- Best OverallThis one stands out given its multi-functionality and high-portability.
- Runner-Up Best OverallThis tactical tomahawk has an aggressive design paired with an ergonomic grip.
- Best for CombatEquipped with an angled blade for excellent penetrative qualities.
- Best PortableLightweight with an extended head facilitating longer cuts-ideal for outdoor survival.
- Best Hammer GripExceptional for outdoor activities and protection with a shock-absorbent grip to increase performance.
- Best For CampingSmall yet sturdy, and portable with an easy to pot stainless steel.
- Best Viking StyleAchieves unmatched aggressive capabilities by combining ancient Viking axe design with modern tactical tomahawks.
- Best BudgetA no-frills tactical tomahawk that has enough utility to make it a great budget buy.
Throughout the history of weapons in the Americas, tomahawks hold a special place. Tribes would inspire fear in their enemies using these weapons.
Tomahawks back then were considered amazing tools, but the ones made today are even more incredible as we shall see in this review. The basic design remains the same, but the materials and extra features bring the utility of the tomahawk to new heights.
In this review, we have compiled a list of the best tactical tomahawk available today. If you’re a military operator or outdoor enthusiast, read through the review to find out which tactical tomahawk is the best for you.
Best Overall: Gerber Downrange
- Extremely durable materials
- 3-in-1 tool
- Easy to sharpen
- Fairly expensive
- Longer compared to its alternatives
- Not ideal for throwing purposes
The USA-made axe head on the Gerber Downrange is a feat of modern weapon and tool design, featuring an extremely durable steel material that is completely resistant to bending and breaking.
At the opposite end of the blade is an impact hammer, great for driving down stakes or whatever else you need to set up in the field. It’s a fantastic addition to an otherwise high-quality axehead that sets the Downrange above the rest of the pack.
The core of the handle is made of a durable fiberglass material that doesn’t bend or crack under pressure. It features G-10 scaling that provides unparalleled grippage and also increases the overall strength of the tomahawk as a whole.
At the end of the handle is an incredibly useful pry bar that will help you blast through any obstacle in your path. It’s made out of a high-quality steel alloy with a well-designed grip that keeps you safe from the business end of the tomahawk.
The Gerber Downrange weighs only 1.89 pounds, more lightweight than almost any other tactical tomahawk on the market. Increasing its portability, the MOLLE-compatible sheath is also very well-designed, easy to link to your tactical backpack, vest, or pants.
The pry bar, while useful, has one significant drawback. It makes the handle heavier, leading to a slightly off-balance feeling when wielding the blade. As such, this tactical tomahawk is not the best for throwing.
Runner-Up Best Overall: CRKT Kangee T-Hawk
- High-quality steel material
- The blade is well-balanced
- Three attachment slots
- Durable and comfortable nylon grip
- Limited multi-functionality
- Slightly expensive
- Balance thrown off by attachments
To say the head of the CRKT Kangee T-Hawk is aggressive would be an understatement. The imposing SK5 carbon steel blade is flanked by a threatening spike at the other end, perfect for chopping or penetrating any armor or terrain you may encounter.
Also, the overall balance of the blade is exceptional. The entire head is forged from a single piece of steel, enhancing your ability to switch between the blade and the spike in one fluid motion.
The Kangee T-Hawk’s handle was designed with ease of use in mind. It has a curved grip with ridges for your hands and fingers for increased grippage. It is made of a glass-reinforced nylon material which decreases the chances of your hands slipping when using the axe.
The attachment slots make it easy to fix your accessories to the handle. This is particularly useful because the tomahawk doesn’t have many built-in extra features/tools.
This tactical tomahawk weighs only 1.53 pounds, incredibly lightweight on its own. However, the overall weight will increase with the attachments you fix to the handle. The MOLLE-webbing helps to offset this issue, though, and you can easily fasten the tomahawk to your other tactical gear.
Best for Combat: Spyderco Warrior Hawk
- Tipped axe blade
- Very tough steel material
- Ergonomic grip
- Great sheath
- Non-MOLLE compatible
- Nonexistent multifunctionality
- Slightly heavy for its features
The axe head is the best feature of this tactical tomahawk, hands down. The angled blade maximizes the steel’s penetrative qualities, while retaining its ability to slice and chop through anything in its path.
On the other end, the spike can puncture almost any kind of material. It is angled in such a way that you can rip through once you’ve made the hole.
Sitting comfortably in your hand is the G10 fiberglass laminate grip, which reduces slippage and increases productivity with every swing. It’s made of a durable material that won’t corrode with exposure to the elements. Additionally, it retains its shape no matter how much pressure it’s put under.
While the Spyderco Warrior Hawk only weighs 2 pounds, the fact that it doesn’t have any additional tools incorporated into the design makes this fairly heavy.
The sheath is one of the best features of this tomahawk as it makes storage quick and easy while providing maximum protection from the blade and spike as you move.
Best Portable: SOG Voodoo Hawk
- Compact and lightweight
- Great handle
- Exceptionally aerodynamic
- The price is reasonable
- Not Molle-compatible
- Very reflective
- Not good for big targets
This stainless steel hatchet features a flat blade and straight angle, perfect for outdoor survival sports like axe throwing. The cutting head is also extended, allowing for longer cuts that are surprising for an axe this size.
The spike is also exceptional, long enough to penetrate and durable enough to pull back thick and tough materials. Despite its size, this tactical hatchet definitely packs a punch.
Built to support intensive use over extended periods of time, the glass-reinforced nylon handle grips well and remains comfortable over long stretches. The axe’s small size compliments the hammer-pommel, allowing you to smash hard-to-reach spots a bit easier than other products.
This tactical hatchet is a smaller version of the original Voodoo Hawk. It’s incredibly lightweight at only 1.44 pounds, and the sheath is easy to carry or string to a bag. However, it is not MOLLE-compatible, but you’ll be able to fit it on your other tactical gear easily.
Best Hammer Grip: Estwing Black Eagle
- Fantastic grip
- Great balance
- Strong American steel
- Non-reflective coating
- Length makes it bulky
- Underwhelming sheath
- No MOLLE-compatibility
The single billet-forged axe head is made of an extremely rigid 1055 high carbon steel, excellent for cutting through branches and small trees. The pick end of the head is great for digging and infiltration, making this an extremely useful tactical tomahawk in an outdoor setting.
The length of the axe makes it a formidable weapon, offering greater protection than a tactical knife. In addition, the steel finish is non-reflective, perfect for camouflage in low-visibility conditions. Aggressors won’t know of your defense until it’s too late.
The patented grip of the Estwing Black Eagle features shock reduction qualities unmatched by the rest of the tactical tomahawk market. Not only that, but the synthetic coating is incredibly grippy and prevents slippage almost entirely. Combined with tactical gloves, you won’t even feel like you’re cutting anything at all.
Also, the length of the axe is forged from the same billet as the head, giving the user exceptional balance regardless of the situation.
While the Estwing Black Eagle still weighs under 2 pounds, the length and the lack of MOLLE-compatibility makes this tactical tomahawk fairly bulky. However, the eye of the blade makes up for this by letting you use your own tactical clip system to fasten the axe to your storage device.
Best For Camping: SOG Camp Axe
- Small yet robust design
- Stainless steel easy to spot
- Wide hammer end
- No MOLLE-webbing
- Limited multi-functionality
- Might need to be retightened out of the box
The blade head was designed from a spec-ops background, so you can expect it to be of tactical quality. Stainless steel makes it capable of clean precise cuts, while excellent balance gives it incredible responsiveness in tough situations.
While other tactical tomahawks might not benefit from reflective steel, it makes the SOG Camp Axe perfect for camping. Even if you misplace it in the brush, you’ll spot it easily.
Despite its short length, the SOG Camp axe provides plenty of space to get a strong grip on the handle with enough room between your hand and the blade. Glass-reinforced nylon with ergonomic ridges provide great shock resistance for prolonged use, keeping your hand ready for the next block of wood.
This compact tactical tomahawk goes beyond expectations. Despite weighing only one pound, the axe is more than capable of large swings into tough materials, while retaining the balance necessary for smaller cuts.
The sheath is made from the same durable synthetic material as the handle, making it resistant to scratches from the blade. You can clip it to your tactical webbing system for easy transport, but it isn’t directly MOLLE-compatible.
Best Viking Style: Tops Knives VI Ax
- Wide axe blade
- Strong materials
- Ergonomic grip
- Curved handle maximizes torque
- Bulky and heavy
When you take a look at the Top Knives VI Axe head, the first thing you would notice is the size; it’s very big. It sports an over 5-inch blade with an imposing 2-inch penetrative spike at the other end. The 1075 single-billet forged steel makes this tactical tomahawk extremely shock-resistant and almost impervious to daily wear and tear.
The VI Axe has a straight-angle curved grip that increases the amount of force you can apply while using the axe blade or the spike. It’s comfortable to wield for extended periods, with an incredibly grippy handle-casing. However, it is small compared to the rest of the axe body.
Although this axe is much heavier than many of the other products we’ve listed, the MOLLE-compatible sheath makes up for it. However, the large axe head necessitates a large sheath, and this one is a thick leather that noticeably increases the overall weight of the axe.
Best Budget: SOG Tactical Tomahawk
- High-quality design
- Rugged materials
- Limited multi-functionality
- Handle tends to vibrate
- Short blade not good for big cuts
Forged out of 420 stainless steel, the straight-edge axe head is a force to be reckoned with. While it’s short, making it no ideal for big cuts, the blade is sharp enough to deal with branches or small trees along with thin metal if necessary.
The spike is noteworthy as well, almost half the length of the axe head and sporting a tough head that can penetrate through nearly anything.
The SOG Tactical Tomahawk has a straight handle with enough grip to give you the extra power you need to plow through whatever material at hand. There aren’t any extra tools available along the body, but considering this is a budget or beginner’s tactical tomahawk, those aren’t really necessary.
While the glass-reinforced nylon handle is durable as can be, the grip tends to not absorb shock as much as other tactical tomahawks. However, combined with tactical gloves, this may not be an issue afterall.
Weighing only 1.5 pounds, this tactical tomahawk can be transported and attached to MOLLE-compatible webbing without a problem. You can take it anywhere, and the short axe head reduces the chance of hurting yourself as you move around.
Despite intense competition from other high-quality tomahawks, we still stand with the Gerber Downrange as the best tactical tomahawk available today. The multi-application head, ergonomic and utilitarian handle, and durable and lightweight materials put it far and above the rest in the market. It’s an excellent addition to a growing weapon and tool collection and definitely deserves a chance.
No matter which tactical tomahawk you choose, be sure that it will give you the edge you need when you’re between a rock and a hard place.
Common Questions about Tactical Tomahawks (FAQ)
There are many questions you might have about tactical tomahawks. Here, we’ve tried to address the various concerns our readers had about the tool, including legalities surrounding its use and ownership, and what qualities to look out for.
Keep reading to clear up any doubts and confusion regarding tomahawks.
What Is the Difference Between an Axe and a Tactical Tomahawk?
The key difference between an axe or hatchet and a tactical tomahawk is the design and multifunctionality as aligned with its traditional counterparts.
Tactical tomahawks feature an aggressive design meant to inspire respect and fear in the user’s peers and opponents. They often have other tools incorporated into the build, allowing you to perform more tasks other than chopping. Tomahawks are designed to be incorporated into the rest of your tactical setup instead of the other way around.
Is It Legal to Own a Tactical Tomahawk?
It is legal to own a tactical tomahawk in every state in the country. However, some states have restrictions on how and where you can use it, but you won’t need a license to own or keep one in your home.
Is It Legal To Carry Around a Tomahawk in Public?
The answer to this question will depend on which state you live in. If you have an open-carry permit, many states will allow you to carry your tactical tomahawk in public. In states without restrictions on open carry, you’re allowed to do the same. Notable exceptions are California, Colorado, and Texas, which prohibit the carrying of long blades in public.
However, you are not allowed to conceal-carry a tomahawk in most states. Knife laws typically recognize a sharp and deadly weapon to be longer than 5 inches, which is a category most tomahawks fall under. Police will question you as to your purpose for carrying the weapon, so don’t leave the house with it without a legitimate reason.
What Kind of Tomahawk Does the Military Use?
No branch of the U.S. military has a standard-issue tomahawk. However, special operators have been known to own and use tomahawks in the field. The brand and product are dependent on the individual’s preference.
How Heavy Should a Tactical Tomahawk Be?
Your tactical tomahawk should not be above 3 pounds without attachments; it should be under 2 pounds preferably. Beyond that, the size of the axe isn’t ideal for the weight, decreasing balance, and your ability to wield it seamlessly.
How Do You Throw a Tactical Tomahawk?
Before we answer this question, it’s worthy to mention that not all tomahawks are designed to be thrown. Some are more aerodynamic than others; find out if yours is up to the task before you get down to some target practice.
To throw a tomahawk, square your shoulders towards the target. Grip the handle of the tomahawk with one hand at the bottom of the shaft. The blade should be perfectly in line with your hand, otherwise, it won’t fly straight through the air.
After you’ve got a good grip on your hawk, bring your arm above your head. In a natural fluid motion, swing your hand back down with enough force to make the tomahawk fly, and let it slip out of your hand, keeping your arm straight. If you don’t hit your mark, adjust the position of your thumb to match your index, straighten the blade, and try again. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.