I just happened to be looking around in the tool shed the other day and came across this large diamond point chisel. I was actually looking for something to tighten my “eye screw” into my new tomahawk hanging target as shown on another video. When I was finished with that I thought that the tool itself might be a nice implement to throw. It is about 12 inches long, half inch in diameter with pretty good heft. Took it over to a target and it became a Bo shuriken as it is now in my arsenal of throwing implements along with my tomahawks, knives, and axes!
I don’t often share videos from other folks but I thought that this might be of some interest to our readers. Old video of Michael Davis performing for President Reagan by juggling a knife, cleaver, and a double bit tomahawk! Kinda’ long maybe but should bring a smile to your face. Pretty impressive jugging too. Oh, don’t try this at home!
I have mentioned in a couple recent posts about a new throwing axe I acquired. I have spent time with it and have thrown it quite a bit and can report my findings. The Razor from Precision Axe is designed and built for competition axe throwing. In fact, it is the only competition axe built in the USA. It has 6 inch bits and a “pinned” head to meet various competition regulations. Precision Axes is a small business located in California and operated by Craig Pinkerton and his family. The Precision Axes seem to be unique in that the head of the axe is not forged. I don’t know of any other throwing axes that are not forged from one piece of steel. Craig spent 4 years developing the Razor to be easy to throw, affordable and very durable. The Razor axes are made from 4 pieces of sheet steel that are cut by a computer controlled plasma cutter and welded together to form the axe head. That is followed by an 8 step process to prepare it for use and finally fitted with an American Hickory handle. This procedure is somewhat more efficient than the forging process and allows Precision Axe Co to pass that benefit on to the customer by way of considerable cost savings as compared to the forged axes offered by various European companies such as Gransfors Bruks, Ochsenkopf and Wetterlings etc. I admit that a forged head has more visual appeal than welded sheet metal and axe throwers are generally a more traditional minded group of folks. I asked Craig about that and he confessed that it has been a challenge to find converts among axe throwing competitors. He kept plugging away by going to competitions all over the west coast of America to introduce his creation to whoever would listen. Sometimes he would win converts after they were just defeated by someone who was using one of his Razors. The Precision Axe line has eventually expanded to several different size models for those who might prefer a lighter axe and even a size for younger teens.
I have been using the 3lb 5oz Razor model and it compares favorably to my other vintage axes that I throw. I find that the larger the implement the easier it seems to be to control the throw. That may seem counter intuitive but a knife is more difficult to control than a tomahawk and a tomahawk more difficult than an axe! At least that is my experience. This Razor is no different. Very easy to have a nice smooth controlled throw. Also easier to throw than my vintage axes because they have “chopping” handles on them and the Razor has a “throwing” handle meaning there is no bulge on the end of the handle to snag your hand upon release. Most of my attempts have resulted in sticks with just a few bounce offs mostly because of the target block condition. The Razor does not come with very sharp edges. In fact, for any throwing axe the edges do not have to be very sharp as the weight of the axe upon impact usually with drive the blade into the target block. For safety reasons it is best if they are not real sharp. My vintage axes do, however, have really keen edges on them and would likely stick better in harder wood target blocks. Since we try to use only softer wood for blocks it is not an issue or I suppose one could sharpen the edges if so desired. I am not decided on that yet but so far it has been sticking just fine. As you may know I like to throw for distance and have thrown the Razor at 3 rotations numerous times. All in all I am happy thus far with the Razor and it may not have the “character” of a hand-forged axe it certainly performs just as well and at a much lower price.
As an update I have tried some 4 rotations but still couldn’t quite get the axe to the target. A much younger throwing buddy also tried some 4 rotations and he came a lot closer but no stick either. However he did plant a direct hit with the end of the handle into the target block. This caused some not so pretty results as you can imagine. I have done this with my other axes and as with those the handle takes a beating as the head gets driven further down on to the handle. The eye of the Precision Axe head did get warped somewhat as it “stretched” over the handle. A traditional forged axe head would likely not see this kind of damage but the sheet metal construction of the Precision model allowed the eye to be distended. On the other hand it also allowed me to simply squeeze it back in shape with a vise and reset it on the handle (which didn’t break) using some bolts. Not quite as pretty as is was out of the box but back to 100% functionality. So my advice, this axe works great for “normal” throwing at 1 or 2 rotations but as with any axe if you start to hit the handle on the target block especially from 50 or 60 feet away, something is going to give!
I thought I would share a few pictures from a visit to 2014 Cincinnati Appalachian Festival. Mr. Denver Hinkston was there demonstrating how to throw the tomahawk and the knife. He had a nice slab of Cottonwood for the target block and a simple but effective target stand. He seemed to have a steady flow of visitors interested it giving ‘hawk throwing a try. As you can see it is fun for people of all ages. I heard it said that everyone loves to throw the tomahawk, it’s just that some don’t know it yet.
Here is a picture of the TomahawkGuys current throwing axes for 2014. We have the new “Razor” Precision Throwing Axe in the middle along with an old “Cull” boys single bit axe on the left and an old “Genuine Norland” double-bit axe on the right. Both of the older axes are great for throwing, I have yet to give the Precision Axe a good workout as it has been very wet this spring and can’t wait to get it out on the range to see what it can do!
We took advantage of some early spring nice weather this past Sunday by playing a round of the “Primitive Pentahlon.” We were not at the main TomahawkGuys range where we have archery targets so we had to substitute more ‘hawk throwing in place of bows and arrows.
The events we contested yesterday were:
1 rotation tomahawk throw
2 rotation tomahawk throw
3 rotation tomahawk throw
1 rotation axe throw
1 rotation mini ‘hawk throw
We each have 10 throws per event and score by using the concentric circle markings with 5 points being maximum for each throw. So, 50 points for each event or 250 points maximum to get a perfect score. We started with the 1 rotation hawk then 2 and 3, then the axe and finished up with the mini-‘hawk. This is the first time we used the mini-‘hawk for any serious throwing at a usual target block. I wasn’t even sure I could use the mini for throwing at a wood target until a couple weeks ago. Turns out to be kinda’ like throwing darts except with a rotation! Lots of fun indeed.
Today, I decided to test the Mini-Tomahawk in a real wood target. I had previously tried a few attempts in the wood target right after I got this hawk, but it just bounced off. Of course, it was in January and the wood targets were rather frozen and hard. I was thinking that maybe this hawk just didn’t have enough mass to penetrate the wood. Now that the targets were thawed out and in better condition I tried to stick this hawk again. The results were slightly different from my earlier attempts.