Fiskars X7 Hatchet

Fiskars X7 Hatchet Review

Fiskars  X7 Hatchet – 14-Inch

Fiska Fiskars X7 14-Inch Hatchetrs is a Finnish company with over 350 years of tool making history. It’s hard to argue with a heritage like. Although an old company, Fiskars prides themselves on innovation and have developed what they consider a cutting edge axe. The Fiskars X7 uses advanced blade geometry, a wedge shaped head, and a special low friction coating. The lightness of this axe contributes to a faster swing speed and deeper cutting.

All X-Series axes feature a smart design that distributes the majority of the weight to the axe head while keeping the stronger-than-steel FiberComp handle lightweight. This perfected weight distribution provides an optimal power-to-weight ratio that increases swing speed to multiply power, much like an aluminum baseball bat. X-Series axes give you more power at impact to help you get more done with every swing.

The X7 maximizes power to weight ratio by using a lightweight FiberComp handle which leaLength: 14 inch  Weight: 1.7 lbs  Handle: Steel  Edge: 3.25 in  Poll: Flat  Steel: Forged tool steelves most of the
weight in the head and at the point of impact. this 14 inch composite handle has a rubberized coating for added grip and is excellent in wet weather or in conditions that would be detrimental to a wooden handle.

Traditionalists may be suspect of the comp handle but they have proven durable under normal use, even in over-strike situations. The comp handle has shock absorbing qualities and a Permahead design that is over-molded to the head to eliminating the possibility of head separation.

However, the joint where the handle wraps the head can get wood splinters jammed in it and cause cracking if not cleared. This is serious consideration especially if you are doing deeper cuts where the wood can get wedged in this space.

The 20 oz head on the Fiskars X7 hatchet  is  drop forged stainless with a double-hardened bit with a  Rockwell hardness of 45-50 on the 2-3/4 inch edge. Fiskars bevel convex blade geometry claims to add more power and wood dispersion for cleaner, one-strike splits. This proprietary edge bevel creates a durable cutting edge that stays sharp. If you regrind this edge, to a thinner bevel, you may not retain the same edge durability. This is a straight wedge shaped head which aids splitting but may affect deep cuts.

This Fiskars comes with kind of an interesting sheath. Its plastic with a quick release and handle built in. I see this as more of a blade cover and way to hang it in the garage. Its not much of a holster for mounting and I wouldn’t trust the quick release on a long hike through the brush. Definitely losing points in the sheath department.

If one can get over traditionalist attitudes and see this Fiskars X7 hatchet for what it is; a lightweight axe with excellent performance and price from a trusted company, it will be a serious contender for for capable hatchet for most folks. The field reviews back this axe up.

Here is an excellent additional review on Bladeforums.com by coloradowildman that has more info on the Fiskars X7.

See customer reviews at Amazon here.

Length: 14 inch

Weight: 1.4 lbs

Handle: FiberComp

Edge: 3 in

Poll: Flat

Steel: Drop forged stainless 

Estwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet

Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet Review

Estwing E24A Review

Estwing E24A

 

Photos by Robert S Donovan

 

Estwing is a well-known axe and tool manufacturer located in the Chicago area. They have been manufacturing tools since 1923 andEstwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet  if you are a carpenter or tradesman, you have probably owned and appreciated an Estwing hammer. Their American made hatchets are also great and maybe the best value for the price in this group.

The Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet is a very popular hatchet for a number of reasons. First, the one-piece forged steel design means you will never have to replace the handle under normal circumstances. The full-tang 14 inch steel handle is wrapped with stacked leather washers and polished, resulting in a firm and comfortable grip.

One drawback of that full-tang handle may be the fact that some shock from striking and splitting is transferred to your hand, more so than a traditional wooden axe handle but its not excessive. It’s likely that the hatchet will be used in short periods of time and leather handle wrap also helps. The one complaint made against this hatchet is the ultra thin section of handle between the axe head and the grip. It’s plenty strong enough at this size but not practical for holding if one were to want choke up to do some carving or close work.

TEstwing E24A Sheathhe hatchet is just under one pound and the narrow head has a 3.25 inch cutting edge. The cutting edge holds its sharpness well and only requires minimal dressing during normal use. Although the axe head and cheeks are quite thin, the cutting edge is a bit thicker than one would expect making penetration a bit of an issue and rendering it mediocre for carving or shaping work.

The lightweight design however, makes this a great camp axe and the included leather sheath makes transport and handling safe.

The leather sheath that is included is nicely tooled and of a high quality with belt slot and utilizes an open poll which is preferred for safe hammering tasks without removing the sheath.

Although it lacks the traditional Hickory handle,  this Estwing E24A review revealed a quality hatchet with good cutting ability and edge retention and the one-piece construction  is practically indestructible. The leather handle and tooled sheath get high marks and for most people, this is a great little utility hatchet selection.

See the other hatchet reviews here.

Estwing E24A by Robert S Donavan

See Amazon customer reviews here.

Length: 14 inch

Weight: 1.7 lbs

Handle: Steel

Edge: 3.25 in

Poll: Flat

Steel: Forged tool steel

A great review from the good folks at Black Owl Outdoors, check them out

 
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet 2

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet Review

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

 Gransfors Bruks Wildlife HatchetLocated in the Swedish village of Gränsfors, the Gransfors Bruks Forge has been making axes for over 100 years and their reputation is worldwide. All the axes produced by Gränsfors Bruk are hand forged and they are so proud of the workmanship of their smiths that each axe head is marked with the identity of the man who made. The heads are minimally finished, just on the cutting edge so evidence of the quality forging is seen on the axe.

In addition to this hand built tradition, Gransfors also has made a commitment to the environment and only uses environmentally friendly materials in the production of their axes such as foregoing paint and epoxy adhesives on their handles and using no harsh chemicals when tanning leather for their sheaths. 

Gransfors hatchets are well-renowned for their quality axes and their Wildlife Hatchet is no exception. The Hickory handled hatchet is 13.5 inches long, perfect for one handed use and carries a one pound head with a 3 inch cutting edge. It’s handy and easy to carry at 1.3 pounds, great for backpacking and trekking. Unlike most utility hatchets, the Gransfors has an extended beard on the edge which is great for protecting you hand while choked up on the handle for carving, shaving or other close work.

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

The handle of the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is 14 inches long and made from Hickory, pre-drilled for a lanyard and embossed with the GB logo mid-span. It includes a Swedish made tanned leather sheath that will protect you and the blade during transport. A smart feature on this sheath is that it leaves the axe poll exposed while the edge is covered. This allows the hatchet to be used for driving tent stakes or striking without having to remove the sheath.

We love everything from Gransfors Bruks, their hand forged axe heads, stamped with the initials of the forger, the narrow head and extended beard, the minimal finish on the Swedish steel, the simple, effective and beautiful Hickory handle, and the all around performance. The Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is no exception. If you need one hatchet to last a lifetime, this is it.

See Amazon customer reviews here

See other hatchet reviews here

Length: 13.5 in

Weight: 1.3 lbs

Handle: Hickory

Edge: 3 in

Poll: Flat

Base: Hand forged steel

 

Featured image courtesy of Andy Carter
 
 

 

How to Choose the Best Hatchet

Which Hatchet is the Best for you?

The hatchet is essentially a short axe and has been around for thousands of years. In fact, the word hatchet is taken form the French word hache, a word of Germanic origin meaning axe. The hatchet has a half-length or shorter handle than an axe, making it easy to use with one hand.

Besides the obvious uses of cutting small pieces or wood or branches, making kindling and hammering, the axe is very useful for cleaning and dressing game animals or domestic stock. Butchering requires cutting through bone and cartilage and a sharp hatchet is perfect for that task.

The hatchet may be the ‘jack of all trades’ when it comes to axes. It falls usually in the 12-18” handle range, perfect for one handed use, with a 1-1.5 pound head. The handle is often shaped for a better grip and in some cases hatches are made of a one-piece metal handle/head combo such as those from the Estwing Company.

The small size makes it perfect for camping and storing in a vehicle, but even this lightweight axe can be put to bigger jobs with a sharp edge and some patience. It’s a must have for your axe collection and indispensable around the campsite. Here is info to help you choose the best hatchet.

 

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

 Gransfors Bruks Wildlife HatchetLocated in the Swedish village of Gränsfors, the Gransfors Bruks Forge has been making axes for over 100 years and their reputation is worldwide. 

All the axes produced by Gränsfors Bruk are hand forged and they are so proud of the workmanship of their smiths that each axe head is marked with the identity of the man who made. The heads are minimally finished, just on the cutting edge so evidence of the quality forging is seen on the axe.

In addition to this handbuilt tradition, Gransfors also has made a commitment to the environment and only uses environmentally friendly materials in the production of their axes such as foregoing paint and epoxy adhesives on their handles and using no harsh chemicals when tanning leather for their sheaths. 

Gransfors is well-renowned for their quality axes and their Wildlife Hatchet is no exception. The Hickory handled hatchet is13.5 inches long, perfect for one handed use and carries a one pound head with a 3 inch cutting edge. It’s handy and easy to carry at 1.3 pounds, great for backpacking and trekking. Unlike most utility hatchets, the Gransfors has an extended beard on the edge which is great for protecting you hand while choked up on the handle for carving, shaving or other close work.

The handle is 13.5 inches long and made from Hickory, pre-drilled for a lanyard and embossed with the GB logo mid-span. It includes a Swedish made tanned leather sheath that will protect you and the blade during transport. A smart feature on this sheath is that it leaves the axe poll exposed while the edge is covered. This allows the hatchet to be used for driving tent stakes or striking without having to remove the sheath.

We love everything from Gransfors Bruks, their hand forged axe heads, stamped with the initials of the forger, the narrow head and extended beard, the minimal finish on the Swedish steel, the simple, effective and beautiful Hickory handle, and the all around performance. The Wildlife Hatchet is no exception. If you need one hatchet to last a lifetime, this is it.

SEE THE FULL REVIEW HERE…

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet review

Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet

Estwing is a well-known axe and tool manufacturer located in the Chicago area. They have been manufacturing tools since 1923 andEstwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet if you are a carpenter or tradesman, you have probably owned and appreciated an Estwing hammer. Their American made hatchets are also great and maybe the best value for the price in this group.

The Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet is a very popular hatchet for a number of reasons. First, the one-piece forged steel design means you will never have to replace the handle under normal circumstances. The full-tang 14 inch steel handle is wrapped with stacked leather washers and polished, resulting in a firm and comfortable grip.

TEstwing E24A Sheathhe hatchet is just under one pound and the narrow head has a 3.25 inch cutting edge. The cutting edge holds its sharpness well and only requires minimal dressing during normal use.

The lightweight design makes this a great camp axe and the included leather sheath makes transport and handling safe.

The leather sheath that is included is nicely tooled and of a high quality with belt slot and utilizes an open poll which is preferred for safe hammering tasks without removing the sheath.

Although it lacks the traditional Hickory handle,  this quality Estwing hatchet is practically indestructible and a great bargain and for most people, will last a lifetime.

The hatchet is just under one pound and the narrow head has a 3.25 inch cutting edge. The cutting edge holds its sharpness well and only requires minimal dressing during normal use.

SEE THE FULL REVIEW HERE…

Estwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet Review

Fiskars  X7 14-Inch Hatchet

 Fiskars X7 14-Inch HatchetFiskars is a Finnish company with over 350 years of tool making history. It’s hard to argue with a heritage like. Although an old company, Fiskars prides themselves on innovation and have developed what they consider a cutting edge axe. The X7 uses advanced blade geometry, a wedge shaped head, and a special low friction coating. The lightness of this axe contributes to a faster swing speed and deeper cutting.

All X-Series axes feature a smart design that distributes the majority of the weight to the axe head while keeping the stronger-than-steel FiberComp handle lightweight. This perfected weight distribution provides an optimal power-to-weight ratio that increases swing speed to multiply power, much like an aluminum baseball bat. X-Series axes give you more power at impact to help you get more done with every swing.

The X7 maximizes power to weight ratio by using a lightweight FiberComp handle which leaves most of the weight in the head and at the point of impact. this 14 inch composite handle has a rubberized coating for added grip and is excellent in wet weather or in conditions that would be detrimental to a wooden handle. Traditionalists may be suspect of the comp handle but they have proven durable under normal use, even in over-strike situations. The comp handle has shock absorbing qualities and a Permahead design that is over-molded to the head to eliminating the possibility of head separation.

However, the joint where the handle wraps the head can get wood splinters jammed in it and cause cracking if not cleared. This is serious consideration especially if you are doing deeper cuts where the wood can get wedged in this space.

The 20 oz head is  drop forged stainless with a double-hardened bit with a  Rockwell hardness of 45-50 on the 2-3/4 inch edge. Fiskars bevel convex blade geometry claims to add more power and wood dispersion for cleaner, one-strike splits. This proprietary edge bevel creates a durable cutting edge that stays sharp. If you regrind this edge, to a thinner bevel, you may not retain the same edge durability.

If one can get over traditionalist attitudes and see this Fiskars hatchet for what it is; a lightweight axe with excellent performance and price from a trusted company, it will be a serious contender for for capable hatchet for most folks.

SEE THE FULL REVIEW HERE…

 Fiskars X7 Hatchet Review

 

 

 

 

 

Splitting Maul Guide & Reviews

Which Splitting Maul is Right for You?

The Gransfors Bruks Splitting maul and the Condor Tools German Style Spliting Axe are both outstanding axesThese are the big boys. No need for finesse here. The splitting maul uses a 6-8 pound head swinging on a long straight handle to split end-standing cut logs along their grain. The long handle allows for more swinging force, leverage when prying the axe out of wood rounds, and also keeps any missed swings in the ground and away from your feet. The handles are usually Hickory, and straight with a round profile that allows hands to easily slide when setting up for big overhead swings.

It has a wide, sharply tapering head to push the wood apart along its grain. The shape of the head has a rounder profile with no long flat areas to avoid getting stuck and a wide flat butt end to use as a hammer when using a splitter on large uncooperative blocks of wood.

Keep in mind that the maul is the only axe designed to hit another tool such as a splitting wedge. Most other single bit axes use the back of the head as a weight only (with a few exceptions). The splitting maul is a must have if you are splitting wood for burning.

The splitting maul is probably the least exciting  of all the axes, but it is indispensable for firewood and your collection deserves a quality choice that will last a lifetime. Below is some information to help you choose the best splitting maul.

 

                                                                                                                                                     Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

Located in the Swedish village of Gränsfors, the Gransfors Bruks Forge has been making axes for over 100 years and their reputation is worldwide. 

All the axes produced by Gränsfors Bruk are hand forged and they are so proud of the workmanship of their smiths that each axe head is marked with the identity of the man who made. The heads are minimally finished, just on the cutting edge so evidence of the quality forging is seen on the axe.

In addition to this handbuilt tradition, the Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul team has made a commitment to the environment and only uses environmentally friendly materials in the production of their axes such as foregoing paint and epoxy adhesives on their handles and using no harsh chemicals when tanning leather for their sheaths. 

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul Review

 

Condor Tool German Style Spliting Axe

Founded in 1787 in Solingen, Germany the Condor Tool & Knife Company are legendary sword makers and have a long heritage in creating superior steel products. Some of the companies manufacturing has since been relocated some  to Santa Ana, El Salvadore (including this axe) but Condor has maintained a good reputation with their current products.

It’s a stretch to call this German style splitting axe a maul, due to its lightweight cutting head, but its unique features make it an interesting option and one that might work well for folks that do occasional work on softer wood splitting and could benefit fromCondor tools splitting maul the reduction in weight.

The head on this Condor is  7 in. overall with a 3.5 inch and is made from   1045 high carbon forged steel with minimal finishing. It weighs just 4.5 pounds which seems featherweight in comparison to the other axes in this class and what makes it really unique is the German style design.

On each cheek of the head is a polished and raised flare that transitions from the cutting edge into a narrow ridge for spreading the cut during penetration. This reduced cheek contact area on the Condor Splitting Axe helps drive penetration into the cut and reduces sticking significantly.

Read the rest of the review here…

Condor tools splitting axe review

 

 

felling axe in stump

American Felling Axe Guide

 What is an American Felling Axe?

The development of the American Felling axe parallels that of the Hudson Bay axe and the designs are similar in the sense that they both evolved away from the European head designs that they originated with. The early European head designs were forged from a single piece of metal ‘wrapped’ into a round eye with no poll. This resulted in two less-than desirable features.

First, the lack of a poll meant that the head was bit-heavy and not well balanced. Swinging the axe hard resulted in wobbling with diminished accuracy. The second problem was the narrow head of the cutting edge widened abruptly into the round eye and prevented the ax from driving deep into a cut or getting wedged into notches.

As the American felling ax and the shorter Hudson Bay ax evolved the heads became narrower creating a tool that could plunge deep into a cut, and be easily removed. This narrow design created the oval shaped eye most commonly seen on modern axes. On some designs the cheeks were fluted which changed the cheek surface area to help prevent sticking in the cut.

The next substantial change was the addition of a poll on the back of the head. This greatly improved the balance of the axe, smoothed the swing and provided additional weight for driving cuts. The typical head weight was 2.5 – 3.5 pounds making an axe that was tough enough to topple trees but of a reasonable size to pack into the woods. Some felling axes were designed with a “double bit” head to provide two cutting profiles one for chopping and one for limb work or for work close to the ground where a more durable profile was necessary.

The handle length varied but ended up somewhere in the 28-36 inch range and access to the resilient and tough American Hickory wood provided a perfect complement to the new designs. The hickory was rigid and durable enough to work in the new slimmer eye that the narrow felling axe head demanded. The handles were also made with a curve for added grip and control when swinging which greatly improved handling.

If any axe can be considered a jack of all trades, it’s the American felling axe; built to drop trees but light enough for smaller jobs and reasonable to pack around. If you can only buy one axe, choosing a quality felling axe is a smart move. Here is some info to help you choose the best felling axe.

 

Council Velvicut American Felling Axe

Council Velvicut American Felling Axe

This axe is from Council Tool’s premium line “Velvicut” and a fine example of an American style felling axe. Council prides themselves on being made in the USA and hand-finished.

The head is made from 5160 grade drop forged alloy steel. After forging and shaping they are heat treated and hardened to Rc 52-56 specifications. The final finish of the bit is done by hand by experienced forgers, sharpening and applying a final leather stropping.

Although smoothed and polished, the Council Velvicut American Felling Axe doesn’t insist on cleaning up all the forging marks and as a result, each axe head is unique, a look that Council says ‘adds character’. 

The final result is a 4 pound head with a 4.5 inch cutting edge in a Dayton shape. It has a narrow profile that smoothly transitions in width towards the eye and the cheeks are slightly beveled at the top and bottom of the head, helping to minimize pinching when making deep cuts.

The handle as you would expect is American Hickory with straight grain oriented to the head. It has a mixture of heartwood (red) and sapwood (white) and is mounted in the eye in the traditional manner with a wood wedge secured with a metal pin. The profile is on the narrow side with a slight curve along its 35-3/8 inch length .

A leather sheath is included with this axe and features a buckle for fastening and an embossed logo. This is an an American made axe with excellent features, good balance, and great performance at a reasonable cost.  The Velvicut American Felling Axe from Council is a quality axe that you can depend on and it will likely be the last felling axe you may need to buy.

 

 

An awesome felling axe video by the Adirondack Woodsman

hudson bay velvicut

Hudson Bay Axe Guide

The Famous Hudson Bay Axe Style

The Hudson Bay axe sometimes referred to as a ¾ axe, originated in Europe and got its name from French Hudson Bay traders who appreciated the smaller size for tramping through trap lines in Northeaster Canada during the 18th and 19th century fur trade era. This axe style was heavily traded with Native Americans and became the basis for many of the steel tomahawks prized by natives.

The head shape of the Hudson Bay axe has roots in Northern Spain and France and was originally made from a single piece of iron and later steel wrapped into a circular eye. The round eye made in-field repairs easier but sacrificed a usable poll end. Later designs of this single bit axe, used a square hammer poll which added and effective tool end and allowed for a slimmer, better balanced head. The overall design of the Hudson Bay axe head was a wide edge with beard but a narrow profile, perfect for chopping and chip throwing.

Modern Hudson Bay style axes are still prized today for their effectiveness and versatility and the familiar shape has been the inspiration for many custom made and boutique axe makers. Today’s Hudson Bay axe carries a head of around 2 pounds and a 22-28 inch handle and is well adapted to limbing and felling of small trees and light splitting.

The Hudson Bay axe is a good size utility axe to have in your collection regardless of the amount of beaver traps you plan to run through the neighborhood and it will be at home around the campsite or for light felling excursions. Here are some of the best Hudson Bay axes available for reasonable budgets.

 

 

hudson bay velvicut

This Hudson from Council Tool is part of their Velvicut Premium line. It has a 2 pound head made from forged 5160 alloy steel which is hand shaped and sharpened before leaving the factory.

Council Tools are known for creating well-balanced tools and this Hudson with its 24″ Appalachian Hickory handle is no exception. The hickory selected for their handles is durable and hard with a natural shock absorbing ability.

Council tool also has a patented wedge design that expands the handle in the eye of the head both horizontally and vertically for a superior fit. Council tool are American made and ready to work straight out of the box. A fine choice in a Hudson Axe.

 

 

 

Snow and Nealley Hudson Bay Axe

 

 

Snow and Nealley has been making quality steel tools since 1864. They have a long and respected history in Maine and they have a very nice Hudson Bay axe that’s proven its worth for generations.

It has a 1 3/4 pound forged steel head with a blade edge of 4 inches and 21 inch handle. It also included a leather blade guard. Reports are that this axe will need some finishing and sharpening on arrival but that is always a good idea anyway.

* It has recently come to light that Snow and Neally are having their axe heads manufactured in China and doing the hardening and finishing in the USA. Although many reviews are good, keep this in mind when selecting your axe. 

 

For information on other axe types, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

RMJ Tactical Shrike Tomahawk Review

Is the RMJ Tactical Shrike the Best Tomahawk available?

RMJ Tactical hails from the great southern city of Chattanooga, TN and they have been at this tomahawk business for decades. In the past they made more historical versions of hawks and reproductions for camping and such, but they have changed with the times and now are one of the most respected names in police, fire, military, and tactical applications. The RMJ Tactical Shrike Tomahawk is their crowning achievement.

RMJ Shrike tactical Tomahawk

The RMJ Tactical Shrike Tomahawk is constructed of 4140 chromoly steel for its high tensile strength in material 3/8 in thick. It’s differentially heat treated meaning the material is first heat treated and the edges are then flame hardened. This means that the handle is tough and resilient while the edges are hard, to hold their sharpness. The head has a narrow design with a wide cutting front edge transitioning into an edged back blade on the beard used for pulling and tearing. The front edge and spike are flat ground which gives them the best durability during impacts. The spike is long and narrow and built for penetration more than cutting; this is no delicate cutting tool. It will easily piece a steel door, or heavy tire.

rmj shrike handle

The one-piece handle is on the shorter end of the spectrum at 15.5 in and is oval shaped for added control and to reduce twisting during heavy impact and it has a very cool feature, it’s covered in High durometer rubber which not only makes it comfortable, but gives it electrical resistance of up to 2500 volts; something that is not found on many hawks and imminently important if you are extracting though buildings. Another brilliant feature is that the hardened 4140 end cap unscrews to provide access to a sharpening stone that is provided with the RMJ Tactical Shrike.

 

rmj shrike tomahawk

The kydex molded sheath is a thing of beauty. It is designed with military action in mind and works as a quick bottom eject system for nearly instant access when needed and total safety when not. The forward-looking design works on belts, shoulder straps or MOLLE platforms.

Even those who drive Hondas dream of Ferraris and the Shrike is the Ferrari of the tactical axe world. It’s a true military grade tool with the pedigree, craftsmanship, performance, and lifetime warranty to prove it. RMJ offers color selection and engraving service too. The price may put it out of range for some folks, but for those who are serious about their gear and want to buy one tomahawk to rule them all, it just may be the RMJ Tactical Shrike Tomahawk.

See other Tactical Tomahawk Reviews here

rmj shrike

Length: 15.5 in

Weight: 27 oz

Handle: steel

Edge: 3 in

Poll: narrow flat spike

Base: 4140 Chrome-Moly

 

 

 

Hardcore Hardware BFT01-G Tactical Tomahawk Review

Hardcore Hardware Tomahawk Review – BFT01-G

Hardcore Hardware may not be a name that you recognize but they have been designing and manufacturing specialized tactical tools for military, law enforcement and fire personnel in Australia for some time. Their designers work directly with field specialists to establish product parameters. Their contribution to the tomahawk arsenal is the BFT01-G Hardcore Hardware Tactical Tomahawk and it’s a beauty.

Hardcore Hardware BFT01

Like the Smith & Wesson E & E, the HH is a solid heavyweight. It’s based on a full-tang D2 tool steel body that comes in at 8mm or close to 3/8 in. It’s has a sleek black Teflon finish from top to bottom and with only a small logo on the head face. The head is something to behold, fronted by a 3.46 in extended beard blade edge with a modified Tanto point on the poll although I doubt that you would ever need to choke up on this for fine work. The Tanto is narrower than many hawk points and designed to sink….deep.

This feature, along with the pry tip at the end of the extra long handle makes this model better suited for extraction and general demolition than any other on the list. The manufacturer claims this will go through a brick wall given enough determination and I believe it.

Hardcore Hardware BFT01 Tactical Tomahawk

Speaking of the handle, it’s contoured and it’s long – 18.46 in giving lots of leverage to use the chisel point tip for prying or piercing and if you need to cut, crash, or collide with something you will have no problem on the end of this long swing. The chisel point has allowance for a lanyard and another cool option available is a paracord wrapped handle using 550 cord that could be removed and utilized in a survival situation.

The Hardcore Hardware Tactical Tomahawk comes with a Kydex molded speed scabbard sheath with a quick release system and is designed with Blade-Tec, TeK-Lok & Molle-Lok attachment systems to mount securely in any left/right hand configuration in standard tactical systems.
It might be a bold move (and a little unfair) to include this tomahawk on this list given its price but it definitely has some unique features that make it special. It’s probably the most suitable for real E & E capabilities, and it’s mounting system is military ready, and the extra long size make it massively capable. It may not be for everyone, but for many the Hardcore Hardware Tactical Tomahawk will be perfect.

See other Tactical Tomahawk Reviews here

Length: 18.46 in

Weight: 40.56 oz

Handle: Steel

Edge: 3.46 in

Poll: Tanto point

Base: D2 Tool Steel

 

 

American Tomahawk VTAC Lagana Review

VTAC Lagana Review – an American Classic

Now for the original, the Vietnam Tactical Tomahawk by American Tomahawk Company. Founded in 1966 by Vietnam soldier Peter LaGana, it produced over 4000 of the original design VTAC tomahawks that were used by soldiers in the Southeast Asian theatre. The company closed its doors after the war but it was reopened in 2001 by Andy Prisco and Peter LaGana.

They started with the original VTAC design, apply some new technology and materials to the classic and now present a formidable tactical tool for the military and civilians. Certain Army units in Afghanistan (Stryker and recon units) are issued this very model for combat use. The fact that this design has stood the test of time, with few refinements, is a testament to its superiority and proof that it is the seed that all modern tactical tomahawks have grown from.

American VTAC Lagana

The design hasn’t changed much since the original but this 21st century version begins with a Drop-Forged 1060 hardened steel head that is 8.25 in overall. Like its predecessor, the head is a narrow design with multiple hardened cutting edges including a 3 edge poll and a sharpened backside beard edge that allows for cutting and tearing on the backstroke. The edge angle and hardness produces one of the toughest and most resilient edges that stands up to enormous abuse. Reports from the field are excellent on the durability of this hawk and soldiers love them.

The VTAC is a two piece tomahawk that uses a “super tough” modified nylon handle with an oval design and finger grooves. When wet the handle can be a little slippery in bare hands but the simple low profile design makes it a very easy hawk to handle. It’s on the short side at 14 in but is made to be carried on-person and the short length and light weight allow that. What you might lose in leverage at this size you more than make up for in practicality.

American Tomahawk VTAC

Since the VTAC is made for the military it’s natural that the nylon sheath is LBE/LBV and MOLLE, compliant and can operate in a sling or belt loop capacity. The two buckle design keeps the tool snug but isn’t exactly quick-release. It would be nice if there were a quick release sheath option but the included sheath is durable and effective.

See more user reviews of this axe here

No list of the best tactical tomahawks would be complete without inclusion of the formidable original, the American Vietnam VTAC. It’s the originator, the inspiration for dozens of others and its modern version stands tough with the best of them. Some may question the nylon handle and two-piece design but it has been thoroughly tested and performs excellently. If you are after a solid hawk that is small enough to carry in your pack and tough enough for anything, you can’t do better at this price point. You also can feel good about supporting the true original.

See other Tactical Tomahawk Reviews here

Length: 14 in

Weight: 16 oz

Handle: ST modified nylon

Edge: 2.5 in

Poll: Narrow flat spike

Base: Drop-Forged 1060

 

If you have any reason to doubt the toughness of that modified nylon handle,

take a look at this video.