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Tactical is as much a marketing phrase now as it is a descriptor of the item's practical application. This axe is tactical for marketing purposes, clearly trying to be sold on the popularity of tactical tomahawks.
At a little over a pound in weight and 11" in length, I would rather not get on the bad side of someone equipped with this, without a firearm and some distance.
I don't know how it performs or how it swings, and I don't think you do either.
Valid point, if all I've got are my pink flesh and bone hands I'm not going to depend on my callouses to save me from a swing from this.
However if I had to use this in the same manner as one might use an RMJ tomahawk, for example, it would not survive as long.
It's at a price point where better options exist and quality points vary tremendously over the next $50.
The design is also very generic and basic, like "lets make a hatchet with a full metal haft and give it a spike... TACTICAL!"
Doesn't help that trying to find any info about this "Tactical Axe" is practically impossible, even if one searches for the FT Tactical branding.
But the RMJs look to be going anywhere from $200 to $500... so, one could so expect.
Still, I'm curious what you would throw as being in the "from here ($25-ish)" to plus $50, as better options. I have no particular feeling for this item, one way or the other, and am always curious about such things.
You also always have to figure, though, who is this for. I read a story of one fellow about the RMJ Shrike, he deployed to Iraq with it. I might well think a $400 tomahawk is worth it as well, in that scenario. But for the rest of us, it will be a light-duty camp axe, not be quite as good as an actual camp axe, but serviceable, and be there for it's weapon capability, just in case. In which case, a couple of chips along the edge won't be a showstopper, and will be fixable later.
RMJs are the Granddaddies of the Tactical Tomahawk, so I use them as the comparison with standard designs. The story of the one that went to Iraq was the first one he made, and it was by request, and ended up digging through a concrete wall to escape enemy fire.
They've been valuable and legit tools, but also tacticool enough for everyone to make them.
For the price range, I'd probably chase down a CRKT Woods T-hawk, Chogan or Kangee depending on if you want a spike or hammer head. They're RMJ designed blades with replaceable hickory handles. (I believe they still fall within your price range.)
Of course if you just look for a hatchet over a tomahawk you'd probably find cheaper still.
There's also a whole slew of cheap tacticals from Smith and Wesson, to Browning that at least have existing companies they are tied too, I can't find a lick about FT Tactical and Mantis Knives doesn't list this on their site.
Well, it's not my price range. It's our price range.
I know about those. The "Woods" Chogan and I guess the"Woods" Kangee, are between $40 - $50. They are universally loved by numerous Youtube reviewers. They might work for some people shopping this Mantis, but to me they are not "tactical". They are a little heavy if I remember right - it's very "eye of the beholder" at this point, but that's kind of my mark. I bet they do axey stuff very well, but they might not do the weapon function as well.
I have history on my side with this, though. "Battle" or "war" axes of centuries ago had a lot less material to the head, than forestry tools. I think you definitely see that with your RMJs too - they're going to be much less tiring to swing a lot. That's important if you want the "demolition" bit set.
If by Browning you mean the specifically the "Shock and Awe"... that's one people interested in this Mantis might consider. I think it's comparable in size and weight terms, and I think it's going $60 or so. It's the kind of deal that somebody more flexible on the money might figure, that much more is worth it.
Anyway, it's fun to have it out with some other axe-nuts.
I guess in the end it came down to me preferring or suggesting axes/hawks that come from companies that still exist.
I wouldn't personally go for a S&W or a Browning "Hawk", especially now that I've got an RMJ Berserker .
I've got the Woods Chogan, it is a little top heavy (being as that is where all the steel is) but it's certainly not bad.
No one said the said CRKTs were bad. At least I didn't. But to me the general context is "tactical", and... again, to me, the heavier they are, the less "tactical".
That doesn't mean they're useless. It's an observation of what function the design optimizes it for.
I don't know the weight of the CRKTs... they might have tried to walk the middle. You can split wood with one of those, I know you can. So if it's lighter than a forestry axe of similar size, then yeah. It looks like they went for versatility.
But for me I have wood-splitting tools. And mine would not be the best objects to have, if a drug-addled lunatic rushed onto the property.
There are reasons that some military\martial axes in history have smaller heads than your average hatchet or woodsman's axe, however none of those reasons are to do with its tacticalness or ability as a weapon really. It's also false to say they have less material in the head if you have ever used one you would know most have the same if not more material, they just use a thinner broader cutting edge for better penetration in soft tissue and through armour, they still retain weight as that's important for power its just distributed differently. On the otherside smaller military axes for use in standing armies that still used them were subject to the same military spending ethos everyone still uses so more metal=more cost so cheaper axes would have smaller heads for footsoldiers compared to what a wealthier knight or nobleman might use. A wide wedge head is a common trait of a woodsmen's tool because its beneficial when splitting wood and preventing it getting stuck, however unless you intend to use it to combat people in full plate armour you aren't reducing its efficacy as a weapon.
Besides axes are principally tools, they make terrible modern weapons, the lack of armour and the use of shields really makes them pretty useless. There is a reason swords and knives despite being much more expensive took over from axes even before combustion weapons became the norm.