The Top 13 Tomahawks of 2016

When we talk about self-defense, we’re not only talking about protecting yourself from another human, but also about fending off a wild animal on your camping trip.

Tomahawks are the number one option for those who don’t want to use a handgun or are living in an area that is not gun-friendly. Maybe you don’t have the age for a handgun, so a tomahawk may be a choice for protecting yourself.

More than 90% of self-defense encounters take place within 5 feet. A tomahawk is a close-quarter fighting tool and may become an efficient weapon when used properly.

What to look for when getting yourself a tomahawk

A good, comfortable to carry and use tomahawk should weigh something between 16 to 23 ounce. A tomahawk heavier than this is great for breaching, but it’s not the best choice for self-defense. So weight is important for your tomahawk.

The utility edge of most of the tomahawks out there is great for every-day tasks, but it’s not great for self-defense. You need a tomahawk with a main edge sharp enough to shave the hair on your arm. Or you may always tune the edge with a whetstone to bring it up to par.

There are three types of handles for the tomahawks out there: wood, integral or hybrid. The wood handled tomahawks are low priced and traditional and most of the weight goes to the head. It’s easy to replace a wood handle in case of anything.

The tomahawks with head and handle made from the same piece of metal are more expensive, but also stronger. As the weight is not in the head anymore, there’s another balance and feel to this kind of tomahawks.

The “hybrid” tomahawks feature a handle made of a material different from wood, but still separate from the head. The handle is not affected by humidity anymore, is lightweight and easy to take care of. It’s a bit difficult to replace the handle and a spare handle is wise to have around.

The best length for the handle of a tomahawk should range from 12 to 22 inches. Take in consideration your stature and strength when picking your tomahawk also. Lay the tomahawk head in your open palm with the handle along your forearm; the handle should end at or near your elbow. If you’re new to this, you could start with a 19 to 22-inch wood-handled hawk. A long handle lets you cut off little sections until you get the best length for you.

When we talk about the head style of a tomahawk, there are various styles to choose from. The most popular types are spike, polled and un-polled.

The lightest models are the no poll tomahawks and they are easy to maneuver also. The no poll tomahawks are low priced, but the head might deflect upon impact, twisting the tomahawk in your hand.

The polled tomahawks are versatile and efficient for self-defense. They have the right weight and minimum risks for deflecting or twisting. The poll acts as a blunt striking face and gives a good support for the head.

The spike-style polls tomahawks are the best choice for self-defense. The deep penetrating spike and the wide cutting face on the main blade make them highly efficient for self-defense. You need to practice in order to use them right, without injuring yourself.

Now that you got yourself a tomahawk…

You want to use it. You need to strike a target with it as much as it takes, since practice makes perfect.

Swing with both hands and try to train your off-hand and weak side just as well. You need to get comfortable using the ‘hawk with both hands.

Even though the tomahawks have been used for hundreds of years and the styles and construction have changed in time, they still remain good, efficient self-defense tools. If used right.


Top 5 Tomahawk Reviews

When it comes to long lasting, highly efficient tomahawks, there’s no competing with a Hardware Australia ‘hawk. The Hardcore Hardware Australia HCBFT01GTDGC Tactical Tomahawk comes with many great features so here are the pros:

  • The HCBT01GTDGC is a one-piece tomahawk
  • The ‘hawk is made of D2 steel which makes is long lasting
  • The ‘hawk comes with a tan Teflon coating
  • The length is 18 3/8in. overall
  • The handle is made of tan G-10
  • The blade is very sharp
  • The scabbard is made of durable Kydex
  • The scabbard comes with MOLLE lock and Teclock
  • The ‘hawk is versatile and ready to take the most extreme challenges
  • You may use the ‘hawk as an impact/MOE tool
  • The ‘hawk is great for chopping, smashing steel doors, digging, cutting, puncturing tires and when climbing also
  • The modified tanto point spike is designed for the deepest penetration
  • The pommel features a chisel point for better prying
  • The ‘hawk is built to last forever
  • This is made in Australia

As for the cons, we only need to mention two things:

  • The price, as this ‘hawk sits on the high end price
  • You need some practice in order to get the best performance from this tomahawk


A great tomahawk, made in the USA, is the American Tomahawk ATCOMA Comanche Fixed Blade Knife. Even though it’s not made of D2 stainless steel, the Atcoma still manages to be a reliable, strong tomahawk. Here are the pros:

  • The ‘hawk is made of N690Co Cobalt Steel
  • The Atcoma is 16-1/8” long overall
  • The ‘hawk is black Teflon coated
  • The head has a 3 5/8” cutting edge on the side
  • There is a 2 ½” double edge blade on the other side
  • The ‘hawk comes with black layered linen micarta handles which makes it easy to carry
  • The sheath is a molded black belt on
  • The sheath is made of long lasting molded nylon
  • The Atcoma combines the spontoon functionality with tactical features
  • The ‘hawk is strong and well-balanced
  • The Atcoma is built as a tank
  • The blade doesn’t rust and is incredibly sharp
  • The ‘hawk is impossible to break

As for the cons, we need to mention the following:

  • The sheath could be of better quality
  • It’s a bit difficult to release the sheath
  • The sheath is rather noisy

Apart from these minor issues related to the sheath, we have no other comments.


Also made in the USA, the Red Rock Rifleworks MT-1 Monolithic Tactical Tomahawk has many great things about it which makes it a good, efficient and durable tomahawk. Here are the pros:

  • The ‘hawk is made in our USA
  • There is a monolithic design to it, which gives it durability
  • The ‘hawk is made entirely of 4140 Alloy steel
  • The uncoated tumbled finish gives the ‘hawk a great look
  • The ’hawk is highly durable as it’s 54056 HRC tempered
  • The Red Rock MT-1 has a 1.4 lbs. weight
  • The length is 14.75” head to handle
  • You may apply your custom coating on the ‘hawk or leave it uncoated, for a patinated look
  • The MT-1 is lightweight due to the monolithic design
  • The chamfered handle gives great grip and high striking force
  • The blade is versatile and efficient for prying, puncturing, extracting etc.
  • The spike is efficient when prying, extracting material, puncturing
  • The blade comes professionally hand sharpened
  • The steep double bevel increases the life span of the tomahawk
  • The center of gravity is placed towards head which gives great striking force
  • You may wrap the ‘hawk with paracord for better comfort
  • The tomahawk comes with a lifetime guarantee

There aren’t many things not to like about the Red Rock MT-1. We do need to mention though our cons:

  • The tomahawk doesn’t come with a sheath so you need to do more shopping
  • As it comes uncoated, you need to do more work as the steel corrode over time if left uncoated in oil. An oxidant protective barrier is also a good option.

Even though it’s on the high end of price, the Red Rock MT-1 comes with a lifetime guarantee so that’s a good sign the MT-1 is a strong product.

When we talk about long lasting and ready to take on the heavy duty jobs, the Hogue – EX-T01 Tomahawk is a great example. Here are the pros to prove that:

  • The blade is made of long lasting, strong S-7 steel
  • The blade is tough as its 54-56 HRC
  • There is a black Cerakote finish to the blade
  • The Hogue has a hand sharpened blade and a honed edge
  • The blade is very sharp
  • The handle of the Hogue EX-T01 is made of solid black G10
  • The sheath has positive and magnetic retention
  • The form fitted carry case makes it easy to carry around the Hogue
  • The hole spacing accommodates Tek-Lok
  • The Hogue EX-T01 comes with a waist band paddle
  • The Molle and belt loop attachments are optional, but efficient
  • The Hogue is 14.12” long overall
  • The ‘hawk is easy to maneuver and has a nice shape
  • The ‘hawk is well built and lasts forever
  • The Hogue EX-T01 is versatile and ready to take any heavy duty task

As for the cons, we can only mention the price, but the Hogue is worth every single penny as it lasts forever, no matter how difficult the tasks may get.


When you want versatility more than anything from your tomahawk, the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is definitely the thing to get. Apart from its versatility, there are many other good things to say about to the Gerber Downrange so here are our pros:

  • The Gerber Downrange is 3 tools in 1: axe, hammer head and pry bar
  • The Gerber Downrange is assembled in our USA
  • The axe head with integrated prying handle are made in our USA
  • The body is made of 420HC steel with Cerakote that doesn’t bend or break
  • The body is solid and there’s good heft to it
  • The handle features Desert Tan G-10 composite scales, giving a better grip
  • The sheath is Molle compatible
  • The Gerber tomahawk is lightweight and easy to handle
  • The ‘hawk is a great tool for backpacking
  • The Gerber tomahawk is a great multi tool and it’s efficient when camping or self-defending
  • The handle option in the axe head gives a good leverage
  • The ‘hawk is sturdy when prying
  • The ‘hawk looks great and the slim profile is elegant
  • The axe head cuts through walls and rope
  • The hammer head is great for smashing door knobs, locking devices

There are some minor issues to the Gerber Downrange so here are the cons:

  • The ‘hawk is longer than a common tomahawk
  • The sheath needs to be better as it’s rather flimsy at the moment
  • The blade is dull
  • It’s difficult to remove the tomahawk from the carrier
  • The Molle case is not very long lasting

All in all, for the money you pay, you get a good, versatile and reliable tomahawk.


Best Tactical Tomahawk

For your heavy duty tactical missions, a good, reliable, long lasting tomahawk is the Hardcore Hardware Australia BFT01-G Tactical Tomahawk Black G-10. The pros are as follows:

  • The tomahawk is 18.4inches long
  • The construction and design are modern and efficient
  • The tomahawk comes with a non-prohibited design
  • The tomahawk is made of heavy duty, durable D2 stainless steel
  • The D2 steel is a rugged, reliable steel for the heavy duty uses
  • The BFT-01 has a low-vex Teflon coating finish
  • The ‘hawk is great for extreme penetration/demolition of light steel and brick
  • The ‘hawk gets through car doors, chain links or even puncture steel radial tires
  • The BFT01-G comes with a full handle encapsulation
  • There are G10 handle scales
  • The scales are tapered and have a good texture for double-handed grip
  • The handle is comfortable even after long periods of carrying
  • The handle pommel is extended and exposed and you may use it as a pry
  • There are dual lanyard holes for the attachment of a small carabineer or rope fastening point
  • The ‘hawk comes with Kydex sheath
  • The sheath is ambidextrous
  • The sheath is pre-fitted Molle Lock designed
  • There is Tek-Lok belt/strap mounting system on the sheath so that you may carry the ‘hawk vertically, horizontally or in an angled position
  • The eyelet holes on both sides of the sheath lets you alternate the attachment to the body or gear with the help from paracord or cable ties
  • The ‘hawk remains tight in the sheath thanks to the friction lock system
  • The quick release safety strap with press-stud adds more retention also
  • The ‘hawk is heavyweight
  • The Tanto point is narrow and penetrates deep
  • The ‘hawk has a mounting system that is military ready

As for the cons, here are ours:

  • The BFT01 is a very long tomahawk and it’s not for extended carry
  • The tomahawk is on the heavy weight side
  • The price is not low, but you make a good investment with it

For the tactical mission, the BFT01-G is a great option and you need to be up to par for its capabilities.


Best Throwing Tomahawk

Lightweight and ready to take on various challenges, the American LaGana Vietnam Tactical Tomahawk is remarkable especially for throwing. Our pros are as follows:

  • The tomahawk is made of drop-forged 1060 steel
  • The steel is long lasting and strong as it’s HRC 52-54
  • The handle is made of tough modified nylon
  • The oval design makes the tomahawk great for throwing
  • The index finger grooves give a better grip
  • The ‘hawk is 14” long overall
  • The ‘hawk comes with a sheath
  • The sheath is made of jumpable, heavy duty nylon
  • The sheath is Molle compatible
  • You may use LaGana for building shelters, for cutting firewood, self-defense, aircraft extraction
  • LaGana is long lasting and very sharp
  • It’s easy to carry the LaGana around
  • The ‘hawk has a great construction
  • The ‘hawk is well balanced
  • The tomahawk is amazing for chopping and throwing
  • The head is attached with a long hex bolt that runs through the top of the handle
  • The tomahawk is well priced
  • The LaGana is made in our USA

There are some things that we don’t like that much about this LaGana so here are the cons:

  • The handle is kind of slick
  • The sheath is efficient but has cheap feeling
  • The buckle clips of the sheath could be of better quality
  • The handle has a cheesy texturing, but it still works
  • The tomahawk is not for chopping wood

All in all, for the challenges that involve lots of throwing, the LaGana is the ‘hawk to get.

Best Survival Tomahawk

For the survival mission, you need a versatile, reliable, strong and yet easy to carry around tomahawk. The Columbia River Knife and Tool 2725 Kangee T-Hawk Tomahawk with Spike meets the requirements and here are its pros:

  • The tomahawk has an axe and spike head configuration
  • The Kangee hawk is almost 15” long overall
  • The Kangee T-Hawk is a made of single-piece high carbon steel
  • The Kangee T-Hawk is well balanced
  • The ‘hawk comes with a form-fitting Kydex sheath with secure buckle strap
  • There are various carry options for the sheath
  • The sheath is Molle compatible
  • The sheath features a shoulder strap
  • There is glass reinforced nylon handles
  • The ‘hawk has a good grip thanks to the curved handle
  • The finger grip choil along the front gives more control over the ‘hawk
  • The full-length handle scales are checkered and increase the grip
  • You may easily remove the handle scales for cleaning
  • There is an ergonomic feel to the ‘hawk
  • The blade is made of sharp and strong SK5 carbon steel on one end and an aggressive spike on the other
  • The blade features tapered cutting edges for better splitting, chopping or shaving
  • The ‘hawk has a great weight for its size
  • The ‘hawk comes with limited lifetime warranty

When it comes to the cons, we need to mention ours:

  • The blade tends to chip
  • The grip could be thinner

All in all, for the confidence it gives out on the field, the Kangee T-Hawk makes a great choice for your survival missions.


Best Combat Tomahawk

 Perfectly balanced and strong, the American Tomahawk ATCQCT CQC-T Emerson Design makes a great choice when you’re looking for a combat tomahawk. Here are the pros:

  • The tomahawk has a 14” length overall
  • The axe head is made of strong, durable 4140 alloy steel
  • The ‘hawk comes with 2 5/8” cutting edge
  • The handle is made of long lasting black textured nylon
  • There are O-rings on the handle for more retention
  • The grip is very good thanks to the retention rings
  • The ‘hawk comes with a black heavy nylon sheath
  • It’s easy to carry around the ‘hawk thanks to the sheath
  • The sheath also gives you weapon sling adaptability to the ‘hawk
  • The CQC-T fits nicely on the belt and hangs free
  • The handle design and the blade geometry make the ‘hawk perfect for aggressive cutting
  • You may use this for chopping and in your combat missions
  • The ‘hawk is simple, yet efficient due to its unique design
  • The CQC-T is fast, lightweight and precise
  • The tomahawk is strong
  • There is a good feel to the hand when holding the ‘hawk
  • The ‘hawk is made in our USA

When it comes to the parts we’re not very fond of, there are few minor things to mention. Here are the cons:

  • The handle is made of plastic. Long lasting, heavy duty, but plastic…
  • The sheath needs to be improved as at the moment it leaves a cheap feel. It’s just a regular sheath that accidentally fits the tomahawk
  • You shouldn’t throw the CQC-T as it has a curved edge
  • Over time, you need to replace the O-rings in the handle
  • The newer models don’t come with the top four O-rings so they feature a stronger, more robust handles

Despite these cons, we still think this tomahawk makes a great buy for your combat challenges.


Best Fighting Tomahawk

An efficient and great tomahawk for fighting is the Fox Small ATC Commanche Fighting Tomahawk. Designed by a US designer, the Fox Small ATC Commanche Fighting tomahawk has many nice features so here are our pros:

  • The ‘hawk may be used in extreme situations and may be precisely thrown just as well
  • The tomahawk is made by US Special Forces specifications
  • The ‘hawk comes with a sea-bird design
  • There is full tank construction on the ‘hawk
  • The tomahawk features one solid piece of metal all the way through which makes it great for the heavy duty fighting tasks
  • The ‘hawk has holes throughout the handle which make the ‘hawk lightweight
  • The ATC Commanche is very well balanced
  • The handle is made of durable G10 stainless steel
  • The blade is made of N690Co stainless steel
  • The grip is great
  • The blade is sharp and you need to be very careful even when sliding the sheath
  • The ‘hawk is easy to maneuver
  • The Fox ATC Commanche is efficient for the advanced techniques
  • The edge is durable and even after severe chopping doesn’t chip
  • The handle comes with a great design and the holes helps you attach a lanyard paracord for easier carrying
  • The sheath comes with Velcro loops and button closures
  • The sheath is OD green cordura
  • The ‘hawk is black non-stick coated

There are some parts we like less on the Fox ATC Commanche so here are the cons:

  • The sheath has a strange design and you need to be careful when sliding it
  • The price is a bit high, but the ‘hawk worth every single penny

All in all, for the money you pay you get a great fighting tomahawk that lasts forever.

Best Bushcraft Tomahawk

Even though it’s not specifically designed for bushcraft, the Timberline Tomahawk CBT Combat Breaching Tool is nevertheless efficient when it comes to it. Here are the pros to sustain that:

  • The Timberline Tomahawk is almost 17” long overall
  • The blade is made of 440C Stainless steel
  • The blade is strong and sharp
  • The black matte finish on the blade gives the ‘hawk a sleek look
  • The blade has Titanium coating which makes it long lasting and ready for the heavy duty jobs
  • The handle is made of TPR, which is a durable thermoplastic rubber
  • The pry end with nail puller and wire cutter make this efficient on the bush craft
  • The ‘hawk features gas valve shut-off wrench
  • The ‘hawk comes with a custom nylon sheath
  • The sheath protects the edge and the head also
  • There are positive buckle closures on the sheath
  • The sheath comes with Molle loops, straps and snaps and grommets for paracord attachment
  • The head is crafted with two smooth surfaces to secure and hook limbs for control tactics
  • The RAP (rear application piece) is great for cutting, puncture and maximum penetration
  • The forward edge gives constant contact on impact
  • The ‘hawk has a smooth and straight construction on the top spine which makes the ‘hawk great as an impact tool
  • The grip is good and secure
  • The ‘hawk gives good shock absorption and is long lasting

As for the parts we like less, we only need to mention the following cons:

  • The ‘hawk is rather long so it gets tricky to carry it in a backpack
  • The ‘hawk has a sturdy built and a strong body which adds weight to it so it’s not the lightest ‘hawks out there

Best Value Tomahawk/For The Money

An efficient, low priced but high quality tomahawk is the Sog Specialty Knives F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk. Here are our pros:

  • The tomahawk is versatile and you may use it for excavation, breaching operations, obstacle removal, extraction and so on
  • The Sog F01TN-CP is an updated version of the Vietnam Tomahawk
  • The handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon
  • The handle is very strong
  • The head is made of 2.75-inch stainless steel
  • The head is solidly attached to the handle with 4 star screws
  • the Sog F01TN-CP comes with a nylon carry sheath
  • The price is great for the quality you get
  • The tomahawk has a nice look
  • The blade is very sharp and efficient
  • The blade holds the edge
  • The ‘hawk has a good build
  • There is good balance for the SOG
  • The grip is good, even though the tomahawk is rather small
  • The SOG is lightweight and easy to handle
  • The ‘hawk is great for entry level
  • The tomahawk takes well every day challenges
  • The opposite pick end is very functional
  • The pick is flared at the end so it makes a larger wound channel and removes easily
  • The ‘hawk has metal reinforcement around the area where the metal shaft meets the nylon handle
  • The SOG comes with lifetime warranty

There are some things that need to be improved on the SOG F01TN-CP so here are the cons:

  • The blade might loosen after a while
  • When you sweat, the handle becomes slick
  • The sheath is not very useful
  • The diameter of the handle is rather small so the tomahawk doesn’t fit all palms

Despite the minor issues, the SOG F01TN-CP is still a great tool for backpacking, at a great price.


Best Quality Tomahawk

Once you’ve come to the conclusion that you need a tomahawk, it’s only a matter of time until you realize that the more you pay for it, the longer it stays around. So when pay some extra money for your ‘hawk, it’s almost sure you’re not going to get a lemon. It’s the case of the Hardcore Hardware Australia HCBFT01GBGB Tactical Tomahawk that is willing to take all the heavy duty jobs that you’re putting it through, for many years, if not for a lifetime.

Here are the pros:

  • The Hardcore HCBFT01GBGB is a one-piece D2 tool steel
  • The ‘hawk comes with black Teflon coating
  • The length is 18 3/8” overall
  • The handles are made of black G-10 which means durability and toughness
  • The ‘hawk is versatile and is able to take any extreme use as an impact/MOE tool
  • The modified tanto point spike gives deep penetration
  • The chisel point on the pommel is great for prying
  • The ‘hawk is efficient when cutting, climbing, smashing windows, hammering, digging, chopping
  • The full handle encapsulation with the G10 handle scales give a good and sturdy grip
  • The handle scales are slightly tapered and well textured for high double-handed grip
  • The ‘hawk is comfortable to grip even after prolonged use
  • There are dual lanyard holes on the handle for the attachment of a small carabiner
  • You may use the exposed handle pommel also as a pry
  • The ‘hawk comes with a customizable sheath
  • The sheath is Kydex ambidextrous and comes with pre-fitted Molle-Lock’s so that fits most common assault platforms
  • The sheath features a Tek-Lok belt/strap mounting system that may be placed in an angles position, vertically or horizontally
  • You may also attach the sheath to the body or gear with a paracord/cable ties thanks to the eyelet holes on the blade carrier
  • The ‘hawk is placed tightly in the sheath due to the friction lock system
  • The quick release safety strap with press-stud adds retention to the tomahawk
  • The BFT-01 has a non-prohibited design but you need to carry your local laws related to it

As for the cons, apart from the price and the weight, which are both on the high end, we have nothing else to complain about.