Throwing a tomahawk is loads of fun. But tomahawks are very versatile tools and throwing is just one of its many functions. In this Estwing Tomahawk review, we’ll dig into the value and shortcomings of this American made tactical tomahawk. Its full name is Estwing Black Eagle Tomahawk Axe.
Estwing is a renowned manufacturer and it’s famous for its axes, hammers, pry bars, and other carpentry tools. It has its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Rockford, Illinois. That’s where all of their tomahawks are crafted. The company was founded in 1923.
Considering the reputation, and the tradition of excellence, one should expect nothing less than a formidable, first-class tactical tomahawk. So, let’s see if it lives up to the expectations. I will show you the good side, the bad side, and all the relevant info to reach a verdict.
How to Judge Tactical Tomahawks
Before I dig deep to put this tomahawk to the test, I’d like to set the record straight. Quite often, you can read some critical reviews of products that don’t meet user requirements even if they’re not designed to do so. It is unfair, even if it’s true. Therefore, I’ll try to make things clear from the beginning.
A tomahawk is an ancient Native American multi-purpose tool. It was an everyday tool, but in case of need, it could turn into a powerful weapon. Furthermore, special, ornamented, and decorated tomahawks were used in different ceremonies and they were highly valued.
A tactical tomahawk was designed primarily for military use. Modern technologies allowed creating lightweight yet strong tomahawks. That’s what made them great for urban warfare. And away from the battle, it could replace several tools. It became very popular and soon enough, it spread among the civilian population. So, for soldiers, it is a weapon that can become a tool, while civilians use it as a tool that can turn into a weapon if need be.
My point here is that a tactical tomahawk is a tactical tomahawk. An axe or camping hatchet is a better tool to chop or split woods. Breaching tools will do a better job of breaching, and so on. A tactical tomahawk is a jack of all trades. It is a versatile tool/weapon, so don’t expect it to be a perfect tool for every job. Or your favorite job.
Estwing Tomahawk Specs
- Length: 16 inches (41 cm)
- Material: High Carbon Steel
- Blade Length: 2.45″ (6.22 cm)
- Grip: Black Nylon Vinyl
- Weight: 27 oz
Estwing Tomahawk Features
What’s the most important feature of a good tactical tomahawk? First and foremost it is the construction. It has to be made of high-quality materials to be strong and able to take some pounding.
Estwing tomahawk is forged in one piece. It is called a full-tang construction and it is the best way of crafting to provide sturdiness and durability. Of course, the material is even more important. This tomahawk is made of the Finest Tool Grade high-carbon steel. It is tempered to provide maximum strength for a” lifetime of hard work” – as the manufacturer claims.
It is one of the lightest models out there, and that is one of the major points of tactical tomahawks. With only 25 ounces, it is easy to carry or maneuver. For most of the tasks, you won’t break a sweat. Typically, there’s a trade-off, as lighter tomahawks are not as powerful as their heavier counterparts. However, Estwing tomahawk is surprisingly effective and powerful considering the weight.
Estwing Tomahawk Is Very Sharp
Almost a century of experience counts for something. Estwing excels at final treatment, so this axe is extremely sharp right out of the box. Don’t test it with your fingers!
It has excellent balance. I believe that there lies the secret of power. Even though it is lightweight, a great balance, sharpness, and speed allow you to produce formidable power when striking.
Don’t underestimate the grip when you analyze the tomahawk. If the grip is uncomfortable or slippery, all other qualities are good for nothing. Estwing Tomahawk Axe has a black nylon vinyl grip. It is a pretty typical material for grips. It is durable and extremely light. Moreover, Estwing uses a patented Shock Reduction Grip that reduces impact vibrations up to 70%. Overall, it is a comfortable and durable grip.
It is not the best tomahawk for throwing. Typically, a throwing tomahawk has a much heavier axe head. Estwing Black Eagle has a balance somewhere in the middle, maybe a little bit closer to the grip. Still, it is nicely balanced and with some practicing, you will be able to throw it pretty accurately.
I have promised to talk about shortcomings, so here we go. I have to say, though, that I couldn’t find a single important issue. However, there are a couple of minor downsides.
It is too light. Truth be told, as long as the tomahawk is strong and durable, low weight shouldn’t be a problem. On the contrary, it is desirable. However, it does make the tomahawk less versatile. With a very light tool, you just can’t perform heavy-duty tasks. In the field, it means that you can only chop thinner pieces of wood. Also, you can only breach thin and not too strong obstacles.
Short blade. The blade is razor-sharp and sturdy, but it is on the shorter side. I guess the idea was to decrease the weight. It’s not a big deal, but you’ll have to practice a little bit to increase your precision. Also, you will struggle with thicker wood.
Paint. It seems as if there are occasional quality control issues. I have found several complaints about the low quality of the paint. In each case, the paint would peel off too quickly. It doesn’t affect the performance, but it shouldn’t happen anyway.
Throwing. This is not a real shortcoming, but many users complained about it, so I’ll give it another thought. I have already said that it wasn’t the best throwing tomahawk. But, it is not awful, either. I’d say it is in the middle of the pack. While it wasn’t designed to be a throwing axe, once you figure out the balance it can fly. It is light, so it’s easy to throw. And with enough practice, you’ll be able to stick it into the target with almost every throw.
Estwing Tomahawk Review – Verdict
The verdict is quite simple – Estwing tomahawk is an outstanding tactical tomahawk. It is a lightweight tool, with excellent strength and durability. This is already enough to call it a great tactical tomahawk. Great design, lightweight, and sharpness will allow you to chop some woods and branches without much effort. The spike can easily break cinder blocks with a single hit. With a couple of swings, you will break tougher and thicker bricks as well.
The perfect tactical tomahawk should be as light as possible, but strong, powerful, and sort of indestructible. The lighter the tomahawk, the more difficult it gets to achieve other goals. So, there has to be a trade-off. In my opinion, Estwing has done an excellent job with this item. It is as light as it gets while still reasonably powerful. Even if you have to swing more times, its low weight will save you the energy. So, I think that it has a great efficiency rate.
Of course, at the end of the day, the best tomahawk is the one that suits your needs best. So, I can’t claim that the Black Eagle is the best choice for you. But, it’s worth every penny and then some.