Easy Cold Steel Trail Hawk Modifications

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Amazon Price: $25.99 $24.99 You save: $1.00 (4%). (as of July 18, 2018 5:34 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Cold Steel Tomahawk Review

If you’re looking for a finished product out of the box experience then you’ll probably be a bit let down with the Cold Steel Trail Hawk, but, if  you’re searching for a great bargain price on a Tomahawk  you can personalize then this hawk is for you!

Cold Steel Trail Hawk Modifications

Cold Steel Trail Hawk American Hickory Handle arrived the head was loose and only held in place by the use of a friction screw (note Tomahawk purists abhor the use of a screw to fasten the blade head to the handle, but I digress)  The Hawk’s American Hickory Handle finish on the handle is very plain Jane, mass produced,  but functional.  As for the Tomahawk head, it’s solidly made of decent steel, but the black paint coating hides the heads true potential.

Easy Cold Steel Hawk Mods

In order to give your woodsman buddies Tomahawk envy you’ll need introduce your Trail Hawk to a few minutes on the wheel to strip the paint from the hawk’s head and then soak overnight in a vinegar bath. The result is a beautiful patina on Tomahawk’s steel blade.  Next, cleanup the eye with a file for a couple of minutes.  Finally, if you want a blade you can shave with, and who doesn’t, then grab your Arkansas Sharpening Stones and go fifteen minutes on  both a medium stone and fine stone for a razors edge.

Get a Handle on Things

As for the CS Trail Hawk Hickory handle, I stripped the finish with 150 grit sandpaper and gave it a couple coats of stain and then lacquer.  The end result of the Cold Steel Trail Hawk makeover is you’ll be the proud owner of a great looking Tomahawk!

How to use a Cold Steel Trail Hawk – A woodsman practical guide to the Cold Steel Hawk

Additional Information: Cold Steel Trail Hawk American Hickory Handle: Modeled after an early frontier pattern, Cold Steel Hawk can do it all. It’s an excellent chopper and has a functional hammer poll with a hardened face so you can drives nails, hammer in stakes, and smash or crush just about anything. Best of all Cold Steel Trail Hawk American Hickory Handle is extremely lightweight and compact so it’s a cinch to tuck it under your belt or lash it to a pack or shooting bag.


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 8 x 2 inches ; 1.1 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Origin:  China
  • ASIN: B0014BMBA6
  • Item model number: 90TH

Customer Reviews

with some mods this hawk will be amazing for you

 on July 6, 2016
By Austin Parks
Upon receiving this tomahawk I gave it a quick inspection due to other reviewers receiving chipped handles and blades. I had a small knick in my handle which I was able to sand out easily. The blade comes very sharp, don’t ask me how I know. he hammer pommel on the back is very hard and is about one square inch of surface area. The head comes with a black epoxy coating, probably to prevent rusting. Carbon steel rusts very quickly without proper treatment. The head on the tomahawk I received was fitted very tightly and cause the wood to curl up right above the head. Annoying, but can be fixed with minimal handyman skills.

Cheap and a little rough, but some fine tuning makes it amazing

 on April 29, 2014
By Syp
Firstly. This is a cheap hawk. Price can’t be beat. The steel is good, the handle is solid. However, it has terrible fit and finish and requires a little bit of work to make it. You have to remove the set screw and sand the eye and handle to fit better. That is the bare minimum you have to do. A lot of people strip the head, but that isn’t needed.

A little work to make it great.

 on July 5, 2016
By Rebecca Portier
Needs a little work to make it great. Remove the paint from the steel. Throw away the set screw. Soak the head in acid to remove the shine. Stain the handle. Put on some paracord or leather for a handle and a head slide stop. Then it will be 5 stars.

Proper tomahawk use tutorial/informative review… they’re meant to be loose!

 on December 28, 2012
By Lameazon
I almost rated this one star just to get people to read my review… this is REALLY long, but I love to share my passions, so if you have some time, grab a snack, and enjoy the read :)

Good little hawk for the money, but needs some easy mods out of the box to make it a GREAT hawk for the money.

 on February 8, 2018
By Marshall " Chesapeake " Moore
OK so this IS a great little hawk, just not right out of the box, it needs some minor fixes that aren’t hard to do at all. The black coating on the head needs to go with a quickness , and so does the stupid sticker they put right on the face of the head. the inside edges that make contact with the handle need filed down to allow easy on-off and a solid friction fit without damaging the handle , the edge profile is so-so and mine came sharp but not nearly sharp enough to use efficiently and safely. The handle is OK but needs the lacquer stripped off, sanded and refinished. The set screw is NOT NECESSARY for a proper fitting head !! And once the handle is sanded/ resealed and the sharp edges on the head are finished with a round file, it can go in the trash since the head will lock into place like a proper hawk at that point. It sounds like its trash and im complaining since it needs that much work done right out of the box, but those things can be done in your basement and will turn it into a sweet little hawk for just a tiny bit of work. For $20, it can’t be beat and is worth the time spent on modifications for sure.Just go on YouTube and you’ll see some FINE examples that can be used as a guide for your own. Why they use the set screw, black coating, sticker on the head etc. is a mystery since ommiting all that would lower production cost and make it even less expensive yet higher quality potentially. Some people have had probs with the fit but mine was tight on the handle without any wiggle, and so much so that the head gouged into it at the top when it was assembled. So if you have the ability to do a few minor fixes then I would def recommend this hawk, it can be VERY nice once its been taken care of with a little bit of TLC and imagination.

Please read good product

 on June 22, 2018
By Zig
I would have given this 3 stars but it was the best cold steel axe I have ever received straight out of the box. This line of axes/t-hawks made by cold steel are inexpensive, not cheap. The steel is usually good (no exceptions here) but the problem is almost always the handle and or the fit in blade. This handle is not perfect, however it will take less time to correct the fit with this handle than it did with the other 4 I have. There is some curling wood up top where they just forced the head onto the handle, instead of shaving it down to fit but an easy fix. The thing that surprises me the most, is that there is hardly any gaps between the head and the handle. As a matter of fact, the only thing that I will need to do is, sand down the curling wood, sand the whole handle for a stain. After I am done with it, I believe I will use a little propylene glycol squirted in between the head and handle so that it soaks into the wood and swells a little. That should make for a tight fit without having to use the set screw. Brand name is “swell-lok” but the only ingredient is water and propylene glycol. I like using it to create a tight fit because it will help the handle retain moisture without damaging it or the head. One last thing I will do is, remove the black finish and then polish it until it has a mirror shine. Then do a little decoration with a saltwater and electric etching to make it my own.

Decent Hawk for the Common Man.

 on November 1, 2016
By Hoosier Outdoorsman
This Hawk really surprised me. Firstly, I was surprised at how crappy the handle was. It was cracked at the top and just didn’t fit very well. I decided to replace it and the next handle (from cold steel) was brilliant. Once it was re-handled it really worked out great. It’s the perfect weight for driving tent poles in rocky soil and you can make great curls and feathersticks for building fires. The handle set screw is a pretty decent option. The steel itself isn’t as hard as I would like, but it’s acceptable for the cost. It was easy to get shaving sharp and lasted for 3-4 weekends of processing wood and camp tasks without needing to be sharpened. The jury is still out on the coating, but it seems to be holding on for now.