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Posted: 2/27/2018 11:45:03 AM EDT
One of the few things I don't own, snagged one at Harbor Freight and the cutting edge bent/chipped within just a couple hits so now I'm thinking Ebay. Maybe a Cold Steel one?
Link Posted: 2/27/2018 10:20:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2018 10:26:30 PM EDT by ROCK6]
What are you planning on cutting? I really like Machete Specialist...and he has some decent information for choosing a machete: https://www.machetespecialists.com/buying-guide/

You have long, short, thin, thick, weight-forward, various tips designs for various purposes, etc. For your regular Latin-styled machete, the Imacasa and Tramontina are excellent value-machetes. At the higher end are Ontario, ESEE, and Condor. Cold Steel makes very quality machetes as well although I don't care for their rubber grips. Most stainless steel machetes will chip as they're just too hard for an impact chopper. Most carbon steels will at least roll the edge which can be steeled out if you hit something hard on accident. Carbon steel also sharpens faster and is easier to sharpen in the field as they're typically not hardened as hard.

Size makes a difference. The 12" Latin-styled machete has been hailed as the ultimate survival tool by several instructors, but in some areas, you want more reach such as with 18-24" blades. I personally prefer blades in the 12-16" range for hauling around; longer blades for clearing around the house. The longer it is, often the thinner the edge if you're swinging a lot. Shorter blades can be thicker for more versatility on harder woods. Ironically, some of the best choppers of wood are convex-ground machetes I have and they rival purpose built choppers like Kukri or some of the weight-forward designs.

Asking what kind of machete you should get is like asking, "what kind of gun should I get"? It may help to understand the types of foliage and uses you plan to use it for. If it's just around the house, any of the above with an 18" blade will work just fine. I have an older Condor (stainless steel believe it or not) Swamp Master, Panga-style that I love for clearing black berry vines. The swept-back curve and point are excellent for cutting into the roots and that pronounced point really pierces well.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 10:25:43 AM EDT
I’ll second @Rock6. I will say from use the Tramontina is a good value option, and will do whatever basic tasks you need. If your looking to chop wood, Ontario or ESEE.
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 10:51:59 AM EDT
If you want a cross between a machete and a big knife, the CRKT MAH-CHETE is a good blade.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TACNN9Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 2:28:13 PM EDT
Tramontina is a great budget option, built by and for people who rely on them for their livelihoods and protection. I miss my old Collins but Tramontina is a good stand in for them
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 4:16:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2018 4:20:08 PM EDT by Grottski]
Ontario Knife Company Kukri

Awesome knife at it's price point ($60). Great for chopping, the Kukri blade shape makes it a pretty efficient chopper while being useful for lighter tasks still. I love mine, although I don't get to use it much as I would like. It's a very large knife. I will say, you will want to get a good kydex sheath made for it. The one that comes with it is kind of lacking.
Attachment Attached File


Eta also made in the USA!
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 4:26:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Grottski:
Ontario Knife Company Kukri

Awesome knife at it's price point ($60). Great for chopping, the Kukri blade shape makes it a pretty efficient chopper while being useful for lighter tasks still. I love mine, although I don't get to use it much as I would like. It's a very large knife. I will say, you will want to get a good kydex sheath made for it. The one that comes with it is kind of lacking.
https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/472803/41my4PL66UL-470606.JPG

Eta also made in the USA!
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I bought one of these and didn’t care for it. I choose it for the price point and because it looked cooler than the others on my short list.

I did not find it to be very effective. The blade is thin, and very light for its size. No forward weight at all. And mine didn’t hold an edge for shit.

I ended up giving it away.
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 5:12:29 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Krashdog:

I bought one of these and didn’t care for it. I choose it for the price point and because it looked cooler than the others on my short list.

I did not find it to be very effective. The blade is thin, and very light for its size. No forward weight at all. And mine didn’t hold an edge for shit.

I ended up giving it away.
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Surprising, I actually like mine. Much lighter than my other Kukri which is a traditional style. I can see what you mean when compared to others of the type.
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 5:29:49 PM EDT
Look at the Condor Golok. It's my go to machete here in the South Carolina swamps. Thick enough near the base to do some chopping. Thin enough at the tip to cut vines etc. Weighted toward the tip so it swings easy. Just the right length to ride on the side of my daypack.
Condor Golok
Link Posted: 3/3/2018 11:09:11 PM EDT
A traditionally long, thin machete isn't a very good woodcraft choice, useful mostly for slicing thru light, thin, flimsy, soft growth that doesn't offer sufficient resistance to be cut with an axe, loppers, etc., and not an appropriate (or safe) tool for chopping, pruning woody stems, or most camp chores, most of which are better addressed with a small axe, or a heavier, shorter, stiffer blade, such as a golok, which is ideal for bamboo and similar semi-woody stems. Pretty hard to beat stout loppers or saws for pruning, and almost impossible to hurt yourself with them, accidentally.
Link Posted: 3/4/2018 10:28:42 AM EDT
I have a Cold steel Kukri and a Camillus Carnivore. Both are inexpensive and work well for what they are designed for. I've never sawed anything with the carnivore, but I have used the hook for pulling vines, and It chops branches pretty well.
Link Posted: 3/4/2018 3:49:55 PM EDT
That Camillus looks pretty nice. Good suggestion.
Link Posted: 3/6/2018 11:28:36 AM EDT
I have an Ontario that I have had for many years. Although it's not an everyday tool, it has worked very well. It holds an edge and has a stiff spine, not flimsey like some of the imported ones.
Link Posted: 3/8/2018 1:55:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2018 8:10:16 AM EDT by MPi-KMS-72]
We use machetes for cutting line while surveying in the woods. Some days you are swinging the damn things all day long. I've tried USGI Ontarios, WWII Collins, Barteaux machetes, brush axes, loppers etc. What I've consistently found is that for heavy use the long thin real South American machetes always seem to rise to the top. You don't have to spend a lot to get a good one either. I've used Colombian, El Salvadoran, and Brazillian ones. I really like Imcasa. 22-24" blades with a good leather scabbard from Chicago Steel Tape or similar. Ironically a good scabbard will often end up costing you 2-3 xs what the machete does. D guard machetes seem like a good idea until you use them for a while. Everone I know who has used one either removed the guard(In the case of the Barteaux) or replaced the machete.

If you aren't using them all day long though other tools will certainly suffice and might be better. I dont use anything bigger than a Martindale Golok or Paratrooper when hiking or camping.
Link Posted: 3/10/2018 1:23:24 AM EDT
Kershaw makes some good ones in several lengths and blade shapes. If you can find one anymore the Ontario Blackie Collins with D guard handle is excellent. Tramontina machetes are very good, a bit lighter & more flexible than the other two.
Link Posted: 3/10/2018 1:35:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/13/2018 4:06:26 AM EDT
Ka-Bar Kukri should fit

Link Posted: 4/17/2018 6:02:32 PM EDT
Tramontina is pretty hard to beat for the money, IMO.
Link Posted: 5/5/2018 10:32:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IronVolk:
Ka-Bar Kukri should fit

https://www.machetespecialists.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ka-Bar-Kukri.png
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I use mine around the yard quite a bit and it works well. I have a Cold Steel machete and find it’s too thin and light for anything over about 3/4” and bends.
Link Posted: 5/9/2018 2:41:38 AM EDT
Look at the Terävä Skrama. I have been using one and it is a great tool.
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