SURVIVAL

Best Tactical Tomahawk: Everything from Safety to Cutting in Only One Tool

Best tactical tomahawk
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Are you looking to update your collection of axes? Maybe you want to get into a new tomahawk throwing sport? Whatever the case, know that today’s best tactical tomahawks have come a long way from what they used to be, and among other things, they are still a great cutting tool.

The best model is one that can help you cut or kill something. It makes everyday outdoor chores much easier and having one as a part of your gear is a must. The fact is, it is easier to carry a tomahawk in your backpack than it is to carry the traditional, large and heavy axe. But, finding the ideal model can be complicated and that is where we are going to help you.

When shopping for tomahawks, you need to take into consideration all the types of hatchets and how you are going to use them. The list of product reviews provides you with knowledge on the best product, and ideas for future purchases. Let us first start off with some of the features to look into before you go buying just any tomahawk. Then, you will see the reviews and can hopefully choose your next tomahawk from this list!

Our Top Picks

Product NameWeightLengthMaterialSpecific FeaturesPrice
Harcore Harware Australia G-1040 oz.18.5 inSteelBlack handle, Teflon finishCheck price on Amazon
Benchmade Black Class Killiam37 oz.16.25 inCarbon steelCurved edge, black finishCheck price on Amazon
Gerber Donwrange30.4 oz.19.3 inSteelHammer head, snap sheathCheck price on Amazon
Smith & Wesson SW67133.7 oz.15.9 inCarbon steel10 inch handle, nylon sheathCheck price on Amazon
Browning Shock N’ Awe23.7 oz.10.5 inSteelCord wrap handle, sheath includedCheck price on Amazon
SOG Tactical24 oz.15.75 inStainless steelBlack finish, snap sheathCheck price on Amazon
United Cutlery Black Ronin30 oz.15.13 inStainless steelNylon sheath, durableCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

You cannot buy the best model if you do not know the various parts of a tomahawk. The cutting edge is called the bit/beak. The midsection attached to the handle is called the poll. The section between the poll and the bit is referred to as the head. The side section of the bit is referred to as the cheek, while the upper part of the bit is the spine.

The shape of the extension on the poll is what differentiates the various types of tomahawks. You can have different types of poll extension; the most popular ones are spike and hammer.

Spiked Tomahawk

The spiked hatchet was designed to bear a resemblance to a late eighteenth century axe. The most common types have a 2.75 inches cutting edge and a head, plus spike width of 8.5 inches. Most pieces have a handle that measures roughly 20 inches.

Spiked tomahawk

The most ancient spiked tomahawks have spikes and blades that are curved marginally downward. In the eighteenth century, the amount of curvature along with the length of the spike defines the probable age of the hatchet. Therefore, more curved, as well as a longer tomahawk, means they are older.

This uniquely designed cutting/ killing metallic tool is the ancient work of local Canadian/ American blacksmiths. Spiked hawks have an extended sharp section that prolongs from the poll. They are just the perfect weapons for hawk throwing, hunting, chopping, cutting, and surviving a zombie apocalypse.

The most recommended spiked hawk should have a sharpened spike on both edges. However, not all models are perfectly designed. Therefore, you have to ensure that the piece you are buying has quality construction, durable, precise, and lightweight.

Hammer Tomahawk

A hammer poll tomahawk has a hammer-shaped end that extends from the poll. This piece has been an important part of the survivalist’s equipage for use both as a weapon and a utilitarian tool. These kinds of hawks are unique in design and usage.

Hammer tomahawk

The most common model has a steel head of 6 inches with a nice sweeping curve to the base of the blade. As far as hawk throwing is concerned, hammer polls are more convenient when compared to spiked hawks. The design of hammer tomahawks evolved from the ancient hatchet, making them more convenient.

Pipe Tomahawk

The history of pipe hawks extends back to the first half of the eighteenth century. The pipe hawk frequently uses a tapered handle fitted with a leather washer at the expanded top, which forms an airtight connection between the handle and the metal pipe bowl. The handles of these hawks were initially drilled from end to end, which made it easier for them to break.

The best model utilizes drop through handle, allowing for easy replacement. The simplicity of pipe hawks is entirely dependent on the pipe design and the head.

Material

This is one of the most important considerations that you must make. You cannot just pick any hawk; you need to pick one with the most reliable head material.

Tomahawks

Cold steel provides you with a high quality surface, and the edge is generally held to close tolerance. This is one of the most commonly used steel. During manufacturer, the steel is rolled while it is cold instead of hot. Cold rolling produces much stronger steel with tighter dimensional tolerance than hot steel. Cold rolled steel has a nice clean appearance.

This material is clear as well as free from scale distortion. It is strong, and you can easily work on and it is highly receptive to most types of sharpening. Steel that has been cold rolled is less ductile than hot rolled steel. Generally, cold steel tends to be stronger than hot steel.

High carbon steel has a carbon content of 0.5 to 0.9%. This type of steel is much more difficult to weld. The high carbon content causes the heat affected zone to transform to very hard as well as brittle martensile. The hardness levels as well as the metal wear resistance of this material are highly rated. High carbon is preferred by most manufacturers of cutting tools.

Another popular steel material that is used in the construction of tomahawk’s head and handle is stainless steel.

Design

Apart from the head material and type of poll extension, you need to take into consideration the design features. The very first design feature that you must consider is weight.

Tactical tomahawk

Image credit: krudoknives.com

Depending on the type of outdoor activity or survival situation you wish to use your hawk for, you need to be able to carry it around comfortably. The weight should range between 2 and 5 pounds. Choose a model with a well-constructed blade that should provide you with a wide edge for immense chopping, cutting, and slashing.

Best Products on Today’s Market

So, you have a little information on what to look out for in a tomahawk, but which one will suit you best? Read on for some reviews on the top tomahawks out there and choose from our list!

Harcore Hardware Australia BFT01-G TomahawkBest Tactical Tomahawk: Everything from Safety to Cutting in Only One Tool

Price: Approx. $400

Weight: 40 oz.

Dimensions: 18.46 in

Specific features: Black handle color, 0.31 inch tool thickness, D2 tool steel material, tan Teflon finish, 0.55-inch spike width, 3.46-inch axe edge width, and G-10 handle material.

Bet use: Hunting, cutting, chopping

Description: The Hardcore Hardware Australia BFT01-G Tomahawk is a highly resourceful and versatile tactical cutting tool. This uniquely designed metal piece with a handle is the most ideal impact/MOE gizmo.

The spike end that extends from the poll has a reformed tanto point that is particularly made for maximum dissemination. The four most important uses of this hawk are hunting, cutting, chopping, & apocalypse survival. You can also use it for the following: breaking through walls, smashing steel clad doors, puncturing steel radius tires, smashing windscreens, overcoming locks, a climbing aid, digging, and hammering.

The hatchet is engineered from D2 tool steel. It has a heavy-duty black Teflon coating. The G-10 handle is highly user-friendly, it provides you with a perfect grip when chopping and cutting among other activities. The BFT is wrapped with a Paracord, which is smeared with a proprietary acrylic solution.

You can always remove the cord and use it in any survival situation. This hatchet is unblemished as you would expect it to be. This is just what you need if you want to do some demolishing and rebuilding on your backyard.

PROS:

  • Nice length and edge width
  • Made of steel with Teflon finish
  • Great grip

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Smeared with acrylic solution

Related: While outdoors, you should think about what you will do when the sun goes down. Having a lantern can help. The Etekcity Camping Lanterns is a 4 pack that comes with 12 AA batteries and it has LED lights.

Check the price on Amazon

Benchmade Black Class Killiam TomahawkBenchmade BLACK CLASS KILLIAM TOMAHAWK

Price: Approx. $325

Weight: 36.8 oz

Dimensions: 17.5 in

Specific features: 1095 carbon blade steel blade material/hardness, curved edge, 57-60 HRC hardness, 7.5 inch blade width, 3.75 inch edge length, black handle && sheath, G-10 laminate handle type, black finish, riveted PIM sheath type, and snap sheath enclosure.

Best use: Hunting, throwing, cutting, chopping

Description: The Benchmade Black Class Killiam Tomahawk is an unmatched cutting and throwing tool. The blade is made of 1095 carbon steel, which has a hardness of 57-60 HRC. The blade material can effectively handle some serious cutting chores.

It is fitted with a contoured G10 handle, which is highly user-friendly. The handle offers you a strong grip that makes it easier to use the tomahawk for throwing sport. Its overall length is 16.25 inches with a blade edge of 3.75 inches and blade width of 7.5 inches.

These measurements provide you with a sizeable piece for different kinds of cutting activities. It is heavier and shorter on the head when compared to the eagle talon. This piece may be shorter in length, but it is definitely heavier on the head. The extra weight on the head offers the Killiam its cutting power.

Generally, this is a great product, but how you use it is what determines how effective this weapon can be for you. You can use it as an out-and-out weapon or as a simple breaching tool.

PROS:

  • Increased edge life
  • Dynamic, versatile
  • Built to last

CONS:

  • Coating chips
  • Not sharpened prior to shipping
  • No finished edges

Related: If you will be outside a while, a camping stove will help you get a hot meal. The Etekcity Camping Stove is affordable, has a Piezo ignition and is great for all types of outdoor use.

Check the price on Amazon

Gerber Downrange TomahawkGerber Downrange Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $200

Weight: 30.4 oz

Dimensions: 19.27 in

Specific features: 420 HC steel body w/ Cerakote, G10 handle material, pry bar, hammer head, desert tan handle color, 51-53 HRC hardness, curved edge, MOLLE sheath attachment, nylon sheath type, snap sheath enclosure, and black finish.

Best use: Hunting, cutting

Description: The Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is a multipurpose three-in-one cutting tool that will help you do more than just chopping. You can use it as a pry bar, a hammerhead, and an axe. The blade is made of 420 HC steel along with Cerakote finish. This type of steel is very difficult to break or bend.

Therefore, you can use it for some serious chopping and cutting activities, but it is not a good throwing tool. The handle is well-structured with G-10 desert tan composite scales.

These scales offer a strong grip, allowing you to hunt, cut, and chop. The multipurpose head has a beveled edge, which is useful for turning walls, splinters, and doors. It is also suitable for chopping through dry walls. The pole extension is a hammer, which you can use to knock down doorknobs, locks, and hinges.

This masterpiece, metalic cutting tool has a well-designed sheath that is made of nylon material, and has a snap sheath enclosure, MOLLE sheath attachment and it is black in color. This sheath will commendably conceal the head of your Gerber 30-000792.

PROS:

  • Great grip
  • Great sheath
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Bad weight distribution
  • Too pricey
  • Dull edge upon arrival

Related: If you are camping, you will need some cookware to have dinner with. The Gold Armour Cookware Mess Kit has 17 pieces and is light and affordable.

Check the price on Amazon

Smith and Wesson SW671 TomahawkSmith & Wesson SW671 Extraction and Evasion Full Tang Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $65

Weight: 33.76 oz

Dimensions: 15.9 in

Specific features: 1070 high carbon steel, black TPE & steel w/ Kraton handle material, 3.9 inch blade length, 10 inch handle length, and black nylon sheath.

Best use: Extraction, evasion, chopping

Description: The Smith and Wesson SW671 Tomahawk is the best evasion and extraction tomahawk for the money. This is a formidable cutting tool that you must have in your survival kit. This is a high-performing cutting tool that offers precision control as well as performance.

The blade is designed from 1070 high carbon steel material, which has a protective coating. The protective coating is quite resourceful for minimizing scratches, scuffs, and glare. This does not mean that the hawk is immune to wear and tear after vigorous use.

However, slight removal of the protective layer does not affect the strength of the hatchet. It has a spiked extension from the poll, which is intimidating and aggressive. The spiked tip will effortlessly penetrate through aluminum, steel, masonry, rock, and cinder blocks.

The Kraton handle is user-friendly; it has Kraton scales, which provide you with a strong and sturdy grip. This allows you to use it in wet condition without the tomahawk falling off your palm. If you are a serious outdoorsman, then this is the weapon you need by your side. You can also use it for throwing and fighting zombies in a zombie apocalypse.

PROS:

  • Strong and durable
  • High performances
  • Protective coating prevents scratches

CONS:

  • Feels heavy
  • Sheath isn’t good
  • Dull upon arrival

Related: If you are planning to be outdoors for days or weeks at a time, the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower can be very helpful. Affordable, it pumps water from a bucket and gives a steady flow of water.

Check the price on Amazon

Browning Shock N’ Awe TomahawkBrowning Shock N' Awe Tomahawk Knife

Price: Approx. $65

Weight: 23.68 oz

Dimensions: 10.5 in

Specific features: 1055 tool steel head and handle material, 2.75 inch blade length, cord wrap handle, and blade-tech sheath.

Best use: Throwing, chopping, & cutting

Description: The Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk is a uniquely made tomahawk knife for the money. This lightweight, short, and spiked hawk can do so much when put to good use. To begin with, it is the most appropriate tool you can use in your backyard to split kindling.

It is made of 1055 tool steel head and handle. This makes it durable and strong for some serious cutting chores. It has a curved penetration spike, which is very effective for piercing through hard surfaces, such as rocks and dry walls. The handle is distinctively engineered from 1055 tool steel.

The handle is hand-wrapped with Paracord (black nylon) and it is fitted with a sizeable lanyard hole. The handle offers a strong grip that allows you to use it in wet conditions. The sheath is made of blade-tech molded polymer, and it is fitted with tek-lok belt clip.

The sheath will effectively conceal the head of the hatchet. This piece provides you with high tensile and durability, whether you are a recreational wood chopper or an outdoorsman. The hawk is short, but the head’s weight compensates for the strength required for different cutting and throwing purposes. You do not have to be a soldier to notice what this axe can do for you.

PROS:

  • Durable, strong
  • Made in the USA
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Spike can bend
  • Blade gets dull
  • Small

Related: Take a good backpack with you when you are staying outdoors. The Mountaintop 40 Liter Backpack has a rain cover and is affordable with lots of pockets.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Tactical TomahawkSOG Tactical Tomahawk F01TN-CP

Price: Approx. $35

Weight: 24 oz

Dimensions: 15.75 in

Specific features: 420 stainless steel, side hammer checkering, fiberglass reinforced nylon handle, 2.75 inch blade length, black finish, 51-53 HCR hardness, straight edge type, snap sheath closure, belt loop sheath attachment, ballistic nylon sheath material, and black sheath color.

Best use: Utility applications, extraction, obstacle removal

Description: The SOG Tactical Tomahawk is one of the best tomahawks to buy. This is a thrilling evolution of the original model. Its head is made of 420 stainless steel material, which is not only strong and durable, but also has the capability of withstanding tough cutting.

The fiberglass reinforced nylon handle is highly user-friendly. It has just the perfect grip for both dry and wet conditions.

The design of the tomahawk is amazing, because it is lightweight and heavy on the head, providing you with the power you need for killing and chopping. The stainless steel blade is well-sharpened right out of the box.

The sheath profile is highly resourceful, consisting of snap sheath closure, belt loop attachment, ballistic nylon sheath material, and black color. The sheath effectively conceals the head of the hawk, making it easier for you to carry it along without any problems. Bottom line, we love how well built and affordable it is.

PROS:

  • Priced just right
  • Comes with sheath
  • Sharp blade

CONS:

  • Short tang
  • Flimsy collar
  • Can deform

Related: The Outdoor Self Inflatable Camping Pillow is a great little item to have no matter where you are. Under $10, you can choose your color and enjoy the nice cushioning it has.

Check the price on Amazon

United Cutlery Black Ronin TomahawkBlack Ronin Tactical Tomahawk Axe And Sheath

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 30 oz

Dimensions: 15.12 in

Specific features: Black nylon cord wrapped handle, 420 stainless steel blade material, full tang black non-glare finish, and black nylon sheath.

Best use: Hunting, cutting, and chopping.

Description: The United Cutlery Black Ronin Tomahawk is among the most resourceful and versatile, moderately sized models. It is made of 420 stainless steel material, which is strong and durable. Therefore, you can put it into vigorous use without the blade bending or breaking.

The nylon cord wrapping handle is particularly made to offer strong grip. It comes with nylon sheath along with a belt loop. The sheath effectually conceals the hatchet, making it easier for you to carry it along.

We love how affordable this tomahawk is and the fact that it is tactical so we can really put it to good use. A couple of other things we also like to include the full tang black finish that doesn’t glare, as well as the durability of the tomahawk.

A great starting piece, you will like how light this item is as well as the good grip when throwing it around.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Strong stainless steel
  • Strong grip

CONS:

  • Cheaply made
  • Spike can break
  • Metal is too thin

Related: While outdoors, you need a place to sit. The Alprang Folding Chair is affordable, compact, folds up when not in use and is heavy duty!

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Tomahawks are the ultimate tactical weapons regardless of the poll extension. However, you need to take into consideration the type of hawk, head material, and handle material.

The best model is one that is lightweight and has a reliable overall length. Make sure what you choose has a head that is constructed of precision steel material. The handle material should be heavy-duty with strong grip. This way, you will be able to use your tomahawk in wet conditions without the handle sliding off.

Tactical tomahawks

Image credit: aegisgears.com

Now that you have seen some of the best tomahawks on the market right now, and know a bit more about the product itself, you can confidently choose your brand new tomahawk and enjoy much use from it. Tomahawks can be used for many reasons, so they are very versatile.

Do you think we have missed any important products? If so, please let us know in comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.