Trail Hawk

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Henry Arthur Readford
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Hi All
I wanted to give a quick review about the Cold Steel Trail Hawk I recently accquired.

TRAIL HAWK

Specifications:
Overall Length: 22"
Weight: 23.6 oz. (approx.)
Blade Thick: 2 1/4" (primary edge)
Blade Length: 6 1/2" (Hawk Length)
Handle: American Hickory

Reason for buying a Hawk . 2 reasons, the first for traditional bushcrafting, secondly I was informed by an international maker (not Cold Steel, American Tomahawk Co.) that they will not send to Australia any longer due to customs.
I chose the Trail Hawk simply because I could obtain it here in Oz and it was on a sales special. I did not buy a tomahawk for a primary cutting tool as I previously mentioned, and I read plenty of mixed reviews about Trail Hawk so I was well aware of what I was purchasing.

I will admit I was a little cautious buying one as I did not read alot of what I considered very positive reviews. However the ones that I considered informative and positive did sway me. Why I say not many positive reviews was because of requirements to heavily modify it.

NOW MY THOUGHTS
I got exactly what I thought I was purchasing. Very pleased
It is light and sturdy. Very pleased
Hawk was fairly sharp on arrival. Pleased
Handle is varnished or something like it. I was prepared for that and expected to have to sand and oil.
Handle had both sap and heart wood. Dissappointed. Grain runs the wrong or preferred direction. Very Dissappointed
Hawk head covered in black paint. Expected but not covered with runs in the finish. I was intending to remove the paint anyway so not a problem.
Balance Very pleased.
Head although I knew it was fixed with grub screw. I believe with the style of handle and head it is needed cause does not use friction hold like traditional hawks.

Conclusion.

Even though I have given mixed feelings on this Hawk I would be glad to recommend it to anyone who knew exactly what they were about to purchase. Sure it has Faults , it is massed produced and finish is not the best. But as mentioned I was pretty certain of what I was about to purchase and was prepared for some issues. In saying that if this Hawk was to be a primary cutting device I would definetely say buy quality and most likely get one custom made to your requirments. For a light weight non primary hawk it is great. I would have little hassles with this hawk taking in the field hunting to help process game or to chop some fire woods.
I can not see any benefits from the reviews I have read which involved major mods. It would be better buying a product that represented what you wanted. I personally don't see these mods from the reviews useful. They just infer the product needs adjusting which could render this particular hawk totally useless.

I wil Soon post pics of the small mods I wil make and also include the pics of the sheath I made for it.
I hope this helps someone out
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Thanks for the comments, it seems to be pretty much what I would have expected from what I’ve read too.

- - -
As for the mods, I think you are right that (most ?) of them don’t actually add to the functionality of the tool, but I do like the fact that people have turned a mass produced product into a personalized “treasure”.

You can be sure that any mod-ed tool will be well cared for and not abused. It can also be a great piece to show off / conversation piece, and much nicer that simply a functional tool.

For traditional folk sitting around the camp fire chatting at night, camp crafting would have been a daily activity to be looked forward to;
perhaps with an “axe” you may need a grinder in a shed, but I think its the same principal at work ...


Not to mention that some mods would make a mass produced product into a saleable item with a decent markup ...
 

Templar

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Sounds like a good project tool... on the handle, they use a cheaper cut of wood to allow ease of replacement, a lot of people who buy this kind of tool actually intend to throw it rather than chop/cut with it these days, so the handle is going to break anyway.

Give it a good hardwood replacement and I think it would last more than a lifetime...
 

Wave Man

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good solid review, I too have a Trail Hawk. It follows the traditional tomahawk pattern very closely. The reason for the customs restrictions are because customs won't allow throwing axes or knives into the country. I have to say I love my Trail Hawk, it has every thing I expect in a fighting hawk.
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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I agree with a solid handle replacement which will be done after it breaks. The mods I mentioned which I do not see as bennefical all required removing a fair bit of metal from head and poll as well shortening the handle by 8 or more inches
 

mraussieadventurer

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Great review mate.
i have a trail hawk love the thing very good for small wood processing and bushcraft
first thing i did was remove that silly paint with paint stripper.
Sanded the handle and put a coat of linseed oil on it.
made a simple leather sheath for it as well

those leather belt straps around the handle are for absorbing impact.they also make a great grip when you choke up on the handle
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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They would be all the mods I do too. May give it a mustard patinia and I am making a 1 piece carry & sheath for it
 

TasMonk

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I've got a Trail Hawk as well and think it's a decent bit of kit for the price. I got lucky in that the grain for my handle was good, but I found the edge to be a bit rubbish and in need of sharpening. So far I haven't modded it, but I've seen some inspiring pics that have me thinking about it, and there really are a huge range of options. All in all, I'd agree it's a good buy and a very useful tool.
 

feebullet

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dazzasgear.jpgmate of mine just got a pipe hawk and leather, making it his trapping hammer and I think he is shortening the handle to about 18 inches, looks like a solid enough bit of gear for what its going to be used for.
 

Bloffy13

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Sorry to drag up an old post but recently I have been interested in buying a Cold Steel Trailhawk or the 90TH. They seem to be $40 ish ex US, but up to $90 in Australia.
I was wondering if anyone knows of a cheap, reliable seller in Australia (or otherwise, not that fussy) who doesn't want a king's ransom.
Had a look at the Extac site and Fleabay but not impressed by the prices.
Other option is does anyone have one for sale.
Just want it for basic camp duties (splitting, carving etc) and not for throwing (if you DID have to use it as a weapon, I can't see the use of throwing away something that would be much better used up close and personal. Lol)
Interested in anyone's thoughts who have actually used one. I've read a lot of various reviews and youtubes etc, so not interested in second hand thoughts.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

MongooseDownUnder

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If you don't mind a second hand I will sell you the one I bought. The only thing I have done to it is strip the paint and tighten up the handle. I can post it to you if you want to try it out.


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Bodge

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I'm thankful for your views MDU as I have debated for over a year if I should purchase a CRKT Woods Chogan or not, reviews have not been all that convincing in part due to fit and finish per price point and our aussie hard woods are always forefront on my mind, I do like the fact that it comes with a hammer poll and this getting a lot of use. @ Bloffy, I wonder if the Cold Steel Kukri you had at Grimwade isn't as good a cutter as any tommohawk?
 

MongooseDownUnder

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I think the woods CRKT Chogan would be a lot better than the Trailhawk. It is quite a bit heavier and has a larger bit. I have been meaning to get one and give it a go. I think Bloffy's kukri would cut wood quicker than a Trailhawk.


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Bloffy13

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Bodge. I have absolutely no probs with my kukrhi. It's a fantastic piece of kit and I have used it a lot. Just looking at something different. I can't afford an expensive axe and, for the amount of weight etc, I don't think I would carry it often. I have my house axe for heavier chopping. I'm an unashamed gear bitch, no doubt. That said, a tomahawk is a bit more discreet, with or without the handle. Both will fit in my pack nicely. Just be keen to see how one goes.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Bloffy13

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Ozlon. Thanks for that. If MDU'S offer falls through, I will follow that up.
MDU. If at first you don't succeed.....never make damper again. Lol. Try now. Not as long as the first pm.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

MongooseDownUnder

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Just thought I would add some pictures of mine. Head sanded although it has now got a little bit of surface rust (much easier to clean off than the paint though). I forgot I actually put a ferrule through the handle for a lanyard, although I was thinking for portability it might be worth shortening the handle. The handle has been shaped to fit the head a bit better so it does not need the grub screw, as a result the handle does not stick out the top as much.



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