Review: Gerber Downrange Tomahawk

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Review: Gerber Downrange Tomahawk

RJ Radachy

After a week on a creek in the middle of the White Mountains of Arizona with Fred Osuna at Greenside Training, I was tasked with finding a couple of vehicle-based mounting solutions for a Gerber Downrange Tomahawk. I’m up for the task, being that I’m the owner of RJR Customs LLC, an Off-Road Vehicle based automotive design and Fabrication business.

During our weeklong tour of the woods, we used this Tomahawk for a couple of camp tasks. We split firewood, hammered on“horseshoe” stakes, and made a handful of bows and arrows for the youngsters. The tool was ready and willing every time. It could use some sharpening if it was going to be used more for smaller yet typical Tomahawk tasks, but this thing is intended to be abused and is designed with edge retention in mind. It stood up well to Fred throwing it at trees (he’s crazy like that) and the youngsters chopping rocks! The “gills” on the handle are a bit sharp for an ungloved hand, but once again, by design.

This home-wrecker is a pretty useful tool around the shop and on the trail. A couple of days after  being handed the tool, we had a stuck hydraulic cylinder pivot pin on the shop’s Bobcat Skid Steer that needed to be removed. The tool already had found a use: it was the only prying device in the shop that had a thin enough working end to slip in between the pin and machine frame to pry this pin out! This pin was stuck from debris and rust, and with the handle built into the axe head we could comfortably put some force on this thing. It was tough, and I’m surprised the tool didn’t bend. It was a quick flip away from using as a hammer (to drive the pin out) as intended as well.

We used the provided snap-on belt strap to fasten this bone crusher to the spare tire hold down on a Polaris RZR. This seemed to work well at first, but when running higher speeds through rough terrain, the prying end would work its way out of the sheath leaving us worried that the snaps would pop loose and we’d lose our handy tool. We threw it in the Polaris’s dry box, and a trip back to the shop was in order.

For ways to hold this Tomahawk on the RZR securely, a bombproof, spacecraft, tricked out, ballistic steel mounting bracket was the apparent solution. This tool is built for speed at a lightweight two pounds, so I decided to stick with an “Ordinary Larry” solution from an online supplier that will work well for a lot of vehicle applications: Quick Fist, a rubber, quick release roll-cage mounting option available online for $15. The Quick Fists we had in the shop that we use for mounting windshields on the UTVs seemed to be a good fit, and would allow for quick and easy mounting if we adapted using the hole in the handle of the Tomahawk and the holes in the Axe Head sheath. The use of some 10×32 machine screws and wing nuts allowed for easy removal as well. This let us mount our home-wrecker Tomahawk in a number of areas on the RJR roll cage of the Polaris RZR, or any 1”- 2&1/4” part on any vehicle. Solid, Secure, and versatile!

While installing the Quick Fists on the Tomahawk, I discovered that the snap in the webbing at the prying end of the belt strap lines up perfectly with the hole on the handle of the Tomahawk. If a guy wanted to, he could cut the belt strap above the snap, break the snap out of the hole in the webbing, and mount the Quick fist through the hole in the webbing prior to mounting it through the Tomahawk handle. This allows the original sheath to cover the prying end while mounted to the Quick Fist clamps. Depending on the roll bar mounting location, this may be an important asset to prevent an injury. However I did not want to modify it to do so at this time.

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I’ve decided that a Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is a useful trail tool worth incorporating and carrying. The spot I liked was under the Passenger seat, right next to the door. While the price tag on this tool is a bit steep, space is at a premium on a trail rig and multi-use tools save space, making it worth the coin. Upon completion of this trail rig, Gerber will get my money for a Downrange Tomahawk, likely mounted on a set of FIST GRIPS in this location.

-RJ

 


[You can visit Gerber online here]


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About the Author: RJ Radachy II owns and operates RJR Customs LLC, a small business in Buckeye, Arizona specializing in off-road based automotive design and fabrication work. He’s currently working on ’59 Willys Pickup that will be one wicked bug-out rig–keep an eye on their instagram page here for updates.

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