CRKT Chogan T-Hawk

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

CRKT Chogan T-Hawk.
Illustration courtesy of Columbia River Knife & Tool, Inc.

The CRKT Chogan T-Hawk is a Ryan Johnson design. Ryan has been designing and refining his tactical tomahawk designs for the past thirty years. Most folks will agree that his designs are the best of the best.

Although a tactical tomahawk is not standard issue in the U.S. military, several special forces units and rangers are allowed to carry them into combat. Soldiers who have used the T-Hawk will tell you that they wouldn't want to be without it.

The Chogan T-Hawk is an incredible piece of equipment. It is shaped from a single piece of steel with an ergonomic, tapered, slightly curved handle and grip choils. The steel is protected by a durable, black powder coat finish. The design is well-balanced and, coupled with the full-length handle scales that are checkered, there is excellent grip security. When necessary, the scales can be removed for cleaning. There are three holes in the bottom of the grip that can be used to attach a lanyard. The T-Hawk comes with a form-fitted, Molle compatible, Kydex sheath that is secured with a buckled strap. CRKT tools have a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.


  • Overall Length: 14"
  • Weight: 1 lb. 8.6 ounces
  • Blade Length:2.93"
  • Blade Thickness: 0.23"
  • Material: SK5 Carbon Steel / HRC 54-55
  • Finish: Black Powder coat
  • Grind: Flat
  • Style: Axe Edge Front and Hammer
  • Edge: Plain
  • Handle Scales: Glass Filled Nylon/EDM Finish
  • Sheath: Black Kydex with Molle Clip Platform
  • MSRP: $185

The T-Hawk is made from Japanese SK5, which is a high carbon steel equivalent to U.S. 1080. It contains between 0.75-0.85% carbon and 0.60-0.90% manganese. SK5 offers an excellent balance of blade toughness and edge holding ability. Because of this, it is used in a variety of tools and cutting applications. The T-Hawk's powder coating will help protect it, but SK5 is not a stainless steel and it will rust wherever the bare steel is exposed if not cared for.

SK5 can be heat treated to a Rockwell hardness of C 57-58, although according to the CRKT specifications the hardness used in the T-Hawk is C 54-55. This is presumably to make the tool tougher and less brittle, with a commensurate reduction in edge holding. (There is no free lunch in the real world.)

The T-Hawk is useful for chopping and splitting hardwood branches or kindling up to a maximum of about three inches thick without undue effort, although a (heavier) conventional hatchet would be faster and easier. On the other hand, the T-Hawk's blade and handle shape allow choking-up for more detailed work, such as carving or to shave wood curls for fire starting, where its fine, very sharp edge is an asset.

Not only is the T-Hawk useful around camp, but it is an additional self-defense tool, should the need arise. Its relatively long handle would give it a reach advantage over most utility or fighting knives and it is heavy and sharp enough to, literally, chop off a hand or foot, so be careful when using it.

While the T-Hawk is not cheap, it is a piece of equipment that will last a lifetime. We seriously doubt that you could ever break the Chogan T-Hawk and the front edge can easily be resharpened when needed.

As such, we will be keeping this one for all of our trips into the wilderness of the Southwest. We already have a lot of uses in mind for it around our base camp.

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Copyright 2015, 2016 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or All rights reserved.