Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 97

Thread: machete vs. tomahawk

  1. #1
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,905
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default machete vs. tomahawk

    Did the American pioneers favor a tomahawk over a short sword or large bowie type knife? That is the perception I am lead to believe.

    If the tomahawk was favored, why?

    I ask because some on the forum seem to favor a machete. Both have a place but, if you have to choose between them which would you choose and why.
    Last edited by rebel; 05-05-2009 at 09:53 PM.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Pict's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Belo Horizonte Brazil
    Posts
    906

    Default

    My vote is fairly predictable on this one, machete. They are just more versatile for the tasks I have to do here in Brazil. I have to deal with tall grasses and vines. A hawk won't help much with these. That just me though. I'd love to own a decent hawk. Mac
    The Colhane Channel TV for guys like me.

  3. #3
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,905
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pict View Post
    My vote is fairly predictable on this one, machete. They are just more versatile for the tasks I have to do here in Brazil. I have to deal with tall grasses and vines. A hawk won't help much with these. That just me though. I'd love to own a decent hawk. Mac
    I can understand and thanks for your input. I guess it would be hard to hit a vine with a 'hawk! I also want to add that you have an excellent vid for the machete.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    42,939
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I'm not sure what early settlers favored, but I'll bet that like me they would not have limited themselves to one. For me - nowadays I prefer a machete and folding saw. Of course I usually have several other blades along for the trip just so that they can gain some experience.
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

  5. #5
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,905
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I'm a decisive type guy but on this one I'm on the fence.

    For the same effort which would cut and split better? Hammer a nail or peg? Chop bone? Chop a hole in the ice? Dig a hole? Make other tools/weapons? Which would be the best all-around tool?

    What are the limitations?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southern WV , raised in Eastern KY up a holler
    Posts
    2,668

    Default

    machete, and I sharpen the same as Mac. I think I will make a hawk as soon as I catch up after last weeks hail storm.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old
    to fight... he'll just kill you.

  7. #7

    Default

    I carry both. machete for swamps river bottoms,hatchet for rolling hills/ mountains i happen to have both in my AO.

  8. #8
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,039

    Default

    The tomahawk is native to North America so I doubt that early pioneers would have chosen it over the long knife. Simply because we use what we are most knowledgeable about or accustomed to and in this case the long knife would have been something they carried almost daily as did their father, uncles, etc.

    I would guess (that's all it is) that tomahawks were viewed as an Indian weapon of war and most white men would not have wanted to be associated with that given the prevailing sentiment about Indians during that time. I would think there would have been some social stigma associated with any white man that used a tomahawk.

    Just some thoughts.

  9. #9
    Super Moderater RangerXanatos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northeast, Georgia
    Posts
    1,898

    Default

    [QUOTE=rebel;58978]For the same effort which would cut and split better? Hammer a nail or peg? Chop bone? Chop a hole in the ice? Dig a hole? Make other tools/weapons? Which would be the best all-around tool?[QUOTE]

    Fo what you have listed, I'd say a T-hawk would do better. But it's still possible with a machete. But just like Pict said, a T-hawk would do much good for vines, tall grasses, and brush. I have both, a T-hawk and a machete. The machete sees a whole lots more use. I've even used it to cut down trees thicker than my legs. Sure, a t-hawk would've been better for a job like that. But not for the other stuff I had to cut down to get to the trees. So given that I could only pick one to use, I would choose the machete.

    Daniel
    What's so crazy about standing toe-to-toe saying I am?
    ~Rocky Balboa

  10. #10
    missing in action trax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    yonder
    Posts
    6,809

    Default

    I would think that often times the early settlers used what was available to them, simple as that. The trading companies brought iron axes to trade with the Indians, so the hawks were largely available. The hawk with a hammer head on the opposite side of the axe head would have been pretty useful for building, which was a priority. I've seen a couple of explorers and mapmakers personal gear from the 18th century, in museum settings, and in both instances they had tomahawks and knives with about about a six inch blade and notes that they also carried "much longer knives" but the knives hadn't been recovered.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

  11. #11
    Loner Gray Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Within My Mind
    Posts
    1,999

    Default

    A tomahawk and an axe are different, so is an axe part of this scenario? Tomahawks were gotten by trade or fighting with American Natives, back in England and Europe blacksmiths were making axes at that time.
    "A person is not finished when they are defeated.
    A person is finished when they quit."

  12. #12
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    56,039

    Default

    As I understand it, the tomahawk was more ceremonial for the Europeans while the Native Americans used it as a tool. I don't think the steel tomahawk was available to the Native American until contact with Europeans.

  13. #13
    Tracker Beo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio (Dunlap's Station)
    Posts
    4,008
    Blog Entries
    57

    Default

    I carry a camp axe and a tomahawk, have shown pics of both, and a long knife. I like the camp axe for working around the camp (cutting wood, hammering in tent stakes, etc.) but the hawk for trekking and hunting, a good hawk has a smaller head and thinner handle but if made correct will cut what you need. The frontiersmen of the 1700 to 1860s carried a hawk and a knife, both fit well on the belt and were weapons when need be. I can post a pic of mine if you like.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

  14. #14
    Loner Gray Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Within My Mind
    Posts
    1,999

    Default

    Found this:

    "Perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol associated with Native Americans is the tomahawk. However, few people are aware of the multiformity of its history as well as its physical characteristics.

    The term "tomahawk" is a derivation of the Algonquian words "tamahak" or "tamahakan". The earliest definitions of these words (early 1600's) applied to stone-headed implements used as tools and weapons. Subsequent references involved all manner of striking weapons; wood clubs, stone-headed axes, metal trade hatchets, etc. As the years passed a tomahawk was thought of as any Indian-owned hatchet-type instrument. That association changed somewhat as white frontiersmen (traders, trappers, explorers) came to rely on the tomahawk as standard equipment.

    The popular perception of a tomahawk has become that of a lightweight (one lb. or less) metal head on a wood handle. With the exception of a relative few made by Indian blacksmiths, tomahawks were manufactured on a large scale in Europe or created by individual makers in America. Some were crafted in a most elaborate manner, with fancy engraving and pewter or silver inlaid blades and handles, for presentation to important chiefs in order to commemorate treaties and seal friendships. The majority of them, though, were personalized by their owners. Vastly different methods or adornment abounded - according to materials available and the customs and styles of the time and region. Hafts were polished smooth, carved, scalloped, inlaid, branded with hot files, tacked, wrapped with copper or brass wire, covered with rawhide, leather or cloth, stained, painted and hung with every type of ornament imaginable.

    Metals used (in rough chronological order) were solid iron, iron with a welded steel bit (cutting edge), brass with steel bit and lastly, solid brass (which diminished its usefulness as a wood-chopping tool). The end of the head opposite the cutting edge provided a place for a spike, hammer poll, or most ingeniously, a pipe bowl.
    With a smoking pipe bowl and a drilled or hollowed handle, the pipe tomahawk became the most popular "hawk" of them all. It developed as a trade good by Euro-Americans for trade with native peoples. Iroquois men traded furs for these sought-after tomahawks. Ornate examples were presented at treaty signings as diplomatic gifts to Indian leaders, who carried them as a sign of their prestige. It was at once a weapon and symbol of peace for over 200 years and was carried, scepter-like, in the majority of photographic portraits of prominent Indian chiefs."

    Source: --"Tools and Weaponry of the Frontiersman and Indian" by Ray Louis

    I stand corrected.
    "A person is not finished when they are defeated.
    A person is finished when they quit."

  15. #15
    Tracker Beo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio (Dunlap's Station)
    Posts
    4,008
    Blog Entries
    57

    Default

    That was greaat GW, I have a Native American link that says the same thing.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

  16. #16
    missing in action trax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    yonder
    Posts
    6,809

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Wolf View Post
    A tomahawk and an axe are different, so is an axe part of this scenario?
    English--axe= Cree--cikahikan
    English--tomahawk=Cree--cikahikanis (literally, small axe) Cree's the only native language I speak and I'm still learning. It is related to Algonquin mind you, nevertheless, I don't believe either the cikahikan nor the cikahikanis are used for splitting hairs.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southern WV , raised in Eastern KY up a holler
    Posts
    2,668

    Default

    A hawk can be thrown with great accuracy. When this part of the country was settled not many knives were available to youngsters and not much else to do except learn to throw a hawk. Old books on the Eastern KY area mention boys throwing hawks on their way to bring in the cows and for entertainment and show off for the girls on Sunday. Men carried a hawk and two knives in this area thru the Civil War. A hawk & knife were used in conjunction with each other, hawk to disarm, knife to kill. My great grandpa passed a lot along, didn't die until he was 93 and had a clear mind then. He was never wounded but AWOL some.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old
    to fight... he'll just kill you.

  18. #18
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,905
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I have a machete on my BOB. However, the tomahawk is cool and I was hoping for a good enough reason to switch. I guess it's better to find out here than out there when you need it. Thanks to all for their input.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    42,939
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Why not carry both and have the best of both worlds?
    Can't Means Won't

    My Youtube Channel

  20. #20
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,905
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    For weight the machete will suffice.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •