Picking the Best Tactical Tomahawk and Tomahawk Reviews 2016!

To many people the term tomahawk brings them back to their middle school history class where you learn about the exploration of the new world, and the Native Americans with their tomahawks.  And to most people that is all a hatchet is, an ancient weapon.  But hopefully my article will knock some sense into your head about the benefits of a tactical tomahawk.

I personally have owned around twenty-five different of these (Am I Crazy?), and I use them on my property up north a whole lot to clear paths and create fire wood.  Before owning my first axe, these tools were a little strange to me, and I wasn’t so sure what to think.  But I finally made the plunge and picked one up at my nearest REI and got to testing it out.  And boy was I missing out on something that could potentially save my life, and save me a lot of time.   So if you are looking to test out these awesome utensils but don’t know where to start, you are in the right place!  So let’s jump right in it, this is my guide on how to pick the best tomahawk.

Tactical Tomahawk Comparison Guide

Included In The Chart Are The Following Labels:

  • Name/Brand of Tomahawk
  • Material The Tomahawk is Made of
  • Weight
  • Length of Shaft
  • Price – The price is according to Amazon.com.  I don’t show the exact price as the price changes periodically.  The scale is a scale of 1-5 based on the number of “$”.  So “$” is the cheapest, and “$$$$$” is more of an expensive model.
  • Rating – This is the average rating out of 5, that are placed on Amazon.com

Obviously this is just a tiny percentage of the seemingly endless amount of t-hawks that are available on the market place today.  But these are axes that I personally have used and am willing to trust my life with and will recommend to my friends.  Now each multi-purpose axe is slightly different, so before buying one make sure that you know about the variations in axes and decide on what would be best for you.

What Is A Tactical Tomahawk?

Tomahawks are tools that are specifically made to be multi-purpose tools that can both provide you with a wilderness solution, and a tool to save your life.  Throughout history tomahawks have been called quite a few different names, these include tomahawk axes, combat axes, tactical axes, or a combat hatchet.  They are designed to withstand the tests of anything that a user can throw at it.  The multi-functionality is what truly makes these machines great.  You can walk through the forest and use these for cutting down branches to clear a path, and also use it in a survival situation to fight off an animal.

Every tactical axe will have the obvious blade on one end of the head.  On the opposite side of the blade is where each axe can vary a little.  I have seen quite a few different variations of the back end of the head, these can include a spike, another smaller blade, or even a hammer.  So obviously to pick the best  tomahawk you will need to decided what your needs are.

Along with that variation, each combat axe is a little different in length of the shaft and the head, the weight of the ax, and the material the tomahawk is made out of.  Generally the shaft itself is made out of some sort of steel but some vintage tools can be made from wood.  Generally I’d recommend the steel version over the fully wood.

Another different variation in tomahawks that you might now know about is if the axe is full tang or not.  A full tang in reference to these tools means that the shaft and the head is made from the same material.  So it’s one sheet of metal or wood that has been shaped into the shape of an axe.  This generally means that the axe is sturdier than its partial-tang counterpart.  I’m not saying don’t get partial-tang because there are some great axes that are partial-tanged.  But you should know what you want.

Another aspect of these axes is the ability to be thrown.  To many this is incredibly useful, the ability to throw this tool as a weapon at your target can be very beneficial and can save your life.  When looking for a throwing axe, you should definitely be looking at full-tang versus partial-tang because of the durability.  Partial-tang may or may not be able to take the beating that throwing your hatchet can do.  In this post, I will do my best to provide you with the best tomahawk throwing axe for all my viewer’s needs.

The History of Tomahawks

Now I don’t claim to be a world renowned historian on the topic of the history of tomahawks, but I have done a little bit of research on these combat tomahawks.  Back in the precolonial times the Algonquian tribes who were found along the Atlantic and the Great Lakes were the original creators of what we now know as the tomahawk.  They were originally made with rounded stone or deer antler as the head because they lacked the iron-making technology.  These were used predominately as a tactical throwing tomahawk by these tribes and were used for both hunting and protection.

For the next five hundred years, the tomahawk continues to make appearances in Military, and recreational areas.  Around the Revolutionary War, the British Army actually outfitted their whole army with tomahawks to be used as a close combat weapon and tool.

Even more recently they have appeared in history.  That’s right, the Vietnam tomahawk!  These tomahawks were never fully issued by the U.S. government after a few failed attempts, but there were around three thousand eight hundred of these axes put into private use by U.S soldiers.  The Vietnam tactical tomahawk was originally made of tan hickory shaft and the tests were good.  After the first five hundred produced with hickory, the use of fiberglass for the shaft was tested.  It was later found that the fiberglass couldn’t withstand the hardships of throwing the tomahawk around.

Finding The Best Tactical Tomahawk For Your Needs

I spoke about this a little bit in the past few sections, but since this is such an important aspect, I thought I needed to mention it again.  Tomahawks have been used for hundreds of years for hundreds of different reasons.  They are very versatile tools, but some tomahawks are created for specific activities in mind.  So when purchasing you definitely need to do research on which combat axe is the best one for you.  I’m going to outline the common differences in some of these hatchets and hopefully make your decision easier.

  • Full Tang vs Partial Tang
  • Shaft Length
  • Material
  • Grip Material
  • Tools on The Head

So I outlined some of these in my comparison chart above, but I couldn’t go into too much detail.  These are some of the differences that different tomahawks may possess, so read up and do your research.

Full Tang vs Partial Tang

So I mentioned tang in the beginning of this post, but again full tang is essentially where the shaft and the head are crafted from the same piece of material.  So with full tang the whole tool is one whole piece.  Partial tang is where the shaft is a separate piece from the head.  The head is than attached to the shaft through different seal processes.  A neat feature of partial tang is that these can include folding tomahawks.

Generally full tang is more durable than partial tang, that is why full tang is recommend if you are going to be using these tools as a throwing tomahawks.  Partial tang are supposed to be made a little more compact and used to conserve size.  Partial tanged are great for camping and hiking to be used as a cutting and slicing tool but not as much for super durable tasks.

Throwing Hatchet

If you are looking for an axe that can be used for a distance attack or defense then you need to look at this post about a throwing hatchet.  Throwing hatchets are similar to tomahawks but they are generally considered to be only thrown while a tomahawk can technically be used either way.  These hatchets are generally a little smaller in size and are nearly always full tang as they need to be durable.  If they were partial tang they would most like break on impact.

Shaft Length

Shaft length is pretty self explanatory, the length of the shaft up to the head of the tomahawk.  Some people will include the head in the measurement so you will have to be careful.   Tomahawks have a wide variety of sizes, and generally these are up to your personal preference.  I have seen some tomahawks as long as twenty inches and some as short as around ten inches.  Again if used for throwing you will want a comfortable size.

Shaft/Head Material

Another pretty self explanatory topic, but there are some differences.  Generally these utilities are made of steel which may be some type of carbon steel or stainless steel.  I have also seen a few tomahawks that the shafts are made of wood, which makes it look beautiful but it does risk some of it’s durability.   I personally prefer to stick with a steel material, but that’s my personal opinion.

Grip Material

This is an important aspect that a lot of people seem to overlook, the grip material.  Grip material is exactly what it sounds like, on the lower end of the tomahawk’s shaft is considered the grip.  Now most tomahawks will have a grip made of a third party material.  This can include a nylon cord wrapped around the shaft, or a tough rubber like material.  A premium grip is nice to have as it can really help save your hands from the struggle of holding on to straight metal like if you didn’t have a grip.

Tools on The Backend of the Head

This is where I have seen some differences in this market.  Now every tomahawk will have a blade as the primary “tool” on the head.  But, the other side of the head is where the variation can occur.  The majority of tomahawks will have a spike of some sort as the secondary side.  I have also seen hammers on the backend and tools to breach doors made specifically for the Military.

Tomahawk Brands on My Site

On my site I will be reviewing quite a few different tomahawk brands, and types.  As it’s hard to go into a great amount of detail on this page, I have decided to make separate sections for certain brands.

RMJ TacticalRMJ Tomahawks

RMJ Tomahawks are some of the most known tomahawks in the world, and it’s mainly because of the creator.  Created by Ryan M. Johnson, the huge tactical utilities mongol who opened his doors to tomahawks nearly twenty-five years ago.  He is now one of the leading names in the tactical axe marketplace.

 

m48 TomahawkM48 Tomahawks

M48 Tomahawks are a great new addition to the tact. tomahawk genre.  Originally created by United Cutlery, these axes have a plethora of different blades that are designed to withstand a beating and to keep you alive.  I dare you to check these out!

You Can View My Reviews of The M48 Tomahawk Here!

 

My Top Five Tomahawk Reviews

So in my chart I compared ten tomahawks.  These are all brilliant axes, and I suggest them all to anyone who’s interested, but some of them are just a little bit better than the others!  So in this section I am going to give you an indepth report on my five favorites.  These are all items I have tested my self and put through a series of rigid tests.  These are not some crappy $10 Walmart tomahawks, these are the real deal!  Normally tomahawks for sale can be hard to find, especially tactical ones, but all the tomahawks in my review below and my chart above are available on Amazon.com, so no more looking hours on end to find them online.  Let’s get into it!

Columbia River Knife and Tool 2765

CRKT TomahawkThis new Tactical Tomahawk by Columbia River Knife and Tool is one of a kind!  This is a tactical axe that can and will save your life in whatever situation you throw at it!  If you are in need of a tool that will save you time will cutting up kindle for a fire or you want a throwing tomahawk for practice or for protection, then this is for you.  Although this is not optimal for splitting logs that are over four feet or so, this little axe is very sharp.

It measures 13.75 inches in length, which to me is  about the perfect size.  It fits perfectly in my hand, and it just feels comfortable.  The backend of the head is a spike which is great for puncturing or splitting whatever you need.  This is a full tang tomahawk, and while it took outdoors and tried to beat it up, it held up great!  So I think this blade will stand up to anything you can throw at it.

This hatchet also comes with a quality kydex sheath and buckles to fit.  The handle is made from an excellent rubber like material that fits very ergonomically in your hand.

The weight is around two pounds which is perfect for an everyday carry.

In the end this is a tool that I’m willing to recommend to my closest friends, as it is a great product and it can save your life.

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

Browning Shock ‘N’ Awe

This hawk labeled the “Shock ‘N’ Awe Tomahawk” is a monster.  I ordered this a few weeks after it was released mainly because all the Browning products I have owned have done me well, and this axe is no different!  This axe is another full tang hatchet, that is made of 1055 stainless steel with a black powder coat.  The length of this axe is ten and a half inches so it’s a little bit smaller than the previous tool which I personally found to fit perfectly in my hand and that it wasn’t too small.

The slogan on the Browning website states “Capable of anything from splitting kindling at your base camp to hacking your way out of a crashed helicopter, this tactical tool will make you one tough customer when serious trouble comes calling.”  I wouldn’t know how effective it would be to cut your way out of a downed helicopter with it, but it definitely is one tough tool.

This is the perfect multi-tool for anyone that needs something better than a knife, and smaller than a full fledged axe.  The backend of the head houses a very powerful spike that can put a good sized hole into anything that you make contact with.

A big advantage with this one over some others that I have used is the curved handle.  The curved handle helps get a more secure grip on the axe, especially if someone is trying to grab your axe from the head.  The way it’s shaped just makes it feel so comfortable in your hands.  This may just be the best tomahawk of 2014.  I thoroughly suggest this to anyone!

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

Smith and Wesson SW671

Smith and Wesson SW671 TomahawkSmith and Wesson have been a pride and true company for the past one hundred fifty years.  I generally trust any product by S&W, and this one is no different.

This is one of the heavier axes I’ve ever used.  It’s a staggering 2.7 pounds (43.2 oz).  Now while most axes are under 2 pounds, this one stacks on a little bit more.  It’s made of 1070 carbon steel and 15.9 inches long.  When I used this the weight didn’t really get in the way of what I wanted to do with it, but if you are interested in throwing tomahawks than this may not be the best one for you.

One of the best advantages of having such a heavy axe is that along with it’s durability, it can literally bust down any door or tree that you may need to be chopped into pieces.  This is more along the type of tomahawk axe that should be used for objects that need a little more oomph to get through, I wouldn’t recommend this as a belt loop tomahawk as it may get a little uncomfortable, but as a tool for forced entry this is definitely the way to go.

It comes with a nice nylon sheath to keep it in a safe and comfortable position when not being used.  But I recommend this as an entry or extraction tool as it’s weight and it’s length will help you force your way in or out of anything to get you out of harms way.

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

Ontario 423BM Ranger RD Hawk II

tactical tomahawkThis beauty was created by Ontario Knife which was founded in 1889.  Before this I haven’t had too much experience with Ontario, but this axe certainly does set a standard for their products.

The Ontario Hawk II is one of the smallest tomahawks that I have reviewed, it being only 12.4 inches in length and only weighing one pound and 2 oz.  Crafted out of 1075 Carbon Steel, it has been made to last.  If anything was to reassure you about the durability of this little tomahawk, it should be that the U.S. Military currently uses this in some of their loadouts.

This is a decent tomahawk for throwing, but it’s not specifically designed for throwing as the weight is a bit off.  If you are a skilled thrower you will still be able to make due with this axe, but it’s still a great axe for defensive and light wood chopping needs.

This is a great compact tomahawk and if you want something a little bigger than a blade but maybe even a little smaller than other tomahawks than this is for you.  Don’t let it’s small size fool you, it can still cause some serious damage!

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01TN-CP

SOG TomahawkNow this is one of the cheaper tomahawks in my list, not cheap in product creation, but cheap in price.  This is around the standard size of axes in the market with the weight being one pound and eight ounces and the length being fifteen and three quarters inches long.  This was one of the first tomahawks a lot of people seem to  start with, and I’m perfectly okay with that.  It is a great tool no matter how experienced you are.  It will handle what you throw at it and it will get the job done.

Now i’m not saying that this will perform better than some of the others that I have lasted as it probably won’t, but I am saying that this is worth a mention on my list because it is still a brilliant tomahawk.  It can cut and poke with the main blade and the spike on the end, and it also has a small hammer on the side of the head.

So it’s functionality is definitely what makes this tool make the list.  So if you are looking for a tool and maybe you don’t want to dish out $80, this is a great stepping stone.

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings, and Reviews on Amazon.com

Now It’s Your Turn

Now I hope you have learned a whole lot about tomahawks from this post.  I have provided you with quite a bit of information, I have provided you with a total of ten axes that have made my personal list of favorites.  Now I have done a lot of work to hopefully help some of you out, but take my opinions with a grain of salt.  Every person has different needs for these tools, so don’t just buy the ones I’m suggesting, do you own research also.  Be sure to look for the variations in each axe and look for what you actually need in an axe.  From there you will be able to make the best decision.  So now you are done!  Go get yourself the best combat tomahawk you can!