The best tactical axe
Axes and hatchets are excellent tools to have in any outdoor scenario. They allow you to gather and split wood efficiently, create bigger shelters and process game more quickly.
Let’s look at the history of the axe. The basic tactical axe design was prevalent in military history. These were used as standard issues to squads and patrols, and were seen as extremely useful and dynamic tools/ weapons. They were used for breeching, cutting, digging, prying, chopping, splitting and, yes self-defense. In later years, their military popularity waned to other more specific individual devices to do the same jobs, only better. These tactical axes are coming back in popularity for many consumers as they are seen as a one-stop tool. Regardless if you are camping enthusiast, “prepper,” hunter, or outdoorsman, you can find huge value in these devices as one of your key tools to carry in your hunting pack.
Highly recommended tactical axes
Below is a list of some highly-recommended tactical axes:
- SOG Tomahawk Tactical Hatchet – Available for around $40, this axe throws, chops, pierces, and hammers very effectively. This model features a 12.5” stainless steel axe head. While stainless steel is not the easiest to re-sharpen, it holds an edge extremely well and is highly resistant to running when exposed to the elements. The blade of the head measures a solid 2 ¾”. It is very lightweight at only 23.1 ounces and comes with a heavy-duty ballistic nylon sheath to aid in protecting it and for carry. To the rear of the axe head you will find a spike, which is useful if you need to pierce something, or need to dig your way out of trouble.
- SOG Base Camp Axe – This axe is recommended due to its reasonable price. However, because it is not very heavy, it is not as good for chopping as some of the others on the list. The head top is flattened so you can switch from an axe to a hammer with a single flip of the axe. Some hunters have suggested that the axe needs to be sharpened before its first use, and in those cases, it delivers much better results than using it straight out of the package. A popular feature, popular among hunters, is the rubber handle which provides a truly reliable grip and gives a feeling of stability in the hand.
- Snake Eye Tactical Compact Tomahawk Full Tang Camping Axe – This axe, great for hunting, fishing, and throwing, is 9.5” in overall length, and is well balanced with a stainless-steel blade that is 5.25” wide and 2.75” long at its furthest points (not including handle). This axe is full tang, and if you are not familiar with tang, a full tang allows for greater balance and leverage. If you plan to use this axe frequently, you will benefit from the full tang. Also included is the tactical sheath.
- CIMA Tactical Tomahawk Tactical Survival Hunting/ Camping Axe – This axe has very mixed reviews, but CIMA promises that if there are any problems within the first year, to contact them for a replacement. Because of their loyalty to the product and to the customer, this axe makes the list. With 29mm thick steel, an overall length of 11.8”, a 4.3” cutting edge, and 1.15 lb multi-color paint that will not fade, this axe is a sharp and durable throwing axe that will help you hone your throw to perfection.
- MTech Full Tang Stonewash Tactical Throwing Hatchet Axe – This axe is perfect for camping, fishing, various outdoor adventures, and self-defense. It presents itself well with its stylish appearance, revealing its own personality. The blade is strong and durable and made out of stainless steel, containing more carbon which gives it excellent hardness and edge retention. The axe is sharp, light, and flat enough to stow anywhere.
- Browning 231 Outdoorsman Axe – While this axe has less of a tactical nature than some of the others recommended, it makes the list because of its ruggedness and strength. Ideal for camping because it is light in weight, the 2 ½” head is quite strong and durable. The short head is compensated for by the long handle, which provides for easy leverage. This axe is ideal for small jobs such as removing the branches of a tree. If you use it only for small and simple jobs, you can use this axe for a long time.
- Browning Shock N’ Awe Tomahawk Knife – This is a full tang tomahawk that is very fast/quick and agile/nimble in the hand, and hunters like it for its size, weight, availability, and cost. Very well rated with a variety of positive reviews, this product measures 13.2 x 9.2 x 2.3 inches and 3.52 ounces.
- Gerber Downrange Tomahawk – Definitely one of the more expensive tactical axes on the list, this version offers three tools in one; axe, hammer head, and pry bar. The 420HC steel body w/ Cerakote will not bend or break, and you will get the job done with your first try. This tomahawk is a modern take on an ancient instrument of war – specifically designed to accomplish three breaching tasks. The axe head cuts through walls and rope while the hammer head is the perfect size for smashing through obstacles like hinges, door knobs and locking devices. A hefty pry at the end of the tool can be employed confidently with a cutaway handle in the axe head – this allows the user to maximize leverage during the breach. Desert Tan G-10 scales mount the 420HC steel with KG gun cote to provide maximum grip regardless of environment. The Downrange Tomahawk is an indestructible instrument of destruction.
The differences between tactical axes and tomahawks
Typically, an axe or hatchet is not explicitly designed for military or tactical use. Axes excel at chopping, splitting, shaving, and more, and they can be used for many of the same chores as an edged tool. The handle or grip is typically more ergonomic in shape and sometimes offers multiple hand positions. As you will see from some of the descriptions of the above axes, tomahawks are also worth considering, and are often much lighter in weight. A tomahawk is more useful for combat and the straight handle is ideal for releasing while throwing. It does a solid job at bushcraft operations and can handle some chopping, but it’s not designed like an axe for that one chore. Tomahawks are fun to take into the wilderness for throwing and they have a military/tactical look to them and a deep military history.