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Pulsar Axion Key Thermal Monocular Review

The Pulsar Axion Key monocular is an incredible compact thermal packed full of features!

The Axion Key was designed to fit easily into your hand and it does exactly that. It is about the same size as most of the common rangefinders on the market and is easily be tucked away in a hunting pack, jacket pocket or safety harness for treestand hunters. Coming in at just 8.8 ounces (250 grams), you can comfortably carry this with you anywhere without the added weight of other optics. It has a lightweight Magnesium body and plastic and rubber outer surface that offers great comfortable grip.

Don’t let the small size fool you. The Axion is actual proof that big things can come in small packages. These handheld thermal offers better performance than many of its larger competitors. The Axion Key is IPX7 waterproof-rated meaning it will handle even the most torrential downpours. If you are like me, accidents happen, and I am hard on my hunting equipment. The Axion Key can be submerged up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes should you drop it in a puddle when you open the truck door or jump across a small creek.



Many thermal devices offer you a choice of “white hot” or “black hot.” Not the Axion Key! have choices from 8 different color pallets. Choose which one you like best or which one offers the clearest picture for the conditions.

The Axion Key has proven itself time and time again scanning wheat in search of wild hogs. I have consistently picked up heat signatures on hogs and deer at over 1,000 yards (900 meters). The 4x digital zoom allows you to quickly zoom in and identify your target. The Axion also features a picture-in-picture display. This is a great feature on many of the Pulsar thermal riflescopes that has carried over to the Axion line!

I love to take pictures and film clips through the thermal — Unfortunately, the Axion Key, the model I reviewed does not have the capability of capturing onboard photos or video. The standard Axion thermal monocular does offer that feature for those who want that option.

I truly believe that the Axion Key is one of the best options out there for those looking for an affordable, handheld thermal that has all the features of much larger thermal devices. Using handheld devices to quickly and safely scan fields and locate animals is a game-changer for seasoned hunters as well as those just beginning.