Prepper Tips: Tomahawks and Hatchets


Prepper Tips:  Tomahawks and Hatchets

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications



A prepper should never be without a good tomahawk and or a utility hatchet. Everybody is always talking about survival knives and that is fine, every prepper should have several suited to all sorts of different jobs. However, few real knives can do some of the things better or more efficiently than a good hawk or hatchet.

Whether deciding to bug in or bug out or forced to escape ahead of some nasty natural disaster, then be sure to put a tomahawk or hatchet in the pack box. These tools can perform a wide variety of jobs from cutting trees or trimming out limbs, splitting kindling wood and sticks, rough carpentry jobs, nailing, and you name it.

With the longer handle a hawk or hatch can be more easily controlled in the swing and the chopping action. Just make sure you have a firm grip on the handle before you lower the hammer as it were. A slip or missed swing can end up in a bad situation.

So, what is the real difference between a tomahawk and a hatchet? We probably think more about a tomahawk being a war tool, but that’s from old TV western shows. Tomahawks typically have a longer handle attached to a tool head that primarily has a chopping head with a high curved edge and a narrow face. The opposite site of the blade could have been forged with a variety of shapes including spike points, square headed hammer heads, or round knobs like a ball peen hammer.

A tomahawk handle is often made of wood. It could be walnut, pecan, maple, or other species. Modern made tomahawks could have a handle made of a synthetic material attached over the entire one piece metal tomahawk. These certainly work well, and withstand the elements, but they just are not as classic as a wood handle.

A hatchet brings to mind a Boy Scout camp with a bunch of guys trying to chop up some blocks of wood or limbs into firewood. They are also used to clear camping sites of saplings and to hammer in tent stakes. Hatchets are used for a multitude of camping tasks hence their utility as a prepper-survival tool.

Modern hatchets have a small single sided ax type cutting edge and most often it seems a flattened hammer surface on the other side. Handles are often metal, sometimes with a rubber-like gripping surface. Again, every prepper should have one.

Tomahawks and hatchets have so many uses that they are easily considered essential tools to have around. Make sure your bug in domicile or your bug out camp has them.


Avatar Author ID 67 - 1736184963

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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