Are you looking for a tactical axe that can take your survivalist skills to the next level? Here we’ve put together the 10 best tools available on the market right now and assessed where each of them excels and where they also potentially fall short.
In addition to putting together that killer list, we’ve also answered the most common queries people typically have when it comes to buying a new axe and what things you should consider when looking at one. We hope you enjoy!
10 Best Tactical Tomahawks of 2020
Find below out 10 favourite tactical tomahawks available right now in 2020!
1- Cold Steel Drop Forged Tomahawk Survival Hatchet
Overall Length: 19 inches | Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Advertised as being great for camping, the Cold Steel Drop Forged Tomahawk Survival Hatchet features a shart cutting edge and a wedge-style spike that offers a variety of options for any budding survivalist. The highly resistant handle is perfectly crafted to withstand immense shock and can excel where a traditional wooden handle would falter and break and that alone makes this tactical axe as good economically as it is in the field. It isn’t just the handle that is durable though with the blade made of hardened drop forged 1055 carbon steel which allows it to withstand consistently powerful blows. With use, axes do begin to show signs to wear and tear but with the Cold Steel Drop Forged Tomahawk Survival Hatchet the handles can be easily replaced at low cost with one of their Trench Hawk replacement Handles (H90PTH, H90PTHF and H90PTHG).
2 – Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle
Overall Length: 11.1 inches | Blade Length: 3.6 inches
Described as being designed for outdoor survival camping and everyday tasks, the Schrade SCAXE10 11.1in Full Tang Hatchet with 3.6in Stainless Steel Blade and TPR Handle resembles what we traditionally image when we hear the word tomahawk. Despite looking small, this axe is 11.1 inches in length and weighs a whopping 1 pound 5.9 ounces and so is built for someone who knows how to wield a piece of equipment such as this. The blade is crafted out of reliable 3Cr13 SS and is accompanied by a rubber wrapped handle for easy and safe handling when in use. The wrapped handle is a great feature that ensures that the user will always have a secure grip and is less likely to have any accidents with such a potentially dangerous item.
3 – Estwing Tomahawk Axe
Item Dimensions: 16.25 x 7.38 x 1.25 inches
This 16-inch lightweight hatched made by Estwing is steel forged for maximum strength and durability and perfectly suited to a lifetime of hard work and heavy use. Its 16-inch length makes it perfect for a variety of tasks including wood chopping while its pick end allows for breaching, excavation, and self-defence too. Safety is of paramount importance for Estwing and that is why their Tomahawk Axe comes both with a heavy-duty ballistic nylon sheath and a patented shock reduction grip which is capable of reducing impact vibration by up to a whopping 70%!
4 – Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk Knife
Item Dimensions: 13.2 x 9.2 x 2.3 inches
Forged from 1055 carbon steel, this tomahawk is no ordinary piece of equipment with the one-piece hot forged steel axehead accompanying the hand-wrapped nylon paracord handle. Small but mighty, This tool might only be 10.5 inches in length but with a blade that is almost 3 inches long, you can be sure that this home hawk certainly packs a punch. The blade is joined by a curved pick and a picked pommel to make sure that you’re never left defenceless in a tricky situation. When you image a survival tool, this is what comes to mind.
5 – ASR Tactical Axe Hammer G10 Handle Pry Bar 30 Inch Length Combo Tool
Overall Length: 30 inches | Blade Length: 9 inches
An absolute monster of a tool, this tactical axe resembles more of a halberd than a tactical axe thanks to its colossal length. This combo tool is double-sided with both an axehead on one side and a hammer on the other to leave you perfectly equipped for any problem you right encounter whilst out camping. The end of the handle also comes into use with it doubling up as a pry bar and is perfect for removing nails/pegs as well as working as a crowbar substitute. The G10 handle is a preferred thermoset plastic choice among knife and gun handle manufacturers due to its brilliant durability and so this axe is in very good company.
6 – Sheffield Sparrow Hammer Axe or Sparrow Double Tactical Axe
Overall Length: 22.5 inches | Blade Size: 3.5 inches
A versatile axe from Sheffield, it is perfect for a variety of uses including camping, hunting, wood chopping and other tasks. It comes with either a double or single axehead and edged with a 420 SS blade and finished with Black Oxide to prevent rust, deflect light and allow easy cleaning and maintenance. The 14.5 inch bolt reinforced nylon fibreglass handle features finger grooves for easy handling and maximum comfort when in use. The axe also comes with a military-grade 1680D sheath to ensure safety while the lanyard hole gives the user a range of carrying options including the option of keeping it attached to your tactical belt for easy access.
7 – M48 Ranger Tomahawk Axe with Lensatic Compass and Sheath
Item Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.5 x 2.4 inches | Blade Length: 5 inches
The M48 Ranger Tomahawk Axe is the ultimate tactical piece of equipment with its lightweight design meaning the entire tool only weighs 7 ounces despite the length being 15.5 inches and the axehead measuring 8 inches in width. The 2Cr13 stainless precious cast axehead offers maximum durability while it also offers multiple uses thanks to the blade being flanked by a spike on the other side of the head to allow excavation. The handle is made of fibreglass and is attached to the axehead with 3 separate bold to ensure that nothing will come loose and that this tool will serve you for years to come.
8 – Schrade SCAXE5 12.8in Full Tang Tactical Hatchet
Overall Length: 12.8 inches | Blade Length: 3.1 inches
With a blade measuring around 1/4 of the hatchet’s total length (3.1 inches), this high carbon steel blade axe is ideal for outdoor survival and camping. The steel is precisely SK-5 high carbon steel and so is lightweight coming in at 1.9 ounces while packing a punch with its sizeable blade while the black handle is made from nylon fibre. The hatchet also comes with a black nylon belt attachable sheth with the belt loop being convent as it allows the user to carry the tool conveniently and safely. The textured handle also ensures optimal grip and this means that the user can use the tool safely regardless of the weather.
9 – Off Grid Tools Trucker’s Friend Demolition & Multitool
Item Dimensions: 19.2 x 2 x 5.5 inches
This all-rounder might not fit the description of your average tactical axe but it sure as hell packs a punch with its sturdy build and multiple uses being perfect for not only truck drivers but also anybody expecting to be out and about. Cutting, prying, pulling, and smashing are just some of the actions you can excel at doing with this tool with no task being too big. This high-performance tool features a 1055 carbon steel axe blade along with a spanner, hammer, pry bar, hook, and lever with its usefulness in a variety of situations being its greatest asset.
10 – Wartech XBK03GY Tactical Hammer Axe
Item Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 0.25 inches
Measuring only 10 inches in length, this axe might seem dainty but it for sure fits the description of a tactical axe. It doesn’t come with any really fancy features but instead excels with its 440 steel blade and hammer combo on the axehead and its pry base of the handle. Whether you’re an everyday hiker or a survivalist getting ready for the apocalypse, this is surely one of the most simple but effective models listed here. The small size makes it perfect for younger hikers/survivalists and people not yet experienced with handling potentially dangerous items.
Buyers’ Guide: Considerations for Buying the Best Tactical Axes
The shape of the Head
Ideally, you should be looking for an axe with a curved blade on the head as this is the most effective for cutting through tough objects. In addition to this, you should also aim to get a tactical axe that has an axehead forged from a single piece of steel as this lowest the risk of the axehead splitting/fracturing when in use.
Edge of Blade
As touched upon previously, a curved blade edge is ideal as well as one that comes already razor-sharp as blade sharpening can be quite dangerous for anybody new to this kind of stuff.
Handle and Grip
The material used to make the handle of the axe is not overly important with the comfortableness being the most important thing to consider as it not only makes your ability to use it better but it is also much safer for you to use an axe that you can easily yield.
Ideally, any axe you buy should come with some kind of grip on the handle whether it be some kind of rubber or synthetic substitution to help in wet conditions or woven nylon wrapped around the handle to coat the often cold steel.
Lighter tools are of course easier to carry when out and about and while you may instinctively look for the most lightweight option, it is important to consider that with a heavier axe you will be able to strike with much more force and momentum.
Included in the list above is a variety of axes with largely different weights and so you can assess your own individual needs and capabilities and find something just right for you and your profile.
Portability and Ease of Use
It is absolutely imperative for anybody looking to buy a tool like this to be aware of their own limitations and what size is best suited to them. Certain axes will be much heavier and bulkier than others and so will of course not be ideal for a smaller user while a taller person may find a small axe less suited to them.
A good hatchet should be attachable to their a belt loop or utility belt but with some axes being larger, this isn’t always possible and so any potential buyer should carefully check out the size and portability of any item they have their eye on.
Where to buy tomahawks:
We think Amazon is the best place to find a tomahawk purely because of the variety of models there. The sheer amount of different types means that there is almost certainly one that will match almost anybody’s specific needs.
As well as the number of varieties, the fact that you can assess the quality of those for sale by reading the customer reviews helps make sure that you know exactly what you are getting. It can be hard to imagine the scale of the items with the stock photos usually having nothing these for scale but thanks to the customer photos you can often get an idea of how big the tools are in reality and aren’t instead of trying to remember how big a 3-inch blade would be.
What are tomahawks used for?
A full-sized axe might be ideal for heavy-duty farm work but that comes at a cost with their size also meaning they are usually extremely bulky and heavy and so are relatively immobile. Tomahawks and tactical axes do not have these problems with their smaller size being their greatest asset and this, coupled with new technology, makes them a must-have item when you’re looking to head out into the wilderness.
These technological developments have seen the materials used in the production of these items become not just cheaper but also lighter and more durable. When a wooden handaxe would have split a synthetic handled tactical axe will be able to continue chopping thanks to their improved durability.
Tomahawks and tactical axes are also multifaceted with them effectively capable of replacing your entire toolbox thanks to the addition of hammerheads, pry bars, nail pullers, wedged picked, and additional blades in many models.
How to use a tomahawk:
This comes down to the two different types of tomahawk; tactical tomahawks and throwing tomahawks.
Tactical tomahawks are built with a specific need in mind and will often have multiple uses such as doubling up as a hammer or (ice)pick. These items will often be used by both civilians when in the wilderness and soldiers alike thanks to their effectiveness and versatility.
Throwing tomahawks might sound like something straight out of Hollywood but they are no laughing matter with them being a notably effective weapon when used by Native American tribespeople. Nowadays they are still in use, albeit normally ceremonially or in competitions, and the skill of using such a weapon can be very difficult to refine.
What is the best survival axe?
Our favourite pick from those above is the M48 Ranger Tomahawk Axe with Lensatic Compass and Sheath due to its versatility. It comes with a cast stainless steel axehead that is coupled with a spike as well as having a nylon reinforced handle to ensure maximum grip and safety when in use.
It also includes a snap button sheath to minimise the risk of injury when not in use and a lensatic compass to ensure that you never get lost when out in the field. The blade is a huge 5 inches long and makes up near enough a third of the axe’s 15-inch length and so you can be sure that you are getting plenty of bang for your buck.
It also comes with an average rating of 4.5/5 on Amazon with there being a total of 472 reviews left. Its highest-rated feature is how lightweight it is with that feature being rated 4.8/5 by people who have bought this tool.