While I realize that they are far from practical, I absolutely love throwing weapons. I guess it’s just my inner child, but I can never get enough of throwing stars, throwing knives, throwing shovels, and – yes – tomahawks. The attraction boils down to two things: they look cool, and they’re fun to use. Of course, they’re also very frustrating watching the thing bounce off the target again and again and again, but after all that failure, getting it to stick is incredibly satisfying.
This particular tomahawk, the Best Competition Throwing Tomahawk, comes from the fine folks at hatchetsandaxes.com. It’s the “best” in that it’s the top tier option in their line of throwing tomahawks, and comes with a nicer handle than the standard model.
The head of the tomahawk is a solid piece of carbon steal. The top and bottom are buffed out, but the majority of the axe head is left with a dark, pitted patina that looks really, really nice. If you don’t like that look, they also offer a completely polished version. Out of the box, the blade isn’t terribly sharp, but this is done by design since the hawk is made for competition throwing, which does not require a razor-sharp edge.
The handle is a solid piece of American hickory, which means it’s quite strong. It’s got a nice finish, which comes from a smooth sanding and a coating of bee’s wax. The website claims that the bee’s wax gives the tomahawk a solid grip, even when wet. While I didn’t test it out soaking wet, I did notice that it was very easy to grip even when it got a little damp from the dewy grass. One thing I really like about the handle is that it’s a teardrop shape, rather than round. That makes it fit very comfortably in your hand.
Unlike some of the other tomahawks I’ve looked at, this does not have any hardware holding the head to the handle; it stays in place with friction alone. I thought this was kind of strange, so I did a bit of research and found that this is actually the idea. When there is a screw or a pin holding the head in place, it actually weakens the handle, making it more likely to crack or split on impact. That said, there is a downside. Since there’s nothing there to hold the head in place, it does occasionally come lose and slide down the handle. This is easy enough to fix – simply pull it back into place – but it does tend to chew up the handle near the end.
As a hand-axe, it functions pretty well out of the box. I hacked through some fairy large branches without too much of an issue. If, however, I was planning to do any serious chopping with it, I would definitely put a better edge it first. After all, this thing is designed to stick to a target, not to chop down trees.
Speaking of sticking to a target, just how well does it do that? Well, this part of the review comes with a huge caveat: I am not a skilled tomahawk thrower. I have no idea what I’m doing, although I did watch a number of tutorials to try to reduce my humiliation a bit. That said, this thing throws pretty darn well. I was able to stick it quite a few times (although still a tiny minority of the number of my throws). I actually started to get the hang of the axe’s balance and how it spins in the air, eventually hitting the target with the head much more often. To mean, that says that the tomahawk is well designed, and probably works very well in capable hands.
All told, it’s a well designed tomahawk with great build quality. It throws quite well and is just a lot of fun to take out in the yard and play around with. Since the price point is quite low, this is a great entry-level tomahawk for people flirting with the idea of getting into tomahawk throwing without too big of an initial investment.
As always, any feedback on the video would be much appreciated.
Nice review Dave. That coconut didn’t stand a chance, although I’m not sure a zombie would lie there waiting for you to crack its head open 🙂
Oh, and were the throws in chronological order? i.e. did you get better with getting it to stick the more you threw it, or was it hit and miss?
The video was good, sound was good, lighting was good. Two thumbs up from me!
Thanks Mad.. I really appreciate the video feedback; it’s something I’m really working hard to improve, so I’m happy to see the lighting and sound worked well!
The throws were not in chronological order; I just thought it looked cooler edited like that. I did get a little better with more practice, but it was no where near that extreme.