Blades and Knives

CRKT Tomahawk — Great Around Camp or for Survival

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

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.


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Comments (4)

  1. The SOG line of WarHawk and FastHawk’s are available at WalMart. (Not to plug them) but for $25.00 you can’t go wrong. I bought a case of them at Christmas time and they were without question the best received gifts I gave to my friends. I use both for around the camp and for my bug out kit…. SOG won’t fail you and won’t break the bank oddly enough. I have tortured one with throwing practice and use for kindling at the fire pit, etc. and it asks for more… This is one on steroids… It will do just as well… A tool you really need in your kit regardless of who make it – as long as it’s a reputable maker and won’t leave you broken in a pinch!!

  2. Interesting Bob, but rediculous price. I wish I could find the old guy at the flea market, who always had a truckload of wooden handles for sale. I have generations of rakes, shovels, and all sorts of hammers, hatchets, and axes, which need new handles from three generations of our combined families. The pile of immediate close at hand stuff I trip over every time I go through the garage, include two Legitimus&Collins machetes, a TrueTemper one, dated 1945, a TrueTemper wood handled tiny little camp axe about a foot long, an all steel Craftsman small hatchet, and another with fiberglass handle. In the pile, I also have folding camp saws, meat cleavers, and other useful cutting tools, which never see use, now that I can’t get away to use them, but would feel naked without them. I can however, look down at the pile, and remember times when I needed and used each of them.

  3. The tomahhawk was the weapon that nearly defeated the early American settlers and British soldiers. Quick to dispatch the enemy who was trying to reload his musket as seen in the movie “Last of the Mohicans”, and “The Patriot”.

    I didn’t have a tomahawk in VietNam, but I did have an entrenching tool that I kept very sharp, and used much like a tomahawk with great success. I’m still alive today because of it.

  4. would love to have one of those to replace my camp hatchet but the price is way to high. realizeing you get what you pay for but that seems about 35% more than practical at 140.00 dollars

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