The tomahawk. An iconic and enduring symbol of a proud warrior culture. A weapon and tool that, thousands of years after it’s introduction, still attracts our attention. Enough so, that tomahawks are still being produced and marketed to the modern warrior. But the modern warrior’s needs are practical. With an array of advanced weapons readily available the tomahawk doesn’t offer today’s warrior any real combat superiority. But, when used primarily as a tool, could the tomahawk have a place in the modern warrior’s kit? A question we set out to answer.
When we first began our research on tomahawks we quickly discovered that these ancient implements have a strong following. And for those interested in acquiring one they can be obtained for a few bucks to several hundred. We wanted to test something that was a quality product, but wouldn’t break the bank. So, we turned to a reliable source that has a reputation for bringing the balance between quality and affordability. Cold Steel Inc. They have a wide range of tomahawks produced by American Tomahawk Company, a division of Cold Steel. With several models to choose from, we set our sights on the Trench Hawk. Of all the hawks offered, this one appeared to be best suited to the modern warrior’s needs.
When the Trench Hawk arrived, we were pleased with it’s appearance and the feel was even better. The Trench Hawk was surprisingly light at only 24 oz. With a 19 inch handle, it was easily and quickly wielded. We ran it through the paces and tested it primarily as a hard use tool. As a potential breaching implement we made quick work of disassembling wooden pallets. The dropped forged 1055 carbon steel head appeared indestructible. The Trench Hawk’s cutting edge chopped, smashed, hammered and pried effortlessly. The wedge shaped spike on the back of the head was the perfect tool for deflating car tires and even pierced the thick side walls of tractor tires. Window breaching was a snap making the Trench Hawk an excellent addition to any breacher’s pack. It comes equipped with a Secure- Ex™ sheath making it easy to attach to gear or store in a kit bag. The top of the handle is crafted with finger groves so the Trench Hawk can be comfortably and securely held close to the head. However, we found the durability of the polypropylene handle a little wanting. When used as a pry tool, the handle flexed badly. And after our tests, we discovered the handle had cracked through the screw holes securing the head. Cold Steel confesses, as an implement intended to be thrown repeatedly, the handle will eventually break. Fortunately, replacement handles can be purchased cheaply. So, does it actually work as a throwing implement. Although we think this tactic to be a little dramatic and not very practical, we had to give it a try. We threw it at a wooden target from 15 yards. First try: a nice solid stick. So it can definitely be thrown. But, why would you want to?
In a market flooded with a wide range of combat tomahawks, The Cold Steel Trench Hawk is a stand out with it’s affordability and quality reputation. However, it is deserving of a handle equal to it’s intimidating look and indestructible head. With a little work, the Trench Hawk has the potential to become a breacher’s best friend.