I had the pleasure of speaking with Jarrod from H&B Forge at the NMLRA shoot in Friendship this past September. I was only able to be there for a couple hours and stopped by his booth where he showed me some custom damascus steel tomahawks that he recently finished for a customer.
Those are some nice looking pieces for sure. Acid etched to add depth and texture, these are labor intense to produce for sure. Jarrod had numerous pieces on display and as usual they are all very impressive and a good value too. If you are in the market for a new throwing tomahawk or other edge weapons be sure to check out the H&B Forge.
Although this isn’t exactly a tomahawk you might find it interesting. I had this huge meat cleaver thing hanging around ever since… it actually was from my grandparent’s farm when they used to do hog butchering. We are talking early to mid 1900s. This thing is rather massive and heavy with the blade up to 1/2 inch thick! Anyway, I thought it might be a bit more interesting, and easier to handle if we removed some of the blade turning it into a more formidable looking tool. I made a rough sketch on the blade and went off to visit Beaver Bill.
With a little slicing and dicing and grinding and polishing by Beaver Bill the new shape starts to become reality!
A little sanding and smoothing on the handle and I believe the finished piece is certainly a conversation starter!
One of our favorite games to play with the throwing tomahawk is “Around the World.” We start with sticking in the upper left corner, then move to the upper right corner, lower right corner, lower left corner, then the left center square followed by the top center square, right center square, bottom center square, then the middle to finish. As long as you make a clean stick in the appropriate square you continue to throw. If you miss that square or hit the line then you forfeit your turn and the next player throws. On your next turn you pick up attempting to stick the same square as you missed on your previous turn. First person to throw around the world wins. If a player still has a turn left when another player finishes the around the world cycle then that player can throw to see if they can finish out also. If the game ends in a tie then an appropriate tie breaker can be used.
To play Around the World it is best to have a rather large block of 30″ minimum in order to fit all the markings on. The one pictured above is about 32″ in diameter. We make a 21″ square centered on the target block. That square is divided into nine 7″ squares as pictured above. If your block is not at least 30″ all the markings will not fit on there. You could still mark your target as shown in the picture below leaving off the larger outside square marking. The only difference is that the outside “squares” might have the corners cut off and would be a little harder to play on than with a big target. This game also has the added benefit of making your wood block last longer as you are not always throwing at the center of the block but trying to stick in the outer edges also. This really helps to develop your aim better than always throwing for the center.
This throw is very similar to a previous video where I used a knife and a tomahawk. This time I am using two Beaver Bill Mighty Mouse-‘Hawks and I am throwing at two different targets about eight feet apart. Both tomahawks are thrown at the same time. I noticed some strain in both shoulders from throwing out away from my body. A normal single ‘hawk throw would have the arm motion come slightly or maybe even a lot across the body. Throwing out from the body is not a normal motion I think. Just another throw to try if you have some tomahawks. If not, get going, you are missing out on tons of fun!
This throw uses both the new “Short Throwing Knife” from Beaver Bill and an early model “Mighty Mouse-Hawk”, also from Beaver Bill. Both Implements are thrown at the same time and at the same target. I am getting better at throwing with my left hand as I sustained some minor right shoulder injury and have been throwing a lot from the left while that heals. There are all kinds of techniques and challenges such as this that makes tomahawk throwing very fun and enjoyable. If you don’t have a tomahawk, go get one, gather some friends and enjoy your new hobby.
I recently added a new tomahawk model to my collection. It is a Mighty Mouse Hawk Hammer Poll made by Beaver Bill. As you may know from an earlier post, I collaborated with Beaver Bill in the design of the original Mighty Mouse Hawk and this hammer poll is roughly based on that model. It is a similar size and shape as the Mighty Mouse with the addition of the hammer poll that is welded on to the back of the head. Beaver Bill already has another Hammer Poll model that he produces that is made the more traditional way in that it is forged entirely from one piece of steel. This way this new model is produced will allow him to offer this at a lower price point. From my point of view, this model with the forge marks left on and the plain hickory handle and lower price will get more use as I am not afraid of taking this out and throwing it and using it. What I mean is that Beaver Bill’s other Hammer Poll model is so dang nice looking I would not want to mess it up by using it! Anyway, since my main interest is throwing tomahawks, I never really imagined what I would do with a hammer poll. It turns out that this hawk throws just as good as any other tomahawk that I have. The main difference is that it has some extra weight that it is carrying but that also provides more mass to the hawk and the blade tends to stick fairly deep, with a satisfying thud when it hits the block. The hammer poll might be a good choice for campers who need a tomahawk that is more versatile and can not only chop some fire sticks but also hammer in tent stakes. I really like the solid feel that this hawk has and am really happy with its performance as a throwing hawk too.
Last year I did a hands-on review of the Competition Throwing Tomahawk and the Mouse Throwing Tomahawk from Hatchets and Axes. This time I am reviewing their “Scout Throwing Tomahawk” and the “Polished Competition Throwing Tomahawk.” There have been several improvements in the Hatchets and Axes throwing hawk line-up since that last review and I think these new ‘hawks are good examples of those improvements. The main thing that I notice about both the Scout and Polished hawk is that the taper of the blade is more gradual in it’s transition to the edge. Practically this means that the edges of the new hawks have a narrower angle and are much more likely to stick in the target block. The edge on the older hawks have a wider angle and are more blunt so as the edge of the hawk hits the target, the thickness of the blade effectively blocks the hawk from penetrating and many times will just fall off the target. If you read my old review you see that I had to make a few modifications to those hawks so that they could be usable in my arsenal. The good news is that the new “Scout Hawk” and The “Polished Hawk” both stick very well right out of the box. I have not had to make any modifications to them. Another improvement is that the handles have a much nicer fit on the blade than the older ones did. I do prefer the scout hawk over the polished hawk for a couple reasons. First is that the scout blade is thinner than the polished hawk blade meaning even better ability to stick and that is what it is all about!
The “H&A” website says that the scout hawk is “…thinner and lighter…so that it will be easier to throw for younger scouts” and “Typical ages of scouts is between 12-14 years old.” Well, this is true but keep in mind that the scout hawk is still a very sturdy and heavy hawk. Do not think that you need a heavier hawk for older scouts or adults. You don’t! The second reason that I prefer the scout hawk over the polished hawk is the “finish.” I tend to like the rustic look with forge marks on the blade. The polished hawk does look nice when new but to maintain that polished look over the life of the hawk is going to be problematic to say the least. In conclusion let me say that I frequently get asked for my advice on a good throwing hawk for an inexpensive price. It is usually from someone who needs to buy multiple hawks for a group activity that they have planned and do not have the budget for more expensive tomahawks. I believe that the Hatchets and Axes Scout Hawk fits this need perfectly. Not a top of the line tomahawk but more than adequate. It has a very good price point and is even discounted if you buy in bulk, perfect for scout groups. They are ready to go right out of the box with no modifications needed to get them to stick.