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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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    Cool Blades.
     
  2. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Quick Break

    Out in the shop today, watching it rain.

    Took a quick break to eyeball this critter:

    [​IMG]

    26" "slender latin" pattern from INVERMEC.

    Sold as an "El Miura". Miura is a fighting bull breed.

    Man, that is a cool logo!
    [​IMG]

    What isn't cool is the the burnt edge. :scrutiny:

    A bit sloppy. Hopefully they didn't roast badly enough to do any real damage.

    [​IMG]

    Otherwise, construction is excellent. Lots of distal taper, the blade is fairly stiff for length and isn't objectionably whippy. Has a pleasing ring when struck.
    These guys are built for heavy duty work in light vegetation and grasses. Lots of reach. Good for trail maintenance provided you can keep your cuts on hardwood to less than 2" in diameter.

    This one has a lightly textured plastic 2 piece,riveted, hidden tang, grip construction. Nice and tight.

    Gavilan/INCOLMA/INVERMEC offers a bizillion different plastic grip configurations on the same tang shape.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Good collection of Matchet's.
     
  4. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Amusingly, those are all almost exactly the same model except one of them is blued. :eek:



    The naked tang is from a huge Colima.
     
  5. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Well I guess I know which one you really like .
     
  6. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    Nice write-up for those of us who don't know beans about "big knives." The last three machetes I have bought came from a flea market vendor. I think I gave $15 per when I bought them and I used the snot out of them clearing a piece of property for camping/hunting.

    I will have to look at getting a new one as I have worn out the last one I bought. I want to say I got 2.5 years of use out of it before it was worn out from sharpening and rust. Who knows I might just find a piece of spring steel in the machine shop scrap bin and have a little fun shaping it up with a grinder. :evil: It can't be that hard to make a primitive brush clearing tool now can it? :)
     
  7. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    You could but SMKW got good ones for less than 10 bucks.
     
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    It is as hard as you want to make it I guess.



    Heavy chopping knives used as daily tools by indigenous peoples are often devilishly complex in construction despite being made under primitive conditions.
     
  9. JimStC

    JimStC Member

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    Absolutely awesome thread. Thanks for the education.
    I have an old Ontario 18" and a Kabar 1248. Any thoughts on the Kabar machetes?
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    Jim
     
  10. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    The "Cutlass"/1248 is the only one that I own.

    I can't fault the quality of construction. It is a pretty good chopper for length, doesn't want to wedge too badly and kicks out chips with gusto.

    I really like the shape of the overmolded grip. My hands are on the smaller end of medium and it is rare that a grip with belly fits me so well.
    The texture OTOH is a hand burner under heavy use. It is shortlisted for a composite rehandle.

    Mine was hair poppin' sharp out of the box. I've not used it for much other than "fun-choppin'" around the house and a bit of "inappropriate knife" food prep :evil: so I can't speak with any authority as to how the edge holds up under non-chopping duty but the blade is fairly soft. I've managed to roll the edge in a couple places on miss-strikes but it hasn't ever blown out.

    Too short to be useful as a machete unless you are hobbit sized.

    Too light to be a true replacement for a hand axe.
     
  11. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Been looking at the HI webpage, and I'm starting to get khukuri fever again.

    I know the installment is coming up (and I can hardly wait), but if you could suffer one quick question, please sir... for the handle, do you recommend horn or wood? And maybe a brief explanation why?


    Thanks!
     
  12. juk

    juk Member

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    This time last year I was working as an aquatic vegetation sprayer on Lake Okeechobee, Fl. Basically, I sat on an airboat and hunted floating vegetation to kill, such as Water Lettuce and Hyacinth. At times, we would work in very grown up areas and our airboats were prone to getting hung up or stuck.

    I went and bought one of the OKC 18" machetes and wrapped the handle in paracord. I zip tied the sheath to my seat and took off. I later had it sharpened by a guy that knew his stuff. He spent 30 minutes with a bastard file and told me to be careful. My machete was used to cut cattails, reeds, trees, brush, cottonmouths, and anything else that got in my way. I consider it a valuable tool and don't see how I lived without one. lol

    Nowadays, I use it for clearing brush behind the house and cutting blind material to hide my duckboat. It's always in the truck though. Good writeup. I honestly didn't think too much into my purchasing. I just knew that I wanted a good, sturdy piece of steel that would hold an edge and not ruin my bank account. The OKC is a beast.
     
  13. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Awe shucks. :eek:


    On a user?

    Wood.

    With an oil finish. Easy to maintain, easy on the hands.

    IME polished horn gives a grip that is easily compromised by moisture and is more prone to blister.
    Horn also tends to do funky things if it is exposed to extremes of temperature and/or humidity.
     
  14. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    "It can't be that hard..."

    Dunno, there are a lot of people making a living with big knife choppers and a lot of variety in them that the mass market manufacturers don't make.

    I'd say the vast majority of machetes are made to "catch" people who don't make a living with them just like fishing lures are made to catch fisherman instead of fish.
     
  15. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    That actually sounds like fun.:D



    You chose well. The boring old OKC 1-18 is a good tool with a couple annoying flaws easily remedied by a bit of ingenuity.
     
  16. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I see. Thanks a lot!

    I actually figured that the wood handle would be easier on the hands, as I understand that is the generally the case for hatchets as well.


    The horn sure looks handsome, though! But as with many things in life... the best lookin' don't always mean the hardest workin'!
     
  17. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Truth my brother, Truth.
     
  18. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Oh man, especially if it has a bit o' hue.

    ..or carved into some sort of snarling cat.


    [​IMG]

    :evil:
     
  19. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Very nice!

    See, if I get something even half as nice as that, it will never see a minute's use...
     
  20. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    100% agreement from me.

    John
     
  21. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    That was from stock photo Valiant btw.

    http://www.valiantco.com/

    Lots of purty stuff, much of it of questionable utility.
     
  22. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Doh! I feel like I've been head-faked...

    For what they're asking, I would go ahead and deal with HI.
     
  23. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Hah!

    I intended to include the link in the initial post but my tablet ate it.:D




    As a serious use tool HI is going to be a far better choice.
     
  24. cal01

    cal01 Member

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    Thanks for the very informative article.
     
  25. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Next one will go up this weekend.

    In it, we finally start cutting things. :cool:
     
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