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December 15, 2012 Comments (0) Blades & Tools, Reviews

SOG Voodoo Hawk!

Having always had fascination with axes, hatches and tomahawks, I was overjoyed when given the opportunity to work with SOG’s latest tactical masterpiece, the F18-N, or it’s more common name, the Voodoo Hawk.

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I have been a pretty big fan of SOG since the time I purchased my Trident Tanto Black TiNi folder (TF-7) and put it through some heavy paces. The knife not only passed with flying colors, but earned a spot in my daily carry rotation, a classification that not many folders get to these days. Not only did the knife perform exceptionally well, but I found that SOG’s customer service was top notch as well when I had a question. All of the positives made me take a closer look at SOG as a whole and in doing so I found and bought one of their Tactical Tomahawk’s (F01T). Over the 18 months that I have had that hawk, I have destroyed everything from dead trees, thick branches, aluminum home siding and numerous other things that I found and figured would be a good test for this hawk. Nine out of ten times, the Tactical Hawk passed with flying colors and wanted more abuse. It is also well balanced and pretty easy to throw as well. A long story short, I have had great experiences with SOG’s Tactical Hawk and couldn’t wait to get my big mitts on their latest hawk creation, the Voodoo Tactical Hawk.

When the Voodoo hawk arrived, I pulled it out and immediately noticed a lot of differences between past SOG hawks and this new model. First off, the Voodoo hawk uses the short handle design that the SOG Fast Hawk (F06-N) uses, which makes the entire hawk more compact and easy to store, conceal and deploy. Another difference is the metal butt cap that is securely attached to the bottom of the handle. This not only adds a little weight to the handle (which I like) but it can also make for an excellent weapon in close quarter combat. I also believe that the metal butt cap helps to distribute the weight of the hawk while throwing it. The biggest difference between past models and the Voodoo is the newly designed head. More on this below.

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The compact glass reinforced handle is tough as nails and has a steel ferrule to help prevent splitting during heavy use. The grip on the handle will be familiar to past SOG tactical hawk owners and will bring a smile to anyone’s face who picks it up to check it out. Whether your hands are wet, or slippery, you’re not going to lose your grip on the Voodoo Hawk. The mentioned steel butt cap also provides comfort when breaking up pieces of wood (or that occasional cinder block that is calling you names) During my testing, the handle took almost as much abuse as the head itself while I was learning to throw the hawk. After bouncing off some dead trees and taking some hard tumbles, the handle came out fine and unscratched.

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Connecting the head to the handle is a strong band of steel with two secure bolts that go through the handle and lock the head into place. Again, beating on this hawk as much as I did several times did not affect the function of it in anyway.

IMG_2100P1020909The head on the Voodoo Hawk is the true selling point. The new design that SOG is using is both easy on the eye and very effective in the field. The 420 stainless steel, 3.5 inch axe head comes razor sharp right out of the package and ready to go to work. SOG changed the design of the Voodoo Hawk’s head to make it more durable and easier to use for prying, chopping, obstacle breaching and yes, for throwing as well. The spiked end is much the same as prior SOG hawks, perhaps even a little thicker, and just as useful. I like the solid design of the axe much better than other models.

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As wonderful as the Voodoo Hawk is, there is one thing I would change about it and that’s the nylon sheath that it comes in. Don’t get me wrong, it does a good job at keeping sharp parts away from your body and belongings, and it’s probably because of this that the cost of the Voodoo Hawk is kept within reasonable standards. On my sheath, I sometimes find it difficult to snap and unsnap it to extract and re-sheath the hawk. Out of the four buttons, one of them almost never stays closed and the others are not super easy to work with. If I was in a combat situation and needed to extract my hawk and had a second or two, I think I would be in trouble. Now, with that in mind, SOG does make tactical sheaths that are more geared to the needs of the military and I’m sure that if there isn’t one out now for the Voodoo Hawk, one will be out very soon. Don’t get me wrong, for simple transportation and casual carry needs, the supplied nylon sheath will work fine. I’m just a big fan of fast draw sheaths made out of Krydex or another hard nylon molded material.

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For field testing, the first thing I did was to take the hawk out to my wood pile and split some kindling for the coming cold weather. The Voodoo Hawk tore through the wood with little effort and before long I had a great pile of wood to burn. Second, I got a little more physical and smashed up a spare piece of aluminum siding. Both the spike and the axe head were able to penetrate the siding and not lose its edge while I worked away on it. A few small scratches, but I think that just adds character! I left my cinderblocks alone because I use them a lot for different things and there are other videos on the web showing folks destroying the blocks with the Voodoo Hawk. I also found that the hawk was pretty easy to throw and after a few dozen or so times, I was able to stick the hawk nine out of ten times. The weight is distributed well and I think SOG put some thought into the Voodoo by making it “throwing friendly.”

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In conclusion, this has become my favorite hawk out of the bunch due to its features and its lifetime warranty to the original purchaser. That is a pretty neat benefit right there! It’s not too heavy, not super light, but just right in my opinion. The handle is non-slip, unbreakable and made for abuse. The head came sharp and has stayed sharp through some pretty good beatings! The sheath does its job at covering up the sharp areas and concealing the head. It is what it is, but worth it for the price of the Voodoo Hawk in the end ($49.99 on the larger sites). I’m sure you would be pleased with this hawk like I am!

http://sogknives.com/store/F18-N.html

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