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Cold Steel "New" Barong: First look

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Sam Cade, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Formerly built in China, the CS Barong went the way of the Do-Do bird when the Chinese contractor ceased operations.


    A few weeks ago the new South African, Lasher tools built "Barong" hit the dealers.

    Jumping right in, This is the 18" Barong, compared to an Incolma 18" machete.


    The Barong is considerably heavier, quoted nominal thickness is 2.8mm and it has no distal taper whatsoever.

    The grip is terribleness.Pure terribleness. The avatar of terribleness.
    Possibly not designed for human hands.

    It is made of hard, slick polyproplene and very round. There isn't enough clearance in the hook for a proper handshake grip(I wear a Med. glove) so every swing drives your fingers together, the lowest finger rubbing against a centerline ridge inside the hook.

    Folks, I have tough hands and 10 min of light work with this thing was enough to start a pinky blister and building heat in my palm. Ouch.

    Factory grind was very thick and uneven, huge burnt burr and a burnt tip. :banghead:

    I didn't even try using it before cleaning it up on the belt grinder...still it was the best grind I've ever seen on a CS machete.


    To summarize via picture:


    Attached Files:

  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    And I love the last pic. :)
  3. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Well-Known Member

    The last pic was genius! Love the review. My condolences on the "barong." I have the Condor barong, and I'm much happier with mine.

    Dirty Bob
  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    M said the handle looked like it would only be useful as a "dance sword" for balancing...:D
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    The Condor is superior to the Cold Steel in nearly every way.

    Better steel.
    Better grind. (probably:uhoh:, depending on who was working that day)
    Better handle. (Same one is on many other Imacasa products)
    Better sheath.


    The cold steel barong makes for a better general purpose machete since it is much longer and thinner.Shame you have to be a three-fingered Motie to use it.
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Ok... I can't help myself.

    Back to the shop to cut the handle off.
  7. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    Sam, can't tell you how much I appreciate your close reviews of things large and supposedly sharp is for this reader... I can't think of anywhere I else I'd find this kind of info (unless I was quartermaster for a brushbusting crew -and then all of the learning would be the "hardway"). Thanks again for the info...
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Awe shucks. :eek:

    Without getting overly philosophical about it, my personal belief is that the edification of any community that I am a part of is beneficial to not only myself and that community but to the world at large.

    Also, I like cutting stuff. :D

    Pics in a sec.
  9. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    The smaller of the holes in that swiss cheese tang are 5/16" and the tang is just under 1" wide.



    Right at the point of most stress, on an wide, heavy 18" long blade that doodz are going to be smacking into honey locusts. :uhoh:

    The first time Lasher runs the HT a bit hard somebody is gonna eat one of these. :(


    Attached Files:

  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    Yeah, that is scary.
  11. TEAM101

    TEAM101 Well-Known Member

    I haven't been impressed with Cold Steel products in years.
  12. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Used the Cold Steel barong for some materials testing. Quick and rough grind on the handle. Heavy cotton insulating material left at an 80 grit finish. Excellent feel, slightly more aggressive than canvas micarta or denim. Cut easier than denim


    Ergonomics dictated that the spine side of the tang be left partially bare.

    I'd love to talk to the design engineer responsible for spec'ing out the tang. :rolleyes:

    I scrubbed most of the paint from the blade before touching up the edge and taking it out for a very damp test drive.

    After about 45 min of usage the 1055 was rusting vigorously. You could practically hear it sizzle. Oil ya 'chetes folks.


    Performance, on the aggregate, is poor vis-à-vis other choppers in a similar weight class. The most direct comparisons would be with the OKC 18" and the 21" "Youngling" model lightsaber.


    The sweet spot being located so close to the grip is inconvenient for dealing with woody vegetation. It is an adequate chopper if used with a hatchet like technique but binds terribly due to the shape of the grind and relative thinness of the blade.

    Attached Files:

  13. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    First thought as I glanced through: Why the hell is there a lightsaber in this picture?
    Good review.
    Interested in this insulating material.
    Quick rusting! Might be faster than 52100. :what:
  14. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    It is a heavy box weave. Think industrial strength long johns.

    Man do they cut!

    Downsides are the prodigious power cell consumption* and the tendency to start fires in dry weather.

    * Ever try to find diatium power cells at Wal-Mart? No Dice bro! You have to go to Radio-Shack.
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

  16. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for another chopper review.
  17. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    The grips with some curve and a flare or "bell" at the end really do seat the handle firmly in the hand when swung.

  18. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Aye...though in Cold Steel's defense, there is a long tradition of semi-functional ornamental wyldstyle yo' grips on southeast Asian choppers.

    Ones intended for actual use are more sedate.

  19. JimStC

    JimStC Well-Known Member

    I love the Converse shoes with the orange strings. That was cool in 1968 and still is cool. Sam, your taste in attire is impeccable! And that is from a born and raised Kentuckian, since displaced one state north...


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