SOG F01TN-CP Tactical Tomahawk Review

Pros: Very good value for your money because you are getting a tomahawk that is close to the quality of high end tomahawks for a more down to earth price. Very sharp head with a solid bolt to the handle which ensures that it does not break. Comfortable durable handle to ensure optimum grip. The nylon sheath included allows for fast drawing of the tomahawk.

Cons:Weight distribution is a little off .It seems a little heavier on the head when compared to the body but not so much to completely throw you off but still apparent enough to notice.

In-Depth SOG Tactical Tomahawk Review:

The brand behind the tomahawk

Let me first introduce you to the brand behind the axe. If you have ever researched anything about knives you would have heard of SOG: Strong, Innovative, Specialty Tools. Each SOG knife is created by their company founder and chief engineer, Spencer Frazer. They are recognized and favored by law enforcement, military and industrial customers that rely on their tools to perform in the toughest and most adverse conditions.

Brief Introduction

Most modern tomahawks are based around the original Vietnam Tomahawk and this one is no exception. The SOG F01T-N is a Tactical Tomahawk that is capable of completing a number of tasks including, excavation, breaching operations, obstacle removal and extraction missions. This makes it an especially useful tool for military and service personnel.

What about the tomahawk itself?

SOG Tactical TomahawkThe SOG F01T-N has a head made of 420 stainless steel with a 2.75 inch edge. It is coated with a scratch-resistant, black oxide coating for reduced reflectivity. The head is bolted to a polymer handle with heavy duty bolts, so don’t worry that with abusive use there is a chance that the head flies out of the handle. To prevent the handle from splitting it is fitted with a steel ferrule and to ensure precise placement when pounding it includes side hammer checkering.

Ergonomics

It also does not lack in the ergonomic department. If you don’t feel comfortable holding your tomahawk then how will you have a chance to precisely aim and target it. That’s why this axes features an ergonomic handle that tries to give you the best possible grip. To achieve this the handle is crafted from a tough, ballistic polymer which makes it slip free, durable and well balanced.Another important factor to consider about a tomahawk is its weight because you don’t want to be working with a heavy tool that will tire you out after barely using it.Plus you don’t want to be adding something else to your already heavy backpack of tools. The F01T-N comes in at 24 ounces, which makes it fairly light weight.

So what’s the bottom line?

It is a perfect starter tomahawk for someone new in this market but that doesn’t mean it performs at a beginner level. Make no mistake, this tomahawk is performs excellent and is made of quality components by a reputable brand. The positive reviews support this fact. There is nothing to worry about because it even comes with a one year warranty.

How to make a tomahawk

You can make a simple tomahawk right at home.Depending if you are making your tomahawk for a school project,decoration or just for fun ,there are many different variations of the tomahawk that you can make.You can follow the guide below to make a simple yet effective tomahawk.If you want to make a more professional tomahawk then I suggest that you talk to your local blacksmith .

Things you will need

1.File or grinding wheel
2.1/4 inch plate steel
3.Welding Equipment
4. 3/4 inch heavy gauge metal pipe or wood handle

Steps to making a tomahawk

1.Making you tomahawk head- cut your 1/4 inch plate of steel into the shape of a tomahawk blade.You can use other metals such as brass,iron or copper but steel is preferable.You can try to be creative wehn making your toamhawk blade but it should be slightly round.If you want increase your chances of sticking the blade then just increase the surface of the blade.Two choice that you can try are a half moon shape or a more aggresive “francisca” look for your head.

6190576 francisca plus coverresize

2.Sharpen the blade-Now that you have made the blade you have to sharpen it.If you don’t then it won’t be able to stick well or chop well. The blade should be sharpened to about a 300 edge, beveled on either side.

3.A good length to cut your metal pipe /handle is the length of your forearm(from inside elbow to top of closed hand).The average tomahawk length is about 16-21 inches in length.If you feel it is too long then you can always cut it shorter.That’s the benfit of goin DIY style.It is important to note that the longer the handle the longer it will take to complete one revolution,which means that you have to be a little more further from the target.

4.Weld the bottom/butt of the blade to the top edge of the handle.The head should be flush with the top of the handle.

5.Remove the burrs-Make sure that after you finish cutting the metal that you remove the burrs.Any burrs left on the handle or head can pose a danger to the thrower.You habve been warned.

Final Product

final product

Time to have some fun

Now it is time to go have some fun and use your tomahawk.Tomahawk throwing is really fun once you get the hang of it.Make sure to be a proper distance from the target so that you can hit it properly.The goal is to make the tomahawk make one revolution before hitting the target.

History of the Tomahawk

Native American Tomahawks

The history of the tomahawk is quite a long tale. Tomahawks originated in North America where they were used by the Iroquoian and Algonquian Indians. They used tomahawks as tools or weapons, but they were also used in celebrations and ceremonies. The word “tomahawk” comes from the translation of the Algonquian word “to strike down”. The first tomahawks were quite different than the current version which are sleek and made of metal. The ones used by native Americans were made of either stone,bone,rock or wood. The tomahawks that were used for ceremonial practices were ornately decorated and craftily created when compared to the ones being used in their everyday lives. These tomahawks were made of more luxurious items like silver or pewter and were held by the chiefs of their tribe.

Many native Americans had their tomahawk that they personally designed to suit their taste. Tomahawks were really popular among Native Americans and this is demonstrated by the various historical portraits of native Americans with a tomahawk in hand. Many of these tomahawks were ornately decorated with different materials such as rawhide, brass, paint, even stonework, like turquoise and onyx inlays. The most common embellishments on Native American tomahawks were medicine bundles, which were thought to bring about supernatural victories during battles. Another common decorum added to Native American tomahawks was eagle feathers, which was earned for acts of bravery.

As time passed by Native American tomahawks were made from higher quality materials such as brass or iron. The Europeans introduced them to the metal blade in exchange for various items. The Native Americans greatly prized their new, more powerful tomahawks used them greatly during battle. Europeans and American artists created special poll tomahawks as diplomatic gifts for the Indians. The poll of the tomahawk’s head–the side opposite the blade–consisted of spike, hammer, or even a pipe. These pipe tomahawks, which were made with a bowl on the poll and a hollowed out shaft. The poll tomahawks symbolized two sides of a coin which are peace and war. The Indians really considered the pipe tomahawks as desirable multi-purpose tools.

Tomahawks revolutionized

During the American Revolutionary war (1775–1783), American military men were required to carry either a tomahawk or a chopping sword in the field. The Continental Congress mandated this so that they have backup weapon in the field plus it had other uses like to chop wood or dress game. The flintlock guns that were used at the time were unreliable and slow to reload so having a tomahawk was really important in case of a close range encounter.

Later on in history Peter LaGana ,the founder of the American Tomahawk Company, revived the tomahawk during the Vietnam war. As a WWII veteran of Mohawk descent, he was no stranger to war. He created and sold thousands of tactical tomahawks for military personnel by direct mail service to American troops serving in Vietnam. He changed the design of the tomahawk in a major way. His updated tomahawk featured a sturdy, penetrating spike for the poll. This model of the tomahawk is now referred to as the Vietnam tomahawk. Most modern tomahawks are made based on the Vietnam model.

Tomahawks Now

Today, the tomahawk continues to be part of the American Military where it is used in operation in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The current models are very strong in that they can be used to destroy Kevlar helmets. The soldiers mostly use because of its multi-purpose purposes such as smashing windows, breaching doors, breaking locks, deflating tires, chopping through cinder blocks, and opening crates. It can also be used for recreation where people throw it for sport and amusement to pass the time. The history of the tomahawk continues to be made now in the present so do not let it die down and continuing talking about the all mighty tomahawk.

All about tomahawk target building

You need to make a tomahawk target.To master the skill of tomahawk throwing you will need to make a target so that you can practice religiously.There are two parts to making a tomahawk target which are making the target itself and making the stand for it.In the start don’t expect to be throwing at a small target so don’t build a small (18 “) target instead build a bigger .When I started I made this same mistake and made an 18 inch pine log target.With this small target I was only landing about 60-70% of my throws.Just Landing!.Now I don’t make that same mistake with my bigger 35″ inch diameter target.Oh,how times have changed.Now let us get into the nitty gritty part of making your very own tomahawk target.

What can I use to make the target?

Well you definitely want to use wood as your target because what else will your tomahawk properly stick to.The question is if you want to use wood planks or log rounds.

Log Rounds

Log rounds are the best targets to throw at, especially when you use thicker ones. After one side is too scratched/chopped up, you can always just use the other side of the log or make the log thinner. A standard target is 16″ so it’s recommended that you get a log which is at least 20″ in diameter.

Wood Planks

This would be the second best option as a tomahawk target and on the plus side it is easier to build a target from. To build a good target out of planks of wood, you need to get about four 2×12 planks which should be atleast 6 feet in length. Lay them out next to each other and attach them in the back with a few 2×4’s and some screws. Place a 2×4 on the bottom, middle and top of the wood planks and screw them in. Thick planks aren’t recommended but as a beginner this is a geat way to start;Unless you are not a beginner and in that case you can use thinner planks.

Which type of wood should I get?

Tomahawks will stick on almost any kind of wood once it has been treated/cured.Curing/Seasoning the wood takes about 2-3 weeks.You definitely want softer wood for you target because if it is too hard then the tomahawk will not be able to stick and it will just bounce off the target.Check the list below for some of the preferable wood types.

– Sycamore
– Tulip Poplar
– Cottonwood
– Hackberry
– Ash (hard wood)
– Sassafras (hard wood)
– Beech (hard wood)

If you cannot get wood from this list then it is fine once you treat/cure the wood before using it.

Now on to the target stands

You have made a target but how will you make it stand up.For that you need a target stand.There are differnet stands that you can make.The type of stand that is good for you dpends on how big your target is and if you want it to be portable or not.

Basic Stand

Basically you can just nail a couple of 2×4 legs to the back of your target in a “V” pattern.Then just lean it against a tree or can use another piece of wood to make a tripod stand. It is quickly buit and is suprisingly stable.You just have to be careful of children and animals because it can be easily knocked out by them.

Custom Stand

A custom stand is a stand you create to fit your particular needs. One such is displayed in the picture on the left . The target is just leaning against the tree and can be simply turned around if the face gets too chopped up. The target is heavy so it is positioned in a way so that it does not fall forward. The blocks placed around the tree are there simply to protect the tree from any missed throws that might damage it.

Portable Stand

This stand is ideal because it can be moved around while at the same time able to hold heavier targets.It is more worthwhile to make if you have a large target block  plus it allows you to rotate th eblock to the other side.To make this, you will need need 2×6’s to have a sturdy block support system. Measure the front leg at  48”  with a 6” hinge block screwed to the top end. Use a 2.5″ or 3″ heavy duty hinge to connect the two front legs together. About 12″ from the top attach 42″ long back legs  with a 3.5″ x 1/4″ bolt using washers and a wing nut.Cut the top inside corner  at an angle so that  it doesn’t interfere with the target block.You can use  either 2×4′s or 2×6′s for the 9″ long block support arms which can be attached with screws anywhere on the front legs depending on how big the target block is that you are using.Use at least 3 screwsthat are  spread apart vertically as much as possible to help to resist the downward force that a heavy target would cause. Use screws instead of nails as it is easier to replace the arms or move them if the need arises. It is important that you cover the top of the stand with the top of the target block so that you do not hit the top of the stand, or more precisely the hinge as that will chip your tomahawk blade.

Heavy Duty Stand

The heavy duty stand is made out of good quality landscape timbers which can easily hold up our target. It lacks in the portablity department unless you have a truck, but it is still movable around the yard as long as you don’t have your heavy target block on it !You can build this by using five 8′ landscape timbers and a 3′ section of treated 2×4. To hold the wood together you can use two 6″ long x 1/2″ hex bolts and two 8″ long x 1/2″ hex bolts and about six standard nails. You will have to use a chain saw to cut the various weird compound angles to create “flats” on the timbers to get it to bolt together solidly.

How to Throw a Tomahawk

Are you having trouble trying to get your tomahawk to stick? Don’t worry because with the right guidance anyone can learn how to throw a tomahawk. For centuries Mountain Men and Native Americans have used tomahawks and axes for hunting, chopping wood and for protection but now we also use them for recreational fun. With the skills you will learn you can learn to throw anything from an axe, tomahawk, or even a hatchet.

How to Throw a Tomahawk?

Throwing a tomahawk to a target in front might seem a fun activity; however, it has to be done in a manner that does not make your throw dangerous to anyone. Follow the three-stage process below to make your throws perfect:

Stage 1: Getting Started

  • The first step is to get yourself a proper throwing tomahawk, ideally a light weight one, as it would make your throw smoother.
  • Next, arrange for a 4-6 inches thick dead chunks of wood for the tomahawk to stick into, mounted on a stand. Affix your aim (card, drawn circles or line, etc.) on the front of that wood.

Stage 2: Body Position and Gripping the Tomahawk

  • Body stance: The key to a successful throw is the position of your body. Keep your stance upright with feet shoulder-width apart and comfortable. Your arms should be loose and comfortable as there is no need to put excess amount of stress on your body.
  • Holding the tomahawk correctly will determine how good or bad a throw would be. Hold the tomahawk with your stronger hand with the handle pointing straight at your body coupled with a strong grip of handle like a formal business handshake. Your thumb needs to be wrapped around the handle, as one does it while holding a hammer. When I first started, I used to keep my thumb constantly on the back, like holding a knife, because this was the natural position that came to me. However, I was quick to realize that it greatly affected my throw.

Stage 3: Throwing the Tomahawk

  • Distance to target: Usually, the distance to target is ‘five steps’ as any distance closer or farther than five steps would cause your throw to get too little or too more of the revolutions you would want. You can draw a line to set your final standing point so you can consistently throw from one point.
HEIGHT OF THROWER TOMAHAWK LENGTH ESTIMATED DISTANCE TO TARGET (ONE ROTATION)
5’5″ & below 16″ Hawks 5-6 paces
5’5″ to 5’10” 19″ Hawks 5-6 paces
5’10” & above 21-22″ Hawks 5-6 paces
  • Final positioning of your hand: When you are about to release the tomahawk, bring it up in a slow, straight and controlled manner. Your arms need to be very straight with a firm grip on the tomahawk. Your elbow should flex just slightly just when you reach the apex before you actually start bringing forward the tomahawk.

Always remember that the throw has nothing to do with the wrist and I can only request you to trust me because of the severe wrist pain I had to endure when I first tried to throw the tomahawk using my wrist power and movement.

  • Release point: The most important stage of a successful throw is where you release the tomahawk, called the release point. This is extremely critical to your throw as a fraction delay in throwing would case your tomahawk to spin into ground whereas releasing a touch early will send your tomahawk too high. The ideal release point is where you can see the middle of the handle in the top right corner of your vision. This is the part where it took me the greatest amount of time to excel, so be patient and keep trying.
  • Follow-through: The last step to complete a successful throw is the follow through of your hand and body. All you need to do is complete the motion of your arm back down to your side, rather than making your arm come to a halt abruptly.

Problems throwing your tomahawk

If you see that after a few tries you cannot get the tomahawk to stick then you might be having the distance wrong. There are mainly two reasons for this.It could be that the axe could be under rotating. Step back a little bit if it is under-rotating and step forward if it is over-rotating. The axe could be over-rotating because you might me be using a shorter handle tomahawk. Shorter handles take less time to complete a revolution. If you have a shorter handle then start a little closer to your target. This why the size of your handle determines the proper distance from your target that you should be. Don’t worry if you miss it a few times in the start because it will take time for your to find the proper distance for throwing your tomahawk. With a little luck and practice you will be able to stick it every time like a pro.

Fun ways to throw your tomahawk

As you get more advanced then why not try something more interesting.These moves are not for beginners but it is still fun to try them out so here we go.

Upside down Throw

This one is quite what the name implies.Unlike when throwing a normal tomahawk where the handle faces downwards,in the upside down throw the handle faces upwards instead of downwards.Follow steps 1 and 2 from the above steps.The difference is in how you hold the tomahawk.Instead of holding the tomahawk with the blade facing frontwards make the blade face backwards and throw a little harder.After some practice you will be able to master this move.

Long Throw

This throw requires a lot more strength and force  when compared to throwing a tomahawk with the goal of completing one revolution.The goal of this throw is to make the tomahawk complete two revolutions before hitting the target.Instead of stepping 6 paces away from the target go a little further back to about 10 paces and throw from there.From there onwards it is about practice and adjusting your distance from the target.

Safety

Throwing a huge stick with a handle attached to can definitely be fun but you still need to do it safely.When you are practicing there will definitely be times when you miss the target so you want to make sure that there is not one in the background that could get injured.A tomahawk is not a toy so be safe.

Conclusion

The key to throwing tomahawk is throwing it consistently and judging your distance correctly so that you know how much spin would it make before it hits the target. Also, tomahawk throwing is an art that each person develops himself, improving his technique over the period albeit following the above basic guidelines. So, the more you practice, the better your throws will get as you will be able to self-adjust the speed, your body positioning and hand grip of the tomahawk to make this sport work better for you.

Once you have practiced a lot and would want to know how good you have become at tomahawk target markings, you can get your skill level examined through ‘International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame’ which has an international ranking system to determine the skill level of each thrower.