CRKT and Ryan Johnson at RMJ tactical have produced yet another awesome tomahawk. The Rune is new for 2017 and with its short size and sharpened spike is designed to be a tactical breaching tool. But all blades have wilderness functionality to them, so I wanted to see if this was the right axe to add to my Search and Rescue kit. Axes are not really my fancy as I wrote in my previous article on big blades.

The Rune is a solid piece of SK5 carbon steel weighing in at 24 ounces. It’s 12 inches from head to handle and is .24 inches thick. That’s pretty hefty for a relatively small axe. The handle scales are glass reinforced nylon and have two cutouts to reduce weight and give a spot to tie in a lanyard. The Rune comes with a glass filled nylon sheath that snaps the blade in place and secures it with a quick release buckle. You can reverse the buckle to fit your mounting needs.

I found that the Rune is easy to control when chopping due to its short length and comfortable handle. A lanyard will definitely be necessary for prolonged chopping chores, but if you’re only going through one small log or doing a single breach, the tool will stay in your hand. The blade bit into small saplings very nicely and seems like it would perform just fine for cutting down kindling for your fire. I would not recommend this for logs greater than six inches in diameter. Leave that task to a saw. The grind and Nordic style head do allow you to choke up and do finer cutting chores. While these chores are best done with a small knife, the blade did trim very well. Choking up means placing your hands above the GRN handles, so you’ll be most comfortable doing a direct downward push or wrapping that part of the handle.

So far, the Rune seems like a capable tactical and outdoor tool. For the time being, I’m putting this axe in my SAR kit to see if it will be needed on missions. I have used an axe on assignments to clear out paths for litters, and I’m sure this tool will see some action in good time. I’m seeing a definite advantage in the Rune’s small size and ability to mount it just about wherever I please on or inside my pack. I will return to writing about the Rune after it sees action in harsher environments and situations than a short hike on my local trail on a sunny day.

Check out the Rune and other CRKT blades HERE. The Rune tomahawk is available for $150. Here are the specs:


  • Blade Length –  6.688″ (169.88 mm)
  • Blade Edge  – Axe Edge w/Beard
  • Blade Steel  – SK5 Carbon Steel, HRC 53-55
  • Blade Finish  – Black
  • Blade Thickness  – 0.243″ (6.17 mm)
  • Weight –  1 lb 8 oz
  • Handle  – Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Style  – Compact Tactical Axe
  • Sheath Material  – Glass Reinforced Nylon; Black
  • Overall Length  – 12.0″ (304.8 mm)

Images from