Many of the full-tang tomahawks on the market have a decidedly tactical flavor to them. You can use a tomahawk designed to take apart cars in the forest but it might not be ideal for working with wood. This is the starting point for the Work Hawk from Park Swan at Wild Knife and Tool. He wanted to design a lightweight, full-tang tomahawk that is more at home in the woods and more like a traditional woodman’s tool.
Traditional tomahawks and trade axes are relatively light in weight and Park emulates that in Work Hawk by radically skeletonizing the haft/handle and placing a large circular cutout in the blade to create the balance he was after. The result is a chopping tool that weighs just 22.5 ounces (17 ounces if you can make due without the removable micarta handles).
The handle is clad with micarta scales that mimic the octogon polls of older trade axes and run from the base of the haft all the way up to the bit, allowing the user to place their hand just about anywhere. This allows the user to grip lower for maximum chopping leverage or choke up under the bit for fine, knife-like cutting and carving. The hooked butt of the haft allows the user to grip all the way down at the bottom of the poll without fear of the Work Hawk slipping out of the hand during the chopping stroke.
The Work Hawk is ground from 52100 steel, a classic carbon steel known for excellent edge holding and toughness. It is a full .25″ thick which makes it plenty tough and leaves enough meat to achieve a steeper, axe-like cutting geometry. The overall length is 12.75″ with a 3.75″ cutting edge. The Work Hawk features a scalloped hammer poll and comes with a kydex belt sheath.
Wild Knife and Tool does not currently have a website. The best way to contact them about a Work Hawk or one of their other creations is to visit BladeForums where Park is an authorized knifemaker. You can also email him at email@example.com. Park tells me that he has a batch of Work Hawks in the works currently so this would be a good time to get on the list.