I’ve always been a fan of western movies, and movies about the Founding of this country – America, and early pioneers. If you watched the movie with Mel Gibson, The Patriot you will see many Patriots in the movie – and as it was in real-life – using tomahawks in Close Quarters Battle. Given my druthers, I’ll take a well made and well-designed tomahawk into CQB over a knife any day of the week. And, even our American Natives, used some primitive type of tomahawk in battle. And, when trading posts popped up as the country grew westward, Native Americans were able to trade and buy tomahawks made out of steel, instead of one with knapped stone heads.
Columbia River Knife & Tool recently sent me their new Kangee T-Hawk for testing. And, I’ll tell you, this is, without doubt, the most awesome tomahawk I’ve ever tested. It is well-designed and well made. It was designed by Ryan Johnson, a custom blade maker, and CRKT picked-up the design, making it affordable over a custom-made version. What is unique about the Kangee T-Hawk is that it is made from one solid piece of steel, with a curved handle and grip choils along the handle for enhanced gripping power. The handle is covered with glass filled Nylon and had an EDM finish – on it – for a VERY secure hold under any weather conditions.
The Kangee T-Hawk is made out of SK5 Carbon Steel – but it is coated with a black powder coating, to help it resist rust. The overall length of the T-Hawk is 13.74-inches – it has a long reach on it. and it weighs-in at 1-lb 8.4-ounces – not too heavy, and it balances nicely, considering its length. The dimensions of the blade aren’t quite what they appear – CRKT lists the blade as almost 3-inches for the cutting head. However, the top of the blade is also sharpened, as well as the Tanto-style back of the blade – which gives you tremendous slashing and cutting power. One thing you must be aware of, when handling the T-Hawk is that, the top of the blade is sharp – VERY sharp. Many people for some reason, tend to pick-up or grip a tomahawk by the top of the head, instead of the handle – if you do that with the T-Hawk, you will readily slice you hand open, with a nasty wound, that runs deep. No, I didn’t cut myself with it! The T-Hawk also comes with a black Kydex sheath with a MOLLE clip platform, for mounting it on a vest.
The bottom of the handle has three large holes in it, and I honestly don’t see any tactical purpose to this, other than for cosmetics or to lighten the overall weight of the piece – but the holes wouldn’t do much to lighten the load, but they are there just the same. I suppose one could attach a lanyard to one of the holes, and secure the T-Hawk to you hand that way – never a bad idea.
Okay, I had the Kangee T-Hawk for the better part of two months, and I used and abused it just about every way you can imagine. I did a lot of chopping of blackberry vines, and it worked great. I also chopped down some small trees and shrubs around the homestead. However, more than anything, I used the T-Hawk as a throwing hawk – and I threw the T-Hawk hundreds, if not thousands of times, into trees on my property. And, the amazing thing is, without much work, I could make the T-Hawk stick more often than not. When it would stick in a tree (and I missed trees completely a few times – hate to admit it) it would stick either in by the head, or the tip of the head, the top of the tomahawk head or the reverse tip.
The Kangee T-Hawk came hair-popping sharp, too – and I did have to re-sharpen it a few times, mostly do to my total abuse of the blade, but being carbon steel, it was easy to re-sharpen. I also used the T-Hawk for slicing in the in kitchen, while not designed for this type of work it did work – but you have to be very careful how you hold the sharp edge of the head. Chopping was no problem, although it wasn’t designed as an “axe” per se, it could chop with the best hatchets I’ve had. And, it could easily slice though stacked cardboard boxes with ease, due to how sharp it was. And, without any effort, I could burry the tomahawk head deeply into cardboard. The reverse end, with the tanto-style tip would easily penetrate an old-style military steel pot helmet, too.
With the overall length of the Kangee T-Hawk, it really gives you a reach advantage, not offered with many large fighting knives. Plus, the power you would wield by slashing at an enemy – it could easily take an arm or a head off. We are talking one very serious edge weapon here. I also placed the T-Hawk between two bricks and jumped up and down on it – trying my best to bend it – no luck! With all the throwing I did, I was sure, at the very least, that I could break the glass filled Nylon handle scales – no such luck! I probably gave the T-Hawk the most abusive testing I’ve even given any edged weapon, and no matter what I did, to try and destroy it, I failed…very frustrating, to say the least.
If I were going behind enemy lines, this is the edged weapon I’d carry with me. I would have complete faith in the Kangee T-Hawk, to help me survive a hand-to-hand combat situation, or help me survive in the boonies. This is the tomahawk you want on your side or in your BOB when the SHTF. Ryan Johnson also designed the Chogan tomahawk for CRKT, however, I believe the Kangee T-Hawk would make for a better self-defense tool, and one that won’t let you down under survival conditions – no matter what you throw at it. And, like all CRKT tools, it comes with a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.
As a testament, to how popular the Kangee T-Hawk is, as of this writing, (Early April, 2013), CRKT is currently sold out. However, they expect another shipment in by the time this article appears in SurvivalBlog. Now, the Kangee T-Hawk doesn’t come cheap, full-retail is $185.00 – however, like many CRKT products, you can find it discounted on many locations.
Special Ops military personnel are learning the benefits of a tomahawk in combat, and for survival situations. If they think that a tomahawk, a well-made one, is worthy of combat and survival, maybe you should consider one for your own survival needs. – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio
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