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Good machetes

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07 April 2007, 20:02
Good machetes
I know, why spend high dollars on a machete, since it is a near throwaway tool, right? Well I'm sick of the cheap KRAP you find at most places.

Have any of you any experience with KaBar machetes? I'm just wondering if it is worth this much, or am I paying for the Kabar name... The linked one would be perfect for packing, but I wish it also came in a 18" version for the truck...

Alternatives? I'm not eager enough in my knife making to set up HT equipment for something that long...

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
08 April 2007, 07:00
Cold Steel makes a number of machete variants. Some of their items are expensive but can be found below list price at various places. Their web site can be a bit confusing as not all the similar items are in the same place.

I do not have a machete from them but do have a kukri I like a lot.


Some Pictures from Namibia

Some Pictures from Zimbabwe

An Elephant Story

08 April 2007, 10:24
I bought one of the Cold Steel Pangas...was skeptical as it was only about $12 or so. I had a mugo (sp?) pine tree I had to get rid of..some of the branches were 3-5" across. I took my panga out of the garage and decided to give it a try. To my great surprise, it made short work of the tree, easily cutting it up to small pieces...even more impressed since there was a lot of pine sap and it didn't seem to slow me down at all.
It was more efficient than either a axe or a wood bow saw....I wouldn't be without one now.
09 April 2007, 03:18
2 things turned me away from Cold Steel, the lack of an included sheath unless you pay close attention to what you buy and the use of the much cheaper 1055 steel. Most of the ones I am looking at are 1085 or 1095, which I would expect to hold up much better, assuming optimum heat treating on all cases...

I guess they are probably still a lot better than the Chinese Wal Mart specials though. Maybe I'll look again...

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
09 April 2007, 05:12
You could always go custom!

My Cold Steel Kukri is Carbon V but they are more than the machetes and hard to find in the original, non-coated style.


Some Pictures from Namibia

Some Pictures from Zimbabwe

An Elephant Story

09 April 2007, 22:42
Maine Woods
You might consider a Bark River Golok
12 April 2007, 02:29
Jeff Wemmer
I have spent several months in the Central and South American Rainforests over the years and have found that the "Older" "Collins-Legitimus" Machetes to be the absolute best....the others that I have had good luck are the post WWII brands that came out of Sheffield UK...All of these are long out of production, but have the best edge holding tempering and just the right amount of spring in their blades withoput being too heavy and rigid....remember that a good machete should sing as it's cutting through dense underbrush!

Usually find mine at Flea markets and garage sales - no kidding. I have yet to find a contemporary blade that works as well as these oldies!

12 April 2007, 02:32
Jeff Wemmer
Oh, and get you a good medium Mill Bastard file for sharpening it as you'll have to do so a lot when working denst underbrush that usually exude a sticky sap!

12 April 2007, 08:27
Jim Manion
Jeff, you are really dating yourself here!

The Collins blades were very nice indeed. Then available at most Army Navy stores.

The BEST I ever came across was the Al Mar version with the slight inward curve. They were heavy but balanced well in the hand. So well that you hated to use it as a path clearer.

I don't believe they make them anymore. I bought one in the early 80's and still have it around, somewhere. The leather scabbard is beat to hell, but the "surgical steel" blade, although having been through a couple of sharpenings, looks like new.

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15 April 2007, 21:23
Ontario models are pretty good. I don't like the handles but they are easy to shape with a file and some sandpaper. They make a plastic sheath for the 18" model.
16 May 2007, 07:32
BearHunter 62
I like and use the Cold Steel ones. For the money I think they are great.
19 May 2007, 02:31
Ole Miss Guy
I got my WW2 English machete on Ebay for $7.50. You can thump it and it will ring like a tuning fork. Last trip to Chiapas got me a leather sheath for another $7.50. Using it to clear small brush creates a melody.
11 July 2007, 02:04
The best ones I've ever used are the Tramontina brand. they can be bought just about anywhere for less than twenty bucks. They are made from a flexible steel that allows them to bend without breaking, and they hold a decent edge. I still have one that I got from a buddy fifteen years ago who used it extensivley in Haiti for many years before that. I have had to use it to clear Huge logs that were well beyond the capabilities of normal machetes.

"Bring enough gun."
13 September 2007, 09:54
Anyone here remember these machetes advertised in outdoor mags in the late 60s , they said Dumas on them and were french for use in Africa I believe. I got mine at a military surplus store in 69. Now this is one great machete with quarter inch steel and 14 and a half blade . I have cut down 8 inch trees with it
03 October 2007, 08:42
The best ones I've ever used are the Tramontina brand.


At work I have used:

Cold Steel


Ontario Knife





and a bunch of nameless crap! The Tramontina bolo will work as good as any and last as long as any as long as you have not confused the task of a machete with an axe!
05 December 2007, 22:00
I used a freinds WWII Bolo style machette. Best damn machette I ever used I bouoght one with sheath off Ebay and I am really pleased It is a Medical Machette from WWII SLightly better than 1/4" thick, about 18" long , strong riveted handle and damn near indestructable. Sheath is heavy duty also

06 December 2007, 07:50
I like my Cold Steel Bolo machete very much.
07 December 2007, 06:43
I ended up getting the KaBar bolo.

I love it. It recently worked my butt off on a 5 day camping hunt in the boonies and didn't show any noticeable wear in the cutting edge.

Two thumbs up.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.