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Tactical Tomahawks

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by MikePaiN, Sep 27, 2010.

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  1. MikePaiN

    MikePaiN Member

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    Now that I have a decent molle bug out pack(thanks, Jason), I'm starting to prep it.
    I've been looking at the "tactical tomahawks", they would seem to be a great addition to the pack....light weight with tons of practical and possible uses. With a molle sheath it'll attach right on the outside of the pack and I'll have quick reach back access.
    What is the general opinion on these?
    I've been looking at several brands, Cold Steel, SOG, NRA(?) and GI issue, etc. What's good, especially the handle?

    [​IMG]
    http://www.tacticaltomahawk.org/
     
  2. Bullnettles

    Bullnettles Member

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    Well, I broke my cold steel within the first hour of use, throwing it against a log. I returned it. I won't buy from them again, but YMMV. Good luck on the pack!
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You may want to rethink the idea that a hawk on the pack has "quick access" ability. Nothing mounted on a pack usually meets that criteria. With that in mind you can expand your paradigm on carrying such a tool.

    What do you think you'll actually use it for? What environment will it be used in and is it a suitable tool for that? Is it worth the additional weight when you're already carrying a fixed blade and a folder? Do you have any extensive experience overnight and 3-5 day backpacking and have you ever round a real use for such a tool on those?

    I think if you examine the applications in the environment for the situation you're preparing for these things don't have a lot of practical use and are not a good allocation of weight and are mostly just "kewl".
     
  4. EmGeeGeorge

    EmGeeGeorge Member

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  5. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    When camping, I use my 'hawk more than I do my knife.the spike on the back is good for moving logs in the fire, and I split up kindling with the blade.The flat of the head is used for pounding in tent stakes.A Kukri will do most of the same stuff, but not as well.A machete is nice to have, but not as useful.The Vietnam model throws decent, but not as well as a hand forged mountain man hawk.All in all, a good tool, and in a pinch, a decent weapon.
     
  6. MikePaiN

    MikePaiN Member

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    Thank you for the sensible replies.....Like most of you I too feel the tomahawk will be excellent and useful tool/weapon for many tasks....
    hso...was just having a little trouble getting past the ninja mentality this morning ;)
     
  7. nevermas

    nevermas Member

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  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I'm asking what you expect to use it for within your application of a 3 day kit so that we have an idea whether they'll serve your purpose because you know your area and the conditions you may face while we can't guess.

    Hatchets and small camp axes make for great tools if you're going to be spending longer periods of time in the woods than a day here and there moving all the time where you're going to build shelters and split lots of wood for fires at a fixed location. The problem with most of the "tactical" tomahawks is they're not designed for that purpose and don't do a very good job in that application. They tend to smash things well, but they're not as great at chopping.

    Since most of the time a 3 day E&E doesn't require a lot of breaching or wood chopping I always have to ask what the weight gets you.

    I will say that I haven't used any of the tac hawks, but I've handled a few and read a bunch of reviews and am familiar with a lot of the companies. The SOG gets great reviews. The CS doesn't. The others patterned after the "Vietnam Hawk" tend to smash more than chop.
     
  9. MikePaiN

    MikePaiN Member

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    Really hso...your opening line; "You may want to rethink the idea that a hawk on the pack has "quick access" ability." threw me all off.
    I could have sworn I was being mocked. You were thinking that I was thinking that if when in the woods and attacked by a kama wielding ninja, my tactical tomahawk could be quickly drawn to simultaneously disarm and dismember the offending ninja.....Sorry if I read you wrong...

    Seriously now.
    I've handled the SOG Fusion, I liked the weight and ergos., it also has nice hammering surface. The whole tomahawk seemed well put together at a great price. The only thing that throws me off about it is in the blade design....there's no beard hook, in fact its reversed :confused:
     
  10. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I have a Cold Steel trail hawk and it's been a good hawk for me. It goes everywhere with me that it can, and it excellent for chopping and the hammer poll is useful for hammering. Granted, it isn't the optimum for chopping or hammering, but it does do well for both for what it is. The problem I have with the tactical models is the short handle. In addition, the sharpened back edge of the tactical hawk could hurt you should you ever strike something hard and have the blade not bite, but bounce. I prefer to the longer handle for the leverage, and if you reverse the grip (hold it from the blade side) it makes a good baton for whacks across the shins/arms. My only complaint about the trail hawk is the lack of a sharpened beard, which would be useful for hooking and cutting. I guess I could modify it, but I haven't the tools to do it, and using a hand file would take forever.
     
  11. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    MikePaiN,

    Only partly. I did take your reference to "quick reach back access" for a tactical hawk as a weapon you could reach quickly instead of just being "handy" (which I now assume was more along the lines of what you meant).

    So what sort of environment will you be expecting to be using a hawk in since the environment and conditions tend to dictate the characteristics (hammer pol, flat pry back, etc.)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  13. unloved

    unloved Member

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    You may. Do you have a belt sander? I did most of the work on my 'hawk with a 4" X 36" benchtop belt/disc sander. I used a rotary tool, and some other stuff too, but I could have done it with just the belt sander.

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=532353
     
  14. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    HSO is asking all the right questions here.

    What's your bug out plan for this setup?

    Adding more weight for stuff like a 'hawk means that you're subtracting from food/water weight and med supplies.
    Have you determined a max weight for the pack, arrived at what food, water, and med supplies you're taking, and then examined the leftover weight to see what you can carry safely between the cooking/fire, shelter, cutlery, and environmental (raingear, down/wool clothing, etc) wear?
    You may not have enough weight left over for the 'hawk to be carried. Molle gear is neato, but in a civi context all those attachment rings and such add up in the grams- ounces- lbs dept. Weight is a big deal. It's what helps sprain ankles and tear ACL's out in the wilderness.
    If you don't backpack or dayhike regularly, you need to get outside with your gear. Especially so with winter coming on because a winter/fall bug out bag is heavier by nature (more calories, more clothes) than one for summer.

    The SOG 'hawk is a good design for a survival piece. It's not a woodsplitter, but in a bug out situation you should be burning only dry wood anyway, not felling trees and such. I like using a hawk to split pine heart and other firestarters.
     
  15. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  16. MikePaiN

    MikePaiN Member

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    :banghead: All I want is advice on tactical tomahawks, you know...which are crap and which are not.....
    At $30 - $50 and less than two pounds in weight they seem like a very versatile tool/weapon.
    No offense but some of you guys way over think things.
     
  17. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel Member

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    The GREAT:
    * American Tomahawk Company
    * RMJ Tactical
    * K5 Tactical
    * Benchmade
    * GG&G

    The Good:
    * Cold Steel
    * Ontario Cutlery
    * TOPS Cutlery

    The Mediocre:
    * Condor
    * SOG Fusion

    The Horrid:
    * Kit Rea
    * United Cutlery
    * Bud K
     
  18. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    :) Namaste' pal.
    Good luck.
     
  19. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Product/67-Gransfors-Small-Forest-Axe/

    For anyone looking for a lite pack axe, the small forest axe from Gransfors Bruks is a delight. You can actually use it one handed for fine work and two handed when you need more swing power. I try to keep mine in use so I'm comfortable with it when I need it.

    Here's a great thread at Bladeforums with a compilation of tomahawk/small axe makers and manufacturers. http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=749909

    My buddy Alan Longmire making one of his fancy hawks. http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showtopic=9559
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  20. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    lol just the other day someone up in the rifle forum was getting ragged on because he wanted a "tactical" lever action rifle...no were onto "tactical" tomahawks lol
     
  21. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    HSO recommended the Bushcraft ax,That's a nice one! Eastwing and Sandvik also make excellent belt axes.for anyone at all interested in Bushcraft you should check out the excellent and informative Bushcraft videos.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkRlGEaTjAk
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  22. Winston_Smith

    Winston_Smith Member

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    I have an RMJ Shrike and it is a nice piece of kit. It lacks the weight to be a good work tool but it would make an outstanding fighting tool. Like others have suggested, Gransfors Bruks makes some fine tools (expensive). Estwing is an inexpensive alternative.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  24. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    if we're talkin BA chopping tools/axes/hatchets...aint nothin beats the Fiskar tools
     
  25. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    In SWAT magazine, I see them talk a fair bit about machate's but I don't see them talk about tomahawk's. If I had to pick one or the other I'd go with a machate from a versatility perspective. My general thoughts. If you want a tomahawk, go for it.
     
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