- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 23/07/2019
As a knife collector, I do have more than a passing interest in anything you hold in your hand that has an edge on it; or, to put it plainly, I also like axes and swords. My small selection includes your basic choppers of all sizes and styles, through to an SOG Vietnam Tomahawk, to the rather hi-tech Szabo Hawk from Spyderco. It’s here we stay, as adding to their eclectic profile is yet another collaboration design from German outdoor enthusiast Martin Genzow; the HATCHETHAWK. Genzow as an outdoorsman has an extensive knowledge and experience of all sorts of axe and, as an avid historian too, decided to build something that combined various designs to build a modern, multifunctional tomahawk.
The design is instantly recognisable as a generic tomahawk, but also combines features from a Frankish middle age axe, the Francesca and the more Nordic bearded design. Visually, it looks medieval, but also like something an 18th century American trapper or woodsman might carry as a working tool and weapon. The more historic look belies the build, as that is bang up to date. The head is drop-forged from 5160 tool steel and handfinished for optional performance from all its various working surfaces at an American foundry in the town with the resplendent name of Waccamaw Lake in North Carolina. Love it!
To quote Spyderco: “the bearded profile is complimented by a raised toe (top point) and a slightly canted edge to excel at both chopping and detailed cutting chores. The sinuous contours of the head’s thickness not only ensure extreme strength and a powerful wedging force when used for chopping, but also distributes its weight for exceptional power, balance and control.
Given its potential in the field, the rear of the head shows a hammer poll that can be used for driving in nails, stakes etc. where a focused impact is required. Also, with the edge embedded into a log as a small, hard striking surface should you need it, much like a tiny, portable anvil. Providing the power to work is a 16”, two-part handle. Inside, is a rigid aluminium core, injection moulded over it is a polypropyleneplastic outer. The two components combining in an oval cross section for easy blade/poll alignment and a flared butt, contoured to provide maximum energy transfer, balance which results in good control. With a cutting edge of 2.76”, the GENZOWHAWK weighs 1.9 lbs but does not feel heavy or imbalanced.
As anything with a blade can cut you, as well as your work, as it’s wicked (shaving) sharp) a brown leather head sheath is included that covers the edge but leaves the poll free as required. It has a belt loop and twin eyelets to attach a strap and wear it over your shoulder. In use, I found it lived up to its claims, with excellent cutting ability, going through heavy rope, splitting logs and chopping branches easily and the edge stayed keen. The poll worked and the handle transmitted little shock to the hand, as can sometimes happen with other materials, although I did find is a little slim and would probably whip it with some para cord to bulk it out. As always, a well thought out and superior product from Spyderco and their collaborating designers.
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