SOG Tactical Tomahawk F01TN-CP

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

SOG Tactical Tomahawk F01TN-CP Review

Opening Thoughts:

Let me start by saying that my military background tends to make me somewhat picky when it comes to tactical gear.  But even with my suggestions on improvements, I wouldn’t write a review of something I just didn’t like.  That being said, here are my thoughts on the SOG Tactical Tomahawk.

SOG Tactica Tomahawk

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Is It A Tool Or A Weapon?

The SOG Tactical Tomahawk is a very good piece of kit (gear) and with a few waves of my magic wand it would become great. My main problem is that the tomahawk suffers from an identity crisis. As a weapon there are things that need to be addressed.

First off, the edge – and for you delicate souls out there please skip this part. A blade with a point tends to stick into solid material like bone and is difficult to dislodge so a rounded blade would be a better idea. If you plan to hit someone with this tomahawk you risk the chance of not getting your weapon back if you need to move away quickly.

As a throwing tomahawk the straight edge and sharp corners are helpful but I have never been an advocate of chucking a perfectly good weapon away. Daniel Day-Lewis in the Last of the Mohicans looked very cool throwing his tomahawk but in reality it’s a bad idea. On the plus side the blade is very sharp and would do significant damage to flesh.

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Pointed tomahawk blades tend to stick in things like bone.

Tool Features

On the tool side, being able to strike the occasional tent stake is cool as is the reinforcements added to the head protecting the handle in the event of a miss.

Tomahawk

The reinforced head allows you to hit things like tent stakes with added protection for the handle.

Another issue is the sharpness of the blade (and I know that will be a point of contention because everyone has an opinion). That being said, an edge for a weapon is different than an edge for a tool. I know the SOG wasn’t designed to chop wood on a regular basis, so, no it’s no hit but should be considered during the buying process. The spiked end is a great addition in the tool department due to the many possible uses. The head is plenty strong to be able to breach pretty much anything during an emergency, though.

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Spike on the end of the blade

Just a little thing, but one feature I should point out is that at the bottom of the handle there is a hole.  This is there in case you want to add a lanyard to the tomahawk.

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Hole in handle for lanyard

What about the sheath?

There is no way to sugar coat the sheath situation, so here goes. Be it a weapon or a tool – the stock nylon sheath bites: the snaps are flimsy and one rivet has failed completely after just two months. The worst thing is that it opens from the bottom, so that means the tomahawk (just ask Mr. Murphy) will fall out when you least expect it.

Why on earth wasn’t it made so the axe drops in from the top? There is no way I would mount the sheath on a belt or strap and expect it to be there when it was needed. I considered having a leather sheath made when I saw SOG offered one made from hard plastic. I believe this is a case where the designers are not end-users, because although the hard case is very good from an engineering point of view, it doesn’t function well in the field.

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Plastic sheath and nylon sheath

Also, despite the double locking system, the axe is still inserted from the bottom and can fall out. Sorry to be so nit picky but if it can fall out, it will. The swing-out secondary lock just pivots and the friction lock will wear over time.

Another consideration is the belt clip and, while at first blush it is seems versatile, in reality it’s too complicated and prone to failure. This tomahawk is billed as a tactical item, so that’s how I am reviewing it. For carrying purposes, a simple drop-in sheath using MOLLE, a belt loop or even ALICE clips would be preferable.

I recognize the designer’s intent by wanting a highly configurable and rotating sheath, but this one would be a hindrance in the field. The hard case is bulky, noisy and has too many moving parts; gadgets fail and usually when you least expect it.

SOG Tactical Tomahawk

Belt Clip for Plastic Sheath

Overall Opinion

Okay, last gasp. Despite some of my criticisms, I think the SOG Tactical Tomahawk is a very good tool/weapon and rates a place in my primary Go-bag. For me, that’s high praise and should be an indication of how much I faith I have in this axe. A custom sheath and a few minutes at the bench grinder and I will be fully satisfied.

To order from Amazon.com: CLICK HERE

For more info from SOG: CLICK HERE

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Brad Staggs

Contributing Writer/Producer at Tool Skool
Brad has worked in and around the home improvement and tool industry most of his life. He was host of Talk2DIY Home Improvement, Co-produced DIY Tools & Techniques and is the author of Spend a Little, Save a Lot Home Improvement.