Saturday, December 28, 2013

CRKT Chogan T-Hawk Survival Axe Review

CRKT Chogan T-Hawk Survival Axe Review
Lately it would seem that all the old hand to hand combat and survival tools are coming back in vogue again due to troops starting to understand that sometimes a knife, sword, or axe comes in more handy than a gun. In the past decade we have seen the word “combat” or “tactical” become attached with swords, tomahawks and axes and new unique designs and some classics making a huge comeback. Tomahawks have actually become one of the fastest growing cutting tool segments in the military simply because they can open crates, doors, be used for making barricades and small structures in the field, for personal defense, … and the list goes on. In short, they are very handy tools to have around when you are on your own in hostile territory.
Ryan Johnson is the primary designer and president of RMJ Tactical has been honing his tactical axe/tomahawk designs for over 30-years. His designs have developed a fan base in the military special forces community do to their size, utility and toughness. One of his more popular design was used as a base to develop the CRKT Chogan and Kangee T-Hawks tomahawks. These two designs are nearly identical which the exception that the Kangee has a pointed spike on the non-chopped edge and the Chogan has a blunt hammer type edge.  The result of the collaboration was a very effective Ryan Johnson styled tomahawk that retails on the street for around $100 as an affordable option the custom made $450 Ryan Johnson handmade custom originals.
Like all CRKT knives their overseas production is of very high tolerances and quality and for $100, the Chogan is own of the best deals in tactical tomahawks.  Chogan features a full tang construction made of SK5 Carbon steel for high durability and edge holding and then finished a with black powder coat to provide rust and corrosion resistance. The glass filled nylon handles are bolted on for security and feature a textured finish that provided me plenty of grip even when my hands were wet. The handle area includes multiple lashing points to provide ultimate flexibility to the user.
At only 14” long and nearly .25” thick steel, the CRKT Chogan is easy to pack, however CRKT went a step further and includes a MOLLE compatible belt sheath which protects the user and his equipment from accidental cuts.  The Chogan snaps into the sheath however CRKT has included a snap clasp closure for added security. Also included is a long sling that can be attached to the sheath to carry the Chogan T-Hawk over the shoulder.
The handle is a versatile design that can be comfortably retained in a number of grips from very high for precision bushcraft detail tasks with the cutting edge to a low reverse grip to use the hammer head.  I broke down a paper pallet to feed my Roundboy pizza oven and the chore was surprisingly quick with the T-hawk.
One of the features I have to address is the shaving sharp edge that the Chogan T-Hawk is capable of obtaining. Out of the box the T-Hawk was paper slicing sharp compared to any factory axe, however after a few passes with my fine ceramic steel I was able to shave a nice clean strip down my arm.  Pretty impressive for a tomahawk with an edge designed from a durability perspective.  This keen knife edge sharpness elevates the usefulness of the CRKT Chogan T-Hawk beyond the normal capabilities of a blunt wedge shaped axe we are normally familiar with to a small camp axe that can do work normally requiring a knife. Paired with the handle’s design which allows you to really choke up on the axe head and you have a precision cutting tool that could deliver game cleaning abilities.
FINAL THOUGHTSAs a farm boy raised in the country, I have always appreciated a great hand tool. Among those tools that were handiest was a small high quality carbon steel camp axe.  This is in essence exactly what the CRKT Chogan T-Hawk is with some very nice and useful refinements that make this tomahawk more durable and flexible even in combat situations.  Not that I am running around kicking in doors, but I know folks who do and they find a high strength tactical tomahawk pretty handy.  For me this is a great all around tool that can deliver a huge set of essential functions in a survival and general hunting/outdoor game cleaning duties with its shaving sharp edge. If the need arose it would make a mighty fine combat defense weapon if I found my shotgun, AR15, and Glocks empty. For the prepper, outdoorsman, huntsman, and special operator, this is a handy lightweight tool that delivers a huge capabilities set for not a lot of money.

Open Overall Length    14 inches
Weight    1 lb. 8.6 ounces
Blade Length    2.93 inches
Thickness    0.23 inches
Material    SK5 Carbon Steel
Blade-HRC    54-55
Finish    Black Powder Coat
Grind    Flat
Style    Axe Edge Front with Hammer
Edge    Plain
Handle Material    Glass Filled Nylon; EDM Finish
Carry System    Black Kydex Sheath with Molle Clip Platform
Weight    3.6 ounce
MSRP $185