Tomahawks are one of the latest in a series of tactical fashion trends that are rooted in utility. Once in a while, there is a tool that really exceeds expectations. The Downrange Tomahawk, in spite of it's ridiculous name, is one of these.In terms of utility, it's truly outstanding in almost every regard. The Tomahawk's well contoured blade is sufficient for craving through building material or chicken-thieving critters, and this one has seen a fair amount of both. The pry bar works as you'd expect, and is thin enough to work it's way into tight jambs. The hammer, however, is small, and gains little from the texturing, which gives it some room for improvement.
Duration of Testing: 3+ years Utility - 8 Durability - 7 Comfort - 4 Weight - 4 Cost - 3 Overall - 5/10
Bottom Line: On the Fence
Over the course of testing, the Tomahawk has cut through and demolished everything from building structures to animals, and after several years of hard use, the axe itself shows wear from use, but no significant nicks or faults in the steel.
The axe itself isn't a marvel of ergonomics; it's simple, utilitarian, and not especially comfortable. The shaft is aggressively checkered and is sufficient for a sturdy grip, even with wet or dirty hands, though it isn't especially comfortable. Even with medium sized hands, I'd prefer a slightly thicker grip.
With a weight of 2.5 pounds, the DRT isn't especially heavy, but it's not light. The length of about 20 inches makes it awkward to carry on anything short of a full sized ruck. The DRT would benefit from a length reduction of about a half. This would put it on equal footing with 'standard' hatchets, and would make it far more manageable as a component of your load out.
The real skids with the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is the price. Listing for nearly $300 in some places, the sticker shock is enough to send most people running towards a lower cost option. With it's tremendous capacity for work, and reasonably light weight, most of the time it's easier to just keep purpose built tools handy.
If you do find yourself on an expanded expedition in which you need a tough, light-weight, and multifunction tool, however, the Down Range Tomahawk is more than capable of handling whatever you can throw at it.
Wait for the price to come down. At $150, I'd recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. In the end, for $300, unless you've got a bunch of extra money to throw, an exceptionally well establish load out, and all the necessary skills, there are other places to prioritize. Don't let the modest score take a way from the fact that this is a great tool... the price is the only thing keeping it from being firm recommend.