Ideal handle length ?

Jan 18, 1999
I once saw a TV show on a tomahawk throwing competition.
They claimed that the hawk handle should be the same
length as the distance from your elbow to the second joint of
your fingers (or something like that).
Is there any truth to this and is that the correct formula ??
Thanks in advance
I think it has less to do with that (although you don't want a 2" handle!), and more to do with knowing the balance and feel of the hawk you are throwing. My Ranger Spike Hawk handle is not nearly the length from my elbow to knuckle, but I can throw it just fine.


The AKTA requires a hawk handle in the range of 15 to 19 inches. The previous minimum distance for hawks was 14 feet. Optimally you would want to throw a competition at the minimum distance (closer is better accuracy). So you would therefore adjust the length of the handle so that the distance required is as close as possible to the minimum distance.

For me personally, with my personal hawk, I have the handle length (end to top of hawk head) at 15.25 inches. This puts me at about 14.25 feet.

The mountain men throwers employ a practice of adjusting the hawk handle length so that it throws from the same distance as their knife. I have seen handles at 12 inches, most are 13 to 14 inches.

For utility or defensive uses I would probably go with 18 - 20 inches.
Patte & Brian,
Thanks for the quick response.
Just what I was looking for.