Best Tactical Hatchets Reviewed & Rated for Quality

Many people may be familiar with all of the different knives and survival tools on the market. However, fewer people are familiar with what tactical hatchets are and how effective they are as a survival tool.

What’s so great about a tactical hatchet anyways? Why would you want to purchase one when you have a perfectly good knife? These are great questions!

Last Updated: April 18, 2018
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By Ricardo Wisniewski:

This update serves to inform interested consumers and readers about the recent trends and changes in the tactical hatchet industry. To portray this, we included 5 new high-quality hatchets, which are quickly becoming some of the most popular choices today. Additionally, readers will learn more about how each product was carefully selected, and a list of commonly asked questions with answers.

Featured Recommendations

Cold Steel Trench Hawk
  • Cold Steel Trench Hawk
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Shock Absorbing Handle
  • Price: See Here
M48 Tactical Tomahawk
  • M48 Tactical Tomahawk
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Indestructible Handle
  • Price: See Here
Gerber Bear Grylls
  • Gerber Bear Grylls
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Zero Slip Grip
  • Price: See Here

The tactical hatchet, or tomahawk, provides much more than a tactical knife can. When it comes to chopping up wood for warmth and survival, a sharp blade and solid build can swiftly save the day. Or, when faced with an emergency situation, such as freeing someone that is trapped, the tactical hatchet gets the job done much faster than a tactical knife. Hands down.

Often, many tomahawks are designed to be a multi-functional tool, making them perfect for camping, hiking, throwing, backyard wood chopping or, because of their weight and heft, they are able to be an effective game processing tool after a hunt. It’s a fact that in a life or death situation, any kind of tomahawk is a practical tool to have at hand.

You cannot lose adding one to your survival arsenal. What’s more? They look awesome. Imagine how cool you will look and feel using or throwing one.

Need help deciding which one is right for you? You can quickly check out our top 3 choices below. Otherwise, for a little more reading, check out our top 10 choices for tactical hatchets in the following in-depth buyer’s guide.

 

15 Best Tactical Hatchets

 

1. Cold Steel Trench Hawk

1. Cold Steel Trench Hawk
Whether you are looking for a throwing piece, defending tool or simply a display piece, the Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe is the one for you. Its tough build and versatile use make it one of the best on the market. This tomahawk is a fast and strong tool that is guaranteed to chop, hook, pierce, trap or smash whatever you are focusing on. No need to worry about tight spaces any longer because this close range hatchet performs in the right hands.
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Reliable for offensive or defensive use
The drop forged 5150 carbon steel construction head of the Trench Hawk can take on great power, making it a prime offensive and defensive tool. Two balanced ends work together to double your chances on an accurate throw, and on the defensive side, the two ends work in your favor for hooking or trapping. It will withstand even the toughest blows and reduces the stress that comes with continued throwing.

Shock absorbing handle
The highly shock-resistant handle of the Trench Hawk is made to withstand impact and abuse that would otherwise break another axe’s handle. Though it is common that handles wear out over time, the Trench Hawk handle is built to last a long time, therefore being a cost-effective buy.

Cost and Value
This tomahawk is an ideal tool or weapon for its price point. Though it is not the cheapest on this list, it is sturdy, easily handheld and made to last, which makes it an overall great value.
Pros
  • The durable, well-constructed head holds strong.
  • A tough, shock-absorbent handle reduces stress through continuous throwing.
  • The high-performance sharp dual edges work together for accurate throwing.
  • The handle offers multiple points for hand positioning, such as single-handed or both hands on the shaft.
  • The sleek design looks great on display.
  • Great price point.
Cons
  • The handle does not have a grip area or wrap, which may be slippery in wet conditions.
  • If the handle breaks, it is tough to fix it, and therefore must be replaced if broken.

2. M48 Tactical Tomahawk

2. M48 Tactical Tomahawk
If you are in the market for a tomahawk to meet your hunting or sporting needs, look no further than the M48 Tactical Tomahawk Axe. You will be able to carry this hatchet around with you all day long without fatigue thanks to its lightweight construction. But fear not! The lightweight build of this hatchet does not sacrifice power.
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Defensive and breaching tool
The wide anodized AUS-6 stainless steel axe blade on the front of this hatchet is made for massive chopping as well as slashing or cutting. Not only that, but the secondary blade at the back is sharpened on both edges for additional cutting or hooking attacks. Together, the two are your best pair.

Indestructible reinforced handle
You read that right. The handle on this tomahawk is made to virtually last until the end. The blade is attached to the indestructible 30-percent fiberglass reinforced nylon handle by three bolts. You’ll be able to hold this axe in one or both hands comfortably.

Cost and Value
This tomahawk is amongst the lower cost points on this list, which makes it a great buy! The durability packed into it is highly coveted and makes it a valuable piece for anyone looking to up their sportsman and hunting game.
Pros
  • An indestructible handle ensures lasting use.
  • The wide axe blade is made to endure massive action.
  • The back blade is sharpened on both edges for cutting and hooking.
  • The handle offers multiple points for hand positioning, such as single-handed or both hands on the shaft.
  • Comfortable grip on the handle.
  • The full tang sits well in handle.
  • The sleek design looks great on display.
  • Great price point.
Cons
  • Heavier blade than other tactical hatchets.
  • Withstands power, but performs better for throwing than for wood chopping.

3. Cold Steel 90TH Trail Hawk

3. Cold Steel 90TH Trail Hawk
Looking for something with a classic look? You can halt the search here because the Cold Steel 90TH Trail Hawk is the perfect one for you. Not only does it look great with its American hickory handle and superb carbon steel drop forged axe, but it gets the job done, too! So, if you are in need of a light chopping and handheld throwing hawk, pick this one up today.
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Drop forged axe
What’s so important about this drop forged axe? Pretty much everything. In the process of forging the head, the steel is hammered, kneaded and compressed so that the grain structure becomes uniform, minimizing gas pockets and/or other imperfections that can ruin the construction. This means that this hand-forged hawk has a cutting edge and hammer face that is fully hardened, leaving a relatively soft balance that absorbs shock with each blow.

Looser head
Perhaps at first look a looser head may seem like a flaw. Well, it depends how you look at it. But, here’s how this is a prime feature in this tomahawk. Traditionally, a looser head is better for throwing. The looser head combined with the well-balance hickory handle make this axe an ideal choice for throwing. Sure, it might not be ideal for chopping, but it also comes in handy if you’re looking for a project piece to customize as well.

Cost and Value
At a fairly low price-point, the Cold Steel 90TH Trail Hawk has great appeal. It is a well-balance throwing piece and is also easily customizable for the project seeking user. There’s so much potential here. For this reason, it’s an unbeatable bargain.
Pros
  • Drop forged manufactured head rids of air pockets or other imperfections.
  • Beautiful and solid American hickory handle.
  • The looser head is great for throwing.
  • Well-balanced wooden handle is crafted for throwing.
  • Can be easily customized.
  • Great price point.
Cons
  • May need some fine tuning, which is perfect for handy, project-seeking users.
  • Loose head is not made for splitting logs or chopping down trees. It’s simply used for lightweight chopping or throwing.

4. Columbia River Carbon Steel

4. Columbia River Carbon Steel
Going off the grid? Working on projects in your backyard? Either way, the task at hand and your life become easier with the CRKT RMJ Woods Kangee Carbon Steel T-Hawk Axe. Crafted by Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical in Chattanooga, TN, you’ll find that his blended concept of modern engineering with centuries-old tools and weapons are in your favor! The two-handed design hickory handle and hot forged blade and spike all combine to make this an ever-popular tactical tomahawk.
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Rock solid forged head
Featuring a super solid carbon steel hot forged head with a hammer finish, this tactical tomahawk is made for all of your outdoor adventures in the woods. The flat ground bevels and spike end are ready to cut through timber with ease.

Solid hickory handle
The solid, well-balanced handle on this hatchet is well-suited alongside your camping trips or hunting excursions. It has a comfortable and sleek lacquer coat that adds durability wherever you are.

Cost and Value
The Columbia River Knife and Tool CRKT RMJ Woods Kangee Carbon Steel T-Hawk Axe is a bang for your buck! For a mid-to-lower price point, you are guaranteed durability with this tactical axe.
Pros
  • The sharpened blade chops with ease.
  • The versatile blade and hammer back design is useful for pounding down tent stakes.
  • Head easily removes for sharpening without the inconvenience of the handle way in the way.
  • Durable hickory handle is strong and well balanced.
  • Lacquer finish on the handle acts as reinforced durability
  • Great price point.
Cons
  • The handle does not have a grip area or wrap, which may be slippery in wet conditions.
  • Does not perform the best as an attack or combat weapon.

5. Columbia River Woods Chogan

5. Columbia River Woods Chogan
The Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) Woods Chogan Tomahawk Axe is a lightweight hatchet that with a blade design that holds the power of a full axe. What’s better? It’s handheld! What more could you want? Its versatility and functionality are impressive. When it comes to chopping wood or hammering down tent stakes, this tomahawk will get the job done.
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Premium steel unique blade head
Constructed from 1055 carbon steel with a rock-solid blade head and hammer finish, this axe has a high-quality head. You can feel secure with this axe when chopping wood in your backyard, out in the woods or getting through branches and thick brush on your hike. It’s the ideal companion.

Solid hickory handle
This real hickory wood handle is solid and sturdy in your hands. You’ll feel strong holding it. What’s more? The smooth and comfortable design of the handle is made to reduce and relieve any blisters of splinters from occurring. This handle is made to last.

Cost and Value
The Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) Woods Chogan Tomahawk Axe is a great deal that won’t break the bank! For a mid-to-lower price point, you are guaranteed durability, longevity and comfortable performance with this tactical axe.
Pros
  • The sharpened blade chops with ease.
  • The versatile blade and hammer back design is useful for pounding down tent stakes.
  • Head easily removes for sharpening without the inconvenience of the handle way in the way.
  • Durable hickory handle is strong and well balanced.
  • Lacquer finish on the handle acts as reinforced durability.
  • Great price point.
Cons
  • The handle does not have a grip area or wrap, which may be slippery in wet conditions.
  • Does not perform the best as an attack or combat weapon.

6. Gerber Bear Grylls

6. Gerber Bear Grylls
Survival is key. What’s more, making your survival easy is key! That’s what this Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is made for. At first glance, you’ll notice its compact and slim profile, but what you will learn with this tool is all of the power and function is possesses. So, when you are in need of creating warmth and shelter out in the backcountry, trust this handy companion.
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Small powerful blade head
The heft of this tool is certainly centered on the blade head, making it a tool that performs above its weight class, with the convenience of being a handheld, compact tool. The full-tang construction, sturdy stainless steel blade and crosshatched striking surface on the back head team up to face the hardest tasks at hand.

Zero slip grip handle
The handle on this survival hatchet is made to fit your hand. Made from ergonomic rubber, you’ll find a solid grip that is not threatened by wet or dry conditions. There are finger notches right below the head that allow you to securely choke up your grip for more control as well. It’s all about safety and control so that you can get the job done.

Cost and Value
This Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is at an unbeatable price and with all of its high-performing functions; it is a no-brainer that you would want this as your right-hand-man.
Pros
  • Precision cutting blade.
  • Full-tang and high carbon steel construction ensure durability.
  • Crosshatched striking surface on the back of the head aides in other camping/outdoor tasks.
  • Ergonomic rubber non-slip grip is easy to hold and secure in both wet and dry conditions.
  • Ultra-lightweight construction and compact design for super easy portability.
  • Performs above its weight class.
  • Excellent for hiking and camping.
  • Unbeatable price point.
Cons
  • Since the blade is lightweight it may be prone to chipping or denting.
  • It is very compact, so if you are looking for length, this is not for you.

7. SOG Fasthawk

7. SOG Fasthawk
If you’re a fan of the SOG Tactical Tomahawk, then you are sure to love the SOG Fasthawk. It is a lightweight, agiler and easier to carry a version of the Tactical Tomahawk. Whether it is wood chopping, throwing, hammering with the blunt end or even breaking glass, this is the perfect companion for getting the job done. No more worrying about fatigue after carrying around your hatchet all day. Here is your simple fix.
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Well-balanced and lightweight
The number one appeal to the SOG Fasthawk is that it is small, lightweight and therefore agile. It fits perfectly in your hand. It begs to be picked up and thrown. Fortunately, with a sharp cutting edge and strong head, even though it is lightweight, it still holds enough weight to show good penetration. Give it the likeness to a large knife. Easy to carry and ready to go wherever you are.

Versatile performance
The SOG Fasthawk is perfect for throwing as it is for small wood chopping projects. It is the ultimate survival tool on the offensive and the defensive. The razor sharp blade head and rear spike each strike hard. Though it’s not meant for chopping down trees, or larger wood, don’t worry, this survival tool will get through that firewood just fine to keep you warm.

Cost and Value
Unbeatable price! The SOG Fasthawk fulfills every task its older brother the SOG Tactical Tomahawk can accomplish, but in a more agile, lightweight way. If you’ve got the chance, pick this up. Being the little brother to the Tactical Tomahawk, you can’t go wrong with the value of this guy.
Pros
  • Reliable, heavy-duty compact frame holds strong through everyday use.
  • Sharp cutting edge gets the job done.
  • Well-crafted and well-balanced handle.
  • The compact and lightweight build makes it easy to carry with you.
  • The sleek design looks great on display.
  • Unbeatable price point.
Cons
  • The small size is practical for smaller scale jobs. Anything to grand can result in damaging the hatchet.
  • The smaller blade head results in a smaller cutting edge.

8. Estwing Special Edition

8. Estwing Special Edition
American made with the same high quality as 95 years ago, the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is a coveted tool. It is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a tactical hatchet to perform versatility in chopping wood. This hatchet can perform tasks such as chopping logs, small trees, branches, firewood, kindling and more. Take it on your next camping trip, hike or adventure and feel the security of survival in the palm of your hand.
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Forged in one piece
Because the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is forged in one piece there is little way other than abusing the tool for the blade head to come loose and fall off. This build makes it a strong and sturdy wood chopping tool. And, as a bonus, the back of the head doubles as a hammering tool, as well.

Potential for a lifetime of use
Estwing’s are built to last. Longevity is their strong suit. With high-quality forging and a rugged leather grip, with the proper care, the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe can live to see generations.

Cost and Value
You can hardly put a price on something that has the potential to last you a lifetime, and most likely will. But, if we have to, the Estwing Sportsman’s Axe is at a great price point for anyone looking to treat themselves to a high-quality hatchet they desire.
Pros
  • The heavy-duty build is durable and long-lasting, especially when striking against tools.
  • Perfect for outdoor versatility with chopping wood.
  • Forged in one piece to ensure longevity.
  • The genuine leather grip is smoothed and lacquered for a durable and comfortable finish.
  • Nice price point.
  • Made in the USA.
Cons
  • Rusting or rotting handle. The handle comes with a clear coating over it. As that varnish chips or wears, water can seep in and damage the leather or cause rust to the handle. It has been highly suggested to sand off the varnish and then re-oil the leather yourself. The handle may feel less slick when holding it and will steer clear from rot or rust.

9. SOG Tactical Tomahawk

9. SOG Tactical Tomahawk
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more fitting tactical hatchet than the SOG Tactical Tomahawk. If you’re a fan of wood cutting and throwing, then this is the tool for you. It is a lightweight, easy to carry and hard striking. Whether it is wood chopping, throwing, hammering with the blunt end or even breaking glass, this is the perfect companion for getting the job done. No more fatigue after carrying around your hatchet all day with this one.
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Versatile performance
The SOG Tactical Tomahawk is perfect for chopping wood as it is for throwing. It is the ultimate survival tool on the offensive and the defensive. The razor sharp blade head and rear spike each strike hard, powering through the wood. Though it’s not meant for chopping down trees, don’t worry, this survival tool will get through that firewood just fine to keep you warm.

Well-balanced and lightweight
The number one appeal to the SOG Tactical Tomahawk is that it is lightweight and therefore agile. It fits well in your hand because of its smaller size but also due to the ridged handle. It begs to be picked up and use. Chop, throw, strike, you name it. Fortunately, with a sharp cutting edge and strong head, even though it is lightweight, it still holds enough weight to show good penetration.

Cost and Value
The SOG Tactical Tomahawk is at an unbeatable price point for the luxury of having a handheld axe that is lightweight. If you are looking for an axe that is lightweight and can perform wood cutting and aide in hiking adventures all with the perks of having a throwing tomahawk, you can’t beat this deal.
Pros
  • Reliable, heavy-duty compact frame holds strong through everyday use.
  • Sharpened cutting edge gets the job done.
  • Designed to be a well-crafted and well-balanced tool.
  • Ridged handle is easy to grip in wet or dry conditions.
  • Very powerful rear strike.
  • The compact and lightweight build makes it easy to carry with you.
  • The sleek design looks great on display.
  • Unbeatable price point.
Cons
  • Not meant for chopping down trees or large logs.
  • The handle is lightweight, which can make the head feel too heavy and unbalanced.
  • The blade is not hardened steel, therefore the edge may roll after a few strikes.

10. Fiskars X7 Hatchet

10. Fiskars X7 Hatchet
Perfect for hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and wood chopping tasks, the Fiskars X7 Hatchet is another easy-to-carry tool and easy choice to make. This lightweight hatchet has the ideal combination of weight distribution and a super solid build that offers maximum performance. This solid combination allows for the razor-sharp blade to bite deeper into your wood chopping, making each task less strenuous for you.
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Superior sharp blade head
This ultra-sharp blade head is crafted with your wood chopping needs in mind. With a sharper edge, you are able to make better contact with the wood and cleaner cuts into and through it. Because of the low-friction coating on the metal, the Fiskers X7 Hatchet is made to stay sharper, longer.

Virtually unbreakable design
This hatchet is designed with perfect weight distribution and because of that, it makes a powerful impact. Fortunately, with a stronger-than-steel Fiskars FiberComp handle and full tang, one-piece fused head, this axe is virtually unbreakable. Of course, anything is possible, but you’ve got the guarantee that this hatchet is going to last!

Cost and Value
The Fiskars X7 Hatchet is an affordable, reliable and suitable option for your wood cutting purposes. This hatchet delivers, and for that reason, it is one of the best buys out there.
Pros
  • The solid yet lightweight build makes it easy to carry with you.
  • Sharpened cutting edge gets the job done.
  • Fiskars FiberComp handle is virtually unbreakable.
  • The ergonomic handle is easy and comfortable to hold.
  • It is easy to choke up on the handle for precision cutting.
  • Iconic orange handle.
  • Great price point.
Cons
  • The soft metal blade is prone to chipping.
  • The coating on metal may chip making it appear that the blade itself is chipped. Sharpening the blade down to the metal is said to possibly fix this issue.

11. United Cutlery Ranger Hawk

11. United Cutlery Ranger Hawk
This is an ideal tactical hatchet that is great for when you are hunting large game or need to cut some wood. The handle has a long length so that you can chop with extra force without wearing your muscles out while you are using the hatchet. The head of the ax is made from a heavy-duty stainless steel that will avoid rusting when it is exposed to water.
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Reinforced Handle

The handle is made with 30 percent fiberglass which adds to the durability of the handle and helps reduce impact and vibrations that you will feel on your arm. There is nylon around the handle shaft for comfort.

Stainless Steel Head

The head of the ax has been made with 2CR13 stainless steel that has been precision cast. This helps improve the durability of the ax since it will resist rusting making it ideal for wet and damp conditions.

Cost and Value

This tactical hatchet has a price that is higher than the average price for a hatchet. The higher price is due to the high-quality materials that have been used to make the hatchet so that it lasts longer.
Pros
  • There is a sharpened rear spike on the hatchet that you can use for prying things.
  • The overall length of the hatchet is 15.5 inches so that you can cut wood or bones.
  • The handle has been wrapped with nylon for comfort and to avoid splinters when you use the hatchet.
  • The head of the ax has been made with stainless steel for extra durability and longevity.
  • The item is also sold with an outdoor compass making it ideal for camping or hiking.
Cons
  • Some reviewers have experienced problems with the handle breaking on the hatchet too easily when using it.
  • Users have reported that the paracord on the hatchet is too thick for the weight of the hatchet.

12. Estwing Tomahawk

12. Estwing Tomahawk
This long handled hatchet is great for camping and hiking. Its long handle and sharp head make it great for cutting wood which allows you to easily gather fuel to make a campfire and stay warm. The grip of the handle has been designed to reduce shock to your hands, wrist, and arm so that you can cut wood or other items easily without hurting your arms and hands.
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Shock Reduction Handle

The handle of the hatchet has been designed with a patented system that will reduce shock and vibrations up to 70%. This helps you stay comfortable when you are using the hatchet for tasks such as chopping wood.

Forged Steel

The hatchet is made from forged steel which is known for its strength and durability. You can expect that this hatchet will be long-lasting and can perform when you need it the most while you are hunting, hiking, or camping.

Cost and Value

You will see this hatchet sold at a price that is average for a tactical hatchet. The item has an excellent value due to the high-quality steel used to make the hatchet without you having to spend a lot.
Pros
  • This hatchet is proudly made in the USA in Rockford IL using American made steel.
  • It has an overall length of 16.25" which makes it great for cutting wood or other hard items.
  • The backside of the hatchet has a pick which you can use for prying or excavation.
  • It is sold with a heavy duty sheath that will protect the cutting edge of the hatchet.
  • The handle has been made with a patented system that will reduce shock and vibrations to your arm.
Cons
  • Users have reported that the finish of the hatchet flakes off after owning the hatchet for a while.
  • Other reviewers have reported that the hatchet is not well balanced which can make it hard to use.

13. United Cutlery Apocalypse

13. United Cutlery Apocalypse
Although the product is advertised to protect you against zombies, in reality, this is a great hatchet to use for cutting and prying. The long handle on the hatchet will provide you with plenty of energy when you swing the ax so that you can easily cut small branches or even brush while you are outside. If you need to pry something apart, you can use the spike on the back.
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Black Oxide Stainless Steel

The head of the hatchet is made of 2CRR13 stainless steel that is coated with black oxide. The coating will help the hatchet continue to look new while the stainless steel keeps it sharp and durable even after many uses.

Paracord Wrapped Handle

The handle of the hatchet has been designed for durability as well. It is made from a 30% fiberglass material that is reinforced with nylon to reduce shock and help it last. The handle is also wrapped with paracord for extra comfort.

Cost and Value

You should plan on seeing this hatchet sold at a price that is slightly lower than the average price for a tactical hatchet. This makes it into a great value because you get a high-quality hatchet without spending a lot.
Pros
  • The total length of the hatchet with fifteen inches which makes it great for chopping small branches.
  • The handle is wrapped with paracord which reduces vibrations and gives you a comfortable grip for your hands.
  • It comes with a belt sheath that closes with snap buttons and can be worn at your waist.
  • There is a sharp spike on the rear of the hatchet that you can use for prying.
  • The blade has been coated with a black oxide which will keep it from rusting and make it last longer.
Cons
  • Users have reported that the paracord comes off of the handle easily when they use the hatchet.
  • Other reviewers have reported that the blade keeps getting stuck when they are chopping wood with the ax.

14. SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini

14. SOG Voodoo Hawk Mini
This mini hatchet provides you with a compact design that is perfect for uses such as backpacking, hiking, paddling, or hunting. The hatchet is small and light so that it is easy to take with you. It has a sharp head that is great for cutting brush or small branches which make it easy for you to start a campfire when you need light or wish to stay warm.
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Spike Head

The head of the hatchet has a multipurpose design that includes a spike on the backside of the head. The spike can be used to puncher items or pry things apart which makes the hatchet versatile and useful in multiple situations.

Sheath

The sheath has been designed to easily attach to your belt or other gear which makes this hatchet great for outdoor activities. It loads from the top and closes with snap buttons so that you can use the hatchet when you need it.

Cost and Value

This hatchet has a price that is lower than the average price for a tactical hatchet. This makes it into an excellent value because you are getting a high-quality hatchet without having to pay a premium price for it.
Pros
  • The handle is made from nylon that has been reinforced with fiberglass for extra durability.
  • It comes with a sheath that loads from the top and can be attached to your belt.
  • The head of the hatchet has been designed for multiple uses making it into a multipurpose tool.
  • Its smaller size makes this hatchet into an ideal to for backpacking, hiking, hunting, or similar activities.
  • The produce is sold with a limited lifetime warranty so that you can count on it to last.
Cons
  • Some users have reported that the edge of the ax gets dull quickly making it hard to use.
  • Other reviewers have experienced problems with the sheath breaking when they open it to access the hatchet.

15. Gerber Downrange

15. Gerber Downrange
The Downrange Tomahawk is a premium tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. You can use it to chop wood or other hard items when you need to cut something, or it can be used as a hammer. The hatchet can even be used as a prybar in case you need to pry something apart. The tool's versatility makes it into an essential outdoor item.
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Molle Compatible

The sheath of the hatchet has been designed to be compatible with Molle webbing which makes it easy to attach this hatchet to backpacks, body armor, or anything that has Molle webbing.

Three tools in one

You can use this hatchet as an ax, hammer, or even as a prybar. This makes it great for camping and hunting but also for search and rescue operations in case you need to break someone out of a car.

Cost and Value

This premium hatchet is sold at a price that is much higher than the average price for a tactical hatchet. The high price comes from the use of high-quality materials and the engineering used to make this hatchet.
Pros
  • The body of the hatchet is made of steel that includes Cerakote (TM) that will not break.
  • It has been designed to be used as an ax, hammer, and a prybar making it versatile.
  • The sheath sold with the hatchet has been designed to be compatible with Molle webbing.
  • The handle of the hatchet has composite scales that make it easy for you to grip.
  • The head of the ax is made in the USA and has a pry handle as well.
Cons
  • The item is not balanced which some reviewers say makes it hard to use it.
  • It has an exceptionally high price tag which can make it unaffordable for some people.

With the proper use, completing your survival arsenal with a tactical tomahawk can only benefit you. It goes without saying that you’ll be noticed when wielding a tomahawk. Even more than the respect that a quality tomahawk can earn you, their practical and functional purposes outweigh all of the reasons to own one.

A tomahawk is something that is certain to be effective should any survival circumstances arise. From light to medium grade around-the-house work, forcing your way into a premise for search or rescue, to intimidation tactics, self-defense or even applying military-grade hand-to-hand combat, the tactical hatchet serves its purpose well.

There is no need to get rid of your favorite trusted tactical knife, but a hatchet or an axe may be an overall better tool for your next camping, hunting or hiking trip. Since it can be used in a variety of ways, having a tactical hatchet at your side can provide an advantage for basic survival use. Make your tasks and life easier by getting the right one for you.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Tactical Hatchets

 

Handle Length

You will notice that tactical hatchets have different handle lengths and you will want to pick out an item that has the proper handle length for your needs. Some people will want to have a hatchet that has a longer handle so that they can use the ax for chopping of prying while other people may want a smaller hatcher that so can be easily stored in a backpack. Most of the time the length of the handle will be between 8-20 inches and you will want to look for a handle that has the proper length for your needs. You may find that it is hard to use the hatchet if you pick one that has a handle that is too short. On the other hand, if you have a handle that is too long then the hatchet will use more room in your gear than what is necessary and it will weight more.

 

Hatchets that have a long handle will provide you with more force when you are swinging the ax. The additional length of the handle will provide you with more leverage and weight and this translates into more force than what you would have with a hatchet that has a short handle. You will also find the longer length to be useful when you are using the hatchet for prying as once again the additional length will turn into the additional force. This makes hatchet useful for a number of different purposes.

 

For example, you can use such hatchets for tasks such as splitting wood or chopping down trees. Many people who are camping outdoors will find this useful for when they need firewood to build a fire. Butchering animals is another useful application for a long-handled hatchet. For example, if a hunter kills a large animal then he or she may need to cut the animal up into pieces in order to carry it from the wilderness. A hatcher that has a long handle will make it easier for the hunter to cut through bones or other hard tissue on the animal. This can also make it easier for the hunter to pry apart joints on the animal as well.

 

Rescue operations are another category where long-handled hatchets are a useful tool. For example, if you need to quickly remove a car accident victim from a crashed vehicle, then you can use the hatchet to break glass or sheet metal. You may need to break open a lock on a building in order to rescue a victim as well in which case this would be a useful tool for such as task. You can use a largely handled hatchet for any job where you need to cut, break, or pry apart large and difficult items.

 

Short handled hatchets are smaller and compact. They also weigh less than hatchets that have long handles as well. This makes them useful for backpacking and hiking where you need to be more conscious about your gear. Since these hatchets have shorter handles, you can use them for things such as more precise chopping. This makes this style of hatchet useful for cutting small branches and brush and even for cutting up a small animal.

 

Self-defense and throwing are two other reasons that you may want to own a hatchet that has a small handle rather than a long handle. Since these hatchets weigh less, it is much easier to throw a hatchet that has a small handle. It is also more likely that the hatchet will be designed for throwing and therefore it may be better balanced as well. If you find that you need to defend yourself at close quarters, then a hatchet with a small handle will be easier to use since you can maneuver it more easily. This can be useful if you find the need to protect yourself from aggressive wild animals and you do not have a gun with you.

 

You should keep in mind that when you have a hatchet that has a short handle, you will need to swing harder. This is because the handle does not have a much weight and there is less force due to the shorter handle length. If you need to cut large pieces of wood or game, you will need to work much harder than what you would otherwise. As always, you will need to balances the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of hatchets when you are picking one out. If you find that you are going to building a lot of campfires while you are in the wilderness and can live with the extra bulk and weight, then you may want to pick out a hatchet that has a longer handle. On the other hand, you may decide that the smaller size of a short-handled hatchet is better suited for your needs.

 

Cutting Edge

 

The cutting-edge found on the head of the hatchet will play an important role in making sure that the hatchet is able to cut what you need it to cut. You will want to take a look at the length of the cutting edge as well as the spine and beard on the hatchet head. Longer cutting edges will make it easier to cut larger items such as large branches or bones, while smaller cutting edges will allow for more precision cuts and a lighter weight. You may also want to check if the spine and beard are sharpened as this will provide you with additional cutting capabilities.

 

There are times where you will want to look for a hatcher that has a large cutting edge. For example, if you plan on cutting large branches or pieces of wood, then you will want to have a large cutting edge. Likewise, bones, sheet metal, doors, and other heavy-duty items will be easier cut with a large cutting edge. A larger cutting edge will add more surface area to the blade of the ax and it will also provide you with more weight. This will turn into the added force for you so that you will not need to work as hard to cut through hard items.

 

On the other hand, you may want to make your cuts more precise. Narrow cutting edges focus the force of your strike more precisely which allows them to pierce deeper when you are chopping. It also means that the hatchet will weight less due to the reduced size of the blade which makes it easier for you to control your strike. Some of the use cases for a short cutting blade would be piercing heavy metal such as when you are extracting someone from a vehicle. You may also want the extra precision when you are butching smaller animals or cutting small branches. The smaller cutting edge will also mean reduced weight which can be helpful when you are carrying your gear on your back.

 

The spine is the top part of the hatchet head and you can purchase hatchets that have a sharpened spine. This will provide you with an additional cutting edge on the top of the hatcher which you may find to be useful. For example, if you find that you are trying to cut through something but are unable to swing the hatcher normally, then you might be able to use the cutting edge on the spine as a way to punch your way through the item that you are cutting. This may be helpful if you are digging a hole and need to cut through a root. Combat and ax throwing are two other examples of where a sharpened spine may be worthwhile as it provides the hatchet with an additional sharp surface.

 

The beard is located on the opposite side of the spine on the same side of the handle as the cutting edge. Many hatchers are now offering sharpened beards which can be great for when you need to hook onto something and grab it. The beard will start to cut into the item and create an incision where the hatchet can latch onto the item. This will allow you to pull the item towards you. This can be useful in rescue situations where you need to pull things apart in order to create an opening. Of course, it is also another sharp surface that you can use in survival situations in case you have to fight off an aggressive animal.

 

Just like the cutting edge of the hatchet, the spine and the beard surfaces can also come in different lengths. A larger beard and spine will provide you with a larger surface area that you can use to cut with the spine or grab onto with the beard. Of course, it will also mean that you are adding additional weight to the hatchet. On the other hand, you may want to go for smaller cutting surfaces that will save on the weight and can also offer you additional precession. Naturally, a smaller beard edge will not be able to catch as large of an object as a larger beard, but you can hook onto items more precisely with it.

 

You will want to consider the size of the cutting edges when you are picking out a tactical hatchet. Some hatchets have large cutting edges which make it easier for you to cut hard objects with less effort. Other times you may want to purchase a hatchet that has a smaller cutting edge so that you can cut stuff more precisely. You may also want to look for sharpened beards and spines as this will provide you with additional cutting edges. The cutting edges will ultimately determine what you can cut with the hatchet so this is an important consideration. You should always try and match the hatchet to your needs when you are picking one out.

 

Back of the Head

 

Tactical hatchets can be used for more applications than just chopping items. You can also use them for tasks such as hammering nails or piercing glass or metal. The rear side of the hatchet, called the poll or the butt, can either be flat, rounded, or it may have a sharp spike. Differently shaped polls are used for different things so you will want to look at the poll when you are purchasing a hatchet and make sure that it has the proper shape for your needs. For example, you would not want to get a hatchet that has a spiked poll if your plan is to use the back of the hatchet as a hammer. Likewise, if you want to pry apart a joint on large game, then you will not want a rounded poll on your hatchet. You will need to match the poll of the hatchet to your particular needs.

 

Flat polls are found on many tactical hatchets and are used when you wish to apply blunt force. For example, if you want to pound a nail into a deer stand using your hatchet, then you will want to make sure that the poll if flat. This will provide you with a surface area that will strike the head of the nail properly. You may also want to have a flat poll when you need to open a door with brute force. If you use the cutting edge, then you may start to cut into the door when you really wanted to force it open. Flatheads are useful for when you need to break locks off of a door as well.

 

You may also want to own a hatchet with a flat or round poll for safety reasons as well. Having such a surface means that there is one less cutting edge on the hatchet. If you were to drop the hatchet or fall on it, then you have less risk of falling on a sharp surface of the hatchet which may reduce your chances of injury. It can also mean that the hatchet is less likely to damage gear if it is packed in with your other gear rather than being carried externally on Molle webbing or on your belt. If you feel there is no reason to have a sharp edge in the poll of your hatchet, then you can reduce your chance of injury.

 

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why you would want the poll to have a spike rather than a flat or round edge. For example, a spike on the hatchet can be used in any situation where you need to pierce something. The spike will provide you with a sharp surface that will make it easy for you to penetrate metal, wood, or bone. You can also use a spike if you need to pry something apart like joints on a large animal that you are cutting up to take out of the woods.

 

Of course, self-defense is a very important reason to choose a spike rather than a flat or round edge. If you have to defend yourself, the spike can be extremely intimidating to an opponent due to its ability to cause extreme injury. A spike will create a deep puncture wound which can lead to large amounts of pain, blood loss, and even loss of life. This makes a spike formidable in combat situations. It also makes the hatchet more dangerous to carry and you will need to treat it with additional care if you choose to get a hatchet that has a spike.

 

For example, falling on the spiked edge of your hatchet can cause all of the same injuries previously mentioned. The spike is capable of piercing deep into your body and can place you at extreme risk if you are in the wilderness and cannot reach a hospital quickly. The spike may also puncture your gear if you are storing the hatchet with other items and you do not pack the hatchet properly. If your hatchet has a spike on the poll, then you will also want to make sure it is in its sheath when you are not using the hatchet for safety reasons.

 

Hatchets can have a few different surfaces on the rear of the hatchet, which is also known as the butt or the poll. Many hatchets have a flat or round surface on the poll which is useful whenever you need to apply brute force to an object. This allows you to use the hatchet as a hammer. If you need to pry or pierce something, then you will want to look for a spike in the poll. A spike will allow you to penetrate hard surfaces and it can also be used to pry apart objects due to its narrow length. You will need to consider the rear of the hatchet and make sure that its surface is what you need when you purchase a hatchet.

 

Sheath

 

The most basic function of the sheath is to protect the hatchet when it is not being used. You should always put the hatchet in the sheath when you are not using the hatchet because the sheath will help keep the cutting edge sharp. It will also help protect the ax head from moisture which could cause the head to rust. There are a couple of things that you should look at when you are examining the sheath for your tactical hatchet. For example, you should look at what kind of material was used to make the sheath and if it is thick enough to protect the hatchet. You may also want to look at any features that the sheath may have as well as how it closes around your hatchet. The quality of the sheath will make a large difference in how you can carry, store, and protect your hatchet.

 

One of the things that you should look at when you are purchasing a hatchet is what kind of material was used to make the sheath. You will want to make sure that the sheath is made from a material that is strong and at least water resistant. You don’t want to have the sharp edges of the ax pierce the sheath and you definitely do not want the sheath to hold water against the head of the ax. If the material absorbs too much water, then you could end up having a rusted ax head the next time you take the hatchet out of the sheath. You can check if the material resists water by pouring a little bit of water against it and seeing if the water beads up or gets absorbed by the sheath.

 

The thickness of the material is also important and you should look at it as well. Hatchets can get heavy and if the sheath is not strong enough to support the weight of the hatchet then it could break. Thin material may also end up getting cut by the hatchet’s cutting edges or the sharp points on the hatchet such as a spike on the poll side. You will want to make sure that the material is thick and strong on the sheath in order to avoid these sort of issues. Otherwise, you may end up with a sheath that isn’t able to support and protect the hatchet properly.

 

Once you have looked at the type of material used to make the sheath, you should move onto to check how the sheath closes around the hatchet. Many hatchet sheaths will close around the ax portion of the hatchet with button snaps. You should make sure that these snaps close tightly and that the sheath does not accidentally open up due to bouncing or vibration. The snap buttons should be secured to the sheath tightly so that they do not separate from either the flap or the sheath itself.

 

It is possible that you may see zippers or regular buttons. In the case of zippers, you should make sure that the zipper moves freely and it does not get caught when you zip or unzip the sheath. The zipper should be made from metal rather than plastic as this will mean that the zipper will last longer. If the sheath uses buttons to close, then you should make sure that the button holes are reinforced and unlikely to tear. The buttons should also be secured to the sheath as well so that they do not detach from the sheath and start to fail.

 

Once you have looked at how the hatchet is secured in the sheath, you should look at any features on the sheath. For example, many hatchet sheaths can be attached to your belt. This allows you to carry the hatchet around your waist and keep it accessible for when you need it. Backpackers may favor a sheath that is compatible with Molle webbing. Molle webbing is found on many different brands of outdoor backpacks and they allow you to carry gear on the exterior side of the backpack. If your hatchet sheath is compatible with Molle webbing, then you can put your hatchet on the backpack’s exterior so that you have more room inside of the backpack.

 

You should always take the time to look at the sheath that comes with the hatchet. The sheath performs the job of holding and protecting the hatchet while it is not in use. You should always make sure that the sheath has a high-quality construction that will hold the hatchet in a secure fashion and protect it from moisture. In addition to holding and protecting the sheath, you will want to make sure it has features such as the ability to attach it to your belt or Molle webbing. This will make it much easier for you to carry and store the backpack.

 

Quality

 

The overall quality of the hatchet should also be a consideration. A hatchet that is of low quality can perform poorly and also turn into a safety hazard if it breaks apart while you are using it. Low-quality hatchets can end up costing you more in the long run since you may end up spending more to continuously replace the hatchet or sharpen it. They are also less likely to perform when you need them to perform as well. You should also be on the lookout for signs of low quality and look for hatchets that are well made and will last you for a long time. Some of the areas that you can look at the handle, the cutting edge, the sheath, and the steel used in the head of the hatchet.

 

The handle is one of the areas of the hatchet that is most prone to breakage. Whenever you are cutting with the hatchet, the handle is getting stressed by the impact. It has to absorb both the shock and the vibrations of each strike of the hatchet. Due to the nature of the forces that are placed on the handle, it is the most likely area to fail. At a minimum, the handle may develop cracks through the shaft of the handle. In extreme cases, the handle may break completely and cause the head of the hatchet to go flying away from your control. This can lead to serious injury if the head of the hatchet strikes another person.

 

You should start by looking at the sort of materials that are used to make the hatchet. Many lower priced hatchets will use nylon that is reinforced with fiberglass. These handles are lightweight and reduce shock and vibrations to your arms, but they are not as strong as handles that are made from metal. You will need to inspect these handles for any cracks in the handle and you should also look at how the head of the hatchet has been secured to the handle. If there are any cracks in the handle or the hatchet head feels loose, then you must not use the hatchet for any reason as it is close to breaking.

 

You may see hatchets that have handles that are made from metal or wood. Metal is the heaviest material used for hatchet handles but it is also the most durable. In most cases, a metal handle will double as a pry bar. Wood handles are lighter but they can splinter or break like composite handles that are made from fiberglass and nylon. If the handle is made from wood, you should once again check if for splinters and make sure that the head is secured. A metal handle should be coated to protect it from rust and it should be strong enough not to bend. As always, you should make sure that the head is secured to the handle tightly.

 

Sometimes hatchet handles have a grip material on them. The grip can help with reducing shocks and vibrations that your hands may feel while you are using the hatchet. However, sometimes the grip material can fail prematurely and fall off of the handle. For example, many hatchet handles are wrapped with paracord as a way to provide you with a grip on the handle and many times the paracord unravels and falls off of the handle. You should look for a grip that fits tightly around the handle of the hatchet and feels comfortable while you are gripping it with your hands. The grip should be soft enough to reduce shock and vibration but it also needs to be strong enough so that it does not fail early either.

 

The hatchet head is the other important part of the hatchet. You should make sure that it is made from a high-quality steel so that it is long lasting. A quality hatchet head will maintain a sharp edge on the cutting edge so that you do not have to keep having the hatchet sharpened repeatedly. It should also be coated so that it is protected against rust and corrosion. Some hatchet heads are made of stainless steel as a way to protect against rust while other heads are treated. Either way, you will want to make sure that your ax does not rust easily.

 

The overall quality of the hatchet is something that you should also be concerned about when you are purchasing a hatchet. You will want to get a hatchet that has a strong handle that secures the head of the hatchet to the handle. This is important for safety as the hatchet head could go flying should it detach from the handle in any fashion. The head of the hatchet should also be protected against rust and the grip should be well made also. You can trust that a quality made hatchet will perform when you need it to so it’s worth your while to make sure you get a good hatchet.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I throw a tactical hatchet?

A: Some people enjoy ax throwing and you can indeed throw a tactical hatchet. You should look for hatchets that are well balanced, have a sharp cutting edge, and a short handle. Lightweight hatchets are easier to throw than heavy hatchets as well. Some tactical hatchets are specifically designed for throwing and these would be the best way to make sure that the hatchet can be used for throwing. However, you can throw any kind of ax if you are skilled enough.

 

Q: How can I waterproof my sheath?

A: There are a number of different treatments that are available which you can use to make cloth water resistant. They work by filling in any holes in the fabric that would normally allow water to pass through the fabric. If your hatchet sheath does not resist water or it is starting to lose its ability to resist water, then you should treat it with a waterproofing treatment since this will help protect your hatchet in the long run.

 

Q: How do I keep my hatchet from getting stuck when I chop wood?

A: There are a few different causes that you will need to look at. One of the causes could be that your cutting edge is starting to get dull. If this is the case, then you should have your hatchet professionally sharpened as that will help reduce the problem. If the head of your hatchet is starting to get rusty then it may also get stuck in the wood as well. You should treat the head and remove the rust if that’s the case.

 

Q: Why do some hatchet heads have holes?

A: It is common for many hatchet heads to have holes in the ax head as a way to reduce weight and cost. The holes will normally be placed in areas where the integrity of the hatchet head is not compromised so you do not need to worry about using the hatchet due to holes. However, the holes do mean less metal which will turn into less weight for you and fewer materials used to make the hatchet which reduces cost.

 

Q: Why are hatchets great survival tools?

A: Hatchets are great survival tools because they can be used for many different applications. For example, you can use your hatchet to cut wood for a fire and then use it to butcher game to eat. A hatchet can be used to defend yourself against a wild animal in the case of an animal attack as well. If you have canned food, then you can open the food with your hatchet if you lose your can opener.

Sources

  1. survival-weapons/tactical-tomahawk
  2. what-tactical-tomahawks-are-for
  3. best-tactical-tomahawks
  4. general axe information
  5. how to throw a tomahawk
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