A tactical tomahawk is used as a legit breaching tool, breaking glass, prying doors, and just being an all-around multi-use badass.
A tactical tomahawk also proves its worth as a melee and close quarter combat weapon because after you are done hacking a door open, you need to deal with whoever might be behind it, and if you find your rifle shot, swat, or removed, you need a backup.
That’s why I began my investigation into the tomahawk, an old school weapon that deserves some new attention.
Here is the list I created of the best tactical tomahawks for 2023 I could find.
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- TOP 10 Best Tactical Tomahawks for 2023
- Buying Guide to the Best Tactical Tomahawks
- Article Summary
TOP 10 Best Tactical Tomahawks for 2023
Gerber Downrange Tomahawk
The Gerber Tactical Downrange Tomahawk is an invaluable, carefully designed, and compact tool you want in your arsenal.
To start with the tomahawk head is excellent at chopping through obstacles in your path, whether that be doors, walls, or underbrush.
Second, the blunt end of the head doubles as a hammer to discharge locks, door handles, and whatever is in the way.
Third, the clever design of the pry bar, which turns the tomahawk head into a grip and allows you to pry with the end on the handle is genius.
- 3 in 1, tomahawk, pry bar, and hammer.
- Small and light enough so it won’t get in the way while wearing.
- Breaks glass, chops trees, pry’s doors – handy breaching tool.
- Needs sharpening out of the box.
CRKT Kangee Tomahawk
Designed to be a light, handy entry-exit tool and back up close quarter combat tool. Both the top, back spike, and cutting edge are sharp, which allows this ax to slide into and out of dense wood and metal much easier than blunt edges.
This tomahawk is made from high-quality SK5 carbon steel that holds an edge well and the hawk is full tang and feels well balanced in the hand.
- SK5 carbon steel stays sharp longer.
- FULL tang with glass-reinforced nylon handle.
- Sharp cutting piercing spike.
- Light enough to carry on you at all times.
- The handle could be grippier.
- The sheath design needs improvement – it’s not quick to take the hawk out.
M48 Tactical Tomahawk Axe
The M48 from United Cutlery is a pro at chopping and slashing. It’s a great value for the money and chops better than some more expensive tomahawks.
The backside of this hawk head has a mean spike that is sharpened on both sides to hook, pierce, and terminate any obstacle.
This tomahawk is not only useful, but it also looks badass and will intimidate any opponents.
- Budget-priced tactical tomahawk.
- The rear spike is sharpened on both sides.
- Includes nylon sheath to attach to your person.
- The menacing medieval look makes enemies think twice.
- The included sheath sucks.
Spyderco Warrior Hawk Utility Tomahawk
The Spyderco Warrior hawk is made from tough unbreakable .300 inch D2 tool steel with a full tang that will not fail if thrown or used roughly.
The backside of the hawk head is a sharpened spike that is useful as a tool for break and rake of glass, puncturing tires and gas tanks and is handy for breaching doors and such.
- Made from a solid billet of D2 tool steel that is unbreakable.
- Sharpened spike is perfect for breaking and clearing glass, puncturing, piercing, and penetrating.
- Tapered pry bar tip.
- The ax head has an angled tip, with a superior driving force, excellent for throwing.
Estwing Tomahawk Axe
While most tools from Estwing are designed for utility purposes, this is both a weapon and a tool. That’s why the handle is longer and the head more lightweight than a hatchet or ax.
It’s designed for breaching doors, self-defense, and as a backup armament.
In addition to using this tomahawk as a weapon, it can also be used to break glass, prying doors, splitting kindling and it is absolutely the best VALUE you can get considering it will last a lifetime and costs well under 100 dollars.
- Full Tang, lasts a lifetime, no need for replacement handles.
- Made in the USA.
- Made from tool grade steel.
- Shock reducing grips.
- Not sharp enough out of the box.
RMJ Tactical Jenny Wren Spike Tomahawk
The RJM Tactical Jenny Wren Hawk has a head that is sharpened on all 4 edges. The bevels are grooved making removal easier.
The handle has excellent grip and the blade has a tungsten Cerakote finish that inhibits reflection making you less visible, and protects the blade from corrosion.
This tomahawk comes with a quick-release Kydex Bottom eject sheath that can be attached to a belt or chest rig.
- Tungsten Cerakote finish.
- Full tang.
- Molded Kydex Bottom-Eject Scabbard Sheath included.
- Made in the USA.
Condor Tool & Knife Sentinel Axe
The Condor Sentinel axe is one of the best hawks for chopping. It’s made from indestructible 1075 high carbon steel.
It’s a superior chopper compared to other tomahawks. It also has a multipurpose use thanks to the serrated handle end that can be used to break the glass.
This is a sold full tang tomahawk axe that will last a lifetime.
- Chops like a champ.
- Includes Kydex sheath with leather belt loop.
- Glass breaker on the handle end.
- It takes too long to unhook the axe from the sheath.
Cold Steel Drop Forged Tomahawk
The Cold Steel Drop Forged hawk is a great inexpensive option to use as an emergency or survival tomahawk.
This hawk is pretty lightweight, with a light handle that can be replaced if damaged. It’s also probably the most affordable hawk on this list.
- Super cheap.
- Made from hardened drop forged 1055 carbon steel.
- Includes Secure X sheath.
- Not a full tang hawk.
SOG FastHawk Tactical Tomahawk
The SOG FastHawk is lighter and more nimble than its heavier counterpart the SOG tomahawk. The size and portability make it an excellent choice for survival gear.
It’s also fun to throw and has a sharp slicing edge that slides into the wood.
- Fast, light, and nimble great to carry on your person.
- Made from 420 stainless steel.
- Small, compact, and portable great size for a survival kit.
- Includes belt mountable sheath.
- Great price.
- Not full tang.
Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk Knife
This Browning Shock n’ Awe was designed as a weapon and breaching tool.
It is compact so you can carry it on your person, but it is a solid, full tang tomahawk that can endure the abuse from breaching, breaking, and puncturing.
This tomahawk may be small, but it has significant heft, and if you hit someone with it, it will do damage.
- Intimidating look.
- Compact, easy to carry.
- Solid full tang tomahawk.
- Includes Kydex sheath.
- Some find it too heavy, despite its compact size.
Buying Guide to the Best Tactical Tomahawks
There are several factors to keep in mind before buying a tomahawk.
First up: Tang
Tang. Nope. We are not talking about the delicious orange astronaut juice drink.
A full tang is what you want. A full tang is when the tomahawk head extends down all the way through the handle, making the tool all one piece. This means it won’t (unless it’s a super-thin piece of crap) break at the handle.
Cheap tomahawks are NOT full tang, the head is a separate piece and the handle may not be metal at all. These are prone to break in half, especially if you abuse them or throw them too hard.
Most tomahawks have handles that are longer than a hatchet, but shorter than an axe.
Because they are weapons, and as such, you want them to have a long reach so you do not have to be as close to your opponent to hit them.
Tactical tomahawks sometimes have pretty short handles.
Why? Because they are more compact and easier to carry, especially when you are lugging lots of gear.
Differences Between a Tomahawk, a Hatchet, and an Axe?
- Head is lighter than a hatchet or axe.
- The handle is longer than a hatchet but shorter than an axe.
- Has a sharpened point on the side opposite the cutting blade.
- Used for self-defense and breaching doors, puncturing and breaking glass.
- Can be used with one hand.
- Has a much longer handle than tomahawk.
- Has a much larger and heavier head than a tomahawk.
- Usually used with two hands.
- Used with larger logs of wood and heavy cutting.
- Has a heavier head than a tomahawk.
- Has a flat end, vs the spike of a tomahawk.
- Has a shorter handle than a tomahawk.
- Used for cutting smaller pieces of wood.
What is the Best Tactical Tomahawk?
My favorite tactical tomahawk is the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk because it is so versatile, reliable durable. It’s a three in one tool, pry bar, tomahawk, and hammer that does it all and lives to tell about it.
It’s not cheap, but it’s not crazy overpriced, and it comes with a sheath and belt mount, and it’s built to last. I can’t ask for much more.
How to Carry a Tactical Tomahawk?
Most folks carry a tactical tomahawk on a belt using the sheath.
You need the sheath to keep the head sharp and prevent it from turning on you and injuring you.
Some also simply slide the handle thru a MOLLE strap on their tactical backpack or in the channel behind the pocket of an Alice pack.
What’s important is that it’s easy to access, because a tac hawk is a weapon and as such, you need fast access.
Are Tomahawks Effective?
Tomahawks are an invaluable tool in the field if you know how and when to use them.
They are excellent for wooded terrain, cutting through brush, and whatnot. They excel at small things, like chopping through doors to enter a building, prying said doors open, breaking locks and chains, breaking glass, disabling vehicles by puncturing the tires and gas tanks, and whatever else needs braking.
If we are talking tomahawks, it needs to be said; they look cool. Badass. Intimidating. Threatening. Menacing. They are effective for demoralizing your enemy. There is something to be said for the frightening factor, fear and intimidation have been used in combat since combat existed.
Speaking of combat, if you do find yourself in a combat situation, a ballistic tactical helmet is a smart way to keep your head screwed on right. Check out this list of the best tactical helmets here.
Joggers and Hikers
If you jog or hike in the wilderness, a tactical tomahawk is a great self-defense tool. You probably don’t want to carry a gun, but if you run into a mountain lion or coyote you stand a fighting chance with a tomahawk.
Is a Tomahawk Worth it?
If you are adept at using it, a tomahawk is worth it. Many soldiers swear by theirs and carry them everywhere.
In the military, a tactical tomahawk is a breaching tool and weapon.
It is used to break locks, pry open doors, disable vehicles, and as a backup in case something happens to your rifle.
They are multi-use and can break glass, put a hole in a tire, puncture a gas tank, open cans, chop through walls, cut kindling, create camouflage, break a hole in a chain-link fence, butchering animals for dinner, and even throwing, just for fun.
Are Tomahawks Good for Survival?
Yes, because they are smaller than an axe and serve more uses. The cut smaller pieces of wood, to use in an emergency, are small enough for your survival kit and do much more. They can bust open doors, free someone trapped in a car, be used as a weapon, be used to prepare a kill after a hunt if a knife is not available, and of course, be used as a weapon.
That’s it for the best tactical tomahawks of 2023. If you love tactical gear like we do, sign up for the RiflePal newsletter and get updates and reviews direct to your inbox.
I will see YOU in the field!