Tomahawk Shades Review: Premium Small Batch Eyewear that Won’t Drain Your Wallet

Disclosure: We received courtesy product from Tomahawk Shades in exchange for our honest review only. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

by  David Martin | Last Updated: 

You need a quality pair of shades to protect your eyes, but don’t know where to start. And you definitely don’t want to get another cheap pair from H&M. However, every brand you find with polarized sunglasses and UV protection costs an arm and a leg.

Tomahawk Shades’ premium small batch eyewear provides a simple solution to these problems, with quality eyewear at affordable prices. We got our hands onthree of their flagship sunglasses to see if they protect your eyes while being kind to your wallet.

Small batch value
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Tomahawk Shades

Tomahawk Shades

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Bottom line: Tomahawk Shades successfully leverages their small batch format to undercut the competition on price without sacrificing on quality. We're impressed with the value on offer within their range of premium sunglasses and blue light glasses that offer all the top tech, without costing you your whole paycheck.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Thoughtfully designed with full UV protection
  • Huge selection of frames and styles to choose from
  • Affordable price points relative to other premium eyewear brands
  • UV400 protection with a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Due to being a small batch manufacturer, many styles go out of stock quickly

I’m a recent sunglasses convert.

It sounds dumb, but shades always seemed to me to be a superfluous wardrobe item that was handy but not necessary, and easily found for a few bucks at most fashion retailers. 

At some point in my mid-twenties—eyes squinted and my forehead wrinkled against the sun’s bright onslaught against my corneas—I realized that I really enjoy seeing things. 

I’ve done a good bit of traveling, especially to places with sweeping vistas and jaw-dropping features, and I had the profound and obvious realization that those places are much less fun to experience when you can’t see them. 

I’ve been wearing sunglasses on the daily since then. 

Committing to wearing sunglasses was only half the battle, however. What followed was a deep research session into the best sunglasses money could buy when it comes to protection, not just name brand. 

I was searching for the elusive sweet spot that features 100% polarization and UV protection at a friendly cost, which is when I came across Tomahawk Shades

With a name that implies quick, effective use and sharp looks, my curiosity was piqued so I picked up a few pairs to try out.

What Is Tomahawk Shades?

Tomahawk Shades gatekeepers spivey and neuralyzers from above and left

Tomahawk Shades was started by two brothers, Andrew and Ryan Shapiro, who were tired of seeing high-quality eyewear costing $200 or more. 

Their idea was simple: craft premium eyewear in small batches to cut down on overhead cost, and ideally offer the same bells, whistles, and styles as Ray Bans or Oakleys at a fraction of the cost. 

It seems to have worked.

With a wide selection of classic and trending styles for eyewear, Tomahawk offers polarization and UV protection at a small cost relative to their competition. The brand has landed some notable partnerships with professional athletes, such as Chris Hogan (2x Super Bowl Champion), Jon Jay, and Dan Descalso (MLB World Series Champions). 

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Tomahawk Shades doesn’t just put the ax in the wood for sunglasses—they also have a line of blue light glasses to keep your eyes protected during those long hours in front of the computer screen. 

This eyewear brand also dabbles in snow goggles and prescriptive options, but limited styles are available. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Eyewear from Tomahawk

Tomahawk Shades the Neuralyzers logo detail held in hand

The decision to pull the trigger on Tomahawk Shades largely comes down to your budget preferences. 

When it comes to comprehensive eye protection, Tomahawk can go toe-to-toe with the best brands out there. Thus, with features not being a part of your calculus to determine what shades you buy (unless you distinctly don’t want polarization and UV protection, which would be odd), the main considerations are style and cost. 

If style is important to you, Tomahawk offers a wide variety that aims to provide something appropriate for everyone, while also keeping up with the trends. 

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If you care a lot about wearing a brand for the sake of its notoriety, Tomahawk doesn’t have the momentum and history that Ray Bans offers, but that doesn’t mean the quality is lacking. 

Most of all, if you want top-tier protection with little effect on your wallet, Tomahawk’s products offer some of the best bang for your buck in the game. 

Given that I only recently started wearing sunglasses on a regular basis, I’m not quite to the point of justifying the steep cost of name brands. So, I picked up three pairs of Tomahawk’s flagship shades to see if they really do pack the triple threat of affordability, comprehensive protection, and maximum style.

Tomahawk Shades

Tomahawk Shades successfully leverages their small batch format to undercut the competition on price without sacrificing on quality. We're impressed with the value on offer within their range of premium sunglasses and blue light glasses that offer all the top tech, without costing you your whole paycheck.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Tomahawk Shades Review

A few days later I found a neat little box on my doorstep that securely ensconced my new sunglasses.

Each pair was placed in a protective plastic bag, with a tissue paper sheath over the lenses to prevent any incidental scratches. 

First up, the Neuralyzers.

The Neuralyzers

Tomahawk Shades The Neuralyzers from front

Despite having a name that implies James Bond-level tech cleverly hidden in these glasses, the Neuralyzers are Tomahwak’s classic, baseline offering. 

Featuring an injection molded frame and smoke-colored lenses, these timeless sunglasses offer UV400 protection and a lifetime warranty in the case of broken, stolen, or lost glasses. This is a fantastic warranty plan, given how easy it is to lose and break sunglasses. 

The warranty can be used twice per pair of sunglasses, which is basically like buying three pairs of sunglasses for the price of one. 

One thing I was curious to test with all of Tomahawk’s glasses was the UV protection. There’s a bit of confusion when it comes to UV protection and polarization in which many people assume they’re the same thing. 

They’re not, which is good to know because Tomahawk’s shades are UV protected but not all are polarized.

Tomahawk shades three pairs in a vertical column

Polarization is the process of applying a polarizing film to the front surface of a sunglass lens, which helps to reduce glare from direct and indirect light sources. Polarization does not imply UV protection, just as UV protection does not imply polarization. 

Polarized sunglasses are handy for reducing eye strain in sunny, reflective environments such as boating, fishing, and skiing, but aren’t necessary for everyday use, typically. 

UV protection is what you want in a good pair of sunglasses, and should be considered a necessity for everyday use. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation without adequate eye protection can lead to permanent eye damage, cloudiness, and loss of vision. 

So, what does UV400 protection mean?

UV 400 refers to light waves at the top end of the UV spectrum, those with up to a wavelength of 400 nanometers. Most sunglasses that are labeled ‘UV protected’ don’t actually block out UV rays that high on the spectrum, which can lead to damage to your eyes over time. 

Tomahawk Shades in a diagonal row to the right

Sunglasses with genuine UV400 protection block 99-100% of UV rays from getting to your eyes, which means these are the cream of the crop when it comes to eye protection.

Take a page from my book: if you enjoy being able to see the world around you, get yourself a pair of UV protected sunglasses.

The Neuralyzers feature UV400 protection but are not polarized. Much of the price difference between Tomahawk’s pairs of shades come down to whether or not they’re polarized. 

The Neuralyzers are only $35, which still provides a handsome, protective pair of sunglasses, but if you’re looking for anti-glare tech, find a different pair from Tomahawk and expect to pay around $60. 

Regarding design, the Neuralyzers have a standard Wayfarer construction with their logo in silver on each arm. The sunglasses are light and feel sturdy enough to withstand drops from a decent height, and rest comfortably across the bridge of my nose.

Tomahawk Shades the Neuralyzers being worn from the side

One small complaint I have, which is subjective, is the width of the sunglasses. They’re a bit wide in my opinion, which gives them less of a sleek profile across your face. I’m pretty particular about this sort of thing, so it may not bother most people.

From my ears the arms bow out slightly to connect to the horns on the frame, and this point of connection is quite far from my face which means light can easily get in if the sun is shining diagonally from your left or right. 

I may have a narrower face than some, which could make the Neuralyzers seem a bit wide for me personally, but this is worth noting if you’re also particular about how your glasses fit.

Overall, the Neuralyzers offer robust eye protection and a clean style at an impressively low price point. If you need a basic pair of shades to keep your eyes healthy and happy, the Neuralyzers are a great place to start. 

Gatekeepers

Tomahawk Shades the Gatekeepers from front

Constructed in the round aviator style with a flat lower frame, the Gatekeepers instantly lend the look and feel of an ace jet pilot straight out of Top Gun

The metal frames are brushed with a yellow gold color and hold bottle green lenses which offer good protection from the sun without tinting natural colors too much. The frames themselves are a bit thicker than you might expect, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

Tomahawk Shades The Gatekeepers detail shot held in hand

Much of the time with metal or wire sunglasses I worry that I’ll bend part of the frame or one of the arms, and everyone knows once it’s bent, it never gets back to the original shape. The Gatekeepers have thick enough metal frames to the extent that I’m not worried about them bending, which I appreciate.

Unlike the Neuralyzers, the Gatekeepers are polarized to prevent excessive glare and improve the contrast of what you’re seeing. 

Tomahawk Shades The Gatekeepers from above left on white background

One thing to note regarding polarized sunglasses is difficulty in seeing digital screens. This is most prevalent with smartphones, which use their own polarizer on the screen to help you see easier in bright environments. 

Polarized lenses only allow light in from one direction, and your phone only emits light from a single direction since it’s polarized. This results in your phone screen and sunglasses counteracting each other, and can lead to the screen looking darker than it actually is. 

I’ve worn polarized sunglasses where this is actually frustrating, especially while driving and trying to look at directions on your phone that you can’t see because of the canceling polarization effects. 

With the Gatekeepers I actually noticed this effect less than with most polarized sunglasses. I’m not sure whether this means the polarizing film on the Gatekeepers is advanced or low quality, but I’m not upset about it either way. 

Tomahawk Shades The Gatekeepers being worn on yellow background

I find the lenses on the Gatekeepers to be slightly large for my taste—these are on the larger side for typical aviators. I think Tomahawk could have achieved a slightly more classic, sleek look with smaller frames, but that’s just personal preference and I’m overly particular about these types of things. 

Due to the lenses being polarized the Gatekeepers come in at $60 compared to the Neuralyzers $35, which is a pretty standard price discrepancy across eyewear brands. 

All said, the Gatekeepers are a refined, sturdy, and classic pair of aviators that bring both eye protection and style in spades. Similar styles from more notorious sunglasses brands can easily cost three times as much, so these are a great pair to boost your style game without breaking the bank.

The Spivey

Tomahawk Shades The Spivey from front on white background 1

Topping out our Tomahawk haul on the price front, The Spivey sunglasses feature a classic square style in glossy, clear gray with smoke-colored lenses. 

These shades come in at $80 per pair at the time of posting, which is a bit more than the Gatekeepers at $60. While The Spivey offers UV400 protection and are polarized, the main reason for the price differential comes down to the frame material. 

Tomahawk Shades The Spivey put on face

The Spivey’s frame is made from handmade Mazzucchelli Acetate, which is a coveted and legendary material used by sunglasses manufacturers around the world. 

Acetate is a type of plastic derived from cotton, and the Mazzucchelli family’s acetate products are known for their rich and vibrant colors, tensile strength, and lightweight feel. The distinctive glossy, clear gray color of The Spivey’s frames is due to Tomahawk’s use of Mazzucchelli Acetate, which sets these apart from their other offerings. 

Tomahawk Shades The Spivey held in hand detail shot

In testing out the Spiveys, there is a noticeable difference in the weight and feel compared to the Gatekeepers and Neuralyzers. The Spiveys have a more luxurious feel reflective of the price, and keep the branding details to a minimum to keep these shades sleek and refined. 

The Tomahawk logo only appears in the corner of one of the lenses, but the arms are kept bare to highlight the Mazzucchelli acetate construction, which I appreciate. 

Of the pairs I grabbed from Tomahawk, these are by far my favorite. The lenses are a bit smaller than the Neuralyzers or Gatekeepers, which helps The Spivey maintain a sleek profile and refined aura. 

Given the high quality construction and materials combined with UV400 protection and polarization, I think these shades are well worth the higher comparative price. 

What do Other Reviewers Say About Tomahawk Shades?

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Tomahawk Shades has a relatively small number of reviews online, but the vast majority are overwhelmingly positive. Satisfied customers love the assortment of styles, the fit, protection, color choices, and most of all, the price. 

Many positive reviews waxed eloquent on how the combination of factors and price made these sunglasses a steel, and made them very likely to be repeat customers.

Of the few negative reviews I could find, several focused on the silver script ‘Tomahawk’ logo on the arms of the Neuralyzers. There’s a near-microscopic amount of space between the logo and the arm itself, which is enough space for hair to get caught and pulled.

Apart from this issue, several reviewers were slightly dissatisfied with the fit of their shades, but these reviews were few and far between.

My Thoughts Overall On Tomahawk Shades

What I Like

  • Tomahawk offers a huge selection of frame styles, frame colors, and lens colors for a robust mix and match experience.
  • Every pair of Tomahawk shades has UV400 protection, and many others are polarized.
  • Tomahawk offers classic styles as well as more modern, trendy looks.
  • For the quality of materials used and eye protection offered, the price can’t be beat.
  • The use of Mazzucchelli acetate makes for some truly standout eyewear pieces.

What I Don’t Like

  • Some frames are a bit large for my liking.
  • There are few product photos on the website. Some more angle shots and example photos of a model wearing the glasses would be helpful.

Who is Tomahawk for?

Tomahawk’s shades are for anyone who wants to protect their eyes and up their style game with confidence. Those who are looking for top-tier eye protection and a multitude of frame options at an affordable price point will find Tomahawk attractive.

The Verdict

Tomahawk set out to provide high-quality eyewear at a fraction of the name brand’s price, and they accomplished their goal. A slew of high-profile athletes and celebrities bear testament to Tomahawk’s unique value offering through endorsements and partnerships, and overwhelmingly positive reviews send the point home. 

With a massive lineup of frame styles and lens colors to choose from, Tomahawk provides a little something for everyone while keeping your eyes safe with robust UV400 protection. 

The largest selling point of this sunglasses brand is the small-batch construction, which allows them to pay close attention to detail and maintain low prices, relative to luxury eyewear brands. 

Even on the higher end of Tomahawk’s offerings, which feature UV400 protection, polarization, and some of the best construction materials in the game, these shades are roughly half as expensive as name brands, and sometimes cheaper.

If you need comprehensive eye protection, stylish looks, and affordable prices all wrapped up in a neat package, Tomahawk Shades are a great place to start.

Tomahawk Shades

Tomahawk Shades successfully leverages their small batch format to undercut the competition on price without sacrificing on quality. We're impressed with the value on offer within their range of premium sunglasses and blue light glasses that offer all the top tech, without costing you your whole paycheck.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Is Tomahawk Shades Legit?

Tomahawk Shades is absolutely legit. While many other eyewear brands have tried to strike the elusive balance of fully protected, quality sunglasses at affordable prices, Tomahawk is one of the only brands I’ve come across that actually delivers.

Are there different grades of polarized sunglasses?

There are three general grades of polarized sunglasses: light, medium, and heavy. Lightly polarized sunglasses offer the least glare protection, and heavily polarized sunglasses offer the most.

Are polarized sunglasses really better?

Polarized sunglasses are better than normal sunglasses because they protect your eyes from harsh glare and increase the contrast of what you’re seeing, but they don’t shield your eyes from UV rays. For the best possible protection, get a pair of sunglasses that’s UV protected and polarized.

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