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Best Survival Tomahawk - 11 Tactical Prepper Choices

In this article we dive into everything you need to know before buying the best survival tomahawk - a weapon and survival tool used by Native Americans.

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With the many different axe designs available today, you might be conflicted on whether to buy a normal axe, a hatchet or a survival tomahawk.

Tomahawks have a long historical background. Tomahawks were designed as weapons and survival tools by native Americans.

They can be used for protection and self-defense in case of an emergency and can be easily included in a bug out bag since they're not very large.

In addition, you can keep a survival tomahawk as a backup at you bug out location in case your axe or hatchet break.

In this article we will dive into everything you need to know before investing in a quality tomahawk.

In a hurry? If you just want to get to our conclusions, here are our top picks and recommendations!

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why you need a survival tomahawk

Ever since the discovery of tomahawks, people have used them for various reasons. They are still popular today because they are viable tools.

With modern technology, it is easy to make these tools better and more useful.

You will also find that modern tomahawks come in many designs, sizes, materials, and lengths. Below are some common reasons why you may need to buy the best survival tomahawks.

Survival tool tomahawk

Since the discovery of tomahawks, they have been used as survival tools to date. Whether you are going camping or hunting in the wilderness, you can never go wrong with tomahawks.

With this tool, it is easy to clear bushes, cut small trees and branches, hammer nets, etc. If you are in an emergency, you can use this tool to break locks, doors, and even vehicles. It is a convenient tool for survival prepping.

Defense Tomahawk

Tomahawks are great for defense tool if you ever get caught up in a situation where you have to protect yourself. For instance if you are attacked by a wild animal or even another person.

You can either aim it at your target or use it for close combat. Sometime back US military used to carry tomahawks for defense and as weapons.

Sporting tomahawk

Tomahawks are common in sports like axe throwing competitions. Survival tomahawk tactical axe throwing has grown in popularity over the years. It is an exciting sport and requires a lot of training to ensure precision and accuracy.

Tomahawk throwing is a sport you can practice with your friends on the weekend, and you can also do it professionally as some experts hold tomahawk throwing competitions.

It is evident that tomahawks are versatile and can be used for different purposes. Be careful when buying to ensure you get the right tool. Several designs and types of tomahawks are suitable for different purposes.

Below you will find tips that will help you choose your ideal tomahawk depending on your needs.

As you shop for your ideal tomahawk, keep in mind the differences between tomahawk and hatchets. While they might appear the same, a tactical tomahawk is superior and better for survival under the right circumstances.


Best 11 Tomahawks for Survival 2020

Below we list and review some of the best survival tomahawks on the market today.

After our tomahawk reviews you will also find some extra information on how we made our picks based on the attributes of a good survival tomahawk.

We also go into a bit of history and tips and tricks on how to maintain your tomahawk in great condition.

Without further ado, here are our picks for the best survival tomahawks for preppers:

CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk

Designed by Ryan Johnson, is one of the best survival tomahawks you can get. It comes with forged 1055 carbon steel, which ensures durability. This survival tool is very hard yet very comfortable and stable.

The wood handle of the CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk makes it look natural and blends well with the outdoor environment. This tomahawk is comfortable in-hand, yet lightweight to ensure ease of use.

It is also easy to carry when going camping and can be a great weapon in the wilderness. This crkt tomahawk is also aesthetically pleasing.

Lastly, this tool comes with a warranty (limited) to cover defects in material or workmanship.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The tool is lightweight
  • High quality blade and handle
  • Very affordable 
  • Durable
  • Comfortable


  • The wooden handle is not very durable

SOG Outdoor Survival Hatchet and Tactical Tomahawk

This is another great outdoor survival tactical tomahawk. It comes with great features that make it a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts.

When you are going camping or hunting in the wilderness, this SOG Tactical Tomahawk is the best bushcraft tomahawk to be part of your survival kit.

First, the tool is lightweight, meaning it is easy to carry. Secondly, it comes with a Firestarter, meaning you never have to worry about warming or creating fire in the wilderness or when camping.

It is a chopping axe, camping axe, and a surviving tool with a 3-inch hard-cased stainless steel blade. The blade is easy to sharpen.

Lastly, it is very durable, more so as the manufacturer, SOG is renowned for quality products.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The tool is affordable
  • The tool is multipurpose – ability to start a fire
  • Easy to carry – lightweight
  • Durable – quality material used


  • The blade cover is not durable

SOG Tomahawk Pack of 3

SOG is a reputable brand when it comes to making survival tools. Therefore, you can never go wrong with SOG Tomahawk Pack of 3. The three stainless steel comes each hard-cased.

These Tomahawks are suitable for throwing sports. Therefore, you enjoy camping and outdoor sporting games. This is one tactical tool you do not want to miss as you pack.

The pack is made to last as flimsy axes are dangerous. The material is of high quality, and the hatchet comes as sharp as other SOG products.

As a sports or throwing tool, this tomahawk is well balanced for both beginners and pros in this sport. It is lightweight (8.4 oz.) and features a removable paracord handled to ensure that you get your preferred grip.

Even better, it is easy to carry this set as it comes with a 3-pocket throwing sheath. Securing each axe is also easy with Velcro straps. 

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Comes as a pack of three yet very affordable
  • The hatchet sheath makes it easy to pack and carry the tools
  • Suitable for both beginners and pros – lightweight, removable handle wrapper
  • Great for throwing sports, yet can be a survival tool


  • Carrying the three tomahawks is not easy

Gerber Downrange Tomahawk

This one tool that comes in handy when it comes to survival, combat, and rescue. First, it comes as three in one - a hammerhead, pry bar, and axe. This means you can use this tool in many situations.

Whether in the wilderness, at home, or when you need to rescue someone, Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is the tool you need.

It is made from quality material, which means breaking and bending should be the least of your worries as you use the tool. The handle is also well designed to ensure an easy grip.

This Tomahawk also comes with a sheath that easily attaches to back bags, body armour, or webbing. This, therefore, means it is also suitable for the military. Also, the steel body ensures durability.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The tool is multi-purpose 
  • The tool is durable 
  • The tool is easy to carry
  • Suitable for military use, survival, and rescue
  • The sheath makes it easy to carry


  • While it is very effective, it is heavy.
  • It is expensive

JXE JXO Throwing Tactical Tomahawk

This camping tomahawk comes with a blade length of 3.9 inches and weighs 19.4 ounces. It comes with a piercing spike, which makes it great for survival. You can cut and pierce with this tool.

It is suitable for outdoor use, such as pounding tent stakes, wood splitting, breaking stones, tinder breakdown, etc. In addition, the handle is very user friendly and is reinforced with fiberglass.

The handle of the JXE JXO Throwing Tactical Tomahawk is also comfortable and slipping proof. These tools come with a lightweight and very durable sheath that ensures easy handling, packing, and protects the blade.

This tool can be a great gift to a friend who enjoys camping, hunting, and other outdoor activities. 

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The spike makes it suitable for piercing
  • It is strong and durable 
  • It is slipping proof
  • It is lightweight
  • It is very affordable


  • While being sharp is advantageous, if you do not put on the protector, it is easy to cause injuries

Timahawk Tactical Tomahawk Axe

This is a great tactical tomahawk axe that looks like an emergency tool or a tool that a firefighter would use. It is a great all-round tool for survival and other outdoor activities.

The Timahawk Tactical Tomahawk Axe is made from quality materials – 4130 Chromoly, which is easily shaped and hardened. However, this survival tool does not come with a sheath, and you need to figure out how to carry it.

The shape of these tactical tomahawks allows easy gripping and protects your fist. The tool is mainly designed for combat and self-defense.

The top part of the blade features a pry bar or hoe that makes digging easy. In addition, the end of the handle features a pry tool coupled with a nail extractor.

These two features are beneficial, whether for survival or outdoor activities. With the huge blade, it is to cut wood, like the full axe. You can consider this tomahawk as an extraction tool as well. 

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The tool is multipurpose considering the design 
  • It is good for emergencies
  • Durable – made from quality material (4130 Chromoly)
  • Easy-grip
  • Best for self-defense, combat, and extraction
  • While it comes with many features, it is lightweight


  • Does not comes with a sheath
  • It is not affordable

SOG Tomahawk Throwing Axe

This tool is one of the many multipurpose survival tomahawks you can get on the market. It can be used for camping, hiking, as a chopping axe and most importantly as a survival tool.

It features a 3 inch hard-cased black stainless steel blade. The blade is easy to sharpen the tool is very durable. This tool weighs 19.4 ounces hence lightweight and very portable.

The SOG Tomahawk Throwing Axe also comes with a blade cover to ensure easy handling and safety when moving around outdoors.

This survival tool is also easy to pack in a bug out bag, and the fact that it is lightweight means that you need not worry about straining your muscles.

In addition, it comes equipped with craw for prying and wire cutting, and a checkered hammer edge. The tool is also made from quality materials, and so you can be sure of the durability.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The tool is multipurpose.
  • It comes with a Firestarter, hence it's good for outdoor use.
  • Comes with a variety of features, i.e., craw, wire cutting, and can act as a hammer
  • Comes with a blade protector for safety
  • Ideal for chopping, hiking, and camping
  • Very affordable


  • Can only be used for light chopping

Browning Shock N' Awe Tomahawk Knife

This is one Tomahawk that is suitable for both outdoors and recreational people. It is an American made tomahawk hence durability.

Regarding the size, it comes with the perfect size, and this makes it very portable and easy to park.

It is somewhat heavyweight, which both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage as with the added weight, chopping and cutting are easy.

However, the added weight of the Browning Shock N' Awe Tomahawk Knife means carrying the tool around is not easy.

In addition, it comes with an easy to sharpen blade and a pointed end on the other side.This makes it ideal for cracking stones, ice, etc.

It is a perfect tool for outdoor use. It is a survival, tactical, and outdoor tool. 

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • The design makes the tool multipurpose – the blade and spike on each end
  • Quality materials hence durability
  • Very affordable
  • The right size making it easy to pack and carry around


  • It is heavyweight
  • The handle can be slippery sometimes
  • No sheath


If you are an outdoor sports enthusiast of tomahawk throwing, then the set of two 11.5" survival tomahawk tactical throwing axes is what you need. It is lightweight and made from heavy-duty material to ensure durability.

The blades of this set of throwing tactical axes are 7" and 11.5" in overall length. The blades are very sharp and also easy to sharpen.

In addition, the handle is very comfortable and includes a tactical sheath. The sheath makes it easy to carry your survival tomahawk wherever you go.

Whether you are a professional or novice when it comes to sporting, these durable axes are a great choice.

If you are looking for a throwing tomahawk that is easy to throw, target, and demolish your target, then this is what you need. 

No products found.


  • Comes as a pair
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Best for sports – throwing


  • Not strong to cut trees and branches
  • Handles are a bit flimsy

14.5" MTECH USA Survival Tactical Tomahawk

This tactical Tomahawk is made of stainless steel and comes with a black handle. It also comes with a nylon sheath that makes it easy to carry.

This MTECH USA survival tomahawk also comes with a pointed end that makes it easy to crush stones and other hard surfaces.

The tool is suitable for all outdoor needs as well as for survival needs. While it does not have multiple features, it is an excellent tool for the price tag. 

No products found.


  • Very affordable
  • Made from quality materials –stainless steel
  • Comes with a sheath
  • Suitable for all outdoor activities


  • Comes with limited features
  • Not suitable for cutting trees

M48 Red Tactical Tomahawk Axe

This is among the most affordable tactical tomahawks you can get on the market. Do not mistake its affordability to lower quality, because it is well designed and built to last thanks to the quality steel material.

The design of the M48 Red Tactical Tomahawk Axe ensures the tool is lightweight, meaning you can carry it through the day without having to worry about muscle strain.

The blade is razor-sharp and comes with a spike at the other end. In addition, the handle of this tool is made from nylon reinforced glass from comfortable and no-slip handling.

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  • Non-slip handle
  • Great design – razor-sharp and a spike
  • Lightweight - easy to carry
  • Comes with a blade protector 
  • Very affordable


  • No sheath 
  • The paint easily sheds away

The Difference Between Tomahawks and Hatchets

Many people think survival tomahawks and hatchets are the same. Well, they do share some similarities. However, they are two different things. These differences may impact your decision when choosing your next survival tool.

These two tools have different backgrounds regarding their origin and also purposes. In order to suit their purpose, they have different weight and build. The decision to buy either will be mainly influenced by you needs or preferences.

For some individuals, a hatchet is vital for survival. It is versatile and comes in handy in many situations. With a survival hatchet, it is easy to cut some small trees, remove tree branches, and build a shelter for survival.

It also comes in handy when creating tinder, splitting kindling, and starting a fire. It can as well be a perfect tool for small games and chopping ice. You can as well use a hatchet as a hammer when fixing tent stakes.

Also, if you’ve got an emergency, you can easily survive with a hatchet. Armed with a hatchet, you can have food, build a survival shelter and start a fire for warmth, which makes it useful for emergency preparedness.

With a tomahawk, you can do similar great things. In addition, tomahawks have a well-known history. Tomahawks were designed to be great weapons. American Natives and Indians used them for survival and as weapons.

Also, soldiers in the U.S also carried these tools together with their guns some years back.

Tomahawks are like your ‘third arm’. You can use them for protection in case of an emergency. It won’t help in case of gunfire but is excellent when it comes to close combat. You can use hatchets for self-defence, but they are not as good as tomahawks.

The most obvious difference between tomahawks and hatchets is that tomahawks are suitable for sports, like throwing, but hatchets are not. This because of their design and weight distribution. They may look similar, but you will notice the difference if you handle each of them.

Hatchets have a short handle and a large wedged head. This means the weight is in the head hence not ideal for throwing. The weight imbalance causes the handle to flip after throwing. This means that you will likely hit your target with the handle and not the head.

Hatchets also come with curved handles and secured heads that give your better control over the tool. The curved handles have grooves for placing your hands, making it impossible to lose grip.

Here's a quick video tutorial on how to throw a tomahawk.

Tomahawks, on the other hand, have a thinner head that is lightweight and detachable. The circular cheek in the centre of the head is not meant for decoration alone. It removes weight from the head without limiting the cutting edge length.

Tomahawks also come with short, straight handles that are lightweight. This keeps the tool light and distributes the weight evenly to allow a clean throw.

Whether you choose a hatchet or tomahawk, it all narrows down on your needs. This because they can accomplish some similar tasks. However, if you are looking for a survival tool, then a tomahawk is better.

If you anticipate some heavy-duty work at your bug out location, or you just want something bigger available for an emergency situation, check out our guide on the best survival axe.

Attributes of a Good Survival Tomahawk

When it comes to buying tomahawks, it is essential first to distinguish the different types of tomahawk and then know the intended use.

There are those designed for throwing, and there are also tactical tomahawks. Throwing tomahawks are not as versatile as the tactical ones.

Below are some attributes of a good tomahawk

Tomahawk head shape

When choosing tomahawks, you need to consider the shape of the head. Some have a single head with a blade, and some have other additions, such as a hammer or spike.

When picking your ideal prepper tomahawk, consider the various ways you wish to use your new tool, and then consider the perfect head shape. Go for a head that suits your needs.

Tomahawk cutting edge

When choosing tactical or throwing tomahawk, you must consider the cutting edge. Having longer cutting edge adds more weight to the head, and more weight to the tool.

Finding those with cut-outs in the head area will ensure that you have a long cutting edge, but with manageable weight.

Tomahawks with large cutting edges are ideal for people who have a lot of chopping to do.

For example, if you will be heading out to the bush for camping and need to cut wood and handle other chores, this is a good fit.

Tactical tomahawks with shorter cutting edges can pierce deeper when upon striking a surface. This is because the resistance is low.

They are a good option for people who may need to pierce hard materials or work where vehicle extraction is common. 

Tomahawk length

Before you settle for any survival tomahawk, it is crucial to consider the length. Those with longer hands are ideal for splitting wood, opening doors, chopping trees, butchering game meat, breaking locks, and helping in vehicle rescue.

Those that come with shorter handles are ideal for throwing games, as well as precision chopping. They can as well help in vehicle extraction, depending on the survival situation.

Tomahawk weight

Weight is yet another consideration when choosing tactical tomahawks. Older tomahawks are heavier and unwieldy compared to modern tools.

The advanced technology has helped in designing and building lightweight tomahawk.

A lighter tomahawk is easy to carry and is ideal for survival. When shopping, it is easy to find tomahawks under 2.5 lbs.

What is a Tomahawk? Tomahawk Historical Background

The tomahawk we know today was developed by Native Americans and Indians long before the British white man set foot on American soil.

The Indians were hunters and gatherers who traveled long distances in search of food.

They needed equipment capable of handling more than one task, and this was why they invented tomahawk.

The best traditional tomahawk was made of large rock chips. The rocks were sharp on one side and secured to a wooded handle on the other side.

The handle was straight to ensure a secure grip. Later on, the Indians learned how to knap rock, making the head sharper and more effective.

These tomahawks were less than two feet and weighed less than two pounds, making them easy to pack.

After the arrival of the European immigrants, they realized that a tomahawk was better for life in the wilderness than any tool they had brought or used before.

Immediately the Europeans adopted the tomahawk and improved it with their then better technology. This was when tomahawks with brass or iron heads were first made.

The heads could be forged with the tops squared, rounded, hammer faced, or sometimes as a pipe. These improvements allowed diversity in using tomahawks and also increased the chopping efficiency.

The tomahawks then became the top trade items with different tribes.

From origin to date, tomahawk has always had a cutting edge of 4 inches or less. This was notable since the battle axes of Europe and the Mediterranean were made with bigger and more cutting edge.

The design of battle axes was for the sole purpose of cutting flesh. The tomahawk, on the other hand, was designed with versatility and diversity in mind.

The smaller cutting edge did not decrease its effectiveness as a weapon and a survival tool.

The tomahawk was unchanged until the 1960s. The new tomahawk was designed as a close combat weapon and survival tool. The heads were designed with a spike to increase its effectiveness as a combat weapon.

Today slight variations from the original have been introduced by different manufacturers. While most tomahawks are formidable weapons, the Vietnam tomahawk raised the bar higher. Some military units still use modern tomahawks.

Today you can buy tomahawks of varying quality and prices ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Many reputable companies, such as Condor, SOG, Cold Steel, and others, produce quality tomahawks at reasonable prices.

Most modern tomahawks are drop forged and have outstanding metallurgy. They have a hard and sharp cutting edge for striking, chopping, and suitable for survival.

Before you think of buying tomahawks, it is crucial you know the intended use. This way, you will have an easy time choosing tomahawk that suits your needs.

Survival Tomahawk Blade Care and Maintenance

Like any other prized tool, you need to take care of your survival tomahawk. By taking good care of your tactical tool, it will serve you well and will last long.

When it comes to survival tomahawk blade care and maintenance, there are three essential factors you need to keep in mind. 

  1. Keep the tomahawk clean.

You need to clean the blades using a clean cloth, water, and protective oil. Start by rinsing your tomahawk with water if there is dirt on edge.

Where possible, do not let the water run on the handle more so if it is wooden. The second step is to dry the blade using a clean cloth.

Lastly, smear the blade with oil and inspect the condition of the blade. 

  1. Keep the tomahawk blade sharp

It is advisable to keep the blade of your survival tomahawk sharp. If you are not expert, use a vice grip to stabilize the tool as you sharpen the blade.

For your polished tomahawks, use fine grit to sharpen or file to preserve your tomahawks' beauty. 

  1. Protect the tomahawk blade from damage and rust

Once you clean and sharpen your tomahawk, be sure to store them properly. Also, keep it in a cool, dry place – free from moisture.

No matter the type of tomahawk you have, the blade care and maintenance is the system. 

For more tips and tricks on survival blades care and maintenance, check out our dedicated guide on how to clean and maintain your sharp survival tools.

Survival Tomahawks Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy a tomahawk or a hatchet?

While in most cases, both can accomplish the same tasks, tomahawks are different from hatchets in that they are historical and more inclined to sporting – throwing.

It is, therefore, important to consider your needs before you start shopping.

What should I consider when buying survival tomahawks?

Besides the budget, you need to consider how you will use the tool, material, size, and weight.

Also, consider the availability of additional features such as hammer, craw, spikes, etc. Only what meets your needs.

Can I use any tomahawk for throwing or sports?

As long as your tomahawk has a straight handle, it is lightweight, sharp, and with a good handle, you are good to practice tomahawk throwing.

Best Survival Tomahawk Conclusions

From ancient times, tomahawks have evolved regarding the design, weight, materials, and uses. Technology has made them better and versatile.

If you are prepping for emergency survival or you're just a fan of outdoor activities such as hunting and camping, consider our three top picks for the best survival tomahawk.

With CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk, Gerber Downrange Tomahawk, or Browning Shock N' Awe Tomahawk, you can never go wrong.

These are very versatile, durable, and affordable. They also come with great features that make survival and other outdoor activities fun.

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Hi, I'm Russ!

I've been prepping for a long time, but 2020 convinced me that I need to take it to the next level.

This website started as a way to keep me going forward on the path to being better prepared.

Now, I’m turning it into a complete blueprint for anyone else looking to do the same!
Russell M. Morgan
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