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HAWKS AND HATCHETS THAT GIVE YOU AN EDGE

When your ventures take you to faraway or potentially dangerous places, your choice of gear is critical. Tomahawks and hatchets have always been some of the most useful tools for improvising what you need and for doing double duty as close-quarters weapons.

Since its inception as a basic, but essential, hand tool for Stone Age humans, there have been countless designs created for a huge array of applications.

We’ve assembled a selection that reflects the wide variety of styles, materials and prices available today. Considering the diversity of tasks you might need to handle, you might find it necessary to have more than one of these in your collection.


TOPS Knives HAKET (PHOTO COURTESY: TOPS Knives)

OVERVIEW

“HAKET” stands for “hawk and knife emergency tool.” Designed by Allen Jensen, it’s a modular design that, when assembled with the outfitter head, features an axe edge on one side and a knife blade on the other. That head can be taken off and used as a knife or scraper separately. Also included is what is called the Alligator Alley, which is a barbed spear head.

Both heads attach through a slot in the hollow handle and are secured by a bolt/ nut combination that can be tightened by hand. Sheaths fit over the sharp edges, and the tool can be stored in the included nylon case.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 15 inches
  • Cutting edge: 1.94 inches (axe); 2.55 inches (knife)
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Handle material: Hollow chrome-moly, para- cord-wrapped

MSRP: $240
www.TopsKnives.com


Cold Steel Axe Gang Hatchet (PHOTO COURTESY: Cold Steel Knife and Tool)

OVERVIEW

Cold Steel’s Axe Gang Hatchet harkens back to a classic Chinese design and features a differentially heat-treated, drop-forged head of 1055 carbon steel, which makes it hard enough to maintain a sharp edge with a body that can absorb shock. This is the hatchet used by “Rick” in The Walking Dead. I’ve put this hatchet to the test and found it to be a great chopper and an excellent hatchet for the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 20.25 inches
  • Cutting edge: 4 inches
  • Weight: 32 ounces
  • Handle material: American hickory

MSRP: $25.99

www.ColdSteel.com


SOG Tactical Tomahawk (PHOTO COURTESY: SOG)

OVERVIEW

The SOG Tactical Tomahawk has been around for quite a few years but still offers a good value. It’s based on the Vietnam Tomahawk design. It’s the right blend of length and weight to chop effectively, yet it carries easily.

The 420 stainless steel blade offers excellent penetration with both the blade and spike ends. A black ballistic nylon belt sheath is included.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 15.75 inches
  • Cutting edge: 2.75 inches
  • Weight: 24 ounces
  • Handle material: Glass-reinforced nylon

MSRP: $64.25

www.SOGKnives.com


Outland Equipment Multi-Mission Axe (PHOTO COURTESY: Outland Equipment)

OVERVIEW

Outland’s Multi-Mission Axe is available in 15- and 19-inch lengths. Each is made from one piece of S7 steel and features a 3.9-inch blade with a modular, bolt-on hammer poll. There’s a full-sized pry tool on the end of the handle, as well as a seatbelt cutter that’s positioned to provide additional reach into vehicles. Hex nut tools are incorporated in the handle. The quick-access modular sheath system accepts accessories to allow for belt or shoulder carry, MOLLE attachment or vehicle mounting. A zippered case is included.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 15 or 19 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3.9 inches
  • Finish: Gray Cerakote
  • Weight: 2.5 or 2.9 pounds
  • Handle material: G-10 over steel

MSRP: $425–$445; $455–$475

www.OutlandEquipment.com


Best Made Straight-Hold Hatchet (PHOTO COURTESY: Best Made Co.)

OVERVIEW

This hatchet is made in the United States and features a drop-forged head of 1060 alloy steel that’s hand ground. The straight profile of the lacquered Appalachian hickory handle makes chopping with the blade or pounding with the butt end equally effective.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 13.5 inches
  • Cutting edge: 4 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Handle material: Lacquered Appalachian hickory

MSRP: $88

www.BestMadeco.com


Cold Steel Trail Hawk  (PHOTO COURTESY: Cold Steel Knife and Tool)

OVERVIEW

The Cold Steel Trail Hawk is a lightweight, traditional tomahawk of drop-forged 1055 carbon steel that comes sharp from the factory. This ’hawk provides excellent chopping and hammering power, thanks, in part, to the 22-inch American hickory handle that gives you plenty of leverage. It’s affordable, effective and easy to carry wherever you venture. A Cor-Ex nylon sheath is included.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 22 inches
  • Cutting edge: 2.25 inches
  • Weight: 23.6 ounces
  • Handle material: American hickory

MSRP: $41.99
www.ColdSteel.com


Boker Plus Tomahook (PHOTO COURTESY: Boker)

OVERVIEW

Boker’s Plus Tomahook was designed by Colin Despins with inspiration from age-old designs of the Celts, Vikings and Native Americans. Made for hard use from one piece of SK-5 steel, it features a large, 5.625-inch blade on one side of the head and a protrusion on the back side that makes an excellent glass-breaker. A chisel at the top of the head offers more capability.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 18 ⅛ inches
  • Cutting edge: 5.625 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Handle material: Recessed G-10 scales over steel

MSRP: $169.95

www.Boker.de/us


Browning Shock N’ Awesome Tomahawk (PHOTO COURTESY: Browning)

OVERVIEW

Browning’s Shock N’ Awesome Tomahawk performs very well for its size, making it an effective tool you’re more apt to carry than leave at home. Designed by Russ Kommer, it’s constructed of one-piece steel with checkered G-10 handles, providing a secure grip. It includes an excellent molded belt sheath.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 13 inches
  • Cutting edge: 2.625 inches
  • Weight: 1  pound, 9 ounces
  • Handle material: G-10 over steelz

MSRP: $119.99

https://www.browning.com/products/knives/black-label/shock-n-awesome-tomahawk.html


Colonial Knife Corp. T200 Tomahawk (PHOTO COURTESY: Colonial Knife)

OVERVIEW

Brand new from Colonial Knife is the T200 Tomahawk. Unlike earlier models, this tomahawk is made entirely in the United States. It’s made from one piece of 8670 tool steel with a 3.5-inch blade and 2-inch spike. It is 14 inches long overall and features black-over-orange G-10 handle scales. The included black Kydex sheath has speed clips and is MOLLE compatible.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 14 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.73 pounds
  • Handle material: Two-tone G-10 over steel

MSRP: $600
www.ColonialKnifeCorp.com


Gerber 14-Inch Hatchet (PHOTO COURTESY: Gerber)

OVERVIEW

The Gerber 14-inch Hatchet features a forged head with PTFE coating. The high-visibility handle is glass-filled nylon. A matching molded-plastic sheath is included. I have lots of experience with the earlier Gerber Camp Axe of similar design and found it to be sharp, well balanced and rugged..

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 14 inches
  • Cutting edge: 2.6 inches
  • Weight: 22.6 ounces
  • Handle material: Glass-filled nylon

MSRP: $62
www.GerberGear.com


Estwing Sportsman Axe Special Edition (PHOTO COURTESY: Estwing)

OVERVIEW

I own a couple of Estwing hatchets, and they’ve always performed very well. This special-edition model (E24ASEA) features one-piece, drop-forged metal construction with a black powder-coated finish and comfortable, stacked-leather washer grip. A sheath is included.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 14 inches
  • Cutting edge: 25 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Handle material: Leather over steel

MSRP: $49.99
www.Estwing.com


SOG Base Camp Axe (PHOTO COURTESY: SOG)

OVERVIEW

The SOG Base Camp Axe is a one-piece metal hatchet with forged head and a flat back for hammering. Because of its one-piece construction, there’s no need to worry about the head loosening when you’re far from civilization.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 16 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Handle material: Thermal molded rubber over steel

MSRP: $80
www.SOGKnives.com


Gerber Downrange Tomahawk (PHOTO COURTESY: Gerber)

OVERVIEW

Whether you have to get in or have to get someone out, the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk can get through doors, drywall and other obstacles with ease. It’s a professional breaching tool featuring axe blade and hammer surfaces of 420HC steel on the head and a serious pry bar on the end of the handle.

The cutaway section of the head serves as a handle when using the tool as a pry bar. A MOLLE-compatible sheath is included.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 19.27 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Handle material: G-10 over steel

MSRP: $328
www.GerberGear.com


Wetterlings Swedish Axe Works Outdoor Axe #118 (PHOTO COURTESY: Wetterlings)

OVERVIEW

With its 19.25-inch length, the Wetterlings Outdoor Axe bridges the gap between small hatchets and full-sized axes, making it more capable for bigger jobs than other hatchets. A heavy leather sheath is included with the hatchet.

The company recommends that if you do take a two-handed grip on this tool, you conduct your chopping from the kneeling position for greater safety.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 25 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3 inches
  • Weight: 38.8 ounces
  • Handle material: Hickory

MSRP: $119
www.Wetterlings.com


Mykel Hawke HASP Tool (PHOTO COURTESY: Hawke Brand)

OVERVIEW

The Mykel Hawke HASP Tool is a shovel, axe, hatchet and pick—all in one—and the pick head doubles as a brush hook. It’s made of carbon steel that is powder coated. The HASP features a Micarta handle and leather sheath and is manufactured in the same factory as Condor machetes.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 19.6 inches
  • Cutting edge: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.85 pounds
  • Handle material: Micarta

MSRP: $115.99
www.HawkeBrand.com


5.11 Tactical VTAC Operator Axe (PHOTO COURTESY: 5.11 Tactical)

OVERVIEW

The VTAC Operator Axe is another professional-grade tool that 5.11 Tactical has designed with Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics. Made of SCM435 stainless steel with a black oxide finish, the Operator Axe is 24 tools in one and includes a bearded axe blade, hammer, pry bar, ⅜ – and ½-inch-square drive holes, ¼-inch hex drive/lanyard hole, metric and standard markings, seven metric and seven U.S. hex wrench openings, nail puller and sheet metal cutter.

Jimping on the shaft and handle provides multiple secure grip options.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 15 inches
  • Cutting edge: 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound, 10 ounces
  • Handle material: Steel

MSRP: $159.99
www.511Tactical.com


Half Face Blades Bleeding Heart Tomahawk  (PHOTO COURTESY: Half Face Blades)

OVERVIEW

The Bleeding Heart Tomahawk is hand-crafted of S35VN steel by former U.S. Navy Seal Andrew Arrabito, founder of Half Face Blades. He combines his experience as a hunter and outdoorsman with his training and execution as a top-tier operator to create dependable, mission-ready tools. Both ends of the Bleeding Heart Tomahawk head are designed for efficient penetration, and the handle shaft extends beyond its slabs for use as a prying tool. The lanyard hole is centered in the widened end of the handle, which also helps the user maintain a good grip on the tool.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 1 to 1.5 pounds, depending on handle selected
  • Cutting edge: 2 ⅜ inches
  • Handle material: G-10

MSRP: $850
www.HalfFaceBlades.com


Mora Outdoor Axe With Mora 2000 Knife (PHOTO COURTESY: MoraKniv)

OVERVIEW

The head of the Mora Outdoor Axe is made of boron steel with a black ED coating. The handle is polypropylene. A black leather sheath is included. This kit includes a Mora 2000 knife with a 4.3-inch, profile-ground blade of Swedish cold-rolled stainless steel.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 12.5 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 18 ounces
  • Handle material: Polypropylene

MSRP: $99.99
www.Morakniv.se/en


CRKT Chogan and Kangee T-Hawks (PHOTO COURTESY: CRKT)

OVERVIEW

These CRKT T-Hawks, designed by Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical, bring modern engineering to the traditional tomahawk concept. The Chogan features a hammer head, while the Kangee has a spike. Both are fashioned of 1055 carbon steel with Tennessee hickory handles.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 19.13 inches
  • Cutting edge: 4.21 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Handle material: Tennessee hickory

MSRP: $69.99
www.CRKT.com


Spyderco Szabohawk (PHOTO COURTESY: Spyderco)

OVERVIEW

Designed by Laci Szabo as a rugged tool and close-quarters weapon, the Szabohawk features full-tang construction of D2 steel with a black, protective titanium carbon nitride coating. It has a flat-ground, 2.16-inch blade edge and a hammer poll, as well as a pry bar tip. Its balance point is more toward the middle instead of being head heavy. The Szabohawk includes a molded Boltaron sheath and a padded, zippered storage pouch.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 11.88 inches
  • Cutting edge: 2.16 inches
  • Weight: 24.9 ounces
  • Handle material: G-10 over steel

MSRP: $359.95
www.Spyderco.com


Cold Steel War Hawk (PHOTO COURTESY: Cold Steel Knife and Tool)

OVERVIEW

I’ve used this tomahawk and found it to be an excellent value. It features a well-designed head with a sharp cutting edge that chops and penetrates very well. The long, 19-inch overall length provides better leverage than shorter ’hawks and keeps adversaries at a safer distance. The excellent articulated Secure-Ex sheath keeps it safe to carry.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Overall length: 19 inches
  • Cutting edge: 3 inches
  • Weight: 29.5 ounces
  • Handle material: Polypropylene

MSRP: $42.99
www.ColdSteel.com


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the April 2017 print issue of American Survival Guide.

 

 

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