What hawk would you recommend for survival/bushcraft?

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Nov 6, 2011
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Again with the H&B hawks I question their durability.

Any metal axe head mated to a wood shaft will be less durable in the long run than a "uni-body" hawk. That said, I have only read positive comments about H&B products, and would imagine a serious amount of deliberate abuse would be required to compromise the integrity of a H&B tomahawk. $275 buys a lot at H&B.
 
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Again with the H&B hawks I question their durability.

Why do you question the durability? I don't know a lot about them, but most owners seem fairly happy with theirs from what I've read.

That out of the way, for 30 ounces you're coming very close to the Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay axe, which means you are well out of the area where wood hafted 'hawks really shine. The heaviest head I would look for in a bushcraft hawk would be 16 ounces. There are lots of great options in that area, such as the 2 hawks Voyager or Longerhunter, depending on your preference, though the Woodsman would be my choice, and I am just waiting until after the holidays to order one of those for myself.
 
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Why do you question the durability? I don't know a lot about them, but most owners seem fairly happy with theirs from what I've read.

That out of the way, for 30 ounces you're coming very close to the Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay axe, which means you are well out of the area where wood hafted 'hawks really shine. The heaviest head I would look for in a bushcraft hawk would be 16 ounces. There are lots of great options in that area, such as the 2 hawks Voyager or Longerhunter, depending on your preference, though the Woodsman would be my choice, and I am just waiting until after the holidays to order one of those for myself.
The main reason I question their durability is because a lot of good-looking hand forged tools are often safe queens (IMO).

Yes I agree with the fact that 30oz is a little heavy for a wood handled but I'm sure theres good ones out there. I would like to clarify when I say 27oz I mean with whatever haft/handle it comes with for head only weight I like the 15-19oz range.
 
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I think this is very unfair.

Unfair how? You can't tell me that an obviously hammer forged tomahawk at a low price doesn't seem at least a little worrying to you? Its just usually the only good hand forged hawks/ tools in general you will find at a higher price. And the ones that are meant to look hand forged are usually for decorative purposes only.
 
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Mar 30, 2007
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LOL

A hammer-forged tomahawk at a low price is something made in India or Pakistan. H&B's cost a good bit more than cheap imported junk and I have no complaints with the four I own.

I had them custom make me a mammen-style Viking axe and I've thrown and beat the dickens out of it for months now. Everything is still tight, still sharp, and nothing's broken on it. Used the hammer poll to bust ice on my driveway last week.

I discovered H&B forge in Texas back in 2001. My buddy down there is a Vietnam vet and one of the guys at their VFW had a tomahawk he'd owned - and used - since 1973. I saw the H&B mark on it and looked it up on the internet when I got home.
 
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Feb 13, 2013
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Hello all. I use an Estwing hatchett and it suits me fine. All steel construction with a stacked leather handle. Cheers
 

crossada

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I think you would be hard pressed to find a modern hawk that will out perform a tradtional in a bushcraft setting.
 

nicksison

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Please consider a hawk from JK his belt hawk seems right up your alley. Im having him make me a spike hawk right now and im pretty sure its gonna be an incredible hawk.
 
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I do like the JK belt hawk but I really prefer the style of stormcrows, even still both are a bit short.
 
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Unfair how? You can't tell me that an obviously hammer forged tomahawk at a low price doesn't seem at least a little worrying to you? Its just usually the only good hand forged hawks/ tools in general you will find at a higher price. And the ones that are meant to look hand forged are usually for decorative purposes only.

Unfair in that you presume because they don't charge more they are not worth your time. The "hand forged" look allows them to skimp on refinements such as polishing and other such trivialities, saving time and thus allowing them to charge their customers less. You don't always get what you pay for.
 
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Unfair in that you presume because they don't charge more they are not worth your time. The "hand forged" look allows them to skimp on refinements such as polishing and other such trivialities, saving time and thus allowing them to charge their customers less. You don't always get what you pay for.

Personally I prefer the forge scale left on. Not only does it give a more historical and rustic appearance, that finish also helps prevent corrosion.
 
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Unfair in that you presume because they don't charge more they are not worth your time. The "hand forged" look allows them to skimp on refinements such as polishing and other such trivialities, saving time and thus allowing them to charge their customers less. You don't always get what you pay for.
I don't doubt that they are heavy duty hawks, I was just curious as to their durability, now I know. Thank you for changing my mind.
 

1066vik

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Coal Creek Forge has a good reputation -- you may want to talk to him about his Toma-Ax.
Wolf Creek Forge is another good one -- Lisa does good work and her lowest price hawk head runs about $75 IIRC. (I have one, no worries about durability) Throws good, chops good, splits wood so-so, which is expected in anything that transitions so abruptly to an eye.
I have also heard nothing but good about HB Forge -- and really like the looks of their medium poll hawk.
 
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Here's my H&B Mammen:


HampBVikingAxeMammen001_zpsfc620ab5.jpg


They custom made it to my specs and got it pretty doggone close. The grain alignment on the haft is perfect and the harder 1095 cutting edge is a full insert piece which goes all the way back. I patinated it with hot apple cider vinegar to see. The balance is wonderful and it throws very well. If civilization collapses, this will be the one I take with me.

Only problem with it is now my Norwegian Elkhound puppy wants me to put a wooden dragon head on my canoe so we can raid picnics on the beach at the local state park. He says it's part of his heritage or something.:rolleyes:
 
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I absolutely love the James Helm (Storm Crow) "War Chief" 'hawk that I received earlier this month. It's lightweight, compact, easy to handle, and very packable. With James' sheath system, I can carry this on my person (either on my belt or around my shoulder) or strap it to a backpack. To me, it's just plain fun having it in the woods.

 
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Mar 3, 2006
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I choose my Shrike 13, compact, tough, and great sheath system-(outta that price range however)
ncmt0.jpg

I believe you could get the Storm Crow package for around your price range. It looks to be the perfect setup. You get in touch with him yet?
 
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Jul 26, 2006
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Unfair how? You can't tell me that an obviously hammer forged tomahawk at a low price doesn't seem at least a little worrying to you? Its just usually the only good hand forged hawks/ tools in general you will find at a higher price. And the ones that are meant to look hand forged are usually for decorative purposes only.

Just thought it might be fun to chime in here. Mary Barber with H & B Forge Co. The only complaint we EVER get on our hawks is that they are too inexpensive! That said the price will be going up the first of the year! So all of you H & B Fans may want to make a purchase soon!!

We are a small American company located in the middle of nowhere in Ohio. My father started the hawk business 48 years ago. My husband took it over 37 years ago. Now my son is running it. That is 3 generations of tomahawk and knife making. And all 48 years of that time our hawks have carried a 100% lifetime guarantee. Now you can't do that if you are making a cheap product. We are so busy that Jarrod is working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week and cannot keep up. But we virtually never have to replace any of our hawks.

You can pay a higher price but you cannot buy a better made hawk.
Some quote from happy customers:

"I received my order today. That was quick. Holy old Jesus,apologies for using the Lords name in vane but they are absolutely beautiful and perfect. I can not begin to tell you how pleased I am with your workmanship. You have a customer for ever. If you have a list of shows you will attending next year please let me know so I can drop in as long as I let my employer know in advance."

"I just got my hawk in the mail and wanted to say thanks. Just an absolutely excellent piece of work. Good weight, great balance... and the hammer marks make this little hawk a complete pleasure to own. I'll be back for more "

"I just purchased one of your Med. Camp Axes from the Log Cabin Shop.
Was a little concerned with the length of the handle, Because I wasn't use to a camp axe with such a long handle.(I knew the Heat Treat should be right because your Strikers throws Great Sparks.) After sharpening the Camp Axe and testing it out on a "Good Old Oak" log,I found the axe, it's heat treat, and it's handle length to be "OUTSTANDING IN EVERYWAY" Thanks Alot, and keep up the good work. Steve G.

P.S. Yes I did"Beat The Shit Out of It" I wanted to see if it would hold up to (12) Boy Scouts.!!! "


"I received my pipe ax Friday, and I am very appreciative and impressed with the work you guys did. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this for me, it looks great, and greatly exceeded my expectations. Thanks, and I look to do further business with H and B. Thanks, Tyler V"

"I will be referring all the knife throwers I come in contact with to your company. There is a knife thrower community on youtube. You should get some videos of people doing reviews and throwing your knives on youtube. hickock45 talks highly about your tomahawks. I have not done any videos yet, but if I do I will send people your way. Thanks. Matt D"

"I started throwing tomahawk when I was 12 years old. I was 26 years old when H&B started, and I bought my Shawnee model from Log cabin in Lodi. It was larger and heavier than what I was used to, but I loved it from the moment I picked it up. I never threw in competition until in the early 1970's. I belonged to the Daniel Boone Muzzle loading Club out of Portsmouth, Ohio. That was the club that started the rebirth of muzzle loading in the 1930's. I won easily any competition our local club had. We also hosted what was called our Statehood shoot that was held in Chillicothe, Ohio. Three years I competed in that against people from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. Each of those years I also won. I only throw your hawk and I win over and over again. Thank you for my Tomahawk. It has brought me many years of enjoyment. It is beautiful, and exactly like many originals that I have seen. Thank you. Tim J"

Out hawks are made to be used and abused with almost half a century of being in business. I hope you'll consider giving them a try.
Mary Barber
H & B Forge Co
 
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