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Vicioustom

What's your Go-To machete?

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I have a ESEE light machete. Haven't really abused it much but from Esee's reputation and the results I've had from my Esee 6 belt knife I expect it to be quality. Also have a Cold Steel magnum kurki I've beat the heck out of that I keep in my river boat, good product for the money. The heavy old Ontario machete's have always been good too. I started putting my Esee machete in my BOB when the sting nettles get tall in the spring and switching out to my GB axe after the first hard freeze. Trying to match the seasons while keeping a managable weight.

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i have a Fiskars from wally-world, does ok, the one I don't use is from my dad, he was issued it in the navy back when they said he 'might have to go ashore' he didn't and it is still brand new with orig scabbard and is marked 1944 probably not uncommon but cool as hell -to me:)

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Ontario US army saw back in the self sharpening sheath, got for two bucks at yard sale. I know that the self sharing carnie is not the greatest but If you get the blade set to the angle to match the carbide they are good enough and always there

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I like the one I hammerd out of a leafspring myself-kinda heavy but the back is 3/8 of an inch thick with a weight forward blade design. Handles are soft "milkjug"plastic glued on with super shoe goo,then 1/4 inch bolted in 4 places. I realy dont think it is possable to break it!

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Apparantly some of the handles were manufactured wrong so the handle would break. I hadnt even had the chance to try it out. You had to contact Gerber and they sent a box and call tag and were supposed to send a replacement. Still waiting for it. Im not a big bear grylls fan but my first knife was a gerber so I thought Id try it out

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I like the one I hammerd out of a leafspring myself-kinda heavy but the back is 3/8 of an inch thick with a weight forward blade design. Handles are soft "milkjug"plastic glued on with super shoe goo,then 1/4 inch bolted in 4 places. I realy dont think it is possable to break it!

 

i don't think superman could break that bad boy rez!! way to go! i wouldn't mind having one of those myself!

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I used to make machetes for my friends. I used really big power hacksaw blades from the shipyard that I worked at. They were a little over 2' long, a little over 2" tall and a little over 1/8" thick. When they got too dull to cut 4140 heat treated steel efficiently they just threw them away. They were still plenty sharp enough to curt wood though. They were a real nice spring steel but the saw edge was carbide and impossibly hard. I made a butcher knife out of one and it took me a month to put the final edge on it by hand. I NEVER heard of anyone breaking one of them. I later found out what those blades cost new and well in 1980 the blades were more than a GOOD top of the line Kurki is now. I so wish I hadn't given them all away!

 

I ordered a Kabar Kurki last night. I will let y'all know how it goes. I'm a little like Snake in that I don't consider a kurki a good choice for a jungle machete. It is short and balanced for chopping not for whacking vines. Fortunatly that isn't what I want it for. I see it as a good all in one tool that can do some of the work of a big belt knife, some of the work of a real machete and some of the stuff you would need a hatchet for. PLUS it will make a good emergency trenching tool. It does none of this as well as the exact tool for the job but it does all of the jobs to some extent. I like it because carrying a 2 foot long machete is a pain in the but unless you strap it to a back pack. and ax is heavy and only has one use and a big belt knife just isn't my first choice for much of anything.

 

I have the big Kabar army knife and the newer short version and like it better. I have the big buck knife that whatshisname the survivor guy liked but they are just to big for a lot of the things that you do a lot of around a camp. If I want a long machete I HAVE that in SPADES now. I got one of the Cold Steel 1917 style machetes and they are the STUFF!! If you want to hack vines, repel borders or behead Zombies this is the machete for you! It is long, heavy and just a HOOT to wave around. For the bucks it is a barrel of fun for someone that would really like to have a real sword but can't justify the expense to his wife. The Cold Steel Katana Machete is a lot better now that I hacked off about half of that long ass handle and reshaped it. Made it into a hand and a half and it feels a lot more natural now.

 

The Ontario Machete is top shelf and probably the best bang for the buck if you just want a good machete. I've tried and owned nearly every style there is out there and each has its pluss sides and minus sides. If you want top chop some and hack some you might give a bolo style a try. They are usually shorter but because of their weight forward design carry a lot of punch for chopping without becoming useless for whacking vines and such like a kurki. Vines require speed and the weight just doesn't matter much. I used to use a stainless steel CB antennae whip and it was great at parting vines. It was like a muscle powered weed eater! Short heavy machetes just don't have the speed for that.

 

A machete is a tool. It is like a gun too. You don't hunt elephants with a 410 shotgun and conversely you don't shoot rabbits with a 460. Decide what it is that you WANT it to do for you and then choose the ones that will work best for that. The long machetes are often called Latin Machetes" because they are great at getting you through the bush country of Latin America. They are about useless, or at least not the best choice for Arizona or the open forests of the north. Each will be a compromise but the things that you expect to be doing the MOST should lead you in your choice. Chop, hack, whack, slice or dice there are some good at each and some not good at all at some of it.

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Got the Kabar Kurki today. a few initial impressions; it looks good and feels even better in my hand. Even though I am a big guy, my hands are not especially big. The grip on this fits me exceptionally well. It was OK sharp but with just a little effort it became wicked sharp. I plan on changing some of the edge angles but it is pretty pleasing as is with a 20 degree grind angle. I am going to widen the edge near the point to 22 to 25 degrees and shallow the angle near the grip to 16 to 18 degrees. The middle so far is about right.

 

I went out for a little woods walk and tried it on various plants. It goes through pine really easy and would have little trouble falling pines up to about a foot in diameter. It would take more work than an ax but not so much that I couldn't do it pretty efficiently. On hardwoods like hickory and such it is fine for smaller trees say up to maybe 6 inches. On the small stuff like limbs and weeds it is brutal once you get used to the Kurki feel and stop[ putting too much arm into it. Things up to about and inch are one stroke slashes in soft woods and almost as effective on hardwoods.

 

I actually like the sheath. I will no doubt reinforce it in the stress areas but in the end if it doesn't hold up I'll just make on a lot like it out of 7/8 leather. I seldom fail to make a sheath for most of my stuff if I don't like the one it came with. My Ontario latin machete has a pretty leather home with my name on it and basket weave. The sheath that came with it has a D ring on the top that the belt loop is on and this seems to make it move with me very well and makes carrying it real nice. I added a tie down cord to the bottom and it is fine for now.

 

I got it from Amazon for a little under 43 dollars with free 2 day shipping so the price is about right. With the Kabar Kurki, a Kabar short army style knife, a Kabar neck knife, Cold Steel Trail Hawk and my Victornox Trecker I think I will be well serve for edged tools. I also have a Saw-N-A-Can that will go along too. The kurki will do what a machete and hatchet will do plus can do duty as an emergency trenching tool.

 

So far I'm pretty happy with iot but will give it a real work out this fall feeding my Chimenea fireplace and my Rocket stove. That will tell me a lot. The Rocket stove requires smaller split kindling type wood so I'll be chopping and probably using a baton to split the wood. More to come as I modify it and work it over...

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On 6/28/2013 at 6:45 AM, Danm said:

Got the Kabar Kurki today. a few initial impressions; it looks good and feels even better in my hand. Even though I am a big guy, my hands are not especially big. The grip on this fits me exceptionally well. It was OK sharp but with just a little effort it became wicked sharp. I plan on changing some of the edge angles but it is pretty pleasing as is with a 20 degree grind angle. I am going to widen the edge near the point to 22 to 25 degrees and shallow the angle near the grip to 16 to 18 degrees. The middle so far is about right.

 

I went out for a little woods walk and tried it on various plants. It goes through pine really easy and would have little trouble falling pines up to about a foot in diameter. It would take more work than an ax but not so much that I couldn't do it pretty efficiently. On hardwoods like hickory and such it is fine for smaller trees say up to maybe 6 inches. On the small stuff like limbs and weeds it is brutal once you get used to the Kurki feel and stop[ putting too much arm into it. Things up to about and inch are one stroke slashes in soft woods and almost as effective on hardwoods.

Must admit, it's nice for clearing a campsite even in the midwest woods. Great for taking down ground cover and tall weeds under your hammock. I started with a Ka-bar Cutlass but used it mostly for cooking. Now I have a slightly different one, it's Ka-bar Combat Kukri (but it gets shape from it's older sibling, the one you've mentioned). Though sneath is not nearly as good as yours so I had to replace mine. But it's a hard use tool certainly - it's perfect for chopping, cutting brush and smaller trees. 

I've been thinking about getting Ontario SP8 machete to complete my collection. Or it won't be a big upgrade considering my current setup? 

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