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United Cutlery Tomahawk M48

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by SilentJohn, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. SilentJohn


    Feb 11, 2008
    can i please get some opinions about this preferably from people who have used or handled one . i am looking into buying my first hawk and i am not going to drop 300 or even 200 bucks on anything i want to keep it under $100 so please no "if your willing to go higher in price" recommendations since this is my first hawk and i am not dropping that kind of change on something im not sure about

    i am liking this one due to a few videos i've seen i mostly want to know if its full tang it looks partial but im not sure of the steel keeps going down into the handle
  2. foxx


    Sep 5, 2010
    Pretty sure it's partial tang, it ends right after the 3 bolts. I don't own this one, but I do have the SOG Fasthawk, which is mounted in a similar fashion. Of which, I've beat the hell out of, thrown it, and it has suffered no damage. OTOH, I would not depend on it, as in military use.
    As an introduction to hawks maybe it's okay. I would have more faith in a hickory hafted traditional hawk, which I could replace if I did manage to break it. Also, it seems as if hickory hafts only break because they get thrown, not from "normal use", but I could be wrong.
    If you need, or want, a full tang hawk, for hard use, for around $100, maybe look at the Ontario RD Hawk. I own one, and it's very tough, not great for chopping wood or camping chores though. It can dish out and take abuse.

    IMO, there are some trade offs to the full tang hawks, weight being one major factor. Tapered tangs or lightening holes can change the balance point and make the hawk lighter, but you pay for that labor up front, $$. Something like the RD hawk is heavy in the handle, the mass distribution of this hawk is not so great. It's made as a breaching tool, not a balanced fighter, but would still do damage if used as such. I'm just saying that sometimes you get what you pay for. A better balanced full tang hawk will cost you more money. For less than $100, you can get a great traditional hawk, and be able to replace the haft. Maybe it all depends on what you want the hawk to do? What reason do you want a hawk, do you want it to be full tang?
  3. SilentJohn


    Feb 11, 2008
  4. Simple Jumper

    Simple Jumper

    Sep 27, 2011
    I have the M48 and personally it is not my favourite. It's built alright and has held its edge very well, but the spike is unnecessarily massive. I've used it for throwing, which it does decently well, but again that spike is a hazard. The sheath that comes with it is complete junk. The weight is distributed nicely, but the handle doesn't seem like it could take much impact while chopping.

    If you want an intro hawk under $100, I'd suggest SOG fast hawk for off the shelf option, or opting for some of the smaller businesses if you want something better-made.
  5. SOC_MRN_Leon


    Mar 9, 2012
    Very nice thrower but do not get! It's not full tang and my friends Hawk broke where the handle begins at the axe head...yes it broke by just throwing...
  6. SilentJohn


    Feb 11, 2008
    i think i might go with this one

    "This camp tomahawk is tough and utilitarian. It has hand burnished hardwood for a long lasting, sturdy handle with brass tacks down each side. The head is hand forged steel, and it measures 4 x 6.25 inches. Total length of the whole piece is 19 inches.

    It has been expertly 'antiqued' to achieve the look of a well preserved artifact. All materials are new"
  7. A Visitor

    A Visitor

    Jan 19, 2009
    That handle looks shot for new materials. I would buy one from a maker concerned about performance before looks. You may end up with a wall hanger made of mild steels overseas...instead of the User you want. I have handled the M48 -more of a weapon than chopper camp tool. Jmo
  8. SilentJohn


    Feb 11, 2008
    i still may not buy this one but i asked the maker if i can use it camping and he said yes. it only looks old. its a solid hickory handle and carbon steel blade . i agree it looks shot but that's why i contacted him. here is what he said
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  9. BobSig

    BobSig Gold Member Gold Member

    May 6, 2011
    I have the Cold steel trench hawk. It is similar to the M48. Can get them for $40ish. The spike is nice for camping and works good for a pickaroon, the chopping edge is rather blunt but holds an edge well. I put a wooden handle on it, I broke two of the stock handles in one day, the wood is doing much better. The M48 handle is inset into the head, would be hard to make a replacement for that. Sheath is nice on the cold steel trench hawk.
  10. b00mb4mb4ng


    Mar 5, 2012
    i would not recommend getting the m48 hawk, i got it about a month ago as my first tomahawk and after about a week of throwing it broke. which any hawk is going to do that eventually but i would look for something that is full tang. i myself am thinking about getting the smith and wesson extraction and evasion tomahawk. i cant find any vids on how it is at throwing but its full tang so at least it will hold up better.
  11. clearytja


    Oct 17, 2002
    The S and W will hold up better,however,you should check the weight on it. I am not a thrower but I could not imagine throwing it for any period of time. Even once might pull something in my shoulder :).
  12. Grease


    May 10, 2012
    If the Trail Hawk Mod thread is any indication, a Cold Steel wood handled hawk seems to be the most popular kind around here. Having just bought one and personalized it, I can see why. :)

    And being a wood handled hawk, if you ever break it while camping you aren't left high and dry. Wood is quite plentiful when camping, and you can always fashion a new handle until you get home and can buy a new hickory one.
  13. RoadDog66


    Jul 12, 2012
    I was in the same predicament, I wanted good steel and full tang strength without the high price. Then I came across the S&W Extraction/Evasion hawk. Searched around the net and just ordered one for under $60 shipped. It's gonna be heavier due to thickness and full tang, but it's 1070 hich carbon steel which will stand up to heavy use and abuse. Because it's high carbon it will require oiling to minimize rust and you won't want to leave it out in the rain. The thick carbon blade won't sharpen as fine as the thinner alloy steel blades so it won't stick into things as easily, but that's a trade-off for toughness.

    I plan to take the grips off and lace it up with paracord. I may also grind the spike to more of a tanto point and grind the end of the handle to a "V". It might even be possible to drill some holes in the axe blade to reduce weight, but I'll leave mine alone. I'd like to find somebody that can make a kydex sheath for it too and replace the cordura one.
  14. SilentJohn


    Feb 11, 2008
    thanks for the recommendation I'm going check that out
  15. RoadDog66


    Jul 12, 2012
    SilentJohn, if you decide you like it try darkhorsegunclub or cheaperthandirt. They had the best prices and cheapest shipping rates I could find. The SW671 Extraction Evasion hawk is unfortunately not USA made, but that's the downside to having limited funds. Below isn't mine, but is a nice shot of the SW-EE.

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  16. thebrain


    Dec 12, 2007
    I would just get a cold steel with a wood handle ,they are cheaper and you could get two and some extra handles and stay well below your price .I think the spikes are cool and all but I have the SOG hawk and the spike gets in the way too often for me ,I much prefer the cold steel trail hawk or frontier hawks for throwing and camp chores.

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