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Thread: machete vs. tomahawk

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    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.
    Working in the home of the James Black Bowie Knife, I would imagine they were never used to hack. They were more of a weapon than anything else. In fact some states outlawed them during the 19th century prohibiting them to be carried as concealed weapons.


  2. #22
    Loner Gray Wolf's Avatar
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    I'm with crash, I wouldn't want to clear brush or thickets with a tomahawk, and I don't want to chop all that wood with a machete.
    "A person is not finished when they are defeated.
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  3. #23
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    I prefer machete more, because it has much more uses than tomahawk... Now I have axe similar to 'hawk, but I wish to have machete (which is illegal in our country without permission to carry and use it, because it belongs in cold weapons list... and BTW I'm juvenile, so until 18 I wont get it )
    Last edited by Rokas; 07-08-2008 at 10:34 AM.
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  4. #24
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    Go with the hawk or camp axe unless your in the thick jungles or real dense forest. AND I can do anything with my hawk that you can do with your machette with one exception, cut grass. I have cleared vines, thick weeds and used it in about every fashion, but there is a difference between the hawk and camp axe.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

  5. #25

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    In the northern hardwood forest I live in, a machete is rather dangerous. The woods are often too dense and a blow from this tool is likely to bounce off at an angle.

    As a land surveyor who has cut many a mile, hundreds of miles, of line through the great north woods, the machete is not a good choice. Some of the more urban surveyors use them, but that is much different than thick forest where the axe and hatchet is supreme.

    The hawk is a great weapon and versatile in other ways, which is why the native americans often carried them
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  6. #26
    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    I'm still thinking that in terms of the original question, pioneers used what was most readily available to them. Most folks didnt exactly head out to the frontier with money spilling out of their pockets, make tools or find tools would have been the order of the day.
    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"

  7. #27
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    I need to clarify my thread. When I said tomahawk I was also referring to the hatchet. To me they are the same.

    RobertRogers makes an excellent point in favor of the hatchet/hawk for hardwoods. My guess is that was also the reason for the pioneers to have carried this type tool. With the survival rate of around 50% I'm sure they did their homework for the necessary tools.

    I need to come-up with a sheath for my hawk. I had it stuck in my belt like the movies until it cut me.

  8. #28
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    I think it was more to Trax's point of what was available rather than doing their homework. They obviously couldn't ask the 50% that failed and my guess is their only source of information was from a handful of friends that might or might not have known what the best tool was (which might also have led to at least part of the unfortunate 50%).

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  9. #29
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    i prefer the tomahawk, myself. i'm not exactly a big burly mountain man with huge arms, so i need the most efficient tools i can get. a tomahawk's one pound weight is focused on a blade only a few inches long, so that's far more pounds per square inch (and thus cutting force) than a machete. i live in the pacific northwest, so bushwacking isn't really a need for me here, or else i would probably go with the machete.

    another consideration is longevity. the tomahawk blade is much more durable than the machete due to its thickness, and the handle can be easily replaced (even in the wilderness). if a machete blade breaks or bends, it's pretty much scrapped.

    oh, and with a tomahawk around you won't have to look for a hammer. i loves me a multi-tasker!

  10. #30
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    If a machete blade breaks you have a hunting knife or a pocket knife with a really big handle.

  11. #31
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    Get the point? Yeah, knife blade, point. Good one!

  12. #32
    Loner Gray Wolf's Avatar
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    I would rather split wood or chop down a tree with an axe.
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  13. #33
    Senior Member Pict's Avatar
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    "a tomahawk's one pound weight is focused on a blade only a few inches long, so that's far more pounds per square inch (and thus cutting force) than a machete"

    You are correct about the hatchet. However, the force of a machete is only transmitted where it makes contact with the material being cut. When chopping at a sapling it makes contact at that one sweet spot just like a hatchet would. When cutting light vegitation and grasses typically about 1/2 tp 2/3 of the blade will make contact with each slash. On green wood a long heavy machete works much like a hatchet.

    In Brazil serious land clearing isn't done with a machete or an axe, but a "foice" or billhook. The tool is so common that it it used as the symbol of the "Movimento Sem Terra" (MST) or landless workers movement.

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  14. #34
    Loner Gray Wolf's Avatar
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    Mac is that you 12 rows back on the left?
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  15. #35
    Senior Member Pict's Avatar
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    No, I was running for my life. It was a good thing they found the camera trampled into
    the mud though. The cameraman was eaten. Mac
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  16. #36
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    Good points brought up on this board, to me I think it depends on where you are at,
    if I was in a place like Pict... yeah a machete would be the tool I'd use. But in most U.S. forests I use my camp axe or hawk. It think it boils down to preference except in deep jungle.
    Beo,Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.
    There is no greater solitude than that of the Tracker in the forest, unless perhaps it's that of the wolf in the wilderness.

  17. #37

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    From what I understand, a number of revolutionary war soldiers carried hawks. Robert Rogers of Rogers Rangers (the first Rangers in the American army) fame carried them, as did many of his men. They were also quite popular in the vietnam war. There are an excellent close quarters combat weapon.
    Earth - love it or leave it.

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  18. #38
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    Mac, I don't know what they want but if it were me I'd give it to them.....quickly.

  19. #39
    Senior Member Pict's Avatar
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    The MST wants land reform. Here there is a law that if land is lying fallow and not being productive that it must be turned over to the gummit to give to landless workers who will them work it. Many large wealthy landowners have such tracts of land. The original tactic of the MST was to invade these unused lands that already qualified for redistribution and then force the government to act. This eventually turned into them invading running farms and presenting demands, getting shot at, shooting back, rural ambushes and quasi-guerilla warfae. In many cases they have acquired lands only to sell them and move on to the next property to repeat the process. Finding pure motives here in Brazil is a tough job. Mac
    The Colhane Channel TV for guys like me.

  20. #40
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    Well, my motive would be pure. To get the heck as far away from those foices as possible!

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