For ages, people have used axes, hatchets, and a variety of other sharp swingable weapons for all kinds of tasks, from chopping wood for a campfire to protecting ones home.
But what sets the tomahawk apart from your common axe, at least when speaking about modern tomahawks, is the addition of a spike and its use as a multi-tool versus being just simply a chopping or cutting tool.
Tomahawks are also considered to be one-handed axes, not much different from a hatchet, except that tomahawks have a straight shaft. And historically speaking, tomahawks were considered to be trade tools that could also be used for fighting.
As the years have gone on, and as more people are gaining an interest in homesteading, prepping and other survival practices, the tomahawk has only evolved.
Nowadays, most tomahawks that you will find on the market are loaded with other various features, expanding their usage.
When it comes to needing a form of protection to protect your campsite from wild animals, or to skin large prey with, there is nothing that beats the awesome power of the tomahawk.
In this list, we are taking a look at the best tactical tomahawks for 2017.
- 1 Top 5 Best Tactical Tomahawks
- 1.1 1. Hardcore Hardware Australia Battlefield Tomahawk
- 1.2 2. Gerber Downrange Tomahawk
- 1.3 3. Columbia River Knife Kangee T-Hawk Tomahawk
- 1.4 4. Browning Black Label Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk
- 1.5 5. SOG Tactical Tomahawk
- 1.6 Things To Look For In A Tomahawk
- 1.7 Quality Of Material
- 1.8 Size
- 1.9 Extra Features
- 1.10 Our Final Review for the Best Tactical Tomahawk
Top 5 Best Tactical Tomahawks
1. Hardcore Hardware Australia Battlefield Tomahawk
Just like any good tomahawk should be, the Hardcore Hardware Australia Tactical Tomahawk is built to be more than just your average axe. It is a multi-tool.
Made from D2 tool steel and a G-10 handle grip, this tomahawk is made to be put through the tests of whatever you can throw at it while remaining stabilized.
The head spike is formed into a tanto point to provide you with optimum penetration power while the extended handle pommel takes care of any prying needs you may have.
All of this is finished in a low-visibility, high durability Teflon.
- Made from D2 Tool Steel
- Tanto style head spike
- Extended pommel pry bar
- Low-visibility Teflon finish
- Overall length: 18.46″
- Blade length: 3.46″
- Weight: 2 lbs.
2. Gerber Downrange Tomahawk
A favorite of firemen and foresters, the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is a high-quality tactical tomahawk that features a 420HC steel body with a Desert Tan G-10 handle grip overlay for ultimate power and control. A built-in handle grip cutout on the top of the blade head makes this tomahawk much easier to tote around when you may need it in hand quickly or need to provide more leverage on your prybar.
Whether you are looking for a sturdy weapon or just a strong breaching tool, this tomahawk has got it covered. It punctures, chops and slices with ease.
This particular tomahawk is a bit on the pricier side of the true entry-level spectrum. To be honest with you, it is also the best tactical tomahawk for the money and will run you a little cheaper than the Hardcore Hardware Australia Tactical Tomahawk, while giving you a few extra features.
- 420HC steel body with Cerakote
- Desert Tan G-10 handle grip
- Hammer head and pry bar
- MOLLE compatible sheath
- Overall length: 19.27″
- Blade length: 4″
- Weight: 1.9 lbs.
3. Columbia River Knife Kangee T-Hawk Tomahawk
If a compact entry-level tactical tomahawk is what you are in the market for, let us introduce you to the Columbia River Knife.
This tactical tomahawk is crafted from a single slab of SK5 carbon steel that and fiberglass reinforced nylon handle grips that can be removed for easy cleaning. The head is sharpened at all four corners and the spike is perfect for puncturing and does not dull quickly. You will also find five lashing holes that can be used in a variety of ways.
All said, you can be assured that, just like with the Gerber Downrange, you are going to be getting the best tactical tomahawk for the money.
- SK5 Carbon Steel
- Glass-reinforced nylon handle grips
- Tapered spike
- MOLLE compatible sheath
- Overall length: 13.75″
- Blade length: 2.93″
- Weight: 1.8 lbs.
4. Browning Black Label Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk
If the CRK Kangee T-Hawk is a little out of your price range, take a look at the Browning Black Label Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk. It is almost half the price and still provides you with a rather compact yet fierce weapon and tool at your disposal.
This tactical tomahawk is forged from high carbon 1055 tool steel that is tough enough to do anything from basic campsite tasks to more demanding things like puncturing through sheet metal walls with the business end of the head which contains one really sharp, curved spike.
The pommel is hand-wrapped with nylon paracord and is capped off with a glass breaking spike at the end, where you will also find a lanyard hole, should you need it.
- High Carbon 1055 Tool Steel
- Spiked pommel
- Curved spike
- Polymer belt sheath
- Overall Length: 10.5″
- Blade length: 2.75″
- Weight: 2.4 lbs.
5. SOG Tactical Tomahawk
Based on the Vietnam Tomahawk, the SOG Tactical Tomahawk is a lightweight yet durable multi-tool tomahawk made for a variety of tasks such as breaching, excavation and extraction operations. It also serves as a wonderful throwing axe if you were so inclined.
It comes equipped with a 420 stainless steel head that can take a good beating. This steel head is mounted to a fiberglass reinforced nylon handle. Everything is then held together by sturdy, heavy-duty bolts and a steel ferrule to increase stability and decrease the dreaded “wobble” effect that usually results from extensive use.
To expand its versatility just a bit further, the SOG Tactical Tomahawk features a checkered hammer plate on the side of the head that can withstand some moderate hammering.
- 420 stainless steel head
- Built-in belt strap
- Fiberglass reinforced nylon hand grip
- Tactical head spike
- Overall length: 15.75″
- Blade length: 2.75″
- Weight: 24.00 Oz.
Things To Look For In A Tomahawk
When selecting your next tomahawk, there are few features that you should be looking into. There a wide variety of tomahawks out there on the market and they’re all made from different materials, they come in various sizes, or they just have different equipment attached to them or even as a part of their core body design.
Before we dive in to these recommended features, it’s important to note that not all of these features, or any for that matter, are a necessity or requirement that every tomahawk must have. These are simply recommendations and at the end of the day, you need to pick the best tactical tomahawk that meets all of your own personal needs.
So now that we have that out of the way, let’s break these down into three categories:
Quality Of Material
The quality of material that your tomahawk is made from is going to be the biggest area that you need to be concerned with. If you’re tomahawk isn’t durable, you can forget about using it to hunt prey, reach walls, or to even chop up basic pieces of wood.
Most tactical tomahawk are built from a variety of materials but most commonly the core of the body is made from either 440 steel or 420hc Steel.
The material that the handle is made from is equally as important as the material that the body is made from. There is nothing worse than trying to chop wood to stay warm in freezing weather, only to have your handle snap on you, leaving you helpless. Try to find a tactical tomahawk that has solid grip construction and preferably with some G10 scales. And if it looks like the bolts are loose or will become loose with minimal use, spring for something that uses heavy-duty bolts on the handle.
And what’s even worse than that is if you’re stuck in a really bad situation and the head of your tomahawk isn’t durable enough to withstand whatever task may be in front of you and it breaks, chips or otherwise fails in the process. When this happens, you are just pretty much out of luck unless you have a spare or feel like getting creative.
The best way to test out the quality of your tomahawks build is to put it through some minor stress testing to see what it can take. This can be done by actually trying to chop a log with the blade or puncture something with the spike. If you notice any indentations in the metal, it’s time to find another tomahawk.
Another thing to test for quality assurance is if it has what is known as a “wobble”. This is either when the grips do not sit flush or your handle bolts are loose, and the frame moves around a little too freely. When this happens, you will surely feel it when you go to swing or hit something with your tomahawk.
All said, the quality of the material that your tomahawk is made from can make a night and day difference.
The second thing that you should be concerned with when purchasing the best tactical tomahawk is what size tomahawk you actually need. There may be times when you’re working in cramped conditions and have very little space to utilize a large tool. For these situations, you will probably want something just a bit on the smaller side.
On the other hand, there may be situations that you face that may require something larger to get the job done and you have more room to work with a larger tool.
Size matters when it comes to purchasing any survival tool, but especially when it comes to purchasing a swinging tool or a chopping tool such as a tomahawk. Choose the size that’s not only easy to carry, but also works in a variety of conditions and situations. Or better yet, choose one that’s tailored to a specific situation that you’re going to be going into.
Lastly, many tomahawks have other tools or extra features that are either built directly into them or attached to them.
Some of them feature spikes on the reverse side of the axe head, this is a tool that can be used for doing things like puncturing metal pipes or walls. Others, have extended pommels that feature a glass breaking tool on the butt end.
Sometimes these extra features may be trivial or not necessary at all, whereas in other situations you may absolutely want to have those extra features on your tomahawk. Once again just as in the case of finding an appropriately-sized tomahawk, finding one that has the features that you need, just really boils down to personal preference.
Our Final Review for the Best Tactical Tomahawk
In this article we have looked at the top tactical tomahawks for 2017. We also covered a few other things, such as what features you should look for, as well as which tomahawks are best suited for which situations.
Remember that choosing the best tactical tomahawk for the money is all about choosing what you’re going to need when you’re in the field or in a specific situation. Many of the features that you’re going to need are going to be highly dependent on this. Choosing the wrong gear for the job can be disastrous.
If you are looking for the best tactical tomahawk for the money, you will find it in our list.
As always, if you feel that we have left out any tomahawk from this list that deserves to be highlighted or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Til next time, stay prepared.