Tag Archives: Tactical Tomahawk

Tactical Tomahawks: Harlan Whitman Instinct

Harlan Whitman designed the Instinct Tomahawk as an evolution of the many generations of tactical tomahawks that came before.  He grew up in Missouri with an artistic Mother and a mechanical Father. He has a degree in industrial design, but claims that he “tries to forget” most of what he was taught.  According to Harlan, “As with my art and products, everything takes a lifetime of experience to develop. That’s what you pay for when you buy handmade.  It was designed to chop and look sexy doing it.”

He drew everything on paper full size, then cut it out of foam core or plywood to play with and modified it as necessary.  He kept working on the shape until people would say, “This feels like it will chop for me.”  After a few people handled the prototypes, he continued to modify it and eventually moved to real steel.  He says that he personally prefers the feel of the 1/4″ thick model.

Instinct Tomahawk Dimensions:

  • Overall length: 14″
  • Blade length: 3.875″
  • Head length: 5.75″
  • Head thickness: .375″
  • Blade material: O1
  • Heat treating: Differential heat treat.
  • Handle material: O1 full tang construction.
  • Grip material: Red G10
  • Grip texturing: Smooth
  • Grip diameter:  3.5″-3.75″
  • Metal finish: Hand sanded to a shine, clay colored patina
  • Options available: Fully custom
  • Colors: raw steel, patina, parkerized grey or black
  • Pricing: This hawk sold for $750 /sheath $50
  • What materials: Will do leather or plastic.
Other info: (answers by Harlan)
  • What kinds of people are using this tool? Campers, military, art collectors, knife collectors,
  • For what purposes? Chopping stuff I hope! Sadly, I have produced an axe that was supposedly framed. :(
  • What is your testing process: Haha!  Someday I really should make a video! I cut, chop, smash, and pry.  Put them in a hydraulic iron worker a few times.  I break them!  Testing with out failure is pointless.  It will fail, I want to know where.
  • Who manufacturers it: Me. Heat treating or differential heat treatment is out-sourced to Stack Metallurgical. They also do work for Leatherman, Benchmade, Kershaw, and Boeing.
  • Manufactured in Portland, OR and Tuscumbia, MO
  • How many are produced? They are all unique and I honestly don’t keep track.
  • How are they sold? In person, online, or find me at The Oregon Knife Show at table C-4.
  • How can people purchase: Send an email to [email protected]
I design out of passion and dedication. I believe that the feel of steel in hand has become a genetically embodied cognition.  I would not  sell a knife that I would not give to my brother.
I started making knives because Carson(my younger brother) and I got tired of breaking the wood handles on our tomahawks when throwing multiples at the target.  At the time, we could only find crap stainless all-steel hawks.  They were always too expensive or cheap and lame, so I drew something up and sent it to Creative Waterjet .  I still every now and then will produce and sell my original design. With many it is still a favorite. Now here I am seven or so years down the road still playing with steel and not going to stop. Was forced to slow down over the past year or so due to extremely painful tendonitis. It was very hard to deal with. I have healed up for the most part and am excited to get back into the game with bigger ambitions than before.

Titanium Tactical Tomahawk

I have seen that several inquiries about “titanium tomahawks” have led to this site, but unfortunately, I had no information to offer these people.  After doing a bit of research myself, I came across a tomahawk that did have a Titanium shaft combined with a steel head.  It is made by Jesper Voxnaes in Denmark.  You can see more of his work at voxknives.com


According to Jesper:

It has become somewhat of a tradition that Jena Anso and I make a couple of Axes for a show each year.  This year, like last year, we made them for the Bladeshow coming up in June.
We start out with the excact same materials and then design our axes..and yes, we are far apart when it comes to designing axes.
I ended up with a TomaHawk type design. This year it´s a smaller lighter axe with a hollow v-grind.
The Materials are; shaft in .278″ titanium, Head in N690BO steel, also in .278″ (7mm) stock. Slabs in Green Canvas Micarta…..
Well, hope you like it, we had a blast building these..
Took the cutter to the Harbour for some pictures….

Here are some of his excellent photos for you to drool over:

Tactical Tomahawks: RMJ Forge Viking Axe

While technically a custom presentation tomahawk and not a “Tactical Tomahawk”, I’ll throw it into the same category because it comes from the amazing guys at RMJ Forge:

This tomahawk was also the result of a commission by 5.11 Tactical for Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics.

According to Military Times Gearscout, this amazing work of art was made from 400 layers of 1095 and A203E steels and has a fire hardened white oak shaft.

Feast your eyes, but don’t expect to get one of your own any time soon.  This was a one-off custom tomahawk.

The amazing photos are from Steve Bell

Tactical Tomahawks: RMJ Forge Berserker

The RMJ Forge Berserker is a custom(non-production) tomahawk made by RMJ Forge for 5.11 Tactical.  It was commissioned by 5.11 for Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics.

According to Military Times Gearscout:


The Berserker is made from differentially heat treated 4140 steel. The handles are 3D machined micarta, laced with 2mm accessory cord and laser engraved with Viking runes. RMJ plans on adding the Berserker to their product lineup, though the specs may change a bit.

I love Tactical Tomahawks because of the amazing fusion of things both old and new and the Berserker is a perfect example!

If you want to see it in production soon, be sure to let the guys at RMJ Forge know…

The awesome photos were taken by Steve Bell

Tactical Tomahawks: RMJ Forge Warhammer Prototype

Apparently this is a prototype Warhammer from RMJ Forge.  I love the simple destructive brutality of the “War Hammer.”  I’ll try to get some photos up of the Marsh Titanium WarHammers later.All I have to offer you is this extremely cool photo from the Military Times GearScout Blog.

Tactical Tomahawks: SOG Fusion Tactical Tomahawk

There are times when a knife or a camp axe is just inadequate for field use or defense.  I have been searching for a tool that could be used as a camp axe and as a defensive weapon for quite sometime and I decided to go with the SOG Fusion Tactical Tomahawk.

  • Blade Length – 2.75″ x .26″
  • Overall Length – 15.75″
  • Weight – 24 oz.
  • Edge – Straight
  • Steel – 420
  • HRC – 51-53
  • Handle – Fiberglass/Nylon
  • Finish – Hardcased Black
  • Sheath – Nylon
  • Country of Origin – China

The SOG Tomahawk incorporates the best of both worlds from a multi purpose tool in the field to an effective weapon for self defense.  When I ordered it I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I had no idea that it would be perfect for nearly any task I could call upon it to do.

Once the box arrived and I unboxed it I was impresed at it’s size and weight for something relatively inexpensive…and when I say this I do not mean cheap. It’s made for hard use from top to bottom.  The blade of the cutting side is very sharp out of the box but not sharp enough for my taste.  I used my Spyderco Sharpmaker to put a wicked razors edge on it. This thing will shave with ease.

The opposite side of the blade is a spike. This is great for breaking glass or to breach doors or as a weapon. The whole thing is very well designed from the composite handle to the reinforcing near the head to prevent breakage under extreme use. I plan to use it mainly as a multi use tool in the field but also as a weapon. It’s perfect for throwing and is light enough to move lightning fast and yet have enough mass to get a good bite on anything it may encounter. I am still evaluating the SOG Fusion Tactical Tomahawk. and plan to torture test it to it’s limit. For under $50 delivered it’s a deal that can’t be beat.

Thanks to James White of Ammosmith.com for this guest post.

Tactical Tomahawks: Strider Hatchet

Strider knives are know for bulletproof knives that can handle insane abuse.  The Strider Hatchet was built in the same vein as their other tools:  Sturdy and bombproof.  This heavy-duty hatchet is more of a breaching tool than a fighting tomahawk style weapon.

Here are the specs on the Strider Hatchet XL(pictured above)according to the Strider website:

  • .250″ Black Oxide Coated S7
  • 550 Cord Wrapped Handle
  • 16.65″ OAL
  • 5.86″ Head
  • 4″ Edge
  • 2lb 3oz
  • Kydex Edge Guard
The more common Strider Hatched (non-XL) is shorter and doesn’t seem to be in production currently.  Here are some specs from the Regular Strider Hatchet:

  • Blade Head Width: 5 1/2″
  • Cutting Edge: 2 1/2″ Serrated bevel
  • Overall Length: 12 5/8″
  • Blade Steel: Crucible S-7- Black Coated
  • Handle Material: Tan Paracord
  • Sheath Description: Kydex Head Cover
All the Strider Hatchets were made from S7 tool steel and feature a Chisel ground primary cutting edge and a sharpened beard.