Kickstarter for a multifunction wrecking bar with crowbar/hammer/angle measuring tool

The Cole-Bar Hammer is a multifunction wrecking bar on Kickster ($65 gets you an earlybird tool, with shipping). It unfolds and locks into place to serve as a crowbar; it also can be used as a hammer and as an angle-measurement tool, and it has a lovely, brutal elegance:

The Cole-Bar Hammer is essentially a hammer... ...with a full crow bar built in! Using it's patented locking gear mechanism, the Cole-Bar can be opened and extended from 0-180 degrees and locked in place at 15 degree increments. The only hammer in the world that turns into a full crow-bar! A patented gear/ratchet system that locks into place at every click! Further more, the Cole-Bar can be separated with a button release turning it into a demolition tool.

As mentioned previously, I love multifunction wrecking bars -- they're just the right blend of apocalyptic and functional. This looks like a promising addition to the genre.

The project looks exciting, but as with all Kickstarter projects, you should be prepared to get nothing for your money; the project founders' bios don't list any directly applicable manufacturing experience.

The Cole-Bar Hammer (via Core 77)


  1. That looks really cool/useful.  As long as they will refund my money or send me a new one when I break it in half using it as a crowbar, I am all for it.

    (yes… I break things.. on accident mostly… thats why I buy craftsman)

    1.  I’m sure some people are looking for a combo tool.  not me.  I have two small crowbars of different types that I got at Sears 15 years ago, and that’s all they are: crowbars.  I put my gloves on, with one in each hand and I pry, bang them into each other, use one for certain kinds of nails, the other for others, and together, they demo anything faster than any other way.  I don’t need a crowbar multi-tool.  I’ll use my leatherman for small stuff, demo bars for the big stuff.  It IS a cool idea, don’t get me wrong.  But I just see less of a need for this one.

  2. This looks like it’d break with any serious use. Also way more expensive than just buying all of the functions as separate tools. I’m pretty sure it’d snap in half, too, or not lock firmly in place as a hammer after you use it for a while. 

    1. My first thought was the same.   A good test would be to see if you could stand on/jump on it while trying to pry apart two well connected pieces of wood.   The wood should break before the pry bar.   I’ve had no trouble putting an old-fashioned crow bar through this test, and would hold this tool to the same standard.

      1. Just as all those neat ‘non-ice ice cubes’ inevitably fail on thermodynamic considerations, I’d strongly suspect that a folding/locking prybar is doomed to fail on cross-sectional-area considerations:

        According to the patent the system’s hinge is based on a locking ratchet mechanism(presumably, this also means it could be used as a socket wrench, which is kind of neat). This means that the weakest link is going to be one of the relatively tiny bits of metal in Fig. 6

        By contrast, an ordinary prybar, even your ghastly harbor freight stuff, is going to be 1/4-inch sheet steel, maybe 3/4 to 1 inch wide, for the flat kind, probably half-inch round or hexagonal steel bar for the rod type.

        I wouldn’t deny the possibility that some seriously classy metallurgy could make the mechanism in Fig.6 capable of enduring greater strain, without failure, than some crap mild steel crowbar-shaped-object can without bending; but the sheer difference in amount of material bearing the load makes the job of an ordinary crowbar far easier.

          1. demolition tool (advertised as) > home duty/loosen some stuck nuts (light duty)

            I’ve gone through a few racthets, no way I would consider a demolition tool with integral ratchet, even if it can be locked out once it fails.

            This is a fine product for light home duty, but it is not a demolition tool.

          2. Perhaps if you are comparing it to a professional level ratchet that is 3/4 inch or larger.  I’ve put all my weight through my pry/wrecking bar before, and given the length and my weight that’s close to 350 ft/lbs or force.  A lot of ratchets aren’t going to last long at that force level.

          3.  A ratchet (socket wrench) isn’t good enough to loosen stuck nuts.  For that job one uses a breaker bar.

    1. I hearily agree. The Mermaid Parade is one of the best days you can have as a New Yorker. And Coney Island USA is pretty much the driving force in Coney Island no longer being a giant methadone clinic. 

  3. This looks more like a parody soft-care tool-porn to me than any serious or useful innovation!

    1. What design or functional problem are they trying to solve??
    — more like they are reinventing bullshit [but having fun with prototyping steel]

    2. There is a damn good reason why most crowbars have extra curved heels for continuous wider leverage
    — if they are serious show it working..

    3. There is a good reason why most modern hammers have extra cushoning or separate lighter shock absorning shafts

    4. Square metal all over, no thanks. — do these people do any actual work with their tools ?

    5.  SHARPER IMAGE ONION SPECIAL EDITION.. but no wait there’s more GINZU-COLE-BAR with social networking built-in Tweet your projects blow by blow.. 

  4. I’m dubious about moving parts on joints that are expected to be under lots of stress like this, and it costs as much as a crowbar + a hammer + measuring tape + socket wrench put together. 

    Seems like it would be kind of useful for an occasional home handyman in an apartment or something that doesn’t have space for a whole toolbox maybe. 

    1. I usually don’t care about brand-name clothes or top-shelf liquor, but as far as hammers go I’m an “Estwing or GTFO” kind of guy.

      1.  After a (long) while, I had to switch to wood handles to stave off elbow problems.

  5. I often want to tap the heel of my crowbar to wedge it into whatever I’m prying with a hammer, so I’d need a separate hammer anyway.

      1. meh, when split you have a light duty hammer all of a sudden, but you still need gloves for it thanks to the split and hard angles on the shaft.

        Then you have to re-attach without loosing whatever you gained by hammering at the heel you exposed when you removed the hammer.

        Don’t get me wrong, I always wear gloves on any job anyway, but the point it that this thing is cute, not efficient. Jackbird would definitely fare better with two tools.

        It looks cool but it won’t live up to the demolition tool aspect, at least not compared to real demolition tools.

  6. Overall I like it, but don’t think it could last long in heavy use. 

    It looks cool enough and would work for light duty well enough that I would still consider purchasing it, nothing wrong with having an extra crowbar/hammer/ratchet etc after all, no matter how many you have.

  7. It’s hard for me to work out the exact size of the intersection of people who need a medium-duty crowbar (more leverage than a claw-hammer, but less strong than an actual crow bar), and also would like the convenience of a single ratcheting tool. My guess, though, is that it’s pretty small.

    If you are actually doing construction work, you’re going to use a real crowbar.

    This reminds me a bit of those 27-tools-in-one packed into the handle of a hammer: something for people who would like to be the kind of person who would use all 27 tools, but aren’t really going to.

    Don’t get me wrong, the product looks like its had a lot of thought and care put into the design, and it’s probably very high quality for what it is. I just think that the target demographic is tiny — the people who kind of want a crowbar but don’t actually want a crowbar.

  8. Maybe when my crowbar and hammers all break, if my workshop burns down.

    I suppose I could use it if I need to travel light while doing some salvage demolitions on the run – fleeing zombies or something.  At which juncture I will regret all the large, single use tools in my zombie infested garage.

  9. Meh. If you  can’t pry it loose with a fucking claw hammer, you need a proper crowbar anyway. This is silly.

  10. When I worked in the hardware store we called these sorts of things “great fathers day gifts.”

  11. Just get a nice soviet army surplus titanium wrecking bar & and an Estwing claw hammer and call it a  day.

  12. I’m a wrecker. I wreck things,  professionally.  These things are silly toys for people who will (hopefully) never try and use them.  Ive broken several vaughan superbars,  and bent a monstrous thing called a hurricane bar (not the one you see on google search) and I am under 200 lbs.  Now I use a 56″ burke bar.

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