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Old 10-17-2013, 11:37   #1
Aceman
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Machete Chat

[inspired from "I need an axe" in my SEPF Gear Run review]

So someone mentioned that in Florida a Machete might be a much better choice than an Axe. I really really agree with this.

I can hack a log with a machete, but can't hack through the brush with an axe.

So my question is this: Recommend me a machete that would be a good choice for hacking logs as well as brush.

As always, cheaper is better....
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:01   #2
actionshooter10
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Machetes are built for clearing away brush, not chopping, splitting or delimbing trees.

Use the correct tool for the correct job and you won't be disappointed in it.

That said, if you're set on this path, I would recommend a Gurkha Kukri rather than a machete. It's heavier and, IME, holds an edge better than a machete.

Cold Steel offers an inexpensive line of machetes here. Keep in mind that you often get what you pay for.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:40   #3
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Get a couple of the cold steel and play with them. They come dull so you'll have to sharpen them. The handles are comfortable, and that means a lot.

I can't imagine ever trying to cut a log with one.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:55   #4
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You asked.

If, and only if you are willing to do research:

1. Look up Machete Specialist;
2. Look up the machete section of Bladeforums
3. look up http://www.baryonyxknife.com/

One size does not fit all in machetes. Yes, there are machetes for Maine, Florida and conditions in between. Yes, there are machetes to discourage feral dogs and military machetes.

Look in the knife discussion section of Glocktalk. See my comment today on the Esee machete sheath.

What I found was interesting. I have kitchen knives like butcher knives that I don't want to put into knife blocks, or hang against magnets. I might want to take them out into the field when camping and not have them dinged up. Well, it turns out that places like I cited above have the machete sheaths and field/butcher knives like Old Hickory or Mora running from 7 to 14 inches. Moreover, they have sheaths for those old machetes that you ended up with in the workshop that unfortunately have no sheath.

You can spend anywhere from $8 to $250 for a machete. Honestly. Some of the name knife makers simply buy Ontario machetes and rework them and mark them up for example.

The original poster asked. One of the people cited above has a proprietary machete in the works that will not only split a log, it reminds me of a 1930s movie in which Edgar G. Robinson played a Tong hatchetman who used meat cleavers! It is displayed on the web site. However, it will not be used on jungle vegetation; only on trees in Maine!
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:56   #5
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Get a kurki you have the benefits of a machete plus a very sturdy blade that can handle chopping wood if need be

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Last edited by magman687; 10-17-2013 at 12:57..
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Old 10-17-2013, 13:28   #6
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I am definitely a fan of the "tool for the job"

Saw a cheap machete at harbor freight with a serrated spine that could saw, for example.

All that said, it would be nice to have a machete AND an axe - but if I were taking one, the larger kukri sounds about right for here. Or a decent machete with serrated spine...and saw instead of chop.
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Old 10-17-2013, 13:39   #7
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Actually, no. The CS kukuri machete is not a kukuri. It's a machete that is vaguely kukuri shaped. And a kukuri is lousy at going through vegetation. It's too thick and heavy. As BD pointed out what machete you use is highly location dependent.

In my neck of the woods I have EXTREMELY thick vegetation but it tends to be pretty soft. I find the Condor Golock to be absolutely ideal. It's short, well balanced, and easy to swing with short wrist snaps in tight quarters. I can work with it all day without tiring out.

The Ontario GI model and the Martindale No. 14 come in a close second although both need reworking. The Martindale has a faster blade, but the Ontario goes through woody stuff better. Just a matter of what the veg is like in your location.

Again, chopping a log with a machete is idiotic. It's the wrong tool. Get a folding pocket/bow saw and go to town. Cheap, light, and FAST. You can saw through a 4" log in seconds with nearly no energy expenditure vs wearing yourself out trying to chop it.

Condor Golock.

Survival/Preparedness Forum

Stay far away from the Condor Parang. It looks great, but has no distal taper. WAY too heavy and slow for anything.
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Old 10-17-2013, 13:40   #8
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Is this for landscaping or survival modes?

FWIW, the Marines are Guadalcanal found that their machetes and bolos made too much noise when they were chopping away the jungle undergrowth. It gave away their positions to the Japanese. They were also lousy self defense weapons.

An outgrowth of this experience was the adoption of the Ka-Bar knife. The knife was developed to slice away undergrowth very quietly so the Japanese would not know the Americans were there. The Ka-Bar could also be used to stab an enemy.

Later LtGen Krulak ordered that every Marine be issued a Ka-Bar and leggings. LtGen Krulak missed out on becoming Commandant because he told LBJ to pizz up a rope. LtGen Krulak's son did become USMC Commandant.

And now to our previously scheduled show .....
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Old 10-17-2013, 13:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
[inspired from "I need an axe" in my SEPF Gear Run review]

So someone mentioned that in Florida a Machete might be a much better choice than an Axe. I really really agree with this.

I can hack a log with a machete, but can't hack through the brush with an axe.

So my question is this: Recommend me a machete that would be a good choice for hacking logs as well as brush.

As always, cheaper is better....
For a general use, multi-purpose machete, it's very hard to go wrong with the Cold Steel "Heavy Machete" which is often also called a "Cane Knife" or a "Cane Machete" the blunt nosed, very wide, heavy blade is excellent for clearing brush and chopping down small trees with minimal effort, and it would do very well if for some reason you had to use it as a defensive weapon; I hear people say Kukri this and Latin (think GI machete) that, but most of those people haven't swung a machete all day or used one as an all-purpose wilderness tool;

The ugly, utilitarian Heavy Machete is tough to beat.

http://www.coldsteelknivesdirect.com/heavy-machete
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Old 10-17-2013, 17:04   #10
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Things to consider....

-Ignorant savages all over the world have gotten along quite well with cheap machetes for hundreds of years.

-We ain't fighting the Japs anymore.

-You can pay ten times the cost of a machete by adding the name "Cold Steel" to it.

- A tree is a tree, a branch is a branch, a bush is a bush. Anyone tell you a machete can't be used in the northern hemisphere is FOS.

-Machetes are easy to reconfigure with a grinder and a file into other things like inexpensive camp knives.

-They are cheap enough to buy lots of them (unless it has the name "Cold Steel" on it)

-Machetes are generally lighter and more versatile than an axe (IMO).

So yeah, I've been using machetes for over 40 years. I carry machetes in all my vehicles. That includes on my ATV and my bicycle for clearing branches on the trails.

I carry a machete when out on my hunting property in northern Michigan whenever I am up there for clearing shooting lanes for hunting, and making brush piles for wildlife habitat. I chop down, and delimb trees with them. Yeah, I also have an axe and a chain saw but I mostly carry a machete. I carry a machete instead of an ax when I am camping. I like them.
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Last edited by mac66; 10-17-2013 at 17:14..
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Old 10-17-2013, 17:47   #11
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I got a Martindale Machete. Love it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 17:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac66 View Post
Things to consider....

-Ignorant savages all over the world have gotten along quite well with cheap machetes for hundreds of years.

-We ain't fighting the Japs anymore.

-You can pay ten times the cost of a machete by adding the name "Cold Steel" to it.

- A tree is a tree, a branch is a branch, a bush is a bush. Anyone tell you a machete can't be used in the northern hemisphere is FOS.

-Machetes are easy to reconfigure with a grinder and a file into other things like inexpensive camp knives.

-They are cheap enough to buy lots of them (unless it has the name "Cold Steel" on it)

-Machetes are generally lighter and more versatile than an axe (IMO).

So yeah, I've been using machetes for over 40 years. I carry machetes in all my vehicles. That includes on my ATV and my bicycle for clearing branches on the trails.

I carry a machete when out on my hunting property in northern Michigan whenever I am up there for clearing shooting lanes for hunting, and making brush piles for wildlife habitat. I chop down, and delimb trees with them. Yeah, I also have an axe and a chain saw but I mostly carry a machete. I carry a machete instead of an ax when I am camping. I like them.
Uh....

The Cold Steel Heavy Machete runs around $12-$14; that's about average for a decent "cane knife" style machete, and a bit cheaper than some.....The blade is not that different form most of the others, but it's advantage is in the handle, which is a one-piece mold rather than a screwed or riveted two-piece; I have found, in a couple of decades of using a machete regularly, and I don't mean once in a while in a colder climate, but pretty much daily , in a tropical climate, that the one piece molded handle tends to hold up a bit better.

It appears that you , for some reason, seem to think that Cold Steel is overpricing their machetes, but at $12-$14, they aren't, so I'm not sure where all that negatively is coming from.....but I challenge you to find a better quality machete for under $15.

Last edited by ranger1968; 10-17-2013 at 17:49..
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Old 10-17-2013, 19:03   #13
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Get a martindale "alligator" bolo for less than $30 and be done with it. A nice machete with a long distinguished history.
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Old 10-17-2013, 19:31   #14
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Get a martindale "alligator" bolo for less than $30 and be done with it. A nice machete with a long distinguished history.

I actually have a Martindale; it's nice machete, but in all honesty I found the Cold Steel to be better item.
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Old 10-17-2013, 20:10   #15
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I actually have a Martindale; it's nice machete, but in all honesty I found the Cold Steel to be better item.
OK, why?
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Old 10-17-2013, 20:23   #16
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OK, why?
right back at ya.

The blade didn't rust, the handle was more sturdy and of a better design and the weight felt like it was a little further forward; all in all, it (the Cold Steel heavy machete) seemed to work just a little bit better for me, and it seemed to be just a little more ....robust...for lack of a better term.... I used my brush tools pretty hard, and the Cold Steel heavy has held up as well, or better, than everything else I have tried.

The only thing that I found that I liked better than the Cold Steel heavy (which I paid like $10 for) was Woodsman's Pal; similar sort of design (cane knife) but with a nice brush hook on the back side....a lot of cane knife style machetes have the brush hook, which is a nice feature, but the Cold Steel does not; I added one by filing a rear-swept hook to the back of the blade with a file, and while it's not as pronounced as the one on the Woodsman's Pal (which costs $70-$80), it works well enough.
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Old 10-17-2013, 20:36   #17
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Cold steel is speaking to me - but lots of great suggestions.
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Old 10-17-2013, 22:29   #18
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I brought the machete to the Gathering and didn't get to use it. I have cut limbs up to 7 inches around with my Gerber Gator that I bought from Sports Authority for $25 bucks, it has the saw on the back of the blade and it is the long one. It worked amazingly well. (also had to sharpen blade)

http://www.sportsauthority.com/produ...uctId=11367169

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Old 10-17-2013, 22:38   #19
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I bought a whole bunch of Cold Steel machetes since they are dirt cheap and you can't ever have enough big blades around.

I got the Kukri machete, the large machete, and the 2 handed katana machete. But since their stuff is cheap, I also bought a trail hawk so I have a small axe with the hammer head on the back. Never know what you might need in the field.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:44   #20
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Quote:
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...
It appears that you , for some reason, seem to think that Cold Steel is overpricing their machetes,
...
Most stuff from Cold Steel is pretty expensive, so someone making that assumption isn't all that surprising.

Seeing how they have a kukri for $700, that's probably the type of thing he was thinking about.

Last edited by Syclone0538; 10-18-2013 at 01:45..
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