Pros: Weight, Balance
Best $30 axe you're likely to find.
First, this isn't a tomahawk. The swell at the end of the haft makes that obvious enough. Tomahawks are lighter, and straight handled with no wedge securing the handle so it can be replaced easily (being prone to breaking when being thrown.) This is an axe made by the Tomahawk division of Cold Steel. The idea here was pretty simple- make a good backpacking axe at as low a price as possible. The handle on mine was okay. The grain orientation is perfectly parallel to the bit. Obviously, there will be variation on that, but it shows good quality control. On the other hand, my handle is most sapwood with a sliver of sapwood going down its side. This isn't a huge issue, but can supposedly be a liability. The head is more or less a Hudson Bay pattern, and on mine the paint hid an inadequate finish on the steel. There is some slight, though not problematic pitting. It does mean rusting will more easily damage the axe significantly. I've seen others who haven't had this problem, though. Same variation goes for the edge. Quite a few seem to have come sharp. Mine came blunt, and I had to spend probably two hours getting it adequately sharp (and a little extra getting it shaving sharp, just for the hell of it). I don't mind that at all, personally, but some may not like having to go to the trouble. The balance of the axe is fine. You can work for a pretty good length of time without getting tired, and it isn't awkward at any point along the handle. As far as performance: I haven't used it for chopping (I prefer sawing for that). I've used it for splitting and carving dead Birch. It kept a good edge, and I was having plenty of fun, so if there were any big issues, I didn't notice them. Ultimately, if you don't have an axe and you've been looking for one, there's no reason you should need anything much more than this.