This isn’t our first review of a “tactical tomahawk.” And quite honestly, we were apprehensive about doing another one. The romantic notion of the tomahawk as a deadly implement for the modern warrior is bothersome for us. With an array of advanced weapons readily available the tomahawk doesn’t really offer today’s warrior any real combat superiority. Which begs the question: Perhaps the tomahawk has a place as a tactical tool, rather than a weapon? Unfortunately, time and again, we see manufactures attempt to produce a hawk that functions as both weapon and tool. And this dichotomy often leads to failure.
Hardcore Hardware’s LFT01 has finally gotten it right. They make no bones about it: This hawk is a TOOL! One that is designed for hard use. And by hard use they mean “chopping, hammering, digging, cutting, as a climbing aid, defeating locks, smashing windows & windscreens and raking out their frames, puncturing steel radial tyres, smashing steel clad doors and breaking through walls including those made of brick.” That sounds like a challenge!
When designing tactical tools, we believe” function over form” is the rule. But at first glance we can’t deny that Hardcore Hardware’s LFT01 hawk is an expression of craftsmanship. It is sleek and menacing looking. It comes with a black Teflon coated finish and the handle is made of G10 (layers of fiberglass soaked in resin, then oven baked after compression). With an ergonomic, contoured handle that sports multiple gripping positions the LFT01 feels great in the hand. At only 12.5 inches (320mm) in length, we were surprised by its heft. It weighs in at a beefy 2 lbs. (900 gm.) And that kind of weight makes hard hitting blows easy to deliver. Our LFT01 came with the Kydex Speed Scabbard which utilizes Blade-Tecs Tek-Lok for belt carry and Molle-Lok attachment systems. The quick release strap provides reliable retention with surprising speed of accessibility.
But, we weren’t about to go easy on this hawk just because of its pretty looks. We set out to see how much punishment the LFT01 could take. After all, they claim it’s for the “extreme end of Hardcore use”
For our testing, we had an automobile at our disposal. And our intent was to use the LFT01 to destroy it. As anticipated, basic deconstruction such as window breaches, tire deflation, and lock punching was a piece-o-cake. Big deal. Any $40 hawk can do this. So, we put our attention on seeing what its razor sharp cutting edge could do. We hacked away at the door panels and hood of our victim automobile. With just a few quick chops, we split the car open and quickly began peeling its steel skin back like the scalp of a fallen enemy. Very impressive!
Then we went to work with the LFT01’s pommel. Designed for hammering and equipped with some aggressive grooved teeth, this thing left a nice signature mark. We were actually able to punch it through one of the vehicle’s quarter panels with a single strike.
But, it has been our experience that the Achilles’ heel of most tomahawks is prying. Generally the long handle of a hawk just can’t take the torque. That was not the case with the LFT01. The rear of the hawk has a spike with a modified tanto point. We buried it in the hood and roof of the car and applied enough torque on the handle to make a crowbar queasy. The LFT01’s D2 steel body took the punishment while the car peeled open like a beer can.
Our LFT01 clearly took some licks. But it dished out the “devastating performance” it promised. It took some time for us to restore its razor sharp edge and the Teflon finish and G10 handle had some battle scars to prove the punishment it received. But it’s our assessment that the Hardcore Hardware LFT01 lives up to the reputation of being built for hardcore use. It may have finally proven to us that the tomahawk (or at least this one) has a place in the modern warrior’s kit.