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The Beginner's Guide to the Machete

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by JShirley, Jul 27, 2013.

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  1. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    The CS Bolo cuts well.
     
  2. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Well, I am of two minds about this.


    Speaking specifically about machetes now, not the rest of the Condor product line.


    OK, right now, at SMKW, you can buy an IMACASA machete for something like seven bucks.
    http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/prodlist.jsp

    Good tools but requiring shop time before being useable.


    A Condor machete OTOH, is also an IMACASA but is ready to go right out of the box, has fit and finish reasonably close to what we in 1st world nations would expect out of commercial cutlery, will usually come with a pretty nice sheath and fancy handles....and they are priced accordingly.

    Whether or not a $100 Condor Discord is a good buy vis-à-vis other much more affordable machetes is chiefly going to be determined by how the end user is going to employ the tool and how much they value their own time.
     
  3. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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  4. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Thanks! I LOVE this string and I'm going to send the link for it to my son.

    He's in the formative years of his life where knives have become a fascinating subject for him. He's got quite a growing selection, at 14 year of age. He's been on about buying a machete, since of course they're an impressive blade. He walks by them at Walmart all the time, but I've been recommending he get something a wee bit better quality than the $6 Walmart machetes...

    I recently got ahold of the machete Mom used to have, which I remember having used quite a lot in my own teens. It's a Bulldog machete (has a bulldog stamped into the blade) and it was Mom's primary means of chopping up squash into chunks for baking.

    I've cleaned up the blade and told him that he can have it when he finds a sheath he likes that fits it.
     
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Y'know, one of the things that puzzles me is how unbelievably bad the wally world Chinese machetes are, when you consider that other retailers without the MASSIVE purchasing power that Wal-Mart has are able to supply superior quality central and south american machetes at an equal price point.:uhoh:

    I'd love to know their (wal-mart) profit margins on 'chetes. HUGE I bet.



    Thank you for reading.
     
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Not to solicit business (though, in theory I am a commercial member ;)) but I could build and sell a shortish, "all utility"* chopper with a resin composite grip laid up directly on the tang for not much more than what a Condor Discord costs. In theory.;)
    [​IMG]


    I think the big Condors are priced just a bit above where they should be, personally.

    ...the sheaths are nice though. :cool:






    *Slightly Ugly. :eek:
     

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  7. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to write these articles, they are very interesting and informative. I am looking forward to future installments.

    What do you think of the ESEE Machete?

    Which brand and blade pattern would you recommend for a hike/camp machete?
     
  8. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Thanks Sam I shared both your article on my Facebook because it is a home owners tool that everyone should own. Matter of fact I have a Tam in my rig and an Customized Academy one in my wife's rig plus a my newest one a Cold Steel in the barn. Next payday I am getting 2 of those Imsascus ones from SMKW that Sam keeps talking about. I got one bust it is a Gil Hibben from SMKW from about 10 years ago and it is more of a tree chopper it is 3/8 thick at the top and weighs a ton.
     
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  9. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    [​IMG]


    Well.... it is an IMACASA with neato micarta handles and sharp out of the box. They feel great. Have a cool logo. Costs sixty or seventy bucks.

    IMACASAs are great machetes that come with excellent plastic handles for under ten bucks.


    Ask yourself:
    What does the ESEE do that a standard IMACASA wont?








    For most folks, any lightly built "latin" 18" machete by IMACASA or Gavilan/INCOLMA/INVERMEC can do any reasonable task expected of a machete and do it for less than ten bucks and not be so long as to get in the way.
    That includes kitchen duties...with a touch up of course. ;
    [​IMG]


    For twice (or thrice) the money you can buy american and get an OKC. The standard OKC is 1/8" thick so packs quite a bit more chopping grunt but that comes at the expensive of weight, control and increased operator fatigue.
     

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  10. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Nice job on the Onions!
     
  11. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    New installment was great! I learned some things I didn't know before.

    I'll have to keep an eye out for one of these IMACASA/INCOLMA blades. I have an OKC and a Cold Steel, and both have served me well - but I want to see the difference for myself. Another in the stable wouldn't hurt anything... and besides I can apply some of what I'm learning from the installments.


    Thanks again for the time and effort! I am sure a lot of people appreciate it. Be looking forward to the next one. BTW, how many do you anticipate in total? Just curious.
     
  12. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    SMKW has a small selection of IMACASAs as well as 12",18" and 22" blued, one piece plastic gripped INCOLMAs sold as Tru-Spec brand.

    www.smkw.com





    Till y'all beg me to stop. :D

    Seriously though, I've been truncating the articles down quite a bit( I'm verbose by nature) but I've got another 3-4 very general ones on tap before we really start looking at specific models and ethnic choppers.
     
  13. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Keep it up Sam I grew up with mil-slurp one was we filded them in the field and stoned them on a foot powered sharpener in the farm shop.
     
  14. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Member

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    Excellent second installment, Sam!

    I'm learning a lot from your articles.

    When you get to specific recommendations, perhaps you can suggest best choices in categories, such as grass cutting, wood cutting, hiking/packing, etc.

    I agree with you that many of the Condors seem pricey. On the other hand, I considered the Condor Barong a good deal: it's a heavy-duty chopper, but with an excellent point. It goes through a one-inch oak branch with very little effort. It's the blade I'd pick if I was going to have to defend myself with an edged tool.

    Thanks for the information!
    Dirty Bob
     
  15. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    I like the Condor barong but I don't love it.

    I think (and remember, this is just my opinion) that the leaf shaped blade leaves the package compromised in chopping ability for length and weight, the thick grind hurts utility all around.

    As a stabber, I'd want a more aggressive texture on the grip (same grip used on some of their cheap machetes btw) and a more substantial guard on the knuckle side.

    Nice sheath though.

    I wish they would sell the Condor Barong for about $25 sans sheath.

    You could do worse. ;)

    If we are limiting ourselves to critters than can be considered knives, I'd go:

    HI "Crow" Bowie by Kesar Lal.
    [​IMG]
     

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  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Ah. That makes me feel really good. :)

    John
     
  17. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    I didn't even have to think about it, that thing is pure undiluted death*.

    I'm going to use it to help some piggies shuffle off the mortal coil and take another rotation on the wheel pretty soon.:D














    *Geek Joke: +1 weapon, +3 vs chaotic creatures. Geek points if you know why. :evil:
     
  18. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Member

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    Cool bowie, Sam! It has a rustic, handmade look.

    I've been considering a small rasp reduction of my barong hilt, to make the grip smaller right behind the "guard," on three sides, to give me better control of the blade. You're right about the leaf shape and grind affecting chopping ability, but I see this as a blade designed as a weapon (the Philippine Islands have a large martial blade culture) that I'm using as a somewhat limited tool.

    No complaints, though. I'm thinking of a trash-can-plastic sheath for it. Not beautiful, but practical and long-lasting.

    I still use my Tramontina bolo more than any other machete. It's just a great overall design for general usage.

    Regards,
    "Bobster"
     
  19. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Considering it was made by a little barefooted Nepali dude squatting on a dirt floor not far from Kathmandu proper, that is to be expected. :D

    A piece of scrap PVC pipe is one of the traditional 3rd world sheathing materials, if you are a traditionalist. :evil:
     
  20. mole

    mole Member

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    Sam, what's your thoughts on the Marbles machetes?
     
  21. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I'm guessing from the book behind the blade, it must be pre-disposed to lawful alignments...


    So, how many geek points do I get? :neener:
     
  22. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    12. One for each inch of blade. :cool:
     
  23. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    For the most part Marbles are IMACASA machetes with upgraded factory edges, orange/red paint and a decent nylon sheath. The scales will still sit proud of the the tang and need to be flushed.

    If you like the paint,you need your chopper to be mostly useable out of the box and don't mind paying extra, go for it.


    IMACASA makes one of the nuttier...uhhh...things.... for the Marbles marquee, the Firemans Shovel
    31frGv3MhNL._SX385_.jpg :uhoh:

    Not sure what it would be good for as it is totally flat and un-shovel like despite the name. Sodcutter for leprechauns maybe?
     
  24. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Thank you, sir! :cool:


    I'm looking forward to the installment that includes authentic khukuris, like what Himalayan Imports offers. I guess this will be covered under "ethnic choppers".

    I seriously thought about picking up something from HI for a couple of months, but never went through with it.

    It would have been a show piece more than anything - I doubt I could bring myself to actually use it.


    I still admire them; as a bit of a blade fan I might still get a nice specimen one day.
     
  25. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Yup.

    I'm stealing one of Yandu's pictures here:
    [​IMG]


    Made by the same guy that made the bowie above.

    $60 each. I thing there were 6 of them.

    Pure tool, made to be used.
     

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