Quick-Release Axe Holster





Do you like the great outdoors; do you believe an axe is a necessary tool when venturing into them? Well my friend(s), if yes is your answer do I have an Instructable for you!

This Instructable is the answer to a problem I recurrently noticed when I started portaging with a group of friends some 10 years back. Namely, everything you bring is designed to be carried in combination with one or multiple other items. A full sized axe, however, typically doesn't fall in to that category very neatly. It's too big to be carried at the hip, especially when trying to avoid the risk of impaling yourself should you fall... Not to mention, what if you encounter bear? Or something even worst like bandits? You can't afford to be messing around trying to unsheathe the axe.

Ultimately, this project is a combination of my outdoor experience, both in real life and in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is an elegant solution for carrying an axe on your back in a cool way, with engineering foresight to accommodate for various sizes of axes, with the mechanical capability to provide quick release and quick holstering.


The following is the objective for this project; ultimately responsible for the design features of the Quick Release Axe Holster.

1. It must hold the axe on the back with the shaft sticking out beyond the shoulder in a cool way
2. It should have a quick release mechanism right into one's hand.
3. It should be straightforward to sheath an axe
4. It should be compatible with any axe design
5. It should be robust requiring minimal maintenance over time
6. It should not have a negative effect on dexterity (i.e., running, bending over, doing front rolls)
7. It should hold the axe firmly on the back at all times.


Base on the objective above, the following design features were achieved:

1. Robustness and water resistance due to Nylon fabric and strap materials and all plastic hardware.
2. Two point harness mechanism - over shoulder and around waste - to firmly hold axe to body
3. Axe gravity release - Velcro based axe head cover and Quick release clip.
4. Variable size and interchangeable axe head cover using snap buttons
5. Variable diameter shaft holster using straps


Please note that the fundamental construction method I use in this project is sewing. This said, the instructions themselves aren't to teach sewing, rather to walk you through the design described above. I hope that you will find this a practical, unique and interesting project.

Best Regards,


Step 1: Tools & Materials

1. Sewing Machine
2. Snap button tools
3. Hammer (for snap buttons)
4. Spike-driver (for snap buttons)
5. Pins (for sewing)
6. Ruler and Measuring tape
7. Seam ripper (mistake are sometimes made)
8. Chalk
9. Lighter (for singeing cut straps)
12. Scissors

1. Heavy nylon fabric (Black)
2. Heavy duty tread (Black)
3. General purpose tread (Black)
4. Velcro straps (Black)
5. Nylon straps (width: ~4 cm)
6. Nylon straps (width: ~2.5 cm)
7. Plastic Clips (width: ~4 cm)
8. Snap buttons (Silver)
9. Rod (Plastic, Stainless Steel, fibreglass rod, or carbon fiber rod; diameter: ~0.75 cm)
10. Plastic Sheet
11. Tape (Black; e.g., electrical, hockey etc.)

Step 2: Axe Head Cover - Velcro, Pockets for Protective Plastic, Quick Release Clip

General Note(s):

1. Making the Axe Head Cover is key in this project. How well it covers the axe blade, the amount of Velcro overlap, and the over quality of stitching is essential in a safe a secure Axe Holster.

2. In the video at the end of this Instructable, I refer to the 'Axe Head Cover' as the 'Axe Head Cozy' there one in the same... My bad.

3.CRITICAL, it is at this point where you must decide whether you want a left handed holster (i.e., attached to you left leg) or a right handed holster. Cut your head cover panels accordingly!

Step 3: Axe Head Cover - Snap Buttons, and Secondary Utility Clip

General Note(s):

1. Insure the the snap buttons are place correctly before hammering. Once a button is hammered into its corresponding side, you must drill it out in order to detach the two sides. Having a couple extra buttons is always a good idea.

Step 4: Axe Head Cover - Finishing

General Note(s):

1. Turning the assembly inside out is a tedious process. Take your time and don't force it. Keep in mind that the internal stitching is only so strong, the tread may break and lead to significant delays.

2. Do not over trim the seam tolerance. Although trimming helps to greatly reduce the bulkiness of the assembly, the edge of the fabric may fail to hold the stitching if there is not enough left over.

Step 5: Axe Holster: Spine and Variable Shaft Sleeve

General Note(s):

1. The number of encompassing straps used is completely up to you. However, the idea is to provide a snag and evenly distributed hold on the axe shaft. Thus, take into consideration the rigidity of the material and install a number of straps accordingly.

Step 6: Axe Holster: Finishing

General Note(s): None.

Step 7: Axe Holster: Videos

You are done! Congratulations! Embedded you will find a couple of videos I put together to show you how the finish product looks and operates.

Video 1: Operating the Axe Holster with an Axe

Video 2: Interchangeability of Tools with The Axe Head Cover

Video 3: Only using the Axe Head Cover

Video 4: Axe Head Cover sacrificial plastic protective tab

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    16 Discussions


    11 months ago

    I made a very similar back holster for my axe, I used leather for mine and later expanded it to carry two axes, one for felling and a broadaxe as well. I will send photos soon.


    4 years ago on Step 7

    can it be altered to be strapped to your waist and thigh instead of the back. if i was going to use this in a practical setting i would most likely need a back pack at the time for all my other supplies

    1 reply
    Cmdr. VikTrinityK1

    Reply 3 years ago

    I would say yes. Take the following hip-mounted design in my link below. You'd simply swap the parts made for the larger axe for the parts made for the hatchet. https://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-Release-Hatchet-Holster/


    4 years ago on Introduction

    If it was me I would mount this on the side of my pack. Then it doesn't interfere with the pack itself and still quick releases. And there's less chance of it getting tangled.

    Mate that's awesome!!! I'm thinking that design idea may be used to create a new way to carry my rifle when hunting. Cheers and well done.


    4 years ago

    Check out axe junkie's on face book a ton of the guys loved this

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Fantastic job. Consider adding an auxiliary sheath for a file. Perhaps parallel to the handle sheath. A dull axe isn't much help in the wild. Otherwise super!

    2 replies
    Cmdr. Vikjmwells

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, not a bad Idea having a file on hand. I'll give it some thought since it's placement may require a redesign of the handle sheath. Wouldn't want to make barrel rolling harder then it already is!

    jmwellsCmdr. Vik

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm thinking flat between the handle and you. It shouldn't add to the bulk, and should actually spread the impact out on your back. Perhaps combine it with a small EDC kit.

    The Rambler

    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is incredible.The holster looks awesome and the functionality is truly impressive. You definitely have my vote, not just for the awesome holster but also for the instructable itself. Incredibly detailed, very clear, and thoroughly documented.

    1 reply
    Cmdr. VikThe Rambler

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback, I really hope a majority of people find my instructions as clear as you do.


    4 years ago on Introduction



    4 years ago on Introduction

    I have to hand it to you, after reading your objectives, I wondered how you would manage to create a back-mounted sheath that allowed for easy sheathing and unsheathing of the tool. Having watched the video, you have accomplished your goals with style (and the finished product looks quite professional).