"Tactical" Tomahawk options?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Sid Post, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998

    I see a lot of "tactical tomahawks" that are all steel and generally over $300. What am I missing? Won't a steel handle 'ring' your hands and wrists badly when you hit something hard? Also, the cost seems pretty high for what it is unless it is all about MARKETING. Then there all the imported ~$100 MSRP hawks that seem have a lot of marketing gimmick.

    A traditional style wood handle tomahawk seems like a better option or at least one with a fiberglass handle. Slip tapered fit or driven wedge like an axe seems like a reasonably easy to maintain option as well.

    2Hawks is one brand I don't see mentioned often but, I know they are a good option and start ~$125 for non-tactical models. H&B is another one that carries a good reputation.

    Why aren't traditional tomahawks mentioned more in the forums or online generally? Is all about marketing and sponsorships (and advertisements)?
    burninatorzw and PNWhovian like this.
  2. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016

    Traditional 'hawks get plenty of press here.

    Do a search and you should find many threads on the topic.
    Hijo de Luna likes this.
  3. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    You're right. The steel handles (tangs, really) are much harder on the body than wooden handles. The older you get, the more that becomes a critical issue.
    Hijo de Luna likes this.
  4. Korean Hog

    Korean Hog Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2017
    Bro, I mean bro...don't you want the hawks the operators use??

    I hear ya, I think the "full tang" hawks are good when you're concerned about even the slightest possibility of breaking the handle or you just plain ole plan on abusing the hawk, hatchet, whatever.

    If you can swing the thing accurate enough not to goober up the handle and don't use it as a pry bar wood is definitely more comfortable.

    Winkler hawks best of both worlds IMO with full tang but wooden scales, with a close to a 1k price tag though they're a bit "out of reach" for most in that that's a ridiculous price for a tomahawk, to most ;)

    I don't care. Saving up for a Winkler and hoping to pick one up sometime this next year. I'm sure they perform great and they just look so damn awesome.
    I want a hawk the operators use :oops::p:D
    Hijo de Luna likes this.
  5. BitingSarcasm


    Feb 25, 2014
    Maybe if you went to the Axe Tomahawk and Hatchet subforum here you would see more tomahawk content.... The General Knife Discussion forum gets more traffic, but Knife People are not always Axe People and vice versa.

    Full tang steel hawks aren't shock absorbing and are harder on the hands, exactly as one would think. It’s expected that the user will use gloves or wrap the grip for extended use I think. But it’s not too bad, I have never had a problem getting enough wood processed for a fire or doing some limbing. They handle a bit differently with all that mass in the handle, but they do hit hard. It wouldn’t be my first choice for taking down a tree, but I wouldn’t choose a hawk for that anyways.

    High end tac hawks get ridiculous prices for the same reason that Chris Reeve knives do: consistent good quality, scarcity, and high demand. I like the RMJ patterns, but I can’t justify spending that kind of money when my kids’ college fund is looking at me.
    Hijo de Luna likes this.
  6. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Slow traffic in the axe/hatchet subforum and a lot of outdoors and sporting use threads there too but, I don't recall reading much on the all-steel tactical 'hawks. I'm also trying to get a bit wider perspective. I don't really recall threads on the CRKT much either. Certainly, if I was looking for a throwing 'hawk, that's where I'd find those specialists.
  7. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    The survival and outdoors sub-forums are also ones I look at for Axe, Hatchet and, 'Hawk info but, again a pretty target audience and a bit slow in general.

    With 2Hawks and H&B offering models not too far off more pedestrian offerings, I was hoping to get a more diverse view here in the main forum.
  8. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    Walk By Faith has a lot of well-made and varied hawks with wooden handles. Prices are more reasonable.
    oldmanwilly likes this.
  9. justjed


    Oct 23, 2010
    I'm personally a big fan of 2Hawks 'hawks, the Warbeast is my favorite outdoor tool. That and a decent 5-8 inch fixed blade will do everything I'm likely to need in the outdoors. If the Warbeast can't handle it, it's time for a chainsaw. HB Forge is good, he's been at this for years. Walk By Faith is great work.

    About 25 years ago, I bought the first real tactical full-tang hand-ax I'd really liked, from Mineral Mountain Hatchet Works. 3/8" 5160, torch-hardened edge, oiled walnut handles with mosaic pins, copper lanyard tube, and deep-cut ripping teeth in the upper third of the primary edge. It's heavy at 3-1/2 lb, transmits shock to the hands(tho not as bad as some lighter 'hawks), and is a bitch to swing repetitively. Two hands definitely recommended. It's also damn near indestructible, and incredibly destructive in its own right when used properly. I'm of the opinion, however, that full tang tactical 'hawks are really the evolution of the crash-axe, not the tomahawk. A proper tomahawk is about light weight and speed, rather than high-mass and inertia. But that's a subject for another time....
    burninatorzw, Sid Post and Twindog like this.
  10. oldmanwilly

    oldmanwilly Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    For what it's worth, I have a 2Hawks Longhunter and it is the best tomahawk and/or hatchet I've ever owned. It is light, fast, easy to sharpen, tough enough to survive hits against limestone and flint without issue, and it chews through wood better than a hawk so light should.

    Sure, I've lusted after the RMJ hawks for years but the price tag and combat specific design have kept me away. Unless you intend to engage in hard-core close quarter combat I suspect a traditional polled hawk will serve all of your needs.

    I can recommend 2Hawks from experience. I aspire to a hawk from Walkbyfaith777 whose BF posts I find mouthwatering. I look forward to seeing what other recommendations pop up in this thread.
  11. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    JustJed, I'm basically with you on the tomahawk issue. Light and fast are where I think they really earned the reputation and why they were so popular previously. Obviously, they work really well too!

    My Grandfors Outdoor axe is in the vein as well being a really light handy option. My only negative comment is really part of its design goal. With a short handle and a light head, it really needs a lot of effort for a deep strike into wood and is best with lighter more survival and light camping tasks. I must admit that I find myself really attached to it because it is light enough to carry when I don't think I need an axe, so it gets a lot more carry time with me than a better axe!

    Of course, 'better' really depends on the context!
  12. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    A hardened pole tomahawk is what I'm looking for at the moment. I have some Rinaldi "Italian" tomahawk hatchets and while serviceable are not terribly impressive either but, at ~$40 I'm not expecting Gransfors Bruk qualities either!

    I have really wanted to like the HB Forge options but, their patterns never really appealed to me for some reason.
  13. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Is 1095 a good steel for a 'hawk? I'm thinking it doesn't have the strength when hard to deal with hard use. 1095 certainly gets hard and makes a good knife though so, maybe I'm overthinking the impact strength issue.

  14. Riz!


    May 5, 2014
    As long as its run a little soft to increase toughness
  15. justjed


    Oct 23, 2010
    Pretty much any of the carbon steels, whether tool steels like 1095, spring steels such as 5160, or whatever, will make a decent hand-axe or tomahawk. As long as the maker does a good job on the heat treatment, you should have no worries about performance.
  16. broe


    May 8, 2011
    Properly made and balanced, an all metal hawk should not be too hard on your hands. 1095 is just fine for a tomahawk construction. It is tempering and heat treating that make or break it, literally. I like to keep the body and handle at "spring steel" and harden the edges well back which help it flex a little.

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