The Genzow HatchetHawk is an exciting addition to the Spyderco product line that not only expands the scope of the cutting tools they offer, but also allowed them to once again push the envelope of engineering, materials and manufacturing methods.
Martin Genzow is a German outdoor enthusiast with decades of experience using all types of axes and tomahawks in the field. He is also an avid historian with exceptional insight into the subtle design differences that define various types of axes, as well as how those nuances affect their performance in different applications.
Based on his unique foundation of both historical knowledge and real-world experience, a number of years ago Genzow began developing his own concept for a versatile, high-performance utility tomahawk. His goal was to integrate the best features of a traditional Francesca (or Francisca, an axe used by the Franks during the Early Middle Ages), a classic bearded axe and a tomahawk to create a hybrid design that was both more versatile and more efficient to use.
After countless revisions and refinements, Genzow was confident enough to present his concept — and the extensive logic behind it — to Spyderco founder Sal Glesser and his son Eric. They were impressed with the painstaking detail of Genzow's design and the clear, concise reasoning behind all its key qualities. Although the concept was well outside Spyderco's established scope of folding and fixed blade knives, they were also intrigued by the challenge it represented. After careful consideration, Sal and Eric decided to pursue the project and collaborate with Genzow on what was originally intended as Spyderco's first foray into the manufacture of axes. As fate would have it, other Spyderco axe designs (specifically, the Laci Szabo SzaboHawk and Warrior Hawk) were ultimately released sooner, but the seed for Genzow HatchetHawk had been firmly planted and they remained committed to seeing the project through. Spyderco is confident that the result was well worth the wait.
In addition to its remarkable hybrid design, the Genzow HatchetHawk is unique in that it incorporates the very best of both old-school craftsmanship and state-of-the-art materials and engineering. Its head is drop forged from tough 5160 tool steel and meticulously heat treated to ensure optimal performance of all its different working surfaces. It is then expertly hand finished to exacting specifications, while still maintaining the slightly rustic character of a forging.
The head has a classic bearded profile that is complemented by a raised toe (top point) and a slightly canted edge angle. This highly refined design provides a longer working edge and allows it to excel at both chopping and detailed cutting chores. The underside of the beard is also beveled to create a working surface for scraping. When viewed from the top, the sinuous contours of the head's thickness reveal its sophisticated design. They not only ensure extreme strength and a powerful wedging force when used for chopping, but also precisely distribute its weight for exceptional power, balance, and control.
For maximum versatility, the opposite side of the head's cutting edge has a hammer poll that allows the HatchetHawk to be used for driving tent stakes, nails and spikes, as well as other tasks that require focused impact instead of a sharp edge.
The HatchetHawk's highly refined handle is made from polypropylene plastic injection molded over a rigid aluminum core. Impervious to most chemicals and solvents, the molded handle features an oval cross-section that allows easy tactile alignment of the edge and hammer poll and a flared butt with a lanyard hole for enhanced grip security. Its scientifically contoured shape ensures maximum energy transfer and, along with the carefully tuned balance of the head, provides outstanding accuracy and control during use while keeping weight to a minimum. The HatchetHawk's head is permanently attached to the handle using proprietary technology.
To protect both the HatchetHawk and its owner when not in use, it comes complete with a heavy leather sheath handcrafted by one of Spain's premier sheathmakers. The minimalist sheath covers the cutting edge and holds the head securely by means of a snap-fastened leather strap. A loop on the back of the sheath allows convenient belt carry, while grommets in the sheath body will accept a cord or strap for over-the-shoulder carry like a classic baldric.
The Genzow HatchetHawk is a truly remarkable cutting tool that combines the best qualities of time-tested historical axe patterns with modern manufacturing methods and materials to create a highly evolved hybrid that transcends them all. It is also a landmark accomplishment in Spyderco's product development and proof positive that their spirit of innovation knows no bounds.