The Hogue EX-T01 is not a “new” product. It debuted in 2016, at the SHOT Show I believe. That actually works to my advantage in this case as I can take my time wringing the most that I can out of this unique tool without pressure to be “first”.
Hogue sent me the EX-T01 as well as the add-on hammer, spike, and prybar attachments. I will carry it into the Smoky Mountain backcountry as well as use it closer to home- on my backyard kudzu.
Designer Allen Elishewitz wanted the EX-T01 to be a “supercharged knife”. He drew inspiration from medieval German fighting axes, which were more than just chopping weapons.
Taking the ‘hawk from the really nice soft-side storage case I was immediately struck by the feeling “this wants to whack something…right now”. It feels lively in the hand. I attached the hammer to the back of the tool – both because I feel it has the most practical utility, as well as because I am wary of rebound given my history with axe-type implements.
I started whacking an oak log from the woodpile, and was quickly reminded that this is not a true axe. It is simply too light for what I was asking it to do. By design. When am I practically going to be crosscutting a 10″ oak log? I would have to have an awfully good reason to expend than much energy in a survival situation without a more appropriate tool. That said, the chips were cleanly cut, it was just going to take a long time to gnaw through the whole log.
I turned to a 4″+ sapling that I could feasibly be cutting in a bushcraft setting. The hawk bit deeply into the green wood. This is the kind of log I cut when fishing – something that is blocking a hole, yet is too large to drag out whole. I have a couple in mind. One of which I might be encountering tomorrow, depending on how the day goes.
The edge was still keen after probably 20 minutes of whacking tasks. I could no longer cut newsprint, but it was still in good shape. I restored it to paper slicing condition with a few passes down the ceramic rods on the Spyderco Sharpmaker.
I couldn’t help whacking a rope. The 3/4″ sisal didn’t stand a chance.
Finally, I made a tent stake. Ethan Becker describes it as the ultimate test of a bushcraft blade. A seasoned hand should be able to tell everything that then need to know about a blade’s performance by making one.
Plenty more to come as I put this tool to the test.