CRKT Tomahawk — Great Around Camp or for Survival

By Bob Campbell published on in Blades and Knives, Reviews

The Tomahawk always has held a great fascination for this writer. Among the most intriguing cinematic depictions of the Tomahawk—a tool, a weapon and an American icon—is the one in which Mani, a Native American who has traveled to France with his good friend, takes on a gang of murderers.


The T-Hawk includes a credible tactical-grade sheath that carries well with little rebound.

The “Brotherhood of the Wolf” is a wonderful movie filled with heroics, a good plot line and mix of French and American tradition I find immensely appealing.

Mani’s use of the Tomahawk, and the unlikely presence of an American warrior in the French countryside, is quite interesting. The scenes in which he wields his favored weapon are wonderfully choreographed. Among the favored edged tools in my collection is a Vietnam Tomahawk. This is a tool that I have used occasionally in clearing branches and vegetation. If circumstance dictated that I keep an edged weapon near my side, this would be the one.

Recently, I tested and evaluated a rather striking tool I find good for modern use. It is not an inexpensive trading-post-type Tomahawk; it is a modern rendition of that useful tool. The Columbia River Knife and Tool Kangee T-Hawk is well made, well fitted and finished; razor sharp; and a wonderful all-around tool. Well-known and respected knife designer Ryan Johnson designed the T-Hawk.

Johnson’s designs command a good price because they are custom, one-at-a-time tools. The CRKT version makes the design available to those of us with a taste for the type and a limited budget. Manufactured from a single piece of steel, the T-Hawk has a pleasantly curved handle and a pommel that features a strong section for cutting or striking. The handle has excellent adhesion, no matter how cold or sweat stained the hand.

Did you say field testing?

Did you say field testing?

The handle is glass-impregnated nylon, and the finish is a rugged powder coating that has proven durable per my testing. The head is carbon steel, and with the powder coating, it resists corrosion. The T-Hawk is a healthy 13.75 inches overall and weighs a reasonable 1 pound and 9 ounces, giving the T-Hawk a long reach.

Black CRKT T-Hawk with the other end in a tree trunk.

How about the other end of the blade?

The balance is ideal. The T-Hawk’s description lists the blade’s edge at 3 inches, but the total cutting area is much greater. While on the subject of the blade, let me give you a caution—never grasp the T-Hawk by the head or you will be cut! The T-Hawk has power for both hacking and slashing—well, hacking vegetation and stuff like that.

Black CRKT T-Hawk with emphasis on the sharp blade edge.

The T-Hawk is very sharp and ready to work as delivered.

As I said, if I was in one of those unhappy situations I have found myself more than once in which firearms are prohibited or impractical for one reason or the other, a Tomahawk is high on the list of choices for personal defense. Remember, the T-Hawk is known as the Trench Hawk for good reason.

Black CRKT T-Hawk blade down on a old tree trunk.

When all is said and done, this is a great rendition of a classic American blade.

Around the homestead, it is the time when the Pretty Girl and I have cranked up the fireplace and enjoyed the warmth. I took the opportunity to use the T-Hawk to split a few logs, collect kindling and otherwise chop a few pieces of wood. The T-Hawk is a good addition to my modest collection of working tools and one with more than a little style.

Black CRKT T-Hawk blade down on a gray cement background.

The CRKT T-Hawk is a model of good human engineering.

Have you used a CRKT T-Hawk? Share your experiences with us in the comments.


Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.

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