Historically the throwing tomahawks were used as general purpose tools by Native Americans and they also used them as weapons in warfare. The tool was used for chopping wood and they would also use them as pipes. The tomahawk was also used for throwing at their enemies. They would throw their tomahawks with a rotating fashion that would hit human targets with deadly results.
What Are Throwing Tomahawk?
- 1 What Are Throwing Tomahawk?
- 2 How to Choose The Best Throwing Tomahawk?
- 3 What’s the Difference Between a Hatchet, a Tomahawk and an Axe?
- 4 The Best Throwing Tomahawks and Hatchets Review
- 5 Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe Review
- 6 Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet Review
- 7 Estwing E24ASE Sportsman’s Axe Review
- 8 Black Legion Camping Hatchet
- 9 SOG Fast Hawk Tactical Tomahawk Review
- 10 Cold Steel Trail Hawk Review
- 11 SOG Throwing Tomahawks Review
- 12 MTech USA MT-AXE8 Camping Axe Review
- 13 How to Throw a Tomahawk
- 14 Summary
Virtually in early colonial times there was no major difference in designs between axes and tomahawks. The tomahawk was a lighter version of the axe. You couldn’t tell the difference between the two because their designs were so similar. The terms axe and tomahawk were interchangeable in earlier times. A tomahawk was just a lighter version of the axe in early times. The tomahawk lost its value as a weapon of warfare. Later the axe went through some major design changes. The poll was made heavier to counter balance the bit. The eye design evolved into a narrower almost triangular eye shape from a round eye shape of earlier versions.
Today the axe and the tomahawk are definitely different in appearance. The tomahawk has a round eye and a handle that is 20” long. Today the axe and tomahawk have no historical connection in design similarities.
How to Choose The Best Throwing Tomahawk?
There are some elemental factors to consider in buying the best throwing tomahawk set.
TANG-is an important factor to consider in buying a throwing tomahawk set. Tang is where the head is connected to the handle of the tomahawk. The best designed tang for tomahawks is when there isn’t screws to hold the head to the handle. Some tomahawks have the head inserted into the handle without screws. The problem with this is if I throw my tomahawk with the screws holding the head in place with the handle. The head could come flying off. So when I select a tomahawk to throw I want to make sure the tang design is one where the screws don’t attach the head to the handle.
Balance-It’s a known fact that the longer and heavier the tomahawk is the slower the throw will be. I must determine the right balance for my throwing abilities. The ideal length is about 15-20 inches and the weight about 1 1/4 lbs.-1 1/2 lbs. But I must also consider the length of my arms and my height in choosing the best balanced tomahawk to throw. Another consideration is the length of the tomahawk I choose for throwing. Generally the shorter I am the shorter tomahawk I want to choose. The taller I am the longer the tomahawk I would choose. Here are some basic guidelines:
- 5’5” and below- 16 “tomahawks.
- 5’5”to 5’10”- 19”tomahawks
- 5’10” and up- 21’to22” tomahawks.
The longer the tomahawk the slower the throw and the further away I would have to stand from the target.
Handles-Rubberized handles aren’t the best to choose because they will become sticky even brittle over time. But I can fix this problem by putting grip tape or 550 ground metal parachute cord on the rubberized handle this will give longer life to the handle. Wrapping grip tape or 550 Cord to the handle is the best bet to make the tomahawk handle last a lot longer. A hickory handle with a slightly coated wax surface is a good type of handle to consider. You buy the hickory and you don’t need to do any extra preparation to make your handle useable. Also the wax coating makes for a firm grip on the handle.
In my opinion, the best way to choose the best throwing tomahawk is to really just go out and experiment with the different types there are. I need to test out a throwing tomahawk and see how it feels in my own hand. Does the balance work for me? What is the best type of handle for me to grip? Do I feel comfortable holding the tomahawk? Does it take a great effort for me to throw it? I have to try out the different weights and lengths of tomahawks to see which one I can throw the easiest and most natural way. Based on my height and strength I would determine what size tomahawk I should buy. How far I would have to stand from the target to hit a bullseye is another factor to consider. These are some factors I would consider in choosing the best throwing tomahawk!
What’s the Difference Between a Hatchet, a Tomahawk and an Axe?
Hatchets- They are a smaller axe because generally they are shorter and lighter than standard axes. It’s a one-handed mini version of an axe. I would use it primarily as a wood chopper but I could generally use it as a multi-purpose tool. In this post, we will go through some of the best throwing hatchets in the market.
Don’t kid yourself a hatchet can be used as a deadly offensive weapon as well. Just because it’s lighter and shorter it can still cause a live target a lot of damage. Hatchets are generally the same weight and size as tomahawks. Hatchets are designed with a cutting edge on one side the other side is a hammered surface. Hatchets are closer in weight and size to tomahawks.
Axes– These are the Granddaddy of wood choppers. They are longer and weigh more than hatchets and tomahawks and cost more. Their primary use is for two-handed wood chopping. They can cut down trees with larger diameters than hatchets and tomahawks are able to.
They can also be used as offensive weapons with very devasting results. You can use axes as general purpose tools like tomahawks and hatchets.
Tomahawks- They are traditionally known as weapons of warfare. In ancient times Native Americans used tomahawks as weapons of warfare. Historically tomahawks were used as offensive weapons with the intent to kill humans and other live moving targets.
Tomahawks are small and light like hatchets. They are a smaller version of an axe. Tomahawks are priced in sync with hatchets and less than axes. Tomahawks will function with many uses like axes and hatchets.
The Best Throwing Tomahawks and Hatchets Review
Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe Review
This axe averaged a 4.5 rating from 201 reviewers not bad! The price is a bit higher than the others which seems very reasonable considering the quality of this axe. My axe came packaged very tightly in bubble wrap and it was immersed in air tight plastic cushioning. Head length is 6 ¼’’, back of the head 4” and the width of the head is 2”. The total length of the axe is 19 ¼”. The weight of the axe is 2.2 lbs which is very light for me to carry in my backpack.
This axe is called a Carpenter’s axe for a reason. It is very good for carving tasks and wood-working projects. My axe came with a very nice leather sheath and I’m looking forward to using this axe for many wood carving projects. I have camping trips planned for the future to test this axe out on some heavily branched trees. One carpenter carved 4 wood bows (yes 4 wood bows) just using this axe. The axe is a large version of a customized whittling knife. This to me is very impressive that this user was able to carve 4 bows strictly with the axe. This reason alone I would highly recommend any carpenter to buy the axe.
Estwing E24A Sportsman’s Hatchet Review
Estwing has been making axes for almost 100 years and they have a fine reputation for making quality cutting tools. Their blades are durable and long lasting. I know owners who have used these axes for years.
The axe head and handle are forged in one piece. The axe is polished to a fine shine. It doesn’t cost a lot and it is well worth the price. It is a very durable axe. I will go as far as to say it’s the most durable axe on the market. Note that the blade should be sharpened regularly to keep a nice even edge.
Estwing E24ASE Sportsman’s Axe Review
It comes with a leather sheath. The axe has a black coating covering the head and the upper part of the handle. The lower part of the handle is a shiny wood material. The cutting edge is 3 ¼” and slightly curved. I was happy with the appearance of the axe when I received it. There were no scratches on the blade and the handle was as smooth as silk showing no signs of damage during shipping. The cutting edge was very sharp. Sharpening it is simple and I can get a good crisp edge quickly. The axe felt very balanced in my hand. I’m willing to bet this axe will last for many, many years like many of their other fine products.
We think that this is one of the best throwing hatchets on the market because of its a piece full tang contruction, balanced weight and the long overall length.
Black Legion Camping Hatchet
This axe screams “steal” for a very attractive price and I would be willing to pay more for this quality axe. It’s made of carbon steel (Carbon Steel being some of the best material used in axes) and the axe feels like it was custom made for my hand. The blade has a very liberal 4” cutting edge which I was able to sharpen easily after I used the axe for an extended period of time.
The axe shined when I cut down small trees and fat pine logs for kindling. It also doubles as a tent stake driver and a nail driver. The only perceived problem I have with this axe is that it comes with no type of cover to protect the axe blade with. Like one other user said I too would be willing to pay extra money for a blade cover. The investment would be well worth because this axe is solidly put together. The price is unbeatable. This is one of the lowest priced quality axes on the market.
I noticed the blade was dull on my axe when it came in the original shipment. But it sharpened up very nicely and I had a nice crisp edge. One thing to improve the quality of the customer experience would be if Black Legion sent their axes out with sharp cutting edges.
SOG Fast Hawk Tactical Tomahawk Review
The Fast Hawk is a great value for the money. It has a sleek design and is 12.5” long. The blade is 2 inches long and is made of 420 steel. The question came up repeatedly in the reviews “Why buy a polished surface tomahawk?” Answer: If you throw the tomahawk missing the target, the bright polished blade is easy to find in the bush. The Fast Hawk is sleek and small at 12.5” and it weighs 19 ounces. It is light to carry and you can easily stash it in a backpack.
It comes with a Nylon Sheath in the package. There was one negative review in which the user said he had a difficult time chopping a small log. This is irrelevant because the tomahawk was designed more for throwing. I agree with another reviewer who said the blade was tough and durable. He threw his tomahawk and hit a rock. Against his expected conclusion the blade was not extensively damaged. It just suffered a minor burr which he quickly filed away. The handle is uncomfortable to hold but it is still a good value for the money.
Cold Steel Trail Hawk Review
I always like the cold steel products so I’ve decided to write a cold steel tomahawk review here. The Hawk comes with a 6 1/2” blade and is 22”inches long. The head is forged out of 1055 Carbon and it’s attached to a hickory handle. I believe this cold steel tomahawk is good for throwing.
There is a slight issue with this throwing axe set. Apparently the set screw gouges into the wood handle and damages it. Eventually from repeated throwing the handle on this tomahawk can splinter, crack and even fly off once the head sticks into the target. This damage happens because the head is attached to the handle in a “fixed’ position by the set screw. The force and vibration from the impact is centered all in one small area in the handle. The result is a damaged handle and the handle’s life is shortened dramatically. The head is not allowed to stay loose and move to absorb the vibration and force and spread it throughout the whole handle. This is a serious drawback for this tomahawk.
But this problem can be resolved. Simply take off the set screw and throw it away. Re-attach the head to the handle and bang it lightly on a rock or with a hammer. This will fasten the head securely to the handle and prevent the handle from suffering all the above mentioned damage. The handle comes loose from the head just re-insert it and you are ready to go.
SOG Throwing Tomahawks Review
This SOG tomahawk is specifically designed for throwing. The great part about this deal is you get 3 tomahawks for a good price. SOG has a reputation for making quality tomahawks. Their tomahawks have won worldwide recognition. Their products have also won awards. This tomahawk seems to follow in their tradition of manufacturing great tomahawks. This hawk comes with a 3Cr13 steed blade weighing 10.17” and the total weight of the tomahawk is 25.4 oz.
The whole tomahawk is made of stainless steel. The handle is wrapped in paracord. The hawk has a black hard cased finish and it comes with a ballistic carrying/storage nylon sheath. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
I agreed with one reviewer who said the tomahawk weathered very well when it was thrown into wood. The blade bit into the wood so deeply it was difficult to pull out. It suffered no major blunt trauma to the blade. This hawk even chipped off a piece of brick when it was thrown at it. The tomahawk did suffer damage from the impact of hitting the brick. Which I expected because these tomahawks weren’t designed to be thrown at bricks. I really like the value of getting 3 (yes 3) tomahawks. I would highly recommend this tomahawk to any serious tomahawk thrower.
MTech USA MT-AXE8 Camping Axe Review
This MTech axe is designed as a general tool. It can be used as a defensive weapon and it has very good chopping capabilities. The price is also reasonable. It is black and looks a lot like a throwing tomahawk. The head is 6 7/8” long with a 3 ½” long and 3mm thick cutting edge.
This tomahawk also has a 2 1/2” spiked design with a cutout hole. The sheath isn’t the best for storing it though. It is oversized for the axe and you have to place it inside the sheath then roll it up. It has no Velcro so I wouldn’t be able to attach it to my belt and just pull it out of the sheath. I would have to loop it on my belt. Every time I wanted to take the axe out I would have to unhook my belt. This being very cumbersome but it can be done. Also taking the axe out of the sheath takes a while. This was a problem for me as well. But I wouldn’t let these two weaknesses stop me from purchasing one of these axes. The axe is about 15” long. The tomahawk is one piece that is made out of stainless steel.
How to Throw a Tomahawk
Step 1 –
First off don’t get a hatchet or axe that are not designed for throwing. Make sure you get a specially designed tomahawk. A lightweight one that will be easy to throw and will allow you to throw it in a fluid motion. Get yourself a piece of dead tree trunk about 4’’-6’’ thick. Put it on a stand for your target. Don’t throw your tomahawk at a round target (like a tree) this will damage the tree. The tomahawk will not stick into the tree and will bounce off flying in a random direction. This could be deadly to anyone standing near the target. Don’t ever knock cans off a fence post with your tomahawk. This may be fun but it will damage your tomahawk and this practice could be deadly.
Here’s a good video by The Art of Manliness showing how to throw a tomahawk
Big factor NEVER sharpen your blade so it’s razor sharp. This is dangerous and besides the best practice is keep that blade DULL. The tomahawk will stick into the target not because it’s hair splitting sharp. It will stick because I throw it accurately. I also use the proper throwing technique. I will make sure I throw the tomahawk in an open and clear area. I want to be sure there is no bush or weeds around that the tomahawk could get lost in. Also, make sure there are no people around where you are throwing the tomahawk!
Step 2 –
I want to keep my feet spread apart about shoulder length. I will be squarely facing the target with my arms hanging loosely down by my side. I want to make sure I throw the tomahawk with a natural motion.
Step 3 –
I grip the handle like I was giving someone a firm handshake. I put my thumb firmly around the handle. My hand is one or two inches from the bottom of the handle. I don’t put my thumb on the bottom of the handle because if I do it will greatly throw off the spin of the tomahawk. The result will be the hawk will clang against the target and bounce off it. I am standing in the right spot but still the tomahawk spins too fast after the throw. I can stop this by putting my thumb up when I throw the tomahawk and slow down the spin.
Step 4 –
Now I hold the tomahawk’s blade so it’s perpendicular to the target. If the axis of the blade is slightly off the target then the tomahawk will fly wobbly resulting in an inaccurate throw. I can let my arm drop a little bit just enough to let gravity take over and straighten out the tomahawk naturally.
Step 5 –
Now I will test to see if I’m holding the tomahawk right. I will loosely drop the tomahawk by my side and let if fall by the side of my leg. The blade cannot be turned in or out away from my body. If it is I will rotate the handle by loosening my grip on it lightly. By doing this the handle will set in the correct position.
Step 6 –
Ok now I can turn my back to the target and pace off 5 normal steps. Next I will turn abruptly and square myself with the target. I’ll go ahead and mark the spot where I will throw from every time. This way I won’t have to keep marking off the place each time I want to throw the tomahawk.
Step 7 –
Carefully and deliberately I bring my arm slowly straight up with the tomahawk in hand. Before I reach the apex point I’ll slowly flex my elbow. My elbow will be roughly near my ear. (I remember that I won’t throw the tomahawk with my wrist. The weight of the tomahawk can eventually cause my elbow to hurt.) Being careful to not bring the tomahawk back too fast because if I do I could release it too early and throw it backwards!
Step 8 –
Finally I bring the tomahawk forward at the same speed I brought it back. I’ll bring it forward only a little bit before I release it. I’ll release it like I was throwing a baseball or football overhand. Both of my feet are firmly planted on the ground and I won’t take a step forward or backward. The key being I have to maintain a natural fluid motion. I will use the tomahawk’s weight to throw it forward. I won’t throw it aggressively or with a quick flick. I will throw it deliberately and slowly. I want to concentrate on throwing that tomahawk in a straight line and keeping it straight until it hits the target.
I will be looking for the middle of the handle in the right top field of my vision and when I see that I will release the tomahawk. By the time my hand is level with my eyes that tomahawk should have been released. I will follow through the throw and drop my arm to my side. If I release before the designated point the tomahawk will fly too high. I release too late the tomahawk will fly right into the ground. Practicing will get my release point right on target. That’s it I have thrown my tomahawk!
Overall when I choose a tomahawk I will be looking for one that is especially designed for that purpose. I will look into how long the tomahawk is and if it fits my height. If I have to do a lot of changing to the tomahawk I most likely won’t buy it. I want a tomahawk that is durable, lightweight and will stand up to many throws. I would ideally purchase a tomahawk from a good reputable manufacturer.
I reviewed 4 tomahawks and axes in this particular article. In my mind the SOG throwing tomahawks were the best pick of the bunch. They were of a solid design and I wouldn’t have to do a lot of changing to the tomahawk to make it work. SOG is also a recognized worldwide manufacturer of tomahawks which is what I like.