A tomahawk is a small axe resembling a hatchet that was originally used by European colonials and Native Americans for a variety of purposes. When in an emergency situation, it can be used to hunt animals and dress them. If you came across a hungry cougar or bear, a previously crafted tool like this could mean the difference between life and death.
It is useful for chopping wood for a fire and to chip off shavings necessary to start a campfire with a bow drill or flint. Other than to start a fire, wood is needed for other things such as a splint if someone gets injured. When an axe is too large and a knife can’t quite handle the task, this incredible gadget can be invaluable.
They can be made from stone, which is more primitive, or metal. Whether you’re in a survival situation or at home it still may be possible to make a metal version based on the materials you have. This style a more tactical version of the tomahawk, as it is more durable and can be more precisely measured. Now with these instructions, you can make learn how to make a homemade tomahawk.
Now comes the real work! Resize the piece of wood if needed to make a 16 to 17-inch-long handle. Strip off the bark and burrs with a knife. Debarking can be made easier by getting the post wet first.
The most time consuming making the stone head. Finding a good blank for your tomahawk head that most closely resembles the end result will make it easier and take less time to complete your finished product.
The first step to this is shaping, or pecking, your head blank. Place the blank on a pounding log to save your fingers, and pound your rock until you get the approximate shape. Don’t be shy, but don’t pound it so hard that it breaks in a way that you don’t want it to. In that case, you might have to start all over!
When your basic shape has formed, it is necessary to have a way to attach it to the handle. For this, pound a notch on the top and bottom of your stone head about two thirds of the way down the head closer to the butt. This will allow a secure place for the cord to we wound around to minimize chances of the head slipping or falling off, which could be dangerous.
Once this has been done, it’s time to grind your head. If a rough and hard stone is being used for grinding, firmly rub the grinding stone back and forth along the head where it needs to be honed and shaped. (Don’t forget your pounding log underneath!) If using sand, put your sand on a boulder that has a slightly rounded or flat surface. Cover the area you’re working on and your stone head in water. Grind your stone head against the sand until it is the desired shape and sharp enough to cut wood.
With your tomahawk head finished, we must secure the handle. Make sure that it fits well! If necessary, a groove can be made in the top of the wood to ensure a tight fit before wrapping your cord.
Find Your Materials:
Cut out the sheet metal into the basic shape of the head using a metal cutting blade or sheet metal snips. After the pattern is cut out, use a metal grinder to grind the appropriate edges into a sharp blade.
Clamp the honed blade to a welding table and carefully weld the blade to the coupling on the butt of the blade. Make sure this is not crooked. This will allow it the blade to be attached to the handle.
Tip: If the blade ends up not completely straight, it will not perform well. Be very aware of that in this step!
Shave one end of the haft, or handle, down so that it will fit tightly into the pipe coupling. With the head clamped with the sharp edge pointing down, screw the haft into the pipe coupling until the top end sticks out about ¼ inch.
Clean up the edges and sand out the handle and you’re all done.
The exciting part is to test your new homemade tactical tomahawk!
Although early versions were made only for survival, today they are used for other purposes as well. The U.S. Army, law enforcement, and martial arts all have utilized this amazing tool. Now you have learned how to make your very own!
It might be time consuming, but making such a specialty hatchet like this can be not only fun and rewarding, but an important item in any survival situation. If you’re more adventurous and good at aiming, you could seek out a tomahawk throwing competition decked out in your traditional “mountain man” attire. Making and learning how to build your own tomahawk and efficiently use one could be both useful and satisfying. With this guide, now you can!
***Always use caution and exercise safety***
In this article, we review the best hatchet for the outdoors available on the market in 2017.
In the buying of any such axe, it is important to take into account the materials used to make the blade and those used for the handle.
So if we are looking at outdoor hatchets (commonly known as a ‘wildlife hatchet’, ‘camping hatchet’, or a ‘forest axe’), we are going to need an axe that is durable enough to withstand all of our outdoor needs. Water resistance, dependable handle strength, a long lasting firm grip, etc, etc.
Going to need a relatively short handle with a ton of grip for the purpose of best packability. Same goes for the blade of the hatchet, it is going to have to be compact enough to fit in your pack, but also be strong enough to actually be useful.
We are talking about the best backpacking axe, and the best hatchet for camping collectively here. So the more lightweight and compact, with the least sacrifice to striking power, the better.
Wood is great, no dispute. We are not in the business of making enemies out of wood here, but the case for a fiberglass handle over its archaic brother is a strong one. Mostly because of the longevity fiberglass offers, the grips are better moulded for best purchase, and the fact that no amount of moisture will warp the handle, or cause it to rot.
Fiberglass is really the better way to go in that respect. But that being said, there are some great hardwood handles out there. Gives a real authentic feel to the experience of using it, you just have to keep an eye out for good grip mouldings on the handle of a hardwood.
The Schrade SCAXE10 has great shock absorption thanks to the comfortable TPR grip, which also provides a good non-slip resilience to the handle.
Lightweight and tactile, at 11.08 inches total in length, it is small enough to take anywhere.
Keeping the blade’s edge sharp won’t be much of a problem as the 3Cr13 Stainless Steel (3% Carbon, 13% Chromium) gives the head a toughness that proves hard to dull.
All this, in our opinion, makes the Schrade SCAXE10 the best hatchet for backpacking - at least in this review.
The blade comes already sharp (no need to sharpen it right away), comes with an easy-to-carry sheath, and is an extremely lightweight tool.
By using Fibercomp® plastics to make the handle, the shock from each strike you blow is absorbed with ease. Would have preferred it if the handle was not hollow, but that attributes to the whole lightweightedness of the axe.
Could be a little heavier to aid in a swing, but this axe’s lightweightedness and large blade make it a pretty good survival hatchet as well as an outdoors one.
Having a 3Cr13 steel bladed hatchet this light (1.2 pounds) is a definite must have. Featuring a full-tang ergonomic handle, as well as the materials used for the blade, this is no kids toy.
Honourable Mentions and further Options - from the Forest Axes to Survival Hatchet Reviews
Hopefully, you have seen your next axe from the list above, but a list of three of the best hatchets on the market right now, is not a long enough list to be shown. Below we have compiled a few more tools to help refine your search.
Camper’s axe by name, does whatever you want it to by nature. This 16” long tool, 4” of that being the cutting edge, will meet all of your outdoors needs with ease and comfort.
What we like is the shock absorbing grip on the handle, comes in a special edition black colour scheme or the regular silver & blue, and it comes with a free heavy-duty nylon sheath.
It is a little weighty, but the right owner could easily put that heft to good use.
Now this is what you think about when you think outdoor hatchets. Beautifully crafted handle (improved design so it is without a steel wedge inside), with an already razor sharp 3 inch blade edge.
Beautiful axe. A little pricey, but you are paying for quality, and receiving a twenty year warranty along with it.
Though the Browning 231 stands a bit of a packing problem with the fact that it is mostly handle, that shouldn’t deter you from giving it a chance.
The handle is a blend of fiberglass and polypropylene which outlasts the traditional hardwood that usually comes with this type of axe. It really works to your advantage by offering better leverage.
Compact with plenty of swing, SOG BCA (Base Camp Axe) reigns in at 16 inches at full length with a 3.4 inch blade of 1055C steel to top it off.
The SOG has a beautiful curve in the handle that is wrapped in thermal molded rubber, which means your grip on it isn’t going anywhere. All in all, this axe does what it says on the label. Perfect camper’s tool but it will heavy your load a little, weighing in at 2.1 pounds.
We found during each hatchet review, that the Schrade SCAXE10 is the best hatchet for outdoor use on the market. Schrade have made some of the most highly regard hatchets in recent years, and they just keep on hitting the right marks. The SCAXE10 is affordable, dependable, and formidable when set to any task.
Tomahawks are some of the oldest and most traditional tools of the Western Hemisphere. Originally used by Native Americans and later improved by the steel brought from Europe, tomahawks are almost as American as cowboys themselves.
These days tomahawks serve a variety of purposes, but one thing always stands out, their versatility. Tomahawks these days can be used as not only a tool for survival, they also serve competitive and recreational uses.
Best Throwing Tomahawk
While they aren't to be confused with axes, they both share similar utilities; tomahawks and axes can be used for chopping wood for fire, cutting down vegetation, and even cleaving down trees. But, tomahawks serve an additional purpose, they were intended as weapons. You read that right, Native Americans originally utilized these as armaments of war, yet they also understood the variable uses of these as tools.
It's no surprise that throwing axes have endured for generations as even today the United State Army uses them during routine operations. They're lightweight, reliable and easy to travel with, which in the field of combat is extremely important as soldiers already carry over fifty pounds of equipment. But, finding the best throwing tomahawk can be a daunting task, after all, very rarely will you leave a house looking for the best throwing tomahawk money will buy.
Many consumers are also unaware of what factors to look for when buying one for the first time. It's easy to start looking online for different tactical throwing axes, only to feel overwhelmed by the large variety of products available. Today, I'll be looking at possibly the best throwing tomahawk in the market in order to relieve you of the stress of having to do so by yourself.
I personally love the SOG FastHawk, a lightweight and well-designed tactical throwing axe crafted for urban survival and competitive use. If you love the outdoors as much as you love life, then you'll certainly benefit from owning of these lovely babies. The SOG FastHawk is everything you'll need when answering the call of nature. But, you don't have to take my word for it, as the average SOG FastHawk review rates as a 4.7 out of 5.
Made of 420 Stainless Steel and with a glass-reinforced nylon handle it is as fearsome as it is lithe. It is measured at 12.5 inches and weighing at nineteen ounces with a 2 inch blade. It's lightweight ensures ease of handle, and it is surprisingly durable, which ensures that it will stick with you even when things get rough.
The SOG FastHawk will be one of your fiercest companions, when you need to chop trees, cut logs, dig holes, pry doors open, break walls, hammer nails, and even when you need a close shave. Its uses are pretty much only limited by your imagination, and don't think for a second that it isn't useful in other fields besides survival. As it is one of the best competitive throwing axes in the market.
Not only is this one of the highest rated tomahawks in the market, it is also rather economical with a price tag that ranges from $22.00 to $49.00 USD; you're looking at some true bang for your buck with this axe. This price range also makes it one of the most affordable survival tools you can purchase in stores. Why would you spend money on buy a mini-shovel and a hammer, when buying a tomahawk will save you the trouble and also weight less than carrying both of the aforementioned?
I already wrote at lengths about the benefits of the SOG FastHawk. I don’t think it needs to be said that it’s an exceptional weapons/tool and functions very well at its intended use. Definitely my number 1 pick for the top 5 tomahawks for throwing regardless of the scenario. For those interested in purchasing one, check it out for yourself in Amazon.
Finely crafted, and well-designed, the Smith and Wesson SW671 is a great choice for outdoorsmen and sportsmen alike. Unlike, some of the other tomahawks on this list the SW671 is quite heavy (at 3.2 pounds) because of this the grip was designed with comfortability in mind. The blade is made out of 1070 steel which is tough to say the least, this means less maintenance on your part, but also longer use overall with proper maintenance.
While I wouldn’t recommend this for self-defense in terms of throwing axes, using it with proper technique can be quite the rush. But, thanks to a combination of price, comfort, and durability, I highly recommend the S&W SW671.
Originally crafted for camping, the MTech USA MT-AXE8 is exactly what it says on the tin. But, don’t let that fool you, this blade functions as an effective throwing axe for sportsmen as well as outdoorsmen who want to practice their hatchet throws. Made out of 440 Stainless Steel, with a grip designed for proper handling even when wet, the MT-AXE8 is a solid choice and it definitely earns its spot in my top 5 tomahawks for throwing list!
If there is one thing Estwing knows, it’s how to make some amazing tomahawks. Crafting axes for generations, they are some of the top manufacturers of axes in the business. Ranking at a 4.8 out of 5 stars in Amazon, the tool is forged into one piece, and the blade is amazingly enduring. The craftsmanship on this darling is tough, but does require regular upkeep in order to maintain it in good shape.
Smooth and sleek, the Cold Steel Trench Hawk has your back. Crafted with Drop Forged 1055 Carbon Steel and with an overall length of 19 inches, the Trench Hawk is the perfect tool for emergency escapes. Weighing a mere 24 ounces and a polypropylene handle it is built to withstand blunt impact.
An interesting pro tip is that the spike on the back of the head penetrates targets like a sharp knife! For extra points, the axe also comes with its own sheath.
Most outdoorsmen will not consider indulging on the sport of competitive axe throwing. But, for those who like their sports on the extreme side, you can always try your luck out at a friendly backyard tomahawk throwing competition between buddies.
As with any sport, there are rules and regulations which prevent you from using any axe you'd like, but for the most part, you can find that SOG has enough variety in their wares to fulfill the requirements of any throwing tomahawk competition. But, as far as we go, we always recommend going with the FastHawk, especially for competitions in the United States.
Philadelphia and Chicago are actually some of the states that have indoor ranges where you can practice the sport. Canada on the other hand has a league that is about 1,500 players strong and has around a 150 employees, and has indoor hatchet throwing ranges in a lot more locales. Seeing as the sport was more common in that region, this comes as no surprise.
In-spite of our earlier recommendation for the FastHawk, we have to admit that the best throwing axe is whichever one you're most comfortable using. You can certainly shop around stores and different retailers both online and in person to find an axe that feels right at home in your hands.
They will vary in weight, size, shape, and even the type of tool featured in the back. Depending on your needs you will have to shop around, especially if you're planning of using it as an urban survival tool, or an outdoors one. Tomahawks are almost as versatile as we are, and it's simply a matter of taking your time and looking at your choices.
Whether you're going to compete in the big leagues, or go out on a camping trip with your buddies, the best throwing axe is the one you own!
In this article we will be reviewing the best splitting axe or maul available on the market this year. Having to split wood can be a laborious task without the use of the proper tools for the job.
You need to take into account what will be driving the axe into the wood. Height, build, strength, are all factors that need to be taken into consideration, as there are different mauls available with this in mind.
Best Splitting Axe
So when looking into the best splitting axe reviews and weighing your options, keep the overall length of the handle and the weight of the blade head into consideration. They are tailored and worth devoting some time to.
An important facet of the splitting axe is the balance of its parts. Weight of the head and the length of the handle need to be in the right proportion for your swing. That’s why it’s important to not jump onto the first one that feels right in the hand.
The quality of the handle is just as important as the axe having a sharpened edge to it, and the that cheeks are able to follow through with the swing and separate the wood with each striking plunge.
Without a good quality material assisting you, the belly could snap or the whole thing could just buckle under the heads weight. Strong hardwoods, or well moulded fiberglass, are the makings of the best splitting axes around.
The grip on this tool is strategically sculpted to follow the shape of the hand, which proves well in its use. Strength in the heads flat face is great for using other tools on it. This is probably the best type of axe for splitting wood, overall.
IsoCore™ Shock Control has been tested to exceed the international standards of striking tool durability. The patent transfers 2X less vibration than that of traditional wood handles. This and the geometry of the blade, giving it a deeper penetrative hit, make this our choice for best splitting maul on the market today.
The handle is made from double injected fiberglass, doubling its strength and overstrike protection. Great grip and really flies through your rounds.
With the addition of the V-shaped cheek design forged right into the blade head, it acts as a wedge which makes splitting tough woods a lot easier.
Having the handle and head being forged in one piece, stops the possibility of the bt flying off in mid-swing. Great balance.
Relatively small in length to the other axes that we have looked at here, with still the same amount of driving force. This is definitely the best maul for splitting firewood, because of its size, weight, and it is almost 4 inch long bit. Estwing even dubbed it as the ‘Fireside Friend’. Also comes in black on brown coloured special edition, if you are not a fan of the deep blue offered.
As previously stated, the best splitting maul for you is the one that suits you best. A little shorter than most, get a longer handled axe to provide you with a little added leverage in your swing. Lack a little bit of muscle, no problem. Get an with a weightier head, giving you the force needed to bust each round as it comes.
Here are some more of our best splitting maul reviews to better hone in on what is the better tool for you to purchase.
The PermaHead design keeps the head on the handle securely.
There is a small chamber at the knob of the axe that absorbs vibration. Not to the extract of the IsoCore™ handle of the ISO Core 8 Maul, but it is still a great addition.
This maul provides a perfect power-to-weight ratio that helps with swing speed, as well as how well the bit can penetrate into the round.
Due to the size of this one (20 inches) and the small weight (2 pounds), it is a perfect axe for splitting firewood.
Brilliant cast iron blade bit, with smooth cheeks on the side. Gives an amazing swing speed, though because the sides are not too pronounced it tends to stick in the round. Not too bad, but not as great as the other tools reviewed.
The curved design in the handle allows for a better balance, with a good length (36 inches) for any swing.
Blade head was drop forged, and oil treated. Made from German C45 carbon steel, grading 53-56 on the HRC. Beautiful axe.
With the IsoCore™ system in the handle of the Fiskars ISO Core 8 Maul, we found it hard to choose other axes and mauls to compete with it for the top spot. But the shock absorption this handle provides is amazing. That and the driving faces’ refined surface strength, and the blade bit itself, this is the best axe for splitting wood in our books.
We hope that you got a lot out of this review of splitting axes for wood, and that it has helped you with your choice of axe or maul.