Pros: Head Material, Balance, Construction, Weight, Handle Material
You just can't go wrong with SOG!
This is a superb tool for what it is intended for. This is first and foremost a weapon. It is not primarily designed to be a camp hatchet, a splitting maul, or a back yard gardening tool, although it could be pressed into service as those things. It just won't be as great at it as a tool designed exactly for those things. The secondary role where it would do best is a camp hatchet, because it is about the right size, weight, and design to do that job pretty well, if you only had to carry one tool with you. Now in use, I have not done edge retention tests on this yet because I have only thrown it, and done some chopping around the campsite. I did use it to clear out some small 2-4 inch trees around out throwing lane, and it did a damn fine job, and so far I have not needed to sharpen it. The edge is still very sharp. What about throwing, you ask? Well, this thing is designed for that very thing (as well as CQB) and it performs exactly as intended, provided you do your part. Throw it right and it sticks every time. As far as CQB, let's just say it has the weight, edges and design to get the job done in the most efficient manner possible. If you have this in your hand, just about the only thing that may worry you is a firearm. While it's a serious weapon, it's damn neat and cool just to own it for fun too. While there are many other more expensive options out there, I can't really see the need to spend the money on them. The only exception I can see to that is the guys kicking in doors over in the sandbox, but even then - I think this is robust enough for them to rely upon to keep them on this side of the great unknown. The only down side is the sheath that comes with it. Spend the extra money and get the Kydex one. It's worth it.