Ancient striking weapons: Tomahawk, hatchet, war hammer

Way before guns were invented, mankind relied on hand-made, handheld weapons for all sorts of things. Weapons like the hatchet, war hammer, and tomahawk are simple but effective, and potentially life-saving devices if placed in the hands of someone who knows how to use them. These days, it’s rare to see or even hear about any of them, but they can still be handy in certain situations. (h/t to

In particular, in survival situations and emergencies, having access to one or more of these weapons can be extremely helpful. So if you’re putting together a survival kit, you would probably be doing yourself a favor by including them in your list of essentials. And in case you haven’t started on gathering the materials and items for your kit yet, then here’s your chance to do so. You just have to keep in mind certain pointers for picking these types of weapons out.

First, it’s important to understand exactly what each type of weapon is. In essence, all three of them – hatchet, war hammer, and tomahawk – are axes, although technically the war hammer is, as its name states, a hammer. They’re all similarly shaped, with the main differences being in the length of their handles as well as the sizes of their heads.

Both the tomahawk and the hatchet use the same basic axe head shape. However, a hatchet is best described as a small ax that comes with a short handle, and it can usually be used quite easily with one hand. Meanwhile, a tomahawk is a light ax that first came into prominence when it was used by American Indians, both as a tool and as a weapon.

As for the war hammer, it’s a weapon of war that was first used during the late medieval period and was meant for intense close combat action. Its design is basically that of a giant hammer but its appearance is more like an ice axe.

Choosing the right weapon

When trying to decide which weapon to get for your own survival kit or survival preparations, it can be useful to consider your own personal needs. Why exactly do you think a weapon like the war hammer is necessary? What kinds of tasks do you plan to complete with the use of a hatchet? Put simply, it’s important that you first figure out what you want before deciding to go after it.

Think of a hypothetical scenario wherein you’re deciding to get a tomahawk for your own personal use, for example. The first thing you need to do is to consider what sort of things you can – or what you plan to – do with it. It can be used for chopping wood, breaking glass, prying metal boxes open, piercing or cutting metal sheets, opening wood or plastic containers, hunting, and self-defense. Indeed, it’s a multi-purpose tool and weapon that’s worth getting if you think you’ll be doing at least two of the aforementioned tasks.

Next, you have to think about where exactly you’re going to store your tomahawk once you have it, and how. Being a weapon, it’s best to avoid leaving it lying around and out of your sight. You might need to get a special carrying contraption, or perhaps even a customized case to make sure you can keep it safe.

Just as it will be of great use to you, you’ll need to take great care of your weapon in order to make full use of it. Respect it, and it will serve you well along with your other survival kit essentials for years to come.

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