Your views on machetes?

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awa54
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Your views on machetes?

Postby awa54 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:04 am

I know this gets attention from time to time, but I'll drag it up again...

What's your view of the machete format? Do you have one to clear brush all day? In a "bug-out bag"? For zombie defense? Because it was featured in a survival show? To cut pig carcasses in half?
What do you expect from your machete and which one gets it done for you?

I own a few different machete-like tools: My most useful is a Tramontina with a slightly shorter, broader blade and no exposed rivets on the wooden handle. It carries a bit more momentum than a more conventional blade pattern for chopping limbs (as opposed to soft material), yet has plenty of reach and still has thin enough blade stock to pass through the items I cut with it, which is mostly light brush work. Another feature I like about this one is the soft, but not *too soft* steel, probably low 50s HRC, it doesn't dull too quickly, but sharpens up easily with a file. I also have a conventional pattern Tramontina, it loses out mostly because the rivets and unfinished edges on the wooden handle are a bit harsh on an un-gloved hand.

My second favorite is a large Woodman's Pal, it's got extra reach and a small brush hook, but the edge length is short and you can apply more force with the excellent two-handed handle than the thin blade stock can take without bending when it meets hard material.

Next up is a WW2 era Aussie Military pattern Machete, this one has steel that's a bit too hard for quick hand sharpening and the blade stock is thick enough that the overall weight makes extended use fatiguing.

Now for the "best" machete I own. it's a KaBar with a Parang type blade: it has 1095 steel in the mid to upper 50s HRC, excellent handle ergos, powder coat to reduce corrosion issues and wait for it... a .25" thick spine with a high sabre grind that makes it utterly useless for anything machete-like, it's more of a super-sized camp knife, or knife shaped hatchet, it's thick and heavy enough that it isn't even a good limbing tool, since it binds in wood worse than either an axe or a more conventional machete. :(
-David

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Naperville
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Naperville » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:22 pm

I have a few big blades, some that are literal machetes. I bought them in case I needed to bug-out, or we have unwanted guests at the homestead.

I still plan on picking up a few more in Z-Wear, S7, and 1095.

- KA-BAR BK21 Becker/Reinhardt Kukri Fixed 13.25" Black 1095 Blade, Nylon Handles
- ESEE Knives Junglas Machete 10.38" Dark Earth Blade, Micarta Handles, Kydex Sheath
- Bark River Knives Moro Barong
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Lum Tanto, Native Chief(?), Street Beat (AEB-L, NioMax or Nitro-V at 63HRC).

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby dsvirsky » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:31 pm

I have absolutely no use for a machete, but I'm still tempted to buy a Jerry Hossom designed, Outdoor Edge Brush Demon.

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The Deacon
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby The Deacon » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:02 pm

Since moving to SC, I've come to consider my machete an important tool in my annual battle with kudzu.
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby bearrowland » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:42 pm

We have a Woodsman's Pal that gets some use from time to time. Beyond that, I have a DR Trimmer that does an outstanding job!
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby The Meat man » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:57 pm

I really like the Cold Steel two-handed katana machete.
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby VashHash » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:58 am

I've got several machetes. One of my favorite is my condor golok. It's a smaller machete but thick with a distal taper. I usually keep it in my car. I often times find myself in situations where I need to clear brush and it works well for grasses and saplings. If I'm going to be clearing a large area i have some thinner and lighter Colombian made machetes that I use.


Here's my condor with my handmade sheath. They didn't come with a sheath when I bought this.
Image


I bought this lot from Sportsmans Guide. Think I paid around $40 for all of them. They weren't sharp but a little work with a grinder and they're very acceptable for a machete. I had to sand the handles a little too because they were rough.

Image

I have a condor Dadao too for fun. It's not something I would use for light brush. It'd be good for chopping down trees though.

The handle was walnut or something similar. Not good when sweat got on it. I wrapped it with cloth athletic tape. Made a swell on each end for 2 hands. With the dip in the middle for single hand use. Don't mind those other 2 knives in the picture. They're terrible as machetes.

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby wrdwrght » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:44 am

In getting from one place to another, a machete can certainly cut a hole. I’ve used one to good effect in tropical Panama and Vietnam (especially on riverbanks and at the edge of clearings where the Hollywood jungles occur).

But for dealing with invasive vines, like Asian Bittersweet here in New England, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Plucking seedlings may be tedious, but hacking at established plants just encourages them.

If I find an invasive vine in a wanted shrub or tree, out comes my Spyderhawk or Tasman Salt to separate the lower part from the upper so as to kill the upper, then I follow it lower to the root and pull the damned thing. Who needs to lift weights at the gym?!

Machetes have their place. My backyard and the woods where I walk aren’t among them. But I am thinking about a Woodsman’s Pal for long-range trips in the camper-van. That hook would be handy, I’m sure...
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby TomAiello » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:13 am

I have a little more than a mile of trail that I have to clear 2 or 3 times each year. I have a woodsman's pal, which is pretty good, and a Baryonyx machete, which I like a bit more. I bought a nice machete in 3v this year, so I'll give that a go next time and see if I notice any difference in actual use (I'm hoping the 3v will hold an edge longer and make the clearing easier by staying sharp longer).

If you can get one to where you need it to be, a gas powered weed eater is way better than any machete. :)

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Naperville
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Naperville » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:52 am

TomAiello wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:13 am
I have a little more than a mile of trail that I have to clear 2 or 3 times each year. I have a woodsman's pal, which is pretty good, and a Baryonyx machete, which I like a bit more. I bought a nice machete in 3v this year, so I'll give that a go next time and see if I notice any difference in actual use (I'm hoping the 3v will hold an edge longer and make the clearing easier by staying sharp longer).

If you can get one to where you need it to be, a gas powered weed eater is way better than any machete. :)
Hey Tom, who made the 3V machete? Sounds interesting.
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Lum Tanto, Native Chief(?), Street Beat (AEB-L, NioMax or Nitro-V at 63HRC).

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby James Y » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:32 pm

Back in the '70s, I went with my dad to a military surplus store and he. Ought me a $5 machete. It was stamped Made in Japan with no brand name and a black-coated blade and plastic handles. That machete helped me clean up a considerable amount of vegetation in my backyard several years ago. It held up extremely well, and I still have it.

Last year I picked up a Tramontina machete at a Lowe's, not out of any need, but just to have one.

Jim

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Vivi » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:59 pm

I'm a big fan of Cold Steel machetes.

They have tons of different sizes and shapes.

They are cheap while having a good heat treat and a sheath.

They have molded on handles like Spyderco fixed blades. No wood to warp, crack or loosen from the rivets.

They work. I use a few of theirs for clearing brush and smal branches. We use them on my buddys property to help maintain our private disc golf course.

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Halfneck » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:34 pm

I have 5 or 6 different Condor Machetes. I've known Joe Flowers for years and count him as a friend. My usual go-to beater around the house is a discontinued double-edged machete by Condor. I use it to trim back an overhanging tree and brush along my back fence. I used a discontinued Condor Puerto-Rican machete for years as my outdoors tree-beater. After several years of very hard use I broke the tip using it like a bill-hook to sling chopped wood. It was still functional but Joe took it and sent me a Swamp Master in it's place. My son has a Eco-Survivor Machete he has used on several Scout & Venturing trips. He's not gentle on his gear & it has held up fine.

Only issue with the Condor machetes lately is the prices have gone up since they first came out.

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby kwakster » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:48 am


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Ez556
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Ez556 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:21 pm

I know in many countries, the machete is the multitool of choice for everything from work, repair, food prep, defense and everything in between. On a day to day basis I don't have much use for one where I live, but I have my eye on a Kabar Parangatang, that looks like one useful blade.
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby legOFwhat? » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:19 pm

I just had a Cold Steel Royal Kukri delivered today. I'll have to play with it for a bit to see if I like it or not. For under $25 I figured I couldn't go wrong.
-Larry

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Mad Mac » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:40 pm

My Woodman's Pal is short and handy, has some weight behind it and cuts better than a machete in my experience. But I've never owned a serious machete. Just the cheap ones like from Harbor Freight.

The surveyors who surveyed my place had long machetes in leather sheaths. From time to time, they touched them up with a file. They seemed to effortlessly lop off limbs and clear brush. Sure wish I had asked them where they got them.
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby JD Spydo » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:20 pm

Anytime I take a walk in the timber I always take a machete with me. Sometimes I take two of them. About 10 years ago I got one of Cold Steel's two handed machetes made in South Africa. It's a great tool and I have used the hell out of it over the years. I also have 3 of Cold Steels Gurkha Kukri blades that I use for machetes that I really love.

There is one make of machete that I used to hear a lot of people talk about but it's as though they have disappeared completely. I'm speaking of the British made "Martindale Machetes". I've looked at a couple at Gun Shows over the years and they seem to be a well built units. I'm just wondering if any of you guys have heard of those "Martindale Machetes"????

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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Bloke » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:17 pm

JD Spydo wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:20 pm
Sometimes I take two of them.
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Naperville
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Re: Your views on machetes?

Postby Naperville » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:17 am

Bloke wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:17 pm
JD Spydo wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:20 pm
Sometimes I take two of them.
Image
That looks like fantastic training.

I have two knives that would be considered machetes, and I plan to buy a couple more. But more than machetes, I think the power of the Kukri cannot be overlooked, and I want a few of those first.
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Lum Tanto, Native Chief(?), Street Beat (AEB-L, NioMax or Nitro-V at 63HRC).


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