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Review: SOG Fasthawk
#1
I had looked into picking one of these up the last time our local walmart had them on sale, but didn't get a chance before they were back somewhere in a hidden walmart storage barn.

This hawk is a smaller version of SOG's "Tactical Hawk". The head is 420 stainless, and the handle is from what I have read "Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon".

As can be seen in this picture, the head is sharpened, and what I would refer to as the "spike" although it does come to a point, does not have a fine edge on it.

[Image: sog_fasthawk-hatchet-400.jpg]

At first glance, it is not that impressive. It appears to be a smaller, lighter version of a hawk. The weight is very well balanced, And fits well in the hand. The dimensions I found for this hawk are 12 1/2" long, and a weight of 19 ounces.

As for general duty, I took this hawk to the woods at my super secret testing grounds. Roughly half a mile back from the pond at my in laws house. Left of all the broken skeet. Just down the hill.

Branches up to what I would guess were 1 3/4" were nothing for this little go getter. No more force was needed than used for my trusty camp hatchet. As the branches got thicker, it did take a bit of pepper behind it to get it through. However, I would feel comfortable using this on most branches in excess of 2 1/2". I did take a few swings at a larger sapling. Roughly six to seven inches in diameter. I was able to get through, but I worked up quite a sweat while doing it.on that note, the textured handle gave me no problems while using it with sweaty hands.

Anything much larger than I described above can be cut with this small hawk. But, I would recommend something heavier duty for any real woodsman work. For light camp duty, and batoning logs, it is a fine tool. To build a cabin, I would want something with a bit more weight.
The spike on the back is said to be for "Piercing and digging". I did try digging a bit. It loosened up the soil, but was unable to easily pull the dirt out like a shovel would. I would recommend using it in conjunction with a camp shovel, to loosen the dirt.

As for throwing. This is a very well balanced hawk. I have never used their larger design, but have used others in the past. The weight is well balanced, and the shape of the handle makes holding it straight quite easy. First throw at a larger tree gave me a satisfying "thwipah" as it fell to the ground. Repositioned, let her rip, and it sunk in quite well. After the initial toss, I was able to sink it into the wood time and time again.

There is a textured section on each side of the head. As can be seen in the following picture. Although I had no nails, I wouldn't want to try it. The textured portion is small, and slipping off would be a concern for me. In a bad scenario, where I really needed to use it as a hammer I could. But I wouldn't use it as a hammer if I had an actual hammer laying around somewhere.

[Image: B00438RI7S_blade-lrg.jpg]

The nylon sheath it comes with, is a little on the cheap side. And the belt loop isn't quite enough to easily fit over my belt. But, with a few days, and some scrap pieces of leather, anyone could make a better solution.

Much of the information I have seen says this would be a good defense tool. I prefer my .45, but in a pinch this would definitely work. The light weight and compact design make handling it easy, and dare I say fun. I have never really trained with one as a defensive weapon, so I wouldn't trust my life to it unless I didn't have a firearm. But I can see that someone more proficient in it would be happy with it.

At $20, I wasn't expecting alot. My experience with most hawks has been hit or miss. And I like my tools like I like my dinner. Fast and cheap. For the price, this is taking the spot on the side of my BOB. For light duty work, and the occasional Zombie, I can see this being a great tool. The point on the back could be sharpened for more defensive purposes, but I see no point. It stuck into a tree fairly well, although not a clean puncture. After all these tests, and dragging it through the woods, the edge is still in fine condition. Some very minor chips on the blade, and it has held it's edge very well.

Is this the end all hawk? Of course not. Would I use this in battle against a heard of raging cowboys? Not if I didn't have to.

But for $20, for the camper/prepper on a budget, this tool will do all the things you expect of a larger, more expensive hawk. With a better sheath, I would be happy giving this an 9.2, but because of the inexpensive nylon, I am going to go with 8.5 out of ten.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#2
I'll test its life expectancy as a thrower!
NRA Life Member, NRA Certified Instructor:  HFS, Pistol, Rifle, PPIH,PPOH
Suarez Combat Arms Instructor School
Admit nothing.  Deny everything. Demand proof.
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