali na nekva lamarina kato 4e li e nai-golqmoto otkritie baba mi v gradinata ima takoa
  • + 1
 my buddy has been making his own all in one tools like that for well over a year now
  • + 1
 looks useful, but they should hire a better welder
  • + 0
 Such a good idea, but wouldn't it be a hell of a lot cheaper to just cut and weld your own...?
  • + 2
 You should try it, see how it ends up...
  • + 2
 Reread the article. Kinda like comparing fake Oakley lenses to real ones, or a Huffy hardtail to a Lightspeed Ti race bike. Major difference in quality and performance. Heat-treated for strength, laser cut surfaces to retain an edge, high-end fiberglass handle shaft, gusseted, etc. I've worked in fab shops, and I know it looks like an easy build project. Aesthetically, it is, but that is where the similarities end.
  • + 1
 oh and are there other colours available?
  • + 1
 how much is it its so cool. it will be awsome for making dsick trails
  • + 1
 Looks like it would come in handy.
  • + 1
 i work in steel so i did 1 for my self looks the almost same
  • + 4
 i dont see how that could be used as a efective spade
  • + 2
 Yeah looks almost the same as the one i made, cept i put in a 10 degree angle on the tamper, another with a 20 degree angle, for building well angled jumps.
  • + 1
 I wouldn't mind one of those... Sweet idea
  • + 1
 Its brilliant. Im saving then buying one when they're next available.
  • + 1
 we a nice instrument for bulding trail's.. what's the cost?
  • + 1
 my next weapon of choice...lol
  • + 1
 Sweet idea man! I'm gonna head into the shop today and fab me one up.
  • + 1
 You can never replace a rake!
  • + 1
 It is part rake, but also a tamper, pick, etc. Looks sick to me.
  • + 1
 where can you get it?
  • + 0
 if u want to see my track go here--> teamcostadh.wordpress.com
  • + 1
 good job..
  • + 1
 Seems very coolSmile
  • + 0
 friggin sweet, I'll take two of 'em!!!
  • + 1
 hhuuuu thats nice
  • + 1
 ronaldo

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.062542
Mobile Version of Website