A tactical tomahawk, sometimes just referred to as a hawk, is an axe that was developed in North America and used by Native Americans. The traditional hawk has a straight shaft and looks a lot like a hatchet, and for centuries these were used by American Indians not just as a weapon but a general purpose utility tool, and their use was later adapted by the European Colonials. Even today, hawks are used by military personnel, campers and outdoor adventurers for various operations.
Tomahawk heads today usually weigh around 10 to 20 oz, and the cutting edge rarely extends to more than four inches. As for the actual head design, it varies greatly with some rounded off while others are fitted with a spike or hammer. While modern hawks still retain the basic design, manufacturers are always looking for ways to enhance the design so they become more versatile. As a result, the modern tomahawk can be used as a fighting weapon and as a utility tool for extracting and excavating and cutting through thick objects.
The Top 10 Tactical Tomahawaks
|United Cutlery M48 Apocalypse Tactical Tomahawk||Paracord wrapped 30% fiberglass reinforced nylon||Black Oxide Coated 2Cr13 Stainless||15 inches||$|
|United Cutlery UC2836 M48 Ranger Tactical Hawk||Nylon reinforced handle with 30-Percent fiberglass||Precision cast 2Cr13 stainless steel axe head||15 1/2 inches||$|
|Tactical Gerber Downrange Tomahawk||Desert tan G-10 handle with 420HC steel body||22 inches||$$$|
|Tactical Cold Steel Trench Hawk||Polypropylene handle highly resistant to shock and impact||19 inches||$|
|Tactical Browning Shock 'n' Awe Tomahawk||Handle has spiked pommel hand-wrapped with black nylon paracord and has a lanyard hole||Offers a black powder coated sword-grade blade forged from 1055 stainless steel||10 1/2 inches||$$|
|SOG Tactical Tomahawk||Textured slip-free grip is made of ballistic polymer to provide comfort||420 stainless steel||15.75 inches||$$|
|SOG F12-N Double Headed Tactical Tomahawk||Designed with tough ballistic polymer handle and nylon carry sheath||420 stainless steel||18.5 inches||$$$|
|Condor Tactical Rescue Tomahawk||Wrapped with Paracord Sheath: Handcrafted Welted Leather||1075 High Carbon Steel; Forged Blade Finish: Epoxy Black Powder Coating||17 inches||$$|
|American Tactical Tomahawk VTAC Lagana||ST "Super-Tough" Modified Nylon||Drop-Forged 1060, Rc 52-54||14 inches||$$$|
|SOG F01P-K Tactical Tomahawk||Textured slip-free grip is made of ballistic polymer to provide comfort||420 stainless steel||15.75 inches||$$|
Throwing tomahawks is also a popular sport throughout the States, and they’re usually included in knife throwing competitions.
Features to Look for
If you’re interested in buying a tomahawk you need to understand that there are many different types available and you need to take several factors into consideration.
Usage and Design
How will you use the tomahawk, as a tactical tool, for excavation, a throwing weapon or as an all purpose tool? You need to answer this question as it will help you make the right decision. For instance, a throwing axe should be light and compact, while a general purpose tool should have additional features that will help with breaching and extracting. Regardless of how you intend to use the hawk, it must have an ergonomic handle so you don’t tire out quickly.
A well designed hawk like the SOG tactical tomahawk will weigh around three pounds, and if it’s lighter, that could be better depending on personal preference and how you intend to use it. When used as a throwing weapon and camping tool, the weight will be very important since they need to be portable.
If it’s your first time to use an axe, obviously you’re better off with a light one so your arm doesn’t tire out quickly.
Most tomahawks don’t go beyond 17 inches because the emphasis is on portability. Many users for instance, prefer a hawk 14 to 16 inches long, but really it’s up to you and how you intend to use it. An M48 tactical tomahawk can be used for cutting tree limbs, but if that’s how you intend to use the hawk, get one with a long handle. But if you’re after portability, buy one that’s no more than 16 inches.
Virtually all tomahawks have a straight shaft or handle, and there’s a reason for this since it helps with the accuracy and precision. If you’re going to buy a tomahawk, take a good look at the handle and what material it is made of. Polymer, fiberglass and nylon are the most popular, but the choice is up to you. Other
Factors to Consider
There are other things you need to consider before buying a combat tomahawk such as its durability. Scratch resistance is very important particularly if you intend to use the tomahawk on a regular basis, and you must not forget about balance. The importance of balance cannot be overemphasized because it makes all the difference when it comes to accuracy. Simply put, a tomahawk without the proper balance will be very difficult to use. The bottom line is that when it comes to purchasing a military tomahawk you need to look for flexibility, durability and reliability. Even if you intend to use the axe for a specific purpose, most of them are capable of performing different tasks so you get more value for your money.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01T Tactical Tomahawk, Black
With its 2.75-inch edge and 420 stainless steel head, the F01T can be used as a weapon or a general purpose tool. This is a well made axe, and while SOG has manufactured a lot of quality axes, this is one of their best yet. The blade is extremely sharp, so it’s appropriate as a throwing tomahawk, and the opposing pick is very useful as well. A lot of thought went into the design, so you can use the pick to create channels easily. The head and shaft are not one piece, but the head is connected to the steel handle with screws so it won’t come off.
United Cutlery UC2765 M48 Hawk Axe with Nylon Sheath
The UC2765 M48 is regarded as one of the best tactical tomahawk axes, and that’s because you can use it as a tool or a weapon. 15 inches long with an 8 inch blade, the UC2765 M48 has the right amount of balance and weight so you can swing it with one arm or two. Like other M48 axes, this one has a very good handle grip so it doesn’t slip from your hand. Not only is the blade functional, but it’s slickly designed, and the cutting edge is as good as advertised. The UC2765 M48 also comes with a sheath and it is just as well designed.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F06-N Fast Hawk Tactical Tomahawk, Black
The F06-N Fast Hawk sports a stainless steel head and a 2.75 inch blade, and it’s not just great as a battle axe but as a durable wood tool. The F06-N is a well designed blade, has a very good edge and can withstand rigorous use. There are a lot of tactical tomahawk axes out there, but they’re more expensive. The handle is compact and slim, and so is the head, but SOG has done a good job in giving the axe power and balance. If you’re going to buy a tomahawk you need to compare the product features so you can get the best axe to fit your needs. This will take time but you need to be patient as it will pay off.