Top 10 Tactical Tomahawks


The tactical tomahawk has become increasingly popular recently in both the law enforcement and active duty military community. The effectiveness of the tomahawk as both a tool and weapon make it an invaluable piece of equipment that is equally adept at obstacle removal, dynamic entry, opening of crates, digging in fighting positions, IED removal and as a personal defense weapon in close quarter combat scenarios.

Historically axes of all shapes, sizes, and materials were used by early man to clear trees, build shelters, and of course protect themselves when necessary. There effectiveness in eliminating enemies in a devastating fashion led to a multitude of ax designs which have been a popular choice of warriors for centuries. The axe’s use in warfare goes back to the days of Vikings who wielded them with bone crushing effect. Early sailors were issued boarding axes to clear away tangled rigging and hack through obstacles and other sailors when boarding rival war ships. Then there are perhaps the tomahawk’s most recognizable users, the native American Indians from which we get the term “tomahawk” and who shortened the handle length to be utilized with extreme skill in hand to hand fighting.

One of the major advantages of the tomahawk versus the larger ax forms is that it is light enough to be carried for extended periods of time without undue fatigue and during fighting its light weight translates to extreme speed. This speed means the ability to generated a massive amount of force in a short distance, and when applied using the hatchet edge or spike the modern tactical tomahawk does all the damage you are going to need.

The origin of the axe may be as old as any weapon but these modern tactical tomahawks are anything but antiquated.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 Tactical Tomahawks:

1. GG&G Battle Hawk:

The GG&G BATTLE HAWK Tactical Tomahawk is an extreme use combat tool. In fact the original plant manufacturing designation code was CUT (COMBAT UTILITY TOOL). As can be seen by the overall geometry and aggressive multiple cutting edge head design, it is meant for aggressive use, very aggressive use. In addition to the head, the three inch Tanto shaped spike will definitely get the job done. The double contour of the handle and the fine weave G10KG Micarta scales, provide a positive and solid long and short grip for the user and the Crucible S7 tool steel for the BATTLE HAWK tactical axe is shock resistant, high impact resistant, and withstands chipping and breaking.


2. RMJ Tactical S13 Shrike:

The Shrike by RMJ Tactical is one of the most popular tactical tomahawks used by active duty war fighters because of its  robust construction, no frills features, and full tang design. The full tang design means the head and shaft are made from a single piece of material and therefore there is no chance of head separation even under heavy striking force.


3. Hardcore Hardware Battle Tomahawk:

Tactical Tomahawk by Hardcore Hardware is designed for a multitude of applications. The spike at the business end of things has a modified tanto point specifically designed for maximum penetration, while its pommel has a chisel point designed for prying. It is constructed from D2 Tool Steel, has a robust black teflon coating and shock absorbing para-cord wrap, which has been coated with a proprietary acrylic solution to ensure that is does not move even under the most rigorous use, but doesn’t impede the practical use of the cord if removed for use in a survival situation.


4. United Cutlery M48 Hawk Axe Tactical Tomahawk:

This M48 Tactical Tomahawk is quite the tactical tool. It is lightweight enought to be carried all day without added muscle fatigue and the blade of the M48 Tomahawk offers a wide, upswept axe blade for mammoth chopping, slashing and cutting potential. The axe head is constructed of precision cast 2Cr13 stainless steel. When combined with the backside of the head, the spike and axe head make for an efficient personal defense and breaching tool as well as a great camping tool with an extremely fast chopping edge. The blade is securely attached to the sturdy nylon reinforced handle with 30% fiberglass and with three separate bolts. It comes complete with a nylon snap button sheath. 8″ bl, 15″ overall.


5. Smith & Wesson Extraction & Evasion Tomahawk:

The S&W Extraction & Evasion Tomahawk is an all business tactical tool made by the legendary firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, so you can be sure its of good quality and more than capable of getting the job done. The full tang construction offers superior strength while chopping with the primary edge or bashing away with the sharpened v-shaped spike on the back side, while the handle is finished with a durable Kraton overlay for a positive gripping surface.


6. American Tomahawk Sibert Comanche:

The Sibert Comanche by American Tomahawk is the company’s premiere “integral construction” Tomahawk. It blends an aggressive shape with the functionality and tactical features to create a strong, well-balanced, and mean tactical tomahawk that is ready to raid your next drug lab or terrorist cell now.


7. K5 Tactical Tactical Hawk-Hammer Poll:

The Tactical Hawk by K5 Tactical is made from 3/8″ thick high carbon steel. The edges are hardened, and tempered, bnt the handle is left unhardened for its shock absorbing ability. The Hawk is powder-coated tan over its entire 16.5″ length. The head is 5″ long with a 3.5″ Edge face. The beard also has 3 inches of sharpened edge for hooking moves. The Handle scales are 6061 T6 Aluminum that has been MIL Spec Type III Hard Anodized with a greenish tint.


8. Benchmade Tactical Tomahawk Axe w/ Pry Bar & Spike:

Designed by Eddie Killian specifically as a  breaching tool, the Benchmade Tactical Tomahawk Axe with Pry Bar & Spike has 1095 blade material and a contoured G10 handle, making this tomahawk a very dynamic tool.  Superior features include a full-tang handle with G10 scale, wedged end for prying, and an apple seed mill bevel for increased edge life.


9. Condor Tactical Rescue Tomahawk:

The TRT (Tactical Rescue Tomahawk) by Condor has a whole-steel construction that makes this tool nearly indestructible–which is good, given its intended purpose! The serrated back spike pierces sheet metal with ease, and works well as a hook for clearing debris or wreckage, while the blade is sharpened on the underside of the beard, allowing you to sink the head into your target and lever it out like a giant can opener! A paracord wrap and lanyard provides a safe and secure grip.


10. Omnivore Blade Recon Scout Tomahawk:

The Recon Scout Tomahawk by Omnivore Blade is intended to be the ultimate cutting tool for those who want a tomahawk that can do it all.  With this axe, nearly every survival oriented chore can be accommodated with both force and precision.  The Recon Scout is the companies lightest full size tomahawk intended for backpackers, survivalists and elite soldiers. The head is machined under the beard and the spike for both weight savings and optional cutting edges. Two 20 foot pieces of paracord serve as a functional grip, and may be easily removed for use in a survival situation.

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52 Responses to Top 10 Tactical Tomahawks

  1. Jamal Brown
    August 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    All these tomahawks looks like they belongs in an end of the world zombie movie.

  2. undray hill
    September 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    i was wanting to know how much is the omnivore blade recon scout tomahawk and others like it? Can u send me pictures and a catolog

  3. Cam McHargue
    December 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I would like to know exactly which of these models the reviewer has actually used and tested head to head against one another. Is tghis review based on real world experience and application or just the pictures of the tools themselves?

  4. Hawk
    January 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve subscribed to “Tactical Knife” magazine for a number of years. Each model of tomahawk on this site have been extensively tested and featured as articles in TK. The claims are fairly solid, with each one being a robust, solidly built tool.

    The only thing to keep in mind is that some like the K5; Smith & Wesson or SOG are designed primarily as entry tools, and lack a cutting edge on the main blade. They are designed to take down doors and windows where such an edge would rapidly be destroyed.

    Other than that, the comments presented here are fairly accurate.

  5. Dennis
    February 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

    The Hawks here aren’t really that bad pending a few modifications; Bringing a sharpened edge too close to the inside Haft when choking up presents a real hotspot. The RMJ Shrike , shortened down would be my choice overall; good article anyhow and hope you do a comparison in the field…..

  6. Caleb
    March 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    These tomahawks are great, but i prefer a more indian tribal approach

  7. Rutice
    March 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    The RMJ Kestral is an excellent hawk which I personally own. It is a shortened down version of RMJ’s original hawk – the Eagle Talon. It is a 13 inch model and personally it is great for soldiers and citizens alike. I did however put on a polished edge onto it – mainly due to having to spend more time chopping tree limbs while on duty.

    March 13, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I have the Smith and Wesson, it is a formidable weapon. I think the best one over all is the GG&G Battlehawk. I will be getting that one very soon.

  9. John Kitzmiller
    March 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    How does one purchase one of the axes?

  10. John Kitzmiller
    March 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    How do you purchase one of the axes?

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  12. looking for tactical lights and axes
    April 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

    hey great site, i was just out looking for an axe to go camping and found these excessively cool tomahawks…may have to get one…. =) ill have to look around your blog more…

    have a good one…….

  13. Marvin H.
    June 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

    This is a great write up about tactical tomahawks. Not everyone can afford an RMJ or custom made tool. But, I think the M48 Kommando line is a practical solution to a newcomer in the hawk marketplace. For under $40, you can’t beat them. What I think is also cool, since you wrote this article,RMJ collaborated with CRKT and is now producing their full-tang hawks at about a quarter of a custom hawk.Can’t wait for the 2013 edition of this article because there are some really great new ones coming out. American Kami does some great work as well, you should check out their stuff.

    • ben
      January 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      They put an m48 up thats nice but I relly think for the money the sog fast hawk sould be up the especially since now u can get them with a very nice hard molded locking sheath that is universal mountable &high quality

  14. Anonymous
    July 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    The S&W tomahawk is NOT made by S&W, but by Taylor Brands. S&W has licensed it with its name, nothing more. Also, no mention of Daniel Winkler’s line of extremely high quality hawks is a tremendous oversight for a list such as this.

  15. Tom A Hawk
    July 10, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I have a site kind of like this but i really like the way that this one is laid out and straight to the point. i did not cover many of these hawks in my site and now i surely will have to do some research. great information guys. i have the m48 hawk from united cutlery and i love it but cant wait to get another and really start a collection. im thinking the smith and wesson, anyone agree? is my site, check it out and let me know what youve got.

  16. Tom A Hawk
    July 13, 2013 at 1:03 am

    i love every single blade on this post. im gonna throw some on my website here

  17. Tara
    August 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Oh man I want one so badddd……

  18. Tommy Hawk
    September 5, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Nice list. The full tang Hardcore hawks are beasts. Definitely go for full tang if you’re going to be tossing them. Sure, you can replace a broken handle, but who wants the hassle? I’ve got full stats on some of these hawks (and more) at my Tactical Tomahawk site. That Recon Scout is awesome – but the cost hurts me!

  19. Gear Guy
    September 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

    The Benchmade tomahawk looks pretty sick. I’m thinking about buying one myself.

  20. Deacon Jones
    November 30, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Author doesn’t know a hammer pole axe from a pole barn. Hint, Hammer Pole axes have…..a hammer head opposite the blade.

    To understand these you have to use them, #1 is too light as the steel is removed right from where it is needed most. #3′s two hawks are both copies of two others makers in steel that would be reject materials for either of the other makers. #s 5,7,8,9 also copies of one of the same maker, all in lesser steels and tempers..

    Separate these axes out by heat treating and metal used and your list of “best” drops to three (3) in six seconds of review.

    Seriously, stick to what you actually own and use when making statements about the “top 10″ of anything.

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  22. Doobers
    January 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I’m a war veteran and I have the M48 picked it up brand new cheap and I have to admit, it would be a formidable weapon in a last-ditch effort to survive against a mass of people in a close space. It’s very light but the fiberglass shaft feels very reliable and the weight is positioned nicely where it should be. I throw knives but would NOT throw this, not because I do not feel it would stand up to the abuse but because it’s INCREDIBLY sharp (axe & pick ends BOTH) and the slightest error would create the need for stitches. I would NOT recommend it as an entry weapon because it doesn’t seem designed to “pry” and is not terribly heavy. Ideal initial approach weapon to a hand-to-hand engagement as a secondary “drop” weapon (because it’s likely to STICK and STAY in whatever you hit with it) or to be used in conjunction with a knife for hand-to-hand combat against someone with a knife the advantage being it’s reach: ie: reach out and hack/grab with the tomahawk and pull in close for the knife kill. Because it is so sharp and the way it’s designed, I wouldn’t expect to retrieve it quickly though if you did pull it out, it would cause tremendous trauma. I would prefer it over the rest here as a fine survival tool because it is: 1.) Light *for humping and for speed* 2.) Strong Built fiberglass haft *durability & impact/shock absorber* 3.) Sharp 4.) Grip (NOTE: there doesn’t seem to be much weight here given to the importance of the tomahawk’s GRIP… but what good is it going to be if it slips out of your hand?) the grip of the M48 feels like a hammer haft and you can either use the rope grip or take that off and the grip feels solid a couple coats of TOOL DIP would be a great backup too. ALL the other tomahawk grips look like they would either slip out of a sweaty hand or would be incredibly uncomfortable. If I had to choose from ONLY the tomahawks here as a tool for battle or general survival situations, it would be between the RJM Shrike ($400+) or the M48 ($40). The RJM Shrike appears stronger overall but then is also heavier and considerably more expensive (you could have 10 x m48′s for the same price as one RJM shrike). The M48 seems the obvious choice to me, which is why I have one.

  23. Tactical Gear Experts
    February 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I guess we got our weapons for the zombie apocalypse ready.Just kidding.On a more serious note I love your consolidated list of tomahawks but I think SOG deserves a notable mention.I have come to love my SOG F01TN-CP tomahawk.If you would like a review on it then you can check it out

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  25. zach tate
    April 20, 2014 at 12:10 am

    This list was made by someone with no knowledge of tools. Seriously no Winklers? Please if you want a TommyHawk, place your monies on a Winkler, RMJ, CRKT, Vietnam, Recon Scout, or Bussekin.

  26. Hapenstance Patriot
    April 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

    What’s missing in all of these tact hawks is a ball at the end of the handle. Reason: A, keeps handle from slipping through grip. B: When using T-hawk at full length ball is in palm of hand w/ spike protruding past pinky finger. The ball acts as a pivot point giving the head more velocity with swing. (think action of whip) Speed is your friend. Tonfa, see ball on perpendicular handle.

  27. Nick
    June 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    This is a good list. But which one is the best in your opinion. I have a M48 and want to buy try a new one. Please let me know.

  28. Swinging Steel Axes
    July 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I am mainly an axe guy, but this is a great list of tomahawks. I like that fact that you have included a broad range of prices. Sure the Shrike by RMJ is awesome, but not everyone has (or wants) to spend that kind of money. For most folks, a mid-price hawk is great across a wide variety of applications. Let’s face it, most of use will be using these for camping, and survival prep, not combat. Great hawks are available for $100-$150.

    BTW, thanks for including the recon scout, I wasn’t aware of this one! it looks well built and I love the paracord handle grip. Keep up the good work!

  29. RealMarineVeteranSemperHi5
    October 1, 2014 at 4:55 am

    Iam a veteran and back in the Corps we used them tactical tomahawks to bash the Taliban so they are battle tested I kept one when I went back home from the sandbox under my bed to use when SHTF and in case I would ran out of ammo for my 300 BLK M4 Comp 1 Tier 2 Mk 5, but one day my Mum found them and locked them away with some stroke books, but whatever. They are great and battle ready and U can trust me cause Iam a veteran. And Seals use tactical hawks to kill Ben Laden and stuff, but they mainly use them in flat dark earth cerakote to minimize risk in the deployment.


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