chip sanft wrote:I want to buy a machete to use around the land -- chopping out woody plants-out-of-place, cutting down saplings, clearing paths through thorns, and so on. The usual machete stuff.
The problem is, I can't decide what kind of machete to buy. My dad's is a plain South American one, probably cost $20 or so and works well enough. But looking at Amazon I find really good reviews of things like the Ka-Bar kukri machete (here: Kukri machete), which is $45. They also have a number in the $20+ range.
My inclination is to buy something a bit more expensive, with the idea that I'll buy this one and keep it for a good long time. And a good machete is something you can get a lot of use out of.
Does anybody have any experience with various machetes? I don't mind spending for worthwhile tools, but I also want to avoid wasting money.
Vidad MaGoodn wrote:@Benjamin
REPLACING it? Oh boy. I feel like my mom just died.
That aside, hope your design is good for whacking roosters - I'd love to see it. I got my own cane machete from my brother over a decade ago. (Actually, he forgot it in a corner of my parents yard where it sat for some years until I fixed it up again.)
Finding good machetes is definitely tough, since a lot of the stuff is cut-rate metal. I am impressed that you're so involved with this most noble of tools.
Seriously... the machete is way more danged manly than just about any other tool.
chip sanft wrote:Thanks everybody for your suggestions, thoughts, and experiences. I hope they keep coming.
Benjamin, you asked three questions:
The big things I need to know to match you to a proper model are:
1. What are you going to be cutting? So far woody plants, including thorny plants and trees, have been the main target, with smaller saplings and branches behind that, grass etc. behind that. But I'd really like to aim for flexibility, as I don't know what's going to happen next year. One reason I thought the Ka-Bar kukri might be good is its length (17" blade length): too long and the machete could get unwieldy, but too short and -- as you point out -- you're too close to the thorns. Even a longer one isn't proof against some of the nastier stuff, as I have learned.
2. Where will you be using it? Out on our land, which includes cleared areas, woods, brush, and wetlands.
How do you intend to carry it? I'd like to carry it on my belt, so a sheath of some sort would be good (cheap is better than expensive here especially).
3. What is the most you're willing to spend on it? I'd like to not spend more than $50 or so.
Thanks for being willing to share your expertise!
Benjamin Bouchard wrote:
The blade length on the KA-BAR kukri is only 11.5"--the OVERALL length is 17"!
Ray Cover wrote:Have any of you tried the cold steel machetes? are they any good?
Max Kennedy wrote:Personally I like the long handled brush axe or sometimes called a brush hook. They are sort of a hooked machete, some are sharp both edges and the long handle saves my back and gives greater power. The needs more room argument is mostly irrelevant as you swing from an area already cleared and can shorten your grasp. Looks sort of like a medieval bill hook.
Ray Cover wrote:Thanks for the info Benjamin. I have two Cold steel machettes I bought at the Blade Show in Atlanta a few years back but I have never used them. I may get that Tromontina five pack your buddy has on clearance and re-handle the wood ones with micarta handles. If they are harder steel and hold an edge better that interest me quite a bit both as a tool and a defensive weapon.
Fred Morgan wrote:You are right Benjamin, I meant too narrow, not too thin.
By the way, someone who has worked with a machete all their life is a wonder to see. Today I was setting up a horseshoe court, the worker who was helping me mowed between both pits, using a machete. You probably wouldn't be much faster with a mower. I have seen people mow a small lawn with a machete, and leave it pretty smooth.
But, the most impressive was I was with some guest and we decided to have a coconut so I asked a worker to get one for us and prep it. In about 2 minutes he returned with a coconut, peeled, with the milk still in it, no shell. We had to ask him to do another just to watch him do it. Imagine holding a coconut in your hand and whacking it repeatedly with a machete, while you rotate it, removing all the shell, and only leaving the nut, intact. I would surely have been missing some figures to even try.
Barry Fitzgerald wrote:I have owned a lot of different machetes, and I use them very often. My biggest problem was the handles breaking. That is very dissappointing when you finally get it sharpened to actually cut well and then you have to start over again with a new one.
My advise is to find one made with 440 stainless steel and the very best most rugged handle.