Tactical tomahawks have received a lot of recognition lately, and not just from the wannabe zombie hunters out there.
In today’s tactical landscape, these weapons are being adopted into the arsenals of law enforcement, rescue personnel, and even active duty military.
This begs the question: Which one do you buy?
Recently, I talked tomahawk shopping with the American Tomahawk Company's Eric Fehrman.
Here's a summary of what he told me.
3 Things To Look For In A Tactical Tomahawk
The fireman’s axe was long a staple of rescue equipment, and for obvious reasons: It provided leverage and allowed rescuers to make their way through obstacles.
The tomahawk does this as well, while also giving first responders and other emergency personnel a very effective means of defending themselves.
The versatility, the effectiveness of the tomahawk as both a tool and a weapon, has made it a valuable piece of equipment worthy of a closer inspection for anyone who’s serious about survival in a multitude of scenarios.
Tomahawks are everywhere now: in catalogs, on every knife website, on social media (where companies do giveaways and promotions) and at gun shows.
(They’re even easily found in sporting goods stores now.)
With all these options, however, there are certain features that you should consider when you purchase a tomahawk to add to your arsenal of survival tools and weapons.
That's because all tomahawks are NOT created equal.
Consider the following, then, when you're shopping.
1. Buy A Trusted Brand
The first thing you should look for in a ‘hawk is a trusted brand, a manufacturer who is well known and has a good reputation.
Because of the rise in popularity of the tomahawk, cheap knockoffs and junk made anonymously somewhere in China is all over the market.
(A lot of the cheap tomahawks look and feel like junk because that is what they are.)
They are cheaply made and will break easily. Many have substandard sheaths, too.
If either the tool or its carry system breaks when you need it most, you are trusting your life to a piece of cheap garbage.
Avoid the no-name brands and go with a tomahawk that comes from an established manufacturer known for its quality.
2. Make Sure It Offers Good Utility
Don’t select a ‘hawk simply because it “looks cool” or even because it looks especially intimidating.
Tomahawks are intimidating and wicked looking pieces of gear, yes, but there are a lot of “fantasy” tomahawks on the market that look scary.
They’re full of strange curves, spikes, and other details that serve no real value other than to make them look fierce.
Chances are a tomahawk like this will break when you need it most, no matter how “bad” it looks.
Don’t buy something because it’s painted bright green and has the word “zombie” on it, either.
Instead, buy a tomahawk that is compact, lightweight, and has the features you believe will be most useful.
Another thing that people often overlook when it comes to ‘hawks is the sheath.
(Some manufacturers offer really terrible “sheaths” with their tactical tomahawks, flimsy pieces of nylon that are really just blade covers.)
Look for one that has a sheath that won’t fall apart soon after you start carrying it.
3. Look For A Strong Handle To Head Join
Most axe, hatchet, and tomahawk failures happen where the handle meets the head.
Look for a good ‘hawk that has a strong, sturdy joining of the head to the handle, so that you know it is a point of strength rather than weakness.
(Some synthetic handles offer better strength than wood.)
Test the head of the tomahawk to see if it shifts in your hand when you grip it and the handle and try to move the two.
Tomahawks are very useful tools.
Shopping for one requires that you pay attention to these details.
If you follow these guidelines, you will find a weapon that is right for you.