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Thread: Tomahawk vs hatchet

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    Default Tomahawk vs hatchet

    Been doing some search engine time today, and haven't found anything which really clarifies for me the supposed advantages and disadvantages of tomahawks vs hatchets.

    This is not an attempt to get a flame war. I have no particular opinions on this.

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    Scout ljcsov's Avatar
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    Tomahawk - throwable, can remove head for certain tasks, lightweight (varies), easier to make a handle

    Hatchet - splits better, more weight to the head yields more power, actually useful (in my opinion)

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    Thank you, concise and useful.

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    As goes for a lot of things, it comes down to mostly preference. The advantage of a hawk is the longer handle which provides a little more leverage for chopping. On the other hand, the hatchet may be a little more portable given its shorter handle. YMMV.
    "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." -- John Muir

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    If it came down to it I would preffer a Hatchet.

    In my experience the hatchet is easier to use more efficiently than the hawk.
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    It's not that a tomahawk can't be a good chopper, rather the way most of them are made makes them poor choppers. A hatchet with it's convex cheeks throws the chips out much more efficiently and is far less likely to stick in the wood than a hawk which is usually made with flat cheeks.

    Also, hawks generally have small polls or almost no poll which gives them poor balance and makes chopping blows less precise.

    In their favor, a hawk handle is a little easier to fabricate in the field, though a hatchet handle can easily be made.

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    Also, tomahawks look much cooler than hatchets. They just don't work as well.

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    I carry a hawk becuase I can take the head off and use it as a hand ax.

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    A hatchet is likely a more useful tool in the woods as long as there is no one trying to kill you.

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    I think that without any particulars (which Tomahawk compared to which hatchet?) all were going to be doing here is making over-generalizations.

    Not all Tomahawks are created equal, neither are all hatchets.

    Example, the only Tomahawk I own is the CS Trailhawk, which splits better than any hatchet I've ever used because the hatchets, though heavier, always had shorter handles than the 'hawk. The 'hawk chops better for the same reason.
    However, there are longer handled hatchets, different head profiles, etc. that would likely challenge my 'hawk on these points.

    Personally, I think it all comes down to how you use your tools, what kind of tasks you find yourself doing most often in the woods, and how much weight your willing to carry.

    I find my Trailhawk useful in the same tasks that I usually leave up to a machete; taking smaller saplings for shelters, rough chopping, splitting small kindling for hobo stove, etc.

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