CAMPING & HIKING

Best Tactical Tomahawk: The Ones You Need to Stay Safe

Image showing a Shrike Tactical Tomahawk
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Would you agree with is if we said that having the best tactical tomahawk is going to make a huge difference in your next adventure into the wilderness? Also, you are probably aware that if you don’t have one, you could find yourself struggling with tasks that would definitely be simple with this little tool to help. Anything from splitting wood to self defense, building a shelter and cutting materials of any type can be done with a tomahawk.

Many people assume that a tomahawk and an axe or hatchet are the same thing, but that’s not the case at all. While axes and hatchets excel at cutting wood efficiently, tomahawks offer versatility and can be used for more than that. They’re one of the best multipurpose items on the market for both practicality and survival.

Image showing two tactical tomahawk on some woods

Of course, that still means you need to choose the right tomahawk for you and that might take a little bit of extra work. That is why we will first offer you the most important features to consider before making the final decision. After you get armed with knowledge, make sure that you’re looking at each of these tomahawks that we’ve found for you and you’ll be off to a great start in no time at all.

Product NameWeightCutting EdgeTotal LengthPrice
Black Ronin Tactical1 lb3.5 inches15.125 inchesCheck price on Amazon
SOG Tactical1.8 lb2.75 inches15.75 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Browning Shock N’ Awe2.4 lb2.75 inches10.5 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion2.7 lb3.9 inches15.9 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Columbia River Kangee1.5 lb2.93 inches13.75 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Harcore Hardware1.9 lb2.95 inches12.5 inchesCheck price on Amazon
SOG Survival1.6 lb3 inches12.1 inchesCheck price on Amazon
Boker Plus Vox1.75 lb3.5 inches13.75 inchesCheck price on Amazon
United Cutlery M482.1 lb3.75 inches15 inchesCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

There are a number of different features that you want to consider before you purchase a tomahawk. They may seem quite simple, but the truth is there is a whole lot more to this tool than you might think. With each of these features you’re going to be sure that you have the best possible tomahawk for your needs.

Axe Head

This is the part of the axe that actually cuts anything. You want to make sure that it has a long blade with a good cutting edge as this will provide you with a more forceful and effective cut. On the other hand, you’re not going to want something too large as this makes the entire unit much heavier and harder to use.

Image showing the axe head of a tactical tomhawk

On the back of your axe head you’ll find something called the poll or butt. This piece may be flat or round or even have a spike that will help you with even more tasks. You can use them for force, piercing items or breaking through to keep yourself ready for anything.

Handle Length

The length of your tomahawk handle, should be determined by your intended purpose. A long handle will help you with things like splitting wood or chopping trees. It gives you more striking force and can be more intimidating, but it’s going to be heavier and if you’re in smaller spaces you won’t have as much room to swing.

Image presenting the Omnivore-Bladeworks-Recon

A short handle for your tomahawk will provide you with a lighter weight unit that is easy to maneuver and more precise. On the other hand, it doesn’t have as much force and you don’t get the ability to use two hands with it because of that smaller handle.

Weight

When choosing a tomahawk, weight is also a feature to take into consideration. It’s important to think about your intended purpose and your personal carrying capacity. For example, if you want a throwing axe, you’ll want a lighter tomahawk in comparison to a heavier model that would be used for breaching.

Image showing the Hardcore Hardware LFT01 Tomahawk

You would also want a lighter tomahawk for journeys of longer duration such as mountaineering (when using a tomahawk as a multipurpose pick axe). Don’t pick something that’s too light, however, as this can reduce the overall capabilities of your tomahawk. If it’s too light you may have trouble getting the power and strength that you need in order to accomplish your task.

Primary Use

What is the primary reason that you want a tomahawk? Do you want one that’s going to help you win a throwing contest or are you looking for something you can use for self-defense? Do you want a wood chopping tool or something more for butchering game?

Image showing What Tactical Tomahawks Are For And How To Use One

The reason that you want the tomahawk is going to play a big part in the specific type of tomahawk that you want. Look at what you’re going to primarily use it for and then recognize that there are plenty of other things that you can do with it as well. Just because you get it for one purpose doesn’t mean you can never use it for another.

Handle Material

You can find tomahawks made with a variety of different materials. Primarily, you’re going to find things like wood, integral or hybrid handles. With a wood handle you’re getting the least expensive option, which is also going to be more lightweight and easy to replace.

Hardcore Hardware Rhino Tactical Tomahawk

If you get an integral handle that means the handle and the head are made with one, single piece of metal, so it’s more sturdy and less prone to breaking. This is going to be more expensive and you’ll have more balance between the two ‘sides.

With a hybrid style you’ll have a separate handle and head, but the handle will not be made with wood. These are typically light and easy enough to carry around with you, but you will have to replace the handle at times and it may be more difficult to do.

Best Products on Today’s Market

With any of these tomahawks you’re going to feel a whole lot safer and prepared than if you walked out into the wilderness without them. You’re definitely going to feel like you have a tool you can rely on to keep you protected and ready for whatever might come your way.

Black Ronin Tactical Tomahawk Black Ronin Tactical Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 1 lb

Dimensions: 3.5 inch cutting edge, 15.12 inches total length

Specific features: Tempered 420 stainless steel, black non-glare finish, very sharp, long poll spike, handle: black nylon, cord-wrapped, spiked handle, sheath: black fiber reinforced, weather resistant, belt loop, Velcro closure

Best use: Throwing, tactical

Description: The Black Ronin Tactical Tomahawk is a full tang construction tomahawk that is sturdy and well-balanced. It has a very sharp blade and can be used for just about anything, including throwing. This tomahawk is lightweight, making it an optimal throwing axe.

The long poll spike and spiked handle can help ensure that you’ll get your tomahawk to stick somewhere on half turns and partial throws. Inexpensive and moderately weighted, it’s great for just about anyone who needs a tool for protection or for their next trip into the wilderness.

This tomahawk definitely looks ready to take on anything and comes with its own sheath, so you don’t have to worry about where you want to store it. Made with stamped metal, it’s a thin surface that still provides you with something stylish and useful to have in your bug out bag.

Next time you head out into the woods you can take it along to practice with or to cut apart your firewood. It’s going to give you a bit of everything you’re looking for at a low price.

PROS:

  • Several spikes throughout
  • Well balanced
  • Well made sheath
  • Easy to carry anywhere
  • Works for most purposes

CONS:

  • Stamped metal is not high quality
  • Not designed for harder targets
  • The paint comes off easily

Related: The Complete Knife Throwing Guide is great for those who are looking to throw tomahawks as well. It will help you understand options, it’s inexpensive and it gets you to practice a bit so you’re going to know exactly what you’re doing.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Tactical Tomahawk SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 1.8 lb

Dimensions: Axehead: 2.75 inch cutting edge, 15.75 inches total length

Specific features: Corrosion resistant stainless steel, spike back end, handle: glass reinforced nylon, tough ballistic polymer, lanyard hole, sheath: nylon

Best use: Tactical, breaching, excavation, obstacle removal, extraction, and other utility applications

Description: The SOG Tactical Tomahawk has a broader stainless steel head and fiberglass handle, which make it an excellent tool for heavily wooded areas or jungle environments. It can chop through the foliage and clear paths with ease. All you have to do is grip the ergonomic style handle and swing to get what you’re looking for.

The spike on the back end not only makes it an intimidating tomahawk, but also makes it efficient for excavation and extraction. You can use either side to get through whatever you want and get enough power behind your swing every time with a 15.75 inch tool.

This particular model is an innovated and updated version of the tomahawks used by soldiers in Vietnam. Now it has progressed to be a more versatile multi-tool. Bolts keep the stainless steel axe head secured to the sturdy glass reinforced nylon handle. Whether for breaching, outdoor survival, or self defense, the SOG tactical tomahawk has you covered.

PROS:

  • Blade and spike end for more uses
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Great for chopping small limbs
  • Strong, sharp edge
  • Extremely lightweight

CONS:

  • Handle is small and slippery
  • Small axe overall
  • Can be too lightweight

Related: A heavy nylon sheath can protect your tomahawk when you’re traveling and can be great for protecting the blade from getting dull. The SOG Molded Nylon Sheath is great for this tomahawk and you can get it for a small investment as well.

Check the price on Amazon

Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $60

Weight: 2.4 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 2.75 inch cutting edge, 10.5 inches total length

Specific features: 1055 high carbon tool steel, sword grade, black powder coated, curved penetration spike, handle: hand-wrapped with black nylon parachute cord, lanyard hold,  finger grooves, sheath: Blade-Tech molded polymer sheath with Tek-Lok belt clip

Best use: Tactical, recreational, for any avid outdoors enthusiast (eg. to split kindling)

Description: The Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk is a specialty in outdoor survival gear. Designed in the USA, this tomahawk is definitely one that you’re going to find plenty of uses for. It has high tensile strength and durability, as you’ve likely come to expect from Browning.

The sharp blade is large enough and durable enough for anything, especially since it’s a full tang and flows smoothly to the spike and through the handle. At the end of the handle is a lanyard hole so you can easily attach it for carrying however you like.

When you’re holding this tomahawk you won’t have a problem keeping a good grip because it’s wrapped with parachute cord for a grippy surface. Inexpensive compared to many similar tools, it’s made with high carbon 1055 tool grade steel so you know you’re getting quality and strength.

If you want to use the sheath with it you’ll find it’s easy to attach and comfortable to use, making carrying your tomahawk a whole lot easier. The powder coating means that you won’t have to worry about glare giving away your position and you have a sleek looking tool.

PROS:

  • Sheath locks securely
  • Made in one piece for durability
  • Spike is sharp and strong for puncture
  • Great for throwing or chopping
  • Nylon wrap is extremely tight

CONS:

  • Somewhat small in overall size
  • Not super sharp out of the box
  • Wraps can be a little rough

Related: Make sure that you always have a sharpener with you when you have any kind of tool like a tomahawk, hatchet or knife. You always want it to be in the best shape possible and this small Lanksy Puck Sharpener is going to help you do just that without taking up too much space.

Check the price on Amazon

Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk Smith & Wesson's Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $52

Weight: 2.7 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 3.9 inch cutting edge, 15.9 inches total length

Specific features: 1070 high carbon steel, protective coating, sharp spike, handle: Kraton and steel, two black 10-inch TPE overlay handle slabs, removable textured hand grips, sheath: thick nylon canvas, plastic lines, three snaps, belt loop

Best use: Tactical, breaching, multi-purpose

Description: The Smith & Wesson’s Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk is a good quality tool, practical for tactical and breaching operations. Its weight and long cutting edge, allow for a powerful striking force, that can be used for self defense.

Because it is full tang you’ll have more power when hefting this tomahawk, while the grippy coating on the handle makes it easier to hold onto. With the sharp spike on the end you can use this tool easily for extraction and you’ll have no problem chopping with the sharp blade.

With a long handle, you’ll easily be able to hold and even throw this tomahawk, hitting any target that you want. Because it’s reasonably lightweight you can get some strength behind the chopping action and you can slide it into the high quality sheath when you’re done for the moment.

Solid and ready to go whenever you need it, this tomahawk is actually best for those who want to get into or out of somewhere, or who need a breaching tool. It’s definitely not going to let anything stand in your way.

PROS:

  • Heavy duty for breaching needs
  • Full tang for added durability
  • Arrives very sharp
  • Perfect size for easy carry
  • Connects to the belt

CONS:

  • Not ideal for speed
  • Not perfectly accurate
  • Weight makes it too heavy for throwing

Related: The Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener is a very popular one as it’s inexpensive, small and easy to carry around with you. It can sharpen just about anything with three different sharpening blades, and before you know it your tools will be sharper than ever.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia River Kangee T-Hawk Columbia River Kangee T-Hawk

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 1 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 2.93 inch cutting edge, 13.75 inches total length

Specific features: SK forged carbon steel, black powder coat, sharp beard, Tanto spike, handle: G-10, checkered handle scale easily removable for cleaning, sheath: form fitting Kydex, buckled strap, Molle compatible

Best use: Breaching, tactical

Description: The Columbia River Kangee T-Hawk deceivingly looks more like a hatchet, but this tomahawk would fare better prying open vehicles than it would chopping wood day in and day out. This model was designed by Ryan Johnson of RJM Tactical, a tactical tomahawk designer for the past 30 years.

The full tang of the blade improves the overall balance and performance so you can trust it for absolutely anything you need. Designed with added weight to the front, it’s ready to swing, which makes it great for anything that you may need to breach while you’re out.

The scales along the entire length of the handle mean that you can hold it however you want without having to worry about getting a good grip or keeping it from sliding out of your hands.

Super sharp right out of the box, this blade and spike provide excellent chopping and penetration. Also, it is lightweight compared to many of the other options, and it can be used for just about anything you might need out there on the trails.

PROS:

  • SK5 forged carbon steel
  • Sharp edges
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Includes Kydex sheath and buckle strap
  • Full tang

CONS:

  • Needs sharpening out of the box
  • Screws can come loose
  • Handles not ideal

Related: A nice sheath can definitely make a huge difference when you’re carrying your tomahawk and this CRKT T-Hawk Sheath is really nice. It snaps around the blade, the spike and the handle to ensure you have a good grip and can then be attached to your belt. Made with vegetable tanned leather and hand oiled, it’s durable and stylish.

Check the price on Amazon

Harcore Hardware Tactical Tomahawk Harcore Hardware Tactical Tomahaw

Price: Approx. $400

Weight: 1 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 2.95 inch cutting edge, 12.5 inches total length

Specific features: D2 tool steel, black Teflon finish, razor sharp, modified Tanto point spike, handle: G-10 (glass based epoxy resin), grip scales secured with all steel Torx screw fittings, large lanyard hole, sheath: Kydex Speed Scabbard, Tec-Lock and Molle-Lok compatible

Best use: Breaching, tactical

Description: The Hardcore Hardware Tactical Tomahawk has been made to be compact without compromising performance. It can hammer, chop, cut, dig, or smash anything you need. Its axe head has a long cutting edge, giving you more power with each swing. Its modified Tanto point spike also allows for maximum penetration.

However, because of its smaller handle and overall lighter weight, it can also be used in combat. The handle is still long enough for dual-handed wielding, allowing multiple grips to improve performance. You’ll be able to fight however you prefer and still come out on top.

The lanyard hole on the handle is large enough for a carabiner or paracord attachment. You can do just about anything with this as it’s made with G-10 through the handle and D2 tool grade steel and black Teflon over the blade. That means it’s going to be strong enough to stand up to just about anything you throw at it.

PROS:

  • Cuts through anything
  • Moderate weight for easy carry
  • Comes extremely sharp
  • Can be used single or double-handed
  • G-10 and D2 steel

CONS:

  • Does not include sheath
  • Can be heavier for some
  • Smaller overall length

Related: The Premium Whetstone from Sharp Pebble is designed to get you a great edge no matter what you might need to sharpen. It’s strong and sturdy and has different grit levels so you can get the perfect edge in no time at all.

Check the price on Amazon

SOG Survival Tomahawk SOG Survival Tomahawk

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 1.6 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 3 inch cutting edge, 12.1 inches total length

Specific features: 2CR stainless steel, hard cased black finish, handle: glass-reinforced nylon, wrapped with reflective parachute cord, includes hidden fire starter, sheath: ballistic nylon, snap closure, belt loop

Best use: Tactical, multipurpose

Description: The SOG Survival Tomahawk offers good quality all around. The weight and long cutting edge of its stainless steel axe blade ensure each swing will be forceful. Not only that, but it provides a stiff handle, that’s easy to hold.

The reflective parachute cord around that handle means that you’ll always be able to find your tomahawk and the unique spike means you can get into absolutely anything without a problem. In case of an emergency this tomahawk has a whole lot to offer with the Ferrocerium fire starter rod in the handle and the paracord that can easily be removed.

The full tang of the blade makes it even stronger and the full handle means you can get a good grip no matter where you want to hold onto it without having to worry about anything. Small but great for anything, this is a tomahawk you will want to carry around with you in your wilderness survival bag.

PROS:

  • Lightweight for easy carry
  • Works well for defense and small branches
  • Full tang for durability
  • Nail puller works great
  • Ideal for many purposes

CONS:

  • Sheath is not ideal
  • Firestarter is very thin
  • Paracord is not ideal to wrap

Related: A little larger than some options, the SOG Countertop Sharpener is still an inexpensive tool that can sharpen just about anything. It’s easy to transport and it has a suction cup at the bottom that makes sure it stays in place while you’re sharpening.

Check the price on Amazon

Boker Plus Vox T-Hawk Boker Plus Vox T-Hawk

Price: Approx. $90

Weight: 1.75 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 3.5 inch cutting edge, 13.75 inches total length

Specific features: SK5 carbon steel, corrosion resistant coating, handle: G-10, parachute cord wrapping, threefold screwed, sheath: nylon

Best use: Breaching, tactical

Description: The Boker Plus Vox T-Hawk was uniquely designed by Jesper Voxnaes to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. It has a full tang construction, but made with built-in openings to reduce weight and drag.

Its hollow ground on the cutting edge ensures maximum sharpness, the long cutting edge gives the user more force with each swing, and its full tang design make it a reliable breaching tool. However, since it’s fairly light in weight, this tomahawk can also be used as an emergency weapon.

Its paracord wrapped handle provides emergency cordage and threading, while its G-10 handle scales allow for impeccable grip. It has a smaller handle which means you don’t need as much space to carry it along and it’s made with SK5 carbon steel for strength. You won’t have a problem keeping this tomahawk around for a very long time or getting it to do just about anything you could possibly want.

PROS:

  • Sleek and modern style
  • Full tang throughout
  • Made with SK5 high carbon steel
  • Good grip on the handle
  • Solid and durable tool

CONS:

  • Sheath is not good quality
  • Edges on handle are rough
  • Can be a little heavy

Related: A good quality sheath has been always great, and the Nupla Rawhide Blade Cover is a great one. Low in price, this sheath is made with rawhide for strength and a great look. It has a simple snap closure and fits well on most similar tools.

Check the price on Amazon

United Cutlery M48 Hawk Axe United Cutlery M48 Hawk Axe

Price: Approx. $40

Weight :2.1 lb

Dimensions: Axe head: 3.75 inch cutting edge, 15 inches total length

Specific features: Anodized AUS-6 stainless steel blade, sharpened spine, sharp beard, a spike on the back end, handle: 30% fiberglass reinforced nylon, attached to the blade via three separate bolts, sheath: nylon snap button with belt loop

Best use: Tactical, breaching, bushcraft

Description: The United Cutlery M48 Hawk Axe has a unique wide axe blade design, giving it maximum potential for chopping, slashing and cutting. The sharpened spike on the end also makes this tomahawk efficient at breaching walls and doors, or as a combat weapon.

Not only is it good for self defense and breaching, but it can be used effectively as a camping tool. Its long and sturdy cutting edge can help you chop wood quickly and with ease. It also has a sharpened spine and a beard for hooking.

The M48 is relatively light compared to other tomahawks on the market, so it can be brought on long wilderness excursions. The belt loop on the sheath also allows for better portability. The blade is securely attached to the 30% fiberglass nylon reinforced handle with three separate bolts.

Made with AUS-6 stainless steel for the blade, you don’t have to worry about overall strength and durability for the long term because it has more than enough to offer.

PROS:

  • Good quality defensive tool
  • Handle can be used with two hands
  • Quite light to carry
  • Blade made with stainless steel
  • Easy to use for many purposes

CONS:

  • Somewhat smaller
  • Not ideal for heavier use
  • Sheath is not good quality

Related: The Lifetime Exchange Paracord here is great for wrapping around the handle of your tomahawk to increase grip and durability. It never hurts to have some paracord with you and when it can serve a double purpose like this it’s even better.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

With the M48 Hawk axe, we have reached the end of our article. We hope that you found it interesting to read and that the information you found here will be useful for you. Now that you know how to pick the right axe, and after you have gone through the reviews we offered here, picking the model that will completely be according to your needs shouldn’t be a problem.

At the end, what you need to remember is that a good tomahawk could be your best friend out there in the wilderness and that’s why you want to make sure that you never leave home without one. Don’t underestimate what that tomahawk can do for you. With any of these you’re going to have a tool that you’ll really appreciate when push comes to shove, and that you’ll seriously miss if you forget it.

Image showing a tactical tomhawk in a wood

Did any of these features seem really important to you or did we miss one that you think is important? Was one of these tomahawks something you’ve tried and have some information about? Do you have another tomahawk that you like even better than those on the list? Let us know all about it and thanks for reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Tyler Johnson

    The Black Ronin Tomahawk is bad in a good way. To be honest, I haven’t used this axe yet, but holding it in my hand has been satisfying enough. Very soldid and functional. I plan to take this axe out into the woods to see how it throws a couple of times. I love how every angle of this axe is a lethal part of the weapon. Reminds me of a smaller version of what the English used at Agencourt to pound the French Knights with. For the price, I do not see how you could be dissappointed.

  • Andrew Richardson

    The Boker’s Vox T-Hawk is a great buy for the price. I don’t know if Boker actually knows what they got here, but it is worth it. Only knock I have on this is the screw heads for the handles. It would have been better with flat head screws. You can wrap para cord around them If need be.

  • Mark Foster

    My buddy swears by the Black Ronin and whenever we go camping he usually has his monologue ready: “I’m a Ninja!”Yeah, you guess it, all the while holding on to his favorite blade. I think this Tomahawk is stunning, yet very functional. Probably the reason why most of my pals have this. Thanks for dropping by Tyler!

  • Mark Foster

    How do you find the grip on the Boker’s Vox T-Hawk? I guess the paracord is a great idea to make using this tool more safe for everyone. Just make sure you have some gloves on whenever you use a sharp tool like this one.

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